What’s in, well not a name, not even a number, but in a single letter? $16 million according to a great story by Roxana Tiron in The Hill. That will be the cost of changing all the manuals if the US Air Force gets its way and redesignates Alenia’s C-27J the C-27B.
The C-27J Spartan won the US Army/Air Force Joint Cargo Aircraft competition. The Army is to get 54 aircraft, and the Air Force 24, but the USAF gets to designate every US military aircraft and is calling its JCA the C-27B. Why? Because the USAF used to operate the C-27A Spartan, its designation for the C-27J’s precursor, the Alenia G.222.
Now we all know B follows A, the same way F-35 follows, er, F-22…and F-117 follows…er…so the Air Force has to be right, yes?
“I’d like to be an F-27J, thank you.”
(And you want ample evidence the US Air Force is quite happy to bend its own designation rules when it suits, check out Andreas Parsch’s great site designation-systems.net)