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Latest News On RAF Tanker Deal  
User currently offlineAnt72LBA From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 414 posts, RR: 1
Posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 4088 times:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4303959.stm

No one else seems to have posted the latest from the Ministry of Defence. Doesn't seem to be moving along particularly rapidly, Boeing presumably have given up on this?

Any thoughts, or has it been discussed to death whilst we await the formal order?

28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 789 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4048 times:

I didn't realize Boeing were formally in the running. I thought the other competitor was using former leased and ex-BA 767s. (I suppose they would have had Boeing convert them to tankers).
I take it the A332s will be new aircraft and will simply have the hose system and not a boom allowing for easier conversion to tanker and passenger plane.


User currently offlineSaintsman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 2065 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3980 times:

The aircraft will be A330-200s with RR engines, so I think that makes them 334s.

AirTanker was down selected a year ago as the company most likely to provide a solution and now are officially the prefered bidder. This means that they will be working towards a contract agreement in about a years time. It will takke that long because its not just about providing and converting the aircraft, but providing a service for 27 years.

AirTanker will be providing ground and aircrew, maintenance, training, a new hangar at Brize Norton and all the infastructure to go with it, even down to the number of toilet rolls that will be used. Its a massive contract and that is why it will take (has taken) so long to get where they are today.

It was never just about the aircraft type although the A330 is a much more capable aircraft. It will not just do tanking but will be used as a transport aircraft as well, something which the 767 would have struggled with. The A330 will not have additional fuel tanks installed, unlike the 767.


User currently offlineGreaser From Bahamas, joined Jan 2004, 1092 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 3949 times:

Quoting Saintsman (reply 2):
It was never just about the aircraft type although the A330 is a much more capable aircraft. It will not just do tanking but will be used as a transport aircraft as well, something which the 767 would have struggled with. The A330 will not have additional fuel tanks installed, unlike the 767.


If this was the reason for the A330 to be selected then it would be plain wrong to match it against the 767. 777s should have ran in that case



Now you're really flying
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13043 posts, RR: 78
Reply 4, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3924 times:

The competition was between ex BA 767's or new A330's.
777 was never in the running as no tanker version is in the works.

These aircraft are not going to just replace VC-10's, which 767 is probably OK for, but also RAF Tristars.

The RAF L1011's were originally to have wing mounted refuelling pods as well as the rear fuselage one fitted, but this ran into technical difficulties,
A330's wing, being similar to A340, is therefore already strengthened for fitting wing pods, right where the outer CFM-56 engines would be on a 340, unlike the 767.

As mentioned, A330 would have much better pax/cargo capacity too, without inhibiting the tanker mission.

You cannot really compare RAF and USAF requirements, RAF requires a small but highly capable tanker/transport force, capability is much more important than numbers to them.

In any case, BA are now busy upgrading the 767's for use until around 2010.


User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (9 years 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 3743 times:

I understand the RAF has a large cargo door and stand-off range weapons capability (cruise missile) on it's wish list. Any news on that?

User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13043 posts, RR: 78
Reply 6, posted (9 years 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3663 times:

Cargo door probably, weapons, no, apart from countermeasures.

(If the RAF want a platform for launching Storm Shadow long range weapons, a way to this would be to reinstate the original Nimrod MRA.4 numbers, once BAE seem to have it back on track, better yet increase them).


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12060 posts, RR: 52
Reply 7, posted (9 years 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3531 times:

Quoting Saintsman (Reply 2):
It was never just about the aircraft type although the A330 is a much more capable aircraft. It will not just do tanking but will be used as a transport aircraft as well, something which the 767 would have struggled with. The A330 will not have additional fuel tanks installed, unlike the 767.

I don't think the A-330 is more capable (or less capable) than the B-767, both seem to be able to do what they were originally designed for, your whole quote here just does not make any sense. The biggest difference between these two airplanes is the amount of ramp space they require. That is important to the USAF, but may not be an issue to the RAF.

Let me break it down;

"It will not just do tanking but will be used as a transport aircraft as well, something which the 767 would have struggled with." Why do you say that? Don't B-767s fly everyday with large fuel and passenger loads? Just like the A-330 does. So why would it be a struggle?

The A330 will not have additional fuel tanks installed, unlike the 767. Why not? Isn't the A-330 a tanker? What you are saying is the only fuel the A-330 will carry (in the tanker mission) is the fuel it was originally designed to carry, nothing additional? Will the RAF A-330TT not be capable of large fuel offload capabilities? Or are these going to be speical build airplanes, like the KC-767 is now? Is the A-330 going to be a big short ranged tanker? Without additional fuel capacity, it will be very limited, cannot do trans ocean fighter drags, etc.

The KC-767s the Italians and Japanese are buying are capable of flying the tanker mission and transporting passengers, on a single mission.

I don't believe my friends in the RAF don't need or want that flexibility.

Are you an EADS airplane salesman?

Quoting GDB (Reply 4):
These aircraft are not going to just replace VC-10's, which 767 is probably OK for, but also RAF Tristars.

The RAF L1011's were originally to have wing mounted refuelling pods as well as the rear fuselage one fitted, but this ran into technical difficulties,
A330's wing, being similar to A340, is therefore already strengthened for fitting wing pods, right where the outer CFM-56 engines would be on a 340, unlike the 767.

Both the A-330 or the B-767 tankers are capable of replacing the VC-10 and L-1011 tankers.

The wing mounted refueling pods (on the RAF L-1011 tankers) ran into funding issues, not technical issues. The additional plumbing, wiring, mounting, and strenghting issues are not difficult. It (wingtip refueling pods modifications) have done for for years, before the RAF bought the BA L-1011s, on converted B-707s, and more recently USAF KC-10s and KC-135s as well as the Dutch KDC-10s. Additionally the KC-767s for Italy will have these modifications, so the design work is already completed.

The wing designed strenght on the A-330/A-340 has nothing to do with the wing tip refueling pods. The pods will not be mounted in the position of the outboard engines of the A-340. they will be close to the wingtip. The modifications to the wing on the B-767 are no more difficult than those required on the A-330.

If anything additional is going to be required, it will be the POSSIBLE eliminiation of the winglets on the A-330 wing (because of aerodynamic flow for the receiver aircraft), again this is not difficult. But, I don't know if the winglets need to be eliminated, or not.


User currently offlineSaintsman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 2065 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (9 years 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3520 times:

TopBoom,

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
The wing designed strenght on the A-330/A-340 has nothing to do with the wing tip refueling pods. The pods will not be mounted in the position of the outboard engines of the A-340. they will be close to the wingtip. The

Have a look at this image and you will see where the pods will be fitted http://www.eads.com/xml/content/OF00000000400004/6/95/40580956.jpg

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
The A330 will not have additional fuel tanks installed, unlike the 767. Why not? Isn't the A-330 a tanker? What you are saying is the only fuel the A-330 will carry (in the tanker mission) is the fuel it was originally designed to carry, nothing additional? Will the RAF A-330TT not be capable of large fuel offload capabilities? Or are these going to be speical build airplanes, like the KC-767 is now? Is the A-330 going to be a big short ranged tanker? Without additional fuel capacity, it will be very limited, cannot do trans ocean fighter drags, etc.

I think that the payload will be sufficient without additional tanks http://www.airtanker.co.uk/airtanker/dynamic/airtanker23.jsp. The RAF have decided that there is no requirement for the aircraft to have its own refuelling capability so they must be satisfied with what it can hold. And when not being used as a tanker, it can still take a full complement of passengers with all their baggage.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
If anything additional is going to be required, it will be the POSSIBLE eliminiation of the winglets on the A-330 wing (because of aerodynamic flow for the receiver aircraft), again this is not difficult. But, I don't know if the winglets need to be eliminated, or not.

There are no plans to replace the winglets

[


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12060 posts, RR: 52
Reply 9, posted (9 years 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3418 times:

Saintsman, thanks for the information. Great picture in the first link. But, if the refueling pods were moved further out on the wings, there would be less aerodynamic loads put on the receivers, and they wouldn't need the higher power settings because of the jet wash (or partial jet wash) from the engines.

The refueling pods only weigh about 2,500lbs-3,000lbs, so no "hard point" is needed on the wing.

I am sure that some engineers have this all figuered out.

I could not open your second link. I really don't know what range requirements the RAF will have for their A-330TTs, with receivers. But, the USAF needs a tanker to fly 5,000 nm, plus carry enough fuel for 4 fighter aircraft, on the same mission. This makes an airplane, like the KC-135R or KC-10A capable of around a 12,000nm range, if it does not have to offload any fuel. Yes, the KC-135R or KC-10A can fly just about anywhere in the world on one hop.

I know that some versions of the commerical A-330 have a 7,500nm-8,000nm range. That is obviously the total range the RAF is looking for the transport mission. Depending on the receivers, that could translate into 3,000nm-3,500nm range for the tanker mission.

I wasn't sure about the winglets, thanks.

TopBoom


User currently offlineSaintsman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 2065 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (9 years 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3399 times:

TopBoom,

I couldn't get the link to work either. Try the AirTanker web site http://www.airtanker.co.uk/airtanker/index.jsp and look under capability for more info.

I know that one of the reasons for using the A330 was that the wings could be used 'as is' with no additional strengthening for the pods. I was involved with the VC-10 tanker conversions and we did some significant beefing up of their wings and those wings were originally strong and built to last. As you said though, the engineers will have it all figured out. I wonder what they did to the A310 tankers. I have seen the German prototype but it was getting ready for flight so the wings were already completed and covered up, but even their pods were not that near the wing tips.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12060 posts, RR: 52
Reply 11, posted (9 years 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3330 times:

Quoting Saintsman (Reply 10):
TopBoom,

I couldn't get the link to work either. Try the AirTanker web site http://www.airtanker.co.uk/airtanker/index.jsp and look under capability for more info.

I know that one of the reasons for using the A330 was that the wings could be used 'as is' with no additional strengthening for the pods. I was involved with the VC-10 tanker conversions and we did some significant beefing up of their wings and those wings were originally strong and built to last. As you said though, the engineers will have it all figured out. I wonder what they did to the A310 tankers. I have seen the German prototype but it was getting ready for flight so the wings were already completed and covered up, but even their pods were not that near the wing tips.

Thank you. That link worked.

Let me know when you start hiring aircrews! Can you use a retired USAF/KC-135 Boom Operator?

LOL


User currently offlineSidishus From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 519 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (9 years 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3328 times:

Quoting Saintsman (Reply 10):
I know that one of the reasons for using the A330 was that the wings could be used 'as is' with no additional strengthening for the pods.

And so nothing has been done to modify the wet wing design to reduce its vulnerability to hydrodynamic ram?


So your KC-330 finds less than a pound of shrapnel-just like what happened to the DHL 'bus-and the spar is cracked by the resultant hydrodynamic ram-just like what happened to the DHL 'bus-and the resultant drybay fire begins to destroy the wing-just like what happened to the DHL 'bus-
Do you think the fly by wire and semi autonomous flight control system of your KC-330 will handle things as well as the analog system and savvy (not to mention very lucy) pilot of the DHL 'bus?
I'd bet that the "as-is" KC-330 will most likely find a smoking hole in the dirt in a hurry in the same scenario.

[Edited 2005-04-15 08:21:45]


the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
User currently offlineSaintsman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 2065 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (9 years 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 3319 times:

Sidishus,

You may well be right, though the DHL aircraft didn't have defensive aids. The FSTA aircraft will have anti-missile protection. Even so, you need a lot of luck to survive a missile strike no matter what aircraft. I imagine strengthening any aircraft to withstand those sort of impacts would be cost and weight prohibitive.


User currently offlineSidishus From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 519 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (9 years 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3317 times:

Quoting Saintsman (Reply 13):
I imagine strengthening any aircraft to withstand those sort of impacts would be cost and weight prohibitive.

My point exactly. Makes a case for military aircraft built to take the punishment that can be expected in a military role.
That course may well be the cheaper one in the end...Especailly if its part of the mix between winning and losing.


http://jas.jcs.mil/news/pdf/2003_fall.pdf
In the last 40 or so years, aircraft survivability has shifted away from damage tolerance to hit avoidance. As technology advanced and threats became more lethal, it made a lot of sense to keep the aircraft from being hit in the first place. With advanced countermeasures and low observable technology, this was possible. But there was also another factor that shifted our focus away from protect-ing our aircraft down low. As our technology increased and we were able to outfit our aircraft with a lot of high- tech gizmos, the focus shifted from developing vulnerabil-ity reduction features to developing advanced sensors for threat detection, engagement, and target destruction at greater distances. You see, if you can detect and identify a threat at 500 miles, engage it at 450 and destroy it at 400, there really isn’t a need to worry about getting hit. The only problem with that is—we aren’t there yet. We are still developing requirements documents that define missions in the lower altitudes, and we still need to transi-tion through the lower altitudes for takeoff and landing while sometimes using forward bases that are not that secure. And someone forgot to ask the helo guys what they thought of this strategy.
If you took a poll of operators in the fleet and asked them what they wanted most on their aircraft, they would say—
1)advanced sensors,
2)range and speed,
3)long range and very accurate weapons,
4)low observable technology, and
50)vulnerability reduction.
Yes that was number 50, not number 5. There are two reasons for this. First, vulnerability reduction technology is not very sexy. A cool new radar that can identify a target at 500 miles is always preferable to a fuel tank liner. And second, most operators just assume that basic vulnerability reduction features such as fire protection and redundancy are a given in aircraft design. If you asked an operator if he would prefer target ID at only 400 miles while guaranteeing he would not burn up in flight because of a fuel leak, you might get a different answer.



the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
User currently offlineBennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7200 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (9 years 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3275 times:

IMO the real points are these;

1. How much would it cost to take a clean sheet approach?.

2.When would this new type enter service?.

3.Will buying this new type mean more money for the DOD or will cuts be made elsewhere?.


User currently offlineSidishus From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 519 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (9 years 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3245 times:

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 15):
1. How much would it cost to take a clean sheet approach?.

2.When would this new type enter service?.

3.Will buying this new type mean more money for the DOD or will cuts be made elsewhere?.

By all accounts buying a new tanker aircraft will be expensive, will take a number of years before IOC, and will compete with other programns regardless.

A key question not asked here is can one afford a snazzy "as-is" A330 that may well find itself in a situation where its not survivable and a battle-or war-is lost as a result. What are your savings then?



the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (9 years 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3225 times:

Sidishus,

you seems to be conviced there are operational limitations to the KC767 and KC330 designs.

Question do they play a role in the selection of the Australian, British, American, French, Dutch or whatever airforce?

Has any tabker been shot down in say the last twenty years, what passive protection does protect against a serious AAM/SAM?


User currently offlineBennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7200 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (9 years 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3224 times:

I see the point that you are making.

However there are a number of issues here.

1. The MOD and HMG budgets are limited and the VC10/Tristar fleet will not fly forever. I suspect particularly the former, which is only used by the RAF.

This means that it could be a choice between the KC330 and the VC10, and as I say the VC10's are nearly 40 years old.

2. Is it worth designing a new RAF tanker for 20 aircraft. Given that the USAF (who potentially have a requirement for a much larger purchase) do not seem to be opting for purpose built tankers, I do not see the RAF doing so.

3. At least for the next (10 years?) the choice is converted airliners or no change. This means KC767 or KC330 and the no change option of KC135/KC10/VC10/Tristar.

4. Finally, any aircraft, be it KC330 or KX is expendable. If a KC330 gets shot down then another KC330 will be sent probably with a fighter escort.

Even if this meant sending three KC330's with 2 to support the attack package and the third with a pair of Tornado F3's as escort and taking periodic top ups, then that is what will happen.

Are there any figures for the cost of a fleet of say 30 purpose built tankers and a projected IOC.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12060 posts, RR: 52
Reply 19, posted (9 years 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3207 times:

There has never been a tanker shot doen, by enemy forces. But, USAF tankers have been shot at.

The RAF uses their tankers differently than the USAF. They are less exposed.

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 18):
4. Finally, any aircraft, be it KC330 or KX is expendable. If a KC330 gets shot down then another KC330 will be sent probably with a fighter escort.

Aircraft, of every type, are increasingly less expendable. If a tanker is operating in a tactical area, there is going to be a CAP already there. Fighters are a threat to tankers, but not the only or even the biggest threat. AAA and missiles present much more of a threat.

In the KC-135, we believed we could easily out run a fighter threat, in we were given a 40nm nose to nose warning. The fighter would have to go to burners to try to catch us. With our high speed (.95M), we would outrun him long before he got us in missile range as he would use all his fuel.


User currently offlineSidishus From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 519 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (9 years 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3184 times:

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 18):
. Is it worth designing a new RAF tanker for 20 aircraft. Given that the USAF (who potentially have a requirement for a much larger purchase) do not seem to be opting for purpose built tankers, I do not see the RAF doing so.

I no its not good form to answer a question with a question, but this one begs...Can you afford to buy only 20 aircraft that are so vulnerable to enemy fire?
To answer your question though, Of course it would make no sense to buy a brand new aircraft with a 20 unit production run. But to make the A330 survivable will take some Vulnerability Reduction efforts that will be both extensive, and expensive. So in the long run it may not be the bargain currently advertised.
And the jury is out on what the USAF will eventually buy now. We won't really know until the AoA is released. I suspect a tow tiered buy of a near term 767 modified and a longer term clean sheet buy will be the outcome...And I will also opine that near term "cheap" alternative won't be nearly as hyped up to be once the survivabilty features are backfitted into the design.

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 18):
Finally, any aircraft, be it KC330 or KX is expendable. If a KC330 gets shot down then another KC330 will be sent probably with a fighter escort.

With only 20 in the entire inventory, I would say they certainly would not be expendable. This is the same issue with the USAF's ISR low density/high demand (LD/HD) assets. Lose one and a commander will be mighty reluctant to risk another...if he even has one immediately available to him.
And you are ignoring the growing threat from ultra long range SAMs and AAMs-purpose built to shoot down this class of airplanes- which could well negate any fighter escort.



the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
User currently offlineSidishus From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 519 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (9 years 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3169 times:

Quoting Keesje (Reply 17):
Has any tanker been shot down in say the last twenty years, what passive protection does protect against a serious AAM/SAM?

Missles such as the S-400, FT-2000, and KS-172 ...each designed to shoot down large "support" aircraft...are just being fielded.Its the threats of tomorrow that are the issue here, not those of the last century.
On your second point...The discipline of Aircraft Survivability is a complex one. Of course its silly to think that any aircraft could be transformed into an impregnable Battlestar. Vulnerability Reduction (making the aircraft able to survive damage), must be balanced with Susceptability Reduction (keeping the aircraft from taking hits in the first place). All too often VR is ignored in favor of the higher profile SR. But as the lesson of Vietnam pointed out, susceptability cannot be reduced to zero. Aircraft will still take hits. In the case of modern airliners, even a little damage from a miniscule amount of shrapnel can kill these airplanes, so their Vulnerability is quite high. Ditto for susceptability. Lets look at your "as-is" E-10 and KC-330 in the year 2020. They are not very fast( are any as fast as the KC-135 at .95M?-MMO for the 767-400 is .86M), they are not very maneuverable, and the nature of their misson means they must loiter for long periods of time in a relatively constrained geographic area. That makes these assets inherently susceptable right off the bat. You wont be able to change the flying charcteristics of the airliners in question to any great degree, countermeasures will only be so effective with such large and unmaneuverable aircraft, but granted tactics and supressing assets will help. While they may avoid the lethal radius of a detonating S-400, it's a near certainty that they will end up taking at least a little shrapnel. And thats the big rub. Modern airliners are highly damage intolerant as built. The DHL A-300 was graphic proof. Much can likely be done to reduce this vulnerablity by redesigning fuel, electrical, and avionics systems, but that will be neither easy nor cheap. And my whole point is it may end up costing nearly as much as building a plane from scratch.
Not directly obvious too is the "force multiplier" effect these aircraft represent. They have become true "Golden" assets. The US is not going to be conducting land campaigns without a JSTARS and TACAIR support. Those assets won't be there without the tanker assets right near by. Shootdown one of the 18 or so JSTARS that exist and I can guarantee much wailing and gnashing of teeth...and a big ding in our operational warplans. Threaten the tankers and they may have to move so far from the fight TACAIR can't be overhead constantly. Without TACAIR, the guys on the ground will find themselves constrained mightily. Potential enemies recognize this, even if woefully too few good guys do. And they are building weapons to shot these highly valuable...and highly vulnerable...assets down. Why take on a fighter when you can be cagey and shoot down one JSTARS with an FT-2000. That's much more bang for the buck and it's something thats being ignored at our eventual peril.

[Edited 2005-04-17 08:03:10]

[Edited 2005-04-17 08:15:19]


the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
User currently offlineSaintsman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 2065 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (9 years 22 hours ago) and read 3102 times:

With regard to expendability, I believe all the current RAF tanker fleet have a 'suicide' switch that allows them to off-load all their fuel at the expense of the tanker. Therefore the FSTA aircraft must be considered sufficient. It does raise the question though that if the aircraft are only leased to the MOD, would they be allowed to sacrifice the aircraft?

The only threat considered to the tankers are on take off or landing from shoulder launched missiles or something similar. If you take an engine out then any aircraft is going to be lucky to survive, particularly one full of fuel.


User currently offlineSidishus From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 519 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (9 years 21 hours ago) and read 3097 times:

Quoting Saintsman (Reply 22):
The only threat considered to the tankers are on take off or landing from shoulder launched missiles or something similar.

This is simply not true. May I suggest you brush up on such burgeoning weapons such as the KS-172 and S-400



the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
User currently offlineSaintsman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 2065 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (9 years 17 hours ago) and read 3075 times:

Quoting Saintsman (Reply 22):
The only threat considered to the tankers are on take off or landing from shoulder launched missiles or something similar.

Actually what I meant to say is 'The Main threat...' , which is why there will not be comprehensive defensive aids systems on the RAF A330s


25 Sidishus : So am I to understand you believe these aircraft will be used in conflicts ....which is an endeavor in which fire is exchanged with malice...and the
26 Saintsman : I don't know what the current state of the RAF's VC10s are, but when I was involved with their tanker conversions (5 or 6 years ago) they had no defen
27 Sidishus : I will submit that those who subscribe to that way of thinking are taking a myopic view of the past and translating it into a flawed view of the futu
28 Bennett123 : Perhaps I need to qualify my point about expendability; An aircraft, any aircraft is a tool to do a job. The KX may be the best aircraft, but the gove
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