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Greece interested in surplus UK Hercules airlifters

Greece is expected to acquire at least one surplus Hercules airlifter when the type is retired from UK service in 2023. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

Greece has shown interest in acquiring from the United Kingdom an undisclosed number of soon-to-be-retired Lockheed Martin C-130J/C-130J-30 Hercules airlifters.

The Greek Republic Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced in late November that it had held a teleconference with Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group to talk about the upcoming sale of one ‘short' C-130J (C5 in UK service) and 13 ‘stretched' C-130J-30 (C4) airframes that are to be retired from Royal Air Force (RAF) service in 2023.

“The purpose of the teleconference was to hold a discussion-update on the upcoming sale of the UK's C-130J aircraft, for which the Marshall company has been appointed as an external partner,” the MND said.

As noted by the ministry, the conference was attended by the UK defence attaché, Captain Alexander Bush, as well as representatives from the UK Defence Equipment Sales Authority (DESA), the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), the UK government, and Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group.

News of the event came approximately 11 months after the MoD told Janes that it had received “considerable interest” in the Hercules fleet from a wide range of potential buyers.

As announced in the 2021 Defence Command Paper, the RAF's remaining Hercules fleet is to be prematurely retired on 31 March 2023. According to the MoD, the 14 aircraft “will be withdrawn from service in accordance with a draw-down plan that maintains an agreed level of operational capability up to the out-of-service date [OSD]”. However, the ministry told Janes

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