I know it sounds strange, but there is a huge reform process currently undergoing in european air forces.So first they retire and sell all the C-130Js in the fleet, and then the United Kingdom has scrapped plans to acquire additional Airbus A400M Atlas airlifters, saying it is no longer affordable.
It is not only UK that is reluctant to invest in more transport planes, but also Germany, France, Italy and Spain ( and it is not due to the a400m, because Italy doesnt operate it ).
The point is that with the integration of European railroads and highways, many air forces found their cargo fleet to be bigger than their needs.
Take Italy, for example. Their fleet is currently based on KC767, C130 and C27.
Official documents and reports from the air force are that the C27 fleet will be totally converted into Spec-ops support planes ( EW, gunships...).
The C130s fleet will be reduced ( 4 planes will be sold to Sweden and 2/4 will be retired within 2024 ).
The answer to what seems a nonsense is kinda simple.
EATC. European Air Transport Command - Wikipedia
European countries currently operates more planes than they need.
I know UK isnt in EATC, but my post was more about a common policy in European air forces, and their backbone Is a400m...