C-17 End in Sight

The conclusion of the C-17 line is “in sight,” according to Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz. In a Dec. 22 interview, Schwartz said he still believes that a fleet of 316 strategic airlifters is “about right,” and that 205 of them should be C-17s. If Congress acts to go above that number of C-17s, “we would retire C-5 capacity” from the C-5A fleet, he said. Schwartz noted that it’s important not to over-invest in organic airlift if that means reducing work for the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, upon which the US depends heavily. Still, Schwartz said he’d be glad to have C-17s still in production and believes Boeing will expand its market overseas for the aircraft.