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Naval Air Refueling Needs Deferred in Air Force Tanker Plan



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 8th 04, 05:09 AM
Henry J Cobb
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Posts: n/a
Default Naval Air Refueling Needs Deferred in Air Force Tanker Plan

http://www.military.com/NewContent/0...042804,00.html
Will the Air Force fulfill the Navy requirement for simultaneous
refueling capability and, if so, when?


-HJC
  #2  
Old May 8th 04, 04:26 PM
Kevin Brooks
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Henry J Cobb" wrote in message
...
http://www.military.com/NewContent/0...042804,00.html
Will the Air Force fulfill the Navy requirement for simultaneous
refueling capability and, if so, when?


-HJC


Henry, you need to be a bit more careful in your citations (nothing new
about that...). Note that the article indicates: "Naval air forces,
including the Marine Corps' 72 F/A-18D fighters, require tankers to refuel
more than one fighter jet at a time with the hose reel system." Hogwash.
"Require"? How many USN tanker aircraft can feed two receivers at once? The
S-3 in tanking mode? Nope. The F/A-18E in tanker mode? Nope.

Your article also tries to gloss over the fact that numerous USAF tankers
are indeed capable of refueling USN aircraft--all of the KC-10's and
whichever KC-135's are fitted with the hose/drogue attachments. The tankers
the USAF needs to buy/lease *now* are needed to replace the older KC-135's;
their introduction into the force without an initial hose/drogue capability
will not be of serious detriment to the USN's capabilities, as the KC-10's
and the KC-135R's with hose/drogue will continue to fly missions.

Maybe you need to address this in a different manner...perhaps asking if it
might be more fair if the USAF agreed to support *all* USN tanking
requirements at such time as the USN agrees to actually support all of the
USAF's airborne jamming requirements (you seem to have missed the fact that
the USN recently cut one of its EA-6 squadrons, despite a continuing
shortage of that joint asset...). But you also are missing another
factor...if the land-based tankers are so ctitical to USN aviation
capabilities, why do you need the CVN's in the first place? If you can get
land based tanker support into the fray to support the USN strikers, you are
also within range of getting the USAF strikers into the fight, especially
the heavies...

Brooks




  #3  
Old May 8th 04, 05:04 PM
Henry J Cobb
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Kevin Brooks wrote:
"Henry J Cobb" wrote in message
http://www.military.com/NewContent/0...042804,00.html
Will the Air Force fulfill the Navy requirement for simultaneous
refueling capability and, if so, when?


Henry, you need to be a bit more careful in your citations (nothing new
about that...). Note that the article indicates: "Naval air forces,
including the Marine Corps' 72 F/A-18D fighters, require tankers to refuel
more than one fighter jet at a time with the hose reel system." Hogwash.
"Require"? How many USN tanker aircraft can feed two receivers at once? The
S-3 in tanking mode? Nope. The F/A-18E in tanker mode? Nope.


Are the Marines still part of the Navy Department?

And the KC-767 will be able to carry at least a little more fuel than a
Superhornet, or a KC-130J even.

Maybe you need to address this in a different manner...perhaps asking if it
might be more fair if the USAF agreed to support *all* USN tanking
requirements at such time as the USN agrees to actually support all of the
USAF's airborne jamming requirements (you seem to have missed the fact that
the USN recently cut one of its EA-6 squadrons, despite a continuing
shortage of that joint asset...).


I've already noted the Air Force shortage of jammers in another thread.

Perhaps they should start buying Growlers?

But you also are missing another
factor...if the land-based tankers are so ctitical to USN aviation
capabilities, why do you need the CVN's in the first place? If you can get
land based tanker support into the fray to support the USN strikers, you are
also within range of getting the USAF strikers into the fight, especially
the heavies...


Sea basing still needs work on delivering fuel, cargo and people to an
OMFTS force.

-HJC
  #4  
Old May 9th 04, 04:15 AM
Kevin Brooks
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Henry J Cobb" wrote in message
...
Kevin Brooks wrote:
"Henry J Cobb" wrote in message
http://www.military.com/NewContent/0...042804,00.html
Will the Air Force fulfill the Navy requirement for simultaneous
refueling capability and, if so, when?


Henry, you need to be a bit more careful in your citations (nothing new
about that...). Note that the article indicates: "Naval air forces,
including the Marine Corps' 72 F/A-18D fighters, require tankers to

refuel
more than one fighter jet at a time with the hose reel system." Hogwash.
"Require"? How many USN tanker aircraft can feed two receivers at once?

The
S-3 in tanking mode? Nope. The F/A-18E in tanker mode? Nope.


Are the Marines still part of the Navy Department?


What does *that* matter? If it was freakin' *required*, then why all of the
fuss to get the F/A-18E into the tanking game? Why is it possible for the
USAF to do quite well with single-point tanking, while the USN 9despite its
own loooong history of also using single point tanking) would find it so
distatsteful (if, that is, you take the author's words as true--which they
ain't, in this case)?


And the KC-767 will be able to carry at least a little more fuel than a
Superhornet, or a KC-130J even.


So what? Your "source" says the USN *requires* multi-point tanking
capability--and that plainly is NOT the case.


Maybe you need to address this in a different manner...perhaps asking if

it
might be more fair if the USAF agreed to support *all* USN tanking
requirements at such time as the USN agrees to actually support all of

the
USAF's airborne jamming requirements (you seem to have missed the fact

that
the USN recently cut one of its EA-6 squadrons, despite a continuing
shortage of that joint asset...).


I've already noted the Air Force shortage of jammers in another thread.


And you conveniently missed out on the FACT that the USN was then tasked to
provide jamming support for the joint force, eh? Something they have found
hard to do--even before they dumped that squadron...


Perhaps they should start buying Growlers?


Why would the USAF want to buy an aircraft with a known range shortfall for
this mission?


But you also are missing another
factor...if the land-based tankers are so ctitical to USN aviation
capabilities, why do you need the CVN's in the first place? If you can

get
land based tanker support into the fray to support the USN strikers, you

are
also within range of getting the USAF strikers into the fight,

especially
the heavies...


Sea basing still needs work on delivering fuel, cargo and people to an
OMFTS force.


You are getting more dense every day... Now, if the USN is so dependent upon
land-based tanking, why is the CVN of such tremendous value, given that we
could just as well be deploying B-1's, B-52's, and even F-15E's from the
same base (or other bases in that area) that the tankers are operating from
to perform the missions instead of having a CVN (and attendant resources)
lurching around dependent upon land-based air support?

Brooks


-HJC



  #5  
Old May 9th 04, 05:22 AM
Guy Alcala
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Kevin Brooks wrote:

"Henry J Cobb" wrote in message
...
Kevin Brooks wrote:
"Henry J Cobb" wrote in message
http://www.military.com/NewContent/0...042804,00.html
Will the Air Force fulfill the Navy requirement for simultaneous
refueling capability and, if so, when?

Henry, you need to be a bit more careful in your citations (nothing new
about that...). Note that the article indicates: "Naval air forces,
including the Marine Corps' 72 F/A-18D fighters, require tankers to

refuel
more than one fighter jet at a time with the hose reel system." Hogwash.
"Require"? How many USN tanker aircraft can feed two receivers at once?

The
S-3 in tanking mode? Nope. The F/A-18E in tanker mode? Nope.


Are the Marines still part of the Navy Department?


What does *that* matter? If it was freakin' *required*, then why all of the
fuss to get the F/A-18E into the tanking game? Why is it possible for the
USAF to do quite well with single-point tanking, while the USN 9despite its
own loooong history of also using single point tanking) would find it so
distatsteful (if, that is, you take the author's words as true--which they
ain't, in this case)?


Kevin, while it's highly unusual for me to support anything that HJC puts
forward, I find the article in question pretty accurately reflects the issues.
A boom typically has double (or more) the transfer rate of a
drogue/fighter-sized probe. That's why the USAF decided to adopt them in the
first place, for SAC's bombers, so that refueling took much less time. Single
point drogues are better than nothing, but just as the article says, they limit
the size of the strike flight (or require far more tankers), because the first
a/c to refuel has used up most of the fuel it has received by the time that the
last guy is done. From DS on the USN has relied increasingly on USAF and
foreign land-based tankers, because their own tankers lack the
numbers/offload/loiter/drogue stations to allow them to go far inland with
large strikes. The USMC has its KC-130s, which are at least dual-point, but
they're limited to perhaps 6 a/c in a flight pre-strike, with four preferred,
before they meet the law of diminishing returns. A single-point boom tanker is
about the same. It's not that the navy can't use their S-3s or F-18E/Fs
exclusively, it's just that they're limited in the size/radius of their strikes
when they do so.

Given our increasing jointness, it does seem odd that the KC-767 isn't planned
to have provision for wing drogues from the get-go. It's clearly an
inter-service budget issue, but single point drogues just don't cut it for big
strikes; if they did, we wouldn't have fit out those KC-10As and KC-135Rs for
wing drogues (Flight Refueling MK.32s IIRC). It's a simple matter of fuel
throughput per unit time. Large, land-based drogue tankers should have at least
two drogue stations, with three preferred (see the Victor K.2; there was even a
USN Convair seaplane with FOUR drogues):

http://www.aviation-history.com/convair/tradewind.html

Less than two drogue stations is not making use of a large a/c's wingspan.
Naturally, they don't all have to be fitted with them all the time, as there is
a weight, drag and maintenance penalty, but they sure as hell should be capable
of fitting them. Hell, Boeing is even talking about a BWB tanker with two
_booms_.

That the RAF Tristars don't have wing pods has been a minor scandal for almost
20 years now. They were supposed to get them, and initial cursory engineering
evaluations indicated that the wing structure could take them, but when it came
time to get serious they found out there were issues that were going to require
very expensive modifications (splitting the ailerons or maybe it was the flaps
was part of it, IIRR), so they've been stuck with a pair of centerline drogues
ever since. That provides redundancy, but doesn't increase the receiver
servicing rate.

And the KC-767 will be able to carry at least a little more fuel than a
Superhornet, or a KC-130J even.


So what? Your "source" says the USN *requires* multi-point tanking
capability--and that plainly is NOT the case.


For most of the deeper missions, including most of the combat missions that have
been flown from DS on, they do. If they aren't going very far, and/or are using
small strike packages at fairly wide intervals, they don't. Neither has been
typical of USN combat ops for the last 14 years.

snip

But you also are missing another
factor...if the land-based tankers are so ctitical to USN aviation
capabilities, why do you need the CVN's in the first place? If you can

get
land based tanker support into the fray to support the USN strikers, you

are
also within range of getting the USAF strikers into the fight,

especially
the heavies...


Sea basing still needs work on delivering fuel, cargo and people to an
OMFTS force.


You are getting more dense every day... Now, if the USN is so dependent upon
land-based tanking, why is the CVN of such tremendous value, given that we
could just as well be deploying B-1's, B-52's, and even F-15E's from the
same base (or other bases in that area) that the tankers are operating from
to perform the missions instead of having a CVN (and attendant resources)
lurching around dependent upon land-based air support?


There are obviously ramp space and arrival time/support issues. Clearly you can
get a force of tankers in theater a lot faster than a force of tankers PLUS a
force of fighters and all their support. The CVWs are already on station with
everything but the tanking (and maybe some E-3s/JSTARS).

Guy

  #6  
Old May 9th 04, 06:34 AM
Kevin Brooks
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Guy Alcala" wrote in message
. ..
Kevin Brooks wrote:

"Henry J Cobb" wrote in message
...
Kevin Brooks wrote:
"Henry J Cobb" wrote in message
http://www.military.com/NewContent/0...042804,00.html
Will the Air Force fulfill the Navy requirement for simultaneous
refueling capability and, if so, when?

Henry, you need to be a bit more careful in your citations (nothing

new
about that...). Note that the article indicates: "Naval air forces,
including the Marine Corps' 72 F/A-18D fighters, require tankers to

refuel
more than one fighter jet at a time with the hose reel system."

Hogwash.
"Require"? How many USN tanker aircraft can feed two receivers at

once?
The
S-3 in tanking mode? Nope. The F/A-18E in tanker mode? Nope.

Are the Marines still part of the Navy Department?


What does *that* matter? If it was freakin' *required*, then why all of

the
fuss to get the F/A-18E into the tanking game? Why is it possible for

the
USAF to do quite well with single-point tanking, while the USN 9despite

its
own loooong history of also using single point tanking) would find it so
distatsteful (if, that is, you take the author's words as true--which

they
ain't, in this case)?


Kevin, while it's highly unusual for me to support anything that HJC puts
forward, I find the article in question pretty accurately reflects the

issues.
A boom typically has double (or more) the transfer rate of a
drogue/fighter-sized probe.


Yep.

That's why the USAF decided to adopt them in the
first place, for SAC's bombers, so that refueling took much less time.

Single
point drogues are better than nothing, but just as the article says, they

limit
the size of the strike flight (or require far more tankers), because the

first
a/c to refuel has used up most of the fuel it has received by the time

that the
last guy is done.


Yep.

From DS on the USN has relied increasingly on USAF and
foreign land-based tankers, because their own tankers lack the
numbers/offload/loiter/drogue stations to allow them to go far inland

with
large strikes. The USMC has its KC-130s, which are at least dual-point,

but
they're limited to perhaps 6 a/c in a flight pre-strike, with four

preferred,
before they meet the law of diminishing returns. A single-point boom

tanker is
about the same. It's not that the navy can't use their S-3s or F-18E/Fs
exclusively, it's just that they're limited in the size/radius of their

strikes
when they do so.


Which is why the USAF will still have the capability of supporting the USN,
with both single and dual point refueling. The fact that the 767 won't have
that multi-point capability up-front is NOT going to create a critical
situation for the USN.


Given our increasing jointness, it does seem odd that the KC-767 isn't

planned
to have provision for wing drogues from the get-go.


Not necessarily. The USAF is getting to the desperation point in regards to
the 135E's--they are either going to have to poop a lot of money to upgrade
them (not the wisest choice, given their age and condition), or they have to
get a replacement in the air, and rather quickly. That last part (quickly)
seems to merit a sort-of-spiral approach, to me; get them into service ASAP
with the boom and single-point drogue (while still having the 135R's in
service, some with the multi-point hoses), and then worry about bringing
them up to a higher standard later, when the time-crunch is not so critical.

It's clearly an
inter-service budget issue, but single point drogues just don't cut it for

big
strikes; if they did, we wouldn't have fit out those KC-10As and KC-135Rs

for
wing drogues (Flight Refueling MK.32s IIRC). It's a simple matter of fuel
throughput per unit time.


Which KC-10's and KC-135R's will still be serving, you should add. Correct
me if I am wrong, but the aircraft that the 767's are destined to replace,
the 135E's, do not have the multi-point refueling capability, either, do
they?

Large, land-based drogue tankers should have at least
two drogue stations, with three preferred (see the Victor K.2; there was

even a
USN Convair seaplane with FOUR drogues):

http://www.aviation-history.com/convair/tradewind.html

Less than two drogue stations is not making use of a large a/c's wingspan.
Naturally, they don't all have to be fitted with them all the time, as

there is
a weight, drag and maintenance penalty, but they sure as hell should be

capable
of fitting them. Hell, Boeing is even talking about a BWB tanker with two
_booms_.


So what you are saying is that we should delay the program even further than
it already has been, so that all of the new aircraft are capable of
performing a mission that only a certain portion of the joint force (the USN
strikers and whatnot) can receive from them the same level of support...that
they can already get from the other aircraft that will be remaining in
service? I don't necessarily agree with that analysis (and neither does the
USAF, apparently).


That the RAF Tristars don't have wing pods has been a minor scandal for

almost
20 years now. They were supposed to get them, and initial cursory

engineering
evaluations indicated that the wing structure could take them, but when it

came
time to get serious they found out there were issues that were going to

require
very expensive modifications (splitting the ailerons or maybe it was the

flaps
was part of it, IIRR), so they've been stuck with a pair of centerline

drogues
ever since. That provides redundancy, but doesn't increase the receiver
servicing rate.

And the KC-767 will be able to carry at least a little more fuel than

a
Superhornet, or a KC-130J even.


So what? Your "source" says the USN *requires* multi-point tanking
capability--and that plainly is NOT the case.


For most of the deeper missions, including most of the combat missions

that have
been flown from DS on, they do. If they aren't going very far, and/or are

using
small strike packages at fairly wide intervals, they don't. Neither has

been
typical of USN combat ops for the last 14 years.


Then maybe they need to fork over some bucks for some additional multi-point
pods for the KC-135R's... In actuality, that would probably be the best
solution anyway--they would get their improved support capability a lot more
quickly that way (versus waiting for the 767's to come on line). So is the
USN really concerned about the level of tanking support they can count on,
or are they just posturing for the purpose of budget fighting? Another
thought--the USN has been buying C-40's of late--if they are so keenly
worried about their refueling capability, why did they never think about
including a secondary tanker role for that aircraft, or that class of
aircraft, such that they could help themselves out? Probably not, because
that would have required them to spend their own part of the budget
pie...much better to have the USAF spend their money, eh?


snip

But you also are missing another
factor...if the land-based tankers are so ctitical to USN aviation
capabilities, why do you need the CVN's in the first place? If you

can
get
land based tanker support into the fray to support the USN strikers,

you
are
also within range of getting the USAF strikers into the fight,

especially
the heavies...

Sea basing still needs work on delivering fuel, cargo and people to an
OMFTS force.


You are getting more dense every day... Now, if the USN is so dependent

upon
land-based tanking, why is the CVN of such tremendous value, given that

we
could just as well be deploying B-1's, B-52's, and even F-15E's from the
same base (or other bases in that area) that the tankers are operating

from
to perform the missions instead of having a CVN (and attendant

resources)
lurching around dependent upon land-based air support?


There are obviously ramp space and arrival time/support issues.


Sometimes. Believe it or not, I am not in favor of junking the CVN
fleet--but neither is the USN making a great case for the CVN's value when
they whine about the USAF not optimizing *all* of its tankers to support
their needs--especially when at the same time they have proven rather
unwilling to resource their own part of the joint package (the EA-6 jammer
force) to support all of the USAF's needs (note that the USAF is making
serious noises about going back into the jamming business, likely with the
B-52 as the initial platform). The USN might want to be careful how far they
go in pointing fingers in regards to the 'They are not supporting us like
they are supposed to" manner, lest the fickle-finger end up pointing back in
their direction.

Clearly you can
get a force of tankers in theater a lot faster than a force of tankers

PLUS a
force of fighters and all their support.


Can you? I am not sure about that (note how quickly we got the lead
squadrons of the 1st TFW into Saudi Arabia in 1990), especially since
getting all of those tankers into the theater is only going to do you some
good if the fuel for them to haul is also present, or readily available, at
that operating location. How much more trouble is it for the USAF to put a
force that could easily surpass the per-day delivered-tonnage capability of
a CVSG (given your premise that the CVN is having to operate from extended
range itself)? Three or four B-1B's or B-52's alone can acheive that. OEF
demonstrated the use of both F-15E's and F-16's in conducting pretty long
range strike operations (from the PG around Iran, up to Afghanistan and back
again, at greater range than the CVN-based strikers were enduring). Worried
about an enemy air threat? Then you have your standoff attack systems, along
with B-2's. Yes, there are other issues (hauling in the bombs, etc.), but
they are not insurmountable (i.e., we still have a surface transport
capability, augmented by air transport assets).

Should we can the CVN's? No, of course not. But they can continue to operate
a few more years with the support of KC-135R's and KC-10's without HAVING to
have the 767's *optimized* for their very own use.

Brooks

The CVWs are already on station with
everything but the tanking (and maybe some E-3s/JSTARS).

Guy



  #7  
Old May 9th 04, 01:56 AM
C Knowles
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Just some observations.

The article is not clear on the fact that the 767 WILL have a drogue on
every mission, like the KC-10. It will not have multiple wing pods, only a
centerline hose. Hence it does not meet the "simultaneous" capability
required by the USN.

So why doesn't the AF have this desperately needed requirement? Because the
AF uses a boom that can offload fuel 2-3 times a fast, and requires less
cycle time? Maybe the USN should consider putting receptacles next to the
probes on their fighters, ala the F-101 and F-105. Or buy more KC-130s.

The pods on KC-10s are WARPs (Wing Air Refueling Pod) while the KC-135
version is the MPRs (Multi-Point Refueling System). Essentially the same
pod but not interchangeable.

Curt


"Henry J Cobb" wrote in message
...
http://www.military.com/NewContent/0...042804,00.html
Will the Air Force fulfill the Navy requirement for simultaneous
refueling capability and, if so, when?


-HJC



  #8  
Old May 9th 04, 04:21 AM
Kevin Brooks
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"C Knowles" wrote in message
om...
Just some observations.

The article is not clear on the fact that the 767 WILL have a drogue on
every mission, like the KC-10. It will not have multiple wing pods, only

a
centerline hose. Hence it does not meet the "simultaneous" capability
required by the USN.


The hang up is the use of the word "required". The USN's own tanking assets
on board their carriers are single-point hose/drogue assets; for them to
"require" that other providers have to perform better is a bit odd, sort of
like looking the gift-horse in the mouth (unless the USN wants to pony up
the additional bucks required to make the 767 a multi-point platform,
something I have not seen them express any desire to do as of yet).

Brooks


So why doesn't the AF have this desperately needed requirement? Because

the
AF uses a boom that can offload fuel 2-3 times a fast, and requires less
cycle time? Maybe the USN should consider putting receptacles next to the
probes on their fighters, ala the F-101 and F-105. Or buy more KC-130s.

The pods on KC-10s are WARPs (Wing Air Refueling Pod) while the KC-135
version is the MPRs (Multi-Point Refueling System). Essentially the same
pod but not interchangeable.

Curt


"Henry J Cobb" wrote in message
...
http://www.military.com/NewContent/0...042804,00.html
Will the Air Force fulfill the Navy requirement for simultaneous
refueling capability and, if so, when?


-HJC





 




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