An exciting project involving DE&S concluded today (4 Aug) when a former Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules departed the UK to take up its new role with the U.S. Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Squadron.
The C-130J has undergone a dramatic transformation and now sports the iconic blue, yellow and white livery of the Blue Angels. The new-look C-130J – a four-engine, six-blade turboprop – will now provide improved logistical support to the display team. It will also take part in flying performances, as well as carrying tools, spare parts and engineers.
The aircraft, which was purchased by the U.S. Navy from the MOD, underwent depth maintenance, paint and minor modifications work. This was carried out at Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group in Cambridge, where the aircraft departed this morning.
Air Marshal Sir Julian Young, Director General Air for DE&S, which co-managed the project, said: “The 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.”
Major General Greg Masiello, program executive officer air ASW, assault and special mission programs, added: “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 program 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.
“We have all been able to witness the transformation of this particular C-130 Hercules transition into a valuable addition to our Blue Angels flying demonstration team. We are pleased to deliver this Super Hercules as the Blue Angels transition to Super Blues. Definitely a job well done by all involved.”