Gen. Arthur Lichte, commander of Air Mobility Command, indicated that the additional C-17s coming into the fleet as a result of Congressional add-ons to the 2010 defense budget will affect the current airlift mix—and is pushing the force closer to retiring older, less reliable C-5As. Lichte emphasized that his original mobility requirement was a fleet of 205 C-17s and 111 C-5s for global airlift needs, but as the number of C-17s keeps creeping up it creates fleet management issues. “Anything essentially that is over the 205 C-17s, we start knocking off some of the older, poorest performing C-5s,” Lichte said. At a minimum, he said, AMC wants to keep 52 C-5Bs that have gone through the Avionics Modernization Program and are due to receive new engines and structural upgrades under the Reliability Enhancement and Re-Engining Program. Continue
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.