Royal Australian Air Force [RAAF] News, Discussions and Updates

John Newman

The Bunker Group
It is actually a bit more complicated than that even. Here is the latest LockMart C-130J (& variants) brochure that I came across, it is about 32 pages.

The C-130J-30 is ~15 ft/4.6 m longer, so there is more volume available for cargo than a KC-130J, but it also has a higher empty weight and lower max cargo weight, albeit not by much (~300 lbs less).

Therefore, which Super Herc can carry 'more' depends on whether that 'more' is space or weight.

As an aside, it appears that there are variants of the aerial refueler that can provide a rapid ground refuel capability to support vehicles. That could open up some interesting opportunities for forward operating bases, expeditionary ops and potentially even HADR, in addition to the 'normal' support of fixed- and rotary-wing AAR.
Actually there is a bit more to it beyond what you wrote above (have a re-read of the spec sheet).

A C-130J-30 doesn’t normal carry the two underwing fuel tanks of previous models (it can but doesn’t come standard).

A KC-130J has both the two underwing fuel tanks of previous models, plus the two outboard refuelling pods.

A few years ago the RAAF started re-fitting those ‘missing’ fuel tanks:

 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Actually that’s not a completely accurate statement.

The current RAAF C-130J aircraft are the ‘stretched’ C-130J-30 fuselage (a 15ft stretch from memory?).

And from memory the KC-130J is based on the standard length fuselage, not the stretched fuselage.

So.....

From a pure ‘trash hauling’ point of view a KC-130J has ‘less’ cargo capacity compared to a C-130J-30.

Not trying to be picky, just accurate, ok?
Thanks John, didn't realise the KC-130-30 had never actually been developed, thought it had. Will be interesting to see though if the RAAF is interested in the KC-130J if they are going to go with the current plan of an expanded fleet, especially if they decide to replace the C-27s as well.
 

Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
It is actually a bit more complicated than that even. Here is the latest LockMart C-130J (& variants) brochure that I came across, it is about 32 pages.

The C-130J-30 is ~15 ft/4.6 m longer, so there is more volume available for cargo than a KC-130J, but it also has a higher empty weight and lower max cargo weight, albeit not by much (~300 lbs less).

Therefore, which Super Herc can carry 'more' depends on whether that 'more' is space or weight.

As an aside, it appears that there are variants of the aerial refueler that can provide a rapid ground refuel capability to support vehicles. That could open up some interesting opportunities for forward operating bases, expeditionary ops and potentially even HADR, in addition to the 'normal' support of fixed- and rotary-wing AAR.
The marine versions are interesting with their roll on, roll off options. I believe most, if not all are tankers, but there are gunship and EW options too.
 

John Newman

The Bunker Group
Thanks John, didn't realise the KC-130-30 had never actually been developed, thought it had. Will be interesting to see though if the RAAF is interested in the KC-130J if they are going to go with the current plan of an expanded fleet, especially if they decide to replace the C-27s as well.
The KC and stretched cargo C are two different animals for two different roles, for AAR you don’t need a longer fuselage.

if you look at the KC-30A it’s based on the shorter A330-200 and not the longer -300, same applies with the KC-46A, based on the shorter B767-200, not the longer -300.

Here’s a new article from ADBR today regarding the possible C-130 replacement project:


If the project goes ahead with the numbers mentioned, great.

But I do hope a way can be found to keep the very young C-27J fleet operational in the HADR roles both here in Oz and the Pacific region too (sort of like how Canada has a ‘separate’ SAR capability).

Anyway, time will tell.
 

John Newman

The Bunker Group
And now for something different....

Not a lot of news lately regarding the F-35A being acquiring by the RAAF.

You could say they’ve been ‘flying under the radar’ in recent times (pun intended).

About 6-7 weeks ago it was reported that A35-051 to -054 had been ferried across the Pacific here to Oz.

Just had a look at the F-35 database on F-16.net (usually a good place to find updated info).

This is what I found:


The latest RAAF F-35A to roll off the LM production line, A35-058, was test flown about a week or so ago (21/10/22).

Not unreasonable to assume that about 60 aircraft will have been produced by years end (should have been 63, but Covid slowed production and delivery down a little bit).

Anyway, the RAAF should receive all 72 well before the end of next year.


PS, interesting 75 Squadron tail markings too
 

buffy9

Active Member
The KC and stretched cargo C are two different animals for two different roles, for AAR you don’t need a longer fuselage.

if you look at the KC-30A it’s based on the shorter A330-200 and not the longer -300, same applies with the KC-46A, based on the shorter B767-200, not the longer -300.

Here’s a new article from ADBR today regarding the possible C-130 replacement project:


If the project goes ahead with the numbers mentioned, great.

But I do hope a way can be found to keep the very young C-27J fleet operational in the HADR roles both here in Oz and the Pacific region too (sort of like how Canada has a ‘separate’ SAR capability).

Anyway, time will tell.
There seems to still be some kind of plan for them in light of planned upgrades.

The Commonwealth Avionics Upgrade will begin in September 2023 at RAAF Base Amberley and is due to be completed in 2026.
They don't have the range of the C-130J and their poor availability due small fleet leaves something to be desired. Is there any chance of having a second go at their EW suite?

If not, its a nice to have. A multirole aircraft that may be able to reach some of the more isolated spots in the region.
 

John Newman

The Bunker Group
There seems to still be some kind of plan for them in light of planned upgrades.



They don't have the range of the C-130J and their poor availability due small fleet leaves something to be desired. Is there any chance of having a second go at their EW suite?

If not, its a nice to have. A multirole aircraft that may be able to reach some of the more isolated spots in the region.
Yes I’m well aware of their reported short comings, and I doubt the Government/RAAF will pour more dollars into trying to resolve the reported issues with their self protection suite.

But I still think (if it can be afforded), to have them operational in a non-combat HADR role (we have the non-combat Pacific Support Ship, why not a fleet of non-combat HADR/Pacific support aircraft?).

They might fill a gap between a C-130J-30 at one end, and a CH-47F at the other end?
 

buffy9

Active Member
Yes I’m well aware of their reported short comings, and I doubt the Government/RAAF will pour more dollars into trying to resolve the reported issues with their self protection suite.

But I still think (if it can be afforded), to have them operational in a non-combat HADR role (we have the non-combat Pacific Support Ship, why not a fleet of non-combat HADR/Pacific support aircraft?).

They might fill a gap between a C-130J-30 at one end, and a CH-47F at the other end?
I suspect it may come down to the DSR and whether it is concluded there is a necessity to keep them.

I agree they are good to have and make excellent HADR aircraft, and we should keep them if able for those tasks (as they are now). They are well suited for engagement if competition is truly long-term as well. That said... the C-130J does that as well with greater range, payload and availability (with a mature EW suite and integration with other countries on top of that).

I don't know what the plan is for either the C-130J or C-27J is going beyond the 2026 comms update. But if I was planning for competition or conflict, with a limited budget and number of aircrews, I would take the extra C-130J.

There was a post by Takao a while back I found interesting on comparing the two aircraft.
 

old faithful

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
No disrespect but the Four Corners 'Investigation' is nothing short of a self serving beat up by the ABC. It is hardly new News. Anyone with a scant interest in Defence would be aware of the US Force Posture Initiative. A rudimentary look at Tindal via Google Earth and Google search for the 'RAAF Tindal Redevelopment' would provide all the answers. The Parliamentary Works Committee reported in 2020.
I can say , with 100% voracity, that 4 Corners is only different to A current affair, in that the Journos try to portray a more mature presentation, for an older audience, and those who consider show like a current affair as bogan based audience. 4 corners is not what it used to be. It just a rubbish investigative program that is far from unbiased. They will manipulate the story to suit an agenda that they want to project. I have experienced it myself, and have witnessed it first hand. I have seen the editing that they do. Just high brow gutter journalism.
 
I can say , with 100% voracity, that 4 Corners is only different to A current affair, in that the Journos try to portray a more mature presentation, for an older audience, and those who consider show like a current affair as bogan based audience. 4 corners is not what it used to be. It just a rubbish investigative program that is far from unbiased. They will manipulate the story to suit an agenda that they want to project. I have experienced it myself, and have witnessed it first hand. I have seen the editing that they do. Just high brow gutter journalism.
Wholeheartedly agree. The show is not even a shadow of it's former self.
 

Wombat000

Active Member
I’m just wondering, if it’s worth holding on to the current C-130 fleet aircraft?
they seem to be relatively low age, perhaps some mileage tho??

too early to know?
might be a good source for spares or maintain as supplementary squadron numbers?
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member
I’m just wondering, if it’s worth holding on to the current C-130 fleet aircraft?
they seem to be relatively low age, perhaps some mileage tho??

too early to know?
might be a good source for spares or maintain as supplementary squadron numbers?
Yes it raises lots of questions.
Particular the future of the C-27J .

Interesting


Regards S
 

John Newman

The Bunker Group
I’m just wondering, if it’s worth holding on to the current C-130 fleet aircraft?
they seem to be relatively low age, perhaps some mileage tho??

too early to know?
might be a good source for spares or maintain as supplementary squadron numbers?
The current 12 aircraft were delivered between 1999 and 2000 from memory, that puts them a bit past 2/3rds of their nominal 30 year RAAF service life, and it will still be a few years at least before their replacements start arriving too.

I can’t see them being kept, they’ll probably be sold off.

As for spares, replacing older J with newer J, may well mean the current spares holding will carry over to the new fleet (and the various simulators, training aids, etc), one would assume that would be a relatively big saving in itself.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
I’m just wondering, if it’s worth holding on to the current C-130 fleet aircraft?
they seem to be relatively low age, perhaps some mileage tho??

too early to know?
might be a good source for spares or maintain as supplementary squadron numbers?
Lets not forget they have had to do a fair bit of tactical flying into and out of Iraq and Afghanistan, suspect they may have been hard used and Australia went from a fleet of 24 aircraft to a fleet of 20 aircraft (12 C-130s and 8 C-17s), so while a more capable fleet, it is still a reduction in numbers.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
New VIP jets for Air Force - Australian Defence Magazine
Several items missed in last week's budget include
2 new 737-8 BBJ in a like for like replacement
King Air 350s to remain in service till 24-25 and to be replaced by a yet to be decided capability
The MC-55 EW aircraft should enter service in the 23-24 financial year
MQ-4C to enter service in 24-25
Tiger ARH to remain in service till 26
First AH-64E in Q3 2025
Navy ceased MRH-90 flying in April 2022

They should just transfer some C-27s to the VIP role, Pollies get it too easy :D
 

Lolcake

Member
Was hoping they announced the KC-130Js at the same time :(. Wonder what the hold up is.

35 Hercs + 8 C-17s for AU and NZ is nothing to be sneezed at. Would definately allow rapid deployment to local theatre in quick time. Cannot see us Keeping the C-27J, but with the recent upgrade annoucement it leaves alot of question marks.
 

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
Not sure what weapons the Australian version of the Ghost Bat Loyal Wingman will be equipped with but we now have some idea what the Chinese version will carry!


Clone Of MQ-28 Ghost Bat Loyal Wingman Drone Displayed By ChinaView attachment 49830View attachment 49831View attachment 49832
Is that a drop down rack launcher on the Chinese drone? Neat, particularly for smaller weapons and sensors (bouys?)..

Its not even clear if the ghost bat will even carry weapons or how they will be carried. I don't think that is a priority at the moment.
 
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