posted on May, 14 2014 @ 04:41 PM
I don't know where you get your info Zaph, but damn. Very few people even knew about the existance of a stealth tanker being tested. And it was
roughly 10-12 years ago. The problem was trying to hide the booms RCS from radar. Yes they experiemented with RAM and a faceted ruddervator system.
They got the RCS down pretty low but not low enough to make it worth while for a strike package to go undetected. For example flying a package of
F-22's and a tanker into a heavily defended area would just give up the fighters too easy. So as far as I know it never went past RCS testing
But Air Force generals have wanted some sort of stealthy tanker for a while now, and it was rumored for a long time that after the KC-Y competiting,
the KC-Z would focuse on stealth technology. Were not going to be bombing Iraq and Afghanistan anymore. We will be out in the pacific ocean focusing
on mainland China and the likes, a place where a stealthy tanker would work. Just how far do you think an F-22 or F-35 can fly into mainland china in
its current state of fuel load?
If we had a tanker that could fly with fighters undetected it would be a game changer for sure. March 2003 was the first time a tanker officially was
"in country" during a war. We went from air refueling tracks in Saudi to mirror tracks in Iraq. We went from combat support flights to combat
flights. But that was after the initial strike packages took out what was left of iraq's SAM's and possible air force. In a battle with China, they
have weapons that could reach out into the ocean hundreds if not thousands of miles and hit tankers, AWACS, JSTARS, etc.
I agree that the need for a stealth tanker is there, but i doubt that its gone anywhere in the last ten years, and if it has i don't know about it.
As for the F-117 companion, its still operational as of Janurary of this year
. But i could see these new triangles as being a replacement for
them, although they themselves are not triangles.