US Gifts Botswana C-130H Hercules Military Transport Aircraft

The US has transferred a C-130H Hercules military transport aircraft to Botswana as part of a $30-million gift to the African nation.

The aircraft arrived in Gaborone on May 24 but was only officially handed over to the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) last week.

According to the US Embassy, the Lockheed Martin-manufactured plane is expected to bolster Botswana’s ability to conduct defense, humanitarian, and emergency response missions.

It should also allow the country to support various security missions within the 16-nation Southern African Development Community, which includes Angola, DR Congo, Mauritius, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

“The transfer of this aircraft from the United States to Botswana is a testament to how the US and Botswana work together to further a shared commitment to peace, security, and prosperity in the region,” US Ambassador to Botswana Howard Van Vranken said.

About the C-130H

The C-130H is an older version of the C-130 Hercules tactical airlifter.

It began its service life in 1964, with the first export customers being New Zealand and Australia.

The aircraft has three variations in its H series, with the third featuring improved ring laser gyros, GPS receivers, and integrated radar and missile warning systems.

It can reach 366 miles (589 kilometers) per hour with a range of 1,500 miles (2,414 kilometers).

Known for its toughness and versatility, the C-130H can carry out a variety of missions, including fighting wildfires, delivering humanitarian aid, and conducting search and rescue.

“The US is honored to play a role in ensuring that the Botswana Defence Force has the capability to perform vital missions not only in Botswana, but when called upon regionally as well,” Van Vranken concluded.

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