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Air Force may pursue stealthy tanker for KC-Z

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posted on Sep, 20 2016 @ 11:20 PM
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a reply to: BlackDog10

What was seen at Amarillo will only be at a couple air bases. It's still in demonstrator stage.




posted on Sep, 20 2016 @ 11:22 PM
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a reply to: BlackDog10

And it was a convenient example. They're not going to put a black project where foreign troops that aren't going to interact with it are going to have a chance to see it, anymore than they're going to land it at O'Hare for fuel.



posted on Sep, 21 2016 @ 02:43 AM
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a reply to: JIMC5499

An F35 will have the X47b (pick you designation of the month) derivative to fuel up in a semi contested arena. As well as other tac aircraft.

In a way the AF is following behind.

But they're talking more about a C130 size aircraft that will help the bombers stay on station long enough to matter in CAS over an advanced war zone. My read would be to do a take the B21 Raider and include a fuel module.



posted on Sep, 21 2016 @ 02:52 AM
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a reply to: aholic

No matter how the Navy tries to sell it, a carrier based tanker isn't going to do any topping off, or transfer any significant amount of fuel. It's just going to do the same mission the buddy pod equipped Hornet does, and provide enough fuel for a couple extra trap attempts or to get to a bingo base.
edit on 9/21/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 21 2016 @ 07:51 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

I also noticed there's a bunch of airports with no planes parked anywhere.

Which is curious.



posted on Sep, 21 2016 @ 08:52 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Yep. I wonder if some thought is being given to combining this with the "arsenal aircraft"? I mean if it is going to be in the neighborhood might as well get some extra use out of it.



posted on Sep, 21 2016 @ 09:20 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

I don't know about that. The B model has a range over 2k+ nm. and that's with a payload, unrefueled. The upcoming C model should do better with an even larger payload. It's one of their stated goals.

The F-35, as much as we know at this point, has a range of about 1.2k nm and a fuel capacity of 18k lbs. Well within the parameters of an X-47 payload and range. And of course an X-47 can top off from a conventional tanker and then proceed close in on the target along side a stealth aircraft. They've practiced this exact maneuver.



posted on Sep, 21 2016 @ 09:27 PM
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a reply to: JIMC5499

The arsenal aircraft won't be stealthy unfortunately. Unless they drastically change the design requirements for the B-21, which I find simply impossible at this point. It's merely a way to keep our unstealthy fleet relevant, and yet safe, in the contested environ, where an F-35 might not have enough A2A.

But using the B-21 as a template for a new tanker design....now that might be an idea folks are already talking about.



posted on Sep, 21 2016 @ 09:36 PM
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a reply to: aholic

Just how much fuel do you think it can carry, even if they put internal tanks in the bay? A Hornet can take 1800-2000 pounds to top off. That's 300 gallons per Hornet. The farther you put it away from the deck the less fuel it has to offload. If you put tankers in the area to top it off, what's the point of having it there? Those same tankers can top the package off.

A platform small enough to fit o on a deck can't offload large amounts of fuel. It's simple physics. The X-47 has an internal payload of 4800 pounds. That gives roughly 3800 pounds of fuel they can transfer out of that payload. That's less than 600 gallons. That's always been the problem with buddy pod refueling, which is essentially what this will be.
edit on 9/21/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 22 2016 @ 07:43 PM
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a reply to: BlackDog10

Whole bunch of big ol' hangars to accommodate a KC-Z down at Holloman though....



posted on Sep, 22 2016 @ 07:46 PM
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a reply to: HomeyKXTA

Other than that pesky NOFORN requirement for SAPs.



posted on Sep, 22 2016 @ 07:47 PM
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a reply to: aholic

I heard that too.
But zaphod puts out a good point.
Im really intrigued to see where this post goes...
edit on 9222016 by HomeyKXTA because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 22 2016 @ 07:59 PM
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a reply to: HomeyKXTA

According to info I've read and gotten, the Raider will have an A2A BVR capability built in.



posted on Sep, 22 2016 @ 08:00 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Touché



posted on Sep, 23 2016 @ 11:14 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Get an F-22 or -35 to designate the target and zap it from long range. Now if we could just get a stealth SAR aircraft.



posted on Sep, 23 2016 @ 11:17 AM
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a reply to: JIMC5499

That's exactly how they're going to do it.

Bitch at SOCOM.

edit on 9/23/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 24 2016 @ 04:31 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

First of all, the Hornets got tiny legs, Always has.. The AAR is being designed for the 35 above anything else. I've got people telling me the C model will hold 8000lbs internal, probably more. That's enough to extend an F35 mission two fold. Also who said there'd only be one per wing. They wouldn't be putting this kind of effort to allow pilots to go around a few more times.... trust me. Its a strategic step, not some safety net.



posted on Sep, 24 2016 @ 05:14 AM
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a reply to: aholic

And it still doesn't matter. Even with the A-3, A-6, you name it. No matter how long the legs of the tanker using them has been, they've only been able to offload enough for a few more passes at the deck. Buddy pods are limited by the amount of fuel the aircraft carrying them can carry. The Predator C, as it is now carries about 2200 gallons of fuel, if you add extra tanks. Some of that fuel has to be used for the aircraft. Unmanned aircraft can go longer with less fuel, but they still can't offload huge amounts of fuel, like a dedicated tanker with extra fuel tanks can.

Of course there will be more than one per wing, but there's going to be more than one aircraft requiring fuel. If you've got 2200 gallons of fuel, per tanker total, and you've got a dozen aircraft needing 2-300 gallons of fuel each, that's going to go fast.

Yeah, we all know the Navy would never put a lot of effort into a program just to see it screwed up. I mean, they've never done that before, or lately.
edit on 9/24/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 24 2016 @ 06:35 AM
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Page 40 of the Pdf looks awfully like Amarillo.



posted on Sep, 24 2016 @ 08:08 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

They also have to be under a certain weight to land. I have seen a plane dump fuel to get under landing weight, bolter twice and have to tank up to try again.

On Blue Water Ops the aircraft don't have the range to reach a land base and have to land on the ship. That's where you really need on board tankers.


edit on 24-9-2016 by JIMC5499 because: Typo



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