The US Marine Corps Transport Squadron (VMR) 1, Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 41 received the first of two C-40A aircraft in a ceremony in Fort Worth, Texas, May 19.
Acquired from the commercial market, both C-40A aircraft are uniquely configured for the US Marine Corps.
VMR 1 will use these aircraft, which were former 737 passenger planes, to support the Marine Corps and Joint services with assault support in the form of air logistics, providing time-, place- or mission-sensitive, long-range, multipurpose air transport of key personnel and cargo between and within combatant commands and theaters of war.
The Marine Corps version of the C-40A aircraft features a palletized seating design and a Federal Aviation Administration-approved “Combi” Soft Barrier allowing the aircraft to carry passengers and cargo together. The aircraft also features new engines, winglets, added power systems for electronic flight bags, and the latest in LED lighting.
“Delivery of this aircraft meets a critical Marine Corps requirement for organic long-range logistical airlift capability,” said Col Steve Puckett, PMA-207 program manager. “These aircraft have been specially equipped for agile tasking and can be reconfigured on the spot to carry Marines, cargo, or a combination of both.”
The C-40A “Clipper,” a derivative of the Boeing 737-700C commercial airliner, has been used by the US Navy since 2001. The Marine Corps C-40A aircraft replaced the venerable C-9B aircraft, which was retired in 2018 after 44 years of service. The second Marine C-40A aircraft is scheduled to deliver in early fall 2023.
“This is a great accomplishment for our C-40 team,” said Jim Thompson, PMA-207 Fixed Wing/Operational Support Aircraft deputy program manager. “As with most aircraft acquisition efforts, there were challenges, but I am proud of the accomplishment of our small team. Their hard work, devotion, and patience have contributed to, and permitted the delivery of a critical asset to the Marines.”