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New Tanker Concept for US Air Force!

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posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 04:03 PM
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Northrop Grumman is developing the KC-30 Advanced Multi-role tanker/transport system. In addition the the US Air force, Austrailia and the UK are also looking into the KC-30 program to meet their own tanker and transport needs.



Northrop Grumman is leading a world-class industry team to deliver a total air mobility solution for the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation tanker requirement.

The KC-30 Advanced Tanker/Cargo Aircraft is a derivative of the multi-role tanker that already has been selected for service in the air forces of Australia and the United Kingdom. In addition to being an exceptional aerial refueling platform, the KC-30 also offers full operational flexibility for cargo, passengers and aeromedical evacuation – providing a cost-effective response for the Department of Defense and American taxpayers.

Equipped with a centerline flying boom – along with two underwing hose and drogue pods, plus a fuselage hose and drogue refueling unit – the KC-30 can refuel multiple aircraft simultaneously, and is interoperable with U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and allied aircraft on the same mission without downtime for ground reconfiguration.

The KC-30 is derived from the A330 widebody twin-engine passenger jet, which has earned its reputation as the commercial airliner of choice for leading carriers worldwide.

Characteristics that make the A330 a bestseller in its category also provide exceptional operational capabilities and superior performance for the KC-30 as a next-generation military tanker. These include: a large existing fuel capacity in the wings; an advanced digital cockpit with fly-by-wire controls for excellent handling qualities and low crew workload; a fuselage cross-section maximized for both passenger and cargo payloads and underfloor holds that are sized to accommodate NATO standard 463L pallets, bulk cargo and side-by-side LD-3 containers.


SOURCE: www.is.northropgrumman.com...

The idea is for the Upgraded tanker to form a corner stone for the US Air Force's Global Reach/Global Power Doctrine. These new tanker/transports are intended to deploy with units such as a fighter wing allowing them to bring all needed support along in a single aircraft. The KC-30 will also be equiped with a drouge system for refueling Navy and Allied aircraft as needed. It will be the first tanker desing to switch from the "Boom" method of refueling to the "Probe and Drouge" method and back while in flight. Current tankers have to land to change between the two refeuling methods. This allows it to forfill the refueling needs of all US and Allied aircraft types in a single flight, something no current tanker can do.

Tim




posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 04:19 PM
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The KC-30 is derived from the A330 widebody twin-engine passenger jet, which has earned its reputation as the commercial airliner of choice for leading carriers worldwide.


!!!!!!

WOW



Errr... is this a proposed option for the next-gen tanker, or has this been given the contract?

I can imagine some folks in Seattle kicking up an awful fuss if an Airbus is chosen for the job.



posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 05:39 PM
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But that's why they word it as if Northrop Grumman are developing a 'new' model called the KC-30. Makes it more palatable, if it happens. See also Boeing T-45, Lockheed VH-71, etc.



posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 06:01 PM
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Australia have already selected the A330 for our future tanking needs. First aircraft is scheduled to arrive in 2008, with IOC in 2009ish. So, expect them to be flying in RAAF colours around 2015



posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 09:13 PM
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Originally posted by kilcoo316
Errr... is this a proposed option for the next-gen tanker, or has this been given the contract?

I can imagine some folks in Seattle kicking up an awful fuss if an Airbus is chosen for the job.


I don't see why, if it can do a better the job than a versions with a Boeing jet can they have no reason to complain. BTW, I think this is just a proposal, no contract yet from the USAF.



posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 10:24 PM
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I'm not really sure about the status of the Program, but I get the impression that Northrop Grumman has a contract with the US Air Force for the KC-30. Does anyone have a way to verifiy this beyond what I have found?

Tim



posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 11:40 PM
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No, there is not a contract yet for a new tanker. There almost was one for a 767 type tanker, but when it was found out that the lease would have costed more than buying the planes, it was cancelled.



posted on Nov, 13 2006 @ 04:10 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
I don't see why, if it can do a better the job than a versions with a Boeing jet can they have no reason to complain. BTW, I think this is just a proposal, no contract yet from the USAF.


It doesn't have to make practical sense for it to make political sense though.

Senator A, B or C might get elected on the back of working hard at "keeping jobs in the US" whereas in reality they might have done nothing of the sort. Its all about perceptions.


Most on the forum here know alot of Boeing components are made all over the world, and alot of Airbus components made in the US - but does your average voter know that?



posted on Nov, 13 2006 @ 07:16 AM
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Originally posted by waynos
But that's why they word it as if Northrop Grumman are developing a 'new' model called the KC-30.


I got the impression that Northrop Grumman was modifying the A-330 airframe. Hense, they are in fact developing a new model called the KC-30

Tim



posted on Nov, 13 2006 @ 08:58 AM
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Exactly Tim, thats the impression that is intended. Thats not to say that N-G are doing nothing, of course they are, but its like us saying that the RAF version of the F-35B has been developed 'by BAE' just because we call it the 'Lightning FG.1' rather than 'F-35B' like the the USMC does. Thats maybe not the best example because BAE is actually part of the design team for the F-35 whereas the A330MRTT (aka KC-30) already exists, here is an impression of the RAF version refuelling two Typhoons, the first MRTT for Australia has already flown and was photographed in Flight a few weeks ago already painted up in RAAF markings (2nd picture below).





[edit on 13-11-2006 by waynos]



posted on Nov, 13 2006 @ 09:34 AM
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Originally posted by Ghost01

Originally posted by waynos
But that's why they word it as if Northrop Grumman are developing a 'new' model called the KC-30.


I got the impression that Northrop Grumman was modifying the A-330 airframe. Hense, they are in fact developing a new model called the KC-30

Tim


No they aren´t. During the 90s, the german wing of EADS rebuilt four A310s to A310-304 MRTT (Multi role tanker transporter) for the german Luftwaffe and 2 for the canadian Air Force, making them the most versatile planes of their kind. (BTW, since these planes have been around for some xears, Boeings lazy redesign of their 767 is absolutely incomprehensible. It was known long beforehand that there would be a new tanker contract, and they could have expected EADS to show up with this system).

In early 2000, EADS then modified A330s with their existing MRTT designs, which actually was easier because, bearing a close commonality with the larger A340, there was more "space" to juggle with (for example the engine mounts were already suitable to mount the hose-and-drogue pods). This A330 MRTT flat out beat the Boeing 767 tanker proposal in two competitions, with the RAF buying 16 and the Royal Australian Air Foce buying 5.

So basically, the airplane stands as it is. Northrops work will largely be to provide the services, coordinate US operations and, well, make some changes that can only be called "cosmetic". It is known that the US forces almost NEVER buy foreign products "off the shelf" and insist on domestic modification, but whether these changes are substantial can be doubted. Of course, they are not alone with this practise.

AFAIK, they would still be built/retrofitted at a to-be-built EADS site in the USA.

Edit: Oops, waynos was faster...

BTW, I read that the 2nd RFP will be finalized in December, and that the winner is suspected to be announced as soon as April 2007.

[edit on 13/11/2006 by Lonestar24]



posted on Nov, 14 2006 @ 01:41 AM
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Ghost01,

>>
Northrop Grumman is developing the KC-30 Advanced Multi-role tanker/transport system. In addition the the US Air force, Austrailia and the UK are also looking into the KC-30 program to meet their own tanker and transport needs.
>>

How many tankers do we need to support the 'two front war' concept anyway? 200? 500?

When you start talking those kinds of numbers, WHICH do you suppose is 'better for our nation'? A locally built tanker which, because it has 4-5 times the inventory number required to beat ANY SINGLE OPPONENT is 'better for _our_ economy' over decades of construction and use that we are NOT at war.

Or one which 'fair trade' and 'best spec' means work goes overseas?

Oh /that's right/ nobody thinks in terms of best for the U.S. any more. Only for their own pathetic "See, we can do it too!" egos. Even though it's a dead guarantee that the micro forces of Europe and Oz will _never_ form the majority-warfighter of any U.S. 'led' operation. But they WILL be demanding to use our tankers. Our munitions. Our base infrastructure. Our ISR assets. All the things which come with being our 'really good friends' to a true airpower construct.

Snort. We don't need 'friends' like you. Vampiric little weasels.

>>
Northrop Grumman is leading a world-class industry team to deliver a total air mobility solution for the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation tanker requirement.
>>

So CRAF and 200 C-17's are not part of the deal eh? How about airframe performance and deployment requirements for 4th/5th generation fighters and, gassssp, the UCAV?

I mean, if we are dropping 4 times as many munitions from half as many jets which stay FIVE TIMES as long as current (manend) platform at equidistant radii' it can't /possibly/ effect the state of our 'how many for how much' better-for-Boeing=better-for-U.S. needs. Now can it?

Such shallow minds...

>>
The KC-30 Advanced Tanker/Cargo Aircraft is a derivative of the multi-role tanker that already has been selected for service in the air forces of Australia and the United Kingdom. In addition to being an exceptional aerial refueling platform, the KC-30 also offers full operational flexibility for cargo, passengers and aeromedical evacuation – providing a cost-effective response for the Department of Defense and American taxpayers.
>>

Of course KC-135's already 'achieve' this and so it can hardly be called a 'new idea'. No matter how eagerly NG try to painted-lady sell it.

>>
Equipped with a centerline flying boom – along with two underwing hose and drogue pods, plus a fuselage hose and drogue refueling unit – the KC-30 can refuel multiple aircraft simultaneously, and is interoperable with U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and allied aircraft on the same mission without downtime for ground reconfiguration.
>>

Like I want to have some idiot in his 3,500lbs/minute P&D toy jet trying to pretend he isn't driving a 300nm radius machine burning minutes-as-pounds behind a jet which can pump twice as much to one of my receptacled jets without half the work trying to plug the panty. /Never mind/ that when he -gets there- I'm going to have to guard his worthless butt because he still has an engageable signature.

All this does is highlight the general CHEAP ASS NATURE of both the Squids, Marines and Eurotrash, acting like a deficit is an advantage when it's not.

P&D is a losers solution to which we are 'attached' only because somebody didn't /originally/ want to pay for booms to go aboard back when the USN had a chance at real tankers of their own.

>>
The KC-30 is derived from the A330 widebody twin-engine passenger jet, which has earned its reputation as the commercial airliner of choice for leading carriers worldwide.
>>

Really? How many Boeing 757/767s are out there? How many Airbusteds?

The simple fact of the matter is that WE dominate foreign markets by virtue of _building for our own_. And nobody can match that because they all live their separate little feudal lives with a dozen airlines per city-state instead of a single nation-state with 2-3 major carriers servicing nation-state sized routes.

Boo Hoo Hoo. I feel so sorry for you. But my NATION should not have to pay for your determination to live as independent parties with microforce purchases that you cannot afford except by bleeding our economy.

A330MRT will die as sure as it lives if a cheaper, better supported, solution comes along. And you KNOW that begins, not with a B but a U-SAF.

>>
Characteristics that make the A330 a bestseller in its category also provide exceptional operational capabilities and superior performance for the KC-30 as a next-generation military tanker. These include: a large existing fuel capacity in the wings; an advanced digital cockpit with fly-by-wire controls for excellent handling qualities and low crew workload; a fuselage cross-section maximized for both passenger and cargo payloads and underfloor holds that are sized to accommodate NATO standard 463L pallets, bulk cargo and side-by-side LD-3 containers.
>>

Compared to WHAT exactly? A 767-400ER? A 777? And how many of each? Baaah. It's better to wait for a tanker that we can use than give work or royalties to the Europeans. Nationalism still counts when the only 'war' you are facing is one of ecnomic obsolescence in the last area you have dominant self control, let alone export.

>>
The idea is for the Upgraded tanker to form a corner stone for the US Air Force's Global Reach/Global Power Doctrine. These new tanker/transports are intended to deploy with units such as a fighter wing allowing them to bring all needed support along in a single aircraft. The KC-30 will also be equiped with a drouge system for refueling Navy and Allied aircraft as needed. It will be the first tanker desing to switch from the "Boom" method of refueling to the "Probe and Drouge" method and back while in flight. Current tankers have to land to change between the two refeuling methods. This allows it to forfill the refueling needs of all US and Allied aircraft types in a single flight, something no current tanker can do.
>>

Liar. The KC-10 has had duel capability since the early or mid 80's. ANYONE can make a P&D ship from just about any airliner on the planet. The Israelis, the Iranians, the South Africans, The Singapore folk. Flight Refueling Limited has stuck P&D pods on the wingtips of 707's the world over and nobody has challenged the fact that they are NOT 'really B717/KC-135s'.

You just want to create a storm in a teacup, name it 'efficiency' and hope that no one calls you on it as _sheer greed_. We are used to it in our country, it's what makes corporate politics work. We should NOT have to pay for it to be someone else' national profit margin. Not when Ford is firing 4 million people and calling it 'the future hurts' necessity.

Moronic gits all 'round.


KPl.



posted on Nov, 14 2006 @ 04:39 AM
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KPI Wrote:
Liar. The KC-10 has had duel capability since the early or mid 80's. ANYONE can make a P&D ship from just about any airliner on the planet. The Israelis, the Iranians, the South Africans, The Singapore folk. Flight Refueling Limited has stuck P&D pods on the wingtips of 707's the world over and nobody has challenged the fact that they are NOT 'really B717/KC-135s'


Hang on, I was summerizing the report. I don't see a need to refer to anyone as a Liar! That wasn't part of any anaysis, just a summery of the report.

Your wecome to correct inaccurate facts, but that doesn't require name calling!

Tim



posted on Nov, 14 2006 @ 06:41 AM
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Right from the get go the A330 was considerd to have an advantage over the 767 in that it had a wider fuselage cross section which allowed it to accomodate two LD3 containers (the industry standard) side by side below the passenger floor. Boeing had to create a new smaller container especially for the the 767 which was called the LD67.

Going on the number of 767's in service this doesn't appear to have been too much of a problem after all for the airlines but it is probably what the quote is referring to.




How many Boeing 757/767s are out there?


Whats the 757 got to do with anything? Its a narrowbody that is not even under consideration for this requirement. In DIRCECT terms the A330-200 (the basis for the KC-30/MRTT has outsold the equivalent 767 model. It might be a technicality with the 767 selling more overall, but it does mean that Northrop Grumman aren't exactly lying.

Kurt, could you please also just make your points without the offensive overtones? Everyone else seems to manage OK, even when they are arguing.



posted on Nov, 14 2006 @ 09:30 AM
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Ghost01,

>>
Hang on, I was summarizing the report. I don't see a need to refer to anyone as a Liar! That wasn't part of any anaysis, just a summery of the report.

Your welcome to correct inaccurate facts, but that doesn't require name calling!
>>

Do not make your own views reflect ADDED inaccuracies atop the falsehoods stated in the report. If you wish to 'summarize' something synopsically, do so fairly.

The A330MRT makes ZERO sense for our strategic posture and the fact that it can do P&D refueling is neither cogent to that fact nor to the ability of any other jet to do the same. P&D is _generally_ a BAD idea and everyone who does it would tell you so if there were /any/ other option available _to them_.

The Euros can't afford a proper 'NATO Tanker' common force so they use the cheap alternative because they have a history of thinking that the U.S. will 'accomodate their needs'.

The day doing so requires us to buy their crap is the day that it's time that attitudes of dependency AND demand were changed. We're gonna lose the war in Iraq. It's a foregone conclusion now.

When that happens we will lose our 'private reserve' hold on Iraqi oil as Iran will -own- the northern half of the Gulf. Shortly after that, Euros will become the fiat currency for at least half of OPEC sales. We DO NOT need to be buying a /damn thing/ based on a dollar:euro commitment from the people who had the gall to not just sit quietly when they could knife us in the back at every turn in this war.

I don't demand much for WWII. It's long done and finished. But between the snide attitudes on Iraq and the recent outright betrayal in Lebanon, the French in particular will likely NEVER be off my # list.

Screw Airbust. Buy Boeing. Because good bad or indifferent, OUR tanker purchase will have the production numbers to set the pace for the ROW sales and that's not something that we should be giving away to 'such good friends'.

Am I as clear as I need to be?


KPl.



posted on Nov, 14 2006 @ 09:51 AM
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You seem very sure that the probe and drogue system is inferior. Any ifo to back that up?

Apart from the fact that every other force except the USAF has chosen to use this method the only advantage I am aware of is that the wider boom can transfer fuel more quickly. Also, as far as I know this is only an advantage when refuelling aircraft like the B-2 and B-52 because, although a single flying boom can transfer fuel at approximately 6,000 lbs per minute while a single hose-and-drogue can transfer between 1,500 and 2,000 lbs of fuel per minute, fighter aircraft, unlike bombers and other large aircraft, cannot accept fuel at the boom’s maximum rate. (Today’s fighter aircraft can accept fuel at 1,000 to 3,000 lbs per minute whether from the boom or from the hose-and-drogue.) Thus, the flying boom’s primary advantage over the hose-and-drogue system is lost when refuelling fighter aircraft.

Also the P&D can allow multiple refuelling points (such as the RAF's three point refuelling from the VC-10) and so a typical probe and drogue tanker can refuel a flight of fighter aircraft more quickly anyway as they don't need to queue and can refuel simultaneously. U.S. Navy pilots who flew early missions against the Taliban during Operation Enduring Freedom described the Royal Air Force’s six VC-10 tankers that supported them as “a Godsend” and the “silent heroes” of the air war. Navy pilots expressed a clear preference for RAF tankers over USAF tankers.

In fact, when the USAF was about to make the change over to the boom system there was a great deal of resistance to it but this was overruled by the SAC who needed the greater capacity for their fleet of bombers.

Besides all of which the boom system is going to feature on any new USAF tanker , whether it is built by Airbus, Northrop-Grumman, Boeing or even Antonov, so what are you getting so hung up on this point for anyway?

Your arguments against the KC-30 option actually amount to nothing more than xenophobic nonsense, but then I don't think you are even trying to hide the fact anyway.




[edit on 14-11-2006 by waynos]



posted on Nov, 14 2006 @ 10:00 AM
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Waynos,

>>
Right from the get go the A330 was considerd to have an advantage over the 767 in that it had a wider fuselage cross section which allowed it to accomodate two LD3 containers (the industry standard) side by side below the passenger floor. Boeing had to create a new smaller container especially for the the 767 which was called the LD67.
>>

Too damn bad. We can either redo the crosssection like Boeing did with the 707. Or we can buy into the 777 techbase. They are ALL American owned products which means that they effectively SHARE the same R&D and spares advantages. So long as we 'capitalize' on the market share.

>>
Going on the number of 767's in service this doesn't appear to have been too much of a problem after all for the airlines but it is probably what the quote is referring to.
>>

Doesn't mean a damn thing. Tankers haul cargo until they are needed to go to war. Thereafter, they don't need the trades in fuel vs. cargo weight (even ROBE) and you are dependent on CRAF and C-17s and contracted commercial carriers to do the heavy lifting on a rapid-delivery basis. Any 'spares' which can support a given SINGLE theater campaign warfighter are thus in-excess to the military immediate needs and can be configured to both ferry the skypig that is Barney or do their own heavylifting. Or both.

THAT is the only constant which matters.

Tankers in-theater doing the tacair support mission CANNOT carry cargo outside of that theater. Cargo lift coming /direct to/ airbases seldom _needs_ intratheater transport (one of the reasons why '500nm back' is not such a hardship as it sounds in providing continuous overhead air compared to grunts on-scene that get to drive their damn logistics in).

Furthermore, we are no longer looking at 6-12 iron bombs to hit one target.

Two LGB to hit one target.

One JDAM or 60 chaff/flare 'per pylon' per target.

But rather the ability to put EIGHT BOMBS on as many targets without sacrificing external fuel or drag.

Without having to come /even close/ to target defenses so as to be hogtied by available EA/DEAD enablers.

Everyone knows the doctrinal needs are shifting and changing.

EVERYONE knows that the first thing which _has to go_ are the mutant-under-glass assets which suck gas like pigs at slop for 'fighter performance' which is increasingly NOT NECESSARY.

**EVERYONE KNOWS** that UCAVs will _on their own_ double both the operating radii and time on station with those same 8 bombs.

Let's stop playing PRBS games with false advertising and let _Americans Buy American_ based on what THE FUTURE HOLDS as a potential change in our necessary inventory posture.

Because, in the wake of being 'so grateful' for our role as World Stabilizers and everybody's crisis response teams, you're about to see exactly how protectionist and isolationist we can be when we are forced to 'redeploy' from Iraq like a bunch of yiping broke tail dogs to a country run by Democrats Uber Alles idiots.

If the EU is ready to stand on their own as much as in our place as an industrial world power, run by conglomerate enterprises as much as common Constitutional governing, FINE. But don't expect to do it on the strength of our checkbooks.

>>
Whats the 757 got to do with anything? Its a narrowbody that is not even under consideration for this requirement. In DIRCECT terms the A330-200 (the basis for the KC-30/MRTT has outsold the equivalent 767 model. It might be a technicality with the 767 selling more overall, but it does mean that Northrop Grumman aren't exactly lying.
>>

Oh puhleeze. OUR techbase. OUR established common spares and engine lineup. OUR control of the overall airline market. Do you _really think_ we should 'just forget about all that' in selecting a tanker? Do you _really think_ that when a foreign customer buys one of _our_ platforms that they are not in effect padding the books on Lunchmeat or Boingos bottom line as an 'implied offset' to buying into the R&D which went into developing the overall system?

Whether for image or for leverage, Airbust should never be given a damn thing because in the big picture, it means a helluva lot more than 200 tankers. Even though that's TWICE what they will get from ALL the 'NATO' countries which might be interested.

Instead, we should develop the 767 or 777 'derivative tanker' just to make sure that we don't kick our own Companies in the nuts. That the French in particular don't deserve a damn bit of acknowledgement in the CONTINUING WAR over commercial vs. subsidized airliner house dominance should also play a part.

IMO, the EU deserves _nothing_. Not GBI. Not our annual Dole to the upkeep of 'buildings and grounds' in the farce that NATO has become.

NOTHING.

We will come to regret having sold half our military industry to pay off bad debts from the Cold War without also ammortizing the SOURCE of those debts in the size of our armed forces which nobody wants U.S. to use except in THEIR defense.

But the almost certain 'no more foreplay (BUR 3), just massive cuts' outcome that is coming in 2009 should be one that at least leaves us free from the 'kindness of strangers' from outside our borders. And I truly hope it catches every European, Israeli and Chinese contractor right in the teeth when it happens.

>>
Kurt, could you please also just make your points without the offensive overtones? Everyone else seems to manage OK, even when they are arguing.
>>

I'm natively mean when roused to it by 'innocents' and fools.


KPl.



posted on Nov, 14 2006 @ 10:13 AM
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Why are you waffling about bombs and UCAV's? That whole stream was irrelevant to which tanker is purchased. Anything that makes a buy of the KC-30 into an unnecessary waste of money must also do the same thing to the Boeing, or any other tanker. Thats not what was being debated here, the facts about the advantages of UCAV's are a given and I'm not arguing that point. The fact is though that the USAF is choosing between two tanker options (and frankly I'll be amazed if they DON'T buy Boeing) and that is the point of this thread.

Likewise Euro-American politics. Nobody is forcing the USA to buy our planes, and I am certain that they won't anyway, so why the diatribe?



posted on Nov, 14 2006 @ 12:25 PM
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Waynos,

>>
You seem very sure that the probe and drogue system is inferior. Any ifo to back that up?
>>

A'course I ain't never seen a Vulcan B.2 interned in a 'neutral' country with OUR missiles hanging underwing and a broken boom sticking out of it's receptacle.

>>
Apart from the fact that every other force except the USAF has chosen to use this method the only advantage I am aware of is that the wider boom can transfer fuel more quickly.
>>

Pretty big advantage when you consider that _every minute counts_ when you are trying to put coordinated airpower thru a BOTOT window on four different airframes and five different engines.

I remember a Red Flag event in which the strike commander had a choice between refueling his Weasels and refueling an F-111 team coming late out of Cannon. The lead F-111 puke was a full bird colonel and the airborne commander running the mission was only a Captain or a Major. He said NO. And the Colonel said YES but as the _strike itself was late_ the Colonel got overruled by the Umpire because there were other iron delivery options in the package and the Weasels had to scoot as it was to cover everyone.

Had he been a P&D ship there would have been /an added/ delay while he danced the dance with the basket in the wake of a large aircraft in his overweight, underpowered, 'Vark. And another delay because the 10-12,000lbs he was needing for each of his flight of four was the equivalent of 8 minutes on the drogue vs. 4 on the boom when the F-4Gs were only asking for about 6K.

It all adds up to Better On Your Airplane Thank You So Very Much.

>>
Also, as far as I know this is only an advantage when refuelling aircraft like the B-2 and B-52 because, although a single flying boom can transfer fuel at approximately 6,000 lbs per minute while a single hose-and-drogue can transfer between 1,500 and 2,000 lbs of fuel per minute, fighter aircraft, unlike bombers and other large aircraft, cannot accept fuel at the boom’s maximum rate. (Today’s fighter aircraft can accept fuel at 1,000 to 3,000 lbs per minute whether from the boom or from the hose-and-drogue.) Thus, the flying boom’s primary advantage over the hose-and-drogue system is lost when refuelling fighter aircraft.
>>

Not true. The boom gives you a constant position hold and an IMMEDIATE gas pass. Half the time, the hose kinks or the probe won't lock and so your total fuel flow is ZERO on the panty. And if the tanker calls 'break away!' it's not just the fastjet which firewalls the throttles. It's the KC which leaves the little 'super jet' flatfooted as it high steps away like a bloody Saturn V. That's a good 5-10 minutes depending on how panicky the pilot thinks the observer or boom operator is.

OTOH, the Boom allows Senor Ace Of Base to sit comfy and quiet in the null just pushed-past the wake maintaining only basic alignment on the lights and the visual pattern instead of bouncing around the wingtip vortices or using the Iron Maiden sex change, both of which require Zen beyond all reason to gain and hold the coital connection.

And it IS 3,000lbs/minute. Which means '1,500-2,000lbs'. is _30-50%_ less flow rate. And 'in turn', this means junior can probably unplug before the tanker needs to make it's orbit wheel to stay in the operating area wherein it's STILL gonna be the suckers out on the wingtips which get to play plunge and lunge. Even if he doesn't, it's a lot easier to hold position on the centerline on a universal connection than at the wingtips on an iron-wire rubber tube folks.

Additionally, unlike a P&D aircraft, the boom jet can refuel as safely at .85 Mach as .65 and 30K as 15K which is also a great advantage when you have jets that can fly high but need a constant airspeed X to do maintain position (the F-15E with the 220 engine is a pig with anything but gas and missiles above 20K and 300 knots, to refuel with as few as two Mk.82 aboard requires constant jockeying of one engine into and out of min burner, imagine trying to plug a basket like that...).

Up-and-Down to the KC-130 or Fighter Whale orbits the way Navy/Marine force play at range profiling wastes at least half as much gas as you get climbing back out of the soup.

Last but far from least, if you are tanking a UCAV, using differential GPS and maybe a smart LIDAR or DAS type micro FLIR for basic positioning alignment, you are _doing good_. Making the poor dumb robot play poke the basket is ridiculous.

>>
Also the P&D can allow multiple refuelling points (such as the RAF's three point refuelling from the VC-10) and so a typical probe and drogue tanker can refuel a flight of fighter aircraft more quickly anyway as they don't need to queue and can refuel simultaneously.
>>

So could a properly designed boom tanker. We have run boom ops from aircraft as 'small' as the F-105 on an extension pole from a modified external tank. We have run design studies for double boom ops on joined wing and blended wing body airframes. Point being, if X is superior FOR YOUR AIRFORCE, you should be doing what you can to EXPAND THAT CAPABILITY not play to the lowest common denominator of the also-ran losers of the flying flotilla and the EU.

The biggest hassle on a fast jet trying to take gas from a drogue off a VLA is simply that the damn hose whips and cavorts like a drunken dervish in the vortices off the tippods and sags and humps like a shy mare when mounted on the boom. Thus, if you're not _real_ careful, you can end up tearing the whole hose off or losing your probe, probe door or worse. Which, if it doesn't outright mission kill your airframe and your wingmans is at least certain to destroy your supersonic performance and your clean shorts. If it screws up the tanker itself, you may well have bleeped the entire package over.

EITHER WAY you are looking at a single point failure which can end the sortie of 1-3 airframes depending on who's broke and how bad. NOT something to be risking on a _stealth_ asset in particular, given as the boom is a better gas passer.

Did I mention that plugging a drogue also becomes well nigh impossible at night or in weather where you are not allowed to work the lights on your jet and you don't have NVG or AAR to 'ease the pain'?

Lastly, if MORE THAN HALF your force is receptacle equipped (70% of Kosovo sorties flown by U.S. tacair assets, not eurotrash ones, 90% of which were USAF) and yet /at least half/ your 'one sex only' tanker force is P&D dedicated, you're screwed because you are supporting the force which is not going to refuel THEIR half of the mission as fast as yours. And thus will be it's own cause for lag (as fuel burn and delayed fence crossing).

P&D is a terrible way to refuel any aircraft when you are pressed for time.

If YOU want an all P&D airforce, buy your own damn tanker fleet. Don't vamp off ours.

>>
U.S. Navy pilots who flew early missions against the Taliban during Operation Enduring Freedom described the Royal Air Force’s six VC-10 tankers that supported them as “a Godsend” and the “silent heroes” of the air war. Navy pilots expressed a clear preference for RAF tankers over USAF tankers.
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Gee, and how many thousand pounds does this converted airliner have vs. the S-3 force that was ALSO THERE, combat tanking exposed and with little or no escort over Pakistani airspace as a 'halfway home' alternative to basing out of RUSSIA? Ya see, it's like this: If you can't give them refueling all the way in and out, you're no better than the assets they have organically available.



posted on Nov, 14 2006 @ 12:26 PM
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There's two ways to fix that. Buy a strike wing that redoubles the sphere of influence around the boat. Or stop wasting money on WORTHLESS FIGHTERS and generate some for a followon CSA platform.

Which of course is really my way of saying that the Squids are morons that have not had a self sustaining deep strike capability since the mid 80s, if then.

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In fact, when the USAF was about to make the change over to the boom system there was a great deal of resistance to it but this was overruled by the SAC who needed the greater capacity for their fleet of bombers.
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Thank heavens someone set them straight.

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Besides all of which the boom system is going to feature on any new USAF tanker , whether it is built by Airbus, Northrop-Grumman, Boeing or even Antonov, so what are you getting so hung up on this point for anyway?
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Because we should not support 'your' airpower simply because you will not use the best system available. We sure as hell shouldn't /buy/ your system when _we don't use it_.

FACT: The USN, for all the monumental waste inherent to employing a 48 million dollar FIGHTER as the worlds least efficient strike tanker, is still dependent on SOMEONE ELSE to drag their sorry buts into the 'far litoral' of From The Sea Forward.

This won't change, even with 'all ten' F-35s ondeck, per airwing, and the Bug-1 so much history because the Super Horror is itself a drag pig as much as 20% short of spec on legs. So much for honesty in OPEVAL eh whot?

As long as this is so, they might as well put the weight into doing a receptacle setup on their jets because they WILL be using USAF tanking in 90% of ops where such is possible at all. And the rest of the time, their radius will be a function of the EXTERNAL carriage EA/DEAD assets that can go no further than they have buddy whales which is a whole 'nother sacka oats relative to feed and plug rates.

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Your arguments against the KC-30 option actually amount to nothing more than xenophobic nonsense, but then I don't think you are even trying to hide the fact anyway.
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Nope. I said from the outset that it was and should always be an economics decision because we are no longer fighting wars to own what we take from our enemies and that means all 'meaningful combat' (rich on rich, developed vs. developed) is on the contract signature line of boardroom X vs. Y.

What is in OUR best interests is not 'xenophobic' just because it isn't in YOURS. And unless you LIVE HERE you are a pompous ass for stating so because I doubt if, /altogether/ 'NATOs' purchase of the A330MRTT will match ours.

And why should we give YOU a free sales boost in a competitive market for not only tanking but airliners which use a common spares pipe? EVERYTHING LEVERAGES EVERYTHING these days.

Of course Airbust isn't subsidized up the ying yang and everything you do as city states is a match to what we pay into the farce that is 'The Alliance' now isn't it?

Right. Thought so. The sooner we're out of bed with the frickin' EUropeans and all their 'Think They're Our Wife' demands on our 'commonality of interests'; the better off _we_ will be. We are the United States Of America. Not your lackeys.


KPl



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