by Jim Nintzel
The latest arrivals at Tucson's Air Force boneyard are brand-new C-27J cargo planes that have cost the Pentagon $567 million dollars. Defense Update has the details:
New cargo planes on order for the U.S. Air Force are being delivered straight into storage in the Arizona desert because the military has no use for them, a Dayton Daily News investigation found. A dozen nearly new C-27J Spartans have already been taken out of the US Air National Guard service and shipped to the so-called ‘boneyard’ at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson. Five more are expected to be built by April 2014, all of which are headed to the boneyard unless another use for them is found.
The Air Force has spent $567 million on 21 C-27J aircraft since 2007, according to purchasing officials at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Sixteen had been delivered by the end of September. The Air Force almost had to buy more of the planes against its will, the newspaper found. A solicitation issued from Wright-Patterson in May sought vendors to build more C-27Js, citing Congressional language requiring the military to spend money budgeted for the planes, despite Pentagon protests.
The RYOT news site suggests there might be some hope the project has not been a total waste:
Despite the disastrous situation, moving the planes to the aircraft boneyard is an opportunity to recoup some of the losses. The 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group maintains planes for the government to sell to other countries. The boneyard is one of the few profitable parts of the military, making $11 for every $1 of funding.
Several countries are interested in buying the aircraft, notably Austrailia. Though the president of Alenia has stated that if the US resells the C-27J’s, Alenia will not provide assistance or parts for its upkeep, a move designed to cut monetary losses accrued by the company.
Here's a video report on the situation: