A330 MRTT Automatic Refueling To Go Live in 2021

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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Unread post16 Nov 2019, 16:00

A330 MRTT Automatic Refueling To Go Live in 2021 [LONG POST BEST READ AT SOURCE]
16 Nov 2019 David Donald

"Airbus Defence and Space’s A330 MRTT (multi-role tanker transport) will become capable of performing automatic air-to-air refueling (A3R) in 2021, the maker says. Airbus has already conducted tests of the system using a company-owned A310 MRTT testbed, beginning on March 21, 2017, when trials were conducted with an F-16 receiver, including contacts at night and in adverse light conditions. In June 2018 the system was tested with a large receiver—an A330— for the first time.

Tests with a customer are due next year, leading to certification and service entry in 2021. The customer has not been revealed, but it was the Royal Australian Air Force that provided a KC-30A for the June 2018 trials.

For now, it is not intended that A3R replaces the air refueling operator (ARO) but acts as an aid to refueling while reducing risks. A3R offers more accurate and quicker contacts, increasing operational efficiency by reducing the time needed to complete rendezvous. The capability is easily retrofitted to existing aircraft.

A3R is one of a number of developments being planned to enhance the A330 MRTT’s effectiveness and versatility. Drawing on experience with the airliner fleet, Airbus is working on the introduction in 2021 of predictive maintenance based on big data analysis.... [then stuff about VIP & ISR & Netwoiking & whatevers]

...Airbus has notched up a number of MRTT achievements in recent months. Since 2018, deliveries (to France, Korea, and Singapore) have been of the latest Weight Variant 80 version of the A330-200. This has a number of improvements, including an enhanced vision system for refueling and improved cargo loading system. The wing pods have been improved, and the aircraft has new flap-track fairings and reshaped leading-edge slats. The avionics computers are upgraded, and a new mission-planning system significantly decreases planning time and facilitates inflight replanning.

Elbit’s direct infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system has been certified for use as an alternative to the Northrop Grumman DIRCM and will be included in the aircraft for the multinational MRTT Fleet (MMF) being procured by a group of European nations. Link 16 connectivity has also been added.

A new set of refueling boom flying control laws was approved for service in early 2019, development of which was spurred by the heavy ARO workload encountered while refueling the F-15 Eagle, which is the primary fighter of three A330 MRTT operators (Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore)….

...Airbus has now delivered 41 A330 MRTTs of 60 currently on order for 13 nations. The latest country to sign up is the Czech Republic, which joined Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and Norway in the MMF in October. Other users comprise Australia, France, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the UAE, and the UK.

Discussions are ongoing with a number of other nations and also existing operators. One opportunity on the horizon is the U.S. Air Force’s need to replace its KC-10 Extender fleet. Airbus has teamed with Lockheed Martin to pursue U.S. opportunities and is expected to offer the A330 MRTT for this requirement. The company is confident that the aircraft could meet the KC-10’s offload figures while carrying less fuel, simply because the A330’s own fuel requirements are that much less than those of the older aircraft. There is also the option of adding extra fuel on the lower deck, which at present is available in its entirety for cargo carriage.

Currently, Airbus has no immediate plans to offer an MRTT based on the A330neo version, despite the production of the A330ceo airliner running down. The existing version is deemed more than adequate for MRTT operations, and a move to the A330neo may be detrimental to potential follow-on orders from existing customers."

Photo: "New boom control laws were introduced to solve workload issues encountered when refueling F-15 Eagles with the Airbus A330 multi-role tanker transport." https://www.ainonline.com/sites/default ... -pic-1.jpg


Source: https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news ... -live-2021
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Unread post18 Nov 2019, 02:56

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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Unread post18 Nov 2019, 10:47

qwertyuiop
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Unread post18 Nov 2019, 17:55

I was going to offer the purported old Airbus marketing phrase, "So easy a concierge can do it", but I decided not to.

asdfghjkl
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Unread post18 Nov 2019, 20:37

zxcvbnm [shorter & sweeter]
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Unread post19 Nov 2019, 01:59

aAAHHhh USAF (Armee AiryFors) at woik hard - one may see where this boom finangling came frum (but BRITS also):

https://rapidgator.net/file/7fe66b71bdf ... e.pdf.html (75.5Mb)
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Unread post22 Nov 2019, 21:51

KC-46 Successfully Tests Wing Refueling Pods
22 Nov 2019 Brian Everstine

"The KC-46 has successfully completed testing of the aircraft’s wing refueling pods—a key capability of the new tanker.

During the tests at Edwards AFB, Calif., the KC-46 test program used the Wing Aerial Refueling Pods to refuel an AV-8B, F-18D, and F-18G, according to a Nov. 21 release. The pods allow the aircraft to refuel two aircraft simultaneously, as opposed to current USAF tankers that can only use a centerline drogue to refuel one aircraft at a time.

“Fighter pilots usually show up in pairs and each has to watch and wait while their wingman refuels,” said Maj. Jacob Lambach, KC-46 experimental test pilot with the 418th Flight Test Squadron, in the release. “Fighters’ combat mission isn’t to sit behind the tanker, it’s to fight. If we can refuel them both at the same time, they each only spend half as much time out of the fight.”

Engineers must still review data before the pod systems can be certified by the Aerial Refueling Certification Agency. The flights tested the stability of the hose and drogue while it is extended and during retraction, along with evaluating any differences between the left and right sides, among other data points. The aircraft flew at different altitudes, airspeeds, various weights, and at different times of day, the release states...."

Source: http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pag ... -Pods.aspx
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Unread post26 Nov 2019, 20:10

KC-46 Cargo Fix Expected to Be Complete by March
25 Nov 2019 Brian Everstine

"The Air Force expects to start installing a fix to the problem that is restricting the KC-46 from carrying passengers and cargo next month, once the proposed step finishes Federal Aviation Administration certification....

...Boeing conducted a root cause analysis, and redesigned the defective system, which is currently undergoing FAA certification. Once that is completed, the Air Force will retrofit KC-46s at a rate of about two airplanes per week, AMC said in a Nov. 22 statement.

The command expects the retrofit to begin in early December, and the work is slated to be complete by March 2020. Until aircraft are retrofitted with the certified redesign, they are still blocked from carrying cargo and passengers. “Boeing is prepared to support the retrofit as soon as the Air Force is ready to proceed,” the company said in a statement...."

Source: http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pag ... March.aspx
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Unread post13 Dec 2019, 23:50

OMG it is all happening for these fellas whilst the USAF should benefit I guess 'made in 'merica' has to happen too eh. ???
The US Air Force needs more tankers. Does the defense industry have the answer?
13 Dec 2019 Valerie Insinna

"SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. — With no end in sight to the demand on the tanker fleet, the U.S. Air Force is actively seeking agreements with defense contractors for aerial refueling services. On Dec. 17, Air Mobility Command will hold an industry day at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, in the hopes of better understanding how it can contract for commercial air refueling services to supplement tanking missions performed by the Air Force’s KC-135s, KC-10s and KC-46s.

“We do think that this is an opportunity that needs to be pursued,” Lt. Gen. Jon Thomas, the command’s deputy chief, said during an exclusive interview with Defense News on Dec. 10. “If we can find a viable, clear path with industry, we should do it.”

The Air Force believes there are a certain set of aerial-refueling missions conducted in a uncontested environment that could provide a predictable stream of business, Thomas said. Through the industry day, the service is hoping to better understand how companies might be able to fulfill those requirements.

“There are several providers … that would propose that they have their own tanker that’s already flying and doing great work for other air forces,” he said. “That’s fascinating to us. There’s another vendor that has procured boom-equipped tankers from a foreign air force that is a proven capability. There are some others that may be doing the same thing with a different foreign air force. So I would say that they’re out there and they’re committing to the idea that if the Air Force is serious, we’re serious about this, too.”

There are a number of parameters that industry would have to address, such as meeting the Air Force’s aircraft certification standards and the Federal Aviation Administration’s demands for refueling in U.S. airspace. Companies must also be able to refuel aircraft using a boom — a requirement that may hinder certain tankers that use a probe and drogue for refueling. [perhaps UK changes to 'boom' as well as probydrougey?] “Right now, all commercial aerial refueling services are drogue only. It has to be a boom aircraft for the U.S. Air Force to be able to really leverage it in any meaningful way,” Thomas said.

Although Thomas declined to talk about specific vendors that could provide air refueling services, Lockheed Martin and Airbus — which joined forces in 2018 to pitch a fee-for-service model for Airbus’s A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport — have been vocal about courting the U.S. Air Force as a customer. [BOOM BOOM - the other shoe drops also]

Michele Evans, head of Lockheed’s aeronautics business, told reporters in June that the companies are in discussions with the U.S. military about A330 sales, leasing or a fee-for service construct, and that U.S. Transportation Command in particular showed interest. “We’ve really been able to show them what we think is capable, feasible,” she said. “You can never have enough tanking capability. As you look at the challenges of the battlespace and the threat and capabilities, having to be standoff farther and farther, it’s a great opportunity for them to go revisit their capabilities versus capacity.”..." [then more 'bout youse know what frankentanker]

Source: https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/12 ... he-answer/
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