To date, the military’s strategic airlift requirements have been met by a mix of 190 C-17 and 111 C-5 aircraft. However, with the fleet aging and decreasing in reliability, the Air Force has undertaken two options for achieving its mission: modernizing C-5s and procuring new C-17s. As the strategic airlift fleet gets older, there is a debate underway about how to sustain airlift capability in a cost-effective manner. Two options are currently on the table: the first is to modernize existing C-5s in order to increase the performance and reliability of the C-5 fleet, and thus enhance the capability; the second option is to retire older C-5s and use the funding to procure newer C-17s. This hearing will comprehensively explore the arguments for and against each option in order to achieve the most cost effective option.
U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM)
Vice President, Business Ventures
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
Specialist in National Defense
Congressional Research Service