tigerotor77w
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Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Thu Dec 20, 2007 11:52 pm

Out of curiosity... was there ever an expected date or timeframe that the USAF would announce its tanker decision?
 
echster
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:16 am

The contract was going to be awarded December 2003 but was cancelled as a result of an awarding scandal.

The RFP was issued January 2007. The winner was to have been announced this year but was slipped into February 2008. Now it looks like it'll be later after an announcement today. Below is a story:

A senior Air Force official Thursday left open the possibility that the much-anticipated contract award for a fleet of aerial refueling tankers could slip beyond late February. Lt. Gen. Donald Hoffman, the Air Force's senior acquisition officer, acknowledged there is a reasonable chance the Air Force could decide on the high-stakes contract award in March or later.

http://www.govexec.com/story_page.cfm?articleid=38899&dcn=todaysnews
 
Lumberton
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Fri Dec 21, 2007 10:45 am

While I'm sure the U.S. Air Force is trying to "protest proof" it's eventual decision, it has to be aware that every delay puts this thing squarely into the political silly season.
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
Observer
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Fri Dec 21, 2007 3:33 pm

The Seattle Times had this reference about the tanker program today in an article:

"One other factor may swing the competition for Boeing. In the first quarter of 2008, it will finally deliver two 767 tankers to the Japanese air force. Two more will go to the Italian air force in the second quarter. Both sets of aircraft are late after technical issues during flight tests that appear on the verge of being solved.

"If, as expected, the first Japanese tanker is delivered next month, in advance of the contract decision, it will be a clear sign to the Air Force that the risk in the Boeing program is reduced."

So maybe the USAF is manipulating the timing to favor Boeing. What a surprise.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Fri Dec 21, 2007 3:38 pm

And yet that same Seattle Times article noted:

Quote:
For a tanker based on a bigger and more expensive jet than the 767, their proposal "was apparently a surprisingly low bid," said financial analyst Joe Campbell of Lehman Brothers, who spoke with chief executives on both sides of the competition.

So it looks like Northup-Grumman and EADS are not giving up without a fight by offering more capability at not much more cost.
 
PADSpot
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Fri Dec 21, 2007 5:04 pm



Quoting Lumberton (Reply 2):
it has to be aware that every delay puts this thing squarely into the political silly season.

Well, in this case the "silly season" may play to Boeing's advantage ... Patriotism sells easier than Reason or Rationality.
 
Lumberton
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Fri Dec 21, 2007 5:12 pm

Quoting PADSpot (Reply 6):
Patriotism sells easier than Reason or Rationality.

Yes, as we have seen in the rebuff of Spirit Aerospace in the bidding for the Airbus factories in Europe. Frankly, I think EADS did the right thing. What I can't abide is the double standard.

[Edited 2007-12-21 09:13:53]
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
PADSpot
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Fri Dec 21, 2007 6:14 pm



Quoting Lumberton (Reply 7):
Yes, as we have seen in the rebuff of Spirit Aerospace in the bidding for the Airbus factories in Europe. Frankly, I think EADS did the right thing. What I can't abide is the double standard.

This is still not fixed. You can hit F5 at Google News every hour or so and so will read something different each time. BTW: The now preferred bidder OHB Industries is backed by Cerberus Capital for the deal. Thus it's only superficially a "domestic" solution ...
 
michlis
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Fri Dec 21, 2007 6:31 pm



Quoting Stitch (Reply 5):
So it looks like Northup-Grumman and EADS are not giving up without a fight by offering more capability at not much more cost.

Except if they win the contract, there are those "unexpected" cost overruns.
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the outcome of a hundred battles.
 
PADSpot
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Fri Dec 21, 2007 7:03 pm



Quoting Michlis (Reply 9):
Except if they win the contract, there are those "unexpected" cost overruns.

Which EADS or NG is not more known for than any other supplier of major defense items ...
 
Observer
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Fri Dec 21, 2007 9:33 pm



Quoting PADSpot (Reply 10):


Quoting Michlis (Reply 9):
Except if they win the contract, there are those "unexpected" cost overruns.

Which EADS or NG is not more known for than any other supplier of major defense items ...

Bur remember the USAF wants a fixed-price contract for the first 80 airplanes.
 
PADSpot
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Fri Dec 21, 2007 9:52 pm



Quoting Observer (Reply 11):

Bur remember the USAF wants a fixed-price contract for the first 80 airplanes.

Do you think if Boeing or Airbus could sell 80 medium wide-bodies to some Airline, they were not able to offer a fixed-price deal? Apart from that the KC-30B will be much closer to a civilian A330 than a KC-767 will be to a civilian B767 and thus I do see the greater financial risk with Boeing in this case. This point does not lend itself as argument for Airbus bashers.
 
tigerotor77w
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Sat Dec 22, 2007 3:29 am

Hmm... thanks for the replies.

I was just curious if it was still to be this year the order was announced -- but apparently government funding takes time to dish out.  Smile
 
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Stitch
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Sat Dec 22, 2007 4:12 pm



Quoting Michlis (Reply 9):
Except if they win the contract, there are those "unexpected" cost overruns.

The USAF has said they will not award the deal solely on price because of that worry. This is one of the reasons that Boeing actually able to get the first KC-767 into the JASDF's hands because it will help "prove" that Boeing can do it and as such won't need to keep raising the rates.

Of course, the 767-200LR is a different beast from KC-767, so...
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Sat Dec 22, 2007 5:12 pm



Quoting Tigerotor77W (Thread starter):
Out of curiosity... was there ever an expected date or timeframe that the USAF would announce its tanker decision?



Quoting Tigerotor77W (Thread starter):
The RFP was issued January 2007.

That RFP called for a flying prototype by FY-09Q4, that probibly has slipped, because the contract award date has slipped. My guess is now the prototype tanker must fly by FY-10Q3.

Quoting Observer (Reply 4):
So maybe the USAF is manipulating the timing to favor Boeing. What a surprise.

Do you have evidence of that?  Yeah sure

Quoting Echster (Reply 1):
The contract was going to be awarded December 2003 but was cancelled as a result of an awarding scandal.

That was a much different program, under a much different contract. Those people administering that program are gone from the USAF and Boeing, one went to jail. It has nothing to do with the (now named) KC-45A Program (formerly the KC-X Program).

Quoting PADSpot (Reply 12):
Apart from that the KC-30B will be much closer to a civilian A330 than a KC-767 will be to a civilian B767 and thus I do see the greater financial risk with Boeing in this case.

That is partially correct, but, EADS/NG is not offering the KC-30B, which is the RAAF tanker program. EADS/NG is offering what is commonly known as the KC-30A, which the USAF wants based on the A-330-200F airplane, not the A-330-200 (pax) airplane that EADS/NG is pushing.

The greater financial risk will be with the A-330F airplane and it's unknown (for the moment) tanker modifications). The Boeing offer is based on a B-767-200ER platform, that will become the B-767-200LRF, using proven wings from the B-767-400ER, and landing gear of the B-767-300ERF, and the fuselage of the B-767-200ER, but with the below deck cargo holds and doors removed (body fuel tanks will be put there, like in the Italian and Japanese tankers).
 
Lumberton
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Sat Dec 22, 2007 5:55 pm



Quoting Echster (Reply 1):
The contract was going to be awarded December 2003 but was cancelled as a result of an awarding scandal.

Mention of the Darleen Druyun scandal is now obligatory when discussing the tanker thread.

Perhaps we should also include the numerous allegations of bribery by Airbus and other European companies (i.e., Siemans), the failed Eurocopter bid in India which collapsed because of allegations of improper payments through agents, the Indian judge recently ordering the investigation into the bribery allegations surrounding the French submarine, the bribery allegations concerning BAE in connection with the Eurofighter sale, etc.

The big difference I can see is that there is accountability on one side, while none on the other.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
Quoting Observer (Reply 4):
So maybe the USAF is manipulating the timing to favor Boeing. What a surprise.
Do you have evidence of that? Yeah sure

I seriously doubt that any evidence will be provided. It's only wishful thinking.
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
PADSpot
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Sat Dec 22, 2007 6:25 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
EADS/NG is offering what is commonly known as the KC-30A, which the USAF wants based on the A-330-200F airplane, not the A-330-200 (pax) airplane that EADS/NG is pushing.

The greater financial risk will be with the A-330F airplane and it's unknown (for the moment) tanker modifications).

The only "new" thing that is on the KC-30A is the lengthened nose gear. All other other components are not new. The cargo gate is a one-to-one transfer of A310F technology to the A330. No big deal.

I stay with what I said: The KC-767 imposes much more severe modification on the B767 airframe than the Airbus and thus comes with much technological and therewith financial risks. But this is a moot point anyway, because the decision pro or contra NG/Airbus will not be made on these grounds.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Sat Dec 22, 2007 7:08 pm



Quoting PADSpot (Reply 16):
I stay with what I said: The KC-767 imposes much more severe modification on the B767 airframe than the Airbus and thus comes with much technological and therewith financial risks. But this is a moot point anyway, because the decision pro or contra NG/Airbus will not be made on these grounds.

I think you and I, my friend, can agree that the decision is not made on those grounds.

What really is a shame with tis KC-45A Program, is the two main competitors each offered an outstanding proposal. But, the final selection will be totally political.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Sat Dec 22, 2007 9:58 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 17):
What really is a shame with tis KC-45A Program, is the two main competitors each offered an outstanding proposal. But, the final selection will be totally political.

Most military program decisions around the world are...



In the end, I think it is in the best interests of the US and the EU that two healthy and effective cargo/tanker programs exist. The KC-30/A330MRTT program and KC-767 program can co-exist together, each meeting a particular need.

Sometimes you don't need everything a KC-30/A330MRTT can offer and sometimes you need more then a KC-767 can. Having the option of one or even both in your fleet makes that fleet that much more effective.

Right now, the USAF seems to need the KC-767 to fulfill the KC-45 mission requirements. But the KC-10A will not last forever, and the capabilities it brings to the USAF's portfolio cannot be dismissed. As such, the KC-30/A330MRTT program could very well be a perfect fit for replacing those birds when they start to leave the fleet.
 
Lumberton
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Sat Dec 22, 2007 10:51 pm



Quoting Stitch (Reply 18):
As such, the KC-30/A330MRTT program could very well be a perfect fit for replacing those birds when they start to leave the fleet.

If past is prologue, that'll be around 2030!  Wink
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Stitch
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Sat Dec 22, 2007 11:24 pm



Quoting Lumberton (Reply 19):
If past is prologue, that'll be around 2030!  Wink

Okay. The A350MRTT.  duck 
 
TropicBird
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Sun Dec 23, 2007 1:36 am



Quoting Lumberton (Reply 15):
Quoting Observer (Reply 4):
So maybe the USAF is manipulating the timing to favor Boeing. What a surprise.
Do you have evidence of that? Yeah sure

I seriously doubt that any evidence will be provided. It's only wishful thinking.

The same thought had occurred to me when I read about the delays in the award. That the USAF is delaying the award in part to see how Boeing clears up the certification problems (pods etc.). Keep in mind that the USAF did not plan to have a fly-off in this competition so the technology needs to work. Also it would look very bad to award the contract to Boeing when they are unable to deliver other similar tankers on-time. Remember Boeing's key sales point to the USAF is that they have 75 years experience in building tankers so being very late in delivering them on time to Japan and Italy sort of deflates that justification.

Ironically, now the USAF may have to wait for NG/EADS to prove their boom technology in the next few months. After all they waited for Boeing.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Sun Dec 23, 2007 2:58 am



Quoting TropicBird (Reply 21):
Ironically, now the USAF may have to wait for NG/EADS to prove their boom technology in the next few months.

Already done (though using the boom on an A310MRTT testbed) - http://www.irconnect.com/noc/press/pages/news_releases.html?d=132760
 
Lumberton
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Sun Dec 23, 2007 12:49 pm



Quoting TropicBird (Reply 21):
The same thought had occurred to me when I read about the delays in the award.

I still prefer Occam's razor approach here. The USAF wants to "protest proof" the award as much as possible. No, they can't prevent one; a protest from the loser is inevitable. They want to make sure that it's not "sustainable" and avoid the b.s. they're going through on CSAR-X. You are dealing with government employees, who at the end of the day, do not want to deal with all this crap. That's what political appointees get paid to do!
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Sun Dec 23, 2007 1:03 pm



Quoting Stitch (Reply 22):
Quoting TropicBird (Reply 21):
Ironically, now the USAF may have to wait for NG/EADS to prove their boom technology in the next few months.

Already done (though using the boom on an A310MRTT testbed) - http://www.irconnect.com/noc/press/p...32760

Even Airbus calls the test bed airplane a KC-310. It is good the ARBS finally got it's first contact, only 20 months behind schedule. Yes, the original schedule called for an August 2006 first contact, using French AF Boom Operators.

So, it appears the A-330MRTT program is behind schedule, too?

Quoting Stitch (Reply 18):
But the KC-10A will not last forever, and the capabilities it brings to the USAF's portfolio cannot be dismissed. As such, the KC-30/A330MRTT program could very well be a perfect fit for replacing those birds when they start to leave the fleet.

Stitch, you may not believe this (and it is ironic), the A-330MRTT is too SMALL to replace the KC-10. BTW, if the A-330MRTT is selected in the current tanker replacement program, it will be called the KC-45A, not the KC-30A.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Sun Dec 23, 2007 4:00 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 24):
Stitch, you may not believe this (and it is ironic), the A-330MRTT is too SMALL to replace the KC-10. BTW, if the A-330MRTT is selected in the current tanker replacement program, it will be called the KC-45A, not the KC-30A.

In raw volume, yes, but with the KC-767 carrying more then the KC-135, the two together would likely "equal out" the lift between a KC-135 and KC-10A. Then again, it and a 767-based KC-45 already in the fleet might be the edge Boeing needs to win with the 777F...

And yes, I am aware the winning bid will be designated the KC-45 when it enters service, but until that time I find it easier to refer to each by their current designations - KC-767 and KC-30A - to avoid confusion. I also should have appended the "B" to my KC-30/A330MRTT as I meant the RAAF model.  Smile
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Sun Dec 23, 2007 4:10 pm

I should add (to the confusion?) that only the KC-767ADV, KC-30A, or LM flying box wing tanker proposals would be designated as the KC-45A, under the KC-X program, should any of these be selected.

Should the KC-135E reengine proposal (the KC-135U?) win the compitition, it will retain it's KC-135 designation (mission, design), and get a new series identifier, which my guess is "U".
 
bennett123
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Mon Dec 24, 2007 3:55 pm

Is a KC135 based option still being considered?
 
Devilfish
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Mon Dec 24, 2007 4:22 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 26):
I should add (to the confusion?) that only the KC-767ADV, KC-30A, or LM flying box wing tanker proposals would be designated as the KC-45A, under the KC-X program, should any of these be selected.

I wonder how the caption in this photo relate to that.....

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © T.Laurent


.....as I understand it saying that the aircraft is now with long storage primers, instead of the USAF colour scheme as a demonstrator for NG/EADS.  scratchchin 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Mon Dec 24, 2007 4:49 pm



Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 28):
.....as I understand it saying that the aircraft is now with long storage primers, instead of the USAF colour scheme as a demonstrator for NG/EADS.

That is because Airbus has this A-330-200 set up to be delivered to an airline, if it is not needed as the KC-45A prototype. If EADS/NG is selected, this airplane will be flown to Spain to be converted at the same facility the RAAF KC-30Bs are converted. Later, after the MOB facility is ready for NG, will KC-45s be built there.

The full KC-45As, if built from an A-330 platform will be based on the A-330-200F.

Boeing has a B-767-200ER (without engines) in storage for the same prototype program. If the KC-45A is the B-767 platform, it will be based on the B-767-200LRF.

The RFP allows both OEMs to do this for the prototypes.
 
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:49 am



Quoting PADSpot (Reply 5):
Well, in this case the "silly season" may play to Boeing's advantage ... Patriotism sells easier than Reason or Rationality.

This is a thread I have no desire to enter. As a pilot with a lot of time in the 767 (and in the A-320), I would prefer to see the A-330 win as I genuinely believe it is the better aircraft and stronger candidate, but I believe that PADSpot is exactly on the money: this will be all about politics and not about which package is actually best for the USAF, which is sad.  crying 
 
WestWing
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Thu Jan 03, 2008 4:34 pm

Jan 3rd 2008: Boeing Submits Final KC-767 Advanced Tanker Proposal to U.S. Air Force

In which Boeing says: "Burning 24 percent less fuel than its competitor, the KC-767 will save the service and American taxpayer an estimated $14.6 billion. The KC-767 also will save approximately $4 billion if selected since it costs 22 percent less to maintain than its competitor."
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redflyer
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:03 pm



Quoting PGNCS (Reply 30):
I would prefer to see the A-330 win as I genuinely believe it is the better aircraft and stronger candidate

In what way is it a better aircraft and stronger candidate?
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Stitch
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:10 pm

It should also be noted that the United States Air Force has different needs then United Airlines. So the benefits an A330-200 offers over a 767-200ER for a commercial operator might not be as important or relevant to a military operator.

As such, we need to be careful to not solely base our views of the KC-767 Advanced Tanker and the KC-30A proposals on our views of the A330-200 and 767-200ER.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:14 pm

Northrop Grumman Submits KC-X Final Proposal Revision to U.S. Air Force

Quote:
Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) announced today that it has submitted its Final Proposal Revision (FPR) for the U.S. Air Force KC-X Tanker Program. The projected contract award is expected on or about Jan. 31, 2008 according to the Air Force.

"I am extremely proud of the quality of the KC-30 team and the progress it continues to make since initial proposal submission in April 2007," said Ronald D. Sugar, Northrop Grumman chairman and chief executive officer. "Our solution, the KC-30 Tanker, not only offers greater capabilities and versatility than any tanker available today, it offers the lowest entry risk. It also meets all of the Air Force's key requirements and is superior in every respect to the KC-135R it replaces. The KC-30 is clearly a 'game changer' in that it is the only solution to provide the potential breakthrough in future Air Force air mobility capability as the C-17 did in replacing the venerable C-141."

http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/i...l-revision-air-force_423115_6.html
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:35 pm



Quoting Stitch (Reply 34):
"Our solution, the KC-30 Tanker, not only offers greater capabilities and versatility than any tanker available today, it offers the lowest entry risk. It also meets all of the Air Force's key requirements and is superior in every respect to the KC-135R it replaces.

Hmmmmmmmmm,

Perhaps NG/EADS needs to go back to re-read the USAF RFP for the KC-X. The KC-X program (now the KC-45A program) only replaces 157 KC-135Es that are, or will be, retired.

Some KC-135Rs, along with all 59 KC-10As, will be replaced in the KC-Y program.

The KC-Z program will replace the remaining KC-135R/Ts
 
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zeke
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Fri Jan 04, 2008 2:27 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 35):
Perhaps NG/EADS needs to go back to re-read the USAF RFP for the KC-X. The KC-X program (now the KC-45A program) only replaces 157 KC-135Es that are, or will be, retired.

 redflag 
The KC-135E is not mentioned in the final KC-X RFP or SRD.
The final KC-X RFP or SRD does not say what aircraft are being replaced.
The KC-135R is the KC-X RFP reference aircraft, you will see numerous references to it made.

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...les/PUB_2007-01_KC-X_Final_RFP.pdf (the RFP you suggest NG/EADS needs to go back to re-read, when you read it you will find the KC-135E is not mentioned.)
http://www.dodig.mil/Audit/reports/FY07/07103sum.htm
http://www.dodig.mil/Audit/reports/FY07/07-103.pdf

Considering both frames being offered have a "fleet effectiveness value" of greater than 1, it is unreasonable to assume that 179 KC-X aircraft will only replace 157 KC-135s. I would suggest they will end up replacing closer to 200-350 existing tanker aircraft.

More of your posts in this thread are less than accurate (I am being very generous with my words), can you please keep your comments factual.
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michlis
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:58 pm

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the outcome of a hundred battles.
 
redflyer
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:38 pm

Quoting Zeke (Reply 36):
The KC-135E is not mentioned in the final KC-X RFP or SRD.



Quoting Zeke (Reply 36):
The final KC-X RFP or SRD does not say what aircraft are being replaced.

There are a lot of things not mentioned in the RFP, or any RFP for that matter. If a person were to follow USAF and GAO spending reports and analysis, they would understand clearly that the urgency and the foundation for the RFP is to replace as quickly as possible the E model. A simple Google search of "KC-135E replacement" will pull up copious references that will lead even a layman to understand that the E model is first up for replacement vis-a-vis the KC-X competition.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 36):
The KC-135R is the KC-X RFP reference aircraft, you will see numerous references to it made.

It's the "reference" aircraft because at the moment it is the mainstay of the tanker fleet. Whatever replacement for the E model the USAF obtains, it will be referenced against what are the current and most common requirements. As the mainstay of the tanker fleet, with 20% more fueling capacity; 30% lower maintenance costs; 60% greater range; as well as a number of other factors that make it superior to the E model, the R model is the baseline reference point.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 36):
Considering both frames being offered have a "fleet effectiveness value" of greater than 1, it is unreasonable to assume that 179 KC-X aircraft will only replace 157 KC-135s. I would suggest they will end up replacing closer to 200-350 existing tanker aircraft.

If the USAF replaced 200-350 tankers with only 179, the mission effectiveness of the tanker fleet would be greatly debilitated. It is always better to field more tankers rather than fewer because then receiving aircraft won't have to fly as far nor loiter as long.

While the "fleet effectiveness value" is used for obtaining qualifications of the competing bids, I doubt it is what was used to come up with the final number of 179. I rather think the 179 was derived from the fact that 157 E models require replacement and there may be extra frames required to compensate for attrition (for hull losses of both the KC-X and the existing R model), maintenance down-time, and training purposes.

[Edited 2008-01-04 11:56:58]
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kc135topboom
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Mon Jan 07, 2008 7:47 pm



Quoting Zeke (Reply 36):
Considering both frames being offered have a "fleet effectiveness value" of greater than 1, it is unreasonable to assume that 179 KC-X aircraft will only replace 157 KC-135s. I would suggest they will end up replacing closer to 200-350 existing tanker aircraft.

Zeke, I know you know better than that. The USAF has anounced the retirement of 157 KC-135E tankers, no KC-135Rs will be retired, except any that are written-off due to an accident (the USAF has lost 2 KC-135Rs since the "R" conversion program began in 1982).

The number of 179 new KC-45 tankers is to replace the 157 "E" models, plus another 22 tankers that have been written off over the years.

What the USAF is really saying in the KC-X program, is "we need 179 booms in the air".

So, your remark about the 179 KC-45s replacing closer to 200-350 existing tankers (KC-135s) is crap, and you know it. The KC-767 carries about the same amount of fuel a KC-135 carries with full tanks, 200K lbs for the KC-767, and 202K lbs for the KC-135R. The KC-30 only carries 43K lbs more than the KC-135R.

The KC-135R burns less fuel per hour than either the KC-30 or KC-767. In fact, on mission lenghts of 4000nm or more, the KC-135R can offload more fuel than a KC-10A can (which is a lot more than the KC-30 or KC-767). Fuel burn for the KC-135R is 12K the first hour, 10K the second hour, and 7.5K each hour after that.

So, each one of these can only replace the KC-135 on a one for one bases. You see, the KC-135, KC-30, and KC-767 each only have one air refueling boom, and each can carry one refueling pod under each wing.

The KC-135R (and KC-10A) will start to be retired and be replaced, under the KC-Y program. The remaining KC-135Rs will retire, and be replaced under the KC-Z program. That is the current USAF schedule. Can all that change? Yes, it can change in the political winds.
 
TropicBird
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:26 am

Very informative cover story on the KC-X titled "More than Just a Tanker...The Role of the KC-X in Combat Operations" can be found at this site.

http://www.atalink.org/atq/ATQ_Winter_2007.pdf
 
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zeke
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:42 am



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 38):

There are a lot of things not mentioned in the RFP, or any RFP for that matter.

It was a direct reply to the comment "needs to go back to re-read the USAF RFP for the KC-X", my comments were factual.

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 38):
If the USAF replaced 200-350 tankers with only 179, the mission effectiveness of the tanker fleet would be greatly debilitated. It is always better to field more tankers rather than fewer because then receiving aircraft won't have to fly as far nor loiter as long.

That is your view, but it not held by everyone.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 39):
What the USAF is really saying in the KC-X program, is "we need 179 booms in the air".

So, your remark about the 179 KC-45s replacing closer to 200-350 existing tankers (KC-135s) is crap, and you know it. The KC-767 carries about the same amount of fuel a KC-135 carries with full tanks, 200K lbs for the KC-767, and 202K lbs for the KC-135R. The KC-30 only carries 43K lbs more than the KC-135R.

 redflag 

The KC135 has limited multi-role capability (cargo, passenger, aeromed), a lack of defensive systems, only 8 of 530 are refuelable, only 20 of 530 can carry wing air refueling pods, all require very long runway for max fuel, all have aging aircraft issues.

The fleet of 530 aircraft (when they are all serviceable) puts at maximum 570 refuelling points in the sky. The fleet of 175 operational build KC-X aircraft would put 700 refuelling points in the air, provide effective multi-role capabilities with defensive ability, air refuellable, wing pods and centerline hose drum to refuel all types, and the ability to operate from shorter runways with higher payloads.

I agree with your comments that the 767 does not give the USAF much refuel capacity above the 50 year old KC-135, it is a point a have been making for a while. It does have 20,000 lb about the SRD requirement, over 500 nm to 2500 nm.

You comment about the carriage f fuel by the KC-135 assumes very long runways. The difference between the KC-X contenders and the KC-135 is actually a lot greater when you use the SRD/RFP requirement of 7,000 ft runway. And yes the KC-30 does have the capacity of about 40,000 lb more than the KC-767 and KC-135, and like the KC-767 can be refuelled in air to deliver more fuel at 4000 nm or more than the majority of the KC-135s. But I seem to recall you berating me in the past for using long range missions that highlight the KC-30 strengths.

KC-X calls for a multi-role aircraft, not JUST a tanker, it is not JUST about booms, the SRD/RFP make that clear.
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AirRyan
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:55 am



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 38):
If the USAF replaced 200-350 tankers with only 179, the mission effectiveness of the tanker fleet would be greatly debilitated.

Keep in mind however that the USAF F-15's are not being replaced with F-22's on a 1 for 1 basis and the Joint Suck Figther has a long way to go to ever meet their F-16's 1 for 1 as well - it's only logical that not as many tankers will be needed in the future as what the USAF currently possesses.
 
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Tue Jan 08, 2008 2:33 am



Quoting AirRyan (Reply 42):
Keep in mind however that the USAF F-15's are not being replaced with F-22's on a 1 for 1 basis and the Joint Suck Figther has a long way to go to ever meet their F-16's 1 for 1 as well - it's only logical that not as many tankers will be needed in the future as what the USAF currently possesses.

Refueling and fighting are not the same animal. You can always reduce the number of fighters you have if the kill ratio for the fighters can be increased, as is the case with the most modern fighters. However, where tankers are concerned, a receiver aircraft will still have to fly X-number of NM or loiter for X-number of minutes in order to take on fuel. Yes, a bigger tanker can refuel more receiver aircraft, but that only benefits the efficiency of the tanker, not the receiver aircraft.

In a perfect world, a force would want to put as many tankers as possible in the sky in order to "saturate" the theater of operations with refueling points. That way, receiver aircraft don't have to fly as far nor have to wait as long to take on fuel and then be gone quickly back to the fight. And in a dynamic theater of operations where attack sorties might engage multiple and distant targets it would also allow them to fly to alternate refueling points rather than return to the same one.
My other home is in the sky inside my Piper Cherokee 180.
 
redflyer
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Tue Jan 08, 2008 4:27 am



Quoting Zeke (Reply 41):
That is your view, but it not held by everyone.

No, it's common sense.
My other home is in the sky inside my Piper Cherokee 180.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Tue Jan 08, 2008 4:01 pm



Quoting Zeke (Reply 41):
The fleet of 530 aircraft (when they are all serviceable) puts at maximum 570 refuelling points in the sky. The fleet of 175 operational build KC-X aircraft would put 700 refuelling points in the air, provide effective multi-role capabilities with defensive ability, air refuellable, wing pods and centerline hose drum to refuel all types, and the ability to operate from shorter runways with higher payloads.

Your numbers are correct. But, (for the KC-45) you cannot use all 700 refueling points at the same time. Each tanker, whether KC-10, KC-30, KC-135, or KC-767 can only refuel a maximum of two receivers at one time, using the wing refueling pods. You would not use the centerline drogue or boom at these times. But, having that capability does increase mission effectiveness, by being able to refuel USAF aircraft and USN/USMC/NATO/UK aircraft from the same tanker, on the same mission ( but at different times).

Years ago, the USAF would use three receivers to refuel from a tanker equipped with a centerline hose reel system, and wingtip refueling pods. But I recently found out the USAF will no longer do this. Either the refueling is one receiver on the centerline drogue (i.e. French or RAF E-3s, A-400M, or other large probe and drogue receivers), or on the two wingtip pod drogues (like USN fighters), for a max of two receivers at once.

The additional capabilities you mentioned are all required because (except for the wing pods) the current KC-135 does not have them. Since the 1970s, SAC, and later USAF and AMC have looked at providing the KC-135 fleet with a true multi-role capability, defensive capability, receiver air refuelable wing pods (now available on some 20 airplanes, more in the future), centerline refueling drum capability (could not be done on the KC-135A, or any other water injection version, as the hose reel drum unit was to be mounted in the water tank area). The "E" and "R" programs did reduce the critical field lenght by 18% and 28% respectively.

Even though it was identified as valid military improvements to the KC-135, the cost of retrofitting each of these into the large fleet of tankers proved to be a budget mountain the USAF (and the US Congress) could not (would not?) always climb.

Now, with the KC-X program (and hopefullythe KC-Y and KC-Z programs, if they ever become reality), the USAF has an oppertunity to address all the modern (and hopefully future) short falls of the KC-135. It will be expensive, that is why the USAF prodicts the KCX program to cost $40B US.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 41):
I agree with your comments that the 767 does not give the USAF much refuel capacity above the 50 year old KC-135, it is a point a have been making for a while. It does have 20,000 lb about the SRD requirement, over 500 nm to 2500 nm.

I agree.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 41):
You comment about the carriage f fuel by the KC-135 assumes very long runways.

That depends on what a very long runway is. For the USAF, it is any runway longer than about 11,000'. The KC-135R at MTOW (322,500lbs), taking off on a "standard day" (70 degrees F, 21 degrees C), with a pressure altitude of 500', and a 5 knot runway head wind uses less than 9,000' to clear a 35' tall obstruction.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 41):
yes the KC-30 does have the capacity of about 40,000 lb more than the KC-767 and KC-135, and like the KC-767 can be refuelled in air to deliver more fuel at 4000 nm or more than the majority of the KC-135s. But I seem to recall you berating me in the past for using long range missions that highlight the KC-30 strengths.

The strategic mission of the KC-135, or any other USAF tanker, will fly this mission, if tasked. There will be no tanker support for the tanker. All tankers flying these missions will be dedicated to refueling the strike aircraft (bombers). This is the SAC SIOP mission, and would be flown without the additional drag of the wing tip pods (to save fuel). On this mission, at these lenghts, the KC-135R beats all current and proposed tankers for offload capability. This is due to the (comparitively spaeking) low fuel comsumption of the KC-135R compared to the other tankers.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 41):
KC-X calls for a multi-role aircraft, not JUST a tanker, it is not JUST about booms, the SRD/RFP make that clear.

Yes, that is correct, but this airplane will be a tanker more than 90% of the time, and a cargo hauler/troop transport/medevac less than 10% of the time. So, this really is about the number of booms in the air.

No matter how you look at it, when you use a tanker (any tanker) to fly another mission, it costs you double. You loose the refueling capability that tanker could have brought to the fight, and you loose the transport capability of the transport the tanker must replace. I am not saying tankers will never replace, say, a C-17, as if the area commander thinks that is the best option available to him, he will do it. A tanker will also be used (and taken from the availble tanker assets) to save lives by being used as a medevac, if an approrate medevac airplane isn't available.
 
F27Friendship
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:46 pm



Quoting Stitch (Reply 33):
It should also be noted that the United States Air Force has different needs then United Airlines. So the benefits an A330-200 offers over a 767-200ER for a commercial operator might not be as important or relevant to a military operator.

and on the other hand, it just as well might...

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 45):
Yes, that is correct, but this airplane will be a tanker more than 90% of the time, and a cargo hauler/troop transport/medevac less than 10% of the time. So, this really is about the number of booms in the air.

No matter how you look at it, when you use a tanker (any tanker) to fly another mission, it costs you double. You loose the refueling capability that tanker could have brought to the fight, and you loose the transport capability of the transport the tanker must replace. I am not saying tankers will never replace, say, a C-17, as if the area commander thinks that is the best option available to him, he will do it. A tanker will also be used (and taken from the availble tanker assets) to save lives by being used as a medevac, if an approrate medevac airplane isn't available.

With less fighters needed in the air for the same mission (F-22 and F-35 will be much more efficient and less dependant on other aircraft), the C-17 production line closed, this might all change, and a tanker capable of efficinetlly hauling standard cargo might just be what the USAF needs.
 
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Wed Jan 09, 2008 1:40 pm



Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 46):
With less fighters needed in the air for the same mission (F-22 and F-35 will be much more efficient and less dependant on other aircraft), the C-17 production line closed, this might all change, and a tanker capable of efficinetlly hauling standard cargo might just be what the USAF needs.

There will still be the same number of fighters, bombers, recee, AWACS, and support aircraft flying. Neither the F-22 or F-35 will reduce those numbers. The numbers are dictated by the number and accessability of the targets, and the requirement for air superiority/supremancy.

The F-22 (and F-35 to a lesser extent) are going to be "kick down the door" airplanes, much like the F-117 and B-2 is today. They will penetrate the disputed areas first, because they will be less detectable. They will take out radar, communications, and command installations. The F-22 will also provide initial air superiority and CAP capability. But, the F-15, F-15E, F-16, F/A-18, B-1, B-2, and B-52 will continue to be on the pointy end of the spear.

All of these will continue to need tankers, for deployment, redeployment, and engagements within the disputed area.

Even when UCAVs begin to enter the USAF inventory (actually some are already there with the attacking Preditor), many of them will be air refuelable, requiring manned tanker support.
 
F27Friendship
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Wed Jan 09, 2008 5:42 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 47):
There will still be the same number of fighters, bombers, recee, AWACS, and support aircraft flying. Neither the F-22 or F-35 will reduce those numbers. The numbers are dictated by the number and accessability of the targets, and the requirement for air superiority/supremancy.

you need less F-22's and F-35's to do those things than you need aircraft who that now (F-15, F-16)

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 47):
The F-22 (and F-35 to a lesser extent) are going to be "kick down the door" airplanes, much like the F-117 and B-2 is today. They will penetrate the disputed areas first, because they will be less detectable. They will take out radar, communications, and command installations. The F-22 will also provide initial air superiority and CAP capability. But, the F-15, F-15E, F-16, F/A-18, B-1, B-2, and B-52 will continue to be on the pointy end of the spear.

True of course (good to have someone with a lot of USAF inside knowledge on the forum) , but not for the entire lifetime of the tanker. In 10-20 years those aircraft will be phased out. BTW, point about the lack of enough transports when the C-17 line closes still holds.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 47):
Even when UCAVs begin to enter the USAF inventory (actually some are already there with the attacking Preditor), many of them will be air refuelable, requiring manned tanker support.

jep, that's a point indeed. I believe they already managed a fully autonomous approach to a tanker with a beefed up bussiness jet. However, I predict there will be less UCAVs needed for a strike mission then is the case now.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Usaf Tanker Expected Date?

Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:36 pm



Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 48):
you need less F-22's and F-35's to do those things than you need aircraft who that now (F-15, F-16)

That really depends on who the opponent is. The DOD has come out to supports the USAF need for at least 380 F-22s, as opposed to the 183 that the current Congress wants to fund. IIRC, the USAF requested number of F-35As is sometihing like 650, the USMC wants 190 F-35Bs and 475 F-35Cs for the USN.

Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 48):
I believe they already managed a fully autonomous approach to a tanker with a beefed up bussiness jet. However, I predict there will be less UCAVs needed for a strike mission then is the case now.

That is correct, there already has been an autonomous approach to both the KC-10A and KC-135R by a Citation II, C-550. The final number of UCAVs bought will depend on the different weapons packages needed to be carried, selection of mission types, and of course number of dollars available.

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