Dear Congressman, send the C-27Js to The Boneyard

I read yesterday the following article from Aviation Week & Space Technology: “U.S. Coast Guard Patrol Aircraft May Fall To Cuts“. Part of the article stated the obvious, that the Coast Guard modernization programs may fall also victims of the budgetary pressures faced elsewhere in the Department of Defense or Department of Homeland Security. However, the following passage caught my attention:

“While the results of the portfolio review, started in April, remain to be seen, the Coast Guard has not given up on gaining new equipment. Obama administration officials are looking at transferring at least 14 newly built Finmeccanica C-27J transports from the Air Force, which has controversially declared them “excess” to its needs. As CRS reported, if the Coast Guard were to receive 14 or more C-27s, it could stop procurement of EADS HC-144A maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) at the halfway point, with 18 aircraft, saving $887 million.”

I was amazed, since:

The rationale behind was the potential saving of up to 800M$ in acquisition costs (not buying the remaining 18 out of 36 aircraft which originally made up the Deepwater program) and getting some 14 C-27J instead…

If I were an US Congressman looking for savings across the US Armed Services, I would have it clear: instead of interfering with sound acquisition programs, I would simply get those C-27Js already acquired, send a couple of them to museums and the rest to The Boneyard in Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, to lay there forever close to their older brothers the C-27As and avoid any cost-ineffective operating and maintenance expenses on them…

The only cost-effective C-27s are in the desert (or already scrapped).

The only cost-effective C-27s are in the desert (or already scrapped).

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2 Comments

Filed under Aerospace & Defence

2 responses to “Dear Congressman, send the C-27Js to The Boneyard

  1. Peter

    Your post is clearly suggested by EADS.You are confusing C-27A with C-27j .Js are modern planes with same engines and avionic of C-130j with big logistic advantage.Furthermore you dont remember that USCG didnt select C-27J MP only because was more expensive than C-235 but with better performance. MP package is anyway under development for two C-27j variants FWSAR and MC-27J then no problem for USCG MP package.

    • Dear Peter,
      thanks for you comment.

      Be sure that I am not confusing C-27A with C-27J and I do differentiate them each of the times they are mentioned in the article. Please, go and read that again.

      The logistic advantage that you mention is non-existent: since USCG would have to operate a logistic chain for 3 models (C-130, CN-235 and C-27J) instead of the two models it has today (C-130 and CN-235).

      You mention that an MP package is under development for C-27J. That precisely means: it is NOT in operation by any single armed service around the world (the MP aircraft that have used any platform for which Alenia works are NOT C-27Js but ATRs…).

      Finally, if the aim is saving 800M$ but taking C-27Js from the Air force (which, just to be precise, do NOT have any MP package installed) to be used by the USCG: those C-27Js would need to be installed with a MP package… and that, Peter, has a cost (integration effort, cost of sonobuoys, antennae, etc). And if the MP package to be used with C-27Js was to be the one you say is being developped for the C-27J, USCG would have to add a nice Non-recurring cost to pay its part of that un-finished development…

      Thus, once again… if US Congressmen, DoD and USCG want to save taxpayers dollars on any decision involving C-27Js (or C-27As for that matter) that decision can only be: park them in the desert and scrap them.

      To the comment “Your post is clearly suggested by EADS”: I do work for EADS, for its Airbus Military unit (that is no secret, it would have taken you 2 clicks to find that out). Despite of that, I do not need anyone from EADS to suggest me anything, as this is my personal blog where I opine what I want on the topics I choose (you could have learned in the “About me” page).

      Again, thanks for your comment,
      Javier

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