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More KC-46A woes....

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More KC-46A woes....

Old 23rd Jan 2015, 23:47
  #181 (permalink)  
 
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DOT&E 2014 Annual Report - KC-46A Section

http://www.dote.osd.mil/pub/reports/...2014kc-46a.pdf

-RP
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 20:49
  #182 (permalink)  
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KC-46 tanker testing will begin at least a year behind schedule

From Flightglobal: KC-46 tanker testing will begin at least a year behind schedule - 1/23/2015 - Flight Global

Operational testing of the Boeing KC-46 aerial refueling tanker is expected to begin at least a year later than planned.

The US Defense Departments director of operational testing and evaluation (DOTE), in its annual report on ongoing development projects, says “readiness for the scheduled start of [the initial operational test and evaluation phase]continues to be high-risk with a 12-month delay expected.”
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Old 26th Jan 2015, 12:34
  #183 (permalink)  
 
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Glad to see it fly.

I can't help but think how many variants we will see of this airframe, surely not as many as the K/C/E-135, but I wonder if the miles of wiring and open archetecture will weigh in its favor to help secure future projects like replacements for AWACS, Mercury, E-4, J-STARS, VIP, W, [email protected] redux, etc. Yes I understand that most of those those are a complete strip out for conversion, but at least you already start with a hardened MILSPEC tanker, not an "airliner"...
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Old 26th Jan 2015, 13:14
  #184 (permalink)  
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I can't help but think how many variants we will see of this airframe, surely not as many as the K/C/E-135, but I wonder if the miles of wiring and open archetecture will weigh in its favor to help secure future projects like replacements for AWACS, Mercury, E-4, J-STARS, VIP, W, [email protected] redux, etc.
Automation and reduction in the size of electronics make it highly unlikely any airframe of this size and associated crew will be required.

The E-8 replacement is now intended to be a business jet; the USN is replacing it's NP-3D range surveillance aircraft with G550 CAEW etc. Everything points to the E3 force being replaced with similar sized aircraft in an integrated net with off-board data fusion.

So, except for the KC-Y, KC-Z competitions, I can't see it. Pax aircraft such as the C40 are more likely to be replaced with off the shelf 737 or 787 models.
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Old 26th Jan 2015, 13:20
  #185 (permalink)  
 
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and of course Air Force One

Can't see Jeb Bush wanting to get off a GV when he's Pres.
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Old 26th Jan 2015, 14:04
  #186 (permalink)  
 
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The current schedule for the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization (PAR) effort specifies aircraft delivery "not earlier than 2021." So POTUS 45 (whomever she or he is) will need to win a second term to fly the 747-8 (or VC-46).
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Old 26th Jan 2015, 14:21
  #187 (permalink)  
 
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ORAC and sandiego89, I can't elaborate for what should be obvious reasons, but there are a lot of 'provisions' on the KC-46 that have nothing to do with the aerial refueling mission or hauling cargo/personnel.
So I wouldn't be at all surprised to see other variations of the KC-46 in the future.
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Old 26th Jan 2015, 15:26
  #188 (permalink)  
 
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ORAC and sandiego89, I can't elaborate for what should be obvious reasons, but there are a lot of 'provisions' on the KC-46 that have nothing to do with the aerial refueling mission or hauling cargo/personnel.
So I wouldn't be at all surprised to see other variations of the KC-46 in the future.
Exactly while I surmised that there may be mission growth. It obviously has some extra "stuff".

I just do not see a bizjet size aircraft being the the solution for some of the current fleet. I agree some missions such as theatre ELINT and range clearance (and you only need a handfull of aircraft for range clearance) are a good fit for biz jets, and 737 a good fit for clipper C-40 replacement, I still see a market for some larger specialized aircraft. I also surmise that in today's threat envionment a special transport replacement (air force 2, head of delegation, DOS, etc) a hardened VIP transport based on the 46 may be attractive.

While improved black boxes and automation may allow for smaller aircraft, some roles still require a good sized crew and endurance- so a larger platform may be able to offer that. I'm not sure we have turned the corner on data linking everything. Like in a AWACS role, there is something about having the controllers and monitors all in the same tube, and relief crews for long missions. Yes I know some bizjets have impressive range. I think the Japanese AWACS may be a model.

Specialized subversions of an already "proven" aircraft (which I have no doubt the 46 will eventually be) may fare better that a "lets place of bunch of black boxes on bizjet" for future programs. Surely endurance and reduced risk will be good marketing points.

Last edited by sandiego89; 26th Jan 2015 at 15:39.
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Old 27th Jan 2015, 05:48
  #189 (permalink)  
 
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ORAC - some things have changed in the year since then (your article dated 27 January 2014).

The USAF has opened up the just-unfunded program (first-year funding in the FY2015 budget) to more options:
Air Force Works to Replace JSTARS Fleet | DoD Buzz

The Air Force is looking at a range of airframes from Gulfstream jets to Bombardier airplanes and Boeing 737–700’s — as potential replacements for its aging fleet of 16 E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, or JSTARS, airplanes.

The service has allocated $70 million in its fiscal year 2015 budget request for its JSTARS recapitalization program, an effort which seeks to build and field a new version of its surveillance planes by 2022, said Col. Henry Cyr, Commander of the 461st Air Control Wing, Robins Air Force Base, Ga.

.....

Gulfstream, Northrop Grumman, Bombardier and Boeing are all among the vendors expected to compete to offer the recapitalized JSTARS plane.
“We’ve done some analysis on a lot of different platforms and the platform that we think best meets the Air Force requirements for the JSTARS mission is our offering – a 737–700 Boeing business jet,” said Rod Meranda, JSTARS business development lead, Boeing.

Gulfstream plans to offer the G650, a twin-engine business jet, and Bombardier will likely offer its Global 6000, a long-range business jet, according to a report in FlightGlobal​.com. Northrop Grumman officials tell Military​.com they are testing a G550 aircraft, a 96-foot long business jet configured to integrate with JSTARS technologies.

One analyst said the Air Force plan makes sense and is achieve-able, provided procurement money is prioritized. The G650 and Bombardier Global 6000 are both smaller, lower-cost options than the Boeing 737‑7000 business jet, said Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis at the Teal Group, a Va.-based consultancy.

“The size of the plan chosen will come down to what kind of battle management systems on board. The Boeing 737–700 will give you a lot more space for battle management consuls, radar and other technologies. However, that would be less affordable than the other options,” Aboulafia told Military​.com.
Note the B737-700 option - there is a fully-mil-spec B737-based option, which is currently being integrated into the DOD supply/maintenance/training establishment (which would lower operating cost for a USAF version), that has recently been tested for JSTARS-like capabilities: as I noted back on 7 November 2014: http://www.pprune.org/8731875-post835.html

Originally Posted by GreenKnight121
Poseidon can replace JSTARS as well - potentially. Which brings us back to MMA... Can we say MMLA? (Multimission Maritime/Land Aircraft)

Providing ground-mapping and moving-personnel-tracking capability to the P-8:
Exclusive: P-8 Poseidon Flies With Shadowy Radar System Attached
What is also so promising about the AAS is the fact that it can work strictly over land when the mission dictates without having to optimize the sensor package physically. In this role the P-8 and its advanced radar system would be working in a very similar fashion to the USAF's E-8 J-STARS aircraft, a reality that some say led to the radar's deep classification in the first place.
The USAF just needs to modify it with USAF-required systems, and >50% of the R&D cost can be bypassed.

Last edited by GreenKnight121; 27th Jan 2015 at 05:58.
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Old 27th Jan 2015, 06:27
  #190 (permalink)  
 
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GreenknightWhich brings us back to MMA... Can we say MMLA? (Multimission Maritime/Land Aircraft)
IN UK parlance MMA stands for Multi Mission Aircraft so no need to add the land and maritime bit - they are both covered by the multi mission bit.
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Old 27th Jan 2015, 13:50
  #191 (permalink)  
 
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I guess if they've stopped building 747's by 2021 POTUS will have to do with a modded B-52.......
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Old 27th Jan 2015, 16:47
  #192 (permalink)  
 
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This suggests the time frame for the new Air Force Ones may be moved up from 2018 to 2016 to make sure the 747-8 is still an option. Regardless I imagine it will years between between green airframes and fitting out.

Air Force may speed up Air Force One replacement to snag two of the last 747s - Puget Sound Business Journal
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Old 28th Jan 2015, 13:07
  #193 (permalink)  
 
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which suggests that POTUS 2070 will be flying around in a 747 -

that is going to look terribly quaint....................

but he/she will get a lot of spotters at each destination I guess
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Old 28th Jan 2015, 13:50
  #194 (permalink)  
 
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Regarding all the E-8 J-STARS replacement discussions:

USN is trying to leverage its way into the radar ground surveillance business. All the P-8s will be capable of accepting the AAS radar, which does everything the J-STARS radar does and lots more. The airframe already has lots of processor power and display/control consoles, cooling, on and off board networking, etc on board, so all that would be needed besides the radar hardware is additional software in the control consoles. So putting a J-STARS capability on a P-8 will be MUCH cheaper then developing a dedicated replacement for the E-8. And USN will have hundreds of P-8s vs USAF's 16 E-8s, which should provide operational cost advantages.
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Old 29th Jan 2015, 00:57
  #195 (permalink)  
 
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Boeing has had the EP-X, a development of the P-8 on the shelf since not long after P-8 development began.


It was initially proposed to replace the EP-3E Aries but this has been delayed by the USN. It was also designed so it could be configured for J-STARS, RJ and other missions as a cheaper alternative to the cancelled E-10 which was based on the 767-400 airframe.
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Old 29th Jan 2015, 01:55
  #196 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Heathrow Harry
which suggests that POTUS 2070 will be flying around in a 747 -

that is going to look terribly quaint....................

but he/she will get a lot of spotters at each destination I guess
Now that really is a hilarious statement.

So you are claiming that Boeing will stop building new airliners altogether?

Or is your contention that the USAF will never change its "4-engine" preference?

Funny - the USAF used to feel that supersonic bombers were the only possible future bombers - but they changed that in the 1960s. They used to think that all fighters had to be M2-capable, but they changed that.

The USAF has replaced its Presidential aircraft every 20 years or so - with different requirements for performance and equipment almost every time.

But I guess you can't help yourself.
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Old 29th Jan 2015, 01:56
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And the decision is made: Boeing Tapped for Air Force One Replacement
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Old 29th Jan 2015, 18:47
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And the decision is made: Boeing Tapped for Air Force One Replacement 28th Jan 2015 20:55
Hmmm. The linked article had lots of nice boilerplate verbiage about "cost effective", "low cost", "commercial off the shelf", etc etc. Those same words were used more than a decade ago in the "Marine One" solicitation which Agusta/Westland won with a version of the AW101. But the government added so much gold plate and fluff to the requirements that the cost ballooned exponentially, the airframe became so heavy it could barely get off the ground, and the whole program was scrapped. And so POTUS is still flying in ancient VH-3 Sea Kings. I would not be surprised if this is repeated on the 747-8.
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Old 29th Jan 2015, 22:35
  #199 (permalink)  
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Ken,


I believe the USAF has set aside $1.65B for the TWO 747-8s. At that price they'd better be made from gold! (That's the purchase price, not annualized running costs!!!)

Last edited by O-P; 30th Jan 2015 at 00:02.
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Old 30th Jan 2015, 00:45
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I was right in the middle of the VC-25 program (the current Air Force Ones). They were so heavily modified from the run of the mill 747-200 that it was estimated they cost ~$500 million. Each! Heck, when I was troubleshooting engine issues on the first VC-25 we were informed that dropped tools, etc. had already done over $500,000 damage to the executive interior .
Since it was a fixed price contract for a small fraction of that, Boeing took a financial bath on the program.
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