According to Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak, Poland has signed a deal with the U.S. for 5 C-130H Hercules aircraft. The five C-130H Hercules will be resurrected from the boneyard.
The deal is a part of the Excess Defence Articles program. As part of the Excess Defence Articles program, excess defense articles and military equipment that are no longer needed by the US armed forces are eligible for transfer to foreign countries.
The aircraft would be partially retrofitted with new equipment, made flightworthy, and then they would fly to Poland.
The agreement has a relatively low value – USD 14.3 million. The US side, the Polish MoD reports, assumes that 5 C-130H airframes that the Polish Air Force would receive.
They are worth 60 million dollars, as per the US quote. The deliveries would be finalized by mid-2024, with the first aircraft arriving this year.
The technical status of the aircraft was assessed during the so-called Joint Visual Inspection procedure. It took place at AMARG in Tucson, stated the Inspectorate.
The cost of the transfer to Poland was also a subject of this process. Then, after the transfer, the aircraft would undergo the periodic, scheduled maintenance at the WZL Nr 2 S.A. facility in Bydgoszcz, Poland. Bydgoszcz is also going to be the place where extra equipment, as required by the Polish Air Force, would be fitted onto the aircraft.
Then the airframes are expected to become a part of the inventory of the 33rd Airlift Base in Powidz.
According to the Polish MoD, the aircraft procured have been rolled off the production line in 1985 and then were decommissioned in 2017.
After that, they were stored at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group facility (AMARG) in Tucson, Arizona. The above makes them 15 years younger than the C-130s currently operated by the Polish Air Force.
The new Hercules aircraft expands the Polish air force’s ability to transport troops and equipment while providing support for evacuation and humanitarian operations. Its presence in the Polish fleet.
Currently, the Polish Air Force has five Hercules aircraft in the C-130E configuration, which were received in 2009.