Air Transportation: U.S. Air Force Demobilizes Its An-28s


July 29, 2015: The U.S. Air Force is retiring most (11 of 16) of its C-145A transports, largely to save money in the face of continuing budget cuts. The C-145A was used by the air force component of SOCOM (Special Operations Command) for training foreign troops in how to carry out air support in a combat zone. The C-145As were bought from Poland in 2009 because these were Russian designed aircraft (originally as the An-28) built under license in Poland since the 1980s. Fewer than 200 An-28s were built. Costing $14 million each the 7.5 ton C-145 is a twin engine transport that can carry 16 passengers, ten paratroopers or 2.2 tons of cargo. Being a Russian design the C-145A was more familiar to many air force personnel in places like Africa and Afghanistan, where Russian aircraft had long been used. The C-145A was rugged and simple to fly and maintain. But the benefit of having a specialty aircraft like this does not justify the expense of the logistics and maintenance infrastructure to keep it operational.



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