USAF BEING PRESSED HARD TO JUSTIFY JETTISONING BRAND NEW C-27J SPARTANS

Question: If the USAF says it will try to do the C-27’s mission with it’s existing, yet dwindling, fleet of C-130s, and the Army has wanted the C-27J program for so long, why not ask the Army if they want the aircraft? This is how the project should have been handled originally, allowing the C-27J to replace the Army’s archaic C-23 Sherpas, but instead the USAF bitched and moaned enough that they ended up taking the program from the ground pounder’s hands, to only ditch it once its operational! If the Army needs it so bad than let them step up to the plate and operate the capable haulers on their dime. If they say no, then we all know how important the C-27J program was in the first place…

It sickens me that the services don’t trade gear in order to maximize their priorities. Just as it puzzles the hell out of me that the Marines don’t solve some of their aging fast jet and F-35B cost explosion problems by picking up some A-10’s from the USAF? Could the Marine grunt ask for a better machine watching over him? I think not.

The services need to grow up, especially the USAF and USMC. After years of the “every capability at any cost” rediculousness they are now dealing with the impending budget axe in a vacuum. One based on each individual service’s capabilities, with large disregard to the total force. Word of advice and warning to those in charge over at the Pentagon:

Learn to do more with what you have got, not procure less of what you want.

http://defense.aol.com/2012/02/23/air-force-must-shift-billions-from-ops-faces-steeper-budget-c/

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9 Responses to USAF BEING PRESSED HARD TO JUSTIFY JETTISONING BRAND NEW C-27J SPARTANS

  1. Will says:

    Interoperability between the services should always be practiced. It’s galling to think that such huge quantities of money are wasted because of rivalries or lack of foresight. The UK isn’t exempt from such ridiculous procurement mistakes, but I guess that the US’s massive budget exaggerates the problem.

    Regarding the A-10s, would they be easy to modify for carrier operations? Adding an arrester hook and folding wings would be necessary, but would such conversions cost more than they’re worth?

    • aviationintel.com says:

      Will, I am sure it would be feasible back in the production days but why would it need to operate from the carrier? Many of the Marine jet squadrons don’t.

  2. Will says:

    I just assumed since the vast majority of USMC aircraft seem to be capable of operating from a carrier, even if they’re based at airfields most of the time.

    If they’ll cost the same whether flying under USMC or USAF colours, won’t be capable of carrier ops, and (I assume) USMC pilots will have to be trained to fly them, what’s the point swapping them between the services? If they’re being mothballed or broken up because of budget constraints, moving them to another branch of the armed forces aint gonna change anything.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like the A-10s and I agree that it’s daft to get rid of them when they still have a role to play supporting the army and marines, but it’s those who made bad budget decisions that lead to scrapping these aircraft are the same ones you’d need to convince for such a swap.

    • aviationintel.com says:

      Will,

      The A-10’s cost quite a bit less to operate than an F/A-18. The major issue is that the Hornets are worn out and in many cases becoming less available and much more expensive to operate due to age and usage. So this would not be swapping, it would be relegating old, expensive airframes for something readily available, maintainable, and already purchased.

  3. Dave says:

    This was the plan all along. The AF doesn’t want this aircraft but they don’t want the Army to have it even more. So they take it from the Army knowing they would soon cancel it. Then they give it to Air Guard units so they can kill two birds with one stone. One, cut money from the budget (but not active duty capability) and two, it’s now easy to programmaticly close ANG units (no need for a BRAC) by stopping the funding to the program. This is dirty pool on the AF leadership’s part. If this was really about budget savings they would leave it to the ANG to continue to do it for less than the AF can.

    • aviationintel.com says:

      Well it sure ended up that way huh Dave. Such a joke. Who cares if the Army has some haulers? The tax payer could care less. Its been a service battle since day one. Those who propagated such waste should be canned immediately.

  4. RAUEL says:

    The Army was offered the C-27j program when the AF decided to kill it, but with the budget cuts they couldn’t afford it. I agree it was totally dishonest of the AF to steal the C-27j program and the money to support it from the Army only to kill it the first chance they got.

  5. Dainon says:

    Will,

    Given it’s minimal airfield requirements, the A-10 could easily be an aircraft introduced at D+3 by the USMC. Or, considering how (thankfully, for all those still fighting) few amphibious landings any US force needs to do, it could just hop along to range the enemy, like arty does (or, used to, until fixed and rotary wing CAS got so good) in an infantry advance. The Army has suggested a few times they would take them off the AF’s hands, as well. If they sell them at market cost, the AF could sell their whole lot of them and buy about four F-35’s with the proceeds.

    The Spartan claim and dump is really annoying. Given the problems choppers have in high altitude (and the issues the Chinook can have in the environment), this would be both a perfect battalion resupply vehicle for Afghanistan, and any future Himalayan theater operations. Building a short uphill airstrip next to a Battalion FOB would take an engineering company about a day to complete. Not to mention creating a mini-Spectre out of some of them would really clear up Air Tasking Orders from and S-3 perspective.

    • aviationintel.com says:

      Dain- Yes exactly, it can operate where C-130’s simply cannot without having no margin for error. New post coming online tonight about it. Wild stuff from the Italians. Also SF has been pushing for SO AC-27J with a bushmaster and ramp mounted guided munitions. It has been swatted down, brought back, then swatted down etc etc etc.

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