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TripleDelta
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Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:13 pm

Croatia To Join SAC And The C-17 Fleet?

Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:25 am

As per Flight Global (link, Croatia is in talks to join the Strategic Airlift Capability partnership after Italy's pullout, and gain access to one C-17 for 45-60 hours a year (the minimum slot)...

Many local newspapers have already started pointing to US political pressure rather than any real need for the aircraft, and I personally tend to agree. The C-17, while an excellent aircraft, is just too big and to over-engineered for any existing CroAF mission and usage - unless we decide to relocate the entire country in one go  - and many don't really see any point to it within Croatia. Most of the time, even the AF's two An-32s - the "heavy haulers" of the fleet - fly empty, so what would the AF pack in the bulk of the C-17 is open to debate.

Another more pressing issue is that the money that would be spent for this partnership could be better used to keep the AF's existing aircraft (some maintenance-intensive) in the air. The tender for new fighter aircraft - with the best of the AF MiG-21s having just under three years of service life remaining - was cancelled specifically for a lack of funds, and chartering a rediculously large aircraft for Croatian needs surely won't help the rest of the air force...

[Edited 2010-07-30 00:26:07]
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sasd209
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Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:32 am

RE: Croatia To Join SAC And The C-17 Fleet?

Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:44 am

I'm sorry, and please don't think me ignorant but I don't know much about military cargo operations....is 45-60 hours a year for use of a cargo aircraft a reasonable number of hours to accomplish missions? From what I can see, this is more or less a 'time share' of an A/C? Please educate me about the pros/cons of such a scheme as I don't know anything about it. To me it seems like a renting of the A/C....possibly a cheap way for a country to gain airlift capability?

And from what I see above, the CroatianAF really doesn't have a need for such a large airlift capacity? Are they purchasing the rights to the A/C 'just in case'?
Thanks guys!!!

[Edited 2010-07-30 00:49:49]
 
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TripleDelta
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Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:13 pm

RE: Croatia To Join SAC And The C-17 Fleet?

Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:51 am

Quoting sasd209 (Reply 1):
To me it seems like a renting of the A/C....possibly a cheap way for a country to gain airlift capability?

Indeed it is. The 12 nations in the SAC partnership basically "buy hours" on the aircraft, in proportion to their needs (like in flight school  - or fractional ownership). The net effect is that the aircraft keeps flying and not wasting away on the ground, it's maintenance and expenses are covered, and the partner nations get access to heavy lift capability without having to commit to actually buying the type and suffer all the associated expenditures that would follow. A pretty good idea too...

However, in the context of Croatia, many have started questioning why do we need heavy lift capability at all?
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