Air Transportation: March 6, 2001


A new study by the Pentagon has determined that the US would need 54.5 million ton-miles per day of airlift to handle two major regional wars. This exceeds the current capability, and the planned buy of new aircraft. Some scenarios, assuming other events such as peacekeeping or humanitarian rescue, could push the required airlift to 67 million ton-miles per day. This could require more C-17s. An Army science board suggested that 747-cargo planes used by civilians could make up the difference, but the military is skeptical of this because these Civil Reserve aircraft lack the ability to operate from airfields with limited infrastructure or in areas contaminated by chemical warfare attacks.--Stephen V Cole 


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