I know they've been retrofitting some C-5s to C-5M spec, but are there any plans (or is there any need) to take a step back and decide if the USAF
needs a super heavy-lifter on par with the A-124 or A-225. It must be kick in the shorts for the USAF
to have to contract out certain heavy-lift jobs to Antonov (a former adversary), especially in areas of conflict like Afghanistan.
Obviously, if given a contract and a development budget, it would be a cinch for Boeing, for example, to develop a monstrous heavy-lifter with an efficient two-man cockpit and, say, 6 GEnx engines. But I guess the market would be limited to the few organizations who are moving a lot of big, heavy stuff around frequently: Namely the USA, Russia, and China, the latter two of which probably wouldn't buy such an expensive aircraft from a US firm.
But I guess at this point, and given the US federal budget situation, it's just cheaper to outsource heavy lift jobs to Antonov or Volga/Dnepr HeavyLift
Any thoughts? -- and this is not an invitation for the usual "the USA is in decline", discussion, because we all know that if there was a definite, perceived need for an AN
-225-sized aircraft, Boeing or Lockheed-Martin would have several of them flying around by now.
It's just an academic question at this point.....