Responding to Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne’s prediction that the C-5 RERP will incur a Nunn-McCurdy breach, and Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley’s comments that the Air Force and Lockheed Martin have different views of just what the cost will be, the company offered a statement Wednesday. “Lockheed Martin has submitted a firm-fixed price/not-to-exceed offer” to modernize the C-5 fleet, the company said, adding, “We have confidence in our cost estimates and are currently working with the Air Force to refine those estimates.” The company went on to claim a 4-to-1 cost savings for every dollar invested in its C-5 RERP, and a life cycle cost savings of “$50 billion through 2040.” The company said test data so far “indicates the C-5M program will meet or exceed all customer requirement, including those necessary to meet wartime objectives” to move troops and outsize cargo. Company vice president Jim Grant said that flight testing is 60 percent complete and that the fleet has 70 percent of its structural service life remaining. The RERP program will cost $11.7 billion, he said, but that assumes the C-5s will go through programmed depot maintenance before getting the upgrade and doesn’t count the Air Force’s non-Lockheed-related costs, such as government-furnished equipment. “The firm-fixed-price contract … puts the burden on us” to perform, Grant said. He added that the company believes the RERP is “without question, the best way to modernize the strategic lift fleet.”
Unlike nearly every other innovative technology throughout history, Maj. Gen. DeAnna M. Burt believes the space enterprise emerged backward. “Every other domain started with an entrepreneur who built something,” Burt, the special assistant to the Chief of Space Operations, told an audience at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference.