Boeing has announced plans to compete in the upcoming Joint Cargo Aircraft competition by joining with L-3 Communications and Finmeccanica’s Alenia division to offer the C-27J aircraft, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Army and Air Force have joined forces to recapitalize the Army’s light cargo C-23 Sherpa fleet and provide the Air Force with a lighter transport aircraft that can get in and out of austere locations. A team led by Raytheon and EADS-CASA plans to offer the C-295 and CN-235 aircraft. The WSJ reports also that Lockheed Martin may enter a short version of its C-130 into the competition. The Air Force and Army plan to open a joint program office in October and to see deliveries of the first aircraft by 2010.
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.