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lordarpad
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A321XLR MRTT

Wed Jul 08, 2020 7:23 am

I have been thinking. Would this be an option for smaller, air forces?

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mxaxai
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Wed Jul 08, 2020 8:39 am

Not really IMHO.

The A321 is comparable to the KC-135 in size but all nations that operate the KC-135 try to replace it with something larger (A330 or 767 usually). The extra fuel of the widebody is just too useful. Small air forces usually belong to small countries, e. g. Switzerland, that don't need the extra range, or to countries that can't afford a larger air force and who would rather spend money to buy more fighter jets, e. g. Mexico.

Other A321-sized tankers are the KC-130 and the A400M but those have the additional advantage that they can refuel helicopters and are often bought specifically for that role.
 
tommy1808
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Wed Jul 08, 2020 8:42 am

mxaxai wrote:
Other A321-sized tankers are the KC-130 and the A400M but those have the additional advantage that they can refuel helicopters and are often bought specifically for that role.


Plus landing and taking off from runways not worthy of the name, which may come with the territory those helicopters are deployed to.

Best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:44 am

tommy1808 wrote:
mxaxai wrote:
Other A321-sized tankers are the KC-130 and the A400M but those have the additional advantage that they can refuel helicopters and are often bought specifically for that role.


Plus landing and taking off from runways not worthy of the name, which may come with the territory those helicopters are deployed to.

Best regards
Thomas


I just thought of an 321neoXLR with fixed landing gears, complete with tundra tires in streamlined housings.
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
tommy1808
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Wed Jul 08, 2020 11:18 am

flyingturtle wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
mxaxai wrote:
Other A321-sized tankers are the KC-130 and the A400M but those have the additional advantage that they can refuel helicopters and are often bought specifically for that role.


Plus landing and taking off from runways not worthy of the name, which may come with the territory those helicopters are deployed to.

Best regards
Thomas


I just thought of an 321neoXLR with fixed landing gears, complete with tundra tires in streamlined housings.


Junkers Ju 287 style?

Best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
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JerseyFlyer
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Wed Jul 08, 2020 1:04 pm

Airbus has offered SAR concepts based on its A320 family in the past, so some sort of military application may be on the cards. The XLR would bring enhanced endurance, but would that be of interest?
 
VSMUT
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Wed Jul 08, 2020 1:26 pm

The A321XLR can only just make a transatlantic crossing with fuel for itself. It doesn't really make sense to use it as a tanker. You would get less than half the capability of the A330 for probably more than half the price.
 
Ozair
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:38 pm

lordarpad wrote:
I have been thinking. Would this be an option for smaller, air forces?


There is probably some utility in this concept. The problem is who signs up and pays for the development?

Perhaps too late now but I think there was previously a market for a boom equipped A320/737 sized tanker. Lots of Air Forces equipped with F-16s could have used a smaller boom tanker that was probably cheaper to sustain than a KC-135 and didn’t have the fuel offload requirements of large bombers/transports to consider. For the USAF refuelling large numbers of fighter aircraft often the issue is the amount of booms available, not the fuel available to offload, and hence IMO a A320/737 sized aircraft would have been a viable solution, a lot more booms with perhaps the same operating cost as a smaller fleet of 767s.

mxaxai wrote:
Not really IMHO.

The A321 is comparable to the KC-135 in size but all nations that operate the KC-135 try to replace it with something larger (A330 or 767 usually). The extra fuel of the widebody is just too useful.

So the argument against that is just market availability. There is no jet powered tanker post KC-135 that was a narrowbody and the KC-135 was a narrowbody in size but really a widebody in range. The market was dominated by Air Forces that wanted widebody payload and range and hence a replacement narrowbody aircraft wasn’t built.

Exception is the Chinese H-6 tanker with small fuel offload and was the best the Chinese could do. Likely that will be replaced with a Y-20 variant which still probably won’t be optimal for the role but better than the H-6.

mxaxai wrote:
Small air forces usually belong to small countries, e. g. Switzerland, that don't need the extra range, or to countries that can't afford a larger air force and who would rather spend money to buy more fighter jets, e. g. Mexico.

Agree this is more pertinent issue, the market size for the capability is small and likely not worth pursuing.

mxaxai wrote:
Other A321-sized tankers are the KC-130 and the A400M but those have the additional advantage that they can refuel helicopters and are often bought specifically for that role.

And the KC-390 as a small tanker which will likely refuel a Gripen or two over its lifetime.

VSMUT wrote:
The A321XLR can only just make a transatlantic crossing with fuel for itself. It doesn't really make sense to use it as a tanker. You would get less than half the capability of the A330 for probably more than half the price.

The premise is small air forces with small refuelling requirements. I don’t think the intent is to drag a fleet of fighters across the pond but simply extend the range or more likely loiter time of a couple of aircraft. Doesn’t make the business case any better but I believe that is the intent.

In that context as already stated the KC-130, KC-390 etc may be a better option or as we look forward 10 years an MQ-25 if tanking is the only mission.
 
SuperiorPilotMe
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:54 am

I know IAI had been floating around a "regional tanker" with a graphic sometimes represented by a Gulfstream which might be on the extreme end of "smaller is better," but the idea is to provide as the name implies a tanker that provides regional support. It wouldn't be able to do much other than to extend Bingo range but I'd say that's pretty tactically useful. I can see an A321 frame maybe being potentially large enough.

The only question is, is it something that's actually tactically useful? If cost is that much of an issue there's plenty of old 768 and A330 frames doing nothing, and hose and drogue conversions aren't prohibitively expensive. If an air force really needs a boom option, Airbus has you covered.
Stop the stupids!- Claus Kellerman
 
Ozair
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:16 am

SuperiorPilotMe wrote:
I know IAI had been floating around a "regional tanker" with a graphic sometimes represented by a Gulfstream which might be on the extreme end of "smaller is better," but the idea is to provide as the name implies a tanker that provides regional support. It wouldn't be able to do much other than to extend Bingo range but I'd say that's pretty tactically useful. I can see an A321 frame maybe being potentially large enough.

I think as alluded to by others we haven’t seen a regional tanker because no one has stumped up the money to pay for development when you could operate a KC-130 that can do more than tank for a similar price.

How about the other side of this. If a big tanker isn’t an option and increasing bingo range or loiter time are the primary requirements why not just bubby refuel more? Naval fighters do it all the time, SH and Rafale, and yet nations importing those aircraft haven’t (as far as I am aware) bought buddy tanks to allow the capability. India has the capability to buddy refuel from Su-30MKIs but how often is it actually used?

HAL even developed the Conformal Air Refueling Tanker/System (CARTS) with a UK firm but I’m not aware of a sale or operational use. That, or the 370 gal tank probe option developed by Sargent Fletcher, you would think would have been embraced by smaller nations as a means of getting an easier to sustain “limited” A2A refuelling capability.

SuperiorPilotMe wrote:
The only question is, is it something that's actually tactically useful? If cost is that much of an issue there's plenty of old 768 and A330 frames doing nothing, and hose and drogue conversions aren't prohibitively expensive. If an air force really needs a boom option, Airbus has you covered.

Not sure those old 767s or A330s are worth the conversion, as limited as it would be.
 
VSMUT
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:19 am

Ozair wrote:
The premise is small air forces with small refuelling requirements. I don’t think the intent is to drag a fleet of fighters across the pond but simply extend the range or more likely loiter time of a couple of aircraft. Doesn’t make the business case any better but I believe that is the intent.


Sounds like something that's been attempted hundreds of times in military history without success. Like torpedo boats/missile boats as a substitute for capital ships/destroyers and frigates for small navies. Tried and failed countless times, the effect is too small and the cost too high.

The concept just looks pointless:
If it's a small air force, then they probably don't have the force to perform long distance air strikes. If said small air force really wanted to do long range strikes, a small tanker won't cut it.
If it's a small air force, it's probably a small country, so no need for tankers when doing air defence.
If it's a small air force, they will want an aircraft that can do several jobs, not just one.

You could make a point if it was marketed as a tanker to aid long range SAR helicopters in remote places like Canada or Greenland, but for that you'd need something slower than an A320.


Ozair wrote:
In that context as already stated the KC-130, KC-390 etc may be a better option or as we look forward 10 years an MQ-25 if tanking is the only mission.


MQ-25 is a specialist carrier-borne tanker instead of using fighters as buddy-tankers, not a game changer for the tanker world. With 6.8 tons of fuel it doesn't even carry enough fuel to fill a single F-35.
 
tommy1808
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:31 am

VSMUT wrote:
The A321XLR can only just make a transatlantic crossing with fuel for itself. It doesn't really make sense to use it as a tanker. You would get less than half the capability of the A330 for probably more than half the price.


Given that the ACJ can have 5 ACT an A321MRTT could probably carry close to 50k litres of fuel, giving plenty of offload capacity.
But the small air forces that might be interested in such would probably not spring for the development costs of it .... and just buy an KC130J or A400M.

Best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
VSMUT
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:33 am

tommy1808 wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
The A321XLR can only just make a transatlantic crossing with fuel for itself. It doesn't really make sense to use it as a tanker. You would get less than half the capability of the A330 for probably more than half the price.


Given that the ACJ can have 5 ACT an A321MRTT could probably carry close to 50k litres of fuel, giving plenty of offload capacity.
But the small air forces that might be interested in such would probably not spring for the development costs of it .... and just buy an KC130J or A400M.

Best regards
Thomas


It should be able to carry around 36 tons of fuel, roughly the same as a KC-130J with the tank in the cargo compartment.
 
tommy1808
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:38 am

VSMUT wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
The A321XLR can only just make a transatlantic crossing with fuel for itself. It doesn't really make sense to use it as a tanker. You would get less than half the capability of the A330 for probably more than half the price.


Given that the ACJ can have 5 ACT an A321MRTT could probably carry close to 50k litres of fuel, giving plenty of offload capacity.
But the small air forces that might be interested in such would probably not spring for the development costs of it .... and just buy an KC130J or A400M.

Best regards
Thomas


It should be able to carry around 36 tons of fuel, roughly the same as a KC-130J with the tank in the cargo compartment.


Yeah, something like that. I think the only nische, a tiny one, where a jet based small tanker had any advantage would be ferry flights to high value exercises with an aircraft having fighter compatible cruise speed. An A400M wouldn't be that much slower anyhow.

Best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
Ozair
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:42 am

VSMUT wrote:
Sounds like something that's been attempted hundreds of times in military history without success. Like torpedo boats/missile boats as a substitute for capital ships/destroyers and frigates for small navies. Tried and failed countless times, the effect is too small and the cost too high.

Again, I don't necessarily agree with the business case but the concept is certainly sound.

VSMUT wrote:
The concept just looks pointless:
If it's a small air force, then they probably don't have the force to perform long distance air strikes. If said small air force really wanted to do long range strikes, a small tanker won't cut it.
If it's a small air force, it's probably a small country, so no need for tankers when doing air defence.
If it's a small air force, they will want an aircraft that can do several jobs, not just one.

You could make a point if it was marketed as a tanker to aid long range SAR helicopters in remote places like Canada or Greenland, but for that you'd need something slower than an A320.

So pointless that Airbus is offering an A2A refuelling option on the C-295. https://www.airbus.com/newsroom/stories ... ility.html Its a small airframe that would carry and offload significantly less fuel than an A320 sized aircraft. Airbus at least is offering the option of a smaller tanker that yes can also function as a transport, just as the OP suggested an A321XLR could also function as a transport when not being used as a tanker (hence the MRTT). While I have decried the potential for it to happen this would be an aircraft NZ could operate. Not only could it conduct the Antarctic flights from Christchurch but could also be used to refuel their new C-130Js should they want significant outsized cargo or longer range on those same Antarctic flights or around the South Pacific. Air New Zealand already operate the A321neo so it would be easy to get local support for the aircraft. What kills it is that NZ would not be able to afford to acquire for the aircraft and fund the development of the option.

VSMUT wrote:
MQ-25 is a specialist carrier-borne tanker instead of using fighters as buddy-tankers, not a game changer for the tanker world. With 6.8 tons of fuel it doesn't even carry enough fuel to fill a single F-35.

99.9% of A2A refuelling fighter jets is not refuelling from empty to full. As the below quote specifies the MQ-25 will be expected to refuel four to six aircraft approx 500nm from the carrier.

The MQ-25 will be much more efficient than the Rhino (Super Hornets), and it will give us the ability to get out there and refuel four to six airplanes at range

https://news.usni.org/2017/08/31/mq-25- ... r-air-wing

For a small air force that seems more than sufficient to either extend a two or four ship on a CAP, increase the loiter time of fighter aircraft over a target area or increase the range or persistence of other assets. It could also re-role as a long range ISR asset.
 
mxaxai
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Thu Jul 09, 2020 11:22 am

Ozair wrote:
How about the other side of this. If a big tanker isn’t an option and increasing bingo range or loiter time are the primary requirements why not just bubby refuel more? Naval fighters do it all the time, SH and Rafale, and yet nations importing those aircraft haven’t (as far as I am aware) bought buddy tanks to allow the capability. India has the capability to buddy refuel from Su-30MKIs but how often is it actually used?

Image
https://marine-flieger.de/waffensysteme ... behaelter/
The Tornado can also do buddy refueling. I don't know how commonly it is/was practiced by the various operators, though. The majority of aircraft types that have this ability this seem to be carrier based, however, probably because you just can't fit a large tanker on a carrier.

I think an A321 / 737 derivative would only make sense for an air force that already has or wants the type for other reasons. For example, if Canada were to replace the CC-150 Polaris with A321XLR, the primary focus would be on their strategic airlift and VIP roles. If they could add refueling equipment to them - like they did with the CC-150 - that's a nice bonus feature.

Other existing VIP/transport A32X operators with a potential use for refueling would be, for example, Italy, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Turkey or Thailand. 737MRTT operators could be Egypt, Chile, the Netherlands or Taiwan.
 
flipdewaf
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Thu Jul 09, 2020 11:53 am

VSMUT wrote:
The A321XLR can only just make a transatlantic crossing with fuel for itself. It doesn't really make sense to use it as a tanker. You would get less than half the capability of the A330 for probably more than half the price.


The A321XLR can transport itself and about 18t of 'stuff' about 4700nm SAR, that 18t can be fuel if you so wish.

If you want to know how far it can transport itself: about 6200nm

With additional fuel tanks its 7000nm +

Technically transatlantic I guess.
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VSMUT
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Thu Jul 09, 2020 12:09 pm

Ozair wrote:
Again, I don't necessarily agree with the business case but the concept is certainly sound.


No it isn't.


Ozair wrote:
So pointless that Airbus is offering an A2A refuelling option on the C-295. https://www.airbus.com/newsroom/stories ... ility.html Its a small airframe that would carry and offload significantly less fuel than an A320 sized aircraft. Airbus at least is offering the option of a smaller tanker that yes can also function as a transport, just as the OP suggested an A321XLR could also function as a transport when not being used as a tanker (hence the MRTT). While I have decried the potential for it to happen this would be an aircraft NZ could operate. Not only could it conduct the Antarctic flights from Christchurch but could also be used to refuel their new C-130Js should they want significant outsized cargo or longer range on those same Antarctic flights or around the South Pacific. Air New Zealand already operate the A321neo so it would be easy to get local support for the aircraft. What kills it is that NZ would not be able to afford to acquire for the aircraft and fund the development of the option.


Because it is slow enough to refuel a helicopter. Unlike an A320.


Ozair wrote:
As the below quote specifies the MQ-25 will be expected to refuel four to six aircraft approx 500nm from the carrier.

The MQ-25 will be much more efficient than the Rhino (Super Hornets), and it will give us the ability to get out there and refuel four to six airplanes at range

https://news.usni.org/2017/08/31/mq-25- ... r-air-wing


Exactly. A niche product for carrier operators.


Ozair wrote:
For a small air force that seems more than sufficient to either extend a two or four ship on a CAP, increase the loiter time of fighter aircraft over a target area or increase the range or persistence of other assets. It could also re-role as a long range ISR asset.


What small air force needs to do that?
 
Ozair
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:36 pm

VSMUT wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Again, I don't necessarily agree with the business case but the concept is certainly sound.


No it isn't.

And without any supporting evidence you can make broad statements like this all you like but it doesn’t support your argument. I provided a very clear use case for an operator like the RNZAF who could make use of the capabilities. The fact that Airbus is also working on a tanker that is smaller with less fuel offload also supports the use case for a tanker between the C-295 and KC-46 with more fuel offload.

Additionally from numbers you and flipdewaf have put forward a A321XLR MRTT would have a similar range and fuel offload to the original IL-78.


VSMUT wrote:
[
Ozair wrote:
So pointless that Airbus is offering an A2A refuelling option on the C-295. https://www.airbus.com/newsroom/stories ... ility.html Its a small airframe that would carry and offload significantly less fuel than an A320 sized aircraft. Airbus at least is offering the option of a smaller tanker that yes can also function as a transport, just as the OP suggested an A321XLR could also function as a transport when not being used as a tanker (hence the MRTT). While I have decried the potential for it to happen this would be an aircraft NZ could operate. Not only could it conduct the Antarctic flights from Christchurch but could also be used to refuel their new C-130Js should they want significant outsized cargo or longer range on those same Antarctic flights or around the South Pacific. Air New Zealand already operate the A321neo so it would be easy to get local support for the aircraft. What kills it is that NZ would not be able to afford to acquire for the aircraft and fund the development of the option.


Because it is slow enough to refuel a helicopter. Unlike an A320.

The use case for the C295 tanker is not just about RW. To claim as such is clearly denying the capabilities of the aircraft and the use case Airbus is aiming for,

The C295’s aerial refuelling capability would be a highly valuable mission-extender for customers using C295s.

Additionally, it could serve as a cost-effective platform to train fighter pilots in the skills needed for air-to-air refuelling. “The C295 tanker kit could facilitate training of fighter pilots for missions involving refuelling, or even for AAR services on a lease-by-the-hour basis at a fraction of the cost of heavier aircraft

And they also tested using a Spanish F/A-18,
Recent flights to test the kit involved an Airbus-owned C295 that refuelled a C295 from the Spanish Air Force, as well as proximity tests with the C295 and a fast fighter aircraft – a Spanish Air Force F-18.

Clearly airbus is considering non RW aircraft as a key refuelling requirement…

VSMUT wrote:
Exactly. A niche product for carrier operators.

What limits it to carriers? Other than a hook and arrestor/launch compatibility for carrier work the aircraft is more than capable of operating from land based runways just like any other naval aircraft and there are plenty of naval aircraft being operated by land based Air Forces today. It may also be capable of launching and recovering with greater payloads from land based runways.

VSMUT wrote:
[
Ozair wrote:
For a small air force that seems more than sufficient to either extend a two or four ship on a CAP, increase the loiter time of fighter aircraft over a target area or increase the range or persistence of other assets. It could also re-role as a long range ISR asset.


What small air force needs to do that?

Sweden, Finland and Kuwait are excellent examples. You could also add Malaysia and Indonesia who have either not enough tankers, aging fleets or tankers they could use for other roles.
 
texl1649
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:27 pm

Ok, I’ll just chime in that the future of small tankers seems to be drones, imho. They’re also more easily re-configurable as combat/UCAV and can thus serve multiple roles. I think in the future, again, it’s likely their acquisition costs will be lower than today, and the other benefit is they’ll be largely stealthy/not need protection near the edge of contested airspace as would something like an A320.

If Airbus really does need more A320 sales toward the end of the 2030’s (which I find very hard to believe is likely), AND Boeing kills off the 767 line simultaneously with the A330 line going dead, I could see it, but otherwise I doubt they’d be real motivated to invest/commit/bid toward this type of plane for a limited production run/market.
 
Ozair
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:40 pm

texl1649 wrote:
Ok, I’ll just chime in that the future of small tankers seems to be drones, imho. They’re also more easily re-configurable as combat/UCAV and can thus serve multiple roles. I think in the future, again, it’s likely their acquisition costs will be lower than today, and the other benefit is they’ll be largely stealthy/not need protection near the edge of contested airspace as would something like an A320.

Agree. A boom drone refueller would be the holy grail but I fully expect hose and rogue systems to proliferate.

texl1649 wrote:
If Airbus really does need more A320 sales toward the end of the 2030’s (which I find very hard to believe is likely), AND Boeing kills off the 767 line simultaneously with the A330 line going dead, I could see it, but otherwise I doubt they’d be real motivated to invest/commit/bid toward this type of plane for a limited production run/market.

The business case to do a tanker mod on the A320/737 really isn’t there, I’ve said that multiple times but if the USAF came forward and wanted 150 737 sized tankers to increase the number of booms available in a theatre both OEMs would jump at it and I expect there would be a decent enough number of export orders.
 
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Mortyman
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:12 am

For smaller nations in Europe there is the Multinational Multi-Role Tanker Transport Fleet​ With Airbus 330 MRTT

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A3 ... port_Fleet
 
SuperiorPilotMe
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:40 pm

I disagree on the lack of market of used 767 and especially A330 frames, especially since unlike Boeing Airbus is actively marketing a used boom 330 conversion program, but Ozair brings up a good point about KC-130s and other trash-to-gas haulers. Many of these air forces already operate these types and a few of them even have C-17s and A400s which likely can refuel fast tactical (just look at Russia).
Stop the stupids!- Claus Kellerman
 
texl1649
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Sun Jul 12, 2020 3:33 pm

Ozair wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
Ok, I’ll just chime in that the future of small tankers seems to be drones, imho. They’re also more easily re-configurable as combat/UCAV and can thus serve multiple roles. I think in the future, again, it’s likely their acquisition costs will be lower than today, and the other benefit is they’ll be largely stealthy/not need protection near the edge of contested airspace as would something like an A320.

Agree. A boom drone refueller would be the holy grail but I fully expect hose and rogue systems to proliferate.

texl1649 wrote:
If Airbus really does need more A320 sales toward the end of the 2030’s (which I find very hard to believe is likely), AND Boeing kills off the 767 line simultaneously with the A330 line going dead, I could see it, but otherwise I doubt they’d be real motivated to invest/commit/bid toward this type of plane for a limited production run/market.

The business case to do a tanker mod on the A320/737 really isn’t there, I’ve said that multiple times but if the USAF came forward and wanted 150 737 sized tankers to increase the number of booms available in a theatre both OEMs would jump at it and I expect there would be a decent enough number of export orders.


Sure, but I don't think it's remotely likely after the whole KC-46 fiasco of 20 years the USAF will make such a requirement. They've been hinting at all kinds of bizarre/exotic ideas (including gas from a satellite/stealth tankers etc. I am sure the Mitchell Institute will have a study soon on the need for stealth tanker transports too!)

And after what they went through with the KC-45, I actually think Airbus is loathe to even go after a future possible USAF tanker bid anyway (even though the requirements of any such spec will be mega-bucks), considering their likely cash flow/investment needs in 5-7 years.

It's a shame, because I think they actually have the best refueling solution today, and the A330MRTT would really be a nice complement to the -46 plus replace the KC-10's more directly/quickly (plenty of capacity on the A330 line today, and cleary the USAF doesn't care about getting the latest generation of engines; surely the PW4170's would be fitted). Sigh...politics.
 
Ozair
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:49 pm

texl1649 wrote:
Sure, but I don't think it's remotely likely after the whole KC-46 fiasco of 20 years the USAF will make such a requirement. They've been hinting at all kinds of bizarre/exotic ideas (including gas from a satellite/stealth tankers etc. I am sure the Mitchell Institute will have a study soon on the need for stealth tanker transports too!)

As I said there isn’t a business case for it. It will be interesting to see how they intend to refuel the loyal wingman drones, if they do. As much as it would diverge from the current USAF standard it must be very tempting to go hose and drogue and therefore increase the ability to refuel as well as the speed. That then brings in the potential for smaller tankers ala MQ-25 being used.

texl1649 wrote:
And after what they went through with the KC-45, I actually think Airbus is loathe to even go after a future possible USAF tanker bid anyway (even though the requirements of any such spec will be mega-bucks), considering their likely cash flow/investment needs in 5-7 years.

It's a shame, because I think they actually have the best refueling solution today, and the A330MRTT would really be a nice complement to the -46 plus replace the KC-10's more directly/quickly (plenty of capacity on the A330 line today, and clearly the USAF doesn't care about getting the latest generation of engines; surely the PW4170's would be fitted). Sigh...politics.

As per my business case statement above it is worth remembering that the KC-30 MRTT came out of that first USAF request to replace the KC-135Es (as the A330 MRTT). It would not have been available, or if so without the amount of engineering work done, for that first RAAF selection had that first USAF competition not happened. The same thing would happen for a 737/A320 sized tanker, it would need a big player to get further along and clearly now that isn’t going to happen.
 
KennyK
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:05 am

Back at the height of the cold war in the early 1980s consideration was given to having British Airways 757s adapted for use as tankers in the event of a crisis/war. I know very little about what was proposed, i'm assuming a two point configuration with under wing pods which would have needed some pre-work so that they could rapidly take up the role, nothing came of the proposal in the end. But both the 757 and A321 are very similar platforms and would be ideal for lower end/capacity taskings where a A330/KC46 is too much capacity.
 
RJMAZ
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:28 am

I think the main reason we dont have smaller tankers is because a small air force that operates small short range fighters would simply buy fighters with a longer range. This would give improved capability.

Once they have large fighters they can afford to go straight to a large tanker.
 
Ozair
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:54 pm

Not tankers but clearly the German Air Force see value in using the A321 in a military transport role.

German air force to use A321LRs for troop and medevac roles

Two Airbus A321LR twinjets are to be modified for troop transport and medical evacuation roles on behalf of the German air force.

...

https://www.flightglobal.com/fixed-wing ... 54.article
 
lordarpad
Topic Author
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Sat Aug 15, 2020 2:00 pm

VSMUT wrote:
The A321XLR can only just make a transatlantic crossing with fuel for itself. It doesn't really make sense to use it as a tanker. You would get less than half the capability of the A330 for probably more than half the price.


A321 XLR range is 4700 nm or Rome to NYC.

Image
Last edited by lordarpad on Sat Aug 15, 2020 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
lordarpad
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Sat Aug 15, 2020 2:02 pm

RJMAZ wrote:
I think the main reason we dont have smaller tankers is because a small air force that operates small short range fighters would simply buy fighters with a longer range. This would give improved capability.

Once they have large fighters they can afford to go straight to a large tanker.


Assume you operate a bunch of Gripens. Being able to support them with fuel with a few A321 is cheaper both in investment and operating cost than buying F35.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Sat Aug 15, 2020 2:17 pm

lordarpad wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
The A321XLR can only just make a transatlantic crossing with fuel for itself. It doesn't really make sense to use it as a tanker. You would get less than half the capability of the A330 for probably more than half the price.


A321 XLR range is 4700 nm or Rome to NYC.

Image


Not exactly a fighter drag operation—how would it do with 4 thirsty “chicks” in tow at F250? Very different answer even with 18T of additional fuel.
 
texl1649
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Sat Aug 15, 2020 2:47 pm

A smallish fleet of stealthy ‘loyal wingman’ types of drone tankers (or something a la MQ-25’s) would afford more flexibility for both tanking and unmanned attack. I expect that to be a booming market. As a reminder though, not many countries have a fighter force of exclusively Gripens. The Swedes of course have/have had 1 KC-130 for some time, and perhaps a tanking capability will be sought by a country like Brazil or even Canada in the future.

But in any case, Saab’s already planned/got an alternative;

Saab had clearly reasoned the same thing. Before Lockheed started publicly making noises about its F-16 UCAV, Saab had been briefing interested parties on the optionally-piloted Gripen. This retained the ejection seat, so that it could be flown manually through European airspace without problem but, once in theatre, the pilot elements could be removed in favour of extra fuel tankage. As with Lockheed, this was a clever and low-risk strategy that avoided new aircraft development and offered immediate realisation of UCAV benefits with fighter performance. The Gripen already has both Link-16 and a separate datalink, as well as the very advanced Meteor BVR missile. A de-piloted Gripen is a very dangerous opponent, allowing an operator to surge heavily-armed fighters from hidden, roadside bases (one of Gripen’s trademark capabilities).


https://www.aerosociety.com/news/loyal- ... yal-packs/

The referenced Euro Neuron project is another route that could come to fruition, and certainly I would expect a tanker configuration/option to be pursued. The. Linked article I think does a nice job laying out the projects as they variously had proceeded around mid-2019, anyway, and I’ve found no real updates on them otherwise.
 
Ozair
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Sun Aug 16, 2020 6:49 am

lordarpad wrote:
RJMAZ wrote:
I think the main reason we dont have smaller tankers is because a small air force that operates small short range fighters would simply buy fighters with a longer range. This would give improved capability.

Once they have large fighters they can afford to go straight to a large tanker.


Assume you operate a bunch of Gripens. Being able to support them with fuel with a few A321 is cheaper both in investment and operating cost than buying F35.

Ha no not quite. Gripen would require air refuelling significantly more often than an F-35 given the F-35 has literally twice the internal fuel load. Today an F-35 is cheaper to acquire than a Gripen E and while the F-35 may cost more to operate per hour the extra cost of flying a tanker to support the shorter ranged Gripen completely negates that.
 
Ozair
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Sun Aug 16, 2020 6:53 am

texl1649 wrote:
A smallish fleet of stealthy ‘loyal wingman’ types of drone tankers (or something a la MQ-25’s) would afford more flexibility for both tanking and unmanned attack. I expect that to be a booming market.

I expect the loyal wingmans will be a a bit small payload wise for tanker ops. The MQ-25 is a better size and designed for that exact mission. For example I can't see a loyal wingman having a 15,000lb fuel offload 500nm from base.
 
lordarpad
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:12 pm

Ozair wrote:
lordarpad wrote:
RJMAZ wrote:
I think the main reason we dont have smaller tankers is because a small air force that operates small short range fighters would simply buy fighters with a longer range. This would give improved capability.

Once they have large fighters they can afford to go straight to a large tanker.


Assume you operate a bunch of Gripens. Being able to support them with fuel with a few A321 is cheaper both in investment and operating cost than buying F35.

Ha no not quite. Gripen would require air refuelling significantly more often than an F-35 given the F-35 has literally twice the internal fuel load. Today an F-35 is cheaper to acquire than a Gripen E and while the F-35 may cost more to operate per hour the extra cost of flying a tanker to support the shorter ranged Gripen completely negates that.


Oh lovely! Let's look at the figures, shall we?

Gripen: cost per flight hour: USD 4700 (2012) that's USD 5300 (2020)
A320: Cost per flight hour: USD ca 4700 (2014), let's just also call it USD 5300

4 Gripen and 1 A321 = 5*5300 = USD 26,500

F-35: cost per flight hour USD 35,000 (see https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/05 ... ttainable/)

4 F-35: 140kUSD.

This pays rather quickly for the higher acquisition cost.

Range is a bit of an apples and oranges comparison. Since the gripen is not stealthy its default config includes external fuel tanks, which the F-35 cannot afford.

JAS-39 E combat radius in default AA config is 1500 km
F-35 A combat radius with internal fuel (again default config) is 1100km
 
RJMAZ
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:16 am

lordarpad wrote:
Assume you operate a bunch of Gripens. Being able to support them with fuel with a few A321 is cheaper both in investment and operating cost than buying F35.

The Gripen might burn half the fuel but it also has half the capability of the F-35. A country would require far more Gripen aircraft to perform the same mission. So operating cost for the capability would not be that much different.

Either way a single A320XLR would still be a perfect tanker. Having more smaller tankers does have an advantage of being able to provide fuel at more locations.

Also as the budget gets small it would be better to have a smaller cheaper tanker to reach a certain number of aircraft. For instance two A320XLR tankers would be far superior to a single 767 tanker as you can rotate the tankers with one on the ground being refueled while one is in the air.

I would say 3 tankers would be the minimum numbers of aircraft to provide a basic 24 hours coverage. This is why the KC-130 is popular with smaller air forces as it allowed them to have atleast 2 tankers.

The A320XLR with a big main deck cargo door would be extremely versatile as a strategic freighter. It could carry 20t of freight probably 4000nm. This is similar to the A400m and Kawasaki C-2 and more than twice as far as the C-130J at a significantly lower cost.

I also see a passenger version of the A320XLR beinf very popular. It would have be able to fly well over 5000nm with a typical passenger load.
 
Ozair
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Fri Aug 21, 2020 10:55 pm

lordarpad wrote:

Oh lovely! Let's look at the figures, shall we?

Love to. I am a big fan of numbers, especially those we can trust...


lordarpad wrote:
Gripen: cost per flight hour: USD 4700 (2012) that's USD 5300 (2020)
A320: Cost per flight hour: USD ca 4700 (2014), let's just also call it USD 5300

Looks like we have a problem straight away. You have decided to use a completely inaccurate number that has little relation to an actual operational cost. When we look at Gripen operational cost per hour we should really use an accurate number that could be equivilant. Saab has a great history of throwing out numbers that have little basis in fact.

An example of that would be Saab's claim from 2000,

Total direct operating costs, including all levels of maintenance and fuel are $2,000 per flying hour.

https://www.flightglobal.com/gripen-cla ... 56.article

So over 8 years you decided to increase the Gripen C (note not the E) US$600 (or 13%) while between 2012 and 2020 while Saab decided to increase the cost 235%... Even then the Saab sponsored (kind of important to understand this...) Janes study from 2012 is a load of rubbish for the following reasons that the study itself makes clear.

IHS Jane’s is pleased to provide this Fast Jet Operating Cost White Paper for Saab AB.

...

IHS Jane’s undertook this project through use of primary and secondary source research, combined with our in-house databases and a modelled assessment of relative cost based on fuel usage. Owing to the differing methods of calculating aircraft operating cost per flight hour and the large number of interlinked factors that affect such a calculation, IHS Jane’s believes that any flight hour cost figure can only be regarded as indicative and that there is no single correct answer to such a calculation.

...

IHS Jane’s stresses that without access to comprehensive military data over a significant timeframe these conclusions can only be regarded as approximate and are an average cost across an entire fleet.

The Janes study didn't even talk to air forces, all they did was review any material they could find on the internet and then crafted an evaluation criteria that met the clients wishes.

Even better is in 2014 Flight Global stated the Swedes flew the Gripen for another different cost,


The global fleet of Gripens now operated by the Czech Republic, Hungary, South Africa, Sweden and Thailand has logged 203,000 flight hours, according to Saab. The Swedish air force lists its current per-hour operating cost with the type as being around SKr48,000 ($7,560).


https://www.flightglobal.com/saab-revea ... 46.article

So that is 160% greater than the Saab Janes report and only two years after the Saab Janes Study.

But if we wanted a realistic evaluation of what we expected the Gripen E to cost we need look no further than the Swiss competition, where Saab claimed an operational cost of ~US$11000 per hour to a Swiss Air Force calculated cost of ~US$26000 per hour.

The Gripen has already largely exceeded the planned budget: the invoice will be CHF 3.346 billion. More importantly, the operating costs of the machine will be significantly higher than CHF 10,000.- per flight hour, as indicated by the manufacturer, Saab, when the aircraft was first presented. According to the Swiss government's call for tender, the operating costs of 22 new units amount to 102 million Swiss francs per year.

Taking into account staff costs (24 million francs), maintenance (51 million), and fuel (21 million) as described, and 180 hours of annual flight by aircraft, the hourly operating cost for the "Gripen E" will exceed 24,000.- francs.

http://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/ ... swiss.html

Now the beauty of that Swiss number is it is actually representative of what a real air force flies a fighter aircraft for and about as close a cost comparison as we can get to a USAF cost for flying the F-16 and the F-35. If we then take the F-35 2019 SAR http://www.f-16.net/forum/download/file.php?id=27020 on page 96 we see some really interesting and comparable costs.

lordarpad wrote:
4 Gripen and 1 A321 = 5*5300 = USD 26,500

F-35: cost per flight hour USD 35,000 (see https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/05 ... ttainable/)

4 F-35: 140kUSD.

This pays rather quickly for the higher acquisition cost.

Well if we put some more realistic and directly comparable numbers in there as show above the operational cost is now a little different. Add in the benefits the F-35 will get from having a fleet already three times the size of the Gripen fleet and will be ten times the expected size of the Gripen E fleet in five years it is evident the operational cost per hour will fall.


lordarpad wrote:
Range is a bit of an apples and oranges comparison.

Operational cost was an apples to watermelons, this is perhaps to oranges but again Saab isn't exactly truthful here.

lordarpad wrote:
Since the gripen is not stealthy its default config includes external fuel tanks, which the F-35 cannot afford.
Can't afford is a strange claim. F-35 was designed to not require external tanks, it carries 18,000 lbs of fuel internally. That is more than Gripen caries internal and external combined without the drag of external carriage.

lordarpad wrote:
JAS-39 E combat radius in default AA config is 1500 km
F-35 A combat radius with internal fuel (again default config) is 1100km

The Saab claim of 1500km radius is completely unsubstantiated and does not match with real life figures, nor do they provide an actual config for it. What we know though is Gripen had terrible endurance as per the Swiss evaluation,

http://lignesdedefense.blogs.ouest-fran ... suisse.pdf

The NWA Phase II evaluation has the Gripen endurance/AAR and persistence score almost half the Rafale and Eurofighter even with the Gripen NG submitted for Phase II and not meeting the baseline that was the F/A-18C already in Swiss service.

As for the F-35 range, you are clearly using an old figure. The 2019 F-35 SAR here, http://www.f-16.net/forum/download/file.php?id=27020 lists the current range at 670nm so 1240km with a very aggressive and non optimsed A2G mission profile. Since you are claiming a baseless Saab number we can add a slightly more factual LM listed A2A config range in 2016 of 760nm or 1407km.

Image

Given the current improvements as per the SAR, the SAR numbers, based on an end of life engine with performance penalties in fuel burn and thrust, the 760nm is probably closer to 800nm. That is with all internal fuel and weapons maintaining a stealth configuration...

Saab published the Gripen E number before they did any testing and before they released that the Gripen E had increased in empty weight by 13% which also eats into the payload because the max take off weight hasn't changed. Gripen E has to trade payload for fuel for most configs to reach a reasonable max range and especially one with A2G weapons. F-35 can carry its max external payload of 18,000lbs while also carrying its max fuel of 18,000lbs. Makes more sense then that Gripen hasn't won a competition against the F-16 let alone any other airframe other than the politically awarded Brazil competition with an exceptionally high per aircraft cost.

Now how does any of this relate to the A321XLR as a tanker. Not much other than than I also think, and have posted in this thread, that the A321XLR would be a great tanker for the air forces I already listed.
 
texl1649
Posts: 1348
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:23 am

A drone tanker version of a Gripen makes more sense for a Gripen operator than an A320 MRTT, on any kind of combat mission anyway. But, interestingly, there have been no takers. I suspect that is for a reason.

I love the plane, and it’s much more affordable than many other options (ahem, Rafael, EF), but I don’t see any operators sparking an A320 Tanker derivative, the developmental cost of which would be billions, for plausibly a few to six frames for a launch customer.
 
lordarpad
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:44 am

Thanks Ozair, that was enlightening. What I was saying was that I didn't buy your claim that the operating cost for the tanker would push the hourly operating cost past that of the F-35. And it still doesan't. But this explains a lot.
 
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keesje
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:44 pm

Dragging a C-130 across the Atlantic requires 10t-15t fuel to be transferred. Smaller airforces don't have smaller tanker-transports, just fewer. And they must be able to move pallets, many people too.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:59 pm

What nation is so small that a KC-46 or KC-30 would be overkill, yet would still want to project airpower over long distances, and also wouldn't be fine contracting for a USAF or commercial-contract refueling tanker like Omega?
"I've sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook, and, by gum, it put them on the map!"
 
Ozair
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:41 pm

lordarpad wrote:
Thanks Ozair, that was enlightening. What I was saying was that I didn't buy your claim that the operating cost for the tanker would push the hourly operating cost past that of the F-35. And it still doesn't. But this explains a lot.

If all the respective Air Force cared about was cost per hour then the equation is probably very close and likely favours the Gripen/A321 side. If you actually want your aircraft to be successful in the battlespace and have an affect then the equation is vastly different...
 
Ozair
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:53 pm

keesje wrote:
Dragging a C-130 across the Atlantic requires 10t-15t fuel to be transferred. Smaller airforces don't have smaller tanker-transports, just fewer. And they must be able to move pallets, many people too.

Why does everything AAR have to be about dragging an airframe across the Atlantic? As I already stated further up the thread a smaller tanker would be very useful for an air force that wanted to increase persistence over a CAS target area or CAP location. They don’t necessarily need to transport large numbers of troops, equipment or refuel a gaggle of fighters flying long distances but merely want the actual refuel capabilities that come with a tanker.

LyleLanley wrote:
What nation is so small that a KC-46 or KC-30 would be overkill, yet would still want to project airpower over long distances, and also wouldn't be fine contracting for a USAF or commercial-contract refueling tanker like Omega?

Well I listed a few further up the thread,
Ozair wrote:
Sweden, Finland and Kuwait are excellent examples. You could also add Malaysia and Indonesia who have either not enough tankers, aging fleets or tankers they could use for other roles.

Sure Sweden and Finland may on occasion contract US refuelling services but if the operating cost was so low and the above Air Forces didn’t have to consider the development costs of the A321 XLR tanker platform, an A321XLR sized tanker would be nearly perfect for them.
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Fri Aug 28, 2020 3:07 am

Ozair wrote:
LyleLanley wrote:
What nation is so small that a KC-46 or KC-30 would be overkill, yet would still want to project airpower over long distances, and also wouldn't be fine contracting for a USAF or commercial-contract refueling tanker like Omega?

Well I listed a few further up the thread,
Ozair wrote:
Sweden, Finland and Kuwait are excellent examples. You could also add Malaysia and Indonesia who have either not enough tankers, aging fleets or tankers they could use for other roles.

Sure Sweden and Finland may on occasion contract US refuelling services but if the operating cost was so low and the above Air Forces didn’t have to consider the development costs of the A321 XLR tanker platform, an A321XLR sized tanker would be nearly perfect for them.


No worries. Perhaps I put too fine a point on it, but neither Sweden, Finland, nor Kuwait seem to have designs to normally project airpower long distances in combat roles, since their air forces are geared for defensive, rather than offensive operations. Libya notwithstanding, I just don't see it. For those times they want to go overseas, such as the Finnish at RF-Alaska a few years ago, occasional contract AR or USAF tankers is a drop in the bucket compared to sustainment costs for what would be (for them) a niche capability. I just don't think a dedicated tanker, especially a jet airliner such as an A321 carrying cargo/personnel and buddy refueling fighters, would be economically viable compared to the alternatives available, especially when you consider there's been zero development work for any kind of tanker design based off of that airframe. I'd argue a KC-130 would be far more flexible and preferred, as it offers respectable airlift capability at a fraction of the cost (and fuel) of an airliner derivative tanker as well as good flexibility for refueling drogue-equipped fighters. If they really, really, want to go the big jet route, buy a KC-46 or KC-767 MRTT like Columbia.

I don't know much about Malaysia and Indonesia, but distances are definitely more of a factor for them. That being said, additional KC-130s for them probably wouldn't be a bad thing. Especially given the distances involved to logistically support their airframes.
"I've sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook, and, by gum, it put them on the map!"
 
ThePointblank
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Fri Aug 28, 2020 3:22 am

The problem with the KC-130 is that it is very much a tactical tanker, not a strategic tanker.

The slow speed of the KC-130, combined with the high stall speed of fighter jets makes them poor matches for flying any sort of long distance moves. Often, the KC-130 is running with the engine throttles pushed to the firewall, and in a slight dive, while the fighters are right up against the stall speed, with flaps out in order to fly together.

The KC-130 makes sense if fighters can meet the tanker to refuel before they peel off and continue their movement, preferably close to a friendly airfield.
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Fri Aug 28, 2020 3:43 am

ThePointblank wrote:
The problem with the KC-130 is that it is very much a tactical tanker, not a strategic tanker.

The slow speed of the KC-130, combined with the high stall speed of fighter jets makes them poor matches for flying any sort of long distance moves. Often, the KC-130 is running with the engine throttles pushed to the firewall, and in a slight dive, while the fighters are right up against the stall speed, with flaps out in order to fly together.

The KC-130 makes sense if fighters can meet the tanker to refuel before they peel off and continue their movement, preferably close to a friendly airfield.


That completely makes sense. I could've explained better in that I don't think any of those nations actually need a strategic tanker: none of them need to project air power over long distances. If they did, a KC-767/KC-46 sized aircraft would be perfect. A bespoke A321XLR, without much flexibility for actual long distance refueling, nor the day-to-day usefulness that a C-130 provides, doesn't seem the right choice.
"I've sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook, and, by gum, it put them on the map!"
 
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Polot
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Fri Aug 28, 2020 5:35 pm

Ozair wrote:
keesje wrote:
Dragging a C-130 across the Atlantic requires 10t-15t fuel to be transferred. Smaller airforces don't have smaller tanker-transports, just fewer. And they must be able to move pallets, many people too.

Why does everything AAR have to be about dragging an airframe across the Atlantic? As I already stated further up the thread a smaller tanker would be very useful for an air force that wanted to increase persistence over a CAS target area or CAP location. They don’t necessarily need to transport large numbers of troops, equipment or refuel a gaggle of fighters flying long distances but merely want the actual refuel capabilities that come with a tanker.

1)Because flying long distances is where a dedicated air to air refueling aircraft makes most sense. If you just want increase persistence over a nearby CAS target area or CAP location then instead of buying small tankers just buy a few more fighter jets and stagger them so some are on the ground refueling that can go relieve the ones flying.

2) they have to be capable of saying up in the air a long time (equivalent to flying a long distance- it doesn’t matter if that is from point A to point B or flying circles all around point A) unless your idea of a good AAR aircraft is one that goes up, refuels one or two aircraft, and then immediately has to go land to refuel.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Sat Aug 29, 2020 12:31 am

Why hasn’t there been a A321MRTT? Simply because air forces around the world didn’t create the demand for one—the governments decided it wasn’t worth the money or their strategic position didn’t warrant one.. Sounds like a great idea to the armchair general, but not so much to the real ones.
 
Reddevil556
Posts: 219
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Thu Sep 03, 2020 4:45 pm

A little off topic, but do C-130J models have the capability to have the underwing tanks attached? I am talking a standard C-130J, not specific mission oriented bird.
Jumped out of: C130H, C130J, C17A, C212, CH47, and UH60. Bucket list: C160, A400, C2
 
angad84
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Re: A321XLR MRTT

Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:59 pm

Reddevil556 wrote:
A little off topic, but do C-130J models have the capability to have the underwing tanks attached? I am talking a standard C-130J, not specific mission oriented bird.

Yes

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