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C17 Globemaster
Four Boeing C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft are being leased from the manufacturer to fill a requirement identified in the Strategic Defence Review for a startegic airlift capability for the RAF. The initial length of the lease is 7 years with an option for a possible extension to 9 years. The aircraft has an outsize load capability and, although it has the ability to operate from unprepared strips, will be used purely as a strategic transport aircraft to established bases

Powerplant: Four Pratt and Whitney F117 turbofans each rated at 41,700lb st (185.49 kN)

Span: 165ft 0in (50.29m)

Length: 174ft 0in (53.04m)

Max Speed: 403 mph (648 km/h)

Armament: None
Hercules C4 / C5
In 1995 the RAF placed an order for 25 second generation Hercules aircraft, known as the C-130J, as replacements for some of the current fleet of Hercules C1s and C3s. A total of 15 of the stretched version, the C-130J-30, and 10 standard C-130Js were ordered. These aircraft will be known as the Hercules C4 and C5 in RAF service.

Although virtually identical to the earlier models of the Hercules, the new aircraft features a wide range of improvements under the skin. These include a 'glass cockpit' featuring head up dispalys and multi-function displays and new engines fitted with six-bladed propellers as well as better performance and reduced maintenance costs.

Powerplant: Four Rolls-Royce Allison AE2100D3 turboprops, rated at 4,591 shp (3,424 kW).

Span: 132ft 7in (40.41m)

Length: C4 - 112ft 9in (34.37m), C5 - 97ft 9in (29.79m)

Max Cruise Speed: 400mph (645km/h)

Accommodation: Flight deck crew of two plus one loadmaster. Up to 128 infantry; 92 paratroops; 8 pallets or 24 CDS bundles

The RAF's VC10 tanker force operates four variants of the aircraft: the C1Ks are military transport aircraft, carrying 120 passengers or freight, and can be adapted for tanking with the addition of wing-mounted refuelling pods; the K2s are ex-civil VC10s and the K3s and K4s are ex-civil Super VC10s although the K4s lack the additional fuselage fuel tanks of the K3s. The K2s, 3s and 4s all have wing refuelling points for fighters and a centerline refuelling capability to provide additional support for large aircraft.

Powerplant: Four Rolls-Royce Conway 301 turbofans of 22,500lb st

Span: 146ft 2in (44.55m)

Length: C1K: 158ft 8in (48.36m), K2: 158ft 8in (48.36m); K3/K4 171ft 8in (52.32m) (excluding nose probe)

Cruise Speed: C1K: 518 mph (830km/h) at 38,000ft, K2/K3/K4: 580mph (928km/h) at 38,000ft