Lockheed Martin C-130J Purchases Planned By Pentagon Rise 90 Percent

December 12th, 2007  
Team Infidel

Topic: Lockheed Martin C-130J Purchases Planned By Pentagon Rise 90 Percent

Washington Examiner
December 11, 2007
Pg. 15
By Tony Capaccio, Bloomberg News
The U.S. military plans to increase by almost 90 percent the number of Lockheed Martin Corp. C-130J transport aircraft purchased through fiscal year 2013.
Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England, in an unpublished Nov. 19 directive that spells out changes in the Defense Department's fiscal 2009-2013 plan, adds 32 aircraft -- eight each year starting in 2010. He ordered that $2.7 billion be shifted from other Air Force accounts to buy the planes.
The additions reflect that the Pentagon ``has no choice'' except to buy more C-130Js because ``the requirement is too strong'' from the Air Force, the U.S. Special Operations Command and other services, said Richard Aboulafia, vice president of the Teal Group, a Fairfax, Virginia-based consulting company.
In addition, a Boeing Co.-led program to upgrade older model C-130s ``is precarious,'' he said. The program's cost grew 21 percent to $5.9 billion last year, forcing Boeing and the Air Force to cut the planned number of planes to 268 from 434.
Including the U.S. military, Lockheed has contracts to sell 196 C-130Js worldwide. England's directive provides some confirmation of additional sales that Lockheed officials projected to financial analysts early last month at a closed meeting in Fort Worth, Texas.
England's directives will be reflected in the Defense Department's portion of the fiscal 2009 budget that President George W. Bush will propose in February. The federal government's fiscal year begins Oct. 1 and ends Sept. 30.
Kevin Wensing, a spokesman for England, had no comment on the directive. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. spokesman Peter Simmons said the company hasn't been notified of a proposed increase.
England's decision solidifies orders for a program terminated in 2005 by then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld later reversed himself, allowing the service to complete the purchase of 60 aircraft, yet indicated the program would end next year.
December 14th, 2007  
It's a great aircraft.

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