By Richard J. Hazdra - Major, USAF
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Extra resources for Air Mobility: The Key to the United States National Security Strategy (Air University Library,)
If the enemy destroyed a prepositioned ship or site or an LMSR, a greater percentage of war-fighting material would be lost than 38 HAZDRA if the enemy destroyed an airlifter. Additionally, if the enemy destroyed a runway or airport, the flow of cargo would simply divert to an alternate airport. Seaports provide lucrative targets versus airports because of the large volume of cargo that a ship unloads. A lack of suitable ports could complicate a deployment dependent on sea lift. 61 Sea lines of communication and choke points are more vulnerable than ALOCs and en route airports.
26 48 HAZDRA A proposal by the Boeing Company seeks to increase the total number of C-17s from 120 to 180. This proposal would incur a new multiyear procurement contract that would give longevity to the production line of C-17s. 27 The lower price of $149 million per aircraft hinges on a 15 aircraft per year production rate. The acquisition program does not take advantage of lowest cost per aircraft production, which is 15 aircraft per year. 28 First, the Air Force must provide funding to support what totals 45 different configurations among the 21 variants of the fleet.
Special operations aircraft may share common avionics with the C-130X and have additional equipment for their specialized missions. 30 As is the case with commercial aircraft, the KC-10 requires special loading equipment to lift cargo high enough to reach the floor of the aircraft. 31 Thus, only 17 KC-10s will be available as tankers during a major theater war, where the operations tempo would dictate a need for more tankers. KC-135 Fleet The KC-135’s primary mission during the Cold War was the aerial refueling of SAC’s armada of nuclear bombers, and it is 50 HAZDRA still the backbone of aerial refueling.
Air Mobility: The Key to the United States National Security Strategy (Air University Library,) by Richard J. Hazdra - Major, USAF