Navy Orders Two C-40A Transport Aircraft from Boeing
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
ARLINGTON, Va. — Naval Air Systems Command has ordered two C-40A Clipper transport aircraft from Boeing to add to the Navy Department’s organic airlift fleet.
The Boeing Co. was awarded a $152.5 million contract for the two C-40As on Sept. 27. Deliveries of the aircraft are expected to be completed by September 2019.
The order will bring to 17 the number of C-40As procured by the Navy, a completion of the current program of record. The 17 C-40As are replacements for the C-9B and DC-9 Skytrain II transports operated until recently by the Navy and Marine Corps for support of fleet operations.
The two C-40As on order will enable Marine Transport Squadron One (VMR-1) to operate its own C-40As. The squadron, moving to Naval Air Station-Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas, from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., previously operated two C-9Bs for decades to provide rapid-response airlift for Marine Corps units. VMR-1 was the last squadron to operate the C-9B, but its transition to the C-40A had awaited the Navy budget to fund the last two of 17 C-40s to replace the C-9Bs. The 2017 Marine Corps Aviation Plan slated VMR-1 to move to Fort Worth and convert from an active-duty squadron to a Reserve squadron by October.
VMR-1 divested itself of its two C-9Bs in April, said Kelly Burdick, a spokeswoman for Naval Air Systems Command. Until its own C-40As arrive, VMR-1’s crews are augmenting the Fort Worth-based VR-59 in flying the Navy C-40As.