Royal Air Force [RAF] discussions and updates

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
A good news story for the Royal Air Force, showing the increased capability long term of Typhoon. This is ahead what are widely touted to be large cuts to various areas of UK military, with a large emphasis on domestic industries.

It will be very interesting to see what comes out shortly.
That's a good capability addition to the Typhoon. That make them Daesh fullas ears ring in the cave.
 

Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member
According to the Defence Command Paper released the week after the UK’s Integrated Review, the RAF’s one remaining short-bodied C-130J C5 and 13 long-bodied C-130J-30 C4 variant Hercules airlifters are to be withdrawn from service in 2023, some 12 years earlier than planned.

Such a waste, the C-130J is still a quite new aircraft, with the first delivered in 1999 to the RAF. But i expect there will be enough airforces willing to take over this Hercules fleet.

 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
According to the Defence Command Paper released the week after the UK’s Integrated Review, the RAF’s one remaining short-bodied C-130J C5 and 13 long-bodied C-130J-30 C4 variant Hercules airlifters are to be withdrawn from service in 2023, some 12 years earlier than planned.

Such a waste, the C-130J is still a quite new aircraft, with the first delivered in 1999 to the RAF. But i expect there will be enough airforces willing to take over this Hercules fleet.

I don't know if they'll be any good. The RAF will have thrashed them, so I suspect that the airframe hours will be high.
 

Terran

Active Member
They are about about 20 years old now, but C130s are long lived birds with an active production and ability to be refurbished. One of the first retired C130Js was bought up by the USN for use as part of the Blue angels. The new Fat Albert. Not to be confused with the old Fat Albert. Kidding.
Given how quickly they are transitioning them out of service it likely is that they will still be in working condition. If not than spare parts.
Part of this I think makes some sense. C130 series even the J30 have a limited envelope of cargo they are able to carry. If it’s para infantry with maybe a couple Light utility vehicles than C130 is fine. If it’s just freight okay. But armor is a no go. With a larger number of A400M types much of the spectrum of missions for C130J is venn diagramed.
Short take off an landing rough field, light to medium cargo. But A400M can also do something C130J can’t haul the coming Boxers and other heavy medium weight vehicles along with C17.
 

A4scooter

New Member
Reading an article on the Dutch Air Force Hercules replacement, they have already rejected the A400 as its "less operationally agile", which I presume means its too big for many of the tasks.
Other A400 operators obviously think the same as the Germans intend to keep the C130, the French also intend to keep the C130 & also operate the C235M, Spain, Turkey and Malaysia also operate the C235M
What has changed after the decision was made to keep the Hercules in service until 2035?
I'm sure there is a market for 2nd hand RAF C130s especially after fitting of new centre wings, but in a volatile world, politically and environmentally & with the UK commitment to Pacific operations why would we want to reduce our transport fleet?
Unless the Hercules is replaced with A400 or another type, the fleet isn’t been modernised it’s been cut.
 

MrConservative

Super Moderator
Staff member
I don't know if they'll be any good. The RAF will have thrashed them, so I suspect that the airframe hours will be high.
Generally the J-30 C4 model was used more in the strategic bridge role by the RAF rather than the C5 which weighted more to the medium tactical. The C5's that the RAF flew did get a lot of use in their first decade due to the combat tempo. The fleet airframe hours averaged around 550 per annum so within parameters. I would say that with around 10000 - 12000 hours into their lifecycle and following the SLEP at Marshalls another 20-25 years for these J-30 C4 model very much doable.

IIRC ten C5's were offered to the French including a comprehensive SLEP, spares and support through Marshalls for Eur500m a few years ago. They did not bite, but Bangladesh has taken five and Bahrain a couple. I guess they will be back for more.
 

MrConservative

Super Moderator
Staff member
Unless the Hercules is replaced with A400 or another type, the fleet isn’t been modernised it’s been cut.
I can see it now. True to form the headline following the 2026 UK Strategic Defence Review will probably go something along the lines that the RAF now desperately requires the C-130 capability again as the A400M will be found to be less satisfactory than envisaged in the support of an expanded special forces and special operations emphasis now placed on her Majesties Armed forces.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
Reading an article on the Dutch Air Force Hercules replacement, they have already rejected the A400 as its "less operationally agile", which I presume means its too big for many of the tasks.
Other A400 operators obviously think the same as the Germans intend to keep the C130, the French also intend to keep the C130 & also operate the C235M, Spain, Turkey and Malaysia also operate the C235M
What has changed after the decision was made to keep the Hercules in service until 2035?

Unless the Hercules is replaced with A400 or another type, the fleet isn’t been modernised it’s been cut.
Yes, just about every A400M user except (now) the UK decided early on that there were roles for which something smaller is needed. A lot are keeping a reduced number of C-130, often including tankers for helicopter refuelling, some also see a need for something smaller still.

I note that not only A400M users think that there are roles for transports smaller than the C-130 - see the RAAF, with its 3-tier transport fleet with the C-130 in the middle.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
I wonder how the KC-390 will fare wrt to customers thinking about C-130 renewal. The A400M should have been the solution albeit perhaps too large for some customers. Have to wonder about how successful the Boeing hook-up would have been for the KC-390?
 
What will be the future strenght of the RAF in this decade after future cuts in Thyphoon and f35b orders, 120-150 fighters ?
The f35,s shared with R.N.
C130,s retired
Cuts in AWACS to only 3.

In my opinión these are not enough numbers for a credible deterrent.
Spain and Italy for exámple will have more fighters available, not to mentión France.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
The RAF may only be getting 3 E-7As but the Crews are getting the best training available, including RAF personnel taking command for several Missions.
 

StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member
Reading an article on the Dutch Air Force Hercules replacement, they have already rejected the A400 as its "less operationally agile", which I presume means its too big for many of the tasks.
Other A400 operators obviously think the same as the Germans intend to keep the C130, the French also intend to keep the C130 & also operate the C235M, Spain, Turkey and Malaysia also operate the C235M
What has changed after the decision was made to keep the Hercules in service until 2035?
I'm sure there is a market for 2nd hand RAF C130s especially after fitting of new centre wings, but in a volatile world, politically and environmentally & with the UK commitment to Pacific operations why would we want to reduce our transport fleet?
Unless the Hercules is replaced with A400 or another type, the fleet isn’t been modernised it’s been cut.

It's a peculiar announcement as it'd always been understood that the 130's were key to UK SFOR requirements as they could get in and out of smaller spaces than A400M. I'm wondering what's changed ? Or are we looking at at totally unexpected order for a dozen or so Osprey ?
 

t68

Well-Known Member
It's a peculiar announcement as it'd always been understood that the 130's were key to UK SFOR requirements as they could get in and out of smaller spaces than A400M. I'm wondering what's changed ? Or are we looking at at totally unexpected order for a dozen or so Osprey ?
You would know better than me,but I imagine it’s a cost saving move

Most likely cheaper to recondition to aircraft than buy new one would think, what’s the going price for Osprey these days?
 

Terran

Active Member
Osprey is expensive but also fills a whole other role. I mean I think the UK should buy V22 but for the RNFAA. In function it overlaps with Merlin except faster and longer range. Perfect to compliment the Queen Elizabeth class.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Osprey is expensive but also fills a whole other role. I mean I think the UK should buy V22 but for the RNFAA. In function it overlaps with Merlin except faster and longer range. Perfect to compliment the Queen Elizabeth class.
Would give the QEs a decent COD capability, one thing the Merlin can’t do is lift the F-35 Engine power module.
 

Terran

Active Member
Would give the QEs a decent COD capability, one thing the Merlin can’t do is lift the F-35 Engine power module.
COD and CSAR are established. There has been work on a roll on tanking capabilities and potential for a AEW. Casevac to. It’s not just then engine either. V22 from the factory has an air to air refueling receiver. That means almost unlimited range. Plus without need to trap it can operate in conjecture with most decks. Sure it might not be able to operate regularly off a RN destroyer but it can drop cargo on the deck.
 

StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member
You would know better than me,but I imagine it’s a cost saving move

Most likely cheaper to recondition to aircraft than buy new one would think, what’s the going price for Osprey these days?

I admit Osprey is a very wild card option but thing is, the C130's were vital for UK SFOR - and they are usually very high priority - getting them on and off task is usually top of the list. I suspect you're right, and it is a cost saving measure - but it's an odd one.
 
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