View Full Version : USAF SOF Recapitalization

06-20-2008, 09:52 AM

Looks like the recap of some heavily used USAF SOF aircraft is going forward. The definition as an urgent requirement is good.... I know the MCs especially have been flying their wings off.


Yes, I know that folks will say this is due to the CSAF getting fired, but if you take a look it predates that stuff:


Anyway, seems like a positive step to help out a HD-LD community.



06-20-2008, 06:16 PM
. . .but something still tells me that the AF is only doing this because, as you said, the wings are gonna fall off some of these assets. Perhaps also somebody thinks that recapitalizing the SOF fleet will butter up DoD into ponying up more cash for the fighters. Who knows? If the A-10 saga is any indication, however, it is NOT because the AF realized this was a core function of the Air Force and thus naturally a high priority. . .



06-22-2008, 02:26 PM
Follow the money gentlemen. Is MFP-4 paying for this? Is MFP-11? Who will be using the aircraft? They reference both ACC Rescue as well as AFSOC. Different pots of money.

09-15-2009, 07:33 PM
The MC (AFSOC) version of the recap will be paid for by mostly MFP-11 money while the HC (ACC) version is MFP-4. The only MC being replaced by the recap is the MC-130P Combat Shadow. The MC-130H Combat Talon II, MC-130E Combat Talon, and MC-130W Combat Spear will remain. Speaking to "flying their wings off," I would say that yes all of the MC-130s have been flying their wings off but the MC-130E and P have been doing it a lot longer which is the real issue. The MC-130E/P are among the oldest airframes in the USAF (1962-1969 models). All of these airframes have 10,000+ hours on them. This means that not only are the center wing boxes (the load bearing portion of the wing) becoming fatigued, but the entire airframe is. In the mid-1990's the MC-130P fleet had their center wing boxes replaced, however the entire airframe remained the same. Just with any other piece of equipment, the more you use it the more wear and tear occurs. However, when you use and abuse a 40 year old piece of equipment, the tear becomes more significant. This is one of the major reasons the MC-130P specifically is being replaced by the MC-130J.

However, the MC-130J will bring more capabilities to the MC-130 fleet when it comes online. A few of these improved capabiltities are shorter takeoff and landing distances, greater acceptable cargo loads, superior climb performance, fewer manning requirements and GREATLY improved avionics. In my opinion the aquisition of the MC-130J is long overdue. The MC-130P has been labeled a "legacy" airframe since the mid to late 1990s. Once this happens, very little money is put towards upgrades. As such no significant upgrades occured until just after 2002. Even now, those upgrades have not significantly improved the airframe or capabilities with the exception of limited defensive systms upgrades and the approval (after 10-15 years of requests) of the dual rail cargo handling system. Most MC-130Ps will not have those installed by the time the first MC-130J is delivered.

Overall, the MC-130J will only increase the capability and performance of USAF special operations airpower.

09-16-2009, 06:03 PM
Sorry, I forgot to say that I am an MC-130P pilot.