Lockheed Martin has been contracted to supply two new M28 short take-off and landing aircraft to Nepal, with the US government footing the US$30 million bill.
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The commercially produced aircraft, associated aircraft training, spares package, medical equipment, and ferry flight service will be provided by Polish aerospace manufacturer PZL Mielec, owned by Lockheed.
The aircraft are expected to enhance multi-role transport capabilities for the Nepalese Army with one configured for casualty evacuation and the other for cargo, both are expected to be complete by 30 April 2025.
The fixed-price contract was awarded as part of the Foreign Military Financing program, presented by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center on behalf of the US government on 6 February.
The program provides country-directed sole-source acquisition support in acquiring military defence equipment.
PZL Mielec president and general director Janusz Zakręcki said Nepal already owns three M28 after two were provided by US foreign military financing in 2019.
“We are excited to welcome another US government contract for delivery of M28 aircraft manufactured by PZL Mielec employees,” he said.
“The acquired M28 aircraft will fit perfectly into the unpredictable weather of the Nepalese Himalayan mountains.
“The aircraft is perfectly adaptable to harsh climate and diverse weather conditions and can be operated on high altitude, unprepared landing strips at sea level, and high-altitude locations where flights are often performed during night-time, low cloud base, rainfall or severe icing.”
The contract will also include six months of field representative services provided by PZL Mielec.