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US Navy Drone Tanker

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US Navy Drone Tanker

Old 8th Jun 2021, 19:56
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US Navy Drone Tanker

Despite it coming from the 'Daily Fail' this article nontheless contains some good pictures of the first tanking by an F/A 18 from the Boeing MQ-25 Stingray drone. An interesting comparison with Boeing's AAR platform for the Air Force.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...raft-time.html

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Old 9th Jun 2021, 11:23
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Anyone know how much fuel it can carry?
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Old 9th Jun 2021, 11:29
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Existing thread.

US Navy Very Large Drone

As to the question - 15K offload at 500nm and then return to carrier.
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Old 9th Jun 2021, 12:51
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Does it have drone to drone capability to extend its range?
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Old 9th Jun 2021, 13:20
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No, not fitted a probe, nor the software and sensors to be able to use one.
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Old 9th Jun 2021, 14:32
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Not yet....
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Old 9th Jun 2021, 14:42
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Maybe, but a few years away. Last DARPA trial was back in 2015. Research contract put out to tender in 2017.

https://www.sbir.gov/sbirsearch/detail/1208269

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Old 9th Jun 2021, 18:04
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Surely, the way ahead is for a drone tanker to fuel a drone fighter ?
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Old 9th Jun 2021, 18:27
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Interesting. Way back, when TTSC were proposing a 767 FSTA, Boeing resisted the concept of a 2- man crew preferring to design the cockpit round an additional crew member to operate the (automatic) refuelling equipment!
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Old 9th Jun 2021, 18:32
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Deceiving size perhaps. I thought she looked small compared to the F/A-18F when passing gas in the air to air photos and thought a 15,000 pound offload would be tough to fit in that airframe, but then on the ground next to ground crew she looks quite, ahem, thick around the mid-section.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...-refueling-pod
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Old 9th Jun 2021, 19:10
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Surely, the way ahead is for a drone tanker to fuel a drone fighter ?
No, the optimum is for a large multipoint tanker, to reach an orbit point at a safe range behind the combat zone and fill up a load of drone tankers such as the MQ-25 which can then tour the CAPs filling up the fighters or join COMAOs penetrating enemy airspace.

That frees up the larger tankers to get back on the ground ASAP to refuel and get back up again maximising their TOT. As well as reducing their risk, as HVAs, of being engaged.
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