The Navy Has Purchased The Blue Angels An Ex-Royal Air Drive C-130J To Substitute Fats Albert

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It is official, the Navy has sealed a $29.7 million deal for a second-hand C-130J Tremendous Hercules from the Royal Air Drive to exchange the Blue Angels’ beloved C-130T ‘Fats Albert’ transport. That plane was simply retired because it had reached the tip of its service life after spending the final 17 years with the workforce and flying over 30,000 hours in assist of loopy schedule. You’ll be able to learn all in regards to the bittersweet finish to this plane’s profession on this previous article of ours. However now we all know Fats Albert’s future truly appears to be like very brilliant as the excess C-130J will convey an entire new stage of efficiency to the Fats Albert routine and a far newer plane to shuffle the workforce round. 

The ex-Royal Air Drive C-130J being bought is what that service calls a C-130J C5. It’s the usual (brief) fuselage Tremendous Hercules configuration. The RAF intends to proceed working its fleet of stretched C-130J-30s. We have been among the many first to report on the Navy’s plan to amass the RAF C-130J for the workforce again in March on 2018. We famous the next on the time:

In response to our mates over at Flightglobal.com, the RAF intends to function their 14 C-130J-30 airframes that function stretched fuselages by way of 2035, however their short-fuselage C-130J fashions, referred to as C-130J C5s, have been positioned in storage:

“In a controversial transfer, the UK authorities’s Strategic Defence and Safety Assessment of 2010 proposed eradicating the RAF’s whole C-130J fleet from service. However with the service dealing with a looming tactical airlift shortfall and delays to the introduction of tactical capabilities for its incoming Airbus Defence & Area A400M Atlas, this determination was partially reversed in its 2015 assessment, which recognized a have to retain 14 Hercules.

Flight Fleets Analyzer exhibits the RAF’s C4-model C-130Js as being aged between 17 and 21 years. Its short-fuselage C5-standard examples have already been retired from use or positioned in storage. The UK acquired an unique 25 “Tremendous Hercules”, with one having been destroyed after sustaining injury from an improvised explosive system on touchdown at a distant airstrip in Iraq in 2007.”

USN
Essentially the most iconic C-130 on Earth, C-130T Fats Albert poses over some attractive Montana terrain.

Up till in the present day, it appeared as if the deal for the used Tremendous Hercules was doubtful as little had been heard of it even because the workforce’s well-known C-130T was being flown off to its last resting place. An official assertion from Naval Air Programs Command reads:

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The Navy introduced award of the Naval Flight Demonstration Squadron’s new “Fats Albert,” the Blue Angels’ logistics cargo aircraft, June 13.

Scheduled for supply in spring 2020, the $29.7 million contract was awarded to the UK Ministry of Defence (UK MOD) for a divested C-130J Tremendous Hercules. Price financial savings related to acquisition of the used plane and different airworthiness necessities is roughly $50 million lower than the price of a brand new plane. 

“This can be a win-win for the U.S. Navy and the UK Ministry of Defence,” stated Capt. Steven Nassau, PMA-207 program supervisor.  “Simply because the Navy acknowledged the approaching want to exchange the Fats Albert plane, the UK MOD was divesting of an American made, C-130J; plane permitting us to amass an appropriate substitute plane at a significant value financial savings.”

In March 2018, PMA-207 acquired congressional approval to proceed with acquisition of the UK MOD C-130J with funding from International Army Gross sales proceeds.  

The final devoted Fats Albert, a C-130T Hercules, retired Could 2019 and now serves as a ground-based coaching platform in Fort Price, Texas. Naval Flight Demonstration Squadron will proceed flying Navy or Marine Corps C-130 Hercules property till the substitute plane is full.

RAF/Crown Copyright
RAF C-130J.

With a supply date set for spring of 2020, it units the workforce up for a 2021 season that might function a brand new major mount—the F/A-18E/F Tremendous Hornet—in addition to an upgraded Fats Albert transport, each of which may even include considerably reformulated routines. The C-130J can do some superb issues in the suitable palms. You’ll be able to learn all in regards to the Blue Angels plans to transform to the Tremendous Hornet right here. 

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All stated, this looks like a fantastic deal. The Marines do not take successful by having to surrender considered one of their prized KC-130Js, whereas on the similar time the Blues get an improve and the Navy does not must shell out roughly $75 million for a model new airframe. On high of all that, America’s closest ally will get to unload an airframe it not needs.

Discuss a second shot at life for an airplane! That C-130J will find yourself being probably the most noticeable and seen Hercules on the planet will signify the USMC in entrance of tens of millions of individuals for years to return. 

2021 cannot come quickly sufficient!

Contact the creator: Tyler@thedrive.com

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