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USAF Tanker Program Suspended

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posted on Sep, 10 2008 @ 08:58 AM
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The Pentagon has suspended the outstanding KC-X/KC-45 program, saying that it was unlikely that they would be able to choose a winning bid before the next President takes office, and that a cooling down period was needed.

There has been no information released on any new schedule, only that it will be conducted under the new Presidential term of office.

online.wsj.com...

(note: there is a typo in that article, 'possible' should be 'impossible').




posted on Sep, 10 2008 @ 09:16 AM
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grrrrreat the Air Force will be so happy to hear that there is no replacement in the pipeline till say at earliest mid 09.



posted on Sep, 10 2008 @ 09:45 AM
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.line]Breaking: Pentagon Cancels Tanker Competition
blog.wired.com

The Pentagon has canceled its $100 billion tanker competition, various news sources are reporting. According to MarketWatch, "the Department of Defense will likely notify the companies and Congress later in the day of its decision, noting that it's unable to pick a winner by January."
(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
money.cnn.com
www.portfolio.com
www.enews20.com
blog.al.com



what aload of bollocks



posted on Sep, 10 2008 @ 10:02 AM
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You ought to be kidding me!!

Now the KC135 needs to used even longer whilest it already screams and begs for replacement.

Some KC135's are more then 45 years old for crying out loud!

And with the replacement cycle time, the last ones will be retired when they are more then 100 years old!!!!!!!!!!!!!



posted on Sep, 10 2008 @ 11:25 AM
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The DoD says it is confident that the USAF's ageing Boeing KC-135 fleet can be maintained in service "for the near future", subject to sufficient funding being made available.


Flight globals report on the development:
www.flightglobal.com...

*sigh*

Throw money at the ancient fleet as always a good idea.



posted on Sep, 10 2008 @ 12:22 PM
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Well, I guess the US govt had to choose between bailing out Fannie/Freddie or new tankers. We now know who won!



posted on Sep, 10 2008 @ 03:54 PM
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Is there a view as to what will happen to this contest if the new President was Obama or McCain? Will the new president (whoever he is) bow to Boeing's national jingoism and opt for the poorer aircraft.

For example, which contender is a Boeing man and which is an airforce man (i.e. endorse the previous decison)?

Cheers



posted on Sep, 10 2008 @ 05:29 PM
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reply to post by paraphi
 


At this point given the self verified and self inflicting USAF/DoD blunders it's clearly not appropriate to say one is the "poorer" aircraft; merely an issue of requirements and proper procedures. In any case this has gotten very ridicules and set a very bad president, and the one getting the very short end of the stick is the warfighter and the American people. I honestly do not personally care anymore which aircraft the USAF chooses, only that this time it be permanent and take place ASAP.



posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 09:47 AM
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and now the first casuality of this BS pulled by booing

www.flightglobal.com...

jobs that were to be created in Mobile will no longer be made.



posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 11:20 AM
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This has all the makings of a new Shenandoah affair.

Good job guys -- why dull the edge when we can break the blade?



posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 11:31 AM
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The guy across the hall says boeing will get it because they are being repaid for taking the fall for TWA 800. His story is the Navy shot it down by accident and had Boeing take the blame and have been giving them $$$$ to pay the bills for the lawsuits.

mikell



posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 12:06 PM
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From the devil's advocate department: does anyone here have any anecdotal evidence where the KC-135 has failed our warfighters? Replacing a mainline piece of equipment is a major undertaking. Sure, the scene is a mess, but our guys will still get gas at 35,000 ft.



posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 12:25 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
At this point given the self verified and self inflicting USAF/DoD blunders it's clearly not appropriate to say one is the "poorer" aircraft


Err, actually, I think its crystal clear which one is best.


If you had to choose between the two - you'd pick the KC-45... everytime.



posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 12:30 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Err, actually, I think its crystal clear which one is best.

If you had to choose between the two - you'd pick the KC-45... everytime.


Not crystal clear at all, depends on what the requirements are. Personally I'd prefer a scenario with more gas stations in the air than a reduced number with more fuel capacity.

[edit on 11-9-2008 by WestPoint23]



posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 12:47 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23

Not crystal clear at all, depends on what the requirements are. Personally I'd prefer a scenario with more gas stations in the air than a reduced number with more fuel capacity.

[edit on 11-9-2008 by WestPoint23]


With the number of aircraft the USAF is operating going down year on year, the need for more booms in the air is reducing rapidly as well.

Theres a good chance the same A330-MRTT can fuel an attack group on the way out as it did on the way in - with the KC-767 it more than likely wouldn't be the same aircraft, so you have the added issue of ground handling and maintenance of the extra aircraft after each mission.


Originally posted by HatTrick
From the devil's advocate department: does anyone here have any anecdotal evidence where the KC-135 has failed our warfighters? Replacing a mainline piece of equipment is a major undertaking. Sure, the scene is a mess, but our guys will still get gas at 35,000 ft.


There was a statistic posted in another aviation forum that suggested the current KC-135 tankers were spending 400 days every 3 years in maintenance. Thats a huge number.



posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 01:01 PM
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Originally posted by RichardPrice
With the number of aircraft the USAF is operating going down year on year, the need for more booms in the air is reducing rapidly as well.


Good point, but US tankers fuel more then just USAF aircraft. In any case having to orbit in high tempo operations for fuel really does make a difference. Example comes from current boom operators over Afghanistan. While they have plenty of fuel the complaints from fast jet drivers is one of wasting time on orbit instead of carrying out a sortie.



posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 02:03 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23

Good point, but US tankers fuel more then just USAF aircraft. In any case having to orbit in high tempo operations for fuel really does make a difference. Example comes from current boom operators over Afghanistan. While they have plenty of fuel the complaints from fast jet drivers is one of wasting time on orbit instead of carrying out a sortie.


The primary reason for that is the USAF's poor choice for refueling technology with small jets - drogue and probe verses boom.

Probe and drogue always makes better sense when you take into consideration both the fact that you can hang one aircraft off each wing, and one under the tail to allow for three refuelings at a time in a war situation, and every aerial tanker in consideration with any airforce today and in the next generation is a conversion of a civilian airframe, meaning it cannot support a boom on the wing without significant modifications, meaning significantly more weight to be carried.

Boom refueling makes sense when you consider the quantities of fuel offloaded for large jets, such as the B-52 or B-1, but not when you are talking about smaller fighters - the higher fuel flow rates don't translate into much time saved at all.

If the USAF had gone with probe and drogue for their smaller aircraft, you could refuel two or three aircraft in the same time it takes to refuel one with the boom.



posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 07:42 AM
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Originally posted by RichardPrice
There was a statistic posted in another aviation forum that suggested the current KC-135 tankers were spending 400 days every 3 years in maintenance. Thats a huge number.


I read a similar thing here www.globalsecurity.org...

in 2001
The depot maintenance overhaul was taking on average 300 days with some aircraft taking 600
In 1995 it was 245 days
In 1991 it was 158 days
Then of course you have other maintenance on top as well.

Doesn't Boeing do the depot maintenance? if so a delay gives them more business.

I guess at the time of the KC-135 the USAF only wanted 1 refueling system and wanted the offload rate for the big aircraft. The navy went for the drogue system since they wasn't going to get a boom equipped tanker on a carrier. The US has got 2 systems so need both on the KC-X, so they could move over to drogue for there smaller aircraft probaby be a decade and more before they have enough drogue tankers to do it.



posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 06:47 PM
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reply to post by deckard83
 


400 days per 3 years in maintanence in 2008!!!

What will it be in 2045 when the last KC135 is supposed to be replaced!!?!

Cold hard fact: If the US wants to retain its abillity to refuel in the air, then they need to buy and produce planes NOW.

Else the force will either go through a severe bottleneck (heavy reduction in refueling capabillity's)
Or if the USAF cant deceide wich plane they need to use, then its game over...



posted on Sep, 13 2008 @ 02:32 AM
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Originally posted by James R. Hawkwood

Or if the USAF cant deceide wich plane they need to use, then its game over...



But there's the rub becuase the Airforce has chosen a solution. It is just that Boeing thinks that the Airforce has made the wrong choice and should procure their offering instead. It's game over until someone has the balls to put Boeing in their place - that's second out of a two company competition - not first!

Simplistics overview I know, but not incorrect.

Regards



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