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How Much C-17 Production Is Left?  
User currently offlineNewark727 From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 1364 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 6 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 8593 times:

I'm local to LGB (well, sort of) and I'm curious as to how many more C-17s are on order for the factory there to produce. It looks as if there are a few still to be delivered to India- Wikipedia says four more this year and five in 2014, citing a pretty recent article. I guess the production rate isn't that high, I would like to see one having a test flight or something of that nature at some point.

18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinesovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2614 posts, RR: 17
Reply 1, posted (1 year 6 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 8550 times:
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From what I can find 3 more for USAF and 9 more for India.

User currently offlineSSTeve From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 709 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (1 year 6 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 8399 times:

If Congress actually passes a budget, no doubt someone will tack some more on.

User currently offlinenomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1871 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 6 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 7968 times:

There's been a year or two's worth left for about 5 years now. Every time they say they're close to shutting down they sell a few more.


Andy Goetsch
User currently offlineGalaxy5007 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 626 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 6 months 1 day ago) and read 7626 times:

10-0221 is on the LGB ramp now, destined for Charleston. 10-0222 and 10-0223 will be delivered later this year as well, both destined for Charleston. 10-0223 was added in FY12, but given a FY10 serial to lessen confusion I suppose. 0223 replaces the loss of P-73 (00-0173) which was lost at PAED in 2010. Rumors are out that one more could be added to the production line in 2014 to possibly replace 07-7189. The latest rumor about 7189 is despite their best efforts and getting the aircraft back to LGB, the airframe is too significantly damaged to be repaired at a cost effective measure (yet they already spent 70M + getting it back home). India has 9 on the board with the option to buy 6 more. There was talk about Canada buying two more for a while, as well as Kuwait still being interested in a pair. LGB has slowed their production rate to about 10 a year, so they have definitely slowed down since two years ago.

Lots of rumors floating around of course, nothing really has been proven thus far due to the incompetence of our government lately. They are supposedly doing some Air Mobility review to determine the fate of the remaining 26 C-5As in service. It wouldn't surprise me at all that they go ahead with the retirement of the As and buy some more C-17s to replace them...you know, since 1 C-17 equals 2 C-5s according to Congress...lol


User currently offlinenomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1871 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 6 months 1 day ago) and read 7615 times:

Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 4):
Lots of rumors floating around of course, nothing really has been proven thus far due to the incompetence of our government lately. They are supposedly doing some Air Mobility review to determine the fate of the remaining 26 C-5As in service. It wouldn't surprise me at all that they go ahead with the retirement of the As and buy some more C-17s to replace them...you know, since 1 C-17 equals 2 C-5s according to Congress...lol

The insanity of shutting down the line for this great lifter that's so important to so many countries with no compatible replacement in sight still amazes me. I know politicians and military procurement people are suppose to be idiots, but you keep hoping there's a limit somewhere.



Andy Goetsch
User currently offlineFlying-Tiger From Germany, joined Aug 1999, 4161 posts, RR: 36
Reply 6, posted (1 year 6 months 22 hours ago) and read 7571 times:

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 5):
The insanity of shutting down the line for this great lifter that's so important to so many countries with no compatible replacement in sight still amazes me. I know politicians and military procurement people are suppose to be idiots, but you keep hoping there's a limit somewhere.

To put it bluntly: the limit are the tax funds available. And a look into today´s coffers doesn´t really raise a lot of enthusiasm for more orders in the next couple of years. Myself would certainly like to see a C-17 order for 4 frames for Germany as I think we´ll need the lifter, but no money no order...



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User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7443 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (1 year 6 months 20 hours ago) and read 7495 times:

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 5):
The insanity of shutting down the line for this great lifter that's so important to so many countries with no compatible replacement in sight still amazes me. I know politicians and military procurement people are suppose to be idiots, but you keep hoping there's a limit somewhere.

But how long do they have to keep the line open for wee drips and drabs of orders which may or may not eventuate? Then again it's not my tax dollars paying for it.


User currently offlineSSTeve From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 709 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (1 year 6 months 20 hours ago) and read 7488 times:

The C-17s delivered now will probably be too old to fly in about 2163. We can close the line.

User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1824 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 6 months 19 hours ago) and read 7474 times:

I think Eu nations should pool a C17 fleet, there could be demands to be in on upgrades as well in the future. The C17 is a great airlifter, massive amounts of aid can be delivered fast. As well as an spear head tank unit for conflicts.

During the 2004 Tsunami heavy airlift was short for a long time and many suffered.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1732 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 6 months 15 hours ago) and read 7377 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 9):
I think Eu nations should pool a C17 fleet, there could be demands to be in on upgrades as well in the future.

The Brits have 8 C-17's on hand, and NATO has 3 C-17 assigned to it under the Strategic Airlift Capability program. An expansion of the SAC program is possible, but our European allies are having fiscal problems right now.

If not, they can always beg the Brits for their C-17's.


User currently offlinenicoeddf From Germany, joined Jan 2008, 1099 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (1 year 6 months 5 hours ago) and read 7265 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 9):
I think Eu nations should pool a C17 fleet

...you say that every five days...

Quoting sweair (Reply 9):
As well as an spear head tank unit for conflicts.

Very true...as we have seen, the conflicts we are in could easily use a spear head unit of lets say five Leo2 ploughing the plains of Afghanistan...or not?


User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1824 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 5 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 6930 times:

Quoting nicoeddf (Reply 11):

I just feel its the last chance to get a modern heavy airlifter, after the FAL is closed no more C17 ever. The weight and range capability is useful even for us wine drinkers and cheese eaters. I do not trust in the east like you Germans seem to do, hooked on Putins gaspipe now..


User currently offlinewoodsboy From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 1031 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 6050 times:

I agree, its lunacy to close down C-17 production. Current budget constraints are of course an issue but that is an immediate problem, hopefully to be cleared up in the next few years. With the total draw down of US involvement in Afghanistan at least that wont be bleeding the Pentagon dry for much longer. Looking at the development time for a new military aircraft being in the neighborhood of a decade or more AND the recent massive cost overruns and the embarrassment of the F-22 and JSF-35 programs, you would think that keeping a very capable, modern heavy lift aircraft available to not only the US but to the world would be a no brainer. Look at how long the Airbus A400M has taken to develop, its been another debacle in itself! I also have this thought, with LGB shut down in the future and Boeing's other production space stretched to the absolute limit with huge orders for 737MAX, next gen 777 and 787 models, where on earth would a C-17 replacement be built?
Just think, the C-17s are all delivered and the line is shut....then 5 years down the road the Pentagon realizes that it needs more of them and here we go on a decade long development program for a new heavy lifter, should be able to have a C-17 replacement in the sky in about 20 years, just ridiculous.


User currently onlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7295 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 5876 times:

Best take is to kill the C5 updates and use those funds to get additional C-17's.
The C-17 cannot replace the C5, but it is all the US has, in the current environment, no one is going to study, look at or design a C5 replacement for another 20 to 30 years, so is it cheaper to purchase another few C-17's versus continue the millions being spent on the C5 a/c upgrades?
If the C17 efficiency is much better than the improved C5 then two C17's flights to take care of one C5 may be worth it, and with the draw down of forces worldwide, the need for long range flights may be lower.


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3575 posts, RR: 27
Reply 15, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5793 times:
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Kuwait is now interested in buying one, that's good for 3 months extension.. and India has yet to pick up it's options, It is odd that the Saudi's have not bought 4-6.. however they tend to buy just before line shut downs or the need for brownie points with the US congress.

AS Japan gets more and more into humanitarian deployments, I would anticipate seeing them buy several even though they are pursuing their own transporter.

As far as loading up the USAF with more.. they've said they have enough, and don't want any more.. plus we can not afford more.


User currently offlinekiwirob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7443 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5757 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 15):
AS Japan gets more and more into humanitarian deployments, I would anticipate seeing them buy several even though they are pursuing their own transporter.

Doubt it.


User currently offlineNewark727 From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 1364 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4832 times:

Sorry to bump this thread, but I figure it's worth asking: is there anywhere where I could find out when C-17s are test flown/otherwise visible at LGB for planespotting purposes?

User currently offlineGalaxy5007 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 626 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4816 times:

Quoting par13del (Reply 14):
If the C17 efficiency is much better than the improved C5 then two C17's flights to take care of one C5 may be worth it, and with the draw down of forces worldwide, the need for long range flights may be lower.

It doesn't work that way. Double the fuel, double the man power to fly two aircraft versus one is dumb. Regardless of drawdowns, there will always be a need for the C-5M. They have already killed off the A models because of all the extra C-17s that we didn't need. Only 26 A models remain in service, and they will be slowly enter retirement over the next 3 years. Also, contrary to belief, the C-17 does have its problems. The older jets especially are showing their age. I've seen them breaking more and more recently. But thats what happens when you over utilize an aircraft. The C-5M is a good aircraft. The problem is Lockheed (whom is trying to stay tight lipped) is a year behind on M model deliveries on a few jets, and they can't seem to solve the problems. The modification isn't the issue; it is software and contract issues apparently. That and apparently Lockheed only has one flight test team that can fly them (which is absolutely ridiculous), so they are only doing one jet at a time...meanwhile they have 5 jets waiting to get in the air just sitting idle.

The best way to handle it is to mothball the tooling for the C-17A. When the time comes that more aircraft are needed, they can use the tooling to either restart the C-17A line, or use most of the existing tooling and modify the aircraft to a C-17D (since the B and C model proposals were shot down). The other option is to keep the line "warm" and just get a couple of replacements a year starting in FY15...although that is less likely to happen with our current elected officials. Keep in mind as well, the wars have increased our debt significantly, and they aren't exactly paid for. So funds won't just magically appear as we withdraw from Afghanistan.

The second to last C-17 for the USAF made its first flight yesterday; 10-0222.


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