Greek Air Force Decides 'Immediately' to Buy Used C-130J Super Hercules from Italy

Greek Air Force Decides 'Immediately' to Buy Used C-130J Super Hercules from Italy

Even though it is classified as a developed country in the European Union plus it is registered as a member of NATO, in terms of modernizing defense equipment, Greece, which is in conflict with Turkey, does not prohibit the purchase of used defense equipment. After acquiring used Rafale fighter jets used by France, now Greece is rumored to be buying used C-130J Super Hercules.

Just like Bangladesh, which bought C-130J Super Hercules used by the British Air Force, Greece is not much different, however, it is importing Super Hercules used by the Italian Air Force.

The Prime Minister of Greece has ordered the purchase of six used C-130J Super Hercules from Italy, citing the very low operational availability of the Greek Air Force's current C-130B/H fleet.

According to Newpost media, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' intervention was to provide an immediate solution to the severe problem of the availability of the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft, as this has disrupted the operations of the Greek Air Force for at least the last two decades. In fact, it is said that there are almost no aircraft (C-130) in ready-to-fly condition at this time.

The solution they came up with was the immediate purchase of a used Super Hercules C-130J transport aircraft, which was being sold by the Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare). 

Following direct contact with Rome, Athens was informed that in the first stage Italy had four C-130J transport aircraft available for sale, while in the next period they might sell two more to Greece, bringing the total to six.

The Greek Air Force has looked into the possibility of buying used aircraft to address the problem and already knows that Italy has C-130J transport aircraft available for sale, and most importantly in very good condition.

The Italian Air Force previously operated 12 C-130J and 10 C-130J-30, which were delivered between May 2000 and February 2005, but some of these are currently in storage. The Super Hercules is also coveted by the Swedish Air Force, which has already acquired four as part of its capabilities modernization programme, and will be seeking to acquire two more.

In addition to buying used Super Hercules from Italy, Greece will also buy several new C-130Js from the US, but even if the purchase deal is done now, Greece can receive the Super Hercules in 2026 at the earliest.

Problems Arose After the Disaster in Turkey

The chaos in the Greek C-130 fleet became a common topic when they tried to send the Greek Special Disaster Management Team (EMAK) to Turkey which was rocked by the recent earthquake.

A second EMAK team, consisting of 15 rescuers, a trained dog, 3 paramedics and an engineer from the Fire Brigade, left Thessaloniki on Wednesday afternoon on a C-130, but a technical failure forced the plane to land at Elefsina airport. The Greek Rescue Team was eventually able to arrive in Turkey with the C-27J, but without their equipment.

As a result of the above situation, the Prime Minister of Greece requested information and urgent proposals for the immediate procurement of used C-130J Super Hercules from Italy.

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