Army receives full funding for Joint Cargo Aircraft

The Army and its contractor team of L-3 Communications and Alenia North America scored a victory in the 2009 defense appropriations bill, after fears of losing significant funding for the Joint Cargo Aircraft.

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House and Senate appropriators agreed to fully fund the Army’s request of $264 million for seven Joint Cargo Aircraft, or C-27Js. L-3 Communications and Alenia North America, which makes the plane, are the contractors for the program.

House appropriators had slashed funding for three of the Army’s aircraft in their version of the 2009 defense appropriations bill. The Senate counterparts did not, and when the full 2009 defense appropriations bill was included as part of the continuing resolution, lawmakers restored the Army’s funding.

The Army shares that program with the Air Force. The Army in particular has been adamant about buying a smaller cargo aircraft that can go deep into the battlefield to deliver needed supplies to troops. Lawmakers, however, are skeptical about whether the Air Force has a clear need for the aircraft.

House and Senate appropriators decided to slash the Air Force’s $5.4 million request for procuring the aircraft and cut $10 million out of the $26 million request to fund research and development for the Air Force’s portion of the program.