|Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 299):|
I am fully aware that in wartime the whole tanker fleet must be ready to fulfill their duty as tankers 100%. But you do never enter such a time period without warning.
This is when a lot of the charters flights are used, during surge periods. We either have to rely on charters or buy more $150 million KC-45s to cover the charter missions. Do you see how expensive that beceomes? When we aren't in surge period we have $150 million tankers sitting around or flying missions that a $40-60 million converted cargo aircraft could fly.
|Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 296):|
You meant regarding conversion the KC-45 is not better than the KC-767 or all the older charter jets.
This argument isn't KC-45 vs. KC-767. This argument is about not using a $150 million tanker to fly a mission that a $40-60 million converted widebody cargo aircraft or that a couple of $10 million converted KC-135 cargo aircraft could accomplish and not tie up tankers.
|Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 296):|
If the idle time of an asset is more than say 50% it is not so complicated to deploy one half permanently for other tasks without touching the tanker operations at all.
I'm not trying to put down the USAF, I'm just trying to let others know that the USAF doesn't operate like FedEx and needs to have aircraft sitting at idle for a variety of reasons.
Cargo organizations also operate on fixed schedules and don't have serious things like time critical bombing missions come up. What happens if we someday do get a fix on Osama and need to bomb him in a 2 hour window? The fighters are sitting ready to go, but now the mission has to get scrubbed because our tankers are out hauling bullets. What if we need one of those idling tankers to replace another tanker that is shot down or goes mx during the middle of a flight? We can't tell the fighter pilots they are SOL because the tankers are hauling bullets. What if a fighter is injured and needs to be dragged home. Suddenly you need another tanker immediately available to fuel the other aircraft in the squadron on their way back to base. The USAF keeps the tankers in reserve just for reasons like this. These tankers are scattered all over the country and all over the world in squadrons doing training missions or actual missions. You start plucking a tanker here or there that looks like it is sitting idle all the time and then you cut down on a particular squadrons mission readiness and ability to do the primary mission of off-loading fuel. Also keep in mind any particular mission will require more than one tanker because the USAF wants to gas them up as quickly as possible and send them on their way, more booms in the air allows this. They also want to have reserve aircraft available on station for unforseen problems.
I just don't see the point of buying more $150 million aircraft to cover the cargo missions and have the necessary reserves for the fueling missions. Why do that when the tankers aren't optimized for the job (thousands of lbs of dead tanker equipment weight) and when there are much cheaper assets out there for the USAF to use. Sending a $240 million C-17 trans-Atlantic is dumb, but sending a $150 million KC-45 is also dumb. Why not send a $40-60 million cargo jet that can carry a full load and not tie up the tankers?
|Quoting Keesje (Reply 291):|
A KC45 can carry 32 standard pallets, a KC135 6.
I did a little more thinking and the KC-45 couldn't haul the gas for a tanker mission and all the cargo you are talking about. However a KC-777 or KC-340 would have enough payload to haul a full fuel load for tankers and meaningful amount of cargo. A KC-777 (based off the 200F) for example could easily fly with 250,000 lbs of gas (the average offload of 100,000 for the fighters) and 200,000 lbs of cargo. The KC-45 would only be able to carry the gas. A KC-340 could probably do something similar to the KC-777. The large tankers are the only ones that could do both a cargo and tanker mission simultaneously with meaningful payload if that is what you are advocating.