A plan by Philippines-based Asian Aerospace and Lockheed Martin to create an aircraft overhaul facility at the former Clark AB near Manila has been stalled by the failure of the Philippines congress to appropriate funding for the country's acquisition of four ex-UK Royal Air Force Lockheed Martin C-130K Hercules.

The Philippines air force signed a C-130Kcontract early last year, but is awaiting approval for the $43 million deal. However, Asian Aerospace president and chief executive Peter Rodriguez says he is confident of receiving a go-ahead by year-end.

As part of the C-130 sale, Lockheed Martin agreed to part-fund the overhaul centre, but only after the sale has been finalised. It is also supplying a pair of "roll-on, roll-off" surveillance systems to enable Philippines air force C-130s to be used for long-range coastal patrol, search and rescue, humanitarian work and emergency evacuation.

Rodriguez says he hopes to win a government contract for a Fokker F27 heavy check, starting in January. After that he expects to begin work on some of the air force's 13 C-130s, only a handful of which are airworthy. Airod in Malaysia overhauls the service's C-130s.

Asian Aerospace specialises in selling, upgrading and maintaining helicopters for military and commercial operators.


Source: Flight International