Cuts to transport aircraft numbers - time to rethink?

Yokel

LE
On a very current topic, and relating to events in Kabul, the decision to cut the RAF transport fleet by a third by retiring the Hercules without replacement ought to be reconsidered. Only the RAF can provide Government with a rapid response to crises, and I cannot imagine a crisis that does not require moving people, equipment, and supplies.

There was talk of transport aircraft being diverted from other tasks to fly to Kabul - so it is not like we have a huge excess of them.

 
i got the impression that a lot of modern day TTW planning was that everything could just be taken from trade.
Ships.Planes.Trains.fuel and so on if the shit hit the fan.
As goverment from both Tory and Labour see the MOD as an excuse to keep contracters and PFIs going is it any wonder its not fit for task
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
On a very current topic, and relating to events in Kabul, the decision to cut the RAF transport fleet by a third by retiring the Hercules without replacement ought to be reconsidered. Only the RAF can provide Government with a rapid response to crises, and I cannot imagine a crisis that does not require moving people, equipment, and supplies.

There was talk of transport aircraft being diverted from other tasks to fly to Kabul - so it is not like we have a huge excess of them.

Funny how quickly after it's decided that we 'don't need' stuff a need surfaces, isn't it?

Mebbes we do need these things.

Pesky defence and security, costing money and everything.
 
On a very current topic, and relating to events in Kabul, the decision to cut the RAF transport fleet by a third by retiring the Hercules without replacement ought to be reconsidered. Only the RAF can provide Government with a rapid response to crises, and I cannot imagine a crisis that does not require moving people, equipment, and supplies.

There was talk of transport aircraft being diverted from other tasks to fly to Kabul - so it is not like we have a huge excess of them.

Biden advising the MOD now?
 

Yokel

LE
I posted the exact same question on PPRuNe: RAF transport fleet cuts

It appears that 50 C-130 Hercules were/are being replaced by 25 Atlas aircraft - on the basis that it can carry twice as much and fly twice as far. However, this means the force can only fly half the number of sorties, and has multiple commitments. @Magic_Mushroom told us that the transport fleet is busier than ever - whilst the airbridge to Afghanistan is gone, it still supports worldwide commitments.

Would you run a haulage company like this? The new trucks can carry more, so we need less of them, although we still have multiple customers.
 
Read a report today that the first RAF flight from Kabul has touched down at Brize Isn't this pretty inefficient, surely it would have been better to put them off in Cyprus and gone back for more?

Also I assume Kabul is a Covid Red list destination what are the plans to stop them infecting half of Oxfordshire?
 

Read a report today that the first RAF flight from Kabul has touched down at Brize Isn't this pretty inefficient, surely it would have been better to put them off in Cyprus and gone back for more?

Also I assume Kabul is a Covid Red list destination what are the plans to stop them infecting half of Oxfordshire?

The International Sign for Panic is in effect.....
 

Yokel

LE
On PPRuNe there has been some discussion regarding the state of the C-130J. Some claim that they are knackered so that it is inevitable that they need to be withdrawn, others have said that the RAF had a plan for Marshall Aerospace to replace parts of the wings and to keep them flying until 2035...
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
The C-130's aren't doing the heavy lifting, that's the job of the Voyagers and C-17's
 
Would you run a haulage company like this? The new trucks can carry more, so we need less of them, although we still have multiple customers.

If I ran an air logistics company I wouldn’t be using expensive specialist military aircraft with rough field capability and defensive systems for routine flights and general cargo hauling.
 
If the RAF had an AT fleet of 8x C-17, 9x A330 and 20xA400M and no Hercs, then it’s still one of the most capable air forces in the world in terms of AT. In an era where commitments are declining, the global economy is in the near-term shitter, medium term gutter and long-term sewer, I’d be glad of what’s in the bag, to be honest.

I have only academic interest, as a former member of HMF and BZZ inhabitant. But at home in the US, I think there’ll be some major reductions in the regular USAF’s capability. I think the difference between USAF and RAF is that there will be less aircraft scrapped, and more transferred to the reserve forces (USAF Reserve and ANG). Instead of binning a KC-135 wing as they draw down, perhaps they’ll get C-17. There’s only a couple hundred C-17s, and the C-17 tree has been cut down. No more to be grown.
 

Yokel

LE
If I ran an air logistics company I wouldn’t be using expensive specialist military aircraft with rough field capability and defensive systems for routine flights and general cargo hauling.

I think you missed my point. If you ran an organisation that ran x vehicles (aircraft, vans, or anything) that were paid for every delivery or collection, would you cut your fleet by half as the new vehicles can carry more or have a longer range?

If the RAF had an AT fleet of 8x C-17, 9x A330 and 20xA400M and no Hercs, then it’s still one of the most capable air forces in the world in terms of AT. In an era where commitments are declining, the global economy is in the near-term shitter, medium term gutter and long-term sewer, I’d be glad of what’s in the bag, to be honest.

I have only academic interest, as a former member of HMF and BZZ inhabitant. But at home in the US, I think there’ll be some major reductions in the regular USAF’s capability. I think the difference between USAF and RAF is that there will be less aircraft scrapped, and more transferred to the reserve forces (USAF Reserve and ANG). Instead of binning a KC-135 wing as they draw down, perhaps they’ll get C-17. There’s only a couple hundred C-17s, and the C-17 tree has been cut down. No more to be grown.

@Magic_Mushroom made the point that although the Afghan air bridge is no more, the RAF AT fleet was still busy with new NATO commitments and supporting naval deployments.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
I think you missed my point. If you ran an organisation that ran x vehicles (aircraft, vans, or anything) that were paid for every delivery or collection, would you cut your fleet by half as the new vehicles can carry more or have a longer range?
Not if time was a factor.
 
I think you missed my point. If you ran an organisation that ran x vehicles (aircraft, vans, or anything) that were paid for every delivery or collection, would you cut your fleet by half as the new vehicles can carry more or have a longer range?.

Very possibly I would yes, but it would be part of a wider reorganisation where I used my smaller vehicles for shorter delivery journeys and my bigger ones for hub to hub journeys.

As someone mentioned above - we shouldn’t be using C17’s to transport PAX from Cyprus or Dubai to UK, we should be transporting to there then sticking them on a chartered 737. If we are using our c130s in the same inefficient manner (and we almost certainly are) then we could easily cut back on the size of the fleet and maintain the same level of service for our ‘customers’
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
If the RAF had an AT fleet of 8x C-17, 9x A330 and 20xA400M and no Hercs, then it’s still one of the most capable air forces in the world in terms of AT.

That fleet in theory allows them to lift @ 4500 passengers without going overload conditions in the cargo aircraft.
 

RBMK

LE
Book Reviewer
That fleet in theory allows them to lift @ 4500 passengers without going overload conditions in the cargo aircraft.
Except that the availability of the fleet is nowhere near 100%.

IIRC from my last visit to BZN there were 3x A400s undergoing major maintenance, one of which one only had one engine and another undergoing minor routine inspection in the hangar.

Similarly for the Hercs, there were at least 3 parked out on the pan U/S with obvious bits missing. I'd say that the typical availability for the A400 / C17 / Herc fleet is about 70% on a good day.

Then there are the ones that are already required for existing commitments e.g. there are at least 4 Hercs which are dedicated for SF work and not available for the general transport fleet.

For Pax hauling, better to use chartered aircraft where rough field or hostile environment is not required.
 
On a very current topic, and relating to events in Kabul, the decision to cut the RAF transport fleet by a third by retiring the Hercules without replacement ought to be reconsidered. Only the RAF can provide Government with a rapid response to crises, and I cannot imagine a crisis that does not require moving people, equipment, and supplies.

There was talk of transport aircraft being diverted from other tasks to fly to Kabul - so it is not like we have a huge excess of them.

I wouldn't believe everything that is tweeted. There has been no reduction in either the C17, Voyager or A400 fleets. No RAF C130s are heading to Kabul.
 

RBMK

LE
Book Reviewer
No, the main issue was unable to use full length of the runway.
Aircraft were taking off and landing but not with a full load.
In any case, plenty of capacity at other airports at the moment so simply deploy the aircraft to e.g. Heathrow, Stansted etc.
 
Funny how quickly after it's decided that we 'don't need' stuff a need surfaces, isn't it?

Mebbes we do need these things.

Pesky defence and security, costing money and everything.
Everyone hates paying an insurance premium, right up until the minute they need it.
 

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