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RAF Mrtt To Be Built In USA?  
User currently offlineKennyK From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 482 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 8 months 6 hours ago) and read 5506 times:

OK, so there are people freaking out across both sides of the Atlantic now since the announcement that the KC-30 has been selected by the USAF.

Lets look at the ramifications, not only will an initial 64 KC-30s be built, probably leading to a total of 179. But latest figures from Airbus show 77 A330Fs have been ordered and will supposedly be built in Mobile with more to follow.

Following on I asume that when the UK MOD finally gets the MRTT contract sorted out a further 15 KC-30s (of sorts) will be built for the RAF as may the Saudi/UAE aircraft, or will they be bassed on the passenger variant and will thus be assembled in Toulouse ?

Looking further ahead, if France goes for the A330 to replace its KC135s and Germany its A310s might they also be assembled in Mobile ?

Ah to have a crystal ball...... but life would be so much less fun  stirthepot 

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9159 posts, RR: 76
Reply 1, posted (6 years 8 months 5 hours ago) and read 5467 times:

Aircraft will not be built in Mobile until 2010, if they want them before that, they will need to be in assembled in TLS and finished off in Spain.

I think EADS will be very keen to produce as many aircraft it can in the US.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineACW367 From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2007, 242 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 8 months 5 hours ago) and read 5457 times:



Quoting Zeke (Reply 1):
Aircraft will not be built in Mobile until 2010

The RAF Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) calls for initial tanker flight trials to commence in 2010 and entry into service in 2014. You will need to ask AirTanker http://www.airtanker.co.uk if they had thought about using Mobile.


User currently offlineKennyK From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 482 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 8 months 5 hours ago) and read 5450 times:

2010! Then they will definately be built in Mobile for the RAF  rotfl 

User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31125 posts, RR: 85
Reply 4, posted (6 years 8 months 5 hours ago) and read 5436 times:
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It will be interesting to see if EADS changes the A330 MRTT into the KC-45A specification to leverage the A330-200F's superior freight-loading ability (thanks to the "true flat" load deck).

The RAAF birds are designated KC-30B (to differentiate them from the KC-30A proposal), but I believe they are based on the A330-200 like the A330 MRTT.


User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9159 posts, RR: 76
Reply 5, posted (6 years 8 months 5 hours ago) and read 5404 times:



Quoting Stitch (Reply 4):

The KC-30A was going to based upon the A332, not the A332F.

I know Australia is looking at the cargo door for their aircraft, and I think EADS will try and make all the tankers as similar as possible as supporting them will be cheaper for the operators then, with the larger parts pool.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31125 posts, RR: 85
Reply 6, posted (6 years 8 months 4 hours ago) and read 5352 times:
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Quoting Zeke (Reply 5):
The KC-30A was going to based upon the A332, not the A332F.

There was much talk and speculation before the decision that EADS was considering using the A330-200F, instead, to support moving A330-200F production to Mobile, as well.

A332F Helping Grumman W/ KC-30 (by Cancidas Sep 21 2007 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)

Now that they have won the RFP, I expect they will work with the USAF to determine which model is the more appropriate one.

[Edited 2008-02-29 17:55:44]

User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13229 posts, RR: 77
Reply 7, posted (6 years 8 months 4 hours ago) and read 5328 times:

Hardly inevitable, for one, the RAF do not require a refuelling boom, not the method it uses for AAR.
So if they did come from Mobile, (not that there is any political objection to that), they'd be producing two distinct models.
Plus at least some of the RAF machines, will likely be ex airliner conversions.
They'd end up with two distinct models in a small fleet.
So I do not see it as likely.

I can see that Airbus could eventually shift all A330 tanker production to the US, but won't they want to be totally focused on building and delivering to the USAF for some considerable time?
They have set themselves a challenge here, after the unexpected USAF choice of Airbus, they will not want to introduce any complexity into this operation, at least until USAF deliveries are well under way and going well.
They have enjoyed a major coup, from the most demanding of customers, in a politically charged deal, why risk anything here?
So we have the question of time-lines not matching what the RAF requires (in fact desperately needs), if they come from the US line.


User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8018 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (6 years 8 months 3 hours ago) and read 5268 times:

I think RAF will buy more than just a few A330 MRTT's based on the KC-30 variant. The reason is simple: the RAF L1011 and VC-10 tanker fleet are starting to age, and that means possibly buying as many as 30 KC-30 variant tankers for the RAF down the road to replace the VC-10 and L1011 tanker fleet. Besides, being based on the A330-200F, the tankers could be used as extra cargo planes on an as-needed basis.

User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12158 posts, RR: 51
Reply 9, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 5135 times:



Quoting RayChuang (Reply 8):
The reason is simple: the RAF L1011 and VC-10 tanker fleet are starting to age, and that means possibly buying as many as 30 KC-30 variant tankers for the RAF down the road to replace the VC-10 and L1011 tanker fleet. Besides, being based on the A330-200F, the tankers could be used as extra cargo planes on an as-needed basis.

I don't think the RAF can afford 30 KC-30 tankers. They will be wet leasing the EADS tankers they get now, and still contracting with the USAF for tanker suupport. Currently USAF KC-135Rs or KC-10As support some RAF C-17 flights to the Falklands (at least some of those that use refueling support). Some RAF C-17s RON at Asention Island, others are refueled enroute.

RAF E-3 AWACS are also sometimes refueled by USAF tankers, while other times by RAF tankers.

But, neither the RAF, nor RAAF MRTTs will be built in MOB. I believe the first 22 A-330-200Fs must be built in TLS to meet airline contract delivery dates.


User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3638 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 5110 times:



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 9):
I don't think the RAF can afford 30 KC-30 tankers. They will be wet leasing the EADS tankers they get now

The RAF are not proposing to wet lease the tankers; they would be operated and staffed by the RAF. They are being acquired through a wonderful UK system known as private finance initiative, whereby large consortia provide infrastructure to the government on a long term lease; this was meant to provide the UK taxpayer with state of the art buildings and equipment, at keen prices due to the conviction that private enterprise is inherently more efficient than the state. Unfortunately, it has on many occasions resulted in consortia who have made a mess of the figures, holding the government to ransom part way through a contract with a demand for more cash. The government has to stump up the money or lose the service.

Quoting GDB (Reply 7):
Plus at least some of the RAF machines, will likely be ex airliner conversions.

Is this fact or rumour ?

Quoting Zeke (Reply 1):
The RAF Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) calls for initial tanker flight trials to commence in 2010 and entry into service in 2014

The PFI contractors had better secure some funds fairly quickly then; the deal has yet to be finalised due to the global credit crunch. Some analysts think the price will have to be renegotiated, as its no longer possible to borrow the money at the cheap rates assumed in the bid.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13229 posts, RR: 77
Reply 11, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 5102 times:

I've just long understood, based on numerous reports over the years, that the RAF would get a mix of conversions and new build.
Now that may have changed, but the issue of time-lines if they are sourced from the US plant remains, as well as the significant differences between the US spec and the RAF one.


User currently offlineBennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7701 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5004 times:

I will believe the FSTA when I see it fly.

User currently offlineDEVILFISH From Philippines, joined Jan 2006, 4881 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 4518 times:



Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 10):

The PFI contractors had better secure some funds fairly quickly then; the deal has yet to be finalised due to the global credit crunch.

It appears that hurdle has been overcome.....

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...nker-aircraft-deal-this-month.html

Quote:
"The UK Ministry of Defence should sign a long-awaited contract later this month on its Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft deal, with one of the project's industrial stakeholders saying all barriers to closing the deal have been removed.

'We are well advanced on FSTA, and don't see any problems to roll that into a contract in the very near future,' says Alex Dorrian, chief executive of Thales UK.

[.....]

Thales says all funding needed to launch the project has now been secured via financial institutions, but concedes that the global credit crunch has had an impact on the pace of this process."



"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13229 posts, RR: 77
Reply 14, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4444 times:

Good, not before time.
But I'd not use them to replace the Tristars, ijust the VC-10's, the USAF can run on it's KC-10's until 2040, why cannot the RAF L1011's carry on for say another decade?


User currently offlineAndhen From Norway, joined Dec 2006, 81 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4377 times:

Hi!

I saw the same article that DEVILFISH refered to, and I have a question regarding the picture in the article. The tanker in this picture har regular windows, like the A330.

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...nker-aircraft-deal-this-month.html

Do you think this is hints that the RAF tanker will be based on the a330, and not on the freighter..?

Will any of the different tanker models (kc-45/mrtt) have passenger windows..?

Thanks, andhen



a332/3, 773-ER
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4348 times:

Unless something has changed since I left the UK the RAF MRTT aircraft are to be used as civilian airliners when they are not on lease to the RAF, so they will be built in France with the other A330 passenger aircraft.

User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13229 posts, RR: 77
Reply 17, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4343 times:



Quoting 474218 (Reply 16):
Unless something has changed since I left the UK the RAF MRTT aircraft are to be used as civilian airliners when they are not on lease to the RAF, so they will be built in France with the other A330 passenger aircraft.

Let's see how long that idea lasts in real life, given the RAF's operational tempo now and for the foreseeable future.


User currently offlineLifelinerOne From Netherlands, joined Nov 2003, 1923 posts, RR: 8
Reply 18, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4264 times:



Quoting Andhen (Reply 15):
I saw the same article that DEVILFISH refered to, and I have a question regarding the picture in the article. The tanker in this picture har regular windows, like the A330.

The plane in the picture is the RAAF example, which is a converted passenger A330-200. I think the picture is just there to illustrate the story.

It's getting crowded with all those designations for the A330 tanker... A330MRTT, KC-30A, KC-30B, KC-45A...

Cheers!  wave 



Only Those Who Sleep Don't Make Mistakes
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 19, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 4193 times:



Quoting Andhen (Reply 15):
Do you think this is hints that the RAF tanker will be based on the a330, and not on the freighter..?



Quoting LifelinerOne (Reply 18):
The plane in the picture is the RAAF example, which is a converted passenger A330-200. I think the picture is just there to illustrate the story.

The FSTA calls for the fourteen (14) A330-200's to be owned and managed by "Air Tanker", they will lease some to the RAF and the rest will be leased to commerical operators (for passenger service). When the RAF needs extra capacity they can lease them additional tankers, if the RAF does not require the extra capacity they can return the aircraft to "Air Tanker's". So they have to be passenger models.


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