Brunei to buy military aircraft
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
BRUNEI has confirmed that it will be buying a number of C-130J Super Hercules military transport aircraft from aerospace firm Lockheed Martin.
Pehin Datu Perkerma Jaya Major General Dato Pahlawan Mohd Tawih Abdullah, Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), told The Brunei Times that the military is set to order the American-made aircraft sometime in the future.
“We will be buying the aircraft, but it won’t be a lot,” he said, adding that the planned quantity and date of order will be revealed in due time.
Latest figures estimate the average cost of the C-130J Super Hercules at US$100 to 120 million per unit for international sales.
A total of 300 units have been ordered by 15 nations, including Brunei, of which 250 aircraft have been delivered as of February 2012.
In March, Brunei announced a record defence budget of $719.2 million for 2014 to 2015, up 39 per cent from the previous year. Equivalent to 3.3 per cent of GDP, it is also the biggest percentage since 1990.
Meanwhile, Colonel (U) Hj Hamzah Hj Sahat, Deputy Commander of the Royal Brunei Air Force (RBAirF), said the acquisition of the C-130J Super Hercules will allow them to significantly increase contribution to regional humanitarian aid operations.
He explained that purchasing the Lockheed Martin military transport aircraft was part of the RBAirF’s capability modernisation, which also includes the fleet of 12 Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawks.
Used primarily by the United States military and Royal Air Force (RAF) of the British Armed Forces, the C-130J is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft with new engines, flight deck and other systems developed from the C-130 Hercules. Variants of the C-130 Hercules are also in service today with the armed forces of Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
The Brunei Times