The Air Force has decided it has “excess capacity,” Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said last week, and as such, many of its airplanes are going away.
We mentioned the A-10 cuts earlier. The other cuts include F-16 and F-15 squadrons. Most likely, high time earlier airframes will be retired. As for the transports…
Twenty-seven C-5s are going to retire. The Galaxy is a heck of an airlifter, but the program has always been plagued by reliability problems. Even after multiple modifications, the plane is still a massive maintenance suck. So, while loss of capability is bad, the retirement is reasonable. The 65 C-130s being retired are almost certain to be elderly C-130E models, who have earned their rest in the sun.
The one that really irks me is the C-27 retirement. Moving planes to the boneyard while the procurement program is still ongoing is more than a little annoying.
I hope the Army will press to take over the birds and use them to replace the C-23 Sherpas currently used in the Operational Support Airlift role. You know, the whole reason the Army started the Light Cargo Aircraft program in the first place.
What to you want to bet the Air Force refuses to release them?