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Air Force wants 10 commercial airframes for "research purposes"

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posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 07:12 PM
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The USAF is conducting market research to find a manufacturer that can provide 10 jets, one per year, starting in 2018. Each aircraft has to be able to provide 170kVA to internal electronic suites, travel at .75 mach at 41K ft and with a 3.5 hr loiter time. Also be able to carry 13,000 lbs worth of internal equipment for an unspecified mission, including 600 lbs on either side of the aircraft.



The desired aircraft must have the size, weight, power and cooling to accommodate 5,897kg (13,000lbs) of prime mission equipment including two 272kg (600lb) “transmitter/receiver” payloads on each side, plus defensive systems to counter electro-optical/infrared-guided missiles and "laser threats". It must support two aircrew and five mission specialist working at consoles in the main cabin.


The AF is remaining mum on what they want to do specifically with the aircraft or what program they might be for. The AF is in need of replacing several airframes that are getting long in the tooth. The E-3, E-8, RC-135 and EC-130H to name a few and it wouldn't be a stretch to think these might be for finding potential replacements for aircraft with those mission sets.



The air force declined to associate the CRFI with any specific mission requirement or programme, and a spokesman for the contracting office at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio says the notice is for market research purposes only and could influence “several programmes or none at all”.


Bombardier has already expressed an interest in the capability request for information (CRFI) notice. Embraer and Gulfstream also have suitable airframes to offer and Boeing might throw in a "737 for all your needs" proposal.



www.flightglobal.com...




posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 07:25 PM
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You know, it's amazing. The Air Force has known for years that they were going to have to replace these airframes. But instead of starting the process years ago, when the budget was there, they had to spend it all on stealth fighters, because they're sexier.

There were years in the 90s when the Air Force bought 0 airframes of any type. The money was there, but their priority was the ATF program. Then when they did buy aircraft, they were Raptors.

So now we have three of the biggest airframes in the service needing replacement, and no money to do it. The current priority seems to be JSTARS and buying F-35s. Meanwhile the Pentagon has had to run to Airbus for emergency clearance for US fighters to refuel from an RAAF KC-30 to ensure there are enough tanker airframes over Iraq and the Middle East, because like all non-fighter programs, that procurement was such a joke. Instead of having a fleet of tankers flying already, we're several years from the first airframe entering service, 14 years after the first attempt.

But you notice that their fighter programs all seem to get through with minimal protests, and no matter how screwed up they get, they get more money. But when the time comes to replace vital support aircraft, there's either no money, some kind of delay such as not getting cleared for Milestone A because they've screwed up the requirements so badly, or we watch disaster after disaster such as the tanker program.

It's time to gut the Air Force leadership and start bringing in chiefs from AMC and AETC and get their damn priorities in order. The time to overhaul the service is now, before it's too late and the only new aircraft we have are fighters and tankers to move said fighters.



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 07:32 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Why aren't you an adviser at the Pentagon already?



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 07:33 PM
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a reply to: nonjudgementalist

Because my advice would be to nuke the office and start over.
edit on 11/2/2015 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 07:36 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

It's a damn shame that the AF is run by the fighter mafia and their "if it doesn't do mach 2, it has to be poo" mentality.



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 07:38 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: nonjudgementalist

Because my advice would be to nuke the office and start over.

Ha, but that's no good, it probably has over 100 levels below ground.
edit on 2-11-2015 by nonjudgementalist because: (no reason given)

edit on 2-11-2015 by nonjudgementalist because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 07:38 PM
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a reply to: Sammamishman

Yeah it is. We could have had several amazing airframes, including an E-3 and E-8 replacement that's better than both already, but it was too expensive to do at the time so it was killed. Amazing that considering what the F -35 is up to.
edit on 11/2/2015 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 07:40 PM
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Congress and only promoting from a select small group of pilots are pretty much the cause in my book.

Its easy to sell a sexy slick looking fighter... but not so easy to sell an AWACS... (heck most folks that didnt work on them dont understand what they do) or the trash hauler (130 for the uninitiated) I imagine also not a lot of folks dont realize the 135 can also carry cargo in addition to doing Air refueling.

Idiot in congress are only impressed with high tech... idiot lawn dart pilots seem to have trouble seeing beyond the tip of their own nose. (but its not just the fighter twits.. Jumper was a moron of epic proportions, had the misfortune of having him as my wing king at Barksdale)

But its late im annoyed and a little drunk..



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 07:42 PM
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a reply to: Irishhaf

I don't get drunk, but I've been annoyed with the idiotic procurement process for years.

McPeak (or however you spelled that idiots name) was the worst thing to happen to the Air Force for awhile. He was dumber than dirt, but he knew best. He was the commander at Hickam for awhile and absolutely reviled.
edit on 11/2/2015 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 07:45 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Im working on 5 months of trying to get back into the reserves and my last base is still screwing me... my next stop is the IG office... so beer seemed like a good choice tonight.

Oh yea if the procurement process would be reformed the USAF could probably save billions a year.



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 07:49 PM
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a reply to: Irishhaf

And have amazing non-fighter aircraft capable of doing the mission.



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 07:51 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Yea never happen unfortunately... to many people convinced that their career field is the only one that makes the USAF work..

Its amazing how many people cant see we need all of them...



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 07:54 PM
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a reply to: Irishhaf

That used to be the thing that pissed me off. The fighters got a huge chunk of the budget, while the bombers got just above the minimum needed to operate. Then they wondered why we had Vipers sitting on the ramp 90 days waiting on tankers to move them, and why cargo sat for a month because all the Airlift was booked.



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 07:56 PM
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E-3, KC-135's. i give them credit for keeping them up.
but with out these..
www.171arw.ang.af.mil...

fighters lose their range.. no support. i thought about 3 years ago. the fleet of KC-135's were supposed to be replaced here. it got brushed aside real quick.

i got a pretty good idea what the AF intends to do with those air-frames. S&F



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 08:00 PM
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Dont get me wrong... the 135's I worked on were great air frames in wonderful shape... the reserves have taken very good care of them... but they were also built in the 50's... its amazing there hasnt been a more serious look to replacing them.

Unfortunately the 135's I worked on while deployed from Mcconnell AFB were POS's ... 100+% manned in ops and 50% manned in maintenance cannot keep air planes in good shape under that required tempo.



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 08:08 PM
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a reply to: Irishhaf

Yeah, that's the thing. They were built in the 50s. Parts have long since been an issue for some aircraft, and others are non-flyable but listed as active aircraft to keep the service legal.

Most of the reserve aircraft were in better shape than the active units that had more money backing them. I'd take the reserve guys any day.



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 09:18 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

The "fighter mafia".

Or more precisely, if it ain't supersonic, and invisible, it ain't ****.

Now, they're payin' for it. Where the heck are the Armed services committee's in either/both Houses, who are supposed to be watching this stuff??

A pox on all their houses.



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 09:54 PM
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The entire Department of Defense is a joke. More money spent on different uniforms for going to war, often times not being camoflage for any environment outside of a video game. Then they start building aircraft that must do everything for every branch of service.

I saw prima donna types in all branches and fields, with politicans pushing their own agendas. Only a real war threatening us CONUS is going to change that mentality. Sadly this could come soon the way things are going.

Hopefully some common sense gets restored soon.



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 10:22 PM
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a reply to: Sammamishman

They'll probably do what they did back in the 80s with the JSTARS program. They wanted new airframes, but were looking at picking up used 707s from around the world for a fraction of the cost. Many companies, especially Boeing, told the AF that those 707s would wind up as maintenance nightmares and that the AF should go with new build 767s. But the Air Force knew better and ended up picking up a bunch of 707s from anywhere they could find because they were cheap. As soon as those jets showed up they started having problems.

A Boeing 737 proposal? I'm sure there are some -200s out there that the Air Force can scrape up for a fraction of the cost.



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 10:24 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Ahhh, good old Skeletor. I wasn't even alive when he was CSAF, but the stories I've heard...

Those Service Dress uniforms were the change that the Air Force really needed!



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