One of the most controversial proposed cuts to the Pentagon budget is the slashing of funds for the C-130J cargo plane. Earlier this month, two dozen Senators called on Defense Secretary Rumsfeld to keep the carrier's cash intact. And Air Force officials have suddenly started gushing about their "outstanding tactical airlifter."But Tom Christie, who heads the Pentagon's testing and evaluation office, isn't impressed.In a new report, he calls the C-130J "neither operationally effective nor operationally suitable." The plane's "capabilities are limited."Christie's evaluation found "hardware, software, and technical order deficiencies," in the aircraft, as well as "manufacturing quality" and "sub-sytem reliability.""The aircrafts defensive systems have yet to demonstrate that they will work properly and the aircrafts airdrop mission has yet to be evaluated by Christies office," the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) notes. And the weather reconnaissance version of the plane is still having issues with "radar performance in hurricane reconnaissance missions, propeller anti-ice protective cover peeling, and excessive vibration."POGO says it'll have the C-130J evaluation online later today. Or, for $25, you can download Christie's complete report, which looks at just about every major Pentagon project there is, from Inside Defense right now.
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