RAF Retiring C-130Js, Perhaps an Opportunity


The RAF is reportedly planning on premature retirement of its fleet of 24 C-130J transport aircraft, so that they will have a homogenous fleet of Airbus A400M transports.

The plan is the C-130J will be gradually withdrawn starting next year as the RAF ramps up operations of the first of 22 Airbus A400M airlifters, due to complete delivery by the end of 2018.

This might be an opportunity for the Coast Guard to replace the remaining H models that make up the majority of its C-130 fleet with the more capable J models, at much less than the cost of new aircraft.

4 thoughts on “RAF Retiring C-130Js, Perhaps an Opportunity

  1. An opportunity? Probably not. The RAF has worked these airframes hard in Afghanistan. A National Audit Office (NAO) report in 2008 identified significant problems arising from damage to the wings, underbelly and landing gear which would be very expensive to remedy in order to meet the planned out of service date of 2030. But the money isn’t there, nor the desire (the RAF is trying to consolidate on two transport types, one of which is definitely the A400M) and thus, the C130Js are going early, probably to the scrap yard.

    See the report here: http://www.nao.org.uk/report/ministry-of-defence-hercules-c-130-tactical-fixed-wing-airlift-capability/

    I suspect that the USCG really doesn’t want these birds.

    • They wont be retired until 2022. Even then they might keep a couple for Special operations. I would have to agree with MSR to some point. When they retire they will be do for a much needed refurbishment and midlife upgrade. Then I can see them going to a friendly county or two in need of the aircraft. But give the CG new aircraft, since they will be expected to last 50+ years.

      • We have a brand new SDSR coming up in the next parliament, so I wouldn’t bet belly button fluff on that 2022 date. There will be deep cuts after the election because there are still deep holes in the budget. There is a reason none of the major parties has promised anything about defence spending outside of the renewal of the deterrent.

        And who is going to pay for the refurb and upgrade of these aircraft? Any client country who can afford that can afford to buy new or nearly new, and everyone else will stick to buying smaller second-hand airbus military types.

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