Andy Netherwood, a former C-130 and C-17 aircraft commander, has urged the Ministry of Defence to reconsider the early retirement of the C-130J Hercules fleet.

In written evidence submitted to the House of Commons Defence Committee here, that air mobility is a vital component of both hard and soft power and is essential to realise the ‘Global Britain’ ambition set out by the Integrated Review.

“It is required to support, sustain and recover the ‘persistently engaged force’ envisaged by the Review and this applies to every aspect of it. For example, even the HMS Queen Elizabeth-led Carrier Strike Group required multiple air mobility missions to support CSG21, and the enhanced forward presence in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would not be possible without sufficient air mobility to sustain it. 

It is needed to conduct Non-Combatant Evacuation operations, as we saw during Op PITTING and is the means by which the UK can support allies and influence the course of conflicts without direct military intervention, as we saw with the movement of equipment and supplies for Ukraine. It also contributes to UK soft power by allowing humanitarian supplies to be moved quickly anywhere in the world to support disaster relief. Finally, it is an essential pillar of national resilience as we saw during the covid pandemic when air mobility aircraft were used to transport vaccines, patients and essential personnel. In short, air mobility is woven through every thread of the Integrated Review.”

Air Mobility and the C-130J

“The C-130J is the backbone of the AMF.  It entered service in 1999, just two years before the C-17 and is a capable tactical airlifter in use with, and still being acquired by, many air forces around the world. It is not a ‘legacy platform’ by any reasonable definition.  The 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review retained 14 C-130J from the original fleet and funded a £110M centre wing box replacement programme to extend their life to at least 2035. Shortly after this work was completed the Defence Command Paper announced that the aircraft would be retired early, leaving service by 2023. 

The decision to retire the C-130J in 2023 is incoherent with the Integrated Review and leaves insufficient air mobility capacity or capability to meet UK requirements without considerable risk.

In terms of capacity, the loss of C-130J equates to almost one-third of the RAF’s tactical air transport aircraft. Whilst the A400M can carry more cargo than the C-130J (37T compared to 19T), it cannot be in two places at once or transport cargo simultaneously to different destinations.  The currency of air mobility is ‘task lines’ and the loss of C-130J will result in a substantial reduction in those available.

In terms of capability, an effective air mobility force requires aircraft of various sizes in much the same way that a supermarket needs small vans as well as articulated lorries.  This allows a task to be assigned to the most suitable platform and avoids aircraft flying with most of their cargo compartment empty. The loss of C-130J means there will be nothing in the UK inventory between a Chinook (max payload 10T) and an A400M (max payload 37T). Any load slightly too heavy, large or urgent for a Chinook will need to go by A400M.  This gap is exacerbated by the decision to replace the 4 BAe 146 with 2 Dassault Falcons. Whereas the former could be used to fly relatively small, but urgent items of cargo (and the BAe 146 Mk3 had a cargo door for the purpose) the latter is a business jet not capable of this role. As well as picking up C-130J tasks, the A400M will therefore have to cover BAe 146 cargo tasks too. Not only is this inefficient but it also adds further pressure on the reduced force and its limited task lines.

Finally, the A400M’s size makes it unsuitable for some niche C-130J roles, including those supporting Special Forces. Whilst the A400M is a capable aircraft, and the RAF has worked hard to migrate capabilities across from the C-130J, some issues are an unresolvable matter of physics. For example, the A400M is a larger aircraft (10m longer, 3m higher & 2m greater wingspan than a C-130J) with a larger radar cross-section and ground footprint.  This makes it more easily detectable by enemy air defence or fighter radars and reduces the number of airstrips it can use or the number of aircraft that can use an airfield at any given time.  This latter factor (known as ‘MOG’ or Maximum on Ground) is often limiting as military operations see airfields handling volumes of traffic considerably in excess of their peacetime norms. For these reasons other A400M operators like France and Germany also operate a fleet of C-130Js.”

In summary, Andy adds:

“The early retirement of C-130J will leave Defence without sufficient capacity or capability to meet the ‘Global Britain’ ambition of the Integrated Review. The Ministry of Defence should reconsider this decision or propose an alternative remedy to the air mobility shortfall that is effective from the C-130J’s out of service date.”

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. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago

No shit Sherlock! I’m in total agreement and this cut is one of the worst of the latest defence review.

Don’t forget forward deploying the new autonomous MCMV systems as they can not self deploy and there are no sign of dedicated mother vessels, and an A400 on standby supporting SPAG, which is another C130 task.

Bonkers bonkers bonkers.

Andy P
Andy P
1 month ago

Yup, I think the only counter argument is purely down to finances. I wonder which one will win out……

I fear the only hope for the Herky pig is if there is a large rethink going on on the back of Ukraine.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago

Couldn’t agree more, mate.

Good article explaining the detailed issues.

Like you say, bonkers.

Cheers CR

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago

Agreed. You know my thoughts on this!

JamesF
JamesF
1 month ago

I fear UKSF will be expected to pay for their own taxis, they have a huge budget. I suspect this underpins the seemingly weird decision. RAF want to invest in other areas but SF want C-130.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  JamesF

Bit ridiculous considering the RAF have pilots and crews themselves part of the DSFs JSFAW. Such as 7 Sqn SFF, the SD Flight and 47 Sqn.

JamesF
JamesF
1 month ago

Maybe, but RAF has Tempest and other big programmes that they probably want to ringfence, Chinook is funded by land, so does not cut into their main effort, but C-130 is RAF budget – I imagine they are trying to push it onto the SF budget.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago

Makes perfect sense to keep them as stated in the article. The only reason for getting rid is financial and possibly to redeploy the staff else where. They have had the wing box redone as well. I thought this was a costly issue that needed resolved if the c-130 was kept in service past 2023 but it isn’t. As pointed out allies are buying new ones to work with A400. As usual we are not privy to the info on how much they are used and if there is any lose in capability from getting rid of them. Maybe they… Read more »

Richard
Richard
1 month ago

Yes, the decision to keep on 14 was always tenuous in my opinion, it was never truly ratified and there were murmurings that we may still lose them before their extended OOS date. The irony is that 14 would’ve been just about enough (with a very small amount of wriggle room) to support SF and Para Reg taskings, amongst the other niche requirements you mentioned Daniele. This seemed too good to be true, and regrettably it seems to have proved the case. There are so many things you can do with a C-130J that are still very relevant, especially with… Read more »

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
1 month ago

No more comment needed Daniele. Never made sense.

Mr A C Simpson
Mr A C Simpson
1 month ago

D’Accorde……

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago

Yep totally nuts and pissing away both a good capability that is needed as well as wasting taxpayers money…..it’s saving a few quid but wasting a fortune.

klonkie
klonkie
1 month ago

Hi DM

“No shit Sherlock! -Mate, that was exactly my first thought! It reads like a bad monty python script. Maybe a bright spark at the MOD saw the commentary on the site , and had an epiphany. Have a good weekend

DJ
DJ
1 month ago

George

I suggest you remove above post (& mine). We don’t need this rubbish on here.

Grizzler
Grizzler
1 month ago

I was greatly surprised my neighbour earns more than me as well …the basterd wouldn’t pay for his half of the fence….

Steve M
Steve M
1 month ago

Been said many many times on this site………by many many many people. but what do we know

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve M

I always find sending a letter off to the minister of state and My MP a totally fruitless but cathartic activity. I even get a canned letter back from my MP on lovely posh paper…it aways says what a wonderful thing the government are doing bla bla bla….I’ve got a draw full…democracy in action.

Steve M
Steve M
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

i would never waste the money on paper/envelope or stamp or the time writing to any of those egotistical c*#k$. none of them would know or understand the meaning of a truthful answer

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve M

Councils, MPs ignore individual letters, but if they get a lot on the same subject, then they do pay attention.

David
David
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve M

Spot on. Letters to MPs only result in a reply parroting the party line. Incapable of independent thought…..

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
1 month ago

Madness, sheer bloody madness! The C130 has such utility the other aircraft don’t. I will admit that I’ve never done a task with a A400, from reading the article, it is irreplaceable.

Mr A C Simpson
Mr A C Simpson
1 month ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

I served on 36 Sqn (yes really, for you sprogs, when I did my compulsory gnd tour in RAFG ‘74-77, they culled the K model Sqns; as the cards fell, 36 Sqn had surrendered to the Japanese in Singapore during WWII, so it had to go), 30 and 70 Sqns. At Boscombe Down on Fixed Wing Test Sqn – later divided into Heavy Aircraft Test Sqn (HATS) and the Picture Post boys on Fast Jet Test Sqn (FJTS pronounced Fidgets) the C-130J arrived to little acclaim. A still-serving former GND ENG, now training engineers at LYN mentioned that a colleague… Read more »

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr A C Simpson

Perfect answer and 100% correct Mr Simpson.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago

Not the smartest decision to retire the C130J, time for a U-turn I think!

Some positive news albeit off-topic!

Japan in talks with BAE on development of F-X fighter27 MAY 2022

“Japan is in talks with BAE Systems to develop the country’s sixth-generation F-X fighter aircraft project, with a consensus on co-operation expected by the end of 2022.

The UK and Japanese governments are to “continue discussions around potential future fighter subsystem collaboration throughout 2022”, under the conditions of a memorandum of collaboration (MOC) signed in December 2021.”

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/defence/latest/japan-in-talks-with-bae-on-development-of-f-x-fighter

Last edited 1 month ago by Nigel Collins
Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Well that’s good news. Cheers for sharing.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

You’re welcome! It certainly sounds promising and as chariotrider states below, a more cost-effective approach.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

It looks like a potentially very clever way forward as cooperation on subsystems may well be a lower risk approach to the traditional way of doing big defence programmes.

Subsystems are a big part of the total cost of the aircraft system, so being able to spread the cost of those subsystems across two aircraft types will be a good way to reduce total program cost for both the UK and partners and Japan.

Cheers CR

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

And not forgetting the upgrade to Meteor, the RAF should be in a very strong position come the 2030s if not before with the introduction of these upgraded missiles fitted onboard Typhoon.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nigel Collins
ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Hi Nigel,

There are some very impressive weapons coming into and already in-service with the RAF and RN. Brimstone 3 (upgraded), Spear 3, Martlet, Sea Venom – all good stuff. The Complex Weapons Team at MoD have done a great job developing the relationship with MBDA UK. I just hope they continue to be allowed to do a good job, its not often the MoD has a success story, or so the press would have us believe.

Cheers CR

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Yes, we seem to be on the right track with some very useful weapons in development.

I hope we can get a longer range interim anti-ship missile sorted asap for Typhoon, something we seem to lack at the moment.

I’ve been banging on about this for a while now!

https://www.mbda-systems.com/product/marte-er/

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

It would be nice to have something, but frankly I don’t think there is the money to bring in an interim missile. I think the RAF and RN will be looking to SPEAR 5 / FC/ASW.

The anti ship missile issue is another ‘gapped’ capability that I’m afraid is going to take time to fill. I would hope that Brimstone / SPEAR 3 could at least provide a ‘mission kill’ capability.

Cheers CR

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Hello again Nigel,

I got to thinking about Storm Shadow after my last post and I thought it had an anti-ship capability. Just checked Wikipedia and apparently it does, but I have no idea how effective it is.

Cheers CR

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Hi CR, A bit more on the subject here. I have not had the chance to read it in full!

“In the meantime, the UK was considering an interim solution to replace the obsolete Harpoon Block 1C, off the shelf anti-ship missile solution for its current and future surface fleet (with the first Type 26 frigate set to be delivered around 2025). Dubbed Next Generation Interim Surface Ship Guided Weapon (I-SSGW), the missile were set to be delivered starting December 2023. However, the plan was cancelled in early 2022:”

https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2022/02/future-cruise-and-anti-ship-weapon-fc-asw-program-reaches-new-milestone/

Last edited 1 month ago by Nigel Collins
Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Very much. My one concern would be that the developed systems should be allowed to manufactured in either the UK or Japan. From what I understand, the partnership for Typhoon created a “work share” that resulted in some bottlenecks and/or costs that couldn’t be ameliorated thanks to inflexible contracts. Let’s hope they get this coopoeration right.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

Exactly right Stu, and it was this very issue I was alluding to. If the companies are allowed to sort out the work share between themselves then perhaps they will be able to focus on what they are good at..! That alone should save a few quid / Yen. Of course companies can be just as effective at trashing what should be perfectly good projects as any MoD, but if a hands off approach is taken by the Government’s involved and if they write the right kind of contracts then the companies should be properly motivated to get it right.… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Hopefully the 10 tempest aircraft we buy are worth it all. Thinking being it’s 10x better so only need a 10th of the fleet. Quick hide that thought from the treasury 😂😂😂😂

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Any new fighter project only makes sense, if you build enough to spread the R&D costs. Hopefully FX will merge with Tempest, to get the numbers for both up. You can have a Japanese & British assembly line.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 month ago

No surprise there.

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

Why do I feel that no one in the MoD will listen to a word Andy Netherwood says, but just issue some banal statement via a spokesman which doesn’t answer his concerns…

RobW
RobW
1 month ago
Reply to  Gareth

It’ll mention the £ spent on the equipment plan, plus the words “lethal” and “agile”, but ultimately will have no meaning. It is a little tiresome to say the least.

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  RobW

It’s not just “lethal”. It’s not even “more lethal”. It’s with “increased lethality”, because six letters just can’t do it justice.

grizzler
grizzler
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

or to use modern vernacular …it will be “super lethal”….(really does my head in does that)

Shane Hall
Shane Hall
1 month ago
Reply to  grizzler

I think given the MOD’s record its important to ask “lethal to them or us”

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago

Very well expressed.

Sadly after the garage sale of parts the drawdown seems to be fixed.

Sad as it is such a useful asset with plenty of life left in it once the £110m is spent on the wing box.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago

The spares have been sold?

Suportive Bloke
Suportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

There was a notice for expressions of interest in various wing leading edge spares etc about two weeks back.

Steve M
Steve M
1 month ago

Using Atlas to do C-130/-146 tasks is like DPD only having 40T (c-17) and 18T (A400) Rigids to deliver to every house instead of using Sprinters and Transit Connects

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve M

Also…like using a QE class carrier for a task when an LPH would do.

DanielMorgan
DanielMorgan
1 month ago

The US certainly doesn’t think the C-130 is past its prime.
USSOCOM Comments on Potential Amphibious MC-130J Plane – Naval News

Suportive Bloke
Suportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

So that is probably where they will end up.

One careful owner etc

RAF is on of the few airforces that USAF would trust for maintenance records.

And they will have been well maintained to a very good standard.

Andrew D
Andrew D
1 month ago

Just like the Harriers

David
David
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew D

The ex RAF Harriers will only ever be used by the US as a source for parts…..

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

Even the RNZAF has ordered the newer version of Hercules!

Klonkie
Klonkie
30 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

the gods be praised!

Stu
Stu
1 month ago

Bit of a biased piece – “makes it more easily detectable by enemy air defence or fighter radars” Really?!? Neither C130 or A400m are stealthy & both equally vulnerable in that regard. Wouldn’t fancy a dogfight in either!
BUT, makes solid points around flexibility & reducing our capacity etc.
Question – did we really apend £110m only to decide to retire them 2 years later? Please, for the love of God, tell me we are not that incompetent 😠

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

Sadly, yes we are…

If you want to real mess things up let the politicians make critical decisions…

Cheers CR

Last edited 1 month ago by ChariotRider
Ian
Ian
1 month ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I could not agree more CR…
Thanks Ian …👍

Suportive Bloke
Suportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

I don’t think we did spend the £110m in the end?

That was the tripwire issue.

Any subsequent purchaser would need to spend the money to extend them.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago

Yep. Hopefully that £110m saved will be well spent though !

Last edited 1 month ago by David Steeper
nonsense
nonsense
1 month ago

Considering enemy anti-aircraft networks in air transport cannot be completely ruled out, but it cannot make the c130 more powerful than the A400. Based on the S300, both C130 and A400 are easy targets, but there is no difference in who is more difficult.

This article is not convincing as to why the c130 should not be retired.

Angus
Angus
1 month ago
Reply to  nonsense

Really, guess your reading what the rest of us are. You use the right tool for the job and you dont need a large vehicle to deliver small packages. Need lessons from Amazon I guess. Already in service and lots of life ahead of them or you will spend much more later on a lessor more costly service provider.

nonsense
nonsense
1 month ago
Reply to  Angus

The size issue is related to the maximum fuel load.

it related maximum flying range
 
It is more important than the question of how much luggage is loaded.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  nonsense

What would you use to deliver the payloads transport aircraft carry then? My thinking is that Operating procedures would keep the transport aircraft outside of air defence bubbles and those sites would be destroyed if needed in a war scenario.

nonsense
nonsense
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

If I were the commander, I would transport the plane after securing the route of the transport plane. However, in this article, talking about the situation of passing over the enemy’s air defense network.  The C130J is obviously smaller than the A400, but it is slower, which means that therussian air defense system will have longer setup times and longer response times. In other words, it is not a matter of size, but at a similar altitude and slower, the C130J, which is easy to detect by Russian air defenses, is more vulnerable to danger than the A400. If the RAF… Read more »

Angus
Angus
1 month ago
Reply to  nonsense

Have you ever seen these big bad boys at low level and I mean real low? I have and they can sort themselves out well enough with the defensive systems they have. Helo’s are short ranged and slow. Regardless you need to have the numbers in the end to ensure you have enough to meet whats needed on ops for real. Still all depends if the 5 star hotels are near by too

nonsense
nonsense
1 month ago
Reply to  Angus

A sufficient number of C130Js will require a sufficient number of aerial tankers. And the airfields of five-star hotel-class allies

Angus
Angus
1 month ago
Reply to  nonsense

C130’s have not tanked for a long long time so not needed in the support role they do. Pass over to the RN and then they can tent it saving a fortune in travel expenses. They are service personal after all.

Suportive Bloke
Suportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  nonsense

On present evidence the S300 can’t hit anything at any range when some basic EW countermeasures are used.

For once these things have been extensively tested and the one thing I am confident of it that S300/S400 are not much use against NATO assets.

If they worked as advertised then the Ukrainians wouldn’t have a single plane left.

nonsense
nonsense
1 month ago

In this article referring air defence-system , it doesn’t meaning was referring to the S300 , but russian’s main air defence system is S300 So, I was mentioning that. 
And openly, the Air Force trains its pilots to be prepared for Russian air defenses

It cannot be said that it is perfect, but it can be said that even if the RAF transport plane has to fly over the enemy air defense system, RAF transport plane has the amount of defense capability of against the enemy air defense system.

ANTHONY EADE
ANTHONY EADE
1 month ago
Reply to  nonsense

You have obviously missed the main point, only a fat Albert can do what a fat Albert can. Any and all large signature, slow and cumbersome aircraft are a potentially easy target. Therefore, do we dispose of all large targets? By your logic, maybe the Royal Navy should only use ribs and migrant boats?

Mr Mark Franks
Mr Mark Franks
1 month ago

Special forces have been jumping up and down about the loss of the C130js and has surprisingly fell on fear ears with the top brass. It won’t be until they have left the inventory that the proverbial will hit the fan and we go begging to our American cousins and the French who oddly enough have after many years realise what an asset the old girl is.

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Mark Franks

The French get many things right. They added the J so recently in addition to the older ones they had on top of the 50x A400 and 27x CASA235. a) heck of a lift capability they have. b) interesting mix.

Angus
Angus
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

And way better than us. We need a similar mix to support the our people world wide. C295 would do to fill in for the BA146’s we just lost and could double up as a short/medium range maritime patrol asset when it has FITS.

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  Angus

They do lack C17 though.

In a dream world where we spent a little more on defence & spent it a little more wisely, I’m 100% with you – Even a handful of C295 would no doubt be very much in demand, even if we kept the Herc’s.

nonsense
nonsense
1 month ago

The A400’s ability to fly to Syria without resupply and stopovers makes the existence of smaller transport aircraft unnecessary.

simply

Smaller sized airplanes have less range.

A smaller carrying capacity would be less useful in an emergency than a larger carrying capacity.

Steve M
Steve M
1 month ago
Reply to  nonsense

If you are talking about strategic/inter theatre then yes but would you pop down the shop for a pint of milk in 44 ton artic?
US have c5/c17 /c-130, AUS have C17, C130 & C-27 etc you need 3 sizes of transporter that can fit the requirement hell even the French have 3 types A400, C130 and c-235/95, If we were replacing C-130(14)/Bae-146(4?) with 10 C-295’s then i would think ok as they have all types of role fits available. but as we spent 110M upgrading the wings why retire

Last edited 1 month ago by Steve M
nonsense
nonsense
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve M

The C130J cannot fly to Cyprus, not Syria, at once due to weather conditions and various variables. I don’t know where the Arctic far, but the C130J can’t go far enough for the Arctic ice. for example alaska,  Points are the main target area of activity and the ability to transport there from the home country. The United States is known to have secured enough bases to connect with air transport anywhere in the world. France is North Africa and Central Africa. C130J may be sufficient. Britain demands a distance from the Persian Gulf and beyond. Remember the long distance flying… Read more »

Steve M
Steve M
1 month ago
Reply to  nonsense

Used to fly herc’s from Lyneham to Akrotiri all the time, still do, during all Mid East conflicts c-17’s etc all flew to safe airfield and the Herc’s flew to forward bases, The US use C-130’s for their Antartic flights and the CRAF use them to support there North West Territories form places like Cold Lake and Goose Bay. So i don’t where you have your range/requirements from but the Herc’s have been doing all these missions for 30 years, A400 have been in used for years but when BAS needed resupply what did the RAF use Herc’s https://www.raf.mod.uk/news/articles/raf-carry-out-antarctic-resupply-mission/. The… Read more »

nonsense
nonsense
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve M
Steve M
Steve M
1 month ago
Reply to  nonsense

LOL, in Airbus fantasy theory with under 20t and a following wind, but they don’t they fly via Akt, Only c-17 or Voyagers go direct

nonsense
nonsense
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve M

What is common here is that the A400M has a longer distance than the C130J.

Of course, the c-17 has a longer range than the a400.

Steve M
Steve M
1 month ago
Reply to  nonsense

Give-up if you were a delivero driver you would use a LGV instead of a bike because it can carry more an go further

DanielMorgan
DanielMorgan
1 month ago
Reply to  nonsense

I guess all of those C-130 landings in Antartica and Alaska are fake news then.

nonsense
nonsense
1 month ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

This article discusses the necessity of C130 for dirty use other than clean use. I think it’s a clean case to use an ally’s resources. If it’s clean, even a Cessna, not a c130, can reach the South and North Poles at will.

At the extreme of the situation this article is talking about, it will take a significant amount of effort to reach the North and South Poles when Britain loses all of its allies’ resources.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  nonsense

While I agree that axeing the C130 is a poor decision, it is alas set in stone. It would probably actually be cheaper to buy new examples from the US if the decision was reversed, rather than continue wing center box replacement and renegotiate support and upgrade contacts to counter obsolescence. I only hope the vague promise of additional A400’s comes to fruition and 8 are ordered to fill the gap. In fact, considering the need to move forthcoming autonomous systems of all types world wide, an expansion of the A400 fleet above the 8, would be sensible. I don’t… Read more »

nonsense
nonsense
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

😂

Angus
Angus
1 month ago
Reply to  nonsense

Lets see your wallet and purchase another 20+ A400’s and perhaps we would consider you thoughts. I don’t use a 40 ton truck when going for a bag of spuds for tea. Do you?

grizzler
grizzler
1 month ago
Reply to  Angus

depends how hungry I am… 🙂

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Angus

Main issue with that statement, if the 40 ton truck is cheaper £ per mile than your 5 ton van. then you have to maximise your loading.

nonsense
nonsense
1 month ago
Reply to  Angus

The A400 is not always loaded with 40 tons and the c130 is not always loaded with 20 tons.

According to your argument, every household doesn’t need to buy an SUV if it’s a bike.
Or you have to buy and maintain bikes and motorcycles, light cars and heavy trucks all in one household.

Usually, for families with limited wallets, they only have one large SUV.

Bob
Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  nonsense

Stop, you are making yourself look silly.

nonsense
nonsense
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

I am far from being as stupid as this article is.

Angus
Angus
1 month ago

As the MOD is not great at a lot presently perhaps we should outsource airtransport to TNT of DHL both which have the right tools for the job in hand unlike the RAF.

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  Angus

Unfortunately, it’ll be the MoD that create and sign the contracts… so it’ll probably cost twice as much for a third of the service than you or I could negotiate. Though packages WOULD arrive on time… Unless the MoD arranged to slow the delivery of packages to preserve jobs and “save money”. 😄

Last edited 1 month ago by Stu
Andy thomson
Andy thomson
1 month ago
Reply to  Angus

Might be because the vast majority of people in the MOD these days are Civil Servants. Military personnel were dispatched a number of years back to the regional Command HQs, meaning the only very Senior Officer residing in the MOD is now the Chief of Defence Staff. The place is infested with well meaning career but militarily clueless civilians who have successfully undertaken a Coup to remove what they saw as overpaid (relative to them) poorly educated ( because as a senior civil servant you have to have a degree level education. As a commissioned officer in HMF you do… Read more »

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
1 month ago

Whilst the point of the article may well have validity, I wish we had less of these emotive articles, especially from purported professionals. Where are the facts? What are the usage rates for the tonnage mentioned, what was the availability, efficiency, utility of the C130, how many do we have? No facts in this article just arguments devoid of backing

Suportive Bloke
Suportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

All very good points, as usual.

But we do have to recognise that he is a professional – at least the RAF validated that by putting him in charge!!

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
1 month ago

SB whilst I take your point, the people taking these decisions are also professionals! Those who seek to disparage their decisions should do so with evidence, we live in a culture where it is fashionable to slag people off with emotive arguments and to question decisions without any logical rationale.
It may well be the case that the transports mentioned, including the C130 were in fact severely underused and therefore uneconomic, just saying.

Last edited 1 month ago by OkamsRazor
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

Uneconomical for peace time tempo or uneconomical for the current semi warlike tempo and what happens when a warlike tempo is arrived at?

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
1 month ago

Good questions, but basing options on ignorance is never a good idea.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

I’m posing a question that I’m hoping someone might answer…..

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

Well said.

nonsense
nonsense
1 month ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

good point

jjsmallpiece
jjsmallpiece
1 month ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

Nevertheless very good arguments. Seems to be the usual short sighted MOD policy and no doubt pressure from the Treasury.

Marked
Marked
1 month ago

No kidding. Just the latest in a long long line of cuts that has transformed a once capable military into a bit part support force incapable of operating independently.

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
1 month ago
Reply to  Marked

So much so that the vaunted French had to ask for our heavy lift support in Africa recently!

Cripes
Cripes
1 month ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

Goodness, how many more times do we need to big ourselves up on this weary story that we provided a whole Chinook to help a French-led operation? Fact: The French Army is considerably larger and arguably better-equipped than our puny 4 brigades Fact: The French Air Force has nearly twice as many fast jet combat aircraft as the depleted RAF Why do we keep banging on about our Chinook helping out, it’s like we are pretending thar we have some great British military superioriy, when 3very serious defence watcher knows that our gorgeous numbers and kit have been cut to… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
1 month ago
Reply to  Cripes

Just FYI but the C-17’s have been used to support the French mission. 2x RAF C-17 transported French armour to Mali in 2013 at the start of the French mission and have been used subsequently to fly out support for the Chinook.

Not that its relevant to the discussion, but the RAF also had up to 3x Chinooks operating in Mali.

Cripes
Cripes
30 days ago

Great info GHF, thanks. Didn’t know that the C-17s had also played a part, it is an excellent asset and only wish we had a few more of them. I was getting a bit irascible about this weary Chinook story! It is really Boris who is getting up my nose, with us supposedly projecting power to Indo-Pacific, pledging support to Estonia and now Finland and Sweden, etc. But with what? We barely have the force levels now to conduct the most minor campaign, and then only against a second ot third rate power. The support we can provide to NATO… Read more »

Stephen Davis
Stephen Davis
1 month ago

With recent experience in supporting Ukraine, we should be considering buying more, not having less (or none at all in this case). Superbly reasoned argument that I only hope those in authority will listen to.

Andrew D
Andrew D
1 month ago
Reply to  Stephen Davis

Never work’s Stephen sadly 📢 😕

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago

Is there any merit in replacing the C130s with a dozen of these?
https://www.airbus.com/en/products-services/defence/military-aircraft/c295

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

A few people above are saying similar. Argument is; High-med-low mix is required, so C17+A400+C295.
Plenty of merit to the argument, cheaper platform ($44M each I believe) etc. Sell 20y.o. Hercs & buy brand spanking C295. May need some more A400 though to get balance right. idk.
Usual thing though. £.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Or perhaps the C27, it’s practically a baby Hercules, using the same engines too. But no, it’s A400 or C17 from here on in, heavy or very heavy lift. We can only assume Director Special Forces has made alternative arrangements, or is satisfied that A400 can take over ‘secret squirrel’ 47 Squadrons varied operations. I used to shoot with a 47 Squadron pilot about 20 years ago, he often used to have a quiet chuckle and say you wouldn’t believe where we landed on Monday etc etc, while obviously saying nothing, I hasten to add… It’s a matter of public… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Would replace what was lost with the HS146 and could do the MPA job for ‘coastal command’ ( though I know drones are in the frame to work with P8).
Just a thought. Just seem like a handy piece of kit.

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

One Main issue with the SF is they have been asked to support the C130s budget.
and the top brass that are moaning so much about the loss declined.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

That is a slippery slope argument if ever I heard one.

It sort of undermines the ‘if it flies it is RAF’ argument, don’t you think?

If it is RAF owned it is up to RAF to fund it……

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago

Cut a needed capability just after you have spent 100million extending its life to 2035. Just stupid and ill conceived savings that actual waste taxpayers money.

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Any idea of the value of airworthy C130s x 14 and suddenly that wasted money wasn’t a bad idea. or run them into the ground again

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

Agree it’s no waste of money if you run them till 2035, it’s a very clever spend, but spending 100million to put hours back in the airframes and then cutting them a couple of years later is the hight of crap planning and waste.

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
1 month ago

As long as they can be maintained air-worthy at a not-unreasonable cost then it makes much sense to keep them even as and additional reserve capability. I doubt it though as the current Government is more than happy to sell off our family silver.

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
1 month ago

The Government’s main mantra is to make money now, not consider the long term implications, capability gaps and future greater costs to reinstate such capability at short notice! We have them, they are a significant resource that can cater for unexpected needs, so keep them. The same with PPE and pandemic planning. The bean counters always insist that no it’ll never happen.

Laurence
Laurence
1 month ago

They could maintain a force of 12 and buy 3 more A400. I would also suggest keeping the 29 Typhoons that the RAF are going to (Reduce to produce) with 60% of there airframe life left would be a good idea as well.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago

Absolutely, and to put things more simple, the herc is a more expendable platform than the Atlas or C17, and therefore gives another option for planners. Reduction of options make a bad option seem feasible.

klonkie
klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

bring back the DC3 Mate! 👌Have a good weekend.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  klonkie

Ah maybe not as effective but looks good to have on your jump record card lol!!!!

Rob N
Rob N
1 month ago

Not a transport person but what is wrong about the Atlas taking the C130 role. Perhaps we should buy more Atlas planes. Or buy a new heavy lift helicopter. Do we really need C130?

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob N

I think the main issue is the Raf losing a third of its transport fleet. 14 A400 are not being bought to replace the 14 lost C130. There used to be 50 C130 in the RAF It has just lost the BAE 146 as well. So when something needs urgently taken 800 miles the only option is a A400 or C17. More fuel, more expensive running cost etc etc. now if that item needing moved is 4 people or a 100kg part of some machine the only option is a massive transport plane. Would be ok if they got replaced… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

To be fair, about 8 additional A400’s would replace the lost 13 C130’s in physical lift at least, though obviously, they can’t be in two places at once.

Also, our 8 C17’s and 22 A400’s alone, far exceed the airlift offered by the Cold War fleet of 50 C130K’s.

Only about 35 of them were ever available at any one time in the late 1980’s as age and very hard use started effecting serviceability and availability.

Andy thomson
Andy thomson
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

The initial buy of C130s in 1966 was actually 66 airframes of which xv208 was converted into a weather ship. 5 aircraft were lost in various incidents over time leaving 60 plus one, with 30 being stretched post the Falklands War because the shorter Mk1 could carry more weight that the volume allowed. As the aircraft were overloaded on a regular basis, the fleet increasingly began to reduce in size due to fatigue, which led to the C130 J purchase of 25 airframes. Suffice to say the reasons for the J were in the main all cockpit related. Flying at… Read more »

Richard A
Richard A
1 month ago

So we all agree that C130 should be kept. Any chance of getting a 100,000 signature petition so parliament have to look at it?

Chris Gooding
Chris Gooding
1 month ago

After spending 110 million giving these aircraft life beyond 2030. Why take them out of service. Under the current circumstances happening in Ukraine we shouldn’t be flippant. Keeping these aircraft in service till 2030+ is a no brainer. Thus is not saving money it is throwing it down the toilet. We are to quick to get rid off stuff before end of life. Same as our tranche 1 typhoons. These also should be upgraded. We also didn’t buy enough posidein maritime aircraft and the wedgetail E7.. 20 and 8 respectively would have been better. The F35B saga is also a… Read more »

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris Gooding

Ok some good points but some very bad points. 9 P8s ad still in production and can be add numbers like Australia does 3 E7s, seems low, But you have to look at what a AWACS role is with a 5th gen fighter, as the F35 has a more powerful radar set than the E3s. and the USA is replacing its E3s at a 3 to 1 ratio with E7. Tranche 1 Typhons have reached there electrical power limits and cannot be converted to Tran 3, it requires a complete rebuild, BAE quoted cheaper to buy new. C130s is a… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

The Sentry’s primary role was over the horizon threat detection. However, they have become increasingly obsolete in detecting and tracking low flying cruise missiles, the E7 Wedgetail solves that problem. Dropping the initial buy from 5 to 3 today does not make sense. But even towards the end of last year could we have imagined there would be a full scale war in Europe, involving a nuclear power. The then decision to cut the numbers would have been made based on a threat analysis. Is that analysis still valid? If Putin see his forces pushed out of Donbass, what will… Read more »

DJ
DJ
1 month ago
Reply to  DaveyB

I always thought 5 was a few short. With only 3, there is little scope to handle breakdowns, let alone sending one off half a world away to some conflict or other. Australia has 6, Turkey & S. Korea 4 each. I would have thought, with the carriers somewhat lacking in long range airborne radar, there would have been some plan to support them with the E7 (as far as possible). These things are very long ranged & have proven ability for crews to withstand 17+ hour operational flights (with inflight refueling).

Steve
Steve
1 month ago

It’s not all negative, it does seem that additional A400m might be on the cards. There are still some teething problems with the A400m, but ultimately i would expect them to exceed the c130 in most tasks.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Spot on.

bill masen
bill masen
1 month ago

I dont know much about aviation, but looking at the current political climate I would suggest we retain as much useable gear as possible.

johan
johan
1 month ago

Again the Knob Jockey who just points the thing and waves it around in the air has no understanding of how much its costing for him and his crew to be there. £ Per Mile on a Herc is higher than a A400. we love the herc but its a tool to move bulk items. RAF are up to something and maybe its an attempt to boost funding or switching platforms. Currently the Air Tanker surge fleet is available for cargo, there is a current White paper about the c130s and there cost per mile over a newer smaller platform… Read more »

klonkie
klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

HI Johan. it’s a good observation you made. Fr me though it’s the cut in the number of assets. I’d be relaxed if they committed to a one fr one replacemetr of the C130J with A400 at the same time.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  klonkie

Exactly this. It’s the usual cuts. DSF tasks require dedicated or near dedicated assets.
A buy of something to compensate alleviates matters.
As it is, fewer have to do more, as usual.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  klonkie

Hi Klonkie, I see that the RNAZF chose the new Hercules over others. Maybe it was easier just to keep the logistics supply chains they already had? Surprised that they wouldn’t have wanted to upgrade to the Atlas and even to get a couple of C-17s.

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Possibly some economies of scale with the RAAF C130 j?

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

Vehicles are getting heavier too. Even a JLTV is coming in at 10 tonnes, so carrying two in a C-130J seems like it would be a problem.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

It’s a cut. If I decide the 3 of the smaller work vans out of a fleet of 10 are no longer up to the job tasked to them, I don’t get rid of them with no replacements unless I can manage with 7 left. That’s one issue it is never made clear why they are downsizing fleet numbers. Now if they said the army is shrinking and we carry half the amount of loads we used to people would understand why the reduction is happening. Or if it was put the A400 is the future and we can do… Read more »

Bob
Bob
1 month ago

If nothing else, a few need to be retained for SF use.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

Supposedly it’s not much cheaper to keep a fleet of a few versus the 14. You still have the training on separate type, spares, maintenance etc etc. So the thinking being that the real savings come from cutting a aircraft type not reducing the numbers.
How other countries manage with smaller fleets of multiple types on a much smaller budget than the U.K. I don’t know

Bob
Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Don’t get me wrong, I would rather we kept the 14.

Sooty
Sooty
1 month ago

Agree 100% with this. Maybe the politicians will actually take notice, its only common sense.

liam
liam
1 month ago

Spend millions on an upgrade then retire. The MOD is incompetent.

Andrew D
Andrew D
1 month ago

Are our MPS drunk when decisions are made 🍺🍷🍸😕

Andy
Andy
1 month ago

This is one of those teeth to tail issues. Nowhere in the article does the writer say what he would cut to pay for keeping the Hercs. Would you rather keep the Hercules, or buy more F-35? That’s the sort of choice we are talking about.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy

Now stop that common sense stuff right now you.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy

Keep the Hercs. Easy decision.

A military is based on its enablers, not the fancy stuff that blows shit up.

Andy
Andy
1 month ago

You didn’t make a decision – scrap what to pay for them? A squadron of Typhoons (there are only 7)?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy

You suggested by less F35 to keep the Hercs.

I agreed.

Cripes
Cripes
30 days ago
Reply to  Andy

There are only 5 operstional/front-line Typhoon sgns…

Grizzler
Grizzler
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy

I have to say surely thats rubbish

TR
TR
1 month ago

Maces no sense to retire the C130Js they’ve just had money spent on them to prolong their life, Ukraine has shown the importance of logistics now is not the time to be making defence cuts.

AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago

They should buy C-27J it is a smaller C-130 with 2 of the same engines and for short take off and landing can go to much more limited landing sites .

It has been very useful in Australia for supplying population in natural disasters.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago

This might be nuts but I was hoping for a daring-do SF mission with these Hercs to rescue the last remaining fighters out of Mariupol steel site! Several very big distractions and counter-attacks against the Russian forces required though! Do we know if there are any remaining forces in the steel plant?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

It is nuts.😀
What happens if our extraction force engages the Russians?

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Absolute ginormous bag of nuts, of all types, to include monkey…..that’s how nuts your idea is mate. ;0)

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

That’s two more votes!! But…motion dismissed…lol!
Seen some information on Russians getting a bit low (again) stealing grain bound for other needy countries from trapped ships at berth. They really need some Brimstones up their arses!! Sounds very tough going for the Ukrainian’s in the Donbas region. Hope that new weapons and supplies can help them turn the tide.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Here’s hoping mate! Those marauding rapists need a lesson in how to behave, and although they are making very slow (typically in Russian overwhelming dumb firepower, to make up for lack of skill way) headway against the Ukrainians, the Ukrainians are happy to lose land and not men, as losing the land you have the men left to regain it, losing both you are fooked! Methinks the Russkie nonce head shed Pooptin will be happy with the Donbas and call it a victory, as an excuse to end ex! Putin has shown to the west that the Russian bear is… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

Love to see Ukraine make some real gains soon but easier said than done and you’re right they have to fight smart with what they have and minimise casualtues and losses and falling as prisoners. Hope the new weapons coming online will make a real difference on the battlefield. Its also been a while since a major naval vessel has been sunk. Fed up hearing Putin lecturing the West on not upping the supplies, seriously, he can bloody talk! Their brick headed behaviour and self justifying talk is staggering. Hope he gets blown to pieces even by his own forces,… Read more »

Cripes
Cripes
30 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

😀

Christopher Allen
Christopher Allen
1 month ago

Anybody seen this

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/05/27/us-threatens-limit-intelligence-cooperation-row-britains-secret/

I hope Kwarteng blocks the takeover, if it offends the Americans who cares. Our relationship with the US should be based on mutual respect, not on how useful we can be to helping the US push its foreign policy, which still seems the case many years after Bush and Blair.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago

Yes, saw that.

Baseless threats. Their intelligence apparatus is so entwined with ours ( and CAN,AUS,NZ ) that it immediately impacts them too.

GCHQ carries out more data mining and interception of meta data than NSA, and has access to key cables. Goodybe to that take then.

Goodbye to Menwith Hill and their access to our overseas SIGINT sites like Ascension and Cyprus.

When NSAs computers at Mead crashed Cheltenham ran the show for a time.

Agree with you, it’s infuriating.

Whlgrubber
Whlgrubber
1 month ago

An excellent assessment. In total agreement.

Bill
Bill
1 month ago

Only a fool would bin these aircraft early. Unfortunately this hapless government and the MOD have never been short of fools.

Tams
Tams
1 month ago

The C-130J gap is concerning, especially as we haven’t got enough A400Ms. If we had more, then I think that make up for it well enough.

The BAe 146’s on the other hand… are being replaced with joyrides for ministers. In an ideal world, after being rid of this joke of a government, we’d contract BAE to an updated 146.

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 month ago

I suspect most on this site want to keep RAF C-130J in some form. I note Germany has more A400M than the UK, yet has bought 6 C-130 for joint special forces with France.
I think the UK should keep 6 of its best C-130J & add 3 more A400M, to go to the 25 of the original plan.

UKvoter
UKvoter
1 month ago

I really hope the govt opens its eyes to the threats we are facing in this new world and increases the defence budget to 3% GDP.
We have to stop the rot and this would be the perfect time to increase the budget, boost the British defence industry and exports and conduct some amazing research into high tech which can be commercialised in the UK.
Defence is the first duty of govt. Everything else must come second. The govt needs to come out and say this. We cannot operate the British military properly on a 2% Gdp budget.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  UKvoter

No argument from me or most on here, 3% GDP, ringfenced and set in stone on defence.

No signs as yet the government will change anything, Labour ( obviously) said they would increase spending, but they will claim black is actually white if it seems popular….

The reality is Labour would probably do nothing either….

Last edited 1 month ago by John Clark
nonsense
nonsense
1 month ago
Reply to  UKvoter

No, a new world calls for a reduction of at least 1% gdp. This is not a world that needs an army to maintain an ineffective size.

Ian White
Ian White
1 month ago

The invasion by Russia of Ukraine has changed everything in defense planning and keeping the C130 is a first step in response to the invasion. I am a bit surprised the MOD has not said so already.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian White

It’s an interesting point though. Day 1 of the invasion and the west woke up from its defence nap and realised they didn’t have the capability they thought was needed to counter Russia. A couple of months in and that equation has swing the other way, I would guess many nations are now thinking we can cut further as Russia is now a shadow of themselves. The eastern block of the NATO border are probably still worried and arming but the bigger nations are probably thinking again. For example I wonder if the German defense boost will last. Saying that… Read more »

David
David
1 month ago

There are reports that additional A400s will be purchased. The C130 fleet should be kept until those additional A400s are delivered – at least 1
0…..

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  David

The report was oddly drafted, it was drafted like the plan is to but another airframe rather than another batch. Hard to tell.

Ian Skinner
Ian Skinner
1 month ago

It seems particularly bizarre in the light of additional orders for A400Ms

Mike Setterfield
Mike Setterfield
1 month ago

Standard short term merit dictated by finance. Agree with sentiments entirely. Will we ever learn that visible strength is key to maintaining peace.

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
1 month ago

As Johan has mentioned A400 is cheaper to run and Tanker fleet are available for lesser loads, logistics evolve, we should be looking forward not back.

Cripes
Cripes
30 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

C-130j is far better for short, austere landing sites, so ideal for COIN, SF and general light infantry landings in hostile territory. That is about all the UK is now capable of, with its tiny army, so C-130 is a valuable asset. The only reason they are being scrapped/mothballed/sold off is to save money, through having fewer air and ground crew on the payroll. Same as all the other cuts over the last 12 years, all about cutting public expenditure to enable HMG to.offer tax cuts at the next election, little to do with the defence need. When we talk… Read more »

Lusty
Lusty
30 days ago
Reply to  Cripes

It is worth noting that the original aspiration for the A400M order was for 25 airframes, rather than 22. One wonders if buying the additional 3 will be the trade-off for cutting the remaining Herc fleet.

Assuming OkamsRazor based their calculations off the airframes in service, the additional 2 plus an uplift of 3 would retain the kg*km capacity at least.

I can see some of the logistical requirements being shifted over to the tanker fleet or other contracted providers.

However, as some will point out: numbers, numbers, numbers.

Last edited 30 days ago by Lusty
OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
1 month ago

An excellent reply to this very question was given by SB; It is a little bit more nuanced than that. Standard payload on a C130J is 15,000kg and at that payload range is 3,300km Standard payload on a A400M is 30,000kg with a range of 4,500km. The operational parameter that is critical is kg*km. In this respect an A400M is almost 3x better than a C130J. So buying 5x A400M would keep the same kg*km of RAF transport fleet at parity and adding 7 would increase it. C130J Payload = 15,000 Range = 3,300 kg*km = 49,500,000 A400M Payload =… Read more »

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
1 month ago

Another comment re lift alternatives;
My contacts within the AT community seem optimistic about what A400 can deliver bearing in mind in some scenarios the investment in CH47G can substitute for C130 also.
Budgets are budgets and even in the post ISDR world of additional money available there are limits to what’s possible and some capabilities are being lost to be replaced by what the Staffs believe is more worthwhile for the modern battle space and within the new U.K. deployment contexts. A400M despite its bad early press and limitations is coming good too.

Cripes
Cripes
30 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

A400 is OK as a medium transport asset to carry vehicles and equipment to the combat zone. It is not a tactical transport, can’t do the austere short landings on rough strips. Despite trials and tests to prove otherwise, it is not a natural for airborne desantes. It is also jolly expensive. And no way do the remaining 2 on order and 2 Falcon biz jets replace 18-20 Hercs and BAE 146s which are being lost. It is basically an arbitrary 25% cut in air transport capability imposed by HMG. RAF transport numbers will fall from 55 to 39, for… Read more »

Klonkie
Klonkie
30 days ago
Reply to  Cripes

and therein lies the rub, as you point out- numbers, or the lack thereof

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
29 days ago
Reply to  Cripes

Exactly. A HM Treasury CUT.