Where’s the Sanity?

According to a report in Flight International, Boeing has been soliciting the Army as a potential buyer for a C-17 revamped with short-takeoff-and-landing characteristics, the C-17B. Boeing has offered USAF the B model, which the company says would be able to land and takeoff on even shorter and more austere strips than the current A model, but the service doesn’t believe there is sufficient need to justify buying a small number of special variants that would require unique support equipment. Boeing reportedly has pitched the B model to the Army as a possible transport for its Future Combat System. And that’s interesting because the Air Force has been trying to get data from the Army on the FCS to work long-term mobility needs. Having the Army fly C-17s would be even more ludicrous than the Army’s insistence on maintaining its own fixed wing tactical transports. Bring on the roles and missions scrub.