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UK continues search to sell surplus Hercules airlifters

One of the last C-130Js in RAF service made its farewell flypast in June 2023. The MoD is continuing its search to find buyers for this and 14 other surplus airframes. (Crown Copyright)

The UK is continuing its search to find buyers for its fleet of retired Lockheed Martin C-130J/C-130J-30 Hercules airlifters, with the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) telling Janes that it has identified several potential buyers.

The Royal Air Force (RAF) retired one ‘short' C-130J (C5 in UK service) and 13 ‘stretched' C-130J-30 (C4) airframes on 31 March 2023 (with the type's final farewell flypast following in June 2023), all of which, along with an additional C5 aircraft carried over from the previous round of retirements in 2015, are now available to overseas buyers.

“The Defence Equipment Sales Authority (DESA) is managing the sales programme on behalf of the MoD and continues to actively pursue sales with a number of potential buyers,” the ministry said on 10 May.

With eight of the UK's nine previously retired C5s being acquired by Bangladesh (five), Bahrain (two), and the US Navy (one), interest in the latest surplus C5/C4 airframes has been received from Greece, even after the country reportedly bought six surplus C-130J-30s from Italy in February 2023 and was cleared for a further four surplus C-130Js from the US in April 2023 (though there is no evidence of any of these aircraft having yet been delivered).

For more information on the C-130J, please seeLockheed Martin C-130 Hercules .

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