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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/8/2005 1:22:37 PM EDT
Northrop KC-30 Tanker, Boeing HH-47 Helo Unveiled
09/08/2005 10:00:01 AM
By Marc Selinger

Contractors have unveiled proposals for two new military aircraft variants: the Northrop Grumman KC-30 tanker and the Boeing HH-47 combat-search-and-rescue helicopter.

Northrop Grumman announced Sept. 7 that it plans to offer the KC-30, a modified version of the Airbus A330 commercial airliner, if the U.S. Air Force holds a competition to replace the KC-135 tanker. Also on Sept. 7, Boeing spokesmen told The DAILY that their the company intends to propose the HH-47, a new variant of the CH-47 Chinook helicopter, for the Air Force's Combat Search and Rescue-X (CSAR-X) competition.

For the potential tanker competition, Northrop Grumman would team with EADS North America, which would build the basic aircraft in Mobile, Ala. Northrop Grumman, which touted its experience converting commercial aircraft for military missions, hopes to select a site for the KC-30 military modifications "in the next few months," a company spokesman told The DAILY.

"We have carefully analyzed the competitive landscape and the expected requirements for the Air Force's program of record and believe that the KC-30 will offer enhanced capabilities to the warfighter in range, fuel capacity and mission flexibility," said Scott Seymour, president of Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector.

Boeing indicated earlier that it would offer a modified version of its 767 airliner for a KC-135 replacement program. A Defense Department-commissioned study of options for modernizing the Air Force tanker fleet is due to be completed in mid-October and is expected to recommend buying some sort of new aircraft. However, an Air Force official said in August that the need may actually be greater for large tankers, similar to the Air Force's KC-10, (DAILY, Aug. 3).

For the CSAR-X competition, the HH-47 will be based on the MH-47G flown by Army special operations forces. The Bell-Boeing V-22 tiltrotor aircraft, the Lockheed Martin-AgustaWestland-Bell Helicopter Textron US101 helicopter and Sikorsky's H-92 helicopter have already lined up as competitors for CSAR-X, which is designed to replace the aging HH-60G Pave Hawk combat-search-and-rescue helicopter.

The Air Force is expected to release a final request for proposals for CSAR-X as early as this month.

Boeing and Northrop Grumman plan to reveal more details about their new aircraft variants at the Air Force Association's annual conference in Washington next week.

Aviation Week, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

Link Posted: 9/8/2005 1:23:31 PM EDT
In before the Airbus-haters.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 1:24:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2005 1:26:26 PM EDT by thompsondd]
How exactly does Northrop Grumman offer up a modified AirBus?



And its weird to hear the HH60 referred to as 'aging' when compared to the age of some of the rest of the operational aircraft in all branches of the military.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 1:29:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2005 2:03:57 PM EDT by KlubMarcus]

Originally Posted By DzlBenz:
In before the Airbus-haters.

Airbus sucks! I don't want to suck gas off a French plane.

I think the Osprey will win the CSAR competition, if they get their reliability up high enough. It's got the speed and range advantage.


Can you bring an Osprey down with an RPG? Remember Mogadishu, "Osprey down!" I hope it's sturdier.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 1:49:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2005 1:54:02 PM EDT by tangeant]
The AF had looked at the MH-47 or whatever the ARMY SOP is using now and found it unsuitable for CSAR back in the 90's. The main grief was the air refueling problems in rough/bad weather with the long refueling probe needed to clear the front rotor.

Boeing is the best chioce for a follow on Tanker, they have pretty much done all the development work already and it could be in service fast if Boeing and the politicians can pull their heads out of their asses and get it done.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 1:53:24 PM EDT
Refueling from a scarebus.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 2:02:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By thompsondd:
How exactly does Northrop Grumman offer up a modified AirBus?



And its weird to hear the HH60 referred to as 'aging' when compared to the age of some of the rest of the operational aircraft in all branches of the military.



By becoming the prime contractor who will supply a eurotrash airplane to the US. This way, it's all about US jobs, wink wink.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 2:03:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ALLANJ:
Refueling from a scarebus.

Now imagine refueling a helicopter from a scarebus.

Kharn
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 4:45:50 PM EDT
it would seem kinda strange for the US military to purchase the European tanker over the Boeing and yes I know the military has foreign contracts but the tanker is such a big ticket/high visibility item. I also have a stake in it as I am a airframe mech with 21 years employ for a major corp that builds a large part of the 767 tanker. If the military gets a many as they have requested (upwards of 500+) it would be huge for my company.
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 2:20:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By thompsondd:
How exactly does Northrop Grumman offer up a modified AirBus?



And its weird to hear the HH60 referred to as 'aging' when compared to the age of some of the rest of the operational aircraft in all branches of the military.



The same way Lockheed offers up a EH-101 for "Marine One". EADS North America provides the stripped airframe and Northrop Gruman fits it all out with the tanker stuff. They'll choose a location for the mods that will be "politically advantageous".

The HH-60's are indeed aging, as odd as it sounds. They have an extreme amount of flight hours on them compared to helicopters of the same calander age. They put on flight hours similar to special ops units, which is much higher than normal use. Also they operate at max gross weight for a large part of the time because of the extra fuel they're always carrying, and the in-flight refueling just means more flight time.

They're getting hard for the USAF crews to service them as easily as it should considering the mission and use they get. Considering the relatively small number of them, it's cheaper to replace them with something else. A SLEP (Service Life Extension Program) would only last a short time they way they get used, and cost more in the long run. SLEP tends to be more cost-effectvie when you have larger numbers of aircraft, and most SLEP attempts on high-time aircraft end up costing more than buying new.

Link Posted: 9/9/2005 2:34:49 AM EDT
I just came from working HH-60s a less than a year ago. They are indeed having problems with structural cracking, caused by the hard use and especially by having that big probe flapping around in the breeze, it transfers stress to the airframe and cracks the main support beams. I don't think age is really that much of an issue, size is. The HH-60 was never the right airframe to replace the H-3 and it was foolish to think it could. With the two internal aux fuel tanks we carry, the big ass ammo cans for the miniguns, and the seats for the FE/Gunner you can get one casualty in the cabin before the PJs run out of room to work. We also need the stokes litter, caving ladder, horse collar, and the other crap we carry all the time. The S-92 and EH-101 are the right size for the job, you can stand up in the cabin (a great improvement in itself!) and they are easy enough to fold up and stick on a C-17 or C-5 (or even AN-124s). The -47 is a huge pain in the ass to transport by air, and only one will fit (barely) in a C-17. They are a non-starter, and the CV-22 costs too much, I think the EH/US-101 will win the contract, at least I hope so. I got to see some Canadian EH-101s aka Cormorants up close and talk to the crews, they are some very nice birds!


Originally Posted By Ross:

The HH-60's are indeed aging, as odd as it sounds. They have an extreme amount of flight hours on them compared to helicopters of the same calander age. They put on flight hours similar to special ops units, which is much higher than normal use. Also they operate at max gross weight for a large part of the time because of the extra fuel they're always carrying, and the in-flight refueling just means more flight time.

They're getting hard for the USAF crews to service them as easily as it should considering the mission and use they get. Considering the relatively small number of them, it's cheaper to replace them with something else. A SLEP (Service Life Extension Program) would only last a short time they way they get used, and cost more in the long run. SLEP tends to be more cost-effectvie when you have larger numbers of aircraft, and most SLEP attempts on high-time aircraft end up costing more than buying new.


Link Posted: 9/9/2005 3:19:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/9/2005 3:20:51 AM EDT by Merlin]
If the KC-30 wins, it will largely due to John McCain and the 2 Boeing asshats criminals who lied about the original program.

ETA to fix grammitical errors.
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 4:50:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Merlin:
If the KC-30 wins, it will largely due to John McCain and the 2 Boeing asshats criminals who lied about the original program.

ETA to fix grammitical errors.



Yep. The political fallout from the unethical behavior by the Boeing managers and the grandstanding by McCain will be hard to overcome.

I hate the idea of our Air Force flying a French airplane. Heck, you'd think with today's technology they could make overhead bins that don't rattle.
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 4:51:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/9/2005 4:52:49 AM EDT by Brohawk]
Drat! The dreaded double tap!
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 8:37:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Brohawk:
Drat! The dreaded double tap!



IBTL!! Oh wait, that's not COC violation, rats!
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 8:41:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KlubMarcus:

Originally Posted By DzlBenz:
In before the Airbus-haters.

Airbus sucks! I don't want to suck gas off a French plane.

I think the Osprey will win the CSAR competition, if they get their reliability up high enough. It's got the speed and range advantage.

www.specialoperations.com/Aviation/Osprey/V-22_Dual_Fast_Rope.jpg
Can you bring an Osprey down with an RPG? Remember Mogadishu, "Osprey down!" I hope it's sturdier.



Well an RPG can take out most light/medium armored vehicles...of course it could take an Osprey, or any other aircraft it happened to hit.
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 12:38:29 PM EDT
Chairborne is pretty much right on about the 60, They are used/flown hard by the AF. Maintenance wise they are very reliable and are easy to keep flying unlike an HH-3. They are cramped inside once you put in one or both the aux fuel tanks, all the PJ gear and both gunners with ammo boxes. The newer 60's have ammo boxes that sit on the strut sponsons outside the windows and it frees up alot of cabin space and adds a little bonus armor protection for the gunners . We flew without cabin aux tanks in Iraq doing CSAR.

As much as I enjoyed working the old HH-3E's they didn't have alot of cabin space either after they were loaded, I couldn't stand up inside one of them either.
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 12:45:19 PM EDT
In this thread just to post my avatar.


MH53J beeeotch!


Speaking of aging. When I was a crew chief on them in the early 90's, they were airframes from '67 to '73. Of course, hardly a single component on them dated back that far.

At that time, my aircraft had about 8,600 hours of flight time.
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 12:48:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By mcantu:

Originally Posted By KlubMarcus:

Originally Posted By DzlBenz:
In before the Airbus-haters.

Airbus sucks! I don't want to suck gas off a French plane.

I think the Osprey will win the CSAR competition, if they get their reliability up high enough. It's got the speed and range advantage.

www.specialoperations.com/Aviation/Osprey/V-22_Dual_Fast_Rope.jpg
Can you bring an Osprey down with an RPG? Remember Mogadishu, "Osprey down!" I hope it's sturdier.



Well an RPG can take out most light/medium armored vehicles...of course it could take an Osprey, or any other aircraft it happened to hit.



Never thought about that. If an RPG hits one of the engine/rotors on an Osprey, they are doomed. As soon as one rotor turns faster/slower than the other, the thing would flip out of control. I'm not sure a crash landing with any survivability would be possible. The transmision that overcomes engine loss, would not overcome mechanical damage.
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 12:55:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gunman0:

Originally Posted By mcantu:

Originally Posted By KlubMarcus:

Originally Posted By DzlBenz:
In before the Airbus-haters.

Airbus sucks! I don't want to suck gas off a French plane.

I think the Osprey will win the CSAR competition, if they get their reliability up high enough. It's got the speed and range advantage.

www.specialoperations.com/Aviation/Osprey/V-22_Dual_Fast_Rope.jpg
Can you bring an Osprey down with an RPG? Remember Mogadishu, "Osprey down!" I hope it's sturdier.



Well an RPG can take out most light/medium armored vehicles...of course it could take an Osprey, or any other aircraft it happened to hit.



Never thought about that. If an RPG hits one of the engine/rotors on an Osprey, they are doomed. As soon as one rotor turns faster/slower than the other, the thing would flip out of control. I'm not sure a crash landing with any survivability would be possible. The transmision that overcomes engine loss, would not overcome mechanical damage.



The most common warhead for the RPG produces a molten jet that burns/pushes its way through armor plate. The skin of any aircraft would be like a wet paper towel. Remember the CH47 that was brought down by an RPG in Afghanistan? If ANY helo takes an RPG it to the engine/rotors its pretty much dead.
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 1:03:13 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 1:21:29 PM EDT
As a long time Boeing emploee I'm surprised to hear that a US company would partner with the French. But it's all about the benjamins.

Good news for the CSAR, the USAF already has plans to buy the CV-22 variant, some of the first will go to Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque to the Special Ops Wing there. They even have them listed on the SOW webpage.

Airbus aircraft suck, but not for the reasons most would think. The airbus is nowhere near as maintainable as a Boeing aircraft. Spares are outrageously expensive, and there is no network for rebuilt spares for the French planes. Airbus never intended their aircraft to have a long service life, and never developed heavy maintenance procedures. The French solution is "buy a new airplane". Considering that many of our KC-135 fleet were built in the 1950's, I'd say we need a tanker that will last, and be economical over the long haul.

Very few of the US Airlines are able to see beyond today's bank balance, and never take these factors into consideration. They buy the (heavily subsidized) Airbus simply because the purchase price is cheaper, when in the long run the Boeing product is the better bargain. The Asians understand this, and until very recently there were very few French airplanes in use by Asian carriers. BTW, the Pacific Rim is where the money is in the commercial airliner business.

Making a tanker out of the A330 doesn't make sense anyway. The Air Force would prefer a 4 engine tanker and the A340 is almost identical to the 330 except for the wing and twin versus 4 engine configuration. But the French aren't very imginative, all they seem to be able to do is copy Boeing's lead and since Boeing is offering the 767 tanker, the Frogs offer up an A330 derivative since it's their version of the 767.

The question I always ask ... "Would you consider buying a French car?"

Link Posted: 9/9/2005 2:15:16 PM EDT

I think the Osprey will win the CSAR competition, if they get their reliability up high enough. It's got the speed and range advantage.


Too bad it can't even fly!
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 2:23:57 PM EDT
So, if we go to war with some country and France does not approve, what if they refuse to supply parts (if we don't have enough in stock?)
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 2:24:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Chairborne:
I just came from working HH-60s a less than a year ago. They are indeed having problems with structural cracking, caused by the hard use and especially by having that big probe flapping around in the breeze, it transfers stress to the airframe and cracks the main support beams. I don't think age is really that much of an issue, size is. The HH-60 was never the right airframe to replace the H-3 and it was foolish to think it could. With the two internal aux fuel tanks we carry, the big ass ammo cans for the miniguns, and the seats for the FE/Gunner you can get one casualty in the cabin before the PJs run out of room to work. We also need the stokes litter, caving ladder, horse collar, and the other crap we carry all the time. The S-92 and EH-101 are the right size for the job, you can stand up in the cabin (a great improvement in itself!) and they are easy enough to fold up and stick on a C-17 or C-5 (or even AN-124s). The -47 is a huge pain in the ass to transport by air, and only one will fit (barely) in a C-17. They are a non-starter, and the CV-22 costs too much, I think the EH/US-101 will win the contract, at least I hope so. I got to see some Canadian EH-101s aka Cormorants up close and talk to the crews, they are some very nice birds!


Originally Posted By Ross:

The HH-60's are indeed aging, as odd as it sounds. They have an extreme amount of flight hours on them compared to helicopters of the same calander age. They put on flight hours similar to special ops units, which is much higher than normal use. Also they operate at max gross weight for a large part of the time because of the extra fuel they're always carrying, and the in-flight refueling just means more flight time.

They're getting hard for the USAF crews to service them as easily as it should considering the mission and use they get. Considering the relatively small number of them, it's cheaper to replace them with something else. A SLEP (Service Life Extension Program) would only last a short time they way they get used, and cost more in the long run. SLEP tends to be more cost-effectvie when you have larger numbers of aircraft, and most SLEP attempts on high-time aircraft end up costing more than buying new.






Thanks for your contribution.
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 2:25:10 PM EDT
This thread is worthless without pics.................or at least an artists rendition!!!
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 2:31:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Warhawk:
As a long time Boeing emploee I'm surprised to hear that a US company would partner with the French the only other airliner manufacturer.




When you change that little bit, it makes more sense.

But for my money I'd rather see the 707 line reopened with a 737-800 flight deck on it. That would be a winner right there.
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 2:32:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TUMOR:
Too bad it can't even fly!

It can fly, but it has to be more reliable than the helicopters it is supposed to replace to make it worth the $$$. Otherwise, I expect the US Military to use helicopters and just buy a heck of a lot more gas.
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 2:53:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/9/2005 2:54:24 PM EDT by GTLandser]
You know, I just wanted to chime in and thank everyone who offered some useful insight into the topic. We don't see that enough in GD. This thread though, has been consistently useful.
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 4:12:44 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 4:26:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:

Originally Posted By Warhawk:
As a long time Boeing emploee I'm surprised to hear that a US company would partner with the French the only other airliner manufacturer.




When you change that little bit, it makes more sense.

But for my money I'd rather see the 707 line reopened with a 737-800 flight deck on it. That would be a winner right there.



No way in heck will you ever see the 707 line reopened. It closed years ago with the last delivery of the E-3 AWACS aircraft, crap, I don't even know when, but I've got the Boeing A/C spreadsheet at work and I'll post it tomorrow.

One reason (among many, this is just one): the 707 was built at Renton, the same place where the 737 is being built. Part of the reason that Commercial wanted to get rid of the 707 in the first place was to make room for more production of the 737. Commerical Airplanes was, by far, the worst in terms of Customer Service, subcontractor on the (old) Boeing Aerospace Co. AWACS program. Bastards didn't need us and they knew it, getting anything from them was like pulling teeth. When the last 707/E-3A rolled, there was a lot of celebration; from the Commerical side, it was: " 'Bout friggin' time!".

Prolly told you more than you wanted to know.....

Merlin
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 4:45:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/9/2005 4:46:06 PM EDT by COLE-CARBINE]

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:

Power is not the reason to re-engine the 707, except to make for better acceleration and shorter
takeoff runs at higher gross weights. Fuel efficiency and maintenance costs are the reason to re-engine.

CJ



I've often wondered why Boeing hasn't thought about offering a version of the upcoming 787 Dreamliner? Fuel efficency and maintenance costs are some of its core principals. Prolly' too untested for .mil and maybe Boeing and the USAF thought this tanker biz would be a done deal befoe the 787 came online?
Link Posted: 9/10/2005 4:39:42 AM EDT
The 787 would make much more sense, but the reason the 767 tanker was offered was to keep the 767 line open a little longer. The 767 was never the big seller that the 737 has been, and its one of the least fuel efficient twinjets around, the reason a lot of airlines are getting rid of some. The USAF would be very well served by a 787 tanker, but it wouldn't be in Boeing's best interest. There is also a very urgent need for tankers to replace the E model 135s, many of which have to be retired due to structural fatigue and corrosion on the engine pylons (replaced on the R models with the new engines). I don't mind the competition from scarebus, competetion is always healthy, maybe it will actually convince Boeing to offer a 787 variant, the systems from the KC-767 should be pretty easy to swap over. The best idea I've heard of for a tanker replacement is using already bone yarded L-1011s and MD-11s, there are a bunch of them just baking away in the sun with many hours left in the airframes, they would cost very little to convert to tanker use.


Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:
I've often wondered why Boeing hasn't thought about offering a version of the upcoming 787 Dreamliner? Fuel efficency and maintenance costs are some of its core principals. Prolly' too untested for .mil and maybe Boeing and the USAF thought this tanker biz would be a done deal befoe the 787 came online?

Link Posted: 9/10/2005 1:37:42 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 6:47:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/12/2005 6:49:30 AM EDT by SmilingBandit]

Originally Posted By Merlin:
No way in heck will you ever see the 707 line reopened. It closed years ago with the last delivery of the E-3 AWACS aircraft, crap, I don't even know when, but I've got the Boeing A/C spreadsheet at work and I'll post it tomorrow.

One reason (among many, this is just one): the 707 was built at Renton, the same place where the 737 is being built. Part of the reason that Commercial wanted to get rid of the 707 in the first place was to make room for more production of the 737. Commerical Airplanes was, by far, the worst in terms of Customer Service, subcontractor on the (old) Boeing Aerospace Co. AWACS program. Bastards didn't need us and they knew it, getting anything from them was like pulling teeth. When the last 707/E-3A rolled, there was a lot of celebration; from the Commerical side, it was: " 'Bout friggin' time!".

Prolly told you more than you wanted to know.....

Merlin



As a tanker guy we got alot of Powerpoints about the tanker replacement when the competition was going on last time and I thought that Boeing offered up the idea if the Air Force couldn't bring themselves to fly a two engine tanker.

And the last jet off the 707 line was a Navy E-6.

http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/infoelect/e6/dash8.html

The Dash 80 (prototype for the 707 series) and an E-6 (the last jet off the line, around fifty years later).

EDIT: I was going to post the picture, but the link shows leads to the shot.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 6:50:34 AM EDT

Fixed the pic.

Kharn
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 7:42:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:

Originally Posted By Merlin:
No way in heck will you ever see the 707 line reopened. It closed years ago with the last delivery of the E-3 AWACS aircraft, crap, I don't even know when, but I've got the Boeing A/C spreadsheet at work and I'll post it tomorrow.

One reason (among many, this is just one): the 707 was built at Renton, the same place where the 737 is being built. Part of the reason that Commercial wanted to get rid of the 707 in the first place was to make room for more production of the 737. Commerical Airplanes was, by far, the worst in terms of Customer Service, subcontractor on the (old) Boeing Aerospace Co. AWACS program. Bastards didn't need us and they knew it, getting anything from them was like pulling teeth. When the last 707/E-3A rolled, there was a lot of celebration; from the Commerical side, it was: " 'Bout friggin' time!".

Prolly told you more than you wanted to know.....

Merlin



As a tanker guy we got alot of Powerpoints about the tanker replacement when the competition was going on last time and I thought that Boeing offered up the idea if the Air Force couldn't bring themselves to fly a two engine tanker.

And the last jet off the 707 line was a Navy E-6.

www.boeing.com/defense-space/infoelect/e6/dash8.html

The Dash 80 (prototype for the 707 series) and an E-6 (the last jet off the line, around fifty years later).

EDIT: I was going to post the picture, but the link shows leads to the shot.



Thanks, I forgot about the E-6 production, shows what happens when I depend on my memory....

Merlin
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 7:44:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:

Power is not the reason to re-engine the 707, except to make for better acceleration and shorter
takeoff runs at higher gross weights. Fuel efficiency and maintenance costs are the reason to re-engine.

CJ



I've often wondered why Boeing hasn't thought about offering a version of the upcoming 787 Dreamliner? Fuel efficency and maintenance costs are some of its core principals. Prolly' too untested for .mil and maybe Boeing and the USAF thought this tanker biz would be a done deal befoe the 787 came online?



Although not in the Commecial side of the business, if USAF wanted the 787, I think the line is taken all the way up to the end of 2010 or so; therefore the first USAF KC-787 wouldn't fly until then.

We've got a crapload of orders for the 787, it's going to be a good seller. A Tenker version would kick major ass.

Link Posted: 9/12/2005 7:50:59 AM EDT
Sad day for all of us when our aircraft are being refueled by french tincans.

vmax84
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 7:56:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Merlin:

Although not in the Commecial side of the business, if USAF wanted the 787, I think the line is taken all the way up to the end of 2010 or so; therefore the first USAF KC-787 wouldn't fly until then.

We've got a crapload of orders for the 787, it's going to be a good seller. A Tenker version would kick major ass.




In terms of military procurement 2010 would be setting records anyways. The realy problem is that at this point there is no plan in place to replace the almost 600 tankers that we have in the fleet. Even buying 100 KC-767s or KC-787s would only be a fraction of what was needed. What we need is a 20 year order for thirty per year, with a one-to-one replacement.

Alas, what we will instead see is one-hundred year old KC-135s sitting on the ramp, with no replacements in sight.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 8:14:30 AM EDT
All that politicing in the 1980's ended up with everybody going their own way. We need our own aircraft industry as much, or more, than the Europeans and Asians. Airbus builds in Europe, Boeing builds in Asia. Either way we are vulnerable to foreign intervention. I'm not happy with either solution.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 8:34:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
From what I've heard, the idea of a 777 tanker variant has been kicked around and it looks very good.

I think it would be the compelling offering.

CJ



I think that's a KC-10 replacement idea, though.

I hate to say it, but what about a KC-737? It would be smaller, but the Navy's buying them, and it would make sense to limit the number of airframes...

I think what we'll end up with is a hodgepodge - some KC-767's to start, and some KC-777's, and some KC-787's down the line...
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 3:39:01 AM EDT
From todays Boeing News Clips:



Airbus tanker bid is no problem, says Boeing executive
Bell insists 767 version will overcome the

Seattle Post-Intelligencer 09/15/05
author: James Gunsalus / Bloomberg
(Copyright 2005)

The Boeing Co.'s chief financial officer dismissed on Wednesday a challenge by Northrop Grumman Corp. and the parent of Airbus to build aerial refueling tankers for the Air Force.

"We are not concerned about competition," James Bell told investors Wednesday at a Morgan Stanley conference in Phoenix. "In fact, we are the competition. We're not worried about EADS and Northrop."

Los Angeles-based Northrop and European Aeronautic, Defense & Space Co., the parent of Toulouse, France-based Airbus, said last week that they are teaming up to break Boeing's monopoly on U.S. military tankers.

But Bell said Boeing's diverse line of commercial jets will help it meet any requirement the Air Force might have in terms of capacity, range and size or of dual use. Boeing is the largest aircraft maker in the world and the second-biggest U.S. defense company after Lockheed Corp.

In 2003, Boeing was hit by a procurement scandal and stripped of a $23 billion contract to supply about 100 tankers. Boeing and EADS are the only two makers of passenger aircraft with fuselages large enough to be converted into tankers that can refuel bombers, fighters and other planes in midair.

Since the Boeing scandal, the Air Force has been studying alternatives for aerial refueling.

The new tanker would replace the KC-135, a design that's more than 30 years old and is based on Boeing's 707, a model discontinued in 1991. The 767 is the base model of Boeing's current tanker, which has been sold to the Italian and Japanese militaries.

"We have the most capable, most advanced tanker built today," Bell said. "We still believe our 767 tanker would be the best solution."

Bell said in March that Boeing's 787, 777 or 747 also could be retrofitted as tankers.

EADS selected Mobile, Ala., in June as the site where it would build refueling tankers if it won the competition. The plant would employ as many as 1,000 people and involve investment of as much as $600 million, EADS North America Chief Executive Ralph Crosby said at a news conference at the time.

"Seeing the ongoing competition around the globe, we have managed to succeed in various competitions with a superior product," Stefan Zoller, head of EADS' defense business, said in an interview yesterday in London. "Why shouldn't it be the same in the U.S.?"

The Air Force said earlier this year that it set aside $552 million between fiscal 2007 and 2011 for research and $8.58 billion to start buying the tankers. The start date for the bidding hasn't been set because review of an analysis of alternatives done by the Rand Corp. won't be completed until later this year, the Air Force has said."
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