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Tiny Tanker Replacement?  
User currently offlineKC10Boom From United States of America, joined May 2004, 62 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3686 times:

Why is the Air Force considering replacing the KC-135 with the Boeing 767 variant with little increase in fuel capacity. Now I know my name may give you the impression I am bias to the KC-10A, however lets look at the past. In 1979 12 F-15 Eagles, 115 tons of support equipment, and 209 people deployed to Saudi Arabia. The move required 2 days using 16 KC-135's 3 C-141's, 2 C-5's and two overseas bases- Lajes, in the Azores, and Torrejon, in Spain. It is estimated that had KC10's been available only six would have been needed- no C-141's, no C-5's and no forward bases. The mission would have been completed in half the time with a savings of 600,000 gallons(not pounds) of fuel. Now this example does not consider the fuel efficiency of the new 767, however the fact still remains, that the days of a stand alone tanker are over. Why doesn't the Air Force do what it does for its fighter and cargo procurements? Fund the necessary research into a viable tanker/cargo aircraft with the capabilities demanded by today's world wide operations.

(mission information provided by USAF Air University)


Why is it my best contacts are when no one else is looking!
32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3635 times:

In various dicussions it was concluded the KC10/11 is no longer an option, B777 are to big & expensive, 7e7 to far away & uncertain.

The selection of the KC767 above the A332 is now subject of a embarrasing investigation.

Fuel/cargo,passenger payload, range, flexibility, cost levels are superior for the A330.

IMO "not invented here" played a major role, so requirements were adjusted to make the KC767 fit in.


User currently offlineKC10Boom From United States of America, joined May 2004, 62 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 3585 times:

I have read some of the reports pertaining to the Airbus option, however I do not think the U.S. government will go to a foreign government subsidized company for its tanker option. The question I also pose is why doesn't the USAF apply the same research options on a new tanker as it does on almost all of its other aircraft. E.G. C-17, C-5, F-22, even the original KC-135?


Why is it my best contacts are when no one else is looking!
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3527 times:

KC-10:

I take it you are referring to a competitive flyoff. You sort of answered your own question when you mentioned that the US government will not go to a foreign supplier for their tanker. Just as the French Air Force will not buy the C-17, the French Navy the F/A-18, the Royal Navy will not buy US built destroyers, the German Army won't buy US built armored vehicles etc. It's politics, some people don't understand that.

If McDonnell Douglas were still around I have a feeling they would be offering the MD-11 as a competitor to the 767. Since Boeing is the only game in town and Lockheed has their plate full at the moment I don't think you will see one.

IMHO I think Airbus purposely underbid Boeing knowing the chances of them getting the contract was slim. Heck they so much as said that themselves. Sort of a way to put the screws to Boeing. And unfortunately Boeing did no handle the program very well. If Airbus had won I think they would have been hard pressed to develop a boom tanker (which they have never done before) AND build it here in the states for the price they said.

P.S. I like your photo album


User currently offlineKC10Boom From United States of America, joined May 2004, 62 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3520 times:

I have to agree with LMP377 regarding the competitive issues, however I feel the military is going to get short changed by taking a "off the shelf" tanker that fits Boeings interests over all. I fly daily on a "off the shelf" tanker that works great, but when I compare the capacity of the workhorse KC135 from over 40 years ago to that of a modern replacement I think we need to set our sights a bit higher than what the 767 offers.


Why is it my best contacts are when no one else is looking!
User currently offlineKEESJE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3476 times:

KC10Boom, we had a extensive discussion on this named "Alternative Solutions Usaf Tanker Requirement".

If A330 remains a political problem, alternatives seem absent. Agree with you regardless of the suplier issues a solution has to be found to meet the changing requirements. (not very many B1/B2/C5/C17's/B52 can be filled with KC767's over the oceans (.. 110K+ ..  Wow!))

Stop gab could be in the form of modifying existing (desert) DC10s/767s into tankers as a solution for the next 10-12 years (replacing oldest kc135s) and look for a 7e7 version after that.

BTW how old are the youngest KC135's, how much live have they left ?
BTW2 man you have a enviable position for a photograher  Smile/happy/getting dizzy you actually direct them in the right position & keep them hanging on !

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Robert M Rossman



Just as the French Air Force will not buy the C-17, the French Navy the F/A-18, the Royal Navy will not buy US built destroyers, the German Army won't buy US built armored vehicles etc. It's politics, some people don't understand that.
The major Airbus countries (UK, Spain, germany, France) spent and are spending zillions $$ on US defense equipment..



User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3421 times:

How much exactly is a zillion?

Guess this begs the question why these countries have spent "zillions" on US equipment. Obviously after WW2 the industrial infrastructure of western europe (except Spain) was wrecked. So if a country had a need for equipment pretty much the only game in town was the USA. Even after the countries of western europe got back on their feet they did not develop certain systems. Why spend the money when you can buy from the USA.

For example, if you wanted a four engined turbo-prop transport what did you buy, the C-130. In need of a two seat long range interceptor, the F-4. Even when a european company offered a competing product they sometimes lost out. The F-16 is a good case in point. Holland, Belgium, Norway and Denmark had the choice between the F-16 and the Mirage 5. Since the F-16 could fly circles around the Mirage 5 and thy were not under pressure to buy from a domestic supplier they choose the F-16.

With this all said it is quite obvious that politics play a role on both sides of the Atlantic. I can also point out the various sytems that the DOD has bought from Europe.


User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3414 times:

Zillions is what you get when you ad up the prices of all F4s, F5s, F16s, F18s, C130s, Apaches, Chinooks, UH1´s, KC135s, Awacs, P3´s, SAM´s, AAM, other munitions, avionics, etc, etc..

Probably in a lot of cases they were selected because they were better then locally produced systems, like the F16 you mentioned and now also the hundreds of JSF´s ordered by west European countries.

- Why spend the money when you can buy from the USA...

- government will not go to a foreign supplier for their tanker...


I smell a double standard here ...



User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3387 times:

KEESJE:

The double standard exists on both sides of the Atlantic as I have pointed out before.

By the way please attribute the first quote to me and the second one to KC-10boom as to avoid any confusion on who said what.


User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3381 times:

According to the JSF website the only official european customer of the JSF is England.

User currently offlinePacificjourney From New Zealand, joined Jul 2001, 2732 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 3353 times:

I would love to see this huge list of systems that the pentagon has bought outside of the US, first there is the Harrier and then the .... ...... ......

The politics of military procurement is NOT the same on both sides of the Atlantic !



" Help, help ... I'm being oppressed ... "
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 18
Reply 11, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 3355 times:

Fokker 27
Shorts Sherpa
Roland (SAM)
Rapier (SAM)
quite a lot of assorted vehicles and (smaller) ships
radios
avionics
etc. etc.

Most are smaller systems that you won't find on the lists of active fighting systems but they are there.

Politics of procurement ARE the same on either side of the ocean. If anything Europe is far more strict in buying only local stuff (especially France and Germany) these days.
In the past they were less so because their defense industry was less mature and there was often no choice but buy either US or Soviet or do without (or the US systems were so much better there was no practical choice even if there was one in theory).

Examples:
When France purchased KC-135 tankers the French industry could not produce a tanker aircraft to compete.
When France purchased E-3s the French industry didn't have a competing aircraft (they still don't).
When Germany purchased F-4s there was nothing similar in Europe. The Mirage III has less range, performance and payload. The Lightning ditto. That was the competition.
When NATO decided on the F-16 there was no European aircraft to compete. Tornado is far larger and expensive, Rafale was only a pipe dream, and Mirage 5 an older generation and a lot less capable. Viggen was part of the competition but was not chosen because of environmental concerns (the noise levels were so much higher it would not do to operate them close to cities which is where most of our airbases are located).



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineGreaser From Bahamas, joined Jan 2004, 1101 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 3354 times:

PacificJourney, why turn to foreigners when u can get something in your own country??
The U.S is naturally going to buy more of our products than that of foreign governments. OUR STABILITY means THE STABILITY of the world, we cannot afford major silp ups. Maybe your're also forgetting that Americans buy tons of Japanese products and the U.S Coast Guard use Aerospatiale Aircraft....or maybe the fact that Beretta (weapon manufacturer) supply a great percent of U.S Firearms, including law enforcement.
U.S Airlines use Airbus a/c, most of the toys are made in China.
But if u notice, our fundamental purchases are in the U.S. It's proven itself to be a reliable method in times of war & in peace



Now you're really flying
User currently offlineKC10Boom From United States of America, joined May 2004, 62 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 3348 times:

Does the Airbus tanker option have a significantly better payload capacity than that of the 767 variant??? I never did look. I imagine the new A380 would be a great tanker / cargo platform.

And yes Keesje I have a awesome job for pictures, but when the weather turns bad and there is a 500,000+ Lb aircraft 30ft away and they want 150,000 lbs' of fuel my day (or night) goes downhill very fast.

As for the oldest KC-135 I only have tail numbers and I haven't seen a tail older than 1957.... Saw a 1957-converted R model Thursday as to the date of manufacture I haven't a clue.

Robert



Why is it my best contacts are when no one else is looking!
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3315 times:

Pacificjouney:

As I have explained before, over the years the US has developed systems that various european countries have not.

Here are some more systems the DOD has bought from europe, T-45, Dolphin helicopters, M249, M240, M9, various small arms form H&K, C-295, Carl Gustav, 40mm Bofors just to name a few.


User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3314 times:

In regards to the A380 the biggest obstacle would be a political one. Then you would have figure out if it were operationally suitable as a tanker. You know this better than me but the turbulence behind the A380 might be a bit to much for air-to-air refueling. Then of course you have to factor things such as cost, ramp space, etc.

Maybe the reason the USAF did not select the 747 as a tanker were the reasons such as cost, size or suitability as a tanker.


User currently offlinePPGMD From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2453 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3312 times:

LMP737,

Add the T-6A to the list, it's a licensed version of the Pilatus PC-9. Oh I have been hearing rumors that H&K will be making many of the new M-4's.

KC10Boom,
Are the KC-10's that old? I would think that they would have quite a few years left in them before they need to be replaced. By that time there may be other aircraft to fill the role, maybe even an entry from Lockheed.

But then again when almost half of the cost of R&D and aircraft procurement goes to paperwork and auditors, it's not hard to see why aircraft cost so much.



At worst, you screw up and die.
User currently offlineKC10Boom From United States of America, joined May 2004, 62 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3286 times:

LMP737,
No, the KC-10's have plenty of life left in them. The airframe will not go through any hours problems in the future, it will be a cycles issue, due to the daily touch and goes that the aircraft do at their home stations. It is amazing that the major airlines, do only 2 types of approaches, Missed or ILS full stop. On a daily basis I get to sit through at least 2 ILS , a GPS or two, and a few VFR touch and goes before a full stop. I am not complaining, because I enjoy flying but I have to wonder what that does to the airframe and its lifespan.



Why is it my best contacts are when no one else is looking!
User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2901 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 3266 times:

Also don't forget:

The 120mm cannon on the M-1 Abrams tank is German.

The army retired the M-60, so now the standard 7.62mm LMG for the M-2/3, M-1 (2 on them) and many humvees are the Belgian M-240 (FN design).

And we surely can't forget the Dassault Falcons and the Dauphins for the USCG. The USAF even used G.222s... erm I mean C-27 Spartans.

Did I forget about those 9mm sidearms?

The military also has a habit of using Mi-8s in some areas, like when the special forces went into the Ivory Coast last year.

And be fair with the C-130. The G.222 and the C-160 were no match for its capabilities



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineKEESJE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3255 times:

Does the Airbus tanker option have a significantly better payload capacity than that of the 767 variant???

Yes.

For fuel, cargo and passengers alike, with far more range at lower cost.
Even Boeing doesn't deny this.

The A330-200 is the reason Boeing decided to replace the 767 production line with the new 7E7.

I think that without the big industrial and political issues that play a role selection would have been a quick & easy.


User currently offlineKC10Boom From United States of America, joined May 2004, 62 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3220 times:

I wonder if Boeing could make a variant of the MD-11 being they have all of the MDC people at their disposal, as well as the engineering rights from the purchase. That would be a perfect fit.


Why is it my best contacts are when no one else is looking!
User currently offlineHa763 From United States of America, joined Jan 2003, 3636 posts, RR: 5
Reply 21, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3216 times:
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To answer the orginal question, the USAF is looking for a KC-135 sized replacement. The KC-767 is only slightly bigger than the KC-135, roughly 10ft longer and 20ft wider wingspan compared to the A330 being roughly 50ft longer and almost a 70ft wider wingspan. Of course the A330 would have better payload capacity than the KC-767, it is bigger. This being said, it would be more suited as a KC-10 replacement.

User currently offlineGarnetpalmetto From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5364 posts, RR: 53
Reply 22, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3204 times:

And in that long list of foreign equipment the US has bought let's add some more stuff. Let's add the AGM-119 Penguin (brought to us by our friends in Norway), the AGM-142 Raptor (thanks Israel), the M93 Fox (danke, Deutschland). Let's also not forget that rather than operating the M1 Abrams, the US Army could have been taking Leopards into battle, had some members of Congress gotten their way  Smile/happy/getting dizzy


South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3197 times:

KC-10Boom:

As much as I would like to see a KC-11 (the MD-11 was the first widebody I ever worked on) it will never happen. Boeing nor the DOD is going to pay for the reopening of the MD-11 production line. I'm not sure they even have all the tooling available anymore.


User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2901 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3187 times:

Boeing reportedly destroyed most of the MD-11 tooling soon after the last one rolled off the line. An MD-11 conversion may be feasable if you could pry any of the 195 left out of their operators hands. There are still quite a few DC-10-30s out there in the 60,000 hour range, they would be better candidates for conversion if tanker capacity is urgently needed.

Perhaps another option would be having a private contractor, like Evergreen, get some used 762s, have the USAF fund the conversion, then contract their services. There is at least one private 707 tanker out there making money now.



The last of the famous international playboys
25 Alessandro : I suggest that they replace them with V22s, on a more serious note, Italy and Japan are the only one else that bought B767 tanker recently, UK went wi
26 Post contains images Startknob : It´s really interesting to see some posts here obviously searching for "can't we have ANY Boeing - even a revival of the MD11 aircraft for the tank
27 Post contains images Spacepope : What people keep on ignoring is the fact that there is a certain size aircraft needed so that it can fit in the same hangars and on the same aprons a
28 KEESJE : Certain size aircraft needed so that it can fit in the same hangars and on the same aprons as the KC-135. you can only fit half of the aircraft at a b
29 Spacepope : The first 767 tanker for Italy is currently in Wichita getting its tanker conversion (boom, cargo door, wingpods, all that stuff) and is expected to f
30 LMP737 : "In reality most hangers/aprons that the KC135 now uses are specified to be able to handle bigger aircraft in the USAF fleet (C5/C17/C141/Cxx, B1/2/52
31 Post contains links and images KC10Boom : All of you have great points! As for the apron and hangar sizes I do see the statements relevance. However as you can see in my photos I go on the mis
32 PPGMD : KC-10Boom, It just does not seem to make sense. We are getting rid of the C-5' s and the 141's for a smaller C-17. Why carry more with less is my ques
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