30 October 2007

Air Force Writes To Santa

The Air Force want 20 more F-22s than currently budgeted. "[The] Air Combat Command's requirement for 381 F-22s is unchanged despite plans for only 183 now. . . . requirements for 1,763 JSFs would be met only incrementally until 2025." It also wants "more Boeing C-17s, retirement of Lockheed C-5As and for the service . . . to take over the Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA) program from the Army."

The Air Force's designs on the JCA are wrong -- the Army needs small fixed wing aircraft which do the same job as its existing large helicopters but better when air strips are available.

More C-17s would be good. They have about half the cargo capacity of the C-5 (basically one tank instead of two. But, a C-17 can land at field air strips, not just commercial class airports. Still, prematurely phasing out the C-5 which is the largest cargo plane in the fleet is something that should happen only if the Army is satisfied with that decision.

I am indifferent to trade offs between the F-22 and the F-35A on a dollar for dollar basis, but the overall figher share of the budget pies shouldn't get any bigger.

The overall request shows that the Air Force's leadership still doesn't understand their obligation to be team players.

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