Then What?:

When the C-5 RERP is declared in breach of the Nunn-McCurdy limit (see above), the Air Force then would have to decide what to do about it. There are two pieces of legislation that hamstring the Air Force. One says the C-5 RERP tests must be completed, and the other says that no C-5s can be retired until that happens. The Air Force could well decide not to certify the C-5 RERP as critical, in which case the airplanes might continue to fly in an unmodified condition. But the USAF Chief of Staff, Gen. Michael Moseley, noted that the whole point of RERP was to gain about 10 extra airplanes worth of capability. That translates to between $600 million and $1 billion per airplane, a top service official said. Compared with about $300 million for a brand-new C-17, RERP “is not going to fly,” he observed. Unfortunately, there are some in Congress who may still want the full C-5 fleet upgrade.