The Philippine government has greenlit plans to acquire three new Lockheed Martin C-130J tactical transports. 

The three aircraft will be delivered to the Philippine Air Force (PAF) from July 2026, says the Philippines’ Department of National Defence. 

C-130H Philippine Air Force

Source: Philippines Department of National Defence

The new aircraft will add to the PAF’s existing fleet of C-130s, says department spokesperson Arsenio Andolong.

“[The additional aircraft] will provide our air force with greater operational reliability. These features will empower our PAF to meet the demands of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ tactical missions more effectively,” Andolong adds.

According to Cirium fleets data, the PAF has four legacy C-130s. In May, the USA said it plans to transfer three C-130Hs to the Philippines, in additional to patrol vessels.

Washington DC and the Philippines have drawn closer in recent years, with both countries concerned about an increasingly belligerent China, which has illegally laid claim to most of the South China Sea, creating a major security challenge for Manila and other Southeast Asian countries.