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Boeing | Budgets | Contracts - Awards | Fighters & Attack | Lockheed Martin | Transport & Utility | USA

C-17A, F-22A May Get Reprieves from Congress

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Reinforcements coming?(click to view full) If current plans are followed, 2 major military aviation programs will close their production lines in 2009. This is not a decision to be taken lightly. Restarting a shuttered production line can cost billions of dollars. Worse, much of the human expertise will be gone and must be rebuilt over time, a factor that can add additional time, cost, and even quality issues to the project. America’s C-17 strategic transport program has been doing the dance of the 7 veils since 2005. The Pentagon claims the existing fleet is sufficient. Meanwhile, Congress states its open disbelief in the reports and justifications used to reach that conclusion, and continues to appropriate money and new planes. The associated issue of aerospace competitiveness also looms in the background. Shutting the C-17 line would leave America without a viable entry in the light and strategic military transport markets, leaving the strategic market to the Airbus A400M and Russia’s AN-124 Ruslan. DID articles like “C-17 Production Line Out of Time?” “Lexington Institute on ‘The Dumbest Weapons Decision of the Decade’,” and “Interactive: C-5s vs. C-17s in Washington” look at some of the associated issues. The USA’s super-maneuverable, supersonic cruising F-22A […]

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