A former Royal Air Force (RAF) C130J Hercules is heading for the US Navy Blue Angels team after being sold by the MOD and repainted at Marshall Aerospace, Cambridge ahead of delivery.
The RAF is reducing its Hercules fleet and this example will replace the teams ageing C130T model and support the Blue Angels by providing crucial support by carrying tools, spare parts and engineers.
Unusually for a display team support aircraft, this C130J will also play an integral part in the displays themselves as shown in this video.
Major General Greg Masiello of the US Marine Corp said: “This has been a great example of cooperation between allies and professionals. Coordination and work to deliver this Blue Angels C-130J highlight a unique programme office partnership with UK MoD and Marshall Aerospace.
“The team has worked through challenges to deliver this high-visibility asset to our fleet and provide us with a ‘new’ aircraft to support our Naval Flight Demonstration Squadron for years to come. Definitely a job well done by all involved.”
Air Marshal Sir Julian Young Chief of Materiel (Air) added: “The UK MOD was proud to work alongside multiple stakeholders to help deliver this great aircraft to the United States Navy Blue Angels. It really was a team effort from both sides of the Atlantic.
“This C-130J aircraft served the Royal Air Force well over the years, and I am delighted that following a refurb it will now go on to serve another military force. With its bright, new livery I’m sure the new Blue Angels C-130J will turn heads wherever it goes.”
The C130J will now operate from its new home base at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida.