In a bid to modernise the tactical transport aircraft fleet of the Air Force, Bangladesh will purchase four Lockheed MC-130Es from the United States at an estimated cost of $180 million.
According to the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the proposed sale would cover the "regeneration, overhaul, modification and logistics support" of the second-hand Hercules.
The package would also include 20 Rolls-Royce T56 engines to be provided as excess defence articles, plus training and other equipment and services associated with the upgrade.
DSCA notified the US Congress on May 22 of “a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Bangladesh to provide regeneration, overhaul, modification, and logistics support for four Lockheed Martin C-130Es and associated parts, equipment, and training for an estimated cost of $180 million.”
“The proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by enabling the Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) to use its C-130 fleet to respond more capably to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief needs in the region and support Bangladesh's significant contributions to United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, and support operations to counter violent extremist organisations.
“It will also improve the commonality and interoperability of the BAF and the US Air Force. The proposed sale of support will help to modernise the BAF's aging cargo aircraft fleet. The C-130E will provide Bangladesh with an improved capability for the movement of cargo and personnel in humanitarian missions,” said the Pacific Sentinel quoting DSCA.
The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region, it said adding “There will be no adverse impact on US defence readiness as a result of this proposed sale. This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.”
The prime contractor will be determined via competitive bid. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional US Government or contractor representatives to Bangladesh, the Pacific Sentinel said.
The Lockheed MC-130 is the basic designation for a family of special mission aircraft operated by the US Air Force Special Operations Command.