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Friday, April 11, 2008

A New Heavy-Lift Study, With a Twist

The U.S. Army and Air Force have agreed on a plan to answer the question of what the next-generation, intra-theater lift aircraft will look like, and it has a twist. The proposed Joint Future Theater Lift study was laid out in an agreement two weeks ago and is under review by service leaders now. It calls for the Air Force to assess whether a new rotary-wing aircraft best meets the projected intra-theater lift requirements of future U.S. military operations. The Army will address whether an advanced short takeoff and landing fixed-wing aircraft, dubbed "super, super STOL," is the answer. The proposal envisions a $2.5 billion system design and development program, with each of the four U.S. military services contributing about $800 million to it. The result, as expected now, would be a Lockheed C-130-sized or larger aircraft that would carry a 28-ton payload. The proposal replaces the Army-led Joint Heavy Lift. For related news
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