Now, There’s an Idea

Since current wisdom believes the 180-cap put on C-17s is purely budget driven, one way to get additional dollars for the new airlifter—often described by USAF leaders as “worth its weight in gold”—would be to can the Joint Cargo Aircraft program. At least that is the view of Loren Thompson. The veteran defense analyst suggested same in a Lexington Institute issue paper (see above) decrying the Army-Air Force JCA effort as “a unique solution” to fill a “two-three percent” delivery niche. With the $5 billion going toward the JCA, Thompson says, you could buy 80 new C-130s or 24 C-17s, “each of which is more versatile than the proposed Joint Cargo Aircraft.”