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Air Force planning aggressive schedule for KC-Z

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posted on Mar, 9 2019 @ 03:17 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58
Why would you want to refuel a B-52 with a stealthy tanker anyway? It would be a top off for a fighter sized platform, everything else can be done with conventional tankers.




posted on Mar, 9 2019 @ 03:25 PM
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a reply to: mightmight

The point of these tankers is to refuel all types of aircraft. You don't build a tanker that can only refuel fighter sized platforms. If you build a stealthy tanker, that can only use a probe and drogue system, you just drastically reduced your number of available tankers. And if they were to go in with stealthy bombers, which are going to need a top off before going in, you're in the same boat.



posted on Mar, 9 2019 @ 03:42 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

B-21s and NGADs come to mind. Even with long ranges, they're still potentially going to need tankers.



posted on Mar, 9 2019 @ 04:05 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: mightmight

The point of these tankers is to refuel all types of aircraft. You don't build a tanker that can only refuel fighter sized platforms. If you build a stealthy tanker, that can only use a probe and drogue system, you just drastically reduced your number of available tankers. And if they were to go in with stealthy bombers, which are going to need a top off before going in, you're in the same boat.


You could have a stealthy drogue and a conventional boom on the same aircraft.
But I'd procure only a very limited number of KC-Z anyway. Stand in refueling is only a niche capability for short legged fighter sized platforms, i don't see a pressing need to refuel bomber sized platforms within say 500km of the chinese mainland. Everything else can be done with conventional tankers.
edit on 9-3-2019 by mightmight because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 9 2019 @ 05:32 PM
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We can't afford a VLO tanker program anyway. It would basically be lunacy (so I'm sure someone in the program office is pushing it). What I'm sure they do want to do, and should, is use some basic signature control to bring the RCS down to a survivable level. Because bringing it down to even around 10m^2 from ~100m^2 means it's a lot easier to hide with ECM by an order of magnitude.

I don't think they're going to task tankers for stand-in missions, per se, but the closer you can safely get to the action, the better for all your other assets. Patrol aircraft spend less time to and from refueling tracks, aircraft in dire need of tanking have shorter egress routes so survivability is increased, same for when you have to "drag" someone for whatever reason, maximum range is increased, etc



posted on Mar, 9 2019 @ 06:14 PM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

Considering they once painted the fleet a dark/light pattern and wanted them to refuel at low level, of course they're pushing it.



posted on Mar, 9 2019 @ 08:12 PM
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Saw a Bone take gas at rather low level while hiking backcountry in New Mexico years back. Would have been a week or so after Iraq motored into Kuwait. But that's the lowest I've ever seen someone on the boom that wasn't at an airshow. Would have been 1000-2000 AGL probably. Got my attention.

Have heard plenty of stories about SOCOM demanding missions in the weeds.

Would still be Stupid with a capital S to fund a VLO tanker fleet. But using simple means from the beginning of tracing the planform, it should be relatively easy to get to 1-10m^2, and that would be immensely beneficial from a survivability standpoint. That and decreasing transonic drag in current designs would go a very long way in keeping them out of trouble.



posted on Mar, 9 2019 @ 08:13 PM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

They've been working on drag reduction for several years, with some interesting ways to do it. They released an RFP about five years ago for various methods to attempt. As for the RCS, just about everyone interested is working on blended body designs, which will see a reduction in RCS without being actual VLO.



posted on Mar, 12 2019 @ 06:42 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58
B-21 tanker anyone?



posted on Mar, 12 2019 @ 11:23 AM
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a reply to: thebozeian

Th at program office can't get a B767 converted without going billions over budget and falling years behind schedule. Keep them all away from the Raider!



posted on Mar, 17 2019 @ 04:04 PM
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Or maybe that’s they want to retire the B2’s and keep the B52’s flying...😇a reply to: thebozeian




posted on Mar, 18 2019 @ 03:23 AM
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Would you really want to be refueling the NGAD at the point you need 99% stealth (or VLO)?

I mean at X miles out with a LO platform meeting another LO platform and then the probe 'lights it up' (what will it have the cross section of a Duck?) seems fine to me. You arent going to want to refuel in range of hostiles regardless of Stealth/LO because you will be flying at a slow speed in a fixed pattern begging to be shot at?

Once you disengage if a missile is in the air 'go stealthy' and evade?

Lets say you had an LO tanker of the top spec and cost and a LO fighter bomber attached to you with a LO probe, surely the combination of all 3 will make your 'package' visible.

KC-46 says it carries 96,000lbs of fuel and a B2 can carry 40,000lbs of bombs, do the Tankers regularly carry and empty the full load or is that a 'war load' based on refuelling 20 B-52's?



posted on Mar, 18 2019 @ 04:30 AM
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a reply to: Forensick

Tanker loads are based on mission, but we used to regularly launch a local mission, with two aircraft, to refuel something going overhead with a full load. Both aircraft would dump most of what they were carrying into the receiver. The closer to the mission area you can refuel, the better.
edit on 3/18/2019 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 22 2019 @ 06:33 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

www.thedrive.com...

drones, baby!




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