Lockheed Martin unveils tanker concept to refuel stealth aircraft

Discussion in 'Defense Industry & Policy' started by Falcon, Jan 11, 2017.

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  1. Falcon

    Falcon Lieutenant Colonel Staff Member Social Media Team

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    Lockheed Martin has unveiled its concept of next-generation wing-body tanker aircraft for refuel fighters like the F-22 and F-35. That was reported by Graham Warwick.

    The concept of new stealth tanker aircraft was displayed for the first time at AIAA SciTech Forum. Lockheed has already begun wind-tunnel testing on a four percent scale model of a new Hybrid Wing Body (HWB) airlifter designed for maximized aerodynamic efficiency. As Lockheed’s aerospace engineers conduct flight tests on the 45-pound HWB model, they could use the data not only to develop the HWB but also to jumpstart a tanker program with a similar blended wing-body design.

    The U.S. Air Force Air Mobility Command recently announced the “KC-Z” program intended to develop a next-generation tanker aircraft—one that could fly into dangerous airspace to support stealth strike fighters like the F-22 and F-35—by 2035.

    Reade more:
    http://defence-blog.com/news/lockhe...nker-concept-for-refuel-stealth-aircraft.html
     
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  2. YarS

    YarS Lieutenant Colonel

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    Ha! Funny concept. What did they mean with "dangerous airspace"?
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
  3. Falcon

    Falcon Lieutenant Colonel Staff Member Social Media Team

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    The concept is actually very good, if you have stealth aircraft they naturally need to be refueled. Refusing them with conventional non-stealth tankers is not logical hence this solution.

    Dangerous airspace most likely implies airspace fully controlled by the enemy or in reach of enemy aircraft. A conventional tanker would give away the location of our stealth aircraft in an environment like that.
     
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  4. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    The simple fact is that stealth aircraft today can't use their full capabilities because of this capability gap. Once these new tankers come out stealth squadrons will be more effective and have the capability to carry out more dangerous missions.
     
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  5. YarS

    YarS Lieutenant Colonel

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    Yes, it can be usefull in some situations. May be. May be not. But in what situations it can be usefull? You have less that 200 F-22. For example - there is WW3, and after first exange of nuclear strikes you have 50 Raptors. Russian tanks already capture Warshaw and start a race to Berlin. If F-22 will continue to flight from USA airstripes - they will make only one flight in two days. If they will flight from German or French airbases - they will make three of four flights at day.
    Other situation - China begin reunion with Taiwan by military force. F-22 working from Guam island. They will be overhelmed even with herds of unmanned J-7 (that cost twice less that AIM-120D).
    Even in Syria sometimes our planes were making two-three flights at day. Turnover is a best multiplicator of an air force, imho.
    So, as I understood it can be usefull only in very low intencive conflict, most likely - for diversions at the peacefull time.
     
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