The Ministry of Defence has placed its fleet of 14 C-130 tactical airlifters up for sale ahead of the type being removed from service next year.

The Royal Air Force will lose its entire fleet of C-130 Hercules aircraft by 2023 due to changes announced as part the Defence Command Paper, released in March last year, titled ‘Defence in a Competitive Age‘,  which 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.”

The C-130J Hercules transport aircraft are often used by special forces and the C-130J variants first entered service with the Royal Air Force in the late 1990s and some of the C-130s have been retired in recent years, but the remaining 14 had originally been due to keep flying until the mid-2030s.

It is understood that, where possible, their missions will be picked up by the fleet of larger A400M Atlas transport aircraft. This defence review was previously described by then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson as the largest review of its kind since the Cold War.

The Defense Equipment Sales Authority (DESA) published the RAF’s C-130J Super Hercules on the list of surplus defence equipment available for sale.

The brochure states:

“The C-130J is the RAF’s primary tactical transport aircraft, capable of airdropping a variety of stores and paratroopers into areas that would otherwise be unsafe for all on board, should they be required to land there. An updated version of the C-130 Hercules, the C C-130J can operate at night aswell as remain in formation during poor weather. Being able to refuel in the air midmid-flight enhances the aircraft’s capacity to travel incredibly long distanceswithout needing to land.

There is also the option to store Air Survival Rescue Apparatus in the cabin ahead of search and rescue missions, which enables the aircraft to deploy life rafts and emergency supplies to those who need it.

Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the information provided is accurate, up
up-to -date and complete, neither the UK MOD nor any of its representatives accept any liability for any errors or omissions in the information. It is stressed that the information provided is not and will not be a contractual statement of the condition or quantity of items. No guarantee of the accuracy is either given or implied. This asset is subject to availability.

The UK MOD reserves the right to withdraw this asset from the market at any time, without prior notice. The UK MOD reserves the right to modify or upgrade this asset
without notice. This asset is considered specially designed for military use. Contains
public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0. All images
are MOD Crown Copyright 2021.”

You can browse the sales brochure here.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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AlexS
AlexS (@guest_680589)
1 year ago

Big mistake to not have a smaller transport C-27J or C-295.

or the C-130 heir : Embraer C-390.but this is an heavier model and there is some overlap with A400.

Coll
Coll (@guest_680598)
1 year ago
Reply to  AlexS

I would love to see the C-27

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_680878)
1 year ago
Reply to  Coll
Trevor
Trevor (@guest_680616)
1 year ago
Reply to  AlexS

We have a nice fleet of BN2 Islanders here, nice reliable planes that can get in and out of just about anywhere. Perfect for special forces…

Coll
Coll (@guest_680623)
1 year ago
Reply to  Trevor

As much as I love the Britten Norman aircraft, I doubt it would be able to carry special forces vehicles.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_680650)
1 year ago
Reply to  Trevor

The Islanders were cut as well. As were the Defenders.

Trevor
Trevor (@guest_680665)
1 year ago

Happily some live on in Northern climes😀

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_680758)
1 year ago
Reply to  Trevor

? Not with HM forces? Where and who may I ask?

Trevor
Trevor (@guest_680823)
1 year ago

Hi Daniele, we have 2 for inter island routes, based @ Tingwall under contract to SIC.
A bit OT but if I recall correctly, the An2 as used by the Soviets was supposedly difficult to pick up on radar, wonder if that would apply to the Islander?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_680834)
1 year ago
Reply to  Trevor

Hi Trevor. Thanks. No doubt plenty still around I was highlighting another little publicised cut where both types were removed.

Firstly from 5 AAC without replacement and given to the RAF, and then also Northolt Station Flight.

The need has not vanished and their role was ( presumably ) placed with the Shadow R1 and also with some Beechcraft planes operated by a private contractor on behalf of the Met.

The usual increasing of tasks onto a smaller force resulting no doubt in gaps.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_680655)
1 year ago
Reply to  Trevor

USAF would probably be able to provide C-130 transport for any NATO sanctioned mission. Pays to choose good allies.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_680656)
1 year ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Sorry, replied to wrong post.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_680688)
1 year ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Well let’s hope so, I imagine the U.K. would do the same.
It is a loss of air transport planes whatever way it’s worked out.
Unless there are 14 other air frames bought that provide roughly the same availability it’s a cut. Hopefully the experts at defence hq know what they are doing and the A400, C17 and chinooks are enough lifting.

Dee
Dee (@guest_680698)
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Of course it’s a cut.
We are part of NATO. And in modern times that means, make your military as small and ineffective as possible, maintain to 2%, include police and other agencies in the defence budget to make it look like you spend 2% on defence, but you are intentionally using the word “defence” loosely. And depend totally on America.

Rob
Rob (@guest_719215)
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

We all know the so called experts don’t have a clue what they are doing

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst (@guest_680750)
1 year ago
Reply to  Trevor

Exactly. 👍

I always thought a modern version of the Shorts Skyvan would be useful now for special forces, or in-theatre re-supply roles.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_680763)
1 year ago
Reply to  Trevor

They carry just 9 passengers (or probably 4 or 5 guys with a lot of kit) or a 1.1 ton payload of modest dimensions.

PaulW
PaulW (@guest_680592)
1 year ago

Need to commit to the A400M. But the special forces role is a worry.

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_680609)
1 year ago
Reply to  PaulW

Also small transport missions, not everything needs a giant 4 engine A400 with associated costs,
There was a topic here about a sea rescue where an A400 was needed to drop 3 small rescue containers. That could have been done by a much smaller aircraft.

I guess RAF will end up pay to some company to supply the small transport service…

Last edited 1 year ago by AlexS
Andy a
Andy a (@guest_680671)
1 year ago
Reply to  AlexS

Except keeping a whole fleet of aging aircraft online plus parts and training will cost far more than using one of fancy a400 for the mission. If u can only afford one type u need the biggest and best. It’s reality time economy is damaged and we need most bang for buck

David Steeper
David Steeper (@guest_680680)
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy a

Well said.

Ian
Ian (@guest_680715)
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy a

When are we getting more A400 delivered… we always cut first and replace some time in the future
And how many are we getting…

John Stott
John Stott (@guest_680718)
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy a

Truth

DJ
DJ (@guest_680770)
1 year ago
Reply to  John Stott

Are they expecting to pick up some of the Spanish older A400 they are supposed to be selling? I suspect Ukraine may have changed the landscape. In the the new order, it’s the quick or the dead. Too many nations are still thinking they can use peace time procurement. Need to start thinking WW2 (or should that be WW3, but with a few different player orientated nations?).

John Stott
John Stott (@guest_680812)
1 year ago
Reply to  DJ

Rumour mill is working overtime on A400. It cannot compete with a C130 on some taskings though. The newer Chinooks have an extended range, but something like a Spartan would have a longer reach. Then why not keep the Herc? The thinking seems to be out of kilter with reality imo. Insertion needs an aircraft up to the job, I think an A400 is more of a strategic airlifter. Then these are the experts who got rid of Jaguar, Nimrod, Harrier and Sentry. And sent a task force without AEW cover lol. Nothing seems to change.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_680760)
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy a

All that is valid. However, what missions are we pulling that now do not have assets available to them because the remaining assets now have to do the lot?

Andy a
Andy a (@guest_681047)
1 year ago

Hopefully none if they add to a400 fleet

JR
JR (@guest_681351)
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy a

The cost aspect is fundamentally untrue: A400M is hugely expensive per unit and in terms of running costs, lacks capability and is unreliable; the C130J is newer and more advanced than the C17 (just to dispel any notion of the aircraft “aging”).

Rob
Rob (@guest_719217)
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy a

A400 isn’t effective or reliable not proven asset unlike the c130’s

Andy A
Andy A (@guest_719242)
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob

Well raf disagree, uk can only afford one, therefore they picked one which is newer, younger, faster, more efficient and when fully cleared capable of far more

farouk
farouk (@guest_680596)
1 year ago

Yeah, I love the British Government over its penchant for flogging anything and everything for a quick buck

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_680612)
1 year ago
Reply to  farouk

The USA may take them from our hands like the Harrier 🙄

farouk
farouk (@guest_680651)
1 year ago
Reply to  farouk

Geoff wrote:

“”Have you ever thought of saying something different?””

What? you mean like this geezer, on this very board an hour after i posted the above.

https://i.postimg.cc/9fM7zbGd/Opera-Snapshot-2022-10-28-213143-ukdefencejournal-org-uk.png

Last edited 1 year ago by farouk
Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_680657)
1 year ago
Reply to  farouk

So your against any party that supposedly cuts defence.

David
David (@guest_680652)
1 year ago
Reply to  farouk

Unfortunately Geoff, Farouk is right.. this move is extremely short sighted and if the sounds emanating from HMG are anything to go by, there is more pain coming.

Silver lining is that No. 11 is apparently in favour of 3% GDP by 2030 – even though the PM won’t commit. I suppose we’ll find out next month in the autumn statement.

Andy a
Andy a (@guest_680672)
1 year ago
Reply to  David

It isn’t short sighted if u can only afford one type do u go with smaller older more costly and dated or bigger faster cheaper to run and able to do more? This PM is accountant if u think defence will get 3% your nuts he has been anti defence all along. It’s hard decision time and two fleets of simalar aircraft is silly when the a400 soon will do everything that herc can

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_680692)
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy a

Can the U.K. not afford the running costs of the C130? I would agree on one type if the A400 numbers were going up but right now they aren’t.
At least there is still transport aircraft.
I think 8 C17, 22 A400, 60 chinooks, and the 9 air tanker. Obviously only 2/3 to 3/4 available at a time.
It’s all the smaller planes that have been going. BA125, 146, islanders, C130.

Andy a
Andy a (@guest_680702)
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

No U.K. can’t afford three different heavy four engine transport planes, no other country flys that many, different planes = far more cost. The a400 nos are slated to go up with increased buy I believe

Andy A
Andy A (@guest_719247)
1 year ago
Reply to  David

So we should sell brand new a400’s instead? Public won’t pay for both no matter what we think

John Stott
John Stott (@guest_680814)
1 year ago
Reply to  farouk

And leave a gaping capability gap lasting several years.

Andy A
Andy A (@guest_719245)
1 year ago
Reply to  farouk

It’s not about flogging anything as on base of it uk will get nothing. It’s about running costs when already running one of largest most capable European forces

Shane Ramshaw
Shane Ramshaw (@guest_680599)
1 year ago

The “where possible” clause is a bit scary.

Crabfat
Crabfat (@guest_680605)
1 year ago
Reply to  Shane Ramshaw

Yeah – that means if it’s not possible then, sorry, we can’t do it. Tough…

David Lloyd
David Lloyd (@guest_680602)
1 year ago

This is a huge mistake that many suspect that we will come to regret. With a major land war underway in Europe and British forces deployed forward in the Batic countries, you would think that the MoD would find another way to make savings. Like scrapping Ajax and the usless second carrier PoW.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_680606)
1 year ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Ajax I agree with, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with POW. If you get rid of her we might as well get rid of both.

Louis
Louis (@guest_680611)
1 year ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

That has to be one of the dumbest things ever said on this forum. Why on earth would we scrap a brand new very capable ship that we’ve already paid for?

James
James (@guest_680619)
1 year ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Lol what a stupid statement.

Richard B
Richard B (@guest_680621)
1 year ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Without a strong navy there is no point in having an airforce or army. We are an island and need to protect our trade routes.

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_680636)
1 year ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Couldn’t be more wrong about POW. It is a mighty effective asset & having 2 QE CVAs enables far more than a sole CVA.

Ajax could go.

Andy a
Andy a (@guest_680673)
1 year ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Idiot statement

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_680766)
1 year ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

How would the British Army operate without recce/strike vehicles?
Are you calling PoW useless because it has a technical issue? That will be fixed. All complex kit have faults and need fixing. One carrier alone would not be enough – I have always thought we need a minimum of 3.

DJ
DJ (@guest_680778)
1 year ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Three is now past the point of no return. Not that I disagree- Naval rule of three & all that. Even if it’s fixed, Ajax & it’s various variants are not up to scratch. It’s simply taken too long. Other nations have produced better in shorter time. The old rules no longer apply. The allies would have lost WW2 with this type of thinking. There seems to be a disconnect between Ukraine & the reality it represents. To make it simple, there is Russia & there is China. There is two outliers in Iran & North Korea. Nobody else matters.… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_680782)
1 year ago
Reply to  DJ

Agree it is too late to get a 3rd carrier (or even just an LPH). There was a reason we had 3 Invincible Class – as we know, rule of 3. You would reject a fixed Ajax fleet?? Really? I agree its taken far too long – Scimitar ISD was 1971 – vehicles should have been replaced in the 90s. Fully agree your listing of our potential enemies. We have to be able to contribute meaningfully to alliance combat against each of those threats. A single modernised, networked division is the least we should be able to field on the… Read more »

DJ
DJ (@guest_680976)
1 year ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I did not say I would reject a fixed Ajax fleet. I said even if fixed they are not up to scratch. Problem is they have mainly already been paid for & a good many are already built. Starting over would add years to the project. Ukraine has shown time is now critical. Right now, good enough will have to do.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_681001)
1 year ago
Reply to  DJ

OK DJ – I take your point. In what ways would the Ajax fleet not be up to scratch even if fixed?

Jim
Jim (@guest_680607)
1 year ago

If we are going to cut something it should be C130, no one operates three separate fleets of four engines transports and the A400M is a far superior aircraft . There are certain things between the capability if a chinook and an A400M that C130 can do but not much.

Andy a
Andy a (@guest_680674)
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim

Thank god some one talking sense

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_680694)
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim

I get that it’s the numbers though. If some extra A400 were being bought to fill the 14 it would be much more palatable.
With the 22 A400 how long would it take to move an effective fighting force say 2500 miles away of 1500 troops and kit versus 22 A400 and 14 C130? Perhaps 3/4 would be available to fly at same time at a push.
It’s constant cuts. I struggle to think of something that has grown in numbers when replacing something else.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay. (@guest_680703)
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

A400 is an increase in capability, with more to come. Its not just about the numbers.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_680757)
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Hi mate. But eventually, after cuts for the last 30 years, it is, sadly. I’m not looking at C17 her, but Atlas. 22 Atlas. Minus those in maintenance. Minus the one in the FI. Minus the one on standby at Brize for varied tasks including SPAG. Minus the one used by SD Flight. How many left? Then add the SF mission that 14 Herc were used for. I assume most were used in that arena with 47 Sqn? Those 12-15 or more Atlas or how many are available on any given day now take that mission as well. What really… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_680783)
1 year ago

I totally get what you are saying mate. And yes we are constantly having to do more with less. But I think that even if the MOD got a large cash boost next week, the RAF would still be ditching the Herc fleet. 4 transport aircraft types is to many, and the RAF are thinking about the future. Getting rid of the older kit, like Hawk T1, that are draining valuable resources. Now I know you can’t compare a Hawk T1 to a very capable Hercules. But the RAF would rather put that Hercules funding line into the A400 fleet.… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_680800)
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

And all that is true as well my friend. There are valid arguments on both sides. For me, it always seems to be about tomorrow, not the then and now when assets are needed. I quite agree with the notion that well trained, well equipped but small professional forces with high tech kit can achieve results far beyond their size, we see in Ukraine the results of a handful of MLRS. But these are enabling assets. In logistics and enablers the assets and the numbers matter. And the future and tomorrow does not enable the now. I take the point… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_680822)
1 year ago

It’s always finding the balance between a greater number of less capable assets, or high end capability. I think for a long time now the train of thought has been better to have the best we can get even if it’s in smaller numbers, as the high end capability keeps us at the top table. And time and time again we still see our Armed Force’s meeting the needs of the day, and other nations with more kit, absent. We didn’t see rows and rows of French or German A400s packed up ready to evacuate Kabul. Someone at DSF and… Read more »

DJ
DJ (@guest_680795)
1 year ago

Daniele The problem for UK is that as an island, it needs to be able to shift its army either by sea or by air. UK cannot (despite its best intentions), fight a land war on its own soil. It has always, for the last 1,000 years, expected the navy to keep home base secure. Hastings was last serious overseas invasion, which was swallowed up over time. It has always been at its best when fighting elsewhere. Time though to catch up with technology. Five years in modern technology circles is par for the course. Two years to get use… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_680806)
1 year ago
Reply to  DJ

Hi DJ I see our Island status as an asset, not a problem. Which is why I have always called for a RN/RAF/Intelligence first policy. We are removing the very expeditionary enablers that help to enable our army to deploy overseas. We already have high technology in this domain, we have the Atlas in service. My point is what covers the multitude of tasks that Hercules performs now when Hercules is cut? 22 Atlas? Not for me, despite the 9 Voyager and 8 C17 on top. There are too few enabling assets no matter how much Atlas carries or how… Read more »

DJ
DJ (@guest_680986)
1 year ago

Daniele

I also see it as an asset. The problem I was referring to, is that the Army needs to be expeditionary. As you highlighted (I perhaps did not do it as well as you), it can’t be done if you do not have the means to move the pieces in sufficient numbers (in both directions).

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_680997)
1 year ago
Reply to  DJ

Ah, ok so we are in agreement. 👍 Yes Defo. For Europe it would also be handy if we reconstitute our railway capability.
Something else they cut.

Ben
Ben (@guest_681616)
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

The numbers do play a big part though when you’re about to cut a significant portion of your air transport fleet and have yet to even come to a conclusion on how many new A400M’s will be ordered. It’s just more short-sighted thinking from the Government and the MoD – at a time where we are more likely to be at war than any point in the past 20 years they are cutting a capability without having a replacement ready. The new A400M’s is a multiyear progress, say we decide we want between 5-10, great but it’ll take well over… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_680761)
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

It is the multitude of standing tasks that the ATF perform that now have 14 aircraft less to meet.

JR
JR (@guest_681352)
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim

“Far superior” lol, based on what? That must be why the French and Germans reduced their orders and bought brand new C130J’s instead.

A400M’s been in service for 7+ years and is still struggling to conduct even the most basic tactical air transport missions. It lacks capability and is proving itself to be quite unreliable.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_680610)
1 year ago

I love the sales pitch…….the C130J is such a good aircraft we’re selling them. Real common sense.😡

Jon
Jon (@guest_680613)
1 year ago

Is it a legal get out to misrepresent while advertising something for sale by claiming that you won’t be held liable for any misrepresentation? “But Your Honour, I told him as I smacked him over the head with the barstool, that neither I nor any of my representatives could be held liable for assault.” “Fair enough. Case dismissed.” “I don’t understand, sir. Why can’t we arrest Sir Charles, the notorious cat burgler?” “Because, Sergeant, he always leaves an embroidered glove at the scene of the crime, with a little label inside saying he won’t be held liable.” “Curses, sir! —… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Jon
FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN (@guest_680614)
1 year ago

Painful times ahead then. From a financial point of view this does make some sense we are well covered with the other two types. From a tactical view this worries me, just how good is the a400? Because it’s going to need to be better than what we’ve already got.

Andy a
Andy a (@guest_680676)
1 year ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

It goes faster higher further carries more and does it cheaper with less faults (once full capabilities)

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_680765)
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy a

Pretty irrelevant considering the standing tasks the ATF carries out every day, every week, with bids for the assets coming in from all corners of defence, and now there will be 14 less. Those 14 also supported the SF mission, which now the remaining assets must meet as well as their usual tasks. If we are talking one big operation dropping the lead AATF then yes, in that area Atlas is superior. Great asset. But I’m not talking about that. In a few years I can see ops cancelled and exercises not happening as the assets do not exist to… Read more »

Cripes
Cripes (@guest_680977)
1 year ago

Absolutely correct Daniele. The IDSR cut the transport fleet by 25%,.down from 55 aircraft to 41. There has been no corresponding cut in our force commitments or deployments. in fact with the SFAB and Rangers, deployments have increased compared with a decade ago. It is basically a 25% cut to help pay for the defence equipment black hole. If we need to deploy troops and equipment on any scale, we will henceforth have 25 front-line transports to do so rather than the current 34. That is pretty wafer thin, even for a single brigade deployment. The advantage of the C-130J… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_680979)
1 year ago
Reply to  Cripes

Ah, so someone else sees it as I do. My primary concern is the impact on SF as I believe many of those aircraft were with the dedicated SF Flight with 47 Sqn. What does that job now? Atlas. And what aircraft are doing the tasks those Atlas planes were doing but now are not available as they have to support SF? None. I don’t accept that all tasks will be staggered so the Atlas sometimes cannot be in two places at once. Good points re the smaller task units like SFAB and SOB. The original Atlas order I recall… Read more »

Cripes
Cripes (@guest_681006)
1 year ago

Good memory Daniele and quite right, the planned Atlas order was 25, they they decided to cut the squadron leader having his own aircraft plus one in reserve, so it was thought it would be 23, but then the abacus cost-cutters at the Treasury and MOD whittled it down to 22. What a constant struggle it is to even maintain the now- minimalist level of army and RAF service numbers and equipments. About the only thing the British MOD leads the world in is skilful cost-cutting and endless equipment fire sales without replacements. Gawd help us if we have to… Read more »

Andy a
Andy a (@guest_681046)
1 year ago

Not really u guys can say what you want but the cash isn’t there to run both. A400 can do loads more cheaper than the loved herc. The a400 can’t be spared so to keep the herc what shall we loose? A fighter squadron, a heli squadron? An f35 or two?
It’s political suicide to throw money from benefits to defence so the fact remains while the economy is like this.
You guys tell me what u want to lose??

Ben
Ben (@guest_681618)
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy a

There is cash – this is completely false. The problem isn’t the money, it’s how it’s spent – we’re spending billions on Ajax which is overbudget, overrunning and a catastrophically poorly managed programme because we refused to buy an off the shelf platform of which BAE Systems did offer platforms which where significantly better and could of been delivered already. Instead of scrapping Ajax and buying something cheaper and off the shelf we’re going to scrap the C130’s, not only does this drastically cut the transport fleets capacity and numbers but there has been no decision made on the A400M… Read more »

Andy A
Andy A (@guest_719251)
1 year ago

RAF prefer to have them as they can do far more for the cash and will still be going in twenty years

DJ
DJ (@guest_680798)
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy a

Hmm, Japanese C-2 anyone?

dan
dan (@guest_680617)
1 year ago

Another mistake in a long line of mistakes. No common sense these days. Looks like the Brits will once again have to depend on the Yanks for yet another capability they’ve given away.

Andy
Andy (@guest_680670)
1 year ago
Reply to  dan

Operating three different types of 4 engined transports is lunacy in an airforce the size of the RAF.

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_680710)
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy

British Airways per wiki

A319
A320/321
A350
A380
B777
B787

Expat
Expat (@guest_681491)
1 year ago
Reply to  AlexS

You missed the Embraer 190 and that those airframe also split further into sub fleets like the 777-200 and 777-300 or 787-8 and 787-9. The reality is a lot of maintenance isn’t done by the operator these days. Companies like Lufthansa Technik, Sebina or in the case of the C130 its Marshalls do a lot of the maintenance.

Andy a
Andy a (@guest_680677)
1 year ago
Reply to  dan

What capabilities? What can it do that the a400 with expanded fleet can’t do?

JR
JR (@guest_681353)
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy a

Where should I start, Andy? You’ve commented quite a few times pushing this misinformation about A400M’s so-called capability.

• Sim stick LLP
• Medium/Heavy drop
• maritime drop
• extracted loads
• ALARP (aircraft to aircraft, without TSW!!)
• Oh, can SF Troops actually fit in the seats with parachutes fitted, too? Nope.

I could go on.

Esteban
Esteban (@guest_680689)
1 year ago
Reply to  dan

And the Yanks are getting sick of this s***.

Airborne
Airborne (@guest_680951)
1 year ago
Reply to  Esteban

And the Brits are getting sick of that boring chip on your pale chubby shoulder!

Esteban
Esteban (@guest_680962)
1 year ago
Reply to  Airborne

Then try to carry your own weight…. It would be appreciated.

Airborne
Airborne (@guest_680989)
1 year ago
Reply to  Esteban

That chip on your shoulder is unbalancing you. Remove chip, it would be appreciated!

Chris
Chris (@guest_680618)
1 year ago

So angry about this. I know rotating the Service Chiefs is supposed to avoid bias but this Radukan man is really starting to get up my trumpet .

There are people who need to do things in far away places whoight need a late night taxi. Sending in one if those M400s might not be the safest move.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_680622)
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris

Whilst I totally agree that the C130J should have been kept on: the decision to retire the type was made by the RAF well before Radakin was in post.

Chris
Chris (@guest_680624)
1 year ago

I agree in principle but Radukan is just theblatest in the amorphous MOD officer ejaculations. He has been got at and is now a creature of his superiors.

What we need is a Captain who has been at sea and who does not take kindly to civil servants. I do not mean that as an insukt to MOD civil servants but rather to highlight the need we have of keeping both sides keeping an wyw on each other to avoid overreach. Radukan is an example of an officer, in my opinion only, who has been infected with professional MOD gobbledigook.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_680628)
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris

Radakin has managed something close to a miracle as 1SL IMHO.

He is also coherent and believable as well as managing to navigate the MOD machine rather well.

I’d not be so negative.

Chris
Chris (@guest_680632)
1 year ago

I would be.

I can understand that he is doing what he thinks is in our best interests. I do not suggest hr is malign, in any way, but there are many ways of looking after our national interests through the prism of force.

I would also, without finger pointing, say that he is CDS not 1st Sea Lord.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_680633)
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris

What he achieved when he was 1SL was very strong.

Chris
Chris (@guest_680639)
1 year ago

I make no comment on his achievements as First Sea Lord or not. That has nothing to do with what we are talking about.

He has, in my opinion, served his own service more than he should have. I have been discussing, via many different replies, just what I think but I seem to only get replies which are personal in nature in reply.

We are lucky that we have this forum of comments on well-researched articles in a subject matter in which we all have a common interest. Can we not use it in that way?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_680642)
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris

I wasn’t aware that I had made a personal comment: that wasn’t my intention…..?

Jon
Jon (@guest_680640)
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris

CDS is an advisory role alongside the Permanent Secretary. Given the fact that there’s a strong Defence Secretary with a mind of his own (praise the Lord!) and a war going on in Ukraine, can you really hold Radakin responsible for the decision to junk the Hercules? He’s not even a member of the Air Force Board. Why not Wigston or Knighton?

Chris
Chris (@guest_680644)
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon

A very sensible and adroit point.

I think the answer to your question lies in that Wigston is not fit to wear a pair of socks let alone his rank insignia.

He is interested in quotas, HR and paperwork to such an extent that most airman who never came back would turn in their grave.

Jon
Jon (@guest_680634)
1 year ago

Absolutely. A huge step up from predecessors.

Sean
Sean (@guest_680631)
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris

I’d trust Radakin’s opinion over any armchair admiral any day, and if you don’t think he’s been to sea you need to read up on his service record.

Chris
Chris (@guest_680635)
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

First, it’s armchair General, not Admiral.

Secondly, I have not commented on his record. This is because I know nothing about it and it is irrelevant to the points I have made.

I would also suggest that you treat the commentary here as a place to discuss amongst like-minded people rather than gutter near a tabloid publication. There is an awful lot if experience here which I have been lucky enough to learn from.

Sean
Sean (@guest_680667)
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris

You don’t even deserve the rank of “armchair private” let alone “general”.

Yes you have commented on his service record
“What we need is a Captain who has been at sea ”
Radakin has served on several warships and served as captain of a frigate. All those ships were “at sea”.

You clear still have a lot to learn if you fail to appreciate the abilities of a former 1SL and current CDS.

John Stott
John Stott (@guest_680638)
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

😂

Sean
Sean (@guest_680668)
1 year ago
Reply to  John Stott

Oh I see the local idiot has woken up

John Stott
John Stott (@guest_680713)
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

👅

DanielMorgan
DanielMorgan (@guest_680643)
1 year ago
John N
John N (@guest_680648)
1 year ago

My understanding is the C-130K first entered RAF service in late 1966, when the last is gone next year, it will bring 57 years of RAF Herc service to an end, RIP. Here in Oz, the C-130A entered RAAF service in 1958 (first export customer), and the Herc fleet has clocked up 64 years of service to date, and counting. The current 12 C-130J-30, which entered service starting in 1999, was planned to stay in service until the end of this decade. But recent reports suggest they will be retired a bit earlier than planned, and it appears they may… Read more »

klonkie
klonkie (@guest_680664)
1 year ago
Reply to  John N

Morning John – 4 j models on order for the RNZAF , delivers mid 2024 ish

John N
John N (@guest_680679)
1 year ago
Reply to  klonkie

G’day mate, hope things are well on your side of the ditch? Lovely sunny morning here in Sydney.

Actually you’re wrong, it’s not 4, it’s 5! Five of the stretched C-130J-30 model (same as the RAAF).

You might have thinking about the P-8A, that’s four aircraft.

You need to get Jacinta to order a few more of each.

Cheers,

Klonkie
Klonkie (@guest_681055)
1 year ago
Reply to  John N

morning John- been a wet old weekend here and I believe tomorrow Melbourne cup will be rainy. I think Jacinta’s days are likely to be numbered -11 months (ish) to the next general election.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_680654)
1 year ago

So, it is going ahead.

Unbelievable.

klonkie
klonkie (@guest_680666)
1 year ago

DM, here it starts. I am concerned this new Tory administration will bring further cuts access all branches of the services. I’m thinking they’ll pull a version of Cameron’s 2010 reviews (possibly not as vicious though). They’ll justify it as necessary re. the state of the economy, rampant inflation etc. Sadly (and irresponsibly) the 2.5% of gdp defence goal will become a pipe dream.

I wonder if my old mob in the SAAF will put in a bid for some of these J models as their C130B’s turn 60 years old early 2023!

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_680695)
1 year ago
Reply to  klonkie

I may be a good buy for them. Depends what shape the 14 are in. Maybe a bit used and abused but most things are 2nd hand. I wonder what has more flying hours on them? The RAF or SAAF aircraft.

Klonkie
Klonkie (@guest_680719)
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Hi MS

I’m pretty sure the SAAF B model will have significantly higher airframe hours, being 60 years old. I can’t imagine them buying more than 6-8 aircraft thought,.

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_680728)
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I’m pretty sure Marshalls of Cambridge do all the refurbishment of the Hercules, the main problem being the Wing Spars tend to need replacing due to the high use they have had. This is not cheap so can understand the RAF offloading them to save on costs. The export customers seem happy to pay it though.

geoff
geoff (@guest_680711)
1 year ago
Reply to  klonkie

Morning Klonkie! Can’t believe the SAAF operated Hercs for 60 years! At that time they also had lots of Harvards with their radial engines that made that unique sound as they droned above. Another WW2 relic was son of Lancaster-the Shackleton still in SAAF service. At about that time the 16 Bucaneers left the UK bound for SA just before the order was curtailed by sanctions. We lost one, en route somewhere over West Africa I think. Did they see action in Nam? We had the Delta Mirages joined in the 70’s(I think!) by the swept wing F1’s. Meanwhile up… Read more »

Klonkie
Klonkie (@guest_680722)
1 year ago
Reply to  geoff

Hey Geoff ,how are things? I’ve got 22 hours logged on Harvard’s before I was taken off SAAF pilot training course way back in 1982 Plenty of trips in pumas and Dakotas in the operational area over the next few years. Yore probably aware that 35 sqn in Cape Town still operate DC3’s turbo propped). That makes them close to 80 year old!

geoff
geoff (@guest_680732)
1 year ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Howsit Klonkie-all good. Forgot about the DC3 wow! The Yanks certainly produce long life aircraft. The B52 is another example of vintage rules the skies! Talking of the DC series when I came to the then Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in 1961 we flew in on a DC7c-last of the propeller driven! Admire you for your service-ops I presume mainly in SWA. It always tickled me that Sam Nujoma fought for the independence of Namibia in a party called South West Africa Peoples Organisation😄 Like Mugabe calling his lot the Rhodesian African National Union😂 fighting for the freedom of… Read more »

Klonkie
Klonkie (@guest_680948)
1 year ago
Reply to  geoff

Thank you Geoff – yep sure did do service in SWA and Angola .If you should find yourself bored with some time to kill, I share a few Air force experiences during an interview on legacy conversations on you tube. The link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CjhajX6uYA&t=312s

geoff
geoff (@guest_681095)
1 year ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Thanks Klonkie-madhouse here at the family business and other but will definitely have a look!
Cheers

Caribbean
Caribbean (@guest_680753)
1 year ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Good grief, DC3s? I vaguely remember flying across the Sahara, as a child, en route from the UK to Lagos in one of those (Tripoli to Kano leg, IIRC). That would have been in 1958/59 or thereabouts and they were regarded as “old” then!

They’ve obviously aged well. Subsequent trips were in the Bristol Britannia and Boeing Stratocruiser. Neither still in service (displaced by jets), though the Stratocruiser got a second life as the Guppy

Klonkie
Klonkie (@guest_680946)
1 year ago
Reply to  Caribbean

Remarkable old kite those DC3s, Caribbean!

geoff
geoff (@guest_680971)
1 year ago
Reply to  Caribbean

Hi Caribbean-I did Viscounts across the Irish sea to Belfast from London-had a distinctive sound heard from ground below!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_680980)
1 year ago
Reply to  Caribbean

RAF still has one with BBMF.

edwinr
edwinr (@guest_680690)
1 year ago

I’m not sure what I think about this. As others have said, the MOD are keen to hold fire sales of unwanted defence gear at the every opportunity, regardless of the consequences. We are living in a very uncertain world. When threats manifest themselves, the days of quickly ramping up production of ships, aircraft and military hardware are long gone.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_681050)
1 year ago
Reply to  edwinr

The MoD has always acted quickly to dispose (by auction usually) of defence equipment when it has been withdrawn from service.
It makes sense from every angle – we cannot hold on to obsolete kit in warehouses for years and years in case WW3 comes along – even if it did, would ancient kit be effective?
Very true that it takes ages to ramp up production and our production facilities are only 1-deep or non-existent for certain types of kit.

Airborne
Airborne (@guest_680675)
1 year ago

Craziest shitty plan! The herc is so valuable in its size, capability and, yes, expendable where the Atlas won’t be! I can’t really say much more as I would rant on for hours!!!!!

Klonkie
Klonkie (@guest_680720)
1 year ago
Reply to  Airborne

Hi Airborne, you are preaching to the choir sir! Couldn’t agree more with you.

Airborne
Airborne (@guest_680899)
1 year ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Sad isn’t it but I think we all agree it’s one of the worst decisions in recent times!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_680748)
1 year ago
Reply to  Airborne

I give up, mate. I really do.

Airborne
Airborne (@guest_680900)
1 year ago

Hard to stay positive sometimes mate!

Watcherzero
Watcherzero (@guest_680681)
1 year ago
Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_680696)
1 year ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Looks like that fit could make a good drone swarm killer if they can target them quickly. Mach 2 missile. Perhaps cheaper seeker

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_680723)
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

An upgrade path for the AAC Wildcats?

Adam
Adam (@guest_680691)
1 year ago

Discusted as there the work horse of the army why are we leaving our troops weak

Tams
Tams (@guest_680700)
1 year ago

I honestly don’t think we need them anymore, with all the costs of having an older airframe.

We could do with a few more A400Ms (to keep types to a minimum) or perhaps some C-27Js or C-295s (6-8 perhaps), but smaller aircraft are far easier to obtain quickly should we find ourselves needing them.

India have just signed a deal for C-295s, with them to be built domestically from 2026. Orders like that we could possibly get in on.

Last edited 1 year ago by Tams
geoff
geoff (@guest_680706)
1 year ago

A sad goodbye to an iconic and capable aircraft that has been around for decades. Also the demise of the Bae 146 marks the end (apart from the Hawk) of wholly British manufactured aircraft in the RAF. I flew on one in it’s Avro clothing a few years back and it was briefly considered for commercial service as ideal for the short St.Helena runway.
Slightly off topic-I cannot believe I am saying this but there is a really good article in today’s Mail online on HMS Medway intercepting some drug runners in the Caribbean complete with some great photos!!😮

Coll
Coll (@guest_680707)
1 year ago

A few months ago i was woken by a low humming noise, so I went on to ADSB and it was an A400M at 30,000ft. I was either lightly sleeping or it woke me up.

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_680724)
1 year ago
Reply to  Coll

On a bus in Oxfordshire Thursday; one flew over at not much more than ‘tree top’ height!

Coll
Coll (@guest_681076)
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Yeah, it flies down the Mersey sometimes.

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_680725)
1 year ago
Reply to  Coll

Where I live there are regular overflights of C130 and Atlas, both very noticeable but the A400 does have a very distinctive drone.

Tommo
Tommo (@guest_680733)
1 year ago

Keep a couple and convert to Spectre Gunships we’ve got another 30mms from all the Hunts and Sandown boats of the MCM that are going

David
David (@guest_680771)
1 year ago

Shame. Another short sighted cut.

ian white
ian white (@guest_680802)
1 year ago

Not a good idea to sell the C130 with the Russian and Ukraine war still grinding on. Events could really catch the UK out.
The amount of money saved cannot be that large compared to the defense budget.

Sceptical Richard
Sceptical Richard (@guest_680816)
1 year ago

Good move. Need to properly commit to the A400M now. But we probably need a couple more and how about a few C295s while we’re at it

Bob
Bob (@guest_680861)
1 year ago

Awful decision.

Gareth
Gareth (@guest_680892)
1 year ago

So utterly short sighted by the muppets who run the MoD and yet completely predictable.

Frank
Frank (@guest_681033)
1 year ago

Sad to see the HercyBird retired. I personally think it’s a huge mistake, at least under the present circumstances. I had a chat with an A400 pilot recently who said the same. We need a backup force reserve.