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More KC-46A woes....

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More KC-46A woes....

Old 11th Jan 2019, 18:20
  #681 (permalink)  
 
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There comes a time when it must be acknowledged that this program is well and truly past it's sell by date. By the time any of these things arrive in service, they will be seriously obsolete. Why would the great businessman himself not kill what is obviously a dire money pit.

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Old 12th Jan 2019, 11:24
  #682 (permalink)  
 
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well it is for Boeing but the USAF is largely protected by a fixed price contract form the wilder shores of this financial disaster

Looking back on here there is quite a lot of discussion as to how such a great aeroplane builder managed to screw this one up so badly...............
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Old 12th Jan 2019, 12:23
  #683 (permalink)  
 
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Yup, been following the thread since it first appeared, but how much of a bath can a company take before the water runs out?

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Old 12th Jan 2019, 16:52
  #684 (permalink)  
 
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Quite a lot when you're making money elsewhere and you are desperate to keep the opposition out

They'd never live it down if they pulled the plug now
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Old 12th Jan 2019, 21:11
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Anyone know if this problem with the remote vision system will allow the 46 to tank or not? Is it just that it is not as good as they want, or they can’t tank with it? or just limitations in certain scenarios. 3-4 years to fix sounds huge.
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Old 12th Jan 2019, 22:03
  #686 (permalink)  
 
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Some are saying another six years until fully operational......
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 07:39
  #687 (permalink)  
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6 years? Surely not - that would mean some 14 years after the first A330MRTT first entered service...

...and some 16 years after the first operational use of the A310MRTT, which will celebrate 10 years of operational use on Feb 4 this year!
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 07:56
  #688 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by sandiego89 View Post
Anyone know if this problem with the remote vision system will allow the 46 to tank or not? Is it just that it is not as good as they want, or they can’t tank with it? or just limitations in certain scenarios. 3-4 years to fix sounds huge.
As I understand it - the system tanks just fine but isn't 'up to spec' in certain low or tricky light situations.
Unlike previous USAF tankers, the boom is operated remotely from a station just aft of the flight deck, using a 3d vision system. The capabilities of the 3d vision system are good, but aren't quite as good as was originally promised. As a result, it can do anything the KC-135 can do, but isn't quite the step improvement that the USAF wants.

Oh, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, the A330MRTT doesn't meet the USAF requirements either.
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 08:18
  #689 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BEagle View Post
6 years? Surely not - that would mean some 14 years after the first A330MRTT first entered service...

...and some 16 years after the first operational use of the A310MRTT, which will celebrate 10 years of operational use on Feb 4 this year!
I hope no one is suggesting A330MRTT didnít have a protracted and troubled development. Took a long time to get it to the stage it is now.
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 08:27
  #690 (permalink)  
 
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tdracer

In what way does the A330 not meet the requirements?
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 08:47
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It's not American.............
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 01:03
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Originally Posted by vascodegama View Post
tdracer

In what way does the A330 not meet the requirements?
Read the thread - there are dozens of posts on the subject.
But the short answer is that the A330MRTT - as it currently exists - has a number of areas that would not comply with the published USAF requirements that both Boeing and Airbus needed to meet. No 'off the shelf' tanker would have come close. Mandatory requirements - not negotiable (some of them rather dumb but that's another issue).
That's why Boeing couldn't simply use the KC-767, which was already developed and has been in service for many years.
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 02:59
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The USAF has started taking delivery of the KC 46. There minor tech problems, but it sounds like they are easy to work around until they are solved.
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 07:03
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I hope no one is suggesting A330MRTT didn’t have a protracted and troubled development. Took a long time to get it to the stage it is now.
Would have been ready for the USAF though, which is the point of the thread.

Oh, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, the A330MRTT doesn't meet the USAF requirements either.
It did the first time around, or rather it exceeded them.

IIRC correctly, Boeing's complaint was that the USAF hadn't asked for the extra capabilities of the A330 MRTT, and so shouldn't have considered them when making its decision. It was then that Boeing started talking about the 'tactical' nature of the KC-46A, and its ability to operate closer to the fight. This was the only positive differentiatior it had, IMHO.

That's why Boeing couldn't simply use the KC-767, which was already developed and has been in service for many years
Had only been in service 3 years by the time KC-X was first awarded in 2011, and was still suffering technical problems (Japan was the only customer at that time, with Italy yet to receive its first aircraft). KC-767 development seems to have run as smoothly as the KC-46A's in terms of technical issues and missed deadlines.

It's not American.............
Interestingly, when I interviewed Muilenburg (then head of Boeing Defense and Space) at the time this was very much his angle. He said he made no apologies for pushing that US taxpayer dollars be spent on US products being built by US companies. Of course, this completely missed the point that the KC-45 was to be built in Alabama by Northrop Grumman or that Boeing was at that time partnering with AgustaWestland to offer the AW101 as the new Presidential helicopter, but there you go.

Last edited by melmothtw; 14th Jan 2019 at 08:42.
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 10:21
  #695 (permalink)  
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There minor tech problems
Interesting choice of words. The DoD classifies them as Catergory-1 deficiencies, which is why they are allowed to withhold $28M per airframe. Category-1 deficiencies are critical system deficiencies for which no work-arounds are in place or have been identified.
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 16:42
  #696 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by sandiego89 View Post
Anyone know if this problem with the remote vision system will allow the 46 to tank or not? Is it just that it is not as good as they want, or they canít tank with it? or just limitations in certain scenarios. 3-4 years to fix sounds huge.
The problem is related to tanking stealth aircraft under certain very specific lighting conditions. USAF has approved the software fix Boeing has proposed and Boeing will apply it to all the KC-46s for free.
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 16:49
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Originally Posted by melmothtw View Post
Would have been ready for the USAF though, which is the point of the thread....It did the first time around, or rather it exceeded them.
Ummm, no. Northrop/Airbus won the competition to DEVELOP a tanker based on the A330MRTT. The A330MRTT did NOT meet USAF requirements at the first competition, nor did it later, not does it now. That's total bollocks.
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 16:54
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Originally Posted by KenV View Post
Ummm, no. Northrop/Airbus won the competition to DEVELOP a tanker based on the A330MRTT. The A330MRTT did NOT meet USAF requirements at the first competition, nor did it later, not does it now. That's total bollocks.
Yep, to add a cargo door basically.

Of course it didn't meet the USAF requirements, which is why they didn't select it. Oh wait...
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 15:41
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Originally Posted by melmothtw View Post
Yep, to add a cargo door basically.
Of course it didn't meet the USAF requirements, which is why they didn't select it. Oh wait...
KC-767 had a cargo door and it did not meet the requirements. No aircraft anywhere met USAF's requirements. Northrop/Airbus's proposal (as well as Boeing's) met the requirements, but not the existing aircraft. But the bottom line was that neither the A330MRTT nor the KC-767 could meet USAF's requirements. Keep in mind that in 2006 when the RFP was released, Airbus did not even have a single flight qualified refueling boom, while Boeing had two. But Northrop/Airbus's proposal was superior to Boeing's and thus it won the first competition. To put this in perspective, by the time of the final proposal, Boeing had switched to their "advanced boom" (developed on the KC-10) to overcome Airbus's superior boom envelope (the original boom was based on the KC-135 boom). USAF also required a very robust OBIGGS (tank inerting) suite that neither the A330MRTT nor the KC-767 had and which required development. This resulted in a significant delay when the manifolding was done wrong. Also consider that over 25 miles of wiring were added to the KC-767 to turn it into a KC-46. This wiring accounted for a lot of the delays in the program. I can't get into what all that wiring does, but rest assured that neither the A330MRTT nor the KC-767 includes that wiring nor the systems that wiring services. But I can say that because of those systems, the KC-46 does a LOT more than just pass fuel to other aircraft.
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Old 16th Jan 2019, 10:54
  #700 (permalink)  
 
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So, basically - saying that the A330 "doesn't meet USAF requirements" has nothing to do with the basic MRTT system, but has to do with add-ons such as OBIGGS, support for future comms roles &c, which are USAF-unique and would have been added during development.
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