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Feb 28, 2011

Comments

Dfens

They are flying the wings off the C-130s, not the C-5. The C-130J is in high demand in both Iraq and especially Afghanistan where the higher performance engines allow it to carry substantial loads when no other type of air transport can do the job.

The C-5A wing was designed by the US Air Force to inadequate margins and all of those wings were replaced in the 1980s to be like those of the B model. The current fleet of both A's and B's has significant life left which is why they were upgraded. They have had problems with reliability, but will still carry twice what a C-17 will carry. The C-17 is currenly procured in the same manner as the C-130 was, by congressional mandate, not military budget request.

I'm sure the miliary contractors would love to close down both production lines so they could get more free profit from developing our next generation of cargo aircraft. I wonder how many decades they could drag that out?

If you're going to play politics, then you're not reforming anything. You're just doing more of the same with a different winner. The point of reform is to do things better, not just different. There's no shortage of stupid answers, but there is only one best answer.

Observer IX

The C-130J and earlier C-130 models went through the same song and dance for at least the last 15 budget cycles: the AF asks for 0 (zero) aircraft. Then Congress, led by the Georgia delegation and other LockMart sycophants, fans, and contributors of PAC and now corporate cash, tell the AF to buy some. It is a good plane, but not needed. As for the C-5--don't get me started. Its wings and engines need replacement frequently, and the plane unfailingly carries loads that can be carried by other craft. It requires a stupendous amount of maintenance and safety checks. A dangerous, hard-to-fly hunk of junk, kept aloft more by LockMart cheerleaders than common sense.

Dfens

I'm always amazed at how people put things together. The fact of the matter is that Lockheed sunk their own development money into the C-130J. That airplane from beginning to end was developed on Lockheed's own dime. It really should be a model of how we want procurement to go in the future. Lockheed themselves smeared that program with bad press nearly to the point of having it cancelled. Now, every good reform minded individual points to the C-130J as being a prime example of waste, fraud, and abuse?

Granted, $60 million a copy was an inflated price for the airplane that sold for $35 million up to that point. I think it is pretty clear that Lockheed milked that production line quite a bit, but the development of the J went quite quickly. It started in 1992 and they delivered the first airplane to the RAF in 1998. How many decades do you think it will be before the same can be said of the C-130 AMP? They are a decade and a half into that program and still no end in sight. The C-5M, done by the same people at the same plant took about 15 years too.

You need to ask yourself what the agenda behind the news is, and not just take news from the DoD at face value. The F-20 Tigershark was similar to the C-130J. It was a variant of the F-5 wholly funded by Northrop. Without the USAF bureacracy behind it to act as cheerleaders it died even though it was cheaper, and even the F-16's designer says it had a lot going for it over the F-16. Don't just take things at face value.

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