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MoD wants to lease more C-130J's

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MoD wants to lease more C-130J's

Old 7th Mar 2009, 10:18
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MoD wants to lease more C-130J's

By Douglas Barrie

LONDON – Britain is considering leasing up to five additional Lockheed
Martin C-130J Hercules to help plug the capability gap left by continuing
problems with the European Airbus Military A400M.
The United Kingdom is interested in taking more C-130Js by 2012, which
likely means it will need to conclude an agreement this year if the
in-service date target is to be met. The Royal Air Force (RAF) earlier
ordered 25 C-130Js, with deliveries beginning in 1999. All but a handful of
the RAF’s aging C-130Ks are due to be retired by 2012.
Alongside a C-130J lease, the ministry is further considering adding to its
six-aircraft fleet of Boeing C-17s to provide additional airlift.
RAF airlift is under strain due to having to sustain the air bridge between
Britain and Afghanistan in support of the 8,000 military personnel deployed
to combat operations there. Delays in the A400M program are only
exacerbating the issue.
Senior British Defense Ministry officials are believed to have met March 4
to examine proposals for the ministry’s next round of funding, known as
Planning Round 09. The need for additional airlift may have been one of the
considerations addressed during the meeting.
The British debate comes as the French government also is looking at
gapfiller options to avoid a tactical airlift shortage resulting from delays
with A400M (Aerospace DAILY, March 4).

-------------------

Isn't this lease to basically plug the gap of attrition from the airframes lost which have never been replaced?
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Old 7th Mar 2009, 11:01
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Lease! Words fail me, you think these idiots would have learnt from the C17 lease, it would have been far cheaper to buy in the first place rather than lease.
 
Old 7th Mar 2009, 11:24
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You bet me to it, Rigger
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Old 7th Mar 2009, 11:36
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Just buy 5 more C130Js, fully specced from LM, to replace the SFC130Ks.

This will allow the remaining C130Js to be left in the general AT pool.

Leasing - what a waste of money. Buy them NOW - A400M is all but dead in the water.
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Old 7th Mar 2009, 12:12
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Leasing extra -130Js comes straight from the same mealy-mouthed politcos handbook as the original C17 lease. In effect, Airbus will have lobbied influential European politicians, who in turn lobby our Govt, to make it clear that the "lease" does not impact committment to A400 (as if a major buyer pulls out it could pressage a stampede...); hence we only need to borrow a gap filler, not replace a capability. In addition, the lease has a convenient effect on the Finances. Leased aircraft do not attract cost to capital charges, and the lease rate per annum will be more acceptable than the capital cost of purchase, particularly as the budget is broken over the next 5+ years. So, in politician world, they can brag about increasing AT lift in Theatre, keep within the Defence Budget provision and keep Europhiles and Airbus happy. Oh, and wait to expose the REAL cost of doing this (a la C17) after the next election....
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Old 7th Mar 2009, 12:53
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So, how exactly are they going to build spare capacity wrt sims for the extra crews that 5 jets will require, or will the current crews be expected to man up and once again, do more with less?
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Old 7th Mar 2009, 13:13
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If this actually comes to fruition then hoorah. Leasing might not be the best deal in terms of value for money but a) I don't care - we need the aircraft and this is the only can get them then do it, and b) if we do this the way the we did the C17 then we these things could be on the line in no time at all. Buying the aircraft just sends all the wrong messages to all the europhiles in govt - this is probably the only way we're going to get anything so crack on.

They'd be US spec and as such would be operated as a mini-fleet with, I suspect, crews only being qualified on one software level/aircraft.

VR - we've got people coming out of ears, it's aircraft we don't have.

WRT to sims I suspect that there would be a requirement to use sims that were running the same level of software although to be honest for run-of-the-mill stuff you'd be able to use the existing sims. The slightly more esoteric stuff would probably require use of foreign sims. No big deal really. Just needs a bit of lateral thought.
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Old 7th Mar 2009, 14:32
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Well, if we do go down the lease route, I hope for the crews sake they sort out some form of decent spares contract for them a la the Boeing contract.
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Old 7th Mar 2009, 14:40
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They'd be US spec and as such would be operated as a mini-fleet with, I suspect, crews only being qualified on one software level/aircraft.
Stopstart:-

I know of a good use for a 'mini-fleet' for a couple of years which would release 5 'standard' C130Js back to the airframe pool. Maybe even allow us to modify our own frames with a slighly reduced timescale.

Say 12 crews to operate 5 mini-fleet frames?

I wonder where we could get numbers like that in a hurry?

God knows - we could do with 5 more airframes in whatever shape or size at the moment!
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Old 7th Mar 2009, 15:05
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VR - you strike me as a glass half empty kinda chap

Truckkie - I can't imagine who you're referring to....

These things coming (if this were to ever come about) as standard US spec would save us enormous amount of faffing about - external tanks, comms, fast ramp, decent freight bay, higher spec software standard etc etc. Marvellous
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Old 7th Mar 2009, 19:42
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But would they meet TES and MAR?

And of course other assorted bullsh1t spouted by those individuals the decision doesn't favour - career wise.
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Old 7th Mar 2009, 20:35
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Getting a bit rusty but I picked up on the comment about 5 aircraft with standard USAF floors.

I was under the impression that the J models for the RAF had the standard floor and that you were using the B & P standard air delivery system.

Regards

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Old 8th Mar 2009, 10:22
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Trukkie

With 12 crews and 5 aircraft you are not planing on working the aircraft very hard!

Most airlines work with 6 or 7 crews per aircraft and have the things in the air for about 19 hours a day.

I don't know much about the way the military use the aircraft but in the transport role the aircraft utilisation seems very low by airline standards.
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Old 8th Mar 2009, 10:48
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A & C

That's because the C130 is a tactical transport aircraft, not a tin tube full of full of the beshellsuited masses... When deployed (ie. all the time) we generally work on a ratio of 1 crew per aircraft.

I don't know much about the way the military use the aircraft
Clearly
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Old 8th Mar 2009, 11:42
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Herkman,

brit floor is 'E' model standard. No underfloor winch, no ECHS, no intergrated CVR etc, etc. Our finest military brains were involved with procuring the J hence no external tanks either...genius!! Oh, and -4A was only an afterthought, we very nearly ended up with skydel.

GM
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Old 8th Mar 2009, 14:08
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Stoppers,

Maybe you should have also included that in theatre it's one crew per aircraft with the crew generally working 14 hrs on and 10 hrs off for up to 10 days in a row, see how that fits with his civilian model.
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Old 8th Mar 2009, 15:23
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Stopstart

If you are going to quote me please use the full paragraph and not just the bits to try to make yourself look clever.

It is clear that by civil standards the aircraft are under used, perhaps you should start to ask why when deployed on tactical tasks you only have one crew. It would seem to me that a valuble asset is sitting on the ground waiting for the crew to rest, brief and plan when if more crews are made avalable the aircraft could be working.

I think it is time for the RAF to have a hard look at the way it conducts business and suspect that the one crew per aircraft attitude started when the air force had a lot of aircraft, now it is due to the critical overstreach in manpower that I see when ever I talk to guys I know in the RAF.
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Old 8th Mar 2009, 16:25
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It is clear that by civil standards the aircraft are under used, perhaps you should start to ask why when deployed on tactical tasks you only have one crew. It would seem to me that a valuble asset is sitting on the ground waiting for the crew to rest, brief and plan when if more crews are made avalable the aircraft could be working.
Aircraft requires refuelling, servicing, minor (and sometimes major) rectification, re-arming and re-roling.

While the crew is 'resting' all this is carried out by only a few engineers who also have maybe 3 or 4 other frames to look after.

Unfortunately we don't have the luxury of pitching up an hour before to a fully prepped aircraft, with all our planning done by a despatch system, with only a black leather flight bag, to monitor the autopilot for 10 hours before relaxing in a hotel for 3 days.

One crew, one airframe works well for tactical ops as a lot of the time the crew have to live in the back of the aircraft!

5 airframes would allow 4 to be used, with an in-theatre spare, or to allow one to be in deep servicing.

We have a better crew to airframe ratio for strategic ops - believe me our AT fleet is not sat around idle.

5 more C130Js would certainly help with both hub and spoke strat lift and relieve the pressure on the in-theatre tac airlift fleet.
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Old 8th Mar 2009, 17:01
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He does have a point though. Why work ourselves into an accident due to crap crew duty regs in theatre (not including rocket alarms, mid crew rest call outs, crap air con, noisy buggers in the corridor etc) when we COULD deploy more crews and have more crews at home if we had the facilities and manning to do it. IMHO, the J fleet is drastically undermanned when you bear in mind the Operational workload we are doing.
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Old 8th Mar 2009, 18:01
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Post #16

Which Herc do you think we are talking about?

Seems like you have got a mixture of "E", "H" & "K"!!!!
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