Nepal Orders Poland’s M28 Block 5 Aircraft

  • Bureau
  • 07:28 AM, February 4, 2023
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Nepal Orders Poland’s M28 Block 5 Aircraft
PZL Mielec M28 Skytruck aircraft @open sources

Poland’s PZL Mielec has won $30.4 million to provide M28 Block 05 aircraft to Nepal.

This contract provides for two new, commercially produced M28 Block 05 aircraft, associated aircraft training, spares package, medical equipment, six months of field service representative services, and ferry flight service for the M28 Block 05 aircraft from Mielec, Poland, to Kathmandu, Nepal.

Work will be performed in Mielec, Poland, and is expected to be complete by April 30, 2025, according to a Pentagon contract announcement.

PZL Mielec was awarded $19 million in March 2019 to provide M28 Block 5 Skytruck light transport aircraft. The aircraft were ordered under a U.S. Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program.

The aircraft were procured to replace the sole M28 previously operated by the Nepalese Army Air Wing, which was donated by the Polish Air Force in 2004 and crashed in 2017.

The M28 Skytruck is capable of Short Take-off and Landing (STOL), and is ideal for Nepal’s high altitude short runways, as it only requires less than 500m of runway length.

M28 multi-mission aircraft can be deployed in troop and cargo transport, med-evac, maritime patrol and reconnaissance missions. Skytruck can also be used to airdrop equipment or small infiltration teams.

Interest in marketing the M28 Skytruck has increased after Lockheed Martin acquired Sikorsky, which owns the PZL Mielec factory in Poland. Aside from the M28, PZL Mielec also manufactures the Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk.

According Wikipedia, Nepal had around four M28 aircraft- two each delivered in 2001 and 2019. Of these, one of them crashed in May 2017, resulting in the death of a crewmember.

Starting from 2016 Nepal has been making efforts to acquire 6 M28 Skytruck or C-145A airframes, with the U.S. support.

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