The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of a C-130 fleet upgrade programme and associated equipment to Pakistan.
Under the estimated $100m sale, Pakistan has requested a possible sale of C-130B/E avionics upgrades, engine management and mechanical upgrades, cargo delivery system installation, and the replacement of outer wing sets on six military transport aircraft.
The package also includes spare and repair parts, support equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, US Government and contractor technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support.
The upgrade are expected to enable the continued operation of the Pakistan Air Force's (PAF) C-130 fleet for counter-insurgency/counter-terrorism flights, regional humanitarian operations, troop transport, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions within Pakistan and in the region.
Comprising five C-130B and 11 C-130E models, PAF's fleet is facing airworthiness and obsolescence issues, and will require upgrades and repairs for continued operation and effectiveness.
The proposed modernisation is also anticipated to ensure C-130's continued viability for an additional 10 to15 years.
The proposed sale also contributes to the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping to enhance the security of a major non-Nato ally, which continues to serve as an important force for regional stability and US national security goals in the region.
The prime contractor currently remains undisclosed, and is expected to be determined through a competitive bid process in future.
Powered by four Allison AE2100D3 turboprop engines, the C-130 aircraft is designed to conduct airborne assault, search-and-rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance and aerial refuelling, maritime patrol and aerial firefighting operations.
Image: A Pakistan Air Force's C-130E Hercules aircraft in flight. Photo: courtesy of Asuspine.