US Orders Two PZL M28s for Nepal

US Air Force/919th Special Operations Wing C-145A Combat Coyote (M28-05 Skytruck) 12-0331 carries out an airdrop training mission over the Eglin Air Force Base range in Florida on February 26, 2016. Nepal had been seeking surplus USAF C-145As, but the US is instead funding purchase of two new M28-05s for the Nepal Army Air Service. USAF/Sam King

TWO PZL Mielec M28 Block 05 Skytrucks have been ordered using Foreign Military Financing funds for delivery to the Nepal Army Air Service.  An $18,982,157 firm-fixed-price contract was awarded on March 1 by the US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center to Polskie Zaklady Lotnicze Sp z o o (PZL) of Mielec, Poland, for two new, commercially produced, M28 Block 05 aircraft, associated initial aircraft and maintenance training, together with technical publications.  The sole-source acquisition deal also includes provision for ferry flights of the aircraft from Mielec to Kathmandu, Nepal.  Work is expected to be completed by December 20, 2019.

Nepal has previously taken delivery of two M28-05s, the first of which entered service in October 2002.  One was lost in a crash on May 30, 2017.  During fiscal year 2016 Nepal had requested the supply of six surplus US Air Force C-145A Combat Coyotes (the USAF Special Operations variant of the M28-05) as Excess Defense Articles from the US Government, but was only offered two, valued together at $6 million.  Although authorisation for the USAF to supply theses two was granted on August 5, 2016, nothing further has been heard about the deal and it is assumed that the newly-announced order for two new production M28s has superseded this plan.

The only other new equipment known to be currently on order for the Nepal Army Air Service is a single CN235M.  This was ordered from PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) under a contract signed on June 16, 2017.  PTDI Managing Director Elfien Goentoro, speaking in Jakarta on February 12 this year, said he expected the CN-235M to be delivered to Nepal before the end of 2019.