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Posted: 3/19/2006 11:21:34 AM EDT
DoD OKs winner-take-all plan for Army-Air Force plane


By Rebecca Christie
Last Update: 1:57 PM ET Mar 17, 2006

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- The Pentagon's chief weapons buyer on Friday
approved a plan to pick a single aircraft for a joint fleet of Army and Air
Force light cargo planes, according to documents obtained by Dow Jones
Newswires.

Billions of dollars are at stake in an upcoming competition, an expected
runoff between Raytheon Co. (RTN) and L-3 Communications Holdings Inc.
(LLL). Raytheon's bid uses planes made by the European Aeronautic Defence
and Space Co. (5730.FR), while L-3 has joined forces with the Alenia unit of
Italian conglomerate Finmeccanica SpA (FNC.MI).

The Army and the Air Force seek a light aircraft for battlefield transport
and other short-range missions. The Army was ready to start purchases last
year, but Air Force concerns forced a delay.

Earlier this year, the two services agreed to work together and christened
the team effort the Joint Cargo Aircraft. Pentagon approval clears the way
for the Army to choose an aircraft and potentially start buying planes this
year.

Ken Krieg, the Defense Department's undersecretary for acquisition, signed
off on the Army's acquisition strategy with instructions that the Army and
the Air Force must work together.

"Before the program contracts to implement this strategy, the Army and Air
Force must come to me with an investment review that addresses a single
supply chain, a single training base, and a single maintenance process,"
Krieg said, according to the cover page of the acquisition strategy.
Krieg's approval does not commit the Pentagon to a certain number of planes.
It says that futher analysis will be conducted to determine the ideal fleet
size.

But based on comments from the two services, hundreds of planes are at
stake. The Army will move forward with an initial purchase of 33 planes to
replace its aging Sherpas, with about 30 more included in current funding
plans.

In the long run, Army studies have shown a requirement for up to 145
airplanes. Meanwhile, Air Force Chief of Staff Michael Moseley has said his
service could use 100 or more of the new planes. Observers say the two
services are still hashing out who should get the bulk of the planes.

Both services plan to house the Aircraft at National Guard and reserve bases
and expect a lot of day-to-day collaboration.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 11:22:17 AM EDT
what hapened to the V-22's light cargo carrying capacity? is it now solely an assault aircraft now?
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 11:23:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Napoleon_Tanerite:
what hapened to the V-22's light cargo carrying capacity? is it now solely an assault aircraft now?



ARMY.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 11:25:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KA3B:

Originally Posted By Napoleon_Tanerite:
what hapened to the V-22's light cargo carrying capacity? is it now solely an assault aircraft now?



ARMY.



pretty sure the army was signed up to take Ospreys- they were just last in line. Last I heard the order of recipt went:

1. USMC
2. USAF
3. USN
4. USA

They probably wouldnt have a squadron of them until 2012, but the point is they were getting them IIRC
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 12:54:48 PM EDT
Ospreys? A fifty million dollar aircraft to replace what seems to be done OK by a million dollar Cessna Skyvan type aircraft?

My knowledge of army affairs is pretty lacking, but all is needed here is a cheap off the shelf aircraft that can haul a couple pallets about five hundred miles.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 1:00:45 PM EDT
So the army does still operate fixed wing aircraft!

Now I know what we need to do with all those A-10 airframes when the airfarce retires them.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 1:01:28 PM EDT
Doesn't one of those two aircraft in the competition use the engines and props from the C-130 (only two on the plane, not four though).

A sort of Mini-Herc?
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 1:02:43 PM EDT
JHC just buy some more C-27's/ G222's since we already use/lease some or buy some Casa's.....
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 1:05:09 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 1:15:59 PM EDT
from Sept 2005 www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/issues/2005/Sep/Battle_Heats.htm


September 2005

Battle Heats Up to Replace Army’s Hard-Working Sherpa

By Harold Kennedy

The ungainly C-23 Sherpa transport does not look like a major player in combat operations in Iraq, but—plane for plane—it has hauled more cargo and troops than any aircraft in the war zone.

“The C-23 has evolved as a small hauler for the Army,” said Col. Paul Kelly, chief of the National Guard Bureau’s Aviation and Safety Division in Arlington, Va.

The Sherpa, however, is aging and has other limitations, and the Army has decided to develop a replacement. It intends to spend up to $4 billion for a platform called the future cargo aircraft, which would be larger than a Sherpa but smaller than a C-130.

Initially, the Army plans to buy 33 of these aircraft exclusively for the Guard, at a cost of $1 billion. That number, however, could grow. The Army has identified a requirement for 128 cargo aircraft, Kelly said.

At press time, the Army was expected to release a draft request for proposals to build the 33 new aircraft, with a final request to follow in the fall. “We’re moving at a very accelerated pace,” Kelly said. The contract could be awarded by early 2006, with delivery of the first aircraft in late 2007 or 2008, he said.

Thus far, two teams of contractors have announced their intention to compete. In February, Alenia Aeronautica North America formed a joint venture with L-3 Communications Integrated Systems, called Global Military Aircraft Systems, to market Alenia’s C-27J Spartan.

Then, in May, the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) North America and Raytheon Company partnered to offer EADS’ CASA CN-235 and C-295 transports.

Alenia’s C-27J is based on an earlier model, the C-27A, which was sold to the Air Force. The C-27J is an upgraded model designed with the participation of the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, using engines, propellers and flight systems installed in Lockheed’s larger, longer range C-130J. For this reason, it often is called a “Baby Herc” or “half a Herc.”

Italy and Greece have each ordered 12 for their military services. Bulgaria has bought eight, and the aircraft is competing for orders in Canada and Portugal.

The Spartan, with a flight ceiling of 30,000 feet, can cruise higher than the Sherpa, which is limited to 20,000 feet. It also can fly longer, with a ferry range of 3,200 nautical miles. The C-27J can carry up to 68 troops, 36 stretchers or more than 23,000 pounds of cargo.

For payload, the Spartan cannot match the C-130, which can move up to 128 troops, 97 stretchers or 42,000 pounds of gear. However, it can use much shorter airfields, landing in as little space as 1,115 feet.

Whether EADS offers the CN-235 or the C-295 will depend upon the specifics of the Army requirements, said Ralph D. Crosby Jr., EADS chairman and CEO.

The two are quite different aircraft, he told reporters. The CN-235, which has been chosen as the maritime patrol aircraft for the Coast Guard’s Deepwater program and is in military service in more than 20 other countries, is the smaller of the two. With a length of 70 feet, it can carry a 13,600-pound payload or 51 troops and can land on a 2,365-foot runway. The C-295, by comparison, is 80 feet long. It can transport 71 soldiers or 20,400 pounds of cargo and land on 2,395 feet of runway.

Both teams emphasized the cargo-loading capabilities of their aircraft. Alenia said that military vehicles—including combat-ready, hardtop Humvees—can drive on and off the Spartan in minutes. EADS said the C-295’s fuselage is similar to that of the Chinook, allowing the transfer of palletized cargo between the two without the need to change the payload in height, length or width.

EADS stressed that, if it gets the contract, more than 30 percent of the aircraft parts will be made in the United States. The final assembly site would be decided after the contract is awarded, Crosby said. EADS recently completed a facility in Mobile, Ala., “to service its growing American customer base,” according to a company statement.

In June, EADS also announced that Mobile—with existing runways, a skilled aerospace workforce and a deepwater port on the Gulf of Mexico—had been selected as the site for U.S. production of its candidate for the KC-330 advanced aerial refueling aircraft that the Air Force would like to build. The service had planned to lease Boeing 767s for that role, but the Defense Department cancelled the controversial deal after allegations of improper influence peddling.

GMAS, the Alenia-L-3 joint venture, also is scouting out locations for U.S. facilities, said Alenia’s communications chief, Ben Stone. In July, GMAS said that it would open an office in Huntsville, Ala., to service Army aviation customers. Huntsville is home to the Army Aviation and Missile Command.

The two European manufacturers have teamed with U.S. firms to help them comply with “Buy America” laws that require that at least 50 percent of all work on defense contracts be done within the United States. Both Alenia, a subsidiary of Italy’s Finmeccanica Group, and EADS, an international consortium with headquarters in Amsterdam, Munich, Paris and Madrid, have pledged that their aircraft, if selected, would be assembled here.

As industry insiders await the request for proposals, they wonder whether other manufacturers will enter the competition. Speculation centered on the Boeing Company, which makes commercial airliners, such as the 767, and a variety of military aircraft, including the mammoth C-17 Globemaster transport and the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor platform.

John F. Manning Jr., deputy manager of Washington operations for Boeing Integrated Defense, said he did not know of any interest on his company’s part in the project. Another industry official, who asked not to be named, noted that Boeing did not have a small, fixed-wing transport in production, ready to be offered.

Nevertheless, the official said he wouldn’t be surprised to see the company join one of the two teams already in the competition. “Boeing certainly has a lot of expertise in maintaining and supporting transport aircraft and training their crews,” he said.

The Sherpa—named for the Himalayan mountain guides—was launched in 1974 by Shorts Brothers Ltd., of Belfast, Northern Ireland—and served initially as a regional airliner. Two decades ago, the Air Force began using it to ferry spare parts around bases in Europe. That program ceased in 1990, and the service transferred its C-23s to the Forest Service and the Army National Guard.

The Guard acquired 44 of them for use in theater airlift, airdrop and airborne medical evacuation, Kelly said. In 2001, one crashed during bad weather in Georgia, killing 21 crewmembers and passengers. “There’s no conclusive evidence of what happened,” he said.

The short, blocky Sherpa is not considered a thing of beauty, as National Defense learned on a recent flight. “Most pilots will defend their aircraft to the death,” said the pilot on that flight, Col. Scott D. Wagner, commander of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard’s Army Aviation Support Facility at Fort Indiantown Gap. That’s not usually the case with the C-23.

In fact, confided the flight engineer, Sgt. Bob Wilson, “We call them ‘sky pigs.’”

Recently, however, the Sherpa has earned respect by taking some of the load off of the Air Force’s busy fleet of C-130 Hercules transports, delivering troops and cargo into and out of difficult, unimproved airfields and carrying heavier loads than many Army helicopters, Kelly said.

With a length of 58 feet, the Sherpa is 40 feet shorter than the C-130, but its belly can hold 30 troops, four small pallets or 18 casualties on litters. That’s more than can fit into a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter.

“In Iraq, any C-23 has hauled more troops and cargo than any one aircraft of any other type,” he said. “The Sherpa can transport personnel and equipment more efficiently than a CH-47 (Chinook helicopter) or a UH-60, allowing those two platforms to concentrate on their combat roles.”

The Air Force, Reserve and Air National Guard have more than 500 C-130s, but they are so busy in Iraq that ground forces are required to book flights five days in advance, said Chief Warrant Officer Jack Carman, a C-23 flight instructor at the Fixed Wing Army National Guard Aviation Training Site in Bridgeport, W.Va.

“The Air Force has its own priorities,” Carman said. “We have to have our own transports.”

Also, with snipers and bombs threatening Iraqi streets and roads, the Sherpa has become an attractive alternative to moving troops and supplies by truck or Humvee.

“We have three missions,” Wilson said. “We can ferry troops or cargo, and we can do para drops, with individuals or loads.” The Sherpa is equipped with roller pallets, a winch and a ramp door on the back to facilitate loading and unloading of cargo and personnel.

As demonstrated during the flight, the ramp can be lowered in flight, enabling paratroopers to jump and cargo to be airdropped. The operation is performed by the flight engineer, wearing a harness attached to the inside of the plane’s fuselage to keep from falling out.

The Sherpa fills “a very small niche, but it’s an important one,” Wagner said.

Kelly agreed. “The C-23 does a pretty good job,” he said, adding, “but it has its limitations.” One of them is the size of its payload. A C-23 can carry a maximum of 7,100 pounds, only a fraction of the 42,000 pounds that can fit into a C-130.

Also, Kelly said, “the Sherpa has no air pressure, so it has a hard time with altitude.” It can fly no higher than 12,500 feet. As a result, the aircraft is not being used in mountainous Afghanistan, and its utility is limited in some parts of the United States.

In addition, said Carman, the C-23 requires a longer runway than the C-130. The Sherpa “is advertised as a [short takeoff-and-landing) aircraft, but it’s not even close.” With a maximum load, it can take as long as 5,000 feet to land, about 2,000 feet more than a C-130 would take, he said.

The Sherpa has a range of only 669 nautical miles, compared to 2,835 for the Hercules, making “getting it to theater ... a major project,” Carman said. “You have to stop in Newfoundland, Greenland, Iceland, Scotland, Germany, Italy, Greece, Egypt and Saudi Arabia before you land in Kuwait. It’s basically a tour of the Old World.”

Finally, Kelly said, “the Sherpa is an old plane. The Army is faced with putting a lot of money into it, or buying a new aircraft.”

The plan is to buy a plane using existing technology, rather than an entirely new design. “Everything in this aircraft is supposed to be commercial, off-the-shelf technology,” Kelly said.


Link Posted: 3/19/2006 5:56:45 PM EDT
The Italian Baby Herc is a sweet little aircraft.

I think it will win because of its comminality with the C-130J. The Herc is going to be in service for a long time. Makes sense to be as common as possible.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 6:02:47 PM EDT


Sorry...a former Herc guy finds a lot of humor in this thread...

Link Posted: 3/19/2006 6:14:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GunnyG:
from Sept 2005 www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/issues/2005/Sep/Battle_Heats.htm

September 2005

Battle Heats Up to Replace Army’s Hard-Working Sherpa

By Harold Kennedy

The ungainly C-23 Sherpa transport does not look like a major player in combat operations in Iraq, but—plane for plane—it has hauled more cargo and troops than any aircraft in the war zone.





The plane in that article was killed.
This is a "new" and "different" plane.
Joint DOD weapons procurement programs....
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 10:44:58 PM EDT
The V-22 has nothing to do with this program, and never will. The Army got out of the V-22 program in the early 1980's. The Army was to buy CV-22s for Corps level medevac missions when the program was first started, but cost (MAINLY COST), complexity, doctrine cahanges, and several other reasons caused the Army to bail out of that program long, long ago.

The Army has always operated fixed wing aircraft, starting with the Signal Corps' Wright Flyer. It never stopped operating fixed wing, and today even includes fixed wing jet transport. It's not a big slice of what Army Aviation does, but it does do it.

The Army needs to replace it's Sherpas, but there is also a larger requirement overall. The USAF at first didn't want anything to do with light cargo, but didn't want the Army to have them either. The Army said, "too bad, we'll buy enough to do the whole mission and do it ourselves." Which forced the USAF's hand. The USAF had to buy into the program politically. At first the Army was going to do the program and if it reached a certain size, then the USAF would take it over. With everyone's budget tight, it made more sense politically to go "joint". The recent disaster relief missions also showed an additional unplanned need for this type of aircraft by both services.

For example, say you need an aircraft engine at a special forces camp for a helicopter that delivered something and now is stuck there. Nowdays, it gets delivered by C-130 as far forwamrd as the USAF goes. So you need a CH-47 to fly there, pick up the engine, and fly it to the SF camp. Well, that ties up a CH-47 that would otherwise move important stuff. It ties up a helicopter when you don't need one, because the C-130 is at an airbase, and the SF Camp has enough dirt road/area for a STOL cargo plane. It causes you to run a relatively ineffeicient aircraft in a profile that doesn't reauire any of it's special features (like veritcal flight), at a much higer cost than a fixed wing. It reduces the availability of that tactical combat aircraft for combat ops, when a STOL plane would do the job cheaper, faster, and more efficently.

As long as it has STOL capability and pallet commanality with the CH-47, you'll be doing good. That's really going to be the main thing. This isn't going to have "assault transport" as it's primary mission. It's just a cheaper, faster, and more efficient way to move logistics around the theater. It makes sense to fly people around the country in a STOL cargo plane than a helicopter if there's an airstrip of some kind at both ends of the trip. It releases tactical combat aircraft back to the tactical combat force, rather than tying up one for a full day transporting an engine to a SF camp, or flying 40 people from one end of Iraq to the other.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 10:56:31 PM EDT
I don't know why the AF is pretending they even want these, other than "turf protection". We HAD 10 C-27s in service already, in Panama. When we closed Howard AB we boneyarded all the low time, immaculate little birdies. I always thought they were cool little birds, and the C-27J should be a nice one as well.

I wonder what led the AF to decide to scrap them after not even ten years of service?



In August 1990, the USAF selected the Alenia (which took over Aeritalia) G222 as its Rapid-Response Intra-Theater Airlifter (RRITA) following extensive evaluation. The aircraft, designated C-27A Spartan, are procured from Alenia by Chrysler, the prime U.S. contractor, and modified for USAF operations with the installation of mission-specific communications, navigation and mission systems. An initial order for five aircraft led to a fleet of 10 C-27As, stationed at Howard AFB, Panama, to support U.S. Southern Command operations in Latin America. The aircraft did not prove popular in service and by 1999 all had been placed in storage.

Link Posted: 3/21/2006 12:28:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Chairborne:
I wonder what led the AF to decide to scrap them after not even ten years of service?



They are not pointy nosed fighters nor are they massive multi-engined transports.

The Army should be allowed to run its own in-service transport airline, like the Navy and Marines do. Give them C-130's, C-12's, C-20's, C-26's and C-40's and let them augment the Air Force heavy lift.


Link Posted: 3/21/2006 12:36:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KA3B:

Originally Posted By Chairborne:
I wonder what led the AF to decide to scrap them after not even ten years of service?



They are not pointy nosed fighters nor are they massive multi-engined transports.

The Army should be allowed to run its own in-service transport airline, like the Navy and Marines do. Give them C-130's, C-12's, C-20's, C-26's and C-40's and let them augment the Air Force heavy lift.




Better yet allow them fixed wing aviation based on the USMC model. They probably only want the unglamorous stuff anyway.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 1:05:48 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 1:07:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sub-MOA:
So the army does still operate fixed wing aircraft!

Now I know what we need to do with all those A-10 airframes when the airfarce retires them.



My grandfather, shortly after he retired (Lt. Col.) from the USAFR with a total of 36 years active and reserve service, told me that the Army has MORE airplanes than the Air Force. I assume he meant fixed wing.

I was reading an Army trade journal the other day and the thing was fucking PLASTERED with ads for the competing planes in this program. I had wondered what the program was about.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 1:08:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By dport:

Originally Posted By KA3B:

Originally Posted By Chairborne:
I wonder what led the AF to decide to scrap them after not even ten years of service?



They are not pointy nosed fighters nor are they massive multi-engined transports.

The Army should be allowed to run its own in-service transport airline, like the Navy and Marines do. Give them C-130's, C-12's, C-20's, C-26's and C-40's and let them augment the Air Force heavy lift.




Better yet allow them fixed wing aviation based on the USMC model. They probably only want the unglamorous stuff anyway.




SO it's F/A-18 SuperBugs for the US Army now?

ANdy


I was thinking A-10, but the UberBug will work.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 1:09:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:
SO it's F/A-18 SuperBugs for the US Army now?
ANdy



Did I say Superbugs you wanker?
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