The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency has notified Congress of a possible sale to provide regeneration, overhaul, modifications, and logistics support for four Lockheed Martin C-130E US Air Force (USAF) baseline aircraft for Bangladesh.
Under the estimated $180m foreign military sale, Bangladesh has requested 20 T56AA Rolls-Royce engines as grant Excess Defense Articles (EDA), transportation, aircraft ferry support, repair and return, spare and repair parts, support equipment, tools and test equipment.
The proposed package also includes provision of technical data and publications, personnel training and training equipment, contractor engineering, technical, and other related elements of logistics support.
The proposed sale will not only help modernise the Bangladesh Air Force's (BAF) aging cargo aircraft fleet, but also provide an improved capability for the transport of cargo and personnel during missions.
The BAF will also use the aircraft fleet to better respond to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the region, in addition to improving interoperability with the USAF.
The additional capability will also support Bangladesh's contributions to United Nations peacekeeping operations, as well as counter operations against terrorist organisations.
A competitive bid process will be carried out to determine the prime contractor.
Designed and developed by Lockheed Martin, the C-130E Hercules aircraft is an extended-range version of the existing C-130B aircraft that can operate in all weather conditions.
Powered by four Allison T-56-A-7A engines of 4,200hp each, C-130E is equipped with external fuel tanks with a capacity of 1,360gallons underneath the wings.
Image: A C-130E Hercules flies over the Atlantic Ocean. Photo: courtesy of the US. Air Force, photo by Tech. Sgt. Howard Blair.