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Policy - Procurement | Specialty Aircraft | Transformation | Transport & Utility | USA

AMC Commander Discusses: KC-X, C-5 Programs

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KC-135 refuels F-22A(click to view full) Gen. Arthur Lichte, the commander of USAF Air Mobility Command, recently placed the stakes behind the $30+ billion, 175 aircraft KC-X aerial refueling tanker contract in perspective, and discussed past aerial tanker program issues, as he addressed the Logistics Officer Association. He began by discussing the 707-based KC-135E fleet. Their tires must be rotated every 7 days, and every 45 days they must be towed and their engines run to keep them in a “flyable status” as directed by law. Will they fly? No. “For example, we need to retire our KC-135 (Stratotanker) E models — their struts need repair. At the end of this year, we’ll have 85 of them parked on our ramps, and we don’t fly them. This type of maintenance of old aircraft is costing money. As a matter of fact, it costs about $100,000 per aircraft per year. We need some relief from this.” He added that even if the first KC-X aircraft is delivered on time in 2011, and 15 a year are delivered after that, the last KC-135 will leave the fleet in 2048, at an age of about 87 years. However, if the program runs into […]

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