Blue Angels’ “Fat Albert” replacement will be British C-130J

PENSACOLA | The US Navy has confirmed that the Blue Angels’ latest support aircraft will be an ex-Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules.

Photo: David Leadingham

The team’s ageing C-130T was retired earlier this year, after several years of maintenance problems and fleet groundings, with rumours circulating that the Navy may pursue a British Hercules to replace the much-loved plane.

The Navy confirmed on Monday that they have signed a $30 million deal with the UK Ministry of Defence to purchase a surplus C-130 – less than half the cost of buying an entirely new aircraft, according to the Pensacola News Journal.

The C-130J variant will also offer greater capacity and better maneuverability than the C-130T, which could lead to enhanced aerial demonstrations if the new plane becomes part of the show.

The aircraft will be delivered in spring 2020.