Jump to content
Baseops Forums
Hammer

KC-46A Info

Recommended Posts

I started a new topic for this to consolidate all of the 46 info since they will be coming on-line in the next three years.

McConnell has been selected as Main Operating Base #1.

http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20130522/NEWS/305220007/McConnell-AFB-selected-new-tanker-base

Pease is in line to get the first for the ANG pending an environmental impact analysis.

http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20130522/NEWS/305220012/Pease-get-new-line-refueling-tankers

Still no word on where the school house will be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah, heard that Pease was on the list to be one of the first ANG units to get the -46A. Good for them.

Only to keep the doors from closing. Politics. Forbes was a way better choice with half as much for construction costs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only to keep the doors from closing. Politics. Forbes was a way better choice with half as much for construction costs.

Assume you have some factual data to back this up. Do you have some inside info on BRAC that we don't?

Don't want to be a pot stirrer as obviously from my screen name you can see i am biased, but any of the east coast bases would have been a better choice than Forbes. How would two KC-46 bases in the same state be a better option?

Lifecycle costs savings operating from the east coast alone makes up for any difference in initial construction. And from what we've heard, I'm not sure your statement about being cheaper is based in reality.

~NH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Assume you have some factual data to back this up. Do you have some inside info on BRAC that we don't? Don't want to be a pot stirrer as obviously from my screen name you can see i am biased, but any of the east coast bases would have been a better choice than Forbes. How would two KC-46 bases in the same state be a better option? Lifecycle costs savings operating from the east coast alone makes up for any difference in initial construction. And from what we've heard, I'm not sure your statement about being cheaper is based in reality. ~NH

Just going off the site survey teams findings in regards to costs. The quote I heard was Forbes was "the most competitive Guard candidate at almost half the cost".

I'm sure geographically splitting the KC46 factored into it, but even if another AD base were chosen I think the east coast lobby would've still made sure Pease got it.

As far as closing the doors if they (you) didn't get it, just going off the rumor mill that this was your life ring.

In any event, congrats!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...since they will be coming on-line in the next three years.

MWWAAHHAHAHAHAHA! Heard this one before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Coming on-line in the next 3 years is quite optimistic...

Do you work at the Program Office (formerly known as the SPO) or is this just your emotional guess?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only to keep the doors from closing. Politics. Forbes was a way better choice with half as much for construction costs.

Forbes also wasn't TFI. The bases that were selected used TFI as a major push to get the KC-46.

Coming on-line in the next 3 years is quite optimistic...

The last word I saw was 2017 for the first jets to be delivered to the MAF.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you work at the Program Office (formerly known as the SPO) or is this just your emotional guess?

The Air Force will base 36 of the new aircraft at McConnell starting in 2016.

.

It is currently 2013. 2013 + 3 = 2016.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

.

It is currently 2013. 2013 + 3 = 2016.

Are you aware that any of the timelines in the acquisition timeline has shifted recently? ie DT&E, IOT&E, etc?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you aware that any of the timelines in the acquisition timeline has shifted recently? ie DT&E, IOT&E, etc?

I really don't care, I was just stating what the article said. Does it matter? Nope.

The point of my post was: The MOB for the KC-46 is going to be at McConnell; the schoolhouse will be at Altus; if you want to fly them in the Guard go apply to Pease.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was asking because you sounded like you had information outside of what the media has been presenting. The acquisition process is crazy (and a little disheartening)--any hickups along the way with operational analysis', development test, etc getting delayed/having issues can then that can push the IOC date further to the right.

Don't get me wrong, I speculate with the best of them...I usually just try to list why I speculate a certain way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The media is presenting that they will be delivered in 2016. Hence the quotes from the articles...from the media. I am failing to see why everyone is flabbergasted that I said 3 years when every one of the sources that I read is saying 2016.

The bottom line is that it doesn't matter if we get them in 2016 or 2020. They are going to the bases previously mentioned, and any further information on the KC-46A can be posted in this thread.

Edit because me and Jack do grammar good.

Edited by snizz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having two pilots flip some switches to trail drogue a out (Omega) is a far cry from having a Boom Operator, in the weather/turbulence make a contact and try to offload 100K to a B-52 at night. The contracting AAR out completely is stupid.

The -135 needs to be retired due to the steady rise in corrosion issues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"On new generation tankers, boom operators have to sit in front of 3D TV screens (and yes, theyre wearing 3D glasses) embedded in huge control control consoles that repeat stereoscopic video feeds from cameras mounted around the aircraft."

Will the glasses work at the movie theaters too?

In all seriousness: Is this already on the KC-30 and/or KC-767 or is this brand new, unproven and overcomplicated technology that is soley to keep the defense contract machine flowing with simulators and training as the article suggests? Do we gain a significant refueling advantage from 3D TV technology that a traditional boom window wouldn't provide? I could see this improving night refueling or other scenarios...if it works.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having two pilots flip some switches to trail drogue a out (Omega) is a far cry from having a Boom Operator, in the weather/turbulence make a contact and try to offload 100K to a B-52 at night. The contracting AAR out completely is stupid.

The -135 needs to be retired due to the steady rise in corrosion issues.

Agreed on contracting out AAR.

i think the KC-767 mentioned in the article might have been a better choice but I'm not sure it could meet all the requirements like EMP hardening, bio/chem defense, etc... I agree with the sentiment that the new tanker doesn't necessarily need to be a some huge leap in capabilities necessarily but just something reasonably capable, reliable and supportable. I liked the High-Lo concept with the KC-767 and the SSTT concept but the Big AF is just not that creative or interested in efficiency for that.

Every MDS has to be huge, ultra modern, unique and costs be damned. Bigger, Higher, Faster, Farther - no matter the cost and no matter whether that is appropriate.

Referencing Coram's book on Boyd from this website:

Be True to the Mission, Not to the Apparatus

As Coram puts it, the generals “looked at technology rather than the mission. And if they did consider the mission, it was always the fashionable mission of the day” (156-57).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You gain the ability to look out completely aft of the aircraft and IR capable refueling. You also gain the ability of hydro and deice/anti-ice fluid not streaking down the sighting window.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And what's the probability of those cameras getting covered in anti/deice fluid or dust & dirt and being unusable?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And what's the probability of those cameras getting covered in anti/deice fluid or dust & dirt and being unusable?

There's multiple camera, unlike one sighting window.

I've had so much anti-ice fluid on the sighting window, being from Manas, that I've told an A-10 (who was supporting a TIC) to make his own contact and tell me when to extend.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's multiple camera, unlike one sighting window.

I've had so much anti-ice fluid on the sighting window, being from Manas, that I've told an A-10 (who was supporting a TIC) to make his own contact and tell me when to extend.

True but this is a system which uses those multiple camera angles to make the 3D view for the boom. Just wondering how well this new technology will work out with the same problems you experienced with the window.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In all seriousness: Is this already on the KC-30 and/or KC-767 or is this brand new, unproven and overcomplicated technology that is soley to keep the defense contract machine flowing with simulators and training as the article suggests? Do we gain a significant refueling advantage from 3D TV technology that a traditional boom window wouldn't provide? I could see this improving night refueling or other scenarios...if it works.

It's a lot easier to engineer a couple small cameras into the airframe than it is to put a boom pod in the ass of a jet these days. I recall reading that the cameras were basically a cost saving measure for both the KC-30 and KC-46 vs putting a boom operator physically back there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a lot easier to engineer a couple small cameras into the airframe than it is to put a boom pod in the ass of a jet these days. I recall reading that the cameras were basically a cost saving measure for both the KC-30 and KC-46 vs putting a boom operator physically back there.

From the article Clark linked, obvious there are valid counter arguments (like azimuth with the anti-ice fluid covering the window). But he makes some good points about how we did it at the dawn of the jet aviation with slide rules for the first time ever.

"I have yet to have a boom operator give me a justification for this new virtual boom operators system. If aircraft contractors say it will cost way too much to physically attach a boomers station to a 767 then the USAF should ask them how they did it with ease at the dawn of the jet age with the KC-135, and then again with the KC-747 in the 1970s, and then again with the KC-10 Extender in the early 1980s? What magic wand did Boeing and McDonnell Douglas have back then and where on earth did that magic wand go because we really need to find it. It seems as if with the loss of that wand, our drive for simplified, low-risk procurement solutions based on proven systems and successful practices was lost as well.

Also, consider that Boeing will elaborately modify their commercial aircraft for military needs. Huge radomes, massive antenna fairings, weapons bays and just about any other modification you can imagine have been done to Boeing airliners over the years. So grafting a rear window onto the a 767s tail seems like a small request in comparison.

Why change a proven, robust, and known system that has safely worked for over half a century? 3D goggles can break, stereoscopic cameras can go dark and control consoles can malfunction, but a window is always on.

I am sure Boeing and Airbus have some big cost analysis describing how somehow such a system will save the USAF money over decades of service, but really, that is very hard to believe as it requires new training simulators, lots of high-end hardware to install and maintain, and most importantly, development time and money. In actuality, those reasons may be exactly why this new aerial refueling interface exists in the first place, because it will it will mean big development, support and upgrade dollars for defense contractors for decades to come, something a mechanical boom, some levers and window cant provide."

Edited by Fuzz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×