Sunday, November 23, 2014

C-27s and the U.S. Air Force

The United States Air Force has a troubling past with the C-27 aircraft. The U.S. Army needed a good, dependable tactical aircraft to transport personnel and equipment in combat zones in a time-sensitive manner. There was an agreement between the Army and the Air Force to field C-27s to fill this void; the aircraft would perform a type of transport mission that the C-130 was too large to handle. However, one just has to look at how the USAF is treating the C-27 fleet and you get a feel for how they are supporting this critical mission for the Army. The USAF's C-27 fleet is being eliminated entirely. Efforts to keep the aircraft in the National Guard were stymied by the USAF. Reports indicate that USSOCOM will pick up a few of the C-27s and the Coast Guard may convert some over to their use. Knowing the background of the Air Force C-27 fleet elimination helps understand why the USAF scrapped 16 brand-new C-27s bought for the Afghan Air Force so that they could field three C-130s. The C-27s are what the U.S. Army needed and the C-130s are NOT what the Afghan Air Force needed. The basic issue is that the Air Force wants "efficient" airlift (keep expenses down and stay on a forecasted schedule) while the Army needs "effective and timely short-range, tactical airlift" that is ideal for a counterinsurgency mission. Learn more in "The USA's C-27J Joint Cargo Aircraft", Defense Industry Daily, November 19, 2014.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.