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USAF Weighs Scrapping KC-10, A-10 Fleets [NOT F-35]

Unread postPosted: 15 Sep 2013, 22:54
by spazsinbad
Long article with only one mention of the F-35 - is this a record?

USAF Weighs Scrapping KC-10, A-10 Fleets 15 Sep 2013 MARCUS WEISGERBER & AARON MEHTA
"WASHINGTON — Faced with steep budget cuts and the desire to keep existing procurement initiatives on track, the US Air Force is considering scrapping its entire fleet of KC-10 tankers and A-10 attack jets, according to multiple military and defense sources.

Also on the chopping block are F-15C fighter jets and a planned $6.8 billion purchase of new combat search-and-rescue helicopters, these sources say.

While these proposals are far from final, the options show the magnitude of the decisions facing Air Force leadership as the service wrestles with the prospect of cutting billions of dollars in planned spending over the next decade.

“You only gain major savings if you cut an entire fleet,” Gen. Mark Welsh, Air Force chief of staff, told sister publication Air Force Times last week. “You can cut aircraft from a fleet, but you save a lot more money if you cut all the infrastructure that supports the fleet.”...

...Retiring the F-15C would save maintenance and upgrade costs, Rebecca Grant, president of IRIS Research and a former USAF official, said. The service could then use those funds to speed procurement of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.''...'"

http://www.defensenews.com/article/2013 ... -10-Fleets

RE: USAF Weighs Scrapping KC-10, A-10 Fleets [NOT F-35]

Unread postPosted: 15 Sep 2013, 23:56
by delvo
Another addition for the "Air Force hates A-10" theory

Unread postPosted: 16 Sep 2013, 01:40
by popcorn
The AF may aggressively pursue KC-10 phaseout if KC-46 looks to meet it's 2017 rollout. A-10 is a logical choice but have mixed feelings about F-15C given limited number of Raptors. A lot will depend on how quickly F-35s can be fielded in sizable numbers.
Expect Congress to meddle by telling AF how to run it's business. :roll:

Unread postPosted: 16 Sep 2013, 01:50
by lookieloo
Early KC-10 retirement? I guess that solves Canada's tanker issue.

Unread postPosted: 16 Sep 2013, 01:55
by count_to_10
popcorn wrote:The AF may aggressively pursue KC-10 phaseout if KC-46 looks to meet it's 2017 rollout. A-10 is a logical choice but have mixed feelings about F-15C given limited number of Raptors. A lot will depend on how quickly F-35s can be fielded in sizable numbers.
Expect Congress to meddle by telling AF how to run it's business. :roll:

They would presumably still have the F-15Es.

Unread postPosted: 16 Sep 2013, 02:04
by popcorn
count_to_10 wrote:
popcorn wrote:The AF may aggressively pursue KC-10 phaseout if KC-46 looks to meet it's 2017 rollout. A-10 is a logical choice but have mixed feelings about F-15C given limited number of Raptors. A lot will depend on how quickly F-35s can be fielded in sizable numbers.
Expect Congress to meddle by telling AF how to run it's business. :roll:

They would presumably still have the F-15Es.


Certainly. I hope the AF will publish the projected savings to be realized by the retirement of each fleet and it's logistical tail.

Unread postPosted: 16 Sep 2013, 06:00
by neurotech
I could see some benefit to phasing out the KC-10, and maybe use contractor operated KDC-10s or KC-767s (or modified 767-300 Freighters) as a stop gap.

One reason why the KC-46 program went off the rails is that there is considerable requirements and changes from the baseline 767-400ER and beyond refueling boom capability of the KC-767 already in foreign service.

Unread postPosted: 16 Sep 2013, 12:55
by madrat
This isn't about savings, it's a pissing match. KC-10A serves a niche that is coupled to C-5's and ferrying fighters of the other services.

MAC needs to be separated from the USAF and become its own branch. Too many screw jobs by the USAF brass in times like these.

Unread postPosted: 16 Sep 2013, 14:11
by bigjku
madrat wrote:This isn't about savings, it's a pissing match. KC-10A serves a niche that is coupled to C-5's and ferrying fighters of the other services.

MAC needs to be separated from the USAF and become its own branch. Too many screw jobs by the USAF brass in times like these.


I think that is kind of silly. The KC-46 will have a center line drogue system on every single frame where the KC-135 does not. They will also with the first 179 of the aircraft have 46 wing kit sets that will turn each of them into a refueling source for up to three probe equipped aircraft. There are 60 KC-10's and I think only around 20 have more than one drogue refueling point. That is a pretty drastic improvement in my view.

In short the KC-46 will drastically improve the ability of the USAF to support Marine, Navy and allied aircraft as it comes into service. You can't get rid of the whole KC-135 fleet yet so if you want to lose a fleet it has to be the 60 KC-10's to realize the cost savings.

There is no reason that a C-5 can't be refueled from a KC-135 or a KC-46 either. It may take a bit more planning but such is life.

Unread postPosted: 16 Sep 2013, 18:19
by madrat
The C-5M isn't as bad off as the original C-5A, but deployments of the C-5A to overseas locations was affected to the point of being futile.

When the KC-46 is up and running then create the harmless gap. As it is now there is a huge difference in the use of h&d on KC-10A and the xC-135x refuelers. Creating capability gaps is what was avoided in previous cuts.

Unread postPosted: 17 Sep 2013, 00:11
by delvo
What are the differences among our tankers?

Unread postPosted: 21 Sep 2013, 17:40
by huggy
lookieloo wrote:Early KC-10 retirement? I guess that solves Canada's tanker issue.

HA! Good call!!

Unread postPosted: 21 Sep 2013, 23:58
by lookieloo
huggy wrote:
lookieloo wrote:Early KC-10 retirement? I guess that solves Canada's tanker issue.
HA! Good call!!
I know right? They could buy 2-6 of the things at firesale prices and have an ample supply of spare parts in the boneyard. Might also be an option for other potential F-35A customers worried about access to boom refueling.

Unread postPosted: 06 Oct 2013, 03:52
by PhillyGuy
Just read an article that made my blood boil. CSAF stated his first bird was a Hog, he is now an old man, and the bit=rd is still flying. He didn't dwell on this. Stated he would like to have 1000 Hogs, then mentions it's best to cut entire fleets to save money. Didn't know he was in finance! I thought his job was to ensure a credible military force, and resign, rather than willingly disarm America. Tired of favorite Generals for hire, too much lip service and very little leadership. They need to remind the politicians what is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, from a military standpoint, and then raise hell when it's compromised. We haven't been tested is what it is, but I'm afraid history isn't too kind when one lets down their guard, to a present or emerging danger.

Unread postPosted: 06 Oct 2013, 13:09
by count_to_10
PhillyGuy, there is a difference between what he would like to have with infinite resources, and what he finds to be most effective given limited resources.