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USAF Has A Yard Sale

March 6 2012 at 2:24 PM
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Provost  (Login MPOne)

USAF Has A Yard Sale

March 6, 2012: Big budget cuts for the U.S. Air Force means big bargains for American allies. The air force is going to sell off 13 recently acquired C-27J two-engine transports and 18 RQ-4 Block 30 UAVs. The air force wants to raise cash to buy the new F-35 fighter-bomber, and selling off (rather than mothballing) unneeded aircraft seems the way to go.

Earlier this year, the air force stopped buying the RQ-4 Global Hawk UAV. Ten of the 31 Block 30 models ordered were cancelled. None of the planned Block 40 aircraft will be built. For the past few years, the air force and the manufacturer (Northrop Grumman) of the RQ-4 have been feuding over design, cost, and quality control issues. The latest issue was the unreliability of the new Block 30 models. The air force finally made good on its threats. While the air force is unhappy with the latest RQ-4 designs, the U.S. Navy and foreign nations are not. There is plenty of demand.

The C-27J situation was a little more complex. Four years ago, the U.S. Army received the first of an expected 78 C-27J two-engine transports. This came after years of bureaucratic battles with the U.S. Air Force. A deal was made that would get the army 78 C-27Js and the air force 70. At one point the two services were to operate the C-27Js jointly, but three years ago, budget cuts found the C-27J program vulnerable. At that point, it was agreed that 38 would be bought, at about $30 million each, and the air force reserve (the Air National Guard) would operate them.

The C-27J was to replace elderly C-23s, and provide more small transports for delivering cargo in tight spaces. The C-27J (a joint U.S./Italian upgrade of the Italian G-222) is as 28 ton aircraft that can carry nine tons for up to 2,500 kilometers and land on smaller airfields than the C-130. The U.S. Air Force bought ten C-27As in the 1990s, but took them out of service because it was cheaper to deliver stuff via the larger C-130. In peacetime, the air force rarely encountered smaller air fields. However, the C-27J is a favorite with many other air forces, and draws on technology from the C-130J program (using the same engines, propellers and electronic items).

The aging C-23 two engine transports were operated by the U.S. Army National Guard operated. Six years ago the goal was to obtain 145 new aircraft of approximately the same capability. The air force would get about half these aircraft and the army the rest. The strangest part of this whole affair is why the Army National Guard was operating those C-23s in the first place.

According to half a century of agreements and Pentagon turf battles, the army should not be able to operate two engine transports. But because of a special deal in the 1980s, forced on the military by Congress, the Army National Guard was allowed to operate 44 two engine C-23s (a freight version of the British Shorts 330 passenger airliner). The 12 ton C-23 can carry up to 3.5 tons of cargo, or up to 30 troops. But as the C-23s got older efforts to get a replacement, especially a larger and more numerous replacement, initially ran into air force opposition. After all, the air force has 500, 75 ton, C-130s. But in Iraq, the army C-23s proved invaluable in getting priority army cargoes where they were needed, often to places the C-130 could not land. With a war going on, the army had lots of recent evidence of how difficult it sometimes was for army commanders to get a C-130 for some urgent mission. The army originally asked for 128 C-23 replacements, but the air force protested, and a deal was worked out. This forced the air force to tolerate the army owning over sixty C-27Js. This only happened because there was a war going on, and wars are great for quickly settling peacetime squabbles that seem to never end. But when the Iraq fighting suddenly died down (after the 2008 defeat of al Qaeda there), the C-27J became vulnerable, the order was sharply cut and the air force got control of the new transports. In the end, the air force, as the army feared, decided that it did not really need the C-27Js. Now they are up for sale, to anyone but the U.S. Army.


[linked image]"The chief aim of all government is to preserve the freedom of the citizen. His control over his person, his property, his movements, his business, his desires should be restrained only so far as the public welfare imperatively demands. The world is in more danger of being governed too much than too little.

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(Login TrabzonLee_61)
The Conquerors (Turkey)

Re: USAF Has A Yard Sale

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March 6 2012, 2:27 PM 

sell the global hawks to turkey :P

Or give them the greeks free of charge LOL greeks dreaming about free equipment like in the cold war ^^


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seafarting nation indeed.. reconaissance fishing boat watching TurAF F-16's !


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(Login meemperor)
Elite WAFF Vet Club

Re: USAF Has A Yard Sale

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March 6 2012, 2:41 PM 

hmm I wonder if Canada will buy some of the C-27J's...the air force is already looking at buying either those or C-295's.

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John Good
(Login lonewolfecdn)
The Canucks (Canada)

C27 recycled junk

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March 7 2012, 1:53 AM 

The C27 is a recycled 222 which was built in \italy it was a piece of crap then and is a recycled piece of crap now, albeit better than the initial 222

Canada should invest in an updated Buffalo.

The only problem that i have with the buffalo is that it is great for search and rescue in Canada, but doesn't have a pressurized cabin

I say bring back the Buffalo instead of helping out other countries

US has shown when it comes to competitions they make sure home grown or home partnership companies will come first as the tanker and now the super tucano comes to show

The Italians will buy their own planes prior to looking at other manufactures

So why buy crap when home built is better than ay foreign manufactured

Sorry for the rant had to get it off my chest

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