That’s the conclusion of the Lexington Institute think tank in a report last week that said the Air Force is just wasting scarce dollars maintaining AWACs and Joint Stars surveillance aircraft based on 35 to 50-year old Boeing 707 jets.
The report says the Air Force should retire its 72 four-engine 707 surveillance birds and replace them with modern twin-engine Boeing 737s, following the lead of the Navy, which uses that airframe for its P-8 aircraft and saves a whole mess of money on upkeep.
Logical, huh? But the decision to say goodbye to the 707 surveillance fleet has nothing to do with logic, but instead, resistance by the contractor that will suffer from such a move.
Bob Brewin joined Government Executive in April 2007, bringing with him more than 20 years of experience as a journalist focusing on defense issues and technology. Bob covers the world of defense and information technology for Nextgov, and is the author of the “What’s Brewin” blog.