Lockheed Martin has added an offer of six ex-UK Royal Air Force C-130 Hercules to its F-16-based Polish fighter bid.

The aircraft are valued at $40 million and would be delivered with spares for two years of operations within 18 months of contract signature.

Poland's air force is due to receive the first three of eight EADS Casa C295s next year, which will meet most of the country's urgent transport needs. However, the Spanish-built aircraft are too small to meet all Poland's airlift requirements. The C295's limited range is also an issue when supporting long-range deployments.

The Polish air force has identified a need for four to six larger transports with used C-130s understood to be an option. The Alenia/Lockheed Martin C-27J bid, which lost to the C295 last year, included ex-Italian air force C-130Hs and Alenia G222s.

The air force, however, has not ruled out new Airbus Military A400Ms, while the Czech Republic's selection earlier this year of the Antonov An-70 has also aroused interest in Warsaw.

Poland is seeking 48 fighters, and other competitors are the Dassault Mirage 2000-5Mk2 and Saab/BAE Systems Gripen.

Source: Flight International