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Prepare to meet the F-18 Stingray

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posted on Nov, 7 2017 @ 03:17 PM
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originally posted by: TrueBrit
a reply to: Zaphod58

Wait... what?

An F-18, into a tanker?

That is rather like re-purposing a Mini Cooper (an old one, not those massive, newfangled ones), into a recreational vehicle, in that, there is no way you are getting enough fuel on board even an unmanned version of the F-18, to refuel more than one fighter at a time... or at least, if there is a way, I hope they never try and land one of those tankers within a hundred miles of a city, because to pack all that fuel into such a tiny aircraft is... well its ridiculous. Current tanker aircraft are HUGE, and one assumes there is a reason for that, beyond "thats what we had lying around idle last time we wanted a tanker".

I find this article extremely difficult to swallow, and its nothing to do with the brand of copier paper in my printer.


This tanker would be used primarily in carrier recovery operations. Jets circling the carrier that are low on gas hit the tanker for enough to get them on the deck. The navy has other assets available for long range tanking.




posted on Nov, 7 2017 @ 03:18 PM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

If you read further down, you'll see where I said the numbers were off. So yeah, I admit that was off. The F-18E as it is now has a max takeoff weight of 66,000 pounds. But it's not like they ever increase that, or change engines to make them more efficient or anything like that. No, they're going to build straight E models with no changes whatsoever to them because that's all they can do.

What strike capability? Under the last RFP future requirements may add in strike, but for now they're looking at limited ISR to find surface targets. They want it to look for ships on the way out and back in, so the ISR will be a simple E/O turret.



posted on Nov, 7 2017 @ 03:20 PM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

And it's not as simple as "we're building straight E models with no changes whatsoever to them".

But what do I know.



posted on Nov, 7 2017 @ 03:31 PM
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originally posted by: MAVERICKANDGOOSE

This tanker would be used primarily in carrier recovery operations. Jets circling the carrier that are low on gas hit the tanker for enough to get them on the deck. The navy has other assets available for long range tanking.


Except CBARS specifically is geared to mission tanking (15k offload at range), not recovery tanking. And the options now are the 5k offload Rhinos or land based refueling.

Saying you can make a Rhino into an autonomous tanker is obviously true. Saying you can meet the CBAR requirements as they stand now with that approach is sort of silly. If they just want recovery tankers by more regular or updated manned Rhinos who can recovery or yo-yo tank AND retain all the other abilities.



posted on Nov, 7 2017 @ 03:48 PM
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Anyone remember the QF-18H art running around 7 years ago?


bispro.deviantart.com...



posted on Nov, 7 2017 @ 03:55 PM
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What strike capability? Under the last RFP future requirements may add in strike, but for now they're looking at limited ISR to find surface targets. They want it to look for ships on the way out and back in, so the ISR will be a simple E/O turret.



No, they have a separate endurance requirement (bad news for the Bug or Rhino) along with the ISR. The strike capability is still integral to the program, but it's sort of a weighed tranche set up. They also significantly dropped the observability requirements.



posted on Nov, 7 2017 @ 03:57 PM
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Hmm interesting. I think they've flown F-18 with X-47B avionics and software. So the hard- and software is certainly available.



posted on Nov, 7 2017 @ 04:27 PM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

And again, changes will be made to meet the mission. They're not going to take a stock Hornet and do a one size fits all.



posted on Nov, 7 2017 @ 05:12 PM
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One possible option, since this will be used to supplement other tankers, is to launch the Stingray with a partial load, top it off with another tanker, if there's one available, and let it refuel at least part of the strike package. We used to do that all the time during RIMPAC with KA-6 tankers. We wouldn't let the Hornets refuel from our tankers because they kept breaking the basket, so they'd send the Intruder with the buddy pod, max it up with all the fuel it could carry, and he'd refuel all the Hornets.



posted on Nov, 7 2017 @ 06:48 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Lol that was hilarious



posted on Nov, 8 2017 @ 04:28 AM
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If they don't have to drop many munitions, perhaps they could remove the toe-out of the pylons to reduce drag.



posted on Nov, 8 2017 @ 07:14 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Right...

So I am guessing that the rapidity of changeover from craft to craft, in terms of how fast the connection can be dropped by one craft, and picked up by another, is going to mitigate the drop in filling times somewhat? Fair enough...

I guess I just do not understand the necessity for such a small fuel craft.



posted on Nov, 8 2017 @ 07:23 AM
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a reply to: TrueBrit

It frees up the bigger tankers. If you have several of these flying, you only need one KC-135, KC-10, or KC-46. If they build it right, you might not even that, if you're only launching a CAP or a few strike aircraft in a package.



posted on Nov, 8 2017 @ 08:36 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

If you can get a half dozen of them you could service a good sized strike package. Get a couple of the large tankers and use the Stingrays to ferry fuel to the package. Launch the strike and top everybody off. As the strike heads towards its target the Stingrays go to the large tankers, top off and then join up with the strike to top it off before the attack. Then the Stingrays run back to the large tanker, top off and meet the strike on the way back.

Hell this makes more sense to use the S-3s. Put your cabin tanks in, launch with them empty, fill them from the large tanker, service the package and then recover with them empty. That gets rid of the structural issues on launch and recovery. The S-3 could carry a lot more than it launched with. It was the catapult weight restrictions that determined its loadout.

I wonder if the S-3 can be adapted for boom refueling? It would speed up transfer times.
edit on 8-11-2017 by JIMC5499 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 8 2017 @ 08:41 AM
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a reply to: JIMC5499

It really does make sense, especially using them that way, but the program management has been atrocious. I would love to see the Viking come back though.



posted on Nov, 8 2017 @ 08:49 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

No. No. No. The Hoover was fine, and likely had more versatility than it was used for, but it doesn't look cool.

Blech.




posted on Nov, 8 2017 @ 08:56 AM
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a reply to: cosmaniaI

I'm crazy about that wing look and then the tail just sends me....for visual appeal.....that's cute



posted on Nov, 8 2017 @ 09:46 AM
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a reply to: GBP/JPY

The tail is needed for single engine flight. It folds down when the aircraft is in the hanger bay. I always liked the "War Hoover".



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