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Reducing Long-Term Costs While Preserving a Robust Strategic Airlift Fleet

Reducing Long-Term Costs While Preserving a Robust Strategic Airlift Fleet: Options for the Current Fleet and Next-Generation Aircraft

Christopher A. Mouton
David T. Orletsky
Michael Kennedy
Fred Timson
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 158
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  • Book Info
    Reducing Long-Term Costs While Preserving a Robust Strategic Airlift Fleet
    Book Description:

    The current strategic airlift fleet will be reaching the end of its service life in the next few decades, which has raised concerns about the cost and possible budget spike that would result from the need to recapitalize that fleet. This monograph presents the results of a cost-effectiveness analysis to determine the best way to recapitalize the USAF intertheater (strategic) airlift fleet.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8116-2
    Subjects: History, Technology, Economics

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-xii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xv-xxvi)

    This document presents the results of a cost-effectiveness analysis to determine the best way to recapitalize the USAF intertheater (strategic) airlift fleet. The USAF intertheater airlift fleet consists of C-5s and C-17As. As of 2010, there were 111 C-5s in the inventory; as of 2012, there will be 221 C-17As.¹ Three versions of the C-5 were produced: the C-5A; C-5B; and two special-mission aircraft, C-5Cs.² The C-5 fleet is currently undergoing a modernization program to upgrade its avionics, engines, and other components. After an aircraft undergoes this Reliability Enhancement and Reengine Program (RERP), it is designated a C-5M. One C-5A...

  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxvii-xxviii)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxix-xxx)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)

    As of 2012, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) intertheater airlift fleet consists of C-5s and C-17As. There are three versions of the C-5—the C-5A, C-5B, and C-5M—and as of 2010, there were 111 C-5 aircraft in the inventory.¹ The C-17A is still in production; as of June 30, 2010, there were 192 C-17As in the inventory.² The 2010 USAF plan calls for C-17A production to cease in 2012 with a total inventory of 221 aircraft.

    The work documented here was undertaken because much of the strategic airlift fleet will be reaching the end of its service life in...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Intertheater Airlift Fleet and Retirement Schedule
    (pp. 7-20)

    As of 2012, the USAF intertheater airlift fleet consists of the C-5 and the C-17A.¹ There are a total of 111 C-5s in the USAF inventory and by 2012, 221 C-17As are planned.

    There are three versions of the C-5. As of 2010, the oldest version is the C-5A, which was in production from the late 1960s to early 1970s, of which 59 are in the current USAF inventory. The C-5B was produced during the mid- to late 1980s, and 42 are in the current Air Force inventory. The two C-5C special-mission aircraft were built during the early part of...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Aircraft Alternatives
    (pp. 21-30)

    We considered 15 aircraft alternatives. These formed the basis for both single- and mixed-fleet options. These alternatives represent a broad spectrum of aircraft types, including C-5 and C-17A, C-17A derivative aircraft, foreign military aircraft, commercial-derivative aircraft, and future-design aircraft incorporating a range of technology options.

    Figure 3.1 summarizes the aircraft alternatives considered.

    It is important to note that, other than the C-5 and C-17A, the aircraft used in this analysis are simply representative and may not be available at the time an actual procurement decision is made. For example, if a commercial-derivative option is chosen in the 2030 time frame,...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Effectiveness Methodology and Results
    (pp. 31-52)

    The effectiveness analysis followed these general steps for each alternative aircraft:

    Analyze cargo demand based on aircraft capability. MCRS-16 cargo was divided into two groups, the cargo that could fit on the alternative (generically denoted C-X) and the cargo that could not fit. For the cargo that could fit, each piece was converted into C-X equivalent pallets.

    Compute mission and route requirements. Each C-X was “loaded” with the cargo, subject to the delivery time and location requirements, to determine the number of missions C-X would need to fly each day of the war to deliver all the C-X compatible cargo....

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Cost Analysis Methodology and Results
    (pp. 53-66)

    This chapter presents the cost analysis for all aircraft alternatives in this study. All costs are expressed in FY 2011 dollars. There are five cost categories: nonrecurring, procurement, military construction, operating and support (O&S), and disposal. We assumed that military construction and disposal do not differ significantly between alternatives and therefore do not consider them in the analysis. We further used an infinite time horizon to compute the NPVLCC for each alternative. Our calculations thus consisted of the following:

    RDT&E and procurement costs. The RDT&E and procurement costs for each alternative are based on cost-estimating relationships (CERs). We used historical...

  14. CHAPTER SIX Cost-Effectiveness Analysis
    (pp. 67-110)

    This chapter presents the results of the cost-effectiveness analysis. We considered ten potential courses of action that USAF could take for the C-5 and C-17A fleet. These options include various retirement profiles for the C-5 fleet and various levels of continued C-17A production. There were 34 steady-state future fleet options, including all the alternatives presented in Chapter Three.

    The chapter is broken up into four main sections:

    Baseline NPVLCC cost-effectiveness. This section presents the NPVLCC cost-effectiveness of all cases we considered, covering all combinations of fleet options and retirement options. This includes analysis of C-17A continuation options.

    Sensitivity analyses. This...

  15. CHAPTER SEVEN Conclusions
    (pp. 111-116)

    This chapter presents our overall fleet and retirement schedule conclusions. Figure 7.1 shows the alternative fleets we considered in the cost-effectiveness analysis. The fleets shown to the left of the solid black line are not cost-effective for the baseline drawdown and C-5 and C-17A fleet permutations. The bottom row is Category A aircraft, consisting of only one aircraft type, which is indicated by the color. The second row from the bottom is an A400M followed by another aircraft, again indicated by the color, and similarly for the other rows. This figure shows that a new build outsize and oversize aircraft...

  16. APPENDIX A Exemplar Effectiveness Calculation
    (pp. 117-120)
  17. APPENDIX B Aircraft Flight Time Modeling Details
    (pp. 121-124)
  18. Bibliography
    (pp. 125-128)