|Blue Angels’ logistics cargo plane "Fat Albert".|
The U.S. Navy announced award of the Naval Flight Demonstration Squadron’s new “Fat Albert”, the Blue Angels’ logistics cargo plane, June 13.
Scheduled for delivery in spring 2020, the $29.7 million contract was awarded to the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence (UK MOD) for a divested C-130J Super Hercules. Cost savings associated with acquisition of the used aircraft and other airworthiness requirements is approximately $50 million less than the cost of a new aircraft.
“This is a win-win for the U.S. Navy and the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence,” said Capt. Steven Nassau, PMA-207 program manager. “Just as the Navy recognized the imminent need to replace the Fat Albert aircraft, the UK MOD was divesting of an American made, C-130J; aircraft allowing us to acquire a suitable replacement aircraft at a major cost savings.”
In March 2018, PMA-207 received congressional approval to proceed with acquisition of the UK MOD C-130J with funding from Foreign Military Sales proceeds.
The last dedicated Fat Albert, a C-130T Hercules, retired May 2019 and now serves as a ground-based training platform in Fort Worth, Texas. Naval Flight Demonstration Squadron will continue flying Navy or Marine Corps C-130 Hercules assets until the replacement aircraft is complete.
Image: Blue Angels