Brunei Air Force buys US$343 million Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules

Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules - Source: File Photo Lockheed Martin
| Siti Hajar |

9 October 2014 - THE United States Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has confirmed that the US State Department has approved the possible sale of a Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules medium-lift military transport aircraft and six Rolls Royce AE2100D3 turbo-propeller engines to the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.

“I can confirm that we are looking to acquire the C-130J through the United States Defence Department and we are looking forward to making further progress in the procurement process,” Dato Paduka Awang Haji Mustappa bin Haji Sirat, Deputy Minister of Defence told the Bulletin yesterday.

“Training will also be included in the package and we are still hoping for further progress,” he said, adding that this was “welcome news”.

Brunei had requested clearance from US authorities to purchase the tactical transport aircraft, along with equipment, spare parts and associated training and logistical support for a total of US$343 million, the US DSCA announced on October 7. All the necessary certification were duly submitted before the US Congress for approval the previous day.

“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to strengthen US-Brunei relations, which has been a force for regional stability and economic progress in Southeast Asia,” said the DSCA in a press statement.

“The aircraft will enable Brunei to provide aid and assistance in greater capacities to regional allies and partners in need. Brunei should have no difficulty absorbing this aircraft into its inventory.”

During the Royal Brunei Air Force’s (RBAirF) 48th anniversary celebrations on June 24, its commander, Brigadier General (U) Wardi bin Abdul Latip first confirmed that the RBAirF was looking to acquire the C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft and that the aircraft would considerably increase the capabilities of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions in the region and beyond.

The acquisition of the aircraft, once completed, would mark another milestone for the RBAF as it continues to plot its progress for capability modernisation that has been set out through the Defence White Papers and Updates.

One such milestone was achieved with the delivery of the first of 12 Sikorsky S-70i BlackHawk medium-lift helicopters that are set to replace the ageing Bell 212 workhorses of the RBAirF fleet.

Used primarily by the US military and Royal Air Force of the British Armed Forces, the C-130J Super Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft with new engines, flight deck and other systems developed from the C-130 Hercules.

Variants of the C-130 Hercules are also in service today with the armed forces of Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

The possible deployment of this aircraft during the RBAF’s peace monitoring and peacekeeping missions to the southern Philippines province of Mindanao and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon would allow for greater range, load capacity and increased flexibility in carrying out any number of missions entrusted with the Sultanate’s armed forces.
Borneo Bulletin

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Leo Kasim
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

Friday, October 10, 2014 - THE US State Department has approved a possible sale of a Lockheed Martin C-130J aircraft to Brunei along with associated military aircraft equipment and support in a deal worth US$343 million, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said.

A press statement released by the agency last Tuesday said that the Brunei government has “requested a sale of one C-130J aircraft, six AE2100D3 turboprop engines (four installed and two spares)’’, as well as other equipment designed for communications and testing.

Spare parts together with technical documentation and personnel training are included.

It added that the agency has “delivered the required certification” to notify US Congress of the possible sale.

The Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, in a previous report, confirmed with The Brunei Times that the military will be buying “a number” of the C-130J aircraft.

The Brunei Times

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Rabiatul Kamit
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

Monday, July 14, 2014 - BRUNEI has confirmed that it will be buying a number of C-130J Super Hercules military transport aircraft from aerospace firm Lockheed Martin.

Pehin Datu Perkerma Jaya Major General Dato Pahlawan Mohd Tawih Abdullah, Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), told The Brunei Times that the military is set to order the American-made aircraft sometime in the future.

“We will be buying the aircraft, but it won’t be a lot,” he said, adding that the planned quantity and date of order will be revealed in due time.

Latest figures estimate the average cost of the C-130J Super Hercules at US$100 to 120 million per unit for international sales.

A total of 300 units have been ordered by 15 nations, including Brunei, of which 250 aircraft have been delivered as of February 2012.

In March, Brunei announced a record defence budget of $719.2 million for 2014 to 2015, up 39 per cent from the previous year. Equivalent to 3.3 per cent of GDP, it is also the biggest percentage since 1990.

Meanwhile, Colonel (U) Hj Hamzah Hj Sahat, Deputy Commander of the Royal Brunei Air Force (RBAirF), said the acquisition of the C-130J Super Hercules will allow them to significantly increase contribution to regional humanitarian aid operations.

He explained that purchasing the Lockheed Martin military transport aircraft was part of the RBAirF’s capability modernisation, which also includes the fleet of 12 Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawks.

Used primarily by the United States military and Royal Air Force (RAF) of the British Armed Forces, the C-130J is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft with new engines, flight deck and other systems developed from the C-130 Hercules. Variants of the C-130 Hercules are also in service today with the armed forces of Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

The Brunei Times

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