IN-FLIGHT rearming and refueling

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element1loop

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Unread post26 Oct 2019, 03:33

This one has me scratching my head.

Air Force Explore Opportunity Call

Source: Air Force Research Laboratory; issued Sept. 26, 2019

The Air Force Explore Opportunity Call seeks transformational Capability Ideas that address one of the following Functional Challenges and advance at least one of the five Strategic Capabilities outlined in the Air Force Science and Technology Strategy. Capability Idea submissions will be similar to that of a 2-3 page white paper and will require elements such as an idea maturation plan consisting of aggressive, short duration applied research and development efforts to assess the operational viability and demonstrate feasibility of transformational warfighter capabilities including their associated business and use cases.

Idea Maturation Plans can demonstrate operational viability and feasibility of the Capability Idea through various approaches including, but not limited to: modeling & simulation, military utility experimentation, exercise participation, technical analysis, technology maturation, risk reduction activities, and subject matter expertise input.

To guide these Capability Ideas, the Air Force is issuing a series of functional challenges beginning with the following three:

-- In-Flight Rearming and Refueling
-- Personnel Recovery Kit Delivery
-- Vehicle Tracking Through Commercial Imagery

In-Flight Rearming and Refueling

The Air Force envisions future scenarios in which runways on their forward main operating bases are destroyed shortly after aircraft have been sent on missions. One approach to keep operations flowing while the runways are being repaired may be to re-arm and refuel aircraft in flight. This may be required several times before landing at another operating location with functioning runways. The Air Force is interested in transformational Capability Ideas for in-flight rearming and refueling to preserve a competitive advantage and maintain operations in the future battlefield.

https://www.afexplore.com/


That also lends itself to 'mother-ship' concepts.
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count_to_10

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Unread post28 Oct 2019, 01:07

I could see a drone or towed sled that docks with fighters and load ordinance on their hard points.
Einstein got it backward: one cannot prevent a war without preparing for it.

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mixelflick

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Unread post31 Oct 2019, 14:08

count_to_10 wrote:I could see a drone or towed sled that docks with fighters and load ordinance on their hard points.


The big question being... HOW?

Does anyone even have a proposed mechanism by which this is possible?

It just doesn't seem possible...
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lamoey

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Unread post31 Oct 2019, 14:21

Land on top of a supply vessel, resupply, disconnect... 8)
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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post31 Oct 2019, 19:10

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sferrin

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Unread post31 Oct 2019, 19:17

Re-arm in flight? YIKES. :shock:
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Unread post31 Oct 2019, 19:47

I put some thought into how to do this. It would probably work if you could get the aircraft linked by a tether that also acts as a ski-lift for a robot.

It would require a detachable line going from the supply aircraft to the rearming aircraft. Maybe hook on like you would to refuel then run armament down the ski-lift line between vehicles. Automation would need to attach the bombs and such once they travel between aircraft. Maybe the ferry device/robot that travels between the two is responsible for attaching the delivery to the re-arming aircraft. The big hurdle is how do your service triple and quad racks using the same robot?
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Unread post31 Oct 2019, 19:57

You just don't. Want to re-arm in flight? Make a Helicarrier. You can't add munitions to a free flying vehicle.
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southernphantom

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Unread post31 Oct 2019, 20:22

I'm a mining engineer. How the hell did I wind up here?
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popcorn

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Unread post01 Nov 2019, 01:50

For a fighter armed with an electrically powered laser, refuelling equals rearming.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
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hornetfinn

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Unread post01 Nov 2019, 10:22

Maybe if they could make a transport aicraft big enough to take a fighter jet inside for rearming. Of course even An-225 has far too little space for that. It would need to be several times larger than An-225 which makes it pretty much impossible to do.
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Unread post01 Nov 2019, 14:28

Plausible? Perhaps.

Practical? I don't think we're there yet...
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Unread post01 Nov 2019, 21:40

Consider a transport aircraft that can deploy a towed glider that latches onto the fighter, and then attaches missiles and bombs to hard points.
Einstein got it backward: one cannot prevent a war without preparing for it.

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Unread post01 Nov 2019, 22:33

count_to_10 wrote:Consider a transport aircraft that can deploy a towed glider that latches onto the fighter, and then attaches missiles and bombs to hard points.

So like navy Probe and Drogue refueling, but WAY harder and more dangerous!
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Unread post01 Nov 2019, 23:26

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
count_to_10 wrote:Consider a transport aircraft that can deploy a towed glider that latches onto the fighter, and then attaches missiles and bombs to hard points.

So like navy Probe and Drogue refueling, but WAY harder and more dangerous!

Sort of—but only if the hose had FBW control surfaces that could smoothly guid it to the prob, and was long enough to get it out of the disturbed air of the tanker.
Einstein got it backward: one cannot prevent a war without preparing for it.

Uncertainty: Learn it, love it, live it.
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