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News Release, NAVAIR News
Patuxent River, Md.–The Navy announced the 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.