The US Navy has officially signed a contract to purchase a used C-130J Super Hercules aircraft from the British Royal Air Force.
The aircraft will replace the C-130T, nicknamed Fat Albert, used by the Blue Angels flying demonstration team.
The contract was signed in Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group’s chalet at the Royal International Air Tattoo.
Fat Albert has served the Blue Angels for 17 years since 2002, providing logistics and transportation. It retired in May this year.
The aircraft flew more than 30,000 hours and now serves as a ground-based training platform in Fort Worth, Texas.
The flying demonstration team will continue to fly US Navy or Marine Corps C-130s until the arrival of the replacement C-130J aircraft.
US Naval Air Systems Command Air, ASW, Assault and Special Mission Programs Program executive officer major general Gregory Masiello said: “We are very much looking forward to taking delivery of the aircraft and are very grateful to both the UK MoD and Marshall for enabling this transaction and know that the C-130 Hercules will be a valuable addition to our flying demonstration team.”
Marshall is tasked with the job of delivering maintenance, painting and modifications to the US Navy’s new C-130J that is being acquired from the RAF.
RAF Number 2 Group commanding officer air vice-marshal David Cooper said: “This is a superb indication of the co-operation between the militaries of the UK and the US. We know that this C-130 Hercules will serve the US Navy as well as it has served the RAF.”
Blue Angels is the US Navy’s flight demonstration squadron.