Fewer JCAs?:

Wednesday’s Joint Cargo Aircraft contract award to the C-27 Spartan Team only calls for “up to 78” aircraft, but the Army and Air Force had expected to buy around 145—75 for the Army and 70 for USAF. However, officials did note last year, when the two services finalized the agreement to work together on the program, that the ultimate number “could change in the future” based on changing needs and application of the new aircraft to the intratheater airlift mission. The Army wants the Spartan to replace its C-12, C-23, and C-26 aircraft, while the Air Force intends to use it to augment its heavily used C-130 tactical cargo fleet. The Pentagon still hasn’t completed its intratheater airlift requirements review, prompting lawmakers to want to withhold 2008 funding.