Confusion Reigns on Joint Cargo Aircraft

According to The Hill, the Pentagon’s effort to get the Air Force and Army to work together on a new light transport—recently dubbed the Joint Cargo Aircraft—is unraveling, at least from an Army standpoint. The Congressional newspaper notes that the Senate Armed Services Committee’s markup of the 2007 defense authorization bill cuts almost the entire amount the Army had requested for the program. Why? According to The Hill, the panel asked the Air Force, not the Army, about the program’s status. The cut appears to be causing consternation within the Army, which wants to field a JCA two years earlier than USAF—2008 vs. 2010. However, the Army might want to reconsider its JCA position. At least one veteran defense analyst believes it’s folly for either service to buying a light cargo aircraft, and he says Army officials really want the Air Force to buy more C-17s. Hmmmm.