The Right Intratheater Mix?

With wear issues on legacy C-130E transports stacking up, the number of new C-130J models being sent to support the war on terror has increased, according to Air Mobility Command. In Fiscal 2007, the Air Force retired 51 C-130Es that were in restricted or grounded status, the command says. Under certain altitude conditions such as experienced in Afghanistan or in the high temperatures of Iraq, the C-130E can carry only about 15 percent of the cargo weight that a C-130J can handle and only about 26 percent of the C-130H , says AMC spokesman Maj. David Huxsoll. Because the J model provides such longer range and greater payload capacity, it offers much more flexibility, Huxsoll says. “Based on the results of the Intratheater Airlift Fleet Mix Analysis, we are confident the stretch variant of the C-130J is the most cost-effective solution to perform the intratheater airlift mission,” he tells the Daily Report. AMC has programmed for 32 additional C-130Js between Fiscal 2010 and Fiscal 2013. Still to come is a new multiyear contract with Lockheed Martin (see above).