UK should keep C-130Js Defence Committee told

The UK should retain the C-130J Hercules fleet, which is slated for retirement in 2023, according to evidence given recently to the House of Commons Defence Select Committee.

An RAF C-130J on a low-level training sortie. Dino Carrara
An RAF C-130J on a low-level training sortie. Dino Carrara

The written evidence was from Andy Netherwood*, a former C-130J and C-17 aircraft commander, who laid out his reasons why the Hercules should stay in the RAF’s mix of transport aircraft types.

He stated: “Air mobility provides the ability to deploy, sustain and recover personnel and equipment, often over significant distance. Fixed-wing military air mobility for the UK is provided by the RAF’s Air Mobility Force (AMF) which includes 14 Voyager (of which eight are available for routine military use), 22 A400M, eight C-17, 14 C-130J, and until this year, four BAe 146. The Defence Command Paper set out the Ministry of Defence’s intention to retire the C-130J early, with the aircraft leaving service by 2023. This will leave the AMF at significant risk of being unable to meet UK requirements.”

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