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Israeli Tankers For Possible Strike On Iran  
User currently offlinerc135x From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 10632 times:

Today's Washington Post carried an article which cited "former senator Charles S. Robb (D-Va.) and retired Air Force Gen. Charles F. Wald suggest[ing] that the United States provide Israel with three KC-135 refueling tankers." This would enable Israeli F-16s and F-15s to reach targets in Iran.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...2/07/gIQAWQs5zQ_story.html?hpid=z3

What has happened to Israel's 707 tankers? I believe they were used during the Israeli attack on PLO targets in Algiers, so why not use them in an attack on Iran? USAF assets participating in an Israel-only attack would be idiotic to the degree that it would mean total and premeditated US complicity at a time when it needs plausible deniability.

n.b. I am not advocating such an attack or any strategy relating to the matter, just wondering what has become of this aerial asset and why "informed" personnel would make an offer of USAF KC-135s.

69 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinebennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7461 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 10489 times:

If they are not advocating an attack with US, (which seems to be the situation) I am unclear what their stance is.

Besides, given the similarities between a B707 and KC135, the US will get the credit even if Israel attacks on it's own.

Is that the intention?.


User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2899 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 10363 times:

Perhaps the current IDF tanker fleet is too small to bring an effective strike force to Iran. 3 KC-135 (E or R?) should be enough for another 6-9 F-15I int he strike package. This could just be a supplement.


The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3388 posts, RR: 26
Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 10348 times:
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Quoting Spacepope (Reply 2):
This could just be a supplement

Bingo. However the PR problem if one doesn't return will be huge.


User currently offlinepackcheer From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 326 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 10319 times:

Why can't they lease one and repaint it. If they are set on attacking Iran, I wouldn't put it past them to just repaint one, or three... or more


Things that fly, Girls and Planes...
User currently offlinerc135x From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 10006 times:

I appreciate that 3 KC-135s could be a supplement to the 707 tankers in the IAF. Who would operate these airplanes, US or Israeli crews? (I presume that if Israeli then there would be a "crash" checkout process for the crew). The US would not be prepared to lose a crew in combat or due to attrition. I also presume any "loaners" would be active service KC-135Rs and not airplanes withdrawn from the "Boneyard."

The US will still be blamed for premeditated participation---as they did during the 1973 war. Ex-USAFE F-4Es were flown directly to Israel by USAFE crews. The planes entered combat in USAF colors but with IAF roundels. This contributed to the Arab belief that US crews were fighting on behalf of Israel (Anwar Sadat complained about this publicly after the war started to go badly for the Egyptians).

Incidentally, after a quick check of references I find 5 IAF 707 Re'em: 260, 264, 272, 275, and 290. They certainly aren't enough to sustain an aerial campaign, but are they enough to support, say, 3 packages out-and-back from Israel to Iran?


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User currently offlineiceberg210 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 147 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 9951 times:

Hmmm Israel is short on tankers? They might just want to buy some KC767's me thinks, :p

In all honesty though, while on a moral/ally level, seems like a fine move, one does have to wonder the PR implications of having US metal supporting operations of a different nation. It'll be awfully interesting to see how it all pans out...



Erik Berg (Foster's is over but never forgotten)
User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2899 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 9900 times:

Isn't IAI converting 767 tankers for Colombia?

3 KC-135s could be used for friendly areas (filling strike packages between takeoff and over Saudi Arabia), returning to base, refueling and launching to meet the returning aircraft. You'd get 6 sorties out that, effectively doubling the IDF tanker force.



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 51
Reply 8, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 9690 times:

The KC-135Rs have about twice the off-load capability of the KC-707. Each KC-135 can combat refuel (pre-strike and post-strike) 6 attacking aircraft, making the total of 18, for bombing and CAP. The Israelis have about 4 operational KC-707s, which would also be used and provide an additional 12 strike/CAP aircraft. This force is not enough to take out enough of the Iranian nuclear weapons program, but will set it back several years. My guess is since the KC-135 is the more capable tanker, they would be used for the strike aircraft while the KC-707s would be used for the CAP aircraft, since the strike aircraft would require a lot more fuel. Israel has about 25 F-15Is, as well as more than 100 GBU-28 bunker busters capable of penetrating about 30m (100') of dirt/rocks, or up to 8m (25') of steel rebar reinforced concrete, and has a glide range of more than 9 km (5 nm) and weigh in at about 5000 lbs (2268 kg). Each F-15I can carry 2 GBU-28s (these things are 25' long), and like all F-15s has the M-61 Vulcan cannon, which would most likely be loaded with M-56A3/A4 rounds (anti personnel and anti aircraft) for a mission like this.

But, if the USAF were to use KC-135s to help the IDF strike force, they might as well join the strike and CAP packages, too. The USAF has more aircraft, and could supplement the Israeli CAP with F-15Cs and F-16Es (additional CAP could also be provided by USN F/A-18E/Fs from CVNs in the gulf, if needed), maybe even F-22s, and supplement the strike package with B-2As ( carrying GBU-57 or GBU-28s), B-1Bs, and F-15Es, as well as more KC-135s and perhaps E-3s, E-8s, and RC-135s.

But the US will have to weigh any participation against what Iran's response would be. Clearly they will try to close the Strits of Hormoz, at a minimum.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 51
Reply 9, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 9683 times:

Here is the range circles for the IDF F-15I;

http://www.globalsecurity.org/jhtml/...ilitary/ops/images/swa-map1.gif|||


User currently offlinecargotanker From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 152 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 9640 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 8):
But, if the USAF were to use KC-135s to help the IDF strike force, they might as well join the strike and CAP packages, too

I don't think a combined US/Israeli strike is politically feasible. It won't happen.

I like the KC-135 idea, but instead we should SELL the Isaelis 10 of them for $1 each. That would send a strong message to Iran and instantly give Israel the strategic reach to strike Iran repeatedly. I'm sure Israeli aircrews could figure them out pretty quickly.


User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2899 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 9401 times:

A while back, there was a program to modify the port underwing drop tank with a probe for refueling for the F-16. There was also a modification to install a probe into the port CFT on the F-16 as well. In both cases these were retractable.

Suppose either of these solutions were available. How far could, say, an F-15I with max gas drag an F-16I being its buddy tanker?



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 51
Reply 12, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 9153 times:

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 11):
How far could, say, an F-15I with max gas drag an F-16I being its buddy tanker?

Fighters use as buddy tankers are not very useful in long range missions, they simply don't carry enough fuel. With FAST Pak CFTs (750 gallons each) and 3 X 300 gallon external fuel tanks, plus internal fuel a F-15 can carry a maximum of 51,775 lbs of fuel. Of course as a buddy tanker it would be less than that as the centerline external fuel tank would have to be the buddy refueling pod, so the total fuel on board drops to 49,735 lbs. In this configueration the "F-15 Tanker" would be burning a lot of gas for itself. My rough numbers say it can fly out as far as 500 nm while refueling the F-16I, with an EAR point at the 500nm point, then return to base, after off-loading about 10,000 lbs of fuel. That would be enough to get the heavy F-16Is to strike their targets, and get out of Iran air spaces, as long as they did not have to use AB to much. The airplanes would probibly run out of fuel over the gulf. then the crews punch out and picked up ('rescued") by USCG or USN warships.

This type of mission does not provide a CAP.


User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2899 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 9119 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 12):
My rough numbers say it can fly out as far as 500 nm while refueling the F-16I, with an EAR point at the 500nm point, then return to base, after off-loading about 10,000 lbs of fuel. That would be enough to get the heavy F-16Is to strike their targets, and get out of Iran air spaces, as long as they did not have to use AB to much. The airplanes would probibly run out of fuel over the gulf. then the crews punch out and picked up ('rescued") by USCG or USN warships.

Thanks for the estimates. Looks like we're mixing strategy with a bit of logistics. 500nm based on the GlobalSecurity images would provide for fully tanked F-16s to mid-iraq or SA. What I'm considering is that this may save 2-3 KC-135s worth of tanking while "in the neighborhood" of Israel. The probes could also be used for WARp refuelling, cutting the problem of number of booms available.

What kind of offensive could we therefore put together using these considerations:

F-16I strike package, perhaps 3-6 F-15I hauling bunker busters too
F-15C/I CAP

F-16s refueled via buddy tankers inbound and outbound in 500NM nearest Israel (eliminating need for KC-135s and KC 707 early and late.)
CAP gets 3 dedicated KC-135s, they'll need the booms.
5 remaining KC-707s orbit at 1000nm from Israel to top off on ingress, refuel on egress to get strike package back to buddy tankers.



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 51
Reply 14, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 9050 times:

Don't forget when you install the probe refueling pods on the F-16Is, you loose a hard point and the weapons it can carry. I doubt the F-16I can carry a GBU-28. The weapon is just to big, it is 25' long. The F-15E/I/K/S can carry 2 of them, the B-2A can carry several.

So in my professional opinion, buddy refueling is not the way to plan this mission, use real tankers like the KC-707 and KC-135 and keep it simple s... (KISS theory)

Cargotanker had the best idea yet, sell some KC-135Rs to the IDF for about $1 each, give the Israeli a quicky difference training course to transistion from the KC-707 to the KC-135.

But, no matter what happens the Iranians will blame the US and Israel. They may also blame the French and British. At the very least they will place mines in the Strait of Hormuz to try to stop the flow of oil to the rest of the world. That brings in the USN and RN into the mix.


User currently offlinecmb56 From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 231 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 9004 times:

A real quick and dirty line on the map shows that about 3/4 of Iran is north of a line from Israel to the southern border of Kuwait. So most of the nuclear sites are probably in the area that would require flying through Jordanian and Iraqi airspace. Since Iraqi currently has Cessna Caravans as it's air force that leaves Jordan with any ability to intercept. What happens to the plan if the tankers orbit over Iraq? Whose is going to shoot them down?
That avoids any interaction with the Saudis. Would Jordan want a nuclear Iran in the neighborhood?
How much deniability would the US have to 10-15 135s that were on a training mission over Iraq when Iran got bombed?


User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2899 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 8998 times:

Quoting cmb56 (Reply 15):
How much deniability would the US have to 10-15 135s that were on a training mission over Iraq when Iran got bombed?

Depends, how many EA-6Bs and EA-18Gs can you spare. If enough, the response would be "We were never there".



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlinemoose135 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2300 posts, RR: 10
Reply 17, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 8973 times:

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 10):
I'm sure Israeli aircrews could figure them out pretty quickly.

Hell, if I could learn to fly them... 



KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
User currently offlineryu2 From Taiwan, joined Aug 2002, 490 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 8959 times:

Quoting cmb56 (Reply 15):
Since Iraqi currently has Cessna Caravans as it's air force that leaves Jordan with any ability to intercept. What happens to the plan if the tankers orbit over Iraq? Whose is going to shoot them down?

Even if they couldn't, if Israeli jets were passing eastbound through their airspace, Iraq would certainly give early warning to Iran.

[Edited 2012-02-13 19:53:05]

User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1679 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 8942 times:

I will point out to everyone that you are assuming best case scenario's for maximum range and weapons payload... and anytime you strap on bombs and missiles, you take a hit in maximum range due to parasitic drag.

User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2899 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 8844 times:

Quoting ryu2 (Reply 18):
Even if they couldn't, if Israeli jets were passing eastbound through their airspace, Iraq would certainly give early warning to Iran.

I doubt that. Iraq still isn't the greatest fan of Iran. There would need to be some severe jamming, since Iran's radar coverage does not end at its border.



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31667 posts, RR: 56
Reply 21, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 8616 times:

War & Oil prices will hit the roof.....The World cannot afford that.


Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlinecanoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2839 posts, RR: 12
Reply 22, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 8611 times:

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 20):
I doubt that. Iraq still isn't the greatest fan of Iran. There would need to be some severe jamming, since Iran's radar coverage does not end at its border.

Not at all. Iraq has almost no capability to keep Israel from using their airspace as a point of transit to Iran. Israel has far bigger problems if they want to attack Iran. Most importantly an attack like that is at the edge of the range of their F-15s and F-16s. Hence the discussion about tankers. Iran learned from the Iraq strike and scattered their nuclear facilities around the country rather than putting them in a convenient, lone, above ground location.



The beatings will continue until morale improves
User currently offlinePowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 565 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 8610 times:

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 21):
War & Oil prices will hit the roof.....The World cannot afford that.

Iran will be quickly put down much like Iraq was. I don't think the Iranian people are opposed to regime change, the ignorant fools running the country need to go. Cut throat. Iran has everything to be a leading middle-east power economically, but the morons in charge are holding them back, threatening Israel and the US into a suicidal war. Anyone who openly threatens another country with extinction through nuclear or other means needs to be removed. Permanently.


User currently offlinebennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7461 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 8530 times:

Everyone expected to be welcomed into Baghdad as a liberator as well.

How many troops did the UK/US lose there?.


25 KC135TopBoom : Me too!!!!, I'd go in a New York minute. Hey, IDF are you listening? Retired KC-135 Instructor Boom Operator available, Former CCTS Instructor at Cas
26 KC135TopBoom : The US lost 4,487 of our finest people. The UK lost 179 of your finest people.
27 connies4ever : Hmmmm....tom-toms pounding pretty loudly on this thread. Testosterone to the max.
28 antidote : Yeah, time for a group reread of Addicted to War by Joel Andreas. It's an easy enough read - it's in comic format.
29 Max Q : That's pretty impressive, it carry's almost as much fuel as a B727-200 !
30 ThePointblank : It should be noted that it is extremely rare for a F-15E to have 3 external drop tanks and 2 CFT's. For long missions CFT's and two external drop tan
31 cargotanker : Nice comments fellas, we're all blown away by how ridiculous you've made us look as we consider the options for dealing with a nuclear-armed Iran. Pe
32 bennett123 : Firstly, regime change, with or without US/UK boots on the ground is a lot more problematic that many, (including many of our leaders think). Iraq sur
33 antidote : Most of us come here because we share an interest in military aviation and comments in the threads are generally thoughtful and well-considered. This
34 Eagleboy : Professional discussion is one thing, actual excitement at the prospect is out of place and jingoistic. IMO too many people seem to ready to attack I
35 KC135TopBoom : cargotanker, they just don't understand that the threat of a rogue regime having nuclear weapons isn't just their ability to detonate an airburst 3,0
36 Eagleboy : You must have been frapped! And Iranian's aren't Arabs either, yeah I have read things that contain facts, .....unlike most political affairs comment
37 Post contains links JoeCanuck : Iraq was quickly put down? That's hilarious...mission accomplished, eh? Over 4000 dead Americans is quickly put down? With military planning like that
38 Post contains links tommytoyz : That makes an Israeli strike out of the question. For a country the size of Iran, 25 F-15 will cause minimal damage, even if none get shot down, whic
39 Post contains links KC135TopBoom : Yes, Iranians (Persans) are not Arabs. Yes, the uniformed Iraqi military forces were quickly put down. It was uncoordinated insurgent forces that cau
40 JoeCanuck : Iran isn't Iraq or Afghanistan. No single strike is going to take out Iranian nuclear sites. Even the Israelis admit it won't slow them down by more t
41 tommytoyz : KC135TopBoom: I respect your views here on A.net. But please understand me: I am not against taking action to stop a threat by nuclear weapons or sto
42 antidote : During the Six Day War, the Israeli's apparently bombed southern Egyptian targets out of normal range of their Sud Aviation Vatour fighter-bombers by
43 antidote : Actually had some time to check on the supposed single engine Vatour attack on Luxor and/or Ras Banas - it's a slow night on the Left Coast. Apart fro
44 Newark727 : This assumes that the only two options are a pre-emptive strike or Iran with the bomb. Right now, this is a false dichotomy. It might not be in the f
45 KC135TopBoom : That only leaves the option of Iran striking someone first. For most of us that is not a viable option. Not quite. The tankers will not have to enter
46 Post contains links JoeCanuck : It is supreme hubris to assume that they will take out all defenses quick or ever, and I bet none of the military commanders and planners are making
47 cargotanker : The IAEA report of Nov 2011 differs with yours which noted numerous breaches with the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. The EU imposed sanctions on I
48 cargotanker : The two of you are contradicting yourselves in each of your posts by claiming that 1) US intelligence got it wrong about WMDs in Iraq and 2) US intel
49 tommytoyz : I only looked on the map and saw thw extreme size of Iran. Makes Iraq look very small. In order to really tell if F-15s would have to be tankeres by
50 Newark727 : Which begs the question of the ultimate end state following an Israeli strike. You seem to accept the assumption that the nuclear program can't be co
51 magyar : Let us be honest! They did not "get it wrong"! The US, UK, and Israel simple lied about the WMDs while Russia and the others went along for benefits
52 Post contains links skysurfer : This was on the BBC front page today. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17115643 Slightly off topic but they also ran a piece on if the Brit
53 Post contains links KC135TopBoom : Good, then Iran will have video tapes of their facilities going BOOM. It is here you show your ignorence of how military forces, and their systems wo
54 MillwallSean : Hmm NO. NO WMD were found in Iraq. ZERO. The french obviously didnt belive in WMD and the idea that the so called smoking gun ie material from Niger
55 tommytoyz : Of course it is. Who else is responsible then? Please do tell once and for all! Bush made the first, the middle and the final decision to plan and go
56 KC135TopBoom : No, it is now know the WMDs were relocated to other countries, most likely Syria. That's because Iran needs Iraq to serve as an air defense buffer zo
57 Post contains images cargotanker : I'm not holding any water for Bush or Cheney or Rumsfeld, but they didn't dream up Iraqi WMDs on their own. The CIA under Clinton/Gore toed the same
58 Post contains links tommytoyz : Sorry, but you are rewriting history. This is just one quick link I found, there are tons of others using Google. http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/
59 KC135TopBoom : Then explain the 155mm and 203mm artillery shells found in June 2006 that had residue of mustard and sarin gas? Explain these Iraqi incidents of CW u
60 tommytoyz : Everything you talk about regarding Iraq's WMD/CW in that post, is in a different era and time and predates the invasion ordered by W. Bush and the t
61 cargotanker : You need to study up on the effects of fallout from a single nuclear warhead. It isnt that much, especially for a more primitive weapon that Iran wou
62 MillwallSean : Sorry but there is not one single piece of evidence suggesting that. Saddam didnt have WMD:s thats why no one found any. And since the Bush administr
63 tommytoyz : I bet they do care about not ending their own lives and Iran as we know it. I have not made such a statement. Read through all my posts if you like.
64 tommytoyz : Are you disagreeing with me and saying that the nuclear fallout could be contained within Israel? Just want to clarify what you are saying.
65 KC135TopBoom : I suggest you read UN Resolutions #; 1441 1373 1284 986 715 707 688 687 686 678 661 660 BTW, they were all Unanimously Adopted by the UN Security Cou
66 Powerslide : Timmytoyz will stop responding once he is "correct". Your opinion is always incorrect, regardless of how much facts you have. Somehow civilians think
67 tommytoyz : I suggest you read them too. They do not say what W.Bush and Cheney claimed about WMD in Iraq in 2001. U.N. 1441 demanded inspections and Iraqi coope
68 Post contains links magyar : Here is an interesting article from NYTimes: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/29/wo...h=B91C0F29BD08608F789AD834105E42A7
69 Post contains links KC135TopBoom : Yeah, I read that. There is also this; http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/fd386...8e-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1nnHR12pB and this; http://www.washingtonpost.
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