A C-130J detachment from RAF Brize Norton is currently based in the Middle East to carry out vital supply runs in support British operations, say the RAF here.
The Royal Air Force say that on average the detachment moves over 200 troops into theatre and up to 40 tonnes of freight in support of the mission each month. The freight ranges from critical aircraft and vehicle spares to COVID-19 Vaccines and real-life support kit for the deployed forces.
“The RAF Hercules detachment, consisting of aircraft and personnel from both 47 and 24 Squadrons, together with individual augmentees, are deployed to provide a tactical air transport capability that provides air mobility in challenging and austere conditions.”
Squadron Leader Fairley, C-130J Detachment Commander, was quoted as saying:
“The C-130J has provided the backbone to the RAF’s tactical airlift capability in the Middle East since the start of Operation Shader in 2014. We routinely operate under the cover of darkness to deliver critical support across both to Operation Shader and Operation Kipion enabling operations to continue in the ongoing fight against Daesh in Iraq and Syria.”
You can read more on this from the source here.
Describing the role of the aircraft, the Royal Air Force website states:
“The Hercules is the RAF’s primary tactical transport aircraft and in its current C.Mk 4 and C.Mk 5 versions of the C-130J-30 and C-130J, respectively, has been the backbone of UK operational tactical mobility tasks since it was brought into service in 1999. It is frequently employed to operate into countries or regions where there is a threat to aircraft; its performance, tactics and defensive systems make it the ideal platform for such tasks.”
The RAF are set to lose its entire fleet of C-130 Hercules aircraft by 2023.
The Defence Command Paper released earlier in the year, titled ‘Defence in a Competitive Age‘, states:
“The Royal Air Force will retire the BAe146 as planned by 2022 and take the C130 Hercules out of service by 2023. The A400M Atlas force will increase its capacity and capability, operating alongside C 17 Globemaster and Voyager transport aircraft and tankers.”