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Saturday, June 8, 2024

PAF is all set to receive Belgian C-130H

Pakistan Air Force to procure Belgian C-130H Hercules tactical transport aircraft which was seen to fly in PAF colors at Melsbroek Air Base.

The former Belgian Air Force C-130H Hercules was photographed in Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) colors for the first time on 25 July 2022, at Melsbroek Air Base. This was the first in a batch of seven refurbished C-130H which are supposed to be delivered to the PAF.

Since last year, Pakistan Air Force was working to enhance its tactical transport fleet of 16 aircraft with additional C-130s. Moreover, PAF signed a deal with the Belgian Air Force in 2019, and is supposed to be delivered soon.

Furthermore, PAF intends to procure around 7-8 aircraft from the Belgian Air Force and the C-130H Hercules now carries a new registration following the PAF serial number. The aircraft has a 42,000-pound payload and a 3,800 km of range. Likewise, the C-130 H has the capacity of carrying 92 passengers and 62 airborne troops for a paratrooper insertion.

Read more: History of PAF’s role in counterinsurgency operations

The aircraft C-130H is enabled with an aft-loading ramp that can transport a wide variety of cargo, including helicopters and six-wheel armored vehicles to other airports and air bases.

Additionally, the airbus C-130H is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft, designed and manufactured by the American defense company, Lockheed Martin. The PAF has been operating the Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules since 1962 with a proud and illustrious history. These aircraft have been one of the main tactical transport aircraft of Pakistan’s military and the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex also has vast C-130 maintenance and engine repair infrastructure and expertise.

Moving on, the C-130 aircraft played a pivotal role during the 1965 war as it was fitted with anti-air guns on the ramp. Likewise, it was the first aircraft to conduct ISTAR missions during Global War on Terror against terrorist hideouts in Pakistan.

As reported by the US Air Force;

“The C-130 Hercules primarily performs the tactical portion of the airlift mission. The aircraft is capable of operating from rough, dirt strips and is the prime transport for airdropping troops and equipment into hostile areas.”

Read more: New Zealand military buys five Lockheed C-130 Hercules planes for $1bn

Conclusively, the Belgian C-130 aircraft would further enhance Pakistan Air Force’s security and strength as it is positioned in the most vulnerable geographical location.