on 1 April, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) told Jane’s that Bangladesh has received the last of five UK-surplus Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules transport aircraft it ordered.
All of the ‘short-bodied’ C-130Js (designated C5 in Royal Air Force [RAF] service) were originally due to be with the Bangladesh Air Force by the end of 2019, but with four aircraft now in-country the MoD said the final one is now expected to be handed over in March.
Aircraft ZH 887, a short-bodied C-130J (designated C5 in Royal Air Force [RAF] service), was transferred to the Bangladesh Air Force on 3 February, ahead of the MoD’s previously stated target date of “the end of March”.
Bangladesh ordered the surplus C-130Js in two batches of two and three aircraft in 2018 and earlier in 2019, respectively. The deals were initially revealed via maintenance contracts announced by Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (ADG), although the MoD later confirmed the total number to Jane’s .
The first of the five aircraft was rolled out by Marshall ADG during an official ceremony in mid-July 2019. As Marshall ADG noted at the time, the company is carrying out comprehensive depth maintenance and important modifications on all the aircraft including capability enhancements such as medical evacuation, avionics upgrades, and the provision of a passenger transport configuration.
The Bangladesh Air Force had previously noted that the acquisition of C-130J aircraft from the RAF provides a key enhancement to its current airlift capability. As well as performing in-country support of the aircraft, Marshall ADG is modifying the aircraft, including designing, developing, and installing a medical evacuation capability to enable the Bangladesh Air Force to carry out tasks within the country and overseas in support of UN missions.
The acquisition of the C-130Js will enable the Bangladesh Air Force to retire the four C-130Bs that it has fielded since 2001 (these were acquired secondhand from the United States) at the same time as augmenting its three Antonov An-32 ‘Cline’ and three L-410UVP-200 transport aircraft that date from 1989 and 2015, respectively.