Options for and Costs of Retaining C-17 Aircraft Production-Only Tooling
RAND PROJECT AIR FORCE SANTA MONICA CA
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The U.S. Air Force USAF asked the RAND Corporation to analyze the desirability of storing government-funded, production-only tooling when production of the C-17A cargo aircraft ends. To address this question, we focused on weapon system-specific production-only tooling, i.e., tooling not used in weapon system sustainment and useful only for producing C-17s, that is, not readily convertible for use on a different weapon system. Immediate disposal of weapon system-specific production-only tooling is usually the less costly option, but retention of this tooling gives the government the option of restarting production in the future without having to procure all-new tooling. The possible restart scenarios include someday resuming C-17A production, starting up production of a tactical variant Boeing has proposed which it refers to as the C-17B, or starting up production of the so-called C-17FE FE standing for fuel efficient. Future production of C-17As, C-17Bs, or C-17FEs is highly speculative. There is considerable uncertainty as to what sort of restart the USAF might want in the future, when, and in what quantities. Or, of course, C-17 production may never be restarted.
- Transport Aircraft
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering and Control of Production Systems
- Machinery and Tools