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Hill Debate May Hold Up AF Aircraft Modernization Efforts

U.S. Air Force photo / Lt. Col. Robert Couse-Baker

The Air Force and National Guard’s plans to modernize their C-5 aircraft fleets may be jeopardized due to opposition from both chambers of Congress, AOL Defense reports.

According to Sydney J. Freeburg’s report, the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2013 contains language that may hinder programs to upgrade the Guard and Reserve forces.

It explicitly orders a halt to retirement of any Air Force aircraft which goes against the proposed substitution of Lockheed Martin C-5A Galaxy cargo planes with a new batch of modernized C-5M and new Boeing C-17 Globemaster aircraft, according to AOL.

The Senate Armed Services Committee’s version permits the replacement of C-5As given they are replaced with newer equipment.

Five Air Force Reserve C-5As will be retired in fiscal year 2013 and 27 Reserve and Guard C-5As will be retired by fiscal year 2017, AOL reports.

Filling the gap are the eight C-5Ms and 8 C-17s under the Air Force’s budget proposal, if the House approves.

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