The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress Tuesday of plans to sell the government of Pakistan a C-130 Fleet Upgrade Program package, plus associated equipment, parts, training, and logistical support valued at $100 million in total.
Specifically, the package includes upgrades to the avionics, engine management software and mechanical parts, cargo delivery system, and outer wing sets on six Pakistani C-130 transport planes. Also included in the sale will be spare parts, necessary support equipment, publications and technical documentation, and personnel training and training equipment, plus logistics support. The primary contractor on this sale has not yet been chosen, but the C-130s were originally built by Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT). A bidding process will be opened to choose the primary contractor.
Pakistan's air force includes a total of five C-130B and eleven C-130E aircraft. No mention of upgrades to the remaining 10 aircraft was made in the announcement, nor did DSCA clarify which specific models of C-130 would be getting the upgrades.
Explaining the sale to Congress, DSCA noted that Pakistan's planes are "facing airworthiness and obsolescence issues, and will require upgrades and repairs for continued operation and effectiveness. The proposed modernization of the C-130 fleet should ensure continued viability for an additional 10-15 years." DSCA added that this modernization is desirable to "improve the security of a Major Non-NATO ally which has been, and continues to be, an important force for regional stability and U.S. national security goals in the region."
According to DSCA, "there will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale." Nor will the sale "alter the basic military balance in the region."