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-   -   RAF C-130J's to be retired early? (https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/638928-raf-c-130js-retired-early.html)

esscee 27th Feb 2021 15:33

RAF C-130J's to be retired early?
Not trying to start a slanging match or anything similar but it appears MOD is thinking about NOT keeping the J's until 2035. Well the good old bean counters think they can save spending on an upgrade by using those very noisy Airbus A-400's instead. As you can hear those A-400's even when they are at 25,000 ft, they are not going to be much use for carrying our troops from Hereford around in any "stealthy" manner are they.

Boeing Jet 27th Feb 2021 16:03

Half expected this to happen and not really surprised in todays climate, a really shame flew on these several times whilst in the air force. It has served many air forces worldwide in various roles, but hope it has a bit bit more time left in service in the UK!!

NRU74 27th Feb 2021 16:13

But the J’s not as fast as the A400 according to today’s Daily Mail article ‘Death of Hercules’ which puts its speed at 889 mph!
(Yes, I know I shouldn’t read such a rag)

Kilonovember52 27th Feb 2021 17:02

Expect the Herc to be gone by 2023 possibly 2025. All work on upgrades has been stopped

The...Bird 27th Feb 2021 17:18

The C-17's will do a much better job than the A400's so why not use them?

ExAscoteer2 27th Feb 2021 17:21

Madness, Utter madness. Albert was retained for the SF role. A400 and C17 cannot satisfy that role.

The...Bird 27th Feb 2021 17:31

Hopefully it doesn't go through and they realise the stupidity and insanity of it.

Kilonovember52 27th Feb 2021 17:34

I know someone who works within the Herc community at Brize. The expectation there is that the fleet will be chopped probably by 2023 not beyond 25.

pr00ne 27th Feb 2021 17:42

Rumours rumours rumours! None of you know the facts. Anybody would think this was a bloody rumour site...

Ken Scott 27th Feb 2021 18:00

The A400M is a good strat aircraft but has serious flaws with regard to the Tac environment. It would be a major error to withdraw the C130J before the Atlas has overcome its problems. If it ever does...

The B Word 27th Feb 2021 22:06

Looks alright to me...

BEagle 27th Feb 2021 22:37

The A400M is a good strat aircraft but has serious flaws with regard to the Tac environment.
Which are?

This is like the old 'J' vs. 'K' bolleaux of PPRuNe many years ago. Only even more absurd.....

ShotOne 28th Feb 2021 08:01

Bolleaux indeed; +one to that. C130 might be slightly quieter, but it’s hardly “stealthy”

throwaway1 28th Feb 2021 08:13

To oversimplify, J is a K with knobs on that never got cleared for the full gamut of capabilities that the legacy aircraft could perform. It is still a C-130 with decades of accumulated knowledge and experience to know what it can do, which is a lot! The A400m is a brand new aircraft designed by people who make fantastic airliners - and that is reflected in what happens up front and how well it performs in the bits that look like airliner ops - but the disconnect comes when airdrop or any military specific action is required. This is either because it simply hasn’t been released for use by Airbus yet in the block upgrades - for the sake of avoiding journos scraping things out of context I’ll avoid mentioning specifics - or because it simply hasn’t been tested and introduced as a feature.

There are - as always - two mindsets at work. One which simply assumes this new aircraft should do the same as the old aircraft but with bigger numbers. The second thinks we should reassess what the requirements for a TacAT / SF Support aircraft are, which will save cash in T&E, Training, Aircraft Fatigue etc. The first group - usually operators of previous types - will always slate the second as apologists for when the new aircraft can’t do a particular skill the old one could, but as time and tech progresses, will we need to have our A400M wazzing around at OLF (or even low level other than over the DZ) or dropping a multitude of different store types (of which only a ew ever get used)? The line is there somewhere but in n age where capability doesn’t trump cash and risk aversion is king, my money’s on the 400 being a Strat Airifter with some lite-tac capability as its cheaper and safer.

TBM-Legend 28th Feb 2021 08:18

Originally Posted by The B Word (Post 10998863)

So why does the A400M have a black radome when its peers worldwide seem to paint them in the aircraft colours? Seems odd!

Ken Scott 28th Feb 2021 08:44

Looks alright to me...

There’s a bit more to Tac flying than wazzing down the Mac Loop.

This is probably not the (open) forum for a discussion of the competing capabilities of the types.

sycamore 28th Feb 2021 10:18

Convert some to Tac 2/3 point tankers.....

ORAC 28th Feb 2021 10:51

The more difficult question is, if money and manpower for new kit requires something (as in a fleet with all costs in support it implies) has to go - what would you chop instead?

Other rumours indicating, of course, as usual, that the Puma fleet and RAF Regiment are also already on the possible chop list.....

throwaway1 28th Feb 2021 11:32

Purposefully being controversial: If A400M can carry most of what a C-17 does in terms of physical size and distance, and there are more of them, it might make sense to find savings in the aircraft whose remaining USP could be outsourced to a chartered Antonov on the odd occasion it’s required. This would have the secondary benefit of building up the A400M. I’m sure the what-if brigade will come along citing requirements for an organic outsize airlift capability in the event of situation X but is that any more of a watertight argument than the ones made by the C-130 guys but replace ‘outsize airlift’ with ‘specialist tactical airlift’?

The B Word 28th Feb 2021 11:38

Still looks good to me... :cool:

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