Air Transportation: November 22, 1999

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Turkey has selected the Sikorski CH-53 Sea Stallion heavy lift helicopter over the Boeing CH-47 and plans to buy eight of the aircraft for about $345 million.--Stephen V Cole

Italy has ordered 12 C27J transports from the Lockheed Martin - Alenia joint venture. These will replace G222s in Italian Air Force service during 2001-04.--Stephen V Cole

Pentagon planners are pressuring the Air Force to reconsider plans to retire all of the C-141s by 2003. The current C-141 fleet is being replaced by a smaller number of C-17s, which have a larger capacity and are more efficient. Even so, the Kosovo campaign proved that existing airlift is inadequate for a two-war strategy and barely so for one small regional campaign. The Air National Guard is a strong backer of this plan, since it will eventually lose its 21 C-141s without getting C-17s to replace them. The Air Force Reserve will lose its 47 aircraft, also without gaining C-17s. This means a loss of hundreds of Guard and reserve slots including command, staff, and support personnel. The Air Force had planned to retire the planes to save money (not because they were not needed), and wants to know where the money to keep flying them will come from.--Stephen V Cole

 


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