US approves sale of 12 C-130J-30s to Egypt

US State Department approval has been granted for a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Egypt of 12 Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules. The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced the approval on January 25 and notified US Congress of the possible sale on the same day.

Egyptian VC-130H at Dover AFB
One of the current Egyptian Air Force Hercules, VIP-configured VC-130H 1289/SU-BAV, visiting Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, on September 11, 2020. The burden on the legacy Hercules fleet will be eased considerably with the planned acquisition of 12 new C-130J-30s USAF/Roland Balik

The DSCA said the deal was potentially worth an estimated $2.2 billion, including associated equipment. The Egyptian request includes 12 additional spare Rolls Royce AE-2100D turboprop engines (spares); 30 Embedded GPS/INS (EGI) with GPS Security Devices (including six spares); and seven Multifunctional Information Distribution System – Low Volume Terminal Block Upgrade Two (MIDS-LVT BU2), including three spares.

Also included would be AN/APX-119 Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) transponders; AN/AAR-47 Missile Warning Systems (MWS); AN/ALE-47 Countermeasures Dispensing Systems (CMDS); AN/ALR-56M Radar Warning Receivers (RWR); AN/AAQ-22 (STAR SAFIRE 380); secure communications, cryptographic equipment and GPS-aided precision navigation equipment.

Other items would be publications and technical documentation; software and mission critical resources; aircraft support and equipment; unclassified return and repair; integration and testing; personnel training and training equipment; US Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services; plus other related elements of logistical and programme support.

The DSCA stated that the proposed sale will improve Egypt’s capability to meet current and future threats by providing airlift support for its forces by moving supplies, equipment and people, thus strengthening its capacity in the security and humanitarian arena. This airlift capability would assist with border security, the interdiction of known terrorist elements, rapid reaction to internal security threats and humanitarian aid. Egypt also intends to utilize these aircraft for maritime patrol missions and search and rescue missions in the region.

The Egyptian Air Force (EAF) already operates a mix of legacy C-130H/C-130H-30/VC-130H Hercules, which first entered service in December 1976. These are based at Cairo International Airport with 4 and 16 Squadrons. Two of the C-130Hs are operated in an electronic intelligence configuration, following a $727,277 contract awarded on January 10, 2017, to Sierra Nevada Corporation in the US. According to AirForces Intelligence data, the current fleet includes 19 C-130Hs (out of 26 originally delivered), three C-130H-30s and two VC-130Hs. Over the last decade, the EAF transport fleet has been boosted with delivery of 24 Airbus Defence C295Ms, considerably easing the burden on the elderly legacy C-130 fleet. While the C295Ms are better for shorter-range flights, the new EAF C-130J-30s will undoubtedly also be used for longer international missions.