The US Navy have ordered a new ‘Fat Albert’ Blue Angels logistics aircraft from the UK, in the form of a used C-130J.
Scheduled for delivery in spring 2020, the $29.7 million contract was awarded to the Ministry of Defence on June the 13th for a divested C-130J Super Hercules.
The US Navy said in a statement that cost savings associated with acquisition of the used aircraft and other airworthiness requirements is approximately $50 million less than the cost of a new aircraft.
“This is a win-win for the U.S. Navy and the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence,” said Capt. Steven Nassau, PMA-207 program manager.
“Just as the Navy recognized the imminent need to replace the Fat Albert aircraft, the UK MOD was divesting of an American made, C-130J; aircraft allowing us to acquire a suitable replacement aircraft at a major cost savings.”
We reported in March 2018 that congressional approval was granted to proceed with acquisition of the British C-130J with funding from Foreign Military Sales proceeds.
According to the US Navy, the last dedicated Fat Albert, a C-130T Hercules, retired in May 2019 and now serves as a ground-based training platform in Fort Worth, Texas.
It is understood that the Naval Flight Demonstration Squadron will continue flying Navy or Marine Corps C-130 Hercules assets until the delivery of the replacement aircraft is complete.