Sudan aircraft

Interesting to note the nearly-retired hercules playing a crucial role…

Might as well use them while you still have them


But could it make the MoD reconsider retiring them I should add…

Sadly no chance of that - MOD thinks that they’ll need big wedges spent on the wing boxes to take them out to the original OSD’s, and in truth - much as I love them - every £ spent on keeping a C-130 in service is a £ that can’t be spent either maintaining, or buying additional, A400M’s.

Ideal world we’d fly C-17, A400M and C-130, but fleets cost money…



Odds are, because of their impending retirement, they had less planned taskings than the Atlas fleet, so were able to step in on short notice.

They’ll definitely be retired.


But if the Atlas will be our primary transport, will they have enough for these emergency taskings alongside their routine taskings? More Atlases need to come in my opinion.

That’s all part of the fun.

And no chance of that happening. Would need to retire something else to pay for it.

I think more Atlases are (were?) planned.

The A400M beats the C130J on most measures aside from purchase cost (about double).

I can’t find a cost per flying hour but the A400M has rather better fuel economy than the Herc, so that might be a factor.

Still love the Herc though.


Given they can’t quite get the DAS to function correctly on the A400 yet… Other options are needed.


21 atlases out of 22

Original buy was 25, but three were cut because the price ballooned.

The original idea - 2000 or so - was A400M and C-130. Atlas was late so C-17 was leased and then bought. Iraq, Afghanistan and the scourge of IED’s also happened, which changed the Army’s views about the weight/size of vehicles it needed, so the idea swung much more towards a C-17 and A400M fleet.

I wouldn’t discount a further A400M purchase, perhaps taking it up to 30. Germany want rid of about a dozen and the RAF and Army (and Navy), want more airlift.

The Luftwaffe have had great serviceability problems with the A400M turkey, now whether that is just down to the German government hardly having a defence budget or lack of available spares?

The French have bought C130j’s to supplement their fleet.

The RAF would have been far better buying more C17s and replacement C130s, but oh no, that idiot Blair with his partner in crime Brown wanted to be good Europeans, and we got the A400M. The French quickly discovered the limitations of the aircraft when they could not deploy heavy equipment to Mali and had to ask 99 Squadron to transport it for them during Operation Serval.

The A400 has never actually been an aircraft that has sold well outside Europe and even then only sold in Europe because it had to be seen to support Airbus.


See also: Tornado GR4 on Op SHADER, Nimrod on ELLAMY

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Sold to the Malaysians and Turks. Think a Turkish A400 got stuck in Ukraine early in the war last year


It’s because of our procurement systems unfortunately.
We don’t generally buy “off the shelf”. Rather, we buy the platform then supplement with our own kit.

It doesn’t integrate well. Just look at the problems we dealt with with the Mk3 Chinook.


Both Tornado and Nimrod in particular were coming to the end of their operational lives, plus the idea of developing the MR4A in particular was a waste of time and money in particular after talking to the guys at the AVRO museum who worked on it. It was a hand built aircraft and each were very slightly different. The P8 was on the close horizon and should have been bought at that point.

The E3 was another case in point, never properly upgraded to E3F Standard, sold to Chile and USN, and now we’re are not getting enough E7s.


Because our A400s are working out so well…

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On point meme from Disastra. As ever.

298 likes, 13 comments - disAstra (@disastra_memes) on Instagram: "On behalf of the rest of the service, OOOF."

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There’s going to have to be some debate about the RAF Regiment at some point…

How many ops is it now where we’ve taken over an airfield, used it for NEO’s and the like, and used Para or RM to do the security?

There’s very obviously a need for a force to defend airbases - I think a much larger force, both with GBAD and significant mobility and fires - but either the RAF Regt is too small to generate the mass needed, but that Army/RM can do quickly, or it the RAF simply aren’t putting it forward.


In fairness, their later stories have come back and pointed out the Reg are there, it’s just their PR is crap.

And, people see camouflage and think army.

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