Netherlands selects C-390 to replace C-130 airlifters
On the basis of additional flight hours being required, five C-390 platforms are to be acquired, one more than the existing C-130 fleet, with deliveries set to begin in 2026, noted a 16 June Netherlands MoD statement.
The four C-130s 'have reached the end of their lifespan,' added the MoD. 'Initially it was the intention to continue flying with them until at least 2031, but they are less and less often deployable due to defects.'
Competition to replace the C-130 saw the newer C-130J assessed against the C-390, the latter being selected primarily due to a higher availability rate and scoring better 'on a number of operational and technical requirements,' alongside it requiring less maintenance.
'In addition, the C-390M can already meet the minimum requirement of 2,400 flying hours with 4 aircraft. The C-130J needs 5 aircraft for this,' added the Netherlands MoD.
The C-390 is also expected to eventually join the European Air Transport Command.
The total cost of the programme is forecast to be €1 billion to €2.5 billion ($1.05 billion to $2.63 billion), which is substantially greater than an original estimate of €250 million to €1 billion. Such an increase derives from more flight hours being sought.
The Netherlands will become the third export operator of the C-390 behind Portugal and Hungary.
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