The Air Force may be considering dropping the avionics modernization program it had planned for all but its most elderly C-130 tactical airlifters, according to a Reuters news service report. Reuters quotes defense analyst Loren Thompson, who says the Air Force is “seriously considering” taking the AMP money for older C-130s and putting it toward purchase of new J model C-130s. (Last summer, the Pentagon decided against C-130J termination, as a fiscally imprudent idea.) Award of the initial AMP development work to Boeing came under a cloud during the Darleen Druyun affair. Consequently, USAF plans to re-compete later work, including installation. In the long run, it may be cheaper to buy newer Hercules that already meet international standards than to refit the older fleet.
More than 100 B-21s will be needed if the nation is to avoid creating a high demand/low capacity capability, panelists said on a Hudson Institute webinar. The B-21's flexibility, stealth, range and payload will be in high demand for a wide range of missions, both traditional and new.