Will It Be Worth It?

The Air Force does not expect to complete the massive two-part C-5 upgrade program until around 2020. Once done, it should reduce maintenance requirements and extend the service life of the huge airlifters for another 20 years—to 2040. However, the Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Michael Moseley says there’s no way to know the true benefit for the C-5A models—the oldest of the fleet—until the end of AMP and RERP testing, which will “play out over a number of years.” He wants to retire the C-5As, leaving the mod program for just the newer 50 B models and two C models, so the service can buy more C-17s. Pentagon officials, however, favor continuing to modify all the C-5s.