Air Transportation: Britain Runs Out Of Transports


July 4, 2008: While Britain has ordered 25 of the new Airbus A400M tactical transports, to replace the current fleet of C-130s, the new aircraft won't arrive in time. Delays in the A400M project mean that new aircraft won't begin arriving until 2011. Meanwhile, nine of the British C-130Ks (an older model) had to be retired already because of wing cracks (brought on by heavy use in Iraq and Afghanistan). Another five C-130Ks are expected to "age out" the same way in the next two years. Most of the 51 British transports are C-130Ks. Unless use of the C-130Ks in Iraq and Afghanistan is reduced, the C-130 fleet will be much reduced before they can be replaced by the larger A400M. Britain plans to make up the shortfall by purchasing or leasing new C-130Js, renting other transports, and hoping the fighting dies down before the transports fall apart.



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