25 March 2011 by defenceWeb
The South African Air Force (SAAF) has upped its bill to keep the venerable Lockheed Martin C130BZ flying by another R9.5 million. The SAAF last week awarded Denel Aviation an extension of an existing contract to provide product support services for the aging aircraft. The SAAF C-130 fleet consists of seven platforms (401 - 407) purchased in 1963 before a US arms embargo was imposed on South Africa's apartheid government and five received in 1997/8 from the US (two ex-United States Air Force C-130B's – 408 and 409 – and three ex-US Navy C-130F's – 410 to 412 as part of their Excess Defence Articles programme. The two ex-US C-130B 's and a C-130F (411) were subsequently put in service, but the C-130F was retired soon thereafter.