2008: The U.S. Navy has bought two more
C-40A transports. The navy has a transport fleet consisting of C-130, C-2, C-9,
and C-40 aircraft. The C-40A is actually a Boeing 737-700C commercial aircraft.
The plane entered service in 2001, and 19 have been built, eleven for the navy.
The 78 ton aircraft carry 121 passengers, or eight cargo pallets (or a
combination of both, usually three pallets and 70 passengers.) Max range is
5,600 kilometers. It normally carries a crew of five (two pilots, one crew
chief, one loadmaster and one transport safety specialist, which is what the
navy calls a flight attendant). When carrying just cargo, the flight attendant
does not come along.
The C-40A is
operated by navy reservists, and is mainly used to rush needed parts or
personnel to where the fleet needs them. The C-40A replaced the C-137 (a
military version of the 148 ton B-707.) The navy is also using the 737 as the basis
for its new P-8 maritime reconnaissance aircraft. The C-40 experience had a lot
to do with the P-8 decision.