Then there is the other obvious use for C-17's - heading to Antarctica for the annual transfer of equipment supplies and trading crews in and out. I know the US provide a plane or two probably mainly for their own crews and functions at McMurdo Station. It may save some stress on the 757, although there are a huge number of pax transferred, discussed somewhere else on the forum.
I think you will find the Government is stuck between a rock and a hard place on this and the C-17 is really the only option they have. The A-400M is a great aircraft but unproven at the moment and will mainly been seen in Europe and the risks involved are most likely too high. I am unsure on a stretched version of the C-130J on if an NH-90 would fit in. I cannot see the Government doing nothing here as it would beg the question was the NH-90 the right choice back in 2006 and I cannot see them going down that track. Sure it's a huge capital investment but so to was the purchase of 5x new C-130H Hercules back in 1965 and that investment has been paid back several times over.
Think about it this way the C-17 was unproven not all that long ago. I don't see a problem with the Govt buying A400, we'll get them further down the track, many bugs should have been sorted by then.
C-130J cannot fit an NH-90, even with the rotors removed.
I think going with the NH-90 was the smart choice, it's a new chopper at the start of it's development, the Blackhawk is now well into it's lifespan and is probably nearing the end of it's development cycle.
If we buy C-17 (I hope we do) we will have to get another smaller tactical transport as well.
I have always been surprised that the Andover has not been replaced from a tactical transport role point of view so one would think this is also long term been considered but who knows all very speculative at best. I believe the NH-90's can only be stored on flight deck of the Canterbury as they don't fit in the hangars rotors don't fold..anyone know the answer to this?
I live outside the box and think outside the square and take nothing as impossible.
The RNZAF NH90 main rotor blades can be folded, but this must be done manually (only the NFH variants have automatic blade fold). Once folded aft they are secured to a frame that mounts to the aft fuselage. The aft tail boom section also folds to reduce the length of the stowed airframe.
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill., Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Two Air Force squadrons of C-17 transport aircraft are being inactivated over the next two years as a cost-saving measure, the service announced. The two squadrons -- 16 planes in all -- are at Joint Base Charleston, S.C., and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. The inactivation, the Air Force said, is based on President Barack Obama's defense budget for fiscal 2015. "In this fiscally constrained environment, we have to balance readiness, capability and capacity," said Maj. Gen. Michael S. Stough, the AMC Strategic Plans, Requirements and Programs director. "To best preserve this capability, the intent is to fund these aircraft back into primary mission aircraft inventory in future years, and transfer them to the Reserve Component -- and we're working with our Air National Guard partners to do that, perhaps even as early as FY16. "We rely on our total force partners to meet our global mobility requirements; we couldn't do the mission without them. We'll continue to leverage the unique strengths of the active and Reserve components to meet current and future requirements with available resources," he said. The fiscal year 2015 budget transfers the 16 aircraft from the primary mission aircraft inventory to backup aircraft inventory. As part of the backup inventory, the planes will continue to receive funding to support weapon system sustainment but there will be no funding to assign personnel to the aircraft or to aircraft flying hours. The Air Force said the move will save about $110 million annually.
This had me thinking. This is a bit winded but bare with me. I think quite a few of us know that the NZDF is quite serious regards C17 purchase, whether it be 2 or 3 airframes. This will be for the strategic transport part of the project and would fulfil this role plus some tactical on occasion. These will not replace the C130 at this stage but compliment them until they get replaced early 2020's.
My thoughts are with other countries also looking at adding to their current C17 fleets and new buyers like us saying "if we don't purchase now, we won't get another chance" , what would happen if the up to 10 white tails be gone before we make a decision. So from the article heading this post, would there be any chance that if that happens that the USAF and Boeing say, hey we can make some extra money here, instead of deactivating all those airframes, could we not sell some of the last of the USAF frames off the line to those who may have missed out. I have read that the USAF had said that they didn't really want all that what coming their way and it was probably motivated by congress and Boeing to keep the plant open longer.
So what do you reckon, just my 2 cents worth.
And Frank Dyer, if you read this, can you remember taking my camera while on IceCube 1992 and snapping pictures of bare tarmac and boring stuff at the Deep Freeze apron.
Can we make a decision re purchase before the White Paper is out
Yes. A White Paper is simply a statement of what a particular government thinks at the time of publication. While it is often a culmination of many different lines of work, there is nothing particularly special about it. If government wants to make a decision about strategic transport prior to publication it only takes a cabinet decision.