A C-17 on Steroids: The Pentagon has also been slow to complete its Intratheater Lift Analysis, which is examining the question of how many C-130s the Air Force needs and whether some of that mission should be carried out by C-17s. Boeing is offering a C-17A-Plus that could bring three times the cargo of a C-130 to a short, unimproved runway, Marcotte reports. New engines, additional landing gear and other changes would allow the aircraft to take off and land in as little as 2,000 feet. No word on what the Pentagon thinks of this proposal.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.