The US are in the process of acquiring a former C-130J from the Royal Air Force to replace the older KC-130T ‘Fat Albert’ for US Navy Blue Angels aerobatic team support duties.

According to a statement, the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) intends to negotiate and award a sole source contract with the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence, Whitehall, London, United Kingdom for the procurement of one C-130J.

According to the statement:

“The Government requires a suitable replacement aircraft, which must be delivered in an expeditious manner, to avoid a gap in logistical support of the Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron. The aircraft being procured from the UK MOD has the requisite amount of life and technical capability to support the Blue Angels mission. Procurement of a comparable replacement C-130J from any source other than the UK MOD would create an unacceptable increase in program cost and delay in fielding this critical capability.

This notice of intent is not a request for competitive proposals. Interested parties, however, may identify their interest and capability by responding to this requirement. The Government will consider all capability information received prior to the closing date of this synopsis. Information received will normally be considered solely for the purpose of determining whether to conduct a competitive procurement.”

The UK is withdrawing the shorter C5 variant of the C-130J as the A400M fleet come into service.

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Daniele Mandelli

22 Atlas.
14 Stretched C130J retained.
8 C17
Plus 14 Voyager ( 9 full time ) which can be used for Troop Transport.

I think we are in a pretty good place AT wise.

Need the C130’s to stay retained for use with UKSF and not cut after all as pledged in 2015SDSR.

Geoffrey Roach

Agree with you 100 per cent. I’m just writing up another paper for submission included in which is a section on strike mobility which is the way I see all of the services going. we have to start thinking in a new way.

Daniele Mandelli

See……I am positive sometimes!


Hopefully at a cost of more than at least the value of the spares ,but probably not.Surely the yanks have got something we can just swap it for.

Daniele Mandelli

Any ideas?


A P8 lol

Andy G

Its an export triumph and a FMS to the US.


A v22 Osprey would be my favourite swap. Even if it was only a loan for 6 months so we could do flight trials for it on HMSQE.

Daniele Mandelli



Paul – By the Summer there will be USMC Ospreys flying off the QE while F-35B aircraft are gaining certification. They sort of come with a Squadron of USMC F-35s ….


we could swap it for mmmmmmmm maybe a spare wheel for an F35??

[…] post US Navy to acquire a former RAF C-130J for Blue Angels support appeared first on UK Defence […]


Flog them all back and stop pretending the wee UK air force is something to be feart. It’s smaller than other Euro air forces and tiny in comparison to others about the globe.


We are feart!


It may be small but it’s still the best in the world as it’s manpower are all volunteers and highly skilled. Unlike other ‘major’ airforces that may be volunteers but are more than a little stupid and do not have tha ability to think!! If it’s not something to be feared then why is it so respected by people who know what they are talking about?

Daniele Mandelli



peder – Ah careful now Jock you just let us know you’re a Scot Soft Lad.

Our ‘wee military’ is rated 3rd out of 26 NATO countries (1st being USA and 2nd being France). So jog on you numptie and keep your trolling bullcrap to yourself.


It lists the U.K. RN as having 2 carriers, 13 frigates, 6 destroyers, 11 subs, 4 patrol craft and 15 mine warfare vessels. Obviously slightly old data and much of it makes sense, e.g. frigates, destroyers, subs, OPVs (assuming days of only Clyde + 3 x R1s) and MWVs but I’m struggling with the 2 carriers bit. No QECs are in service so I assume it’s not predicting those. If it’s data prior to Ocean’s sale then that’s one (helicopter carriers do count in these guys’ carrier classification) but the other? If it’s the Albions then why isn’t that 3… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Julian we agree again.

RFA, SSN, Airlift, UKSF, Chinooks as just examples.

Biggest one for me is our cyber and intelligence capabilities with the UKUSA Sigint Alliance, or 5 Eyes as it has become generally known.

How many of the French fleet of “frigates” are little more than Corvettes? I’m out of date with that area but from an old naval book I had many of them were.

One has to be very careful when comparing numbers like for like without detail as to what those assets entail.


Your fast declining wee UK can’t raise the cash. You’re down to 6 now and fast falling. Stop trying to pretend you’re something you’re not:

Daniele Mandelli

6th out of 133 listed!!!

Nothing pretend there sunshine.

I’m quite proud of that thank you.

Chris comment on 3rd above counted only NATO nations, which probably escaped you, so not down from anything.

Has the chip on your shoulder about the UK cooked yet?

Chris H

Danielle – Back of the Net …….

Paul T

Maybe a 9th or even a 10th C17 was considered before the production line was closed,but shouldn’t be an issue – if more capacity is needed then surely more Atlas can be bought.

Daniele Mandelli

I think we have other areas to worry over. This is not one of them.


for sure, UK has strategic lift capacity compared to all of the EU.

i don’t believe a400m’s can transport tanks.


If people are wondering what is driving the USN to buy a Second hand RAF C-130J to replace the KC-130T is is probably down to the cargo handling system. USN KC-130T use the Dash-4a cargo handling system, RAF C-130J unlike most that use the newer Enhanced Cargo Handling System (ECHS) use Dash-4a.

By buying a UK spec C-130J the Blue Angels don’t have to retrain their loaders on a different cargo handling system and use the same support equipment.

There is an interesting Pprune thread that explains the shenanigans:

Daniele Mandelli



Your fast declining wee UK can’t raise the cash. You’re down to 6 now and fast falling. Stop trying to pretend you’re something you’re not:

Daniele Mandelli

Why have you posted this twice?

Are you that desperate?

I debunked you further up the page.


(Chris H) Peder – you utter buffoon we have no problem ‘raising cash’ at all. In fact Bond Yields are at an all time low. Not that you would understand what that means. But maybe if you Jocks stopped sending your £15 Bn a year overdraft bill to us we wouldn’t have to ‘raise’ so much ‘cash’ as we do now. You 8% of the population manage to create some 30% of the UK’s deficit…. No ‘wee’ achievement that Jock!