INNOVATION FUTURE EQUIPMENT
The Royal Air Force’s transport fleet of Atlas, C-17, C-130J and Voyager aircraft is one of the most modern in the world. Jim Winchester reveals what the added reliability of youth means to the support of operations
LIFTING THE WORLD A The RAF Airbus A400M Atlases currently available to the Air Mobility Force have been extremely busy, flying all over Europe to support ongoing operations
ir Commodore Stephen Lushington is the Commander of the RAF’s Air Mobility Force (AMF) headquartered at RAF Brize Norton. He is responsible for the RAF’s Atlas, C-17 Globemaster III, C-130J Hercules and Voyager tanker-transporter fleets based at Brize Norton, as well as the two Command Support Air Transport BAe 146 VIP aircraft and AgustaWestland 109E helicopters at Northolt. The AMF is currently recapitalising much of its fleet, going from an average age of more than 40 years to under 10, and this is leading to innovative thinking about the best way to utilise its aircraft and personnel. “The renewed fleet has encouraged new approaches to managing the AMF,” says Lushington.
“I’ve got a Voyager force right now with a dispatch rate of around 98%, and with that reliability comes a degree of confidence for the planners and the taskers to change the way they are thinking and the way we do business, about the way we control, manage and task those aircraft. “To think in the same way that we did when we had the older VC10s and the TriStars would just be wrong. We’d be negligent if we did that. What we’re doing right now is having a complete overhaul in the way that we think, the way we task, the way we manage, the way we control everything from routine training tasks in the UK to when we deploy overseas. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be getting the best from these very capable assets.” INSPIRATION AND INNOVATION AIR POWER 2016
2.4 Lifting the world.indd 57