Although many more C-130J aircraft are needed, Lockheed Martin hasn’t yet made the business case for a multiyear production contract, Air Force acquisition executive David Van Buren told reporters June 18. The threshold to sign up a contractor for a multiyear deal is a 10 percent reduction in costs, but the C-130J maker hasn’t shown it can do that. Van Buren chalked that up to government negotiators who have already gotten the C-130J price down about as far as it will go. The taxpayers are already getting “a fair and reasonable price,” making another 10 percent cut elusive, he said. Jack Crisler, Lockheed’s vice president for air mobility, told the Daily Report that the US government needs at least another 98 to 115 C-130Js. The company hopes to offer a proposal in September that will tick down the cost by the requisite 10 percent, he said.
After a long period in which munitions were almost an afterthought and sacrificed to pay for other priorities, the Air Force needs to focus on them in order to have the right “package” of capabilities for future conflicts, Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. said June 7.