KennyK From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 482 posts, RR: 0 Posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 5079 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
ACW367 From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2007, 242 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 5030 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.
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
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 12951 posts, RR: 79 Reply 7, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 4901 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.
RayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 5 Reply 8, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4841 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.
KC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 11899 posts, RR: 52 Reply 9, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 4708 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.
Bongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3329 posts, RR: 3 Reply 10, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4683 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.
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 12951 posts, RR: 79 Reply 11, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4675 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.
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."
474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9 Reply 16, posted (5 years 9 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3921 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.
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 12951 posts, RR: 79 Reply 17, posted (5 years 9 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3916 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.
474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9 Reply 19, posted (5 years 9 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3766 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.