The MoD has agreed a £369 million deal for the continued in-service support of the Hercules C-130J fleet, securing around 1,200 jobs.

The contract agreed with Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group plays a vital role in maintaining aircraft availability and fits with the Government’s recent Strategic Defence and Security Review which outlined the intention to extend the life of the aircraft until 2030.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

“This contract is further evidence of what the growing Defence budget with £178 billion investment in equipment means for the UK. It will secure around 1,200 skilled jobs and ensure our essential RAF transport aircraft are prepared for operations for years to come.”

Director Air Support at DE&S, the MOD’s procurement and support organisation, Adrian Baguley said:

“This new deal for UK C130J Hercules support builds upon improved performance at a lower cost that will deliver strategic and tactical air transport capability and excellent value for UK Defence. It represents the culmination of excellent work by DE&S working closely with the three principal industrial suppliers and the RAF customer.”

According to the MoD:

“Work will also be undertaken by Lockheed Martin and its sub-contractors at sites in Havant, Stansted and Cheltenham. The Havant team have around 25 people supporting the programme, with 9 of those based at Brize Norton and between 10 to 15 directly based in Havant, with more jobs supported across the UK in the supply chain. Meanwhile, Rolls-Royce will undertake work in Filton and Brize Norton. Lockheed Martin will look after supply chain management and Rolls-Royce will maintain the engines.”

Since June 2006 more than £1 billion has been awarded to UK industry by the MOD to maintain the Royal Air Force’s Hercules aircraft.

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Mark Campbell

Are we not switching to the A400M?

Ian Clarke

Yes, but keeping some C-130J’s as well

Daniel Adams

C130 J’s mainly for special forces use.

Chris Power

They are now keeping 14 out of 24, announced as a bit of a surprise in SDSR 15.

Dave B Philips

That was the original plan, but i believe there are a few good reasons for keeping the C130J. Firsly, its still a very capable tactical transport platform for special forces, for which the A400M caused concerns over. Secondly, the RAF can retain transport numbers whereas other nations have purchased double the amount of A400’s over the UK order numbers.

All in all i think its a good move to retain the C130J at the very least until the A400M performance over time has been assessed within the RAF needs and capabilities.

Toby Parr

44 major transports overall, 14 C-130J’s, 22 A400M’s and 8 C-17’s.

Chris Power

The original plan in 90’s was 25 C130J and 25 A400 to replace the 60 odd C130K’s…the C17 only came due to the A400 delay


The massive Voyager’s can also be used in the troop transport and freighter role as well as air to air refuelling.