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Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:46 am
by SQ22
Welcome to the Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread Thread 2020. Please continue your discussion and to post your updates here.

Link to previous thread:

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1411743

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 12:21 am
by kc135topboom
How many KC-46s are now at:
Altus
McConnell
Pease

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 3:18 am
by DigitalSea
How long do they intend to fly the KC-46s for?

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 3:32 am
by LMP737
I think the most important question to ask is when is the KC-46 going to be ready operationally?

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:46 am
by 747classic
kc135topboom wrote:
How many KC-46s are now at:
Altus
McConnell
Pease


According my spreadsheet - additions and/or corrections are welcome :

Not delivered
Delivered to Altus
Delivered to Mc Conell
Delivered to Pease

KC-46A Listing :

L/N 1065 C/N 41273 B767-2LKC N461FT 11-46001 USAF KC-46A (VH001) EMD1
L/N 1066 C/N 41274 B767-2LKC N464KC 11-46002 USAF KC-46A (VH002) EMD4
L/N 1067 C/N 34054 B767-2LKC N463FT 11-46003 USAF KC-46A (VH003) EMD3
L/N 1069 C/N 41275 B767-2LKC N462KC 11-46004 USAF KC-46A (VH004) EMD2
L/N 1091 C/N 41852 B767-2LKC N842BA 15-46005 USAF KC46A (VH005) LRIP 1, #1/7
L/N 1092 C/N 41983 B767-2LKC N884BA 15-46006 USAF KC46A (VH006) LRIP 1, #2/7
L/N 1098 C/N 41855 B767-2LKC 15-46007 USAF KC46A (VH007)LRIP 1, #3/7, tail 56007
L/N 1100 C/N 41856 B767-2LKC 15-46008 USAF KC-46A (VH008) LRIP 1, #4/7, tail 56008
L/N 1102 C/N 41858 B767-2LKC 15-46009 USAF KC-46A (VH009) LRIP 1, #5/7, N50217, tail 56009, Note : ALL 767’s built after this L/N are not indicated anymore with Boeing customer codes in FAA documentation, however internal Boeing documentation is still indicating the customer code.
L/N 1104 C/N 41859 B767-2LKC 15-46010 USAF KC-46A (VH010) LRIP 1, #6/7, tail 56010
L/N 1107 C/N 34106 B767-2LKC 15-46011 USAF KC-46A (VH011) LRIP 1, #7/7, tail 56011
L/N 1109 C/N 34107 B767-2LKC 16-46012 USAF KC-46A (VH012) LRIP 2, #01/12, tail 66012
L/N 1111 C/N 34109 B767-2LKC 16-46013 USAF KC-46A (VH013) LRIP 2, #02/12, tail 66013
L/N 1113 C/N 34105 B767-2LKC 16-46014 USAF KC-46A (VH014) LRIP 2, #03/12, tail 66014
L/N 1114 C/N 34134 B767-2LKC 16-46015 USAF KC-46A (VH015) LRIP 2, #04/12, N6009F, tail 66015
L/N 1116 C/N 41860 B767-2LKC 16-46016 USAF KC-46A (VH016) LRIP 2, #05/12, tail 66016
L/N 1117 C/N 34108 B767-2LKC 16-46017 USAF KC-46A (VH017) LRIP 2, #06/12, N5573S, tail 66017
L/N 1119 C/N 34135 B767-2LKC 16-46018 USAF KC-46A (VH018) LRIP 2, #07/12, N5514J, tail 66018
L/N 1120 C/N 34138 B767-2LKC 16-46019 USAF KC-46A (VH019) LRIP 2, #08/12, N5514K, tail 66019
L/N 1122 C/N 34137 B767-2LKC 16-46020 USAF KC-46A (VH020) LRIP 2, #09/12, N5514V, tail 66020
L/N 1124 C/N 34139 B767-2LKC 16-46021 USAF KC-46A (VH021) LRIP 2, #10/12, N5514X, tail 66021
L/N 1126 C/N 34136 B767-2LKC 16-46022 USAF KC-46A (VH022) LRIP 2, #11/12, N5573S, tail 66022
L/N 1128 C/N 41861 B767-2LKC 16-46023 USAF KC-46A (VH023) LRIP 2, #12/12, N6018N, tail 66023

L/N 1129 C/N 34121 B767-2LKC 17-46024 USAF KC-46A (VH024) LRIP 3, #01/15, tail 76024
L/N 1131 C/N 41863 B767-2LKC 17-46025 USAF KC-46A (VH025) LRIP 3, #02/15, N1785B, tail 76025
L/N 1132 C/N 34127 B767-2LKC 17-46026 USAF KC-46A (VH026) LRIP 3, #03/15, N6018N, tail 76026
L/N 1134 C/N 34126 B767-2LKC 17-46027 USAF KC-46A (VH027) LRIP 3, #04/15, tail 76027
L/N 1135 C/N 34124 B767-2LKC 17-46028 USAF KC-46A (VH028) LRIP 3, #05/15, N55141, tail 76028

L/N 1137 C/N 34110 B767-2LKC 17-46029 USAF KC-46A (VH029) LRIP 3, #06/15, N55141, tail 76029
L/N 1139 C/N 34112 B767-2LKC 17-46030 USAF KC-46A (VH030) LRIP 3, #07/15, N6009F, tail 76030
L/N 1143 C/N 34115 B767-2LKC 17-46031 USAF KC-46A (VH031) LRIP3, #08/15, N5513X, tail 76031

L/N 1145 C/N 34111 B767-2LKC 17-46032 USAF KC-46A (VH032) LRIP3, #09/15, N5016R, tail 76032
L/N 1147 C/N 34113 B767-2LKC 17-46033 USAF KC-46A (VH033) LRIP3, #10/15, N5016R, tail 76033
L/N 1149 C/N 34114 B767-2LKC 17-46034 USAF KC-46A (VH034) LRIP3, #11/15, tail 76034
L/N 1151 C/N 41864 B767-2LKC 17-46035 USAF KC-46A (VH035) LRIP3, #12/15, N5017V, tail 76035
L/N 1154 C/N 34091 B767-2LKC 17-46036 USAF KC-46A (VH036) LRIP3, #13/15, tail 76036
L/N 1156 C/N 41984 B767-2LKC 17-46037 USAF KC-46A (VH037) LRIP3, #14/15, N5511Y, tail 76037
L/N 1158 C/N 41985 B767-2LKC 17-46038 USAF KC-46A (VH038) LRIP3, #15/15, N5020K, tail 76038
L/N 1160 C/N 34089 B767-2LKC 18-46039 USAF KC-46A (VH039) Lot 4, #01/18, N1785B, tail 86039
L/N 1162 C/N 34087 B767-2LKC 18-46040 USAF KC-46A (VH040) Lot 4, #02/18, N6018N, tail 86040
L/N 1164 C/N 34088 B767-2LKC 18-46041 USAF KC-46A (VH041) Lot 4, #03/18, N50217, tail 86041
L/N 1166 C/N 34090 B767-2LKC 18-46042 USAF KC-46A (VH042) Lot 4, #04/18, N5512A, tail 86042
L/N 1168 C/N 34092 B767-2LKC 18-46043 USAF KC-46A (VH043) Lot 4, #05/18, tail 86043
L/N 1170 C/N 34086 B767-2LKC 18-46044 USAF KC-46A (VH044) Lot 4, #05/18, N5511V, tail 86044
L/N 1172 C/N 41865 B767-2LKC 18-46045 USAF KC-46A (VH045) Lot 4, #05/18, tail 86045

L/N 1174 C/N 41866 B767-2LKC 18-46046 USAF KC-46A (VH046) Lot 4, #06/18, tail 86046
L/N 1176 C/N 41867 B767-2LKC 18-46047 USAF KC-46A (VH047) Lot 4, #07/18, N5016R, tail 86047
L/N 1178 C/N 34141 B767-2LKC 18-46048 USAF KC-46A (VH048) Lot 4, #08/18, N1794B, tail 86048
L/N 1181 C/N 34140 B767-2LKC 18-46049 USAF KC-46A (VH049) Lot 4, #09/18, N5510E, tail 86049
L/N 1184 C/N 34052 B767-2LKC 18-46050 USAF KC-46A (VH050) Lot 4, #10/18, N5511Z, tail 86050
L/N 1188 C/N 41868 B767-2LKC 18-46051 USAF KC-46A (VH051) Lot 4, #11/18, tail 86051
L/N 1190 was the final B767 to display in Boeing internal documentation with a full firing order configuration with Boeing customer code (eg. -LK). All 767 frames from LN 1191 forwards are now simply -300F or -2C for the KC-46A tankers.
L/N 1192 C/N 41870 B767-2C 18-46052 USAF KC-46A (VH052) Lot 4, #12/18, tail 86052
L/N 1196 C/N 41873 B767-2C 18-46053 USAF KC-46A (VH053) Lot 4, #13/18, tail 86053
L/N 1200 C/N 41874 B767-2C 18-46054 USAF KC-46A (VH054) Lot 4, #14/18, tail 86054
L/N 1202 C/N xxxxx B767-2C 18-46055 USAF KC-46A (VH055) Lot 4, #15/18, tail 86055

Not allocated L/N’s :
L/N XXXX C/N xxxxx B767-2C 18-46056 USAF KC-46A (VH056) Lot 4, #16/18, tail 86056
L/N XXXX C/N xxxxx B767-2C 18-46057 USAF KC-46A (VH057) Lot 4, #17/18, tail 86057
L/N XXXX C/N xxxxx B767-2C 18-46058 USAF KC-46A (VH058) Lot 4, #18/18, tail 86058
L/N XXXX C/N xxxxx B767-2C 19-46059 USAF KC-46A (VH059) Lot 5, #01/15, tail 96059

JApan Self Defence Force KC-46A :
L/N 1207 C/N xxxxx B767-2C 14-3611 JASDF KC-46A (Vx001)

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:57 pm
by kc135topboom
Thanks 747classic.

So 55 airframes have been built, or are in production for the USAF, 4 more are ordered by the USAF, and 1 ordered for the JSDAF. That puts the USAF at about 33% of the way through the 179 tanker order, and the JSFDAF 25% of the way through thier 4 tanker order?

21 at McConnell
2 at Altus
2 at Pease

Is that right?

On a separate note:

A fix was approved by the USAF in December 2019 for the cargo floor lock tie downs. All new builds will have the modified tie downs, and those tankers already delivered will all be modified in the coming months. At least one McConnell tanker has already been modified and is approved for cargo and passenger flights.

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:58 pm
by kc135topboom
DigitalSea wrote:
How long do they intend to fly the KC-46s for?


The KC-46 is expected to be in the USAF fleet for 40-45 years.

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 7:06 pm
by kc135topboom
LMP737 wrote:
I think the most important question to ask is when is the KC-46 going to be ready operationally?


TBD

The USAF is already doing training air refueling and Boom Operator/receiver qualification/Boom Operator missions with the KC-46. Work still continues on design of new hardware and software for the remote air refueling station, but what we have now is good enough for some training, operational, and combat missions (the KC-46A is not combat qualified, yet).

At least one airframe has been cleared for cargo/pax missions, others will follow soon.

Areo-medical missions TBD.

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:55 pm
by Ozair
It has been suggested multiple times that the tanker fleet would make great comms nodes and now a subset of kc-135s are being modified for the role. Interestingly the KC-46 has clearly been designed with this in mind and the current airframe has everything it would need without major modification.

What if Air Force tankers became a communications node?

For decades, the Air Force’s tanker fleet have logged hours transferring fuel, transporting troops and serving as flying ambulances. Soon, the tankers could add another mission to the list: relaying communications data as part of the Air Force’s new mesh network.

...

Tankers are well-suited to be used as communications nodes for two reasons, Thomas said. One, aerial refueling planes are typically large, wide-body aircraft that have enough excess space and power to host additional communication systems. The second is their location during combat. One way to operate tanker aircraft is to position them near a contested airspace, close enough for fighters and other airborne assets to refuel as needed before returning to battle, he said.

“If you’re in that spot, you also have a great opportunity by virtue of that position. You can communicate to a lot of different assets if you have the right equipment on the tanker. You can communicate line of sight to other air assets. You can communicate line of sight possibly to some assets on the surface,” Thomas said. “If you have the ability to get to the space layer and communicate, then you can also be a pathway from line-of-sight to beyond line-of-sight, to the space layer. If you have a resilient space architecture, then you can lateral across and then come back down to a ground entry point.”

The Air Force’s newest tanker, the KC-46, has communications and defensive systems that would allow it to become a communications relay without needing significant upgrades, Thomas said.

...

https://www.c4isrnet.com/air/2020/01/06 ... ions-node/

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:51 pm
by keesje
Apparently rework needs to be completed on some key systems. Light jets need to push harder to connect which can lead to unwanted interaction with the receiver.

At the heart of the KC-46 design are the boom and Remote Vision System. The latter of which has boom operators wearing 3D glasses and sitting in front of screens at stations in the front of the 767 derivative to control refueling operations (read all about it here). Both of these key components, the boom and the Remote Vision System, do not meet the USAF's expectations and are being redesigned. This is occurring as the jets continue to be delivered.


https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/3 ... o-an-f-15e

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:58 am
by 747classic
kc135topboom wrote:
Thanks 747classic.

So 55 airframes have been built, or are in production for the USAF, 4 more are ordered by the USAF, and 1 ordered for the JSDAF. That puts the USAF at about 33% of the way through the 179 tanker order, and the JSFDAF 25% of the way through thier 4 tanker order?

21 at McConnell
2 at Altus
2 at Pease

Is that right?

On a separate note:

A fix was approved by the USAF in December 2019 for the cargo floor lock tie downs. All new builds will have the modified tie downs, and those tankers already delivered will all be modified in the coming months. At least one McConnell tanker has already been modified and is approved for cargo and passenger flights.


I made a slight mistake on Lot 4 :
L/N 1168, 1170 and 1172 are all three marked as aircraft #5/18. (copy-paste failure ????)
Below you find the corrected KC-46A listing.

Total ordered up to now are 71 aircraft :
EMD----- 4 aircraft
LRIP 1--- 7 aircraft
LRIP 2--- 12 aircraft
LRIP 3 --- 15 aircraft
Lot 4 ------ 18 aircraft
Lot 5 ------ 15 aircraft

Not delivered
Delivered to Altus
Delivered to Mc Conell
Delivered to Pease

KC-46A Listing :

L/N 1065 C/N 41273 B767-2LKC N461FT 11-46001 USAF KC-46A (VH001) EMD1
L/N 1066 C/N 41274 B767-2LKC N464KC 11-46002 USAF KC-46A (VH002) EMD4
L/N 1067 C/N 34054 B767-2LKC N463FT 11-46003 USAF KC-46A (VH003) EMD3
L/N 1069 C/N 41275 B767-2LKC N462KC 11-46004 USAF KC-46A (VH004) EMD2
L/N 1091 C/N 41852 B767-2LKC N842BA 15-46005 USAF KC46A (VH005) LRIP 1, #1/7
L/N 1092 C/N 41983 B767-2LKC N884BA 15-46006 USAF KC46A (VH006) LRIP 1, #2/7
L/N 1098 C/N 41855 B767-2LKC 15-46007 USAF KC46A (VH007)LRIP 1, #3/7, tail 56007
L/N 1100 C/N 41856 B767-2LKC 15-46008 USAF KC-46A (VH008) LRIP 1, #4/7, tail 56008
L/N 1102 C/N 41858 B767-2LKC 15-46009 USAF KC-46A (VH009) LRIP 1, #5/7, N50217, tail 56009, Note : ALL 767’s built after this L/N are not indicated anymore with Boeing customer codes in FAA documentation, however internal Boeing documentation is still indicating the customer code.
L/N 1104 C/N 41859 B767-2LKC 15-46010 USAF KC-46A (VH010) LRIP 1, #6/7, tail 56010
L/N 1107 C/N 34106 B767-2LKC 15-46011 USAF KC-46A (VH011) LRIP 1, #7/7, tail 56011
L/N 1109 C/N 34107 B767-2LKC 16-46012 USAF KC-46A (VH012) LRIP 2, #01/12, tail 66012
L/N 1111 C/N 34109 B767-2LKC 16-46013 USAF KC-46A (VH013) LRIP 2, #02/12, tail 66013
L/N 1113 C/N 34105 B767-2LKC 16-46014 USAF KC-46A (VH014) LRIP 2, #03/12, tail 66014
L/N 1114 C/N 34134 B767-2LKC 16-46015 USAF KC-46A (VH015) LRIP 2, #04/12, N6009F, tail 66015
L/N 1116 C/N 41860 B767-2LKC 16-46016 USAF KC-46A (VH016) LRIP 2, #05/12, tail 66016
L/N 1117 C/N 34108 B767-2LKC 16-46017 USAF KC-46A (VH017) LRIP 2, #06/12, N5573S, tail 66017
L/N 1119 C/N 34135 B767-2LKC 16-46018 USAF KC-46A (VH018) LRIP 2, #07/12, N5514J, tail 66018
L/N 1120 C/N 34138 B767-2LKC 16-46019 USAF KC-46A (VH019) LRIP 2, #08/12, N5514K, tail 66019
L/N 1122 C/N 34137 B767-2LKC 16-46020 USAF KC-46A (VH020) LRIP 2, #09/12, N5514V, tail 66020
L/N 1124 C/N 34139 B767-2LKC 16-46021 USAF KC-46A (VH021) LRIP 2, #10/12, N5514X, tail 66021
L/N 1126 C/N 34136 B767-2LKC 16-46022 USAF KC-46A (VH022) LRIP 2, #11/12, N5573S, tail 66022
L/N 1128 C/N 41861 B767-2LKC 16-46023 USAF KC-46A (VH023) LRIP 2, #12/12, N6018N, tail 66023

L/N 1129 C/N 34121 B767-2LKC 17-46024 USAF KC-46A (VH024) LRIP 3, #01/15, tail 76024
L/N 1131 C/N 41863 B767-2LKC 17-46025 USAF KC-46A (VH025) LRIP 3, #02/15, N1785B, tail 76025
L/N 1132 C/N 34127 B767-2LKC 17-46026 USAF KC-46A (VH026) LRIP 3, #03/15, N6018N, tail 76026
L/N 1134 C/N 34126 B767-2LKC 17-46027 USAF KC-46A (VH027) LRIP 3, #04/15, tail 76027
L/N 1135 C/N 34124 B767-2LKC 17-46028 USAF KC-46A (VH028) LRIP 3, #05/15, N55141, tail 76028

L/N 1137 C/N 34110 B767-2LKC 17-46029 USAF KC-46A (VH029) LRIP 3, #06/15, N55141, tail 76029
L/N 1139 C/N 34112 B767-2LKC 17-46030 USAF KC-46A (VH030) LRIP 3, #07/15, N6009F, tail 76030
L/N 1143 C/N 34115 B767-2LKC 17-46031 USAF KC-46A (VH031) LRIP3, #08/15, N5513X, tail 76031

L/N 1145 C/N 34111 B767-2LKC 17-46032 USAF KC-46A (VH032) LRIP3, #09/15, N5016R, tail 76032
L/N 1147 C/N 34113 B767-2LKC 17-46033 USAF KC-46A (VH033) LRIP3, #10/15, N5016R, tail 76033
L/N 1149 C/N 34114 B767-2LKC 17-46034 USAF KC-46A (VH034) LRIP3, #11/15, tail 76034
L/N 1151 C/N 41864 B767-2LKC 17-46035 USAF KC-46A (VH035) LRIP3, #12/15, N5017V, tail 76035
L/N 1154 C/N 34091 B767-2LKC 17-46036 USAF KC-46A (VH036) LRIP3, #13/15, tail 76036
L/N 1156 C/N 41984 B767-2LKC 17-46037 USAF KC-46A (VH037) LRIP3, #14/15, N5511Y, tail 76037
L/N 1158 C/N 41985 B767-2LKC 17-46038 USAF KC-46A (VH038) LRIP3, #15/15, N5020K, tail 76038
L/N 1160 C/N 34089 B767-2LKC 18-46039 USAF KC-46A (VH039) Lot 4, #01/18, N1785B, tail 86039
L/N 1162 C/N 34087 B767-2LKC 18-46040 USAF KC-46A (VH040) Lot 4, #02/18, N6018N, tail 86040
L/N 1164 C/N 34088 B767-2LKC 18-46041 USAF KC-46A (VH041) Lot 4, #03/18, N50217, tail 86041
L/N 1166 C/N 34090 B767-2LKC 18-46042 USAF KC-46A (VH042) Lot 4, #04/18, N5512A, tail 86042
L/N 1168 C/N 34092 B767-2LKC 18-46043 USAF KC-46A (VH043) Lot 4, #05/18, tail 86043
L/N 1170 C/N 34086 B767-2LKC 18-46044 USAF KC-46A (VH044) Lot 4, #06/18, N5511V, tail 86044
L/N 1172 C/N 41865 B767-2LKC 18-46045 USAF KC-46A (VH045) Lot 4, #07/18, tail 86045
L/N 1174 C/N 41866 B767-2LKC 18-46046 USAF KC-46A (VH046) Lot 4, #08/18, tail 86046

L/N 1176 C/N 41867 B767-2LKC 18-46047 USAF KC-46A (VH047) Lot 4, #09/18, N5016R, tail 86047
L/N 1178 C/N 34141 B767-2LKC 18-46048 USAF KC-46A (VH048) Lot 4, #10/18, N1794B, tail 86048
L/N 1181 C/N 34140 B767-2LKC 18-46049 USAF KC-46A (VH049) Lot 4, #11/18, N5510E, tail 86049
L/N 1184 C/N 34052 B767-2LKC 18-46050 USAF KC-46A (VH050) Lot 4, #12/18, N5511Z, tail 86050
L/N 1188 C/N 41868 B767-2LKC 18-46051 USAF KC-46A (VH051) Lot 4, #13/18, tail 86051
L/N 1190 was the final B767 to display in Boeing internal documentation with a full firing order configuration with Boeing customer code (eg. -LK). All 767 frames from LN 1191 forwards are now simply -300F or -2C for the KC-46A tankers.
L/N 1192 C/N 41870 B767-2C 18-46052 USAF KC-46A (VH052) Lot 4, #14/18, tail 86052
L/N 1196 C/N 41873 B767-2C 18-46053 USAF KC-46A (VH053) Lot 4, #15/18, tail 86053
L/N 1200 C/N 41874 B767-2C 18-46054 USAF KC-46A (VH054) Lot 4, #16/18, tail 86054
L/N 1202 C/N xxxxx B767-2C 18-46055 USAF KC-46A (VH055) Lot 4, #17/18, tail 86055

Not allocated L/N’s :
L/N XXXX C/N xxxxx B767-2C 18-46056 USAF KC-46A (VH056) Lot 4, #18/18, tail 86056
L/N XXXX C/N xxxxx B767-2C 19-46057 USAF KC-46A (VH057) Lot 4, #01/15, tail 96057
L/N XXXX C/N xxxxx B767-2C 19-46058 USAF KC-46A (VH058) Lot 4, #02/15, tail 96058
L/N XXXX C/N xxxxx B767-2C 19-46059 USAF KC-46A (VH059) Lot 5, #03/15, tail 96059
until/incl.
L/N XXXX C/N xxxxx B767-2C 19-46071 USAF KC-46A (VH071) Lot 5, #15/15, tail 96071

JApan Self Defence Force KC-46A :
L/N 1207 C/N xxxxx B767-2C 14-3611 JASDF KC-46A (Vx001)

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:01 pm
by kc135topboom
Ozair wrote:
It has been suggested multiple times that the tanker fleet would make great comms nodes and now a subset of kc-135s are being modified for the role. Interestingly the KC-46 has clearly been designed with this in mind and the current airframe has everything it would need without major modification.

What if Air Force tankers became a communications node?

For decades, the Air Force’s tanker fleet have logged hours transferring fuel, transporting troops and serving as flying ambulances. Soon, the tankers could add another mission to the list: relaying communications data as part of the Air Force’s new mesh network.

...

Tankers are well-suited to be used as communications nodes for two reasons, Thomas said. One, aerial refueling planes are typically large, wide-body aircraft that have enough excess space and power to host additional communication systems. The second is their location during combat. One way to operate tanker aircraft is to position them near a contested airspace, close enough for fighters and other airborne assets to refuel as needed before returning to battle, he said.

“If you’re in that spot, you also have a great opportunity by virtue of that position. You can communicate to a lot of different assets if you have the right equipment on the tanker. You can communicate line of sight to other air assets. You can communicate line of sight possibly to some assets on the surface,” Thomas said. “If you have the ability to get to the space layer and communicate, then you can also be a pathway from line-of-sight to beyond line-of-sight, to the space layer. If you have a resilient space architecture, then you can lateral across and then come back down to a ground entry point.”

The Air Force’s newest tanker, the KC-46, has communications and defensive systems that would allow it to become a communications relay without needing significant upgrades, Thomas said.

...

https://www.c4isrnet.com/air/2020/01/06 ... ions-node/


The KC-135 has filled the role of a communications node before:
During the Vietnam War several KC-135As were equipped as radio relay birds that orbited in the Gulf Of Tonkin.
During Operation Eldorado, Granada, Panama, and Desert Storm EC-135Cs filled this role.
During the current GWOT some KC-135Rs were equipped to be 'Smart Tankers' which carries a Battle Staff and communications suit.

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 7:47 am
by 747classic
kc135topboom wrote:
How many KC-46s are now at:
Altus
McConnell
Pease


Two more deliveries for Pease :

L/N 1120 C/N 34138 B767-2LKC 16-46019 USAF KC-46A (VH019) LRIP 2, #08/12, N5514K, tail 66019 was delivered BFI-PSM at January 10th 2020 with callsign PACK51 to 157ARW
L/N 1119 C/N 34135 B767-2LKC 16-46018 USAF KC-46A (VH018) LRIP 2, #07/12, N5514J, tail 66018 was delivered BFI-PSM at January 10th 2020 with callsign PACK52 to 157ARW.

One for McConnell :

L/N 1116 C/N 41860 B767-2LKC 16-46016 USAF KC-46A (VH016) LRIP 2, #05/12, tail 66016 was delivered BFI-IAB at January 10th 2020 with callsign MDUSA21 to 22ARW.

See : https://twitter.com/BoeingDefense/statu ... 8316554245

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:39 am
by kc135topboom
747classic wrote:
kc135topboom wrote:
How many KC-46s are now at:
Altus
McConnell
Pease


Two more deliveries for Pease :

L/N 1120 C/N 34138 B767-2LKC 16-46019 USAF KC-46A (VH019) LRIP 2, #08/12, N5514K, tail 66019 was delivered BFI-PSM at January 10th 2020 with callsign PACK51 to 157ARW
L/N 1119 C/N 34135 B767-2LKC 16-46018 USAF KC-46A (VH018) LRIP 2, #07/12, N5514J, tail 66018 was delivered BFI-PSM at January 10th 2020 with callsign PACK52 to 157ARW.

One for McConnell :

L/N 1116 C/N 41860 B767-2LKC 16-46016 USAF KC-46A (VH016) LRIP 2, #05/12, tail 66016 was delivered BFI-IAB at January 10th 2020 with callsign MDUSA21 to 22ARW.

See : https://twitter.com/BoeingDefense/statu ... 8316554245


Do we know if these 3 new tankers have had the cargo tie down locks modified to the new standard?

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:54 am
by Galaxy5007
There seems to be some confusion to the number of jets delivered to Altus. So far 5 jets were delivered to Altus.
028, 027, 025, 032, and 033
McConnell just had their 21st jet delivered on Friday. They have the following,
009, 016, 017, 022, 023, 026, 030, 031, 035, 036, 037, 038, 039, 040, 041, 042, 043, 044, 045, 046, and 048

Pease had their first two delivered last August, and the second two last Friday
029 and 034 in August
018 and 019 10 Jan 2020

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:57 am
by Galaxy5007
kc135topboom wrote:
747classic wrote:
kc135topboom wrote:
How many KC-46s are now at:
Altus
McConnell
Pease




Do we know if these 3 new tankers have had the cargo tie down locks modified to the new standard?


From what I've heard, there hasn't been a fix to the problem yet, so I would say no.

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:11 am
by Ozair
Galaxy5007 wrote:
kc135topboom wrote:
747classic wrote:



Do we know if these 3 new tankers have had the cargo tie down locks modified to the new standard?


From what I've heard, there hasn't been a fix to the problem yet, so I would say no.

The fix was released and modified airframes approved to carry cargo and passengers in mid December, https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/12 ... assengers/ I expect every subsequent delivery has the new locks.

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:07 pm
by Galaxy5007
Ozair wrote:
Galaxy5007 wrote:
kc135topboom wrote:


From what I've heard, there hasn't been a fix to the problem yet, so I would say no.

The fix was released and modified airframes approved to carry cargo and passengers in mid December, https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/12 ... assengers/ I expect every subsequent delivery has the new locks.


I missed that news. Regardless, the way they are currently pumping them out, there is no way the last few jets have had the modification. There was only 4 completed at the time of the article nearly a month ago, so I would guess they are working on getting more kits and fixing the already delivered aircraft first. Perhaps future deliveries will have the fix already, but I highly doubt they've already incorporated it into the process of delivery of the last half dozen jets

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:21 pm
by kanban
Based on the weight of this issue,, Boeing's change incorporation board would have allocated the incoming hardware between the production line, the undelivered planes and the delivered ones. However the delivered fleet will require a service bulletin to be written and approved so they may actually take longer. fixing this is not a simple matter of just shipping parts and installing them. Most likely the Aorforce will be doing the post delivery rework as the service bulletin will allow them "X" amount of hours and expenses.

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 4:08 am
by Galaxy5007
In the USAF, the so called "service bulletin" is called a TCTO. A Time Compliance Technical Order is issued to fix issues discovered by engineering over time. This would be one of those.

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:43 pm
by Ozair
Some info on how delays to the KC-46 will impact the USAF and an acknowledgment by the USAF that the remote vision system may take two to three years to solve… Until that is fixed the USAF won’t be deploying the KC-46 into combat.

US Air Force must figure out how to survive ramifications of KC-46 delays, says service leader

Delays in developing and fielding the U.S. Air Force’s new KC-46 tanker are aggravating the existing aerial-refueling shortfall, and the situation could get even worse if the service sticks to its plan to retire legacy tankers, the head of U.S. Transportation Command said Tuesday.

“We’ve got to figure out a way to mitigate the delayed fielding of the KC-46,” Army Gen. Stephen Lyons said Jan. 28 at the Atlantic Council think tank in Washington. “Because that delay is built in, and the Air Force had already planned on the retirement of some number of KC-135s and KC-10s, if we’re not careful we’re going to see a dip … in taskable tails for the joint force.”

Even though the Air Force is accepting deliveries of the KC-46, its leaders have made clear that the service will not utilize its newest tanker in combat until the remote vision system — a series of cameras used to steer the boom into another aircraft’s refueling receptacle — is brought up to the service’s specifications. Those hardware and software changes are still under negotiation between the Air Force and KC-46 manufacturer Boeing, and could take two to three years to solve, Air Force officials have said.

...

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2020/01 ... 46-delays/

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:50 pm
by Buckeyetech
I feel as though the statements by the TRANSCOM commander are purely political to put pressure on Boeing. There will always be plenty of tankers, as most of the real word missions they are used for, are for fighter drags, and the couple of aircraft orbiting Afghanistan/Iraq.

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:38 pm
by Ozair
Buckeyetech wrote:
I feel as though the statements by the TRANSCOM commander are purely political to put pressure on Boeing.

Could well be the case but I’m not sure what value that does today. Boeing know the problem, the USAF know the problem and they just need to find the right system to get the aircraft over the line.

Buckeyetech wrote:
There will always be plenty of tankers, as most of the real word missions they are used for, are for fighter drags, and the couple of aircraft orbiting Afghanistan/Iraq.

I think you understate the tanker requirement. Looking at the ramps of Al Dafra and Al Udeid on Google maps shows you how many tankers there are in those locations and how many are likely committed across the Middle East and South West Asia. Then add all the other units in the Pacific theatre, Europe and CONUS tanking requirements and the size of the fleet the daily requirement is immense.

The KC-46 should have greater availability and be able to support aircraft on operations for longer, in that context you can see why Gen Lyons is keen to get the aircraft to full operating capability. It also points to why the USAF is investigating commercial tanker contracts for at least CONUS work.

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:07 am
by LyleLanley
Buckeyetech wrote:
I feel as though the statements by the TRANSCOM commander are purely political to put pressure on Boeing. There will always be plenty of tankers, as most of the real word missions they are used for, are for fighter drags, and the couple of aircraft orbiting Afghanistan/Iraq.


Ozair already hit on it, but you're definitely understating the CENTCON tanker requirements. Between the couple dozen KC-135s at Al Udeid, the 15 or so KC-10s at Al Dhafra, and the other garden spots (Guam, etc) a good portion of the tanker fleet is deployed at all times, and it gets far worse in the summer months. KC-46s aren't helping here, and cannot help, until their myriad RVS and night lighting problems are fixed.

You mentioned fighter drags, but the KC-46 isn't really helping in this regard, either: the KC-46 is prohibited from fighter drags unless a "legacy tanker" accompanies them! "You want a KC-46 to take 4 F-22s from Elmendorf to Nellis for Red Flag? We'll send one or two, no problem! Oh, but they'll also have to have a couple KC-135s or a KC-10 with them, just in case..." So not really helping there, either.

The KC-46 has a lot of potential and I truly want its problems fixed as I would really love to fly on it and utilize her downrange. She already has a lot of incredible capes that will only get better as the airframe/support matures and is improved. But at present the KC-46 is an NMR dumpster fire that is sucking crews out of the tankers that actually work.

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:20 am
by Stitch
So the USAF just does not want the KC-46A to refuel anything in the Force, or is the main worry still about the stealth birds?

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:28 am
by LyleLanley
Stitch wrote:
So the USAF just does not want the KC-46A to refuel anything in the Force, or is the main worry still about the stealth birds?


The KC-46 isn't ready to be relied upon by any jet, stealth or not, hence the legacy tanker in the cell. It can technically refuel stealthy jets, too, but not if they "need" stealth. The stealth aspect is but one reason why they won't deploy until the jet is fixed.

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:52 pm
by ChrisNH38
So, from what I infer, Pease has four planes whose 'mission' for now is to train crews. No actual refueling at all? I did get the sense that Pease's mission overall is to refuel the transatlantic planes, which means it is an important one. But I guess Bangor can help, and of course McGuire?

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 6:32 pm
by kanban
LyleLanley wrote:
Stitch wrote:
So the USAF just does not want the KC-46A to refuel anything in the Force, or is the main worry still about the stealth birds?


The KC-46 isn't ready to be relied upon by any jet, stealth or not, hence the legacy tanker in the cell. It can technically refuel stealthy jets, too, but not if they "need" stealth. The stealth aspect is but one reason why they won't deploy until the jet is fixed.


bogus arguments... if the Air Force needed them to refuel planes they would be doing that. many of the "stealth" aircraft needing refueling are not on "stealth" missions but zipping around for PR. the best way to train crews is to use them in real situations.. I think some of the brass are merely hanging onto the old because the new is a change in their roles and a threat to their security.

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:48 pm
by Galaxy5007
Should of put a sight window and operator pod in...would of saved millions and wouldn't have the problems they are having.

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:58 pm
by LyleLanley
ChrisNH38 wrote:
So, from what I infer, Pease has four planes whose 'mission' for now is to train crews. No actual refueling at all? I did get the sense that Pease's mission overall is to refuel the transatlantic planes, which means it is an important one. But I guess Bangor can help, and of course McGuire?


It's complicated.

There are training limitations as well as aircraft limitations. The aircrews at Pease are in training status while they're converting to the KC-46, and as such, are generally not used for operational missions. Pease is not mission ready and they won't be for a long time. Currently, because they're in training status, Pease's mission is not to refuel the jets going across the Atlantic, but to become mission ready on the KC-46. Do they actually refuel? Yes. Both as a tanker as well as a receiver as part of their training. Most heavy refuelings are dry, i.e. no fuel transfer, as they're training and don't need the gas. Fighter refuelings are the exact opposite, and dry contacts are the exception, because fighters always need gas (except when they're on fire). But since they're in training, the other units in the NETTF (Bangor, McGuire, etc.) have to pick up the slack. This dynamic of training statuses and other units' increased workload as a result is also seen in the argument for the F-15EX. Training status sucks, takes a long time to get through, and other units/airframes have to take up the slack while people are being trained. Conversions suck.

The KC-46 also has aircraft limitations due to equipment deficiencies (RVS, lighting, etc.) as well as lack of certification (NVIS lighting, WARPs, etc.). These equipment deficiencies exist regardless of the training status of the operators.

Finally, even if the aircrew are mission ready in the KC-46, the AF won't consider the aircraft ready for deployment until the equipment deficiencies have been fixed, because COCOMs don't want equipment in their theater that they cannot use operationally. In the case of CENTCOM, the KC-46's limitations would be a detriment to that theater, as compared to the KC-135s and KC-10s, which are known quantities, have proven mission sets, and are fully integrated into their OPLANs.

kanban wrote:
LyleLanley wrote:
Stitch wrote:
So the USAF just does not want the KC-46A to refuel anything in the Force, or is the main worry still about the stealth birds?


The KC-46 isn't ready to be relied upon by any jet, stealth or not, hence the legacy tanker in the cell. It can technically refuel stealthy jets, too, but not if they "need" stealth. The stealth aspect is but one reason why they won't deploy until the jet is fixed.


bogus arguments... if the Air Force needed them to refuel planes they would be doing that. many of the "stealth" aircraft needing refueling are not on "stealth" missions but zipping around for PR. the best way to train crews is to use them in real situations.. I think some of the brass are merely hanging onto the old because the new is a change in their roles and a threat to their security.


Respectfully, I disagree. The F-35s "zipping around for PR" were damn near the first brand new western aircraft to go feet dry over Persia since the late 70s. You can't fight an aircraft you can't see. The Iranian brass know that, the Iranian F-14 and F-4 bubbas know that, and I guarantee you the Iranian double-digit SAM operators know that. The very last place a COCOM would want tanker crews training is with a full-up F-35 going downtown. The brass wants the new equipment. They've been briefed on what it can do (when it works) and what it can do for them (when it works). They would much rather have a new aircraft, whose age is measured in months instead of decades, that is also very flexible (receptacle on every jet, CDS on every jet, WARPs when they want it, easy connectivity via LINK-16 and SATCOM) and has a high mission capable rate. What they don't want is a jet with severe operational limitations that cannot be relied upon undressing the aircraft that kicks the door down for the rest of the 4th gen fleet. And right now, the KC-46 is the latter, not the former.

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 9:43 pm
by Stitch
Galaxy5007 wrote:
Should of put a sight window and operator pod in...would of saved millions and wouldn't have the problems they are having.


RVS works - the Dutch have it on their KDC-10s and all A330MRTT's have it. It is just the Rockwell Collins system Boeing selected for the KC-46A that is having the problems.

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 2:32 am
by par13del
Stitch wrote:
Galaxy5007 wrote:
Should of put a sight window and operator pod in...would of saved millions and wouldn't have the problems they are having.


RVS works - the Dutch have it on their KDC-10s and all A330MRTT's have it. It is just the Rockwell Collins system Boeing selected for the KC-46A that is having the problems.

So the Air Force had the authority to force Boeing to do a number of things AFTER the contract was signed but they never thought to tell them to change the RVS vendor?
How many of the delays were the result of the Air Force wanting changes on an off the shelf option?
Boeing bid low, Air Force wanted changes, chickens coming home to roost, karma...

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 2:45 am
by Ozair
par13del wrote:
Stitch wrote:
Galaxy5007 wrote:
Should of put a sight window and operator pod in...would of saved millions and wouldn't have the problems they are having.


RVS works - the Dutch have it on their KDC-10s and all A330MRTT's have it. It is just the Rockwell Collins system Boeing selected for the KC-46A that is having the problems.

So the Air Force had the authority to force Boeing to do a number of things AFTER the contract was signed but they never thought to tell them to change the RVS vendor?
How many of the delays were the result of the Air Force wanting changes on an off the shelf option?
Boeing bid low, Air Force wanted changes, chickens coming home to roost, karma...

Not sure it is so much about the USAF requesting changes as it is that the system Boeing delivered didn't meet the contractual specifications. In that context Boeing would, at tender bid, have certified that they were compliant to the specification and must now meet that compliance after test and verification has deemed their initial solution wasn't good enough.

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:19 am
by LyleLanley
Stitch wrote:
Galaxy5007 wrote:
Should of put a sight window and operator pod in...would of saved millions and wouldn't have the problems they are having.


RVS works - the Dutch have it on their KDC-10s and all A330MRTT's have it. It is just the Rockwell Collins system Boeing selected for the KC-46A that is having the problems.


To tell a little secret, the Dutch KDC-10’s RVS system doesn’t work very well, either. The major difference being the Dutch can change their ops to mitigate, whereas the USAF can’t.

During OEF the Dutch contributed F-16s, based at Kandahar, as well as a KDC-10 based at Al Dhafra to support ops over Afghanistan. Their tanker had such serious limfacs regarding sun angles, weather, receivers cleared-to-refuel, and others, that they were relegated to the easiest lines on the ATO. Its a shame because their crews were awesome and eager. When it was time for their tanker (call sign TULIP) to head home, we missed the crews, but were glad to have the parking spot back. Their vipers did great work over there and were respected by all. The Dutch tanker crews were also highly respected, but their jet just wasn’t up to the task. It did fine in niche, benign roles, but the 10s and 135s took the normal lines and the difficult ops.

The USAF wanted a tanker that was ready for combat. They wrote the contract specifications very well to get that. The KC-46 they were promised was a really great jet that could revolutionize tanker operations. Instead, they got a 767-2C that is ready for combat, and a boom, CDS, and WARPS that aren’t. Boom operators have to spend much time composing the scene (picture) because the RVS can’t adapt to different conditions, so each receiver takes a lot longer to get gas. Receivers on NVGs are prohibited since the lighting washes them out. NVIS compatible LWIR lighting is severely deficient and is currently prohibited. WARPS are out of the picture for a few years. As far as the RVS, to quote one of the testers, “each deficiency (below), in isolation, does not adequately convey the combined impact on the ARO (boom operator). The deficiencies interact, compounding task difficulty... The RVS problems compound and adversely affect all phases of AR on a regular basis. There are no operationally acceptable work around at this time.” I’ve seen what RVS can do. It’s the future, today, and the USAF needs it - we can’t stay with the window of yesteryear and expect to stay relevant - but the KC-46 RVS is a rusty-hangar abortion of a system. Booms getting migraines after doing AR for 30 minutes, and having to fly with “relief booms” to take over so they can get off the panel. And if they’re not a prior 10 or 135 qual’d boom you’re screwed and have to stay put. The list goes on. Boeing screwed up big time. Not only in choosing this particular RVS system for the KC-46, but in trying to pawn it off on testers as if everything was fine and would just work itself out.

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:29 pm
by par13del
LyleLanley wrote:
RVS works - the Dutch have it on their KDC-10s and all A330MRTT's have it. It is just the Rockwell Collins system Boeing selected for the KC-46A that is having the problems.


To tell a little secret, the Dutch KDC-10’s RVS system doesn’t work very well, either. The major difference being the Dutch can change their ops to mitigate, whereas the USAF can’t.
[/quote]
Did the US Air Force know of this when they were making up their requirements for the tanker, if they did having a pod for the operator would have been a lower risk.
Will see if I can find specifications for the initial tanker lease from years ago to see if that was also RVS, it raises interesting thoughts.

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 2:42 pm
by Stitch
par13del wrote:
Did the US Air Force know of this when they were making up their requirements for the tanker, if they did having a pod for the operator would have been a lower risk. Will see if I can find specifications for the initial tanker lease from years ago to see if that was also RVS, it raises interesting thoughts.


The 2001 lease would have used the same KC-767 platform the Italians and Japanese use and that employs RVS. To my knowledge, the A330MRTT never had a provision for a human-operated boom so the USAF would have written both KC-X proposals to use an RVS.

The A330MRTT uses a system from Kappa optronics and the KC-767 uses a DRS Laurel Technologies system, which I am guessing would have been on the US KC-767 with additional updates.

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:46 pm
by LyleLanley
par13del wrote:
LyleLanley wrote:
To tell a little secret, the Dutch KDC-10’s RVS system doesn’t work very well, either. The major difference being the Dutch can change their ops to mitigate, whereas the USAF can’t.
Did the US Air Force know of this when they were making up their requirements for the tanker, if they did having a pod for the operator would have been a lower risk.
Will see if I can find specifications for the initial tanker lease from years ago to see if that was also RVS, it raises interesting thoughts.


I couldn't tell you for certain, but I can guess they did and the Boeing salesmen minimized the drawbacks and/or design. Probably something along the lines of *que smartly dressed salesman* "Air Force, that's ancient history! And to be honest, that was the ol' McDonnell Douglas at work, over there. And well, you know how THEY were! I'm telling you, you won't be disappointed with these new RARO set-ups! Did I disappoint you with the last tanker? No, not the leased 767... No, not the 747 tanker, either. I mean the KC-135! She's still purring like new, ain't she?... You ok with no warranty?"

The pod may be lower risk, but it also degrades future capes. The KC-30/MRTT has its problems, but it shows that RVS can work beautifully.

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:25 pm
by kc135topboom
[quote="kanban"][quote="LyleLanley"]

The F-35s "zipping around for PR" were damn near the first brand new western aircraft to go feet dry over Persia since the late 70s. You can't fight an aircraft you can't see. The Iranian brass know that, the Iranian F-14 and F-4 bubbas know that, and I guarantee you the Iranian double-digit SAM operators know that.

FWIW I respectfully disagree. The B-1B, B-2A and F-22A were the first (all) new western aircraft in the ME since the 1970s. So was Rafale, Tornado, Typhoon, Gripen (combat ops over Libya), and the Mirage-2000.

All of these aircraft reached IOC in the 1980s or later..

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 3:21 am
by Max Q
Sounds like a disaster, from what I’m reading this RVS can never be ‘remotely’ as good as a boom operator in a proper ‘station’ with a window

Why this wasn’t designed in is hard to explain

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 3:29 am
by LyleLanley
kc135topboom wrote:
kanban wrote:
LyleLanley wrote:

The F-35s "zipping around for PR" were damn near the first brand new western aircraft to go feet dry over Persia since the late 70s. You can't fight an aircraft you can't see. The Iranian brass know that, the Iranian F-14 and F-4 bubbas know that, and I guarantee you the Iranian double-digit SAM operators know that.

FWIW I respectfully disagree. The B-1B, B-2A and F-22A were the first (all) new western aircraft in the ME since the 1970s. So was Rafale, Tornado, Typhoon, Gripen (combat ops over Libya), and the Mirage-2000.

All of these aircraft reached IOC in the 1980s or later..


Persia ≠ the Middle East and North Africa. In the modern era it's interchangeable with Iran.

If we were in the BCE I'd completely agree with you, as North Africa and huge swaths of the Middle East were part of the greater Persian empire, but then we would be speaking of Greek chariots instead of American airplanes :tongue2:

Max Q wrote:
Sounds like a disaster, from what I’m reading this RVS can never be ‘remotely’ as good as a boom operator in a proper ‘station’ with a window

Why this wasn’t designed in is hard to explain


I agree and disagree. There are some advantages of the window: it's simple from a system reliability standpoint using the mk. 1 eyeball and pictures turn out great. Then again, there has to be room for an ARO station, something the KC-46 just doesn't have. Also, night AR generally means lighting up like a Christmas tree in a tactical environment so the boomer can see properly, plus a LOT of extra training for night events. With a *properly designed RVS, that would greatly simplify training, as there would be essentially no difference between night and day for a boom operator. Pros and cons to both, but with a properly designed RVS I think the downsides are worth the upsides.

*not what the KC-46 currently has

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:03 am
by WIederling
LyleLanley wrote:
Pros and cons to both, but with a properly designed RVS I think the downsides are worth the upsides.


Airbus has started to go for fully automatic link up and fuel transfers.

I suppose they use artificial vision for the task?

i.e. there is no way around to have good electronic vision available.

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:11 am
by Max Q
LyleLanley wrote:
kc135topboom wrote:
kanban wrote:


Persia ≠ the Middle East and North Africa. In the modern era it's interchangeable with Iran.

If we were in the BCE I'd completely agree with you, as North Africa and huge swaths of the Middle East were part of the greater Persian empire, but then we would be speaking of Greek chariots instead of American airplanes :tongue2:

Max Q wrote:
Sounds like a disaster, from what I’m reading this RVS can never be ‘remotely’ as good as a boom operator in a proper ‘station’ with a window

Why this wasn’t designed in is hard to explain


I agree and disagree. There are some advantages of the window: it's simple from a system reliability standpoint using the mk. 1 eyeball and pictures turn out great. Then again, there has to be room for an ARO station, something the KC-46 just doesn't have. Also, night AR generally means lighting up like a Christmas tree in a tactical environment so the boomer can see properly, plus a LOT of extra training for night events. With a *properly designed RVS, that would greatly simplify training, as there would be essentially no difference between night and day for a boom operator. Pros and cons to both, but with a properly designed RVS I think the downsides are worth the upsides.

*not what the KC-46 currently has



Well, there’s no room for an ARO station until you design it in and build it


It could have been done

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:41 pm
by LyleLanley
Max Q wrote:


Well, there’s no room for an ARO station until you design it in and build it


It could have been done


Sorry, I should have been more specific: there's no room for an ARO station AND the required gas. To say nothing of the centerline drogue or the LAIRCM pod on the belly. The 46 is volume-limited and the RARO station was seen as the best way to mitigate that deficiency.

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:17 pm
by 747classic
Why is the USAF not asking their allies (a few years ago, before the last president, called : friends !) how the German KAPPA vision system of the A330MRTT is performing, or is that a too large apple to swallow ?
One KC-46 frame could be delivered without the " not operational vision system" and a KAPPA vision system installed.
This "KC-46B" could compete against a future upgraded KC-46A vision system.

According the link below , the KAPPA A330MRTT Enhanced AAR Vision Systems have already been installed on the A330, A310, KC135, and are equally well suited for KC130, A400M, KC10, KC390 and more.
Also the system has continuous been upgraded (digitally and hardware) for more than ten years to allow auto refueling in 2021.


See : https://www.kappa-optronics.com/en/came ... ameras.cfm
And : https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news ... -live-2021

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:25 pm
by kc135topboom
Who's KC-135s have the KAPPA vision system been installed on? Why was it installed, for flight testing? I thought that was why it was installed on the A-310MRTT.

Is KAPPA better than the original air refueling vision system originally installed on the KC-30/A-330MRTT?

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:50 pm
by Grizzly410
kc135topboom wrote:
Who's KC-135s have the KAPPA vision system been installed on? Why was it installed, for flight testing? I thought that was why it was installed on the A-310MRTT.

Is KAPPA better than the original air refueling vision system originally installed on the KC-30/A-330MRTT?


I believe KAPPA is the only A330MRTT RVS system provider.
https://www.spectronet.de/news/2019/06/ ... -optronics

And the A310MRTT the Airbus Defense&Space tanker test and development platform. IRC to be retired soon.

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:01 am
by 747classic
Here is a PR-video from KAPPA about the automated A330MRTT boom air refueling : https://vimeo.com/358025528
Start at time 07.45.
Besides a reduction in time for connecting the receiver aircraft, also demonstrated are greatly reduced contact loads during automated refueling. Scheduled to be certified in 2021.
It seems that Airbus together with KAPPA is years ahead in remote vision for (boom)air to air refueling..

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:15 pm
by texl1649
Very cool video 747classic, thx. At a certain point, I wonder if Boeing will consider scrapping the current system and installing something from someone else for USAF. I don’t see any way to salvage the current one to meet all requirements/standards USAF is holding them to.

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:23 pm
by Grizzly410
747classic wrote:
Here is a PR-video from KAPPA about the automated A330MRTT boom air refueling : https://vimeo.com/358025528
Start at time 07.45.
Besides a reduction in time for connecting the receiver aircraft, also demonstrated are greatly reduced contact loads during automated refueling. Scheduled to be certified in 2021.
It seems that Airbus together with KAPPA is years ahead in remote vision for (boom)air to air refueling..


It's the A310MRTT who tested the the Automatic AAR, integration/testing/certification of this feature on A330 MRTT is still in progress.
https://www.airbus.com/newsroom/press-r ... eiver.html

Sure the system could be portable to KC-46, but that would probably request way to much integration work. At this point Boeing is better of squeezing its supplier to make the existing work !

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:56 am
by 747classic
Galaxy5007 wrote:
There seems to be some confusion to the number of jets delivered to Altus. So far 5 jets were delivered to Altus.
028, 027, 025, 032, and 033
McConnell just had their 21st jet delivered on Friday. They have the following,
009, 016, 017, 022, 023, 026, 030, 031, 035, 036, 037, 038, 039, 040, 041, 042, 043, 044, 045, 046, and 048

Pease had their first two delivered last August, and the second two last Friday
029 and 034 in August
018 and 019 10 Jan 2020


The fifth (047) for Pease has been delivered at Feb 7th.

L/N 1176 C/N 41867 B767-2LKC 18-46047 USAF KC-46A (VH047) Lot 4, #07/18, tail 86047 has been delivered BFI-PSM at February 7th 2020 with callsign Pack91 ?
See : https://www.radarbox24.com/data/registration/18-46047
Departure video : https://twitter.com/BoeingDefense/statu ... 8553903104

Arrival at Pease Air National Guard Base
Image

Original uploaded by 157th ARW at twitter, see : https://twitter.com/157ARW/status/1226254098401390592