MANILA - Two C-130 transport planes may be added to the arsenal of the Philippine military by next year.
The US State Department has endorsed the sale of the 2 planes to the Philippines for US$61 million or around P2.7 billion.
"The Government of the Philippines desires these additional C-130s to bolster its lift capabilities, which are essential for providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief," the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said on its website.
It added the Philippines intends to "to improve the mobility and resupply of its forces and for the provision of humanitarian assistance in the Philippines and the wider region, thereby reducing the potential level of US assistance requested/needed for these purposes."
It also said the sale would contribute to “US security and foreign policy goals by building the Philippines' maritime domain security capacity and deepening our overall strategic partnership with the Philippines."
The US Congress was subsequently notified last July 23 of the possible sale. Under US rules, the Congress has the final say on the transfer or sale of military equipment.
Besides the two C-130s, the Philippines also requested 10 T56-16 engines.
At present, the Philippine Air Force only has three C-130s. These are used to transfer troops and carry relief goods in times of calamities.
AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang earlier said he expects the delivery of the aircraft by next year.