Replacing the C130 Hercules

uk 75

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With the A400M in service with the RAF we now know what a C130 replacement looks like.
Of course the original C130 "replacement" for the RAF would have been AW/HS 681 had it made it into service.
The US tried to replace the C130 in the 70s with the YC14 and 15. Instead the 15 morphed into the C17 which has replaced some C130 roles as well as those of the C5 and C17.
Some countries did their own thing like the Franco-German C160 Transall and Japanese Kawasaki C1 only in some cases to buy C130s as well.
The Russians do a more thorough job replacing their An10/12 Cubs with the Il76 Candid. China has done the same.
Yet it is tantalising to imagine an RAF with a sensible Kawasaki style 681. After all the Italians did it with the Fiat G222. Remove the daft VSTOL stuff and you get a decent transport.
If the RAF had operated 681s from 1970 I wonder if the USAF would have been more likely to start replacing some C130s with the C15.
Even more tantalising is the prospect of a Euro version of the 681 replacing Transalls in the late 70s at least with France.
 

GruntFox

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Eh, the sad reality is that the C130's niche is... pretty limiting. VSTOL is required because of the requirements that the C130s are required to go through (dirt airfields capability, very short runways, etc.).

Right now, the C130 is going to have another design alliteration instead of a replacement because the technology isn't there yet.
 

trose213

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The C17 was the high end replacement and there's not a need to replace the low end quite yet, especially with the tiltrotor replacement being too expensive and unworkable.
 

ngatimozart

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"The only replacement for a Herc is another Herc" so say some, but I don't necessarily subscribe to that mantra. The USAF has been working on a replacement project for years but it hasn't really nailed down any particular concept yet. It could end up like the B-52; still in USAF operational service 100 years after its maiden flight.

The US Army have their FVL (Future Vertical Lift) programs with one program, FVLHL being the heavy lift component. They are looking at a C-130 lift sized capability, but I wouldn't hold my breath because the US Army doesn't have a recent track record for bringing programmes to fruition, let alone completion on time and on budget.

I think that in some cases that likes of the A400M and the KHI C-2 are to large to be a Herc replacement. Smaller nations like mine, NZ, would see them more as strategic airlifters rather than tactical airlifters, and in our case because of our geography we use the Herc as a tactical airlifter. Our nearest neighbour is 1,000 nautical miles away and the Herc has the range to make tactical airlift to Australia and the Pacific Islands with reasonable payloads viable. We couldn't do that with the HS780 Andovers.
 

TomcatViP

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The best Herc replacement for NZ is probably Brasilian: it has the range, the size and a greater speed.

maxresdefault.jpg
 

TomcatViP

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Thanks. Either I wasn't aware or It had slipped my mind. Would be glad to read more on that.
 

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Foo Fighter

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I think the problem is that the C-130 family is just too good and any replacement will carry a significant burden for retraining air and ground crews as well as a whole new spares list. Essentially the design is solid gold for it's makers.
 

TomcatViP

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It's however hours spent in flight hours during longer flights and rotations lost.
But, certainly, the 390 hasn't yet reached the practicality of the Herc.
 

royabulgaf

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Also, it's something of a standard. Equipment and containers are built to C-130 specifications.
 

GruntFox

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"The only replacement for a Herc is another Herc" so say some, but I don't necessarily subscribe to that mantra. The USAF has been working on a replacement project for years but it hasn't really nailed down any particular concept yet. It could end up like the B-52; still in USAF operational service 100 years after its maiden flight.

The US Army have their FVL (Future Vertical Lift) programs with one program, FVLHL being the heavy lift component. They are looking at a C-130 lift sized capability, but I wouldn't hold my breath because the US Army doesn't have a recent track record for bringing programmes to fruition, let alone completion on time and on budget.

I think that in some cases that likes of the A400M and the KHI C-2 are to large to be a Herc replacement. Smaller nations like mine, NZ, would see them more as strategic airlifters rather than tactical airlifters, and in our case because of our geography we use the Herc as a tactical airlifter. Our nearest neighbour is 1,000 nautical miles away and the Herc has the range to make tactical airlift to Australia and the Pacific Islands with reasonable payloads viable. We couldn't do that with the HS780 Andovers.
Here's the thing, there has been only one project that the US military had on time and under budget: the B-17. Everything else came later, had significant problems (let alone the USN's history of having their canons explode on them if they looked at them funny), and were over budget.

It also doesn't help that it isn't really the US military that gets the final say, but Congress...
 

Hood

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Surely At some point within the next 20 years we're going to see the last production Herk?
If they do another generation then the next designations left are C-130L or C-130Y...
 

drejr

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"The only replacement for a Herc is another Herc" so say some, but I don't necessarily subscribe to that mantra. The USAF has been working on a replacement project for years but it hasn't really nailed down any particular concept yet. It could end up like the B-52; still in USAF operational service 100 years after its maiden flight.

The US Army have their FVL (Future Vertical Lift) programs with one program, FVLHL being the heavy lift component. They are looking at a C-130 lift sized capability, but I wouldn't hold my breath because the US Army doesn't have a recent track record for bringing programmes to fruition, let alone completion on time and on budget.

I think that in some cases that likes of the A400M and the KHI C-2 are to large to be a Herc replacement. Smaller nations like mine, NZ, would see them more as strategic airlifters rather than tactical airlifters, and in our case because of our geography we use the Herc as a tactical airlifter. Our nearest neighbour is 1,000 nautical miles away and the Herc has the range to make tactical airlift to Australia and the Pacific Islands with reasonable payloads viable. We couldn't do that with the HS780 Andovers.
Here's the thing, there has been only one project that the US military had on time and under budget: the B-17. Everything else came later, had significant problems

Significant problems like...say...the prototype crashing and losing a major contract? Or maybe procurement being limited to 13 examples because of high cost? Do you know anything about the B-17's development history? This is obviously untrue, and a really strange example compared to well-known on-time and under-budget programs like the U-2 and Minuteman.

Although I guess you could say the Model 299 was "under budget" because there was no budget at all - Boeing was responsible for all development costs and it almost bankrupted the company.

In 2019 the USAF had 50 Acquisition Category I programs. Nineteen were un-baselined, nine were over cost, and 22 were under cost. Of the programs with baselines, 16 were on schedule and 15 weren't.
 
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