As the Polish air force awaits the delayed delivery of EADS Casa C295s, Polish and US experts have discussed the handover of six ex-UK RAF Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules.

A Polish/US team reviewed the C-130 deal last month. The proposal covers delivery of four standard-body Hercules C1s and two stretched C3s.

All six will be overhauled and modernised for another 15 years of service. The depth of the upgrade is to be decided, but a lack of available budget is likely to limit the scope of the work.

Avionics replacement is the most likely element to be dropped, while the UK-specific loading system will almost certainly be replaced by standard equipment.

The aim is to complete the upgrade for $45-50 million. If the contract is signed next month, first deliveries will start in 2005.

Poland should have received its first two C295s in July, but they may not now be handed over until September. The remaining six aircraft are due to be delivered in two lots in 2004 and 2005.

C295 deliveries will allow five of the air force's Antonov An-26s to be overhauled. Once all eight C295s are delivered, the air force will scrap five other An-26s.

Poland's lack of military transports means national airline LOT is flying the majority of the country's contingent for operations in Iraq using two Boeing 737s.

Source: Flight International