Ozair
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USAF budget reductions, less B-1s, A-10s, KC-135s, KC-10s, RQ-4s

Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:18 pm

The USAF has announced their budget plans with a reduction of some airframe sbut have stopped short of removing whole aircraft from their orbat. Plans include not re-winging 44 A-10s, retire the seventeen oldest B-1s, retire all Blk 20 and 30 RQ-4s and replace those flying the BACN with the E-11A, thirteen KC-135s and sixteen KC-10s will be replaced as KC-46s arrive and 24 C-130Hs will leave as nineteen C-130Js arrive.

What was funded includes 48 F-35s as per the schedule, another twelve F-15EX, the B-21, hypersonics and the ICBM replacement program, the T-7, Air Force One and continued funding for the NGAD.

Air Force makes reductions to B-1s, A-10s, Global Hawk drones and more in FY21 budget request

For the past several months, Air Force leaders have hyped the fiscal year 2021 budget as a pivotal one, where the service would be forced to make near-term and possibly contentious sacrifices to its existing posture in order to ramp up investments in technologies needed to counter Russia and China.

But the budget request the Air Force released on Feb. 10 seems a compromise between the service’s more radical force planning organizations in the Pentagon and the combatant commanders around the world, who fought back against making major cuts that could greatly impact readiness.

On the whole, the Air Force states that it will realign $4.1 billion in spending over the next five years, divesting some of its oldest aircraft and putting the savings toward future technologies like joint all domain command and control. In FY 21, it will begin retiring a portion of its B-1 bombers, A-10 Warthog attack planes, RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance drones, KC-135 and KC-10 tankers and C-130H planes.

...

https://www.defensenews.com/smr/federal ... t-request/

I expected a couple of whole fleet retirements, specifically the B-1 and the KC-10 but I can see why the USAF is going to slowly reduce those fleets over the next few years instead of a hard retirement for all aircraft. I expect the KC-10s will be snapped up by Omega or another commercial refuelling operation.
 
texl1649
Posts: 1125
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:38 am

Re: USAF budget reductions, less B-1s, A-10s, KC-135s, KC-10s, RQ-4s

Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:31 pm

This is just an executive/DoD plan, not what Congress is going to actually pass/do. The replacement of global hawks by E-11’s is interesting, I wouldn’t have guessed that. The B-1 fleet just needs to...retire.
 
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Moose135
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Re: USAF budget reductions, less B-1s, A-10s, KC-135s, KC-10s, RQ-4s

Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:10 am

Don't worry, Space Force will save us all!

:rotfl:
KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
 
Raptormodeller
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Re: USAF budget reductions, less B-1s, A-10s, KC-135s, KC-10s, RQ-4s

Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:49 am

texl1649 wrote:
This is just an executive/DoD plan, not what Congress is going to actually pass/do. The replacement of global hawks by E-11’s is interesting, I wouldn’t have guessed that. The B-1 fleet just needs to...retire.

Is the B1 that bad?
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ThePointblank
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Re: USAF budget reductions, less B-1s, A-10s, KC-135s, KC-10s, RQ-4s

Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:59 am

Raptormodeller wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
This is just an executive/DoD plan, not what Congress is going to actually pass/do. The replacement of global hawks by E-11’s is interesting, I wouldn’t have guessed that. The B-1 fleet just needs to...retire.

Is the B1 that bad?

The B-1's have been abused pretty heavily in the past decade, because it has an valuable niche as a fast, long-range bomber with a very heavy payload capacity. As such, the fleet is incredibly worn out from heavy usage.
 
Raptormodeller
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Re: USAF budget reductions, less B-1s, A-10s, KC-135s, KC-10s, RQ-4s

Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:42 pm

ThePointblank wrote:
Raptormodeller wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
This is just an executive/DoD plan, not what Congress is going to actually pass/do. The replacement of global hawks by E-11’s is interesting, I wouldn’t have guessed that. The B-1 fleet just needs to...retire.

Is the B1 that bad?

The B-1's have been abused pretty heavily in the past decade, because it has an valuable niche as a fast, long-range bomber with a very heavy payload capacity. As such, the fleet is incredibly worn out from heavy usage.

So maintenance costs have gone through the roof and the USAF doesn't want to foot that bill or a life extension program either. Is this correct?
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aumaverick
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Re: USAF budget reductions, less B-1s, A-10s, KC-135s, KC-10s, RQ-4s

Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:08 pm

Raptormodeller wrote:
ThePointblank wrote:
Raptormodeller wrote:
Is the B1 that bad?

The B-1's have been abused pretty heavily in the past decade, because it has an valuable niche as a fast, long-range bomber with a very heavy payload capacity. As such, the fleet is incredibly worn out from heavy usage.

So maintenance costs have gone through the roof and the USAF doesn't want to foot that bill or a life extension program either. Is this correct?


Essentially. The Bone was originally intended to be an Alert bomber as part of the nuclear deterrence. It was meant to sit alert and then deploy when called on to carry out a low-level, fast interdiction to bomb its target. The stress and strain on the airframe, especially a swing wing heavy bomber, was not accounted for in the original engineering and design. As a result of the heavy use and ops tempo, the airframe has more rapidly approached its service life, and the cost of extending it robs other acquisition programs.
I'm just here so I won't get fined. - Marshawn Lynch
 
DigitalSea
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Re: USAF budget reductions, less B-1s, A-10s, KC-135s, KC-10s, RQ-4s

Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:55 pm

Raptormodeller wrote:
So maintenance costs have gone through the roof and the USAF doesn't want to foot that bill or a life extension program either. Is this correct?


More like Congress.

It's like your boss asking you to buy a work car in 2000 that you planned on retiring in 2030, but you accumulated more mileage than you anticipated and the maintenance costs have become prohibitively expensive, it forces you to shop for a new car early. And the newer cars aren't cheap, not to mention you have to move up your acquisition process and that requires a hefty down payment to get rolling. Where is that down payment going to come from? You planned to have that money in 2025, you'll have to pull it early from other programs (and then the budget ripple effect begins). That's an extremely simple way to put it.

One thing's for sure, the Military and Congress need to get on the same train soon. The way they've acted since the fall of the Soviet Union needs to change and they need to be dialed in.
 
CX747
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Re: USAF budget reductions, less B-1s, A-10s, KC-135s, KC-10s, RQ-4s

Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:28 am

It was just yesterday that they were talking about GROWING the USAF!

Can't see the A-10 non re-wing being allowed.

With the B-21 actually moving forward, I can see the B-1 cut being tolerated.

Not sure on the KC-135s and KC-10s. The replacement isn't ready soooo.

In the end, let's see what Congress does.
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seahawk
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Re: USAF budget reductions, less B-1s, A-10s, KC-135s, KC-10s, RQ-4s

Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:37 am

aumaverick wrote:
Raptormodeller wrote:
ThePointblank wrote:
The B-1's have been abused pretty heavily in the past decade, because it has an valuable niche as a fast, long-range bomber with a very heavy payload capacity. As such, the fleet is incredibly worn out from heavy usage.

So maintenance costs have gone through the roof and the USAF doesn't want to foot that bill or a life extension program either. Is this correct?


Essentially. The Bone was originally intended to be an Alert bomber as part of the nuclear deterrence. It was meant to sit alert and then deploy when called on to carry out a low-level, fast interdiction to bomb its target. The stress and strain on the airframe, especially a swing wing heavy bomber, was not accounted for in the original engineering and design. As a result of the heavy use and ops tempo, the airframe has more rapidly approached its service life, and the cost of extending it robs other acquisition programs.


The stress was accounted for, but for a different mission set. It was to go in low, fast and with the wings swept back and not burn circles in the sky with the wings swept forward and a full bomb load on all pylons.
 
texl1649
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Re: USAF budget reductions, less B-1s, A-10s, KC-135s, KC-10s, RQ-4s

Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:54 pm

Well, sort of, but not really. The B-1A was designed for high altitude flying/missions, not nap of the earth low level penetrations as the B-1B wound up being adapted for (under Reagan). The evolution to low altitude missions only is interesting (discussion at second link). The Tomahawks ultimately were the right answer for the 80's-90's.

https://fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/bomber/b-1a.htm

http://www.f-16.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=16727
 
DigitalSea
Posts: 172
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:28 pm

Re: USAF budget reductions, less B-1s, A-10s, KC-135s, KC-10s, RQ-4s

Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:16 pm

texl1649 wrote:
Well, sort of, but not really. The B-1A was designed for high altitude flying/missions, not nap of the earth low level penetrations as the B-1B wound up being adapted for (under Reagan). The evolution to low altitude missions only is interesting (discussion at second link). The Tomahawks ultimately were the right answer for the 80's-90's.

https://fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/bomber/b-1a.htm

http://www.f-16.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=16727


On a side note, I was surprised to find out the B-2 was also designed with nap of the Earth in mind.
 
mmo
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Re: USAF budget reductions, less B-1s, A-10s, KC-135s, KC-10s, RQ-4s

Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:44 pm

texl1649 wrote:
Well, sort of, but not really. The B-1A was designed for high altitude flying/missions, not nap of the earth low level penetrations as the B-1B wound up being adapted for (under Reagan). The evolution to low altitude missions only is interesting (discussion at second link). The Tomahawks ultimately were the right answer for the 80's-90's.

https://fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/bomber/b-1a.htm

http://www.f-16.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=16727


You kind of have it wrong. the B-1A was designed for nape of the earth low level at M1.0+ at altitudes lower than the B-52. Check your FAS link. I interviewed for the B-1A test program and was supposed to go until Carter canceled the program. The B had fixed inlets and the ability for a supersonic dash, but not for long. As has been pointed out, the use of the Bone in the past few years accelerated the fatigue because of the loiter mission. Heavy load, wings swept forward did nothing but accelerate the fatigue on the airframe. To be honest, the entire fleet should be grounded as the maintenance costs and the abysmal Mission Ready rate do nothing but throwing good money after bad.
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