Air Force Will Pay $50 Million To Service Gulfstream Jets | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Air Force Will Pay $50 Million To Service Gulfstream Jets

The Air Force will pay Gulfstream nearly $50 million to maintain its C-37 executive jets, in a contract announced Thursday, the day before the U.S. government was set to absorb $85 billion in automatic spending cuts to military and domestic programs. The C-37 is based on the Gulfstream V; according to an Air Force fact sheet, the service has nine of them.

News of the contract was reported by the defense industry blog Intercepts, where Aaron Mehta says he was paying particularly close attention to the Department of Defense's daily announcement of contracts on the eve of the "sequestration" deadline.

"Obviously, the C-37 serves an important purpose of transporting high level officials around while maintaining their contact with key military decision makers," Mehta writes. "And the last thing anyone wants is one of these planes to break down while transporting someone around the world. But from a sheer visual standpoint, it's kind of funny to see these jets getting a multi-million-dollar award hours before sequestration began."

The officials who use the C-37 include members of Congress. The aircraft made headlines in 2009, when the House voted to give the Air Force $200 million to buy three of the luxury jets — two more than had been requested.

Last year, the Aeroweb site reported that the price of a new C-37 was $66.19 million in 2011. The Air Force evidently paid about $36 million for a new one back in 1998. Updated versions of the original Gulfstream V are now designated G500 and G550.

This isn't to suggest there's anything improper with the contract itself. But the news of a large expenditure on luxury jets seemed out of step with senior military officials' warnings of furloughs and other hardships.

As for the Department of Defense's new list of contracts released Friday afternoon, after the "sequestration" deadline passed, the list starts with a $49.4 million deal with Bayer, "for various pharmaceutical products."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

After Father's Death, A Writer Learns How 'The Japanese Say Goodbye'

Lost in a deep depression, Marie Mutsuki Mockett visited a temple owned by her mother's family near Fukushima. There, she found traditions and ways of thought that helped her work through her grief.
NPR

Watch 'Bob's Burgers'? Now You Can Eat Them, Too

What happens when you try to make a burger out of a pun? One blog, two years, and dozens of recipes later, millions of fans can now cook up their very own Bob's burgers.
NPR

Obama Makes Guest Appearance On Modi's Radio Show

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosts a radio show and this week his guest was President Barack Obama. They answered questions from a curious Indian public.
NPR

Facebook Suffers Self-Inflicted Outage

A Facebook statement said the disruption was caused by a technical change it made to the site and wasn't a cyberattack. The outage lasted an hour.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.