The Bangladesh Air Force and their counterparts in the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence as well as relevant industry officials signed a contract for additional C-130J transport aircraft and an air defence system with complete integration by Artemis/Cambridge on 24 June 2019 under a Government-to-Government agreement.
The contract comes hot on the heels of a new multi-million pound support services contract awarded to Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group by the Bangladesh Air Force on 20 June 2019.
Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group will maintain the BAF’s fleet of C-130J transport aircraft, provide logistics support as well as engineering services to ensure effective operation of the entire fleet.
The company will also undertake programs to enhance the avionics equipment and provide passenger transport capability as well as in-country technical support to the Bangladesh Air Force initially as well as specific technical services in the longer term sustainment of the fleet of C-130J transport aircraft.
Previously the Bangladesh Air Force awarded a contract to Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group a contract to upgrade and support two C-130J transport aircraft purchased from the Royal Air Force under a Government-to-Government deal in May 2018.
That contract included upgradation of avionics, installation of medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) module as well as in-country support for the sustainment of the newly acquired aircraft.
The Bangladesh Air Force is planning to gradually retire its existing fleet of upgraded C-130B aircraft delivered by the United States in 2001.
At present the BAF operates three An-32 acquired in 1989 as well as three L-410UVP-E20 transport trainer aircraft. Purchase of another two L-410NG aircraft with VVIP customisation are also in the pipeline.
The Royal Air Force operated 10 C-130J Super Hercules, with a plan to sell them off while retaining 14 C-130J-30 variants. Later C-130J was retained by the RAF, whilst two were transferred to Bahrain. The Bangladesh Air Force 5 C-130J’s leaving two available for sale.
In the long term the Bangladesh Air Force plans to augment its An-32 fleet with additional medium transport aircraft. An-132D were the most likely option however the program fizzled out leaving the BAF searching for alternatives from Airbus such as the C295W.
The Bangladesh Air Force also plans to purchase at least one C-17 Globemaster III strategic transport aircraft to support air mobile forces.
Present BAF fixed wing transport aircraft fleet:
|L-410UVP-E20||Multi-Engine Transport Trainer||2011||3|