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Air Force Secretary: Boeing Is Giving Its Tanker Short Shrift

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If President Trump is the good cop when it comes to the U.S. government’s interaction with Boeing, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson is the bad cop. ( Mais...

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Tom Bruce 6
what is so difficult about building a tanker version of the 767 for the UA Air Force? is this another "gold plated" project where the air force wants it to do too many things besides air-to-air" refueling?
chalet 2
This is how all the Services handle acquisitons: they want the latest bells and whistles and everything new on their planes, vessels, helios, tanks, TANKERS, etc. and since it is not their own personal checkbook but the People's (which never rise up to question anything) the ask the all so complascent defense contractors to add that to the scope and bill it at any price they so desire and let DOD cough up the resulting extra BILLIONS OF BILLIONS over the years.
steven fontaine 2
I wonder how the users of the Airbus KC-30 are doing with both Boom and Drogue capability. Seems to me that If the AF wants to push Boeing, they should lease a few KC-30's
Alan Brown 1
Was there ever a drouge version of the KC-135? I know about the boom version, flew behind it a few times. Seems that this is supposed to serve ALL services, not just the Air Force. As I remember, the Navy and Marines have their own tankers anyway.
Tom Bruce 1
think the KC46 has boom and drogue...
Alan Brown 0
Seems that the drogue is the major hang up for the KC-46 at this time, and that is only needed for the Navy and the Marines. The Air Force doesn't need it and that is part if not most of the delay. The Navy and the Marines didn't need or use the KC-135, so why do we need an ALL Service tanker now?
donhun1313 1
As a Navy veteran with 20+ years in Naval Aviation, I can state first hand that the KC135 is drogue capable and has a long tradition of supporting USN and USMC aircraft as well as our allies.
Refueling from a KC-135 was mission critical to all coalition aircraft during both Gulf Wars and in Afghanistan no matter the service or country of origin. Both Canadian and Australian FA-18 aircraft use the drogue system for aerial refueling.

For carrier based operations, refueling via a boom is not a viable option. That is why the drogue system was developed and why it is still in use for all carrier based aircraft.
WhiteKnight77 1
So what is the real problem, a second squawk linking to this article: shows a different problem, but with the boom scraping the coatings on stealth aircraft.

"The most important problem the company faces is the tendency of the rigid boom on the KC-46A to scrape the surface of the aircraft being refueled. This is a serious issue for stealth planes because it damages the coating that gives the aircraft their stealthiness.

Two less significant issues with the tanker are an electrical problem that could cause a fire when the plane is refueling and a software issue that cause a problem when the refueling boom is disconnected from the receiving aircraft."

So which is the real problem?


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