Junk old surveillance planes and save $100 billion

That’s how much a think tank estimates the Air Force would save by upgrading to more modern aircraft.

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.

I’ll let you guess who that is.