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It is worth noting here that the lifecycle costs of the medium CTOL option likely would be lower than those estimated in the JFTL. Those numbers were based on an unaugmented fleet of 49 CTOLs needed to meet the gross lift requirements of its chosen scenarios.
The other options discussed in the JFTL are unrealistic, and their merits in relation to the theoretical capabilities of a new tiltrotor and the real capabilities of, say, the A400M would be too marginal to justify their costs.
The estimated cost of $128 billion or more represents a large commitment, particularly when the JFTL indicates that MVM will shorten the closure time of a maneuvering battalion by only 21 hours in comparison to current capabilities of the POR fleet.
(18) Air Force, Chief of Staff, "Initial Capabilities Document for Joint Future Theater Lift (JFTL)," October 27, 2009, 5, 6, 9.
Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), Future Deployment and Distribution Assessment: Mobility Lift Platforms, Final Report, Volume 1 (Scott Air Force Base, IL: USTRANSCOM, 2011); and Air Mobility Command, Joint Future Theater Lift: Technology Study Final Report, February 20, 2013 (hereafter "AMC JFTL").
The multi-service JFTL programme envisages a payload of 25 to 32.66 tonnes, a radius of 925 km and a landing distance of less than 1500 feet.
The 265-tonne Boeing C-17A is approaching the end of production, but Pentagon logistic studies are yet to be updated, and a stol version known as the C-17B (see the cover of this supplement) might meet part of the JFTL requirement.
It is claimed that its $ 2.5 billion development cost represents only one-fifth of that for an all-new JFTL aircraft.
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