AFM contributor Colin Cooke photographed Bangladesh Air Force C-130J serial 99-5479/S3-AGE at Cambridge Airport on August 15. The airlifter – former Royal Air Force Hercules C5 ZH881 – was completing its second test flight prior to delivery.
Marshall Aerospace and Defence unveiled the initial former RAF C-130J Hercules C5 for the Bangladesh Biman Bahini (Bangladesh Air Force, BAF) during an official ceremony at its Cambridge facility on July 22. The ‘shortbodied’ Hercules has the construction number 382-5479.
The British firm is carrying out comprehensive depth maintenance and modifications on five C-130Js for the BAF. Enhancements include avionics upgrades and provision of medical evacuation and passenger transport capabilities.
Speaking at the July ceremony, Air Chief Marshal Serniabat, the BAF chief of air staff, said the first C-130J would be delivered to Bangladesh “soon”. Ordered in two batches of two and three aircraft in August 2017 and June 2019, respectively, all five aircraft are expected to be delivered before the end of the year. Acquiring the new airlifters will enable the BAF to retire the four second-hand C-130Bs that entered service in 2002.