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Lockheed exits US Air Force tanker competition; lifting Boeing's KC-46

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WASHINGTON, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) has withdrawn from the U.S. Air Force's competition to build at least 75 refueling tankers, the company said, giving Boeing's (BA.N) KC-46 Pegasus a boost in the closely watched multi-billion dollar Air Force contract. (www.reuters.com) More...

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avionik99
avionik99 8
I worked the KC-135 at Depot in the mid 90's as an avionics tech. We were doing the 1st phase of a complete rewire and the turbofan engines had just been installed in Kansas when we got them. It's surely time for a replacement. One issue with the new KC-46 is they are going with a remote boomer using a video position instead of direct like the 135 is. They seem to be over engineering this project. They have had a working boom for decades and now they cant even get that right?
johntaylor571
John Taylor 2
That remote boom has caused so many issues that the aircraft is not certified for combat use. Training missions only. The problem seems to be lack of depth perception and a 3-D need to actually make a safe hook up being displayed on a 2-D screen up front. I was a KC-135 crew chief and then flight chief for twenty six years. There was never a better plane built than the KC-135.
RexBentley
Rex Bentley 2
Count the engines divide by 2,if don't get an even number, don't get on.
charleslindberg
Care to explain ??
charlie02vy
4/2 = 2, 2/2 = 1
I'm taking it that Rex does not fly anywhere, at all, ever
boomvangs
steve robert 1
you forgot the 3/2=1.5 I think Rex only fles on the A380, A340 and 747. it only leaves him a handful of airlines that he can travel on
yr2012
matt jensen 1
KC 10 is a tri jet
charlie02vy
Well, that equation still does not work for the KC-10......
1ValerieScott
Valerie Scott 1
US( yes us) gov locks out foreign competition. Airbus has much better products for this mission.
johntaylor571
John Taylor 2
The 767 has been used very successfully by other countries for many years. It's a proven platform. The problem came with moving the boomer up front and out of the belly where the refueling action takes place on USAF jets. Other countries use a probe and drogue configuration and can put reels at each wing tip and the rear fuselage with no boomer needed. Had Boeing not moved the boomer up front, the 767 would have been a perfect platform without relying on a foreign government providing parts if they disapprove of a combat mission the US may find itself in (I'm looking at you France when you denied overflight permission to bomb Kadafi).
rlw4418
Perhaps Lockheed Martin understands there was no way they could win. Another consideration is actually building fewer planes than the 75 noted.
boomvangs
steve robert -1
Lockheed does not even have a suitable airframe for a tanker, so development costs would be astronomical. Most tankers are converted from passenger places save for the C130
jwhill
Jeff Hill 3
Lockheed was partnered with Airbus, offering a tanker version of the Airbus 330.
yatesd
yatesd 1
The MRTT is the tanker we should’ve bought instead of Boeing.
yr2012
matt jensen 0
C130's are used to refuel helos
erichays
Eric Hays 1
Matt you don't even know what you don't know about KC130's and their mission:

https://www.military.com/video/military-aircraft-operations/refueling-in-flight/f-4-phantoms-refuel-over-vietnam/2886384515001
johntaylor571
John Taylor 1
What part of what he said is wrong? KC-130's ARE used to refuel helicopters. Just because they may have been infrequently used on other missions doesn't make his statement wrong.
erichays
Eric Hays 1
Just exactly what you said John. " they may have been infrequently used on other missions."
While a Marine KC130 First Mech I flew on way more missions refueling F4's Phantoms, AVA-B Harriers, A6 Intruders or FA-18 Hornets than I ever flew refueling any Helo. For some reason people have the mistaken impression that the KC130 primary mission for refueling is helicopters. That may be true for the Air Force but not the Corps.
erichays
Eric Hays 1
https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/tr/pdf/ADA510344.pdf

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