Boeing MQ-25 Refueling Drone

I think it was the Stephen Koontz books (of which the doyen I think was Flight of the Intruder) that built novels around US carrier ops.

There was a system for launching a raid. Get fighters up to keep the airspace clear, get AWACS up to control the raid. Get a ranker up. Get the raid aircraft up. Top up the raid aircraft that have used a lot of fuel getting airborne. Set off on the raid.

Something like that. Don't quote me. It must be 25 years since I read them at the VSC while consulting.

A lot more takeoffs than just the raid aircraft.

ISTR that the SR-71 blackbird couldn't take off with full load, so had to tank almost immediately on take off.
 
Tanker aircraft are such valuable assets that they need escorting. Same thing must apply to tanker drones too...

They need protecting, which doesn’t necessarily mean escorting.

...Could regular drones escort a tanker drone?

Against what threat? If you mean against manned fighters, we’re several decades away from RPAS let alone autonomous UAS being able even approach the capabilities of those. That’s why even 6th Gen conceptual studies are all at least optionally manned designs.

Regards,
MM
 
Pity it's not STOVL, refuelling F-35b at 500nm would be useful!

Wonder if that's on the drawing board?

I wouldn’t expect a STOVL MQ-25 to be planned as it’s designed to operate off CVNs. Meanwhile the USMC have a tanker pod which can be added to the MV-22 (although the use of afterburner means the benefits are eroded!).
ishvbxi9enjwbuhcqre7.jpg.cf.jpg

However, organic tankers primarily offer a safety blanket to aircraft returning to a cat/trap carrier should the deck be obstructed or if someone’s having a bad day and can’t catch a wire. They’re therefore far less relevant to STOVL ops and only a land based asset can realistically provide the quantity of gas for a formation embarking on a strike.

In a perfect world it would be nice to have several MV-22s on each QE for AAR and COD. However, it’s such a niche role and the likelihood that land based AAR not being available for an op so low means that in my view, there are FAR better things we can spend our money on.

Regards,
MM
 
I do love the USMC ingenuity.

As well as the KC-130J Harvest HAWK package I believe that they are putting the capability on V-22.

and now tanker capabilities.

I have always liked the V-22, I don't know why. Even a few years back where it was described on these hallowed forii as 'a solution looking for a problem'.

Admittedly I think it was crashing alot at that time!
 
Is the MQ-25 fully autonomous or controlled directly from the carrier?


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The hornet can't take off with a full load of fuel and wpns. So they take off with reduced fuel and then top up to full tanks from one configured as a buddy refueler. 40% seems excessive but there is the weasel words "up to 40%" so there may be some edge cases of range/payload/weather that need that many

Pretty sure we did similar with the Buccaneer at times
 
Four iterations thereof infact...

Let's hope one doesn't go all VYGR.

Yup, I work with a few of the folks who used to be on the project teams. I do occaisionally poke fun and ask them when their 'baby' is going to go postal and commence the clensing. They must not be Terminator fans :p
 
Yup, I work with a few of the folks who used to be on the project teams. I do occaisionally poke fun and ask them when their 'baby' is going to go postal and commence the clensing. They must not be Terminator fans :p

Is there a 'well dressed' former TeleMech from Liverpool still working there? Lah.
 
Is there a 'well dressed' former TeleMech from Liverpool still working there? Lah.

I shall ask when I get back off leave :p

I kind of hope the name for the system was inspired by the film. There are some areas at work that have gained their names due to resembling elements of films. :p

MoD Engineers can be hilariously clever at times.
 
I shall ask when I get back off leave :p

I kind of hope the name for the system was inspired by the film. There are some areas at work that have gained their names due to resembling elements of films. :p

MoD Engineers can be hilariously clever at times.

Alas the film was '80s the first skynet satellite was launched in the '60'.

We had a little hiatus after skynet 2, in the '80s and borrowed USAF birds. Before launching skynet 4 after 'lessons identified' from the Falklands.
 
I wouldn’t expect a STOVL MQ-25 to be planned as it’s designed to operate off CVNs. Meanwhile the USMC have a tanker pod which can be added to the MV-22 (although the use of afterburner means the benefits are eroded!).
ishvbxi9enjwbuhcqre7.jpg.cf.jpg

However, organic tankers primarily offer a safety blanket to aircraft returning to a cat/trap carrier should the deck be obstructed or if someone’s having a bad day and can’t catch a wire. They’re therefore far less relevant to STOVL ops and only a land based asset can realistically provide the quantity of gas for a formation embarking on a strike.

In a perfect world it would be nice to have several MV-22s on each QE for AAR and COD. However, it’s such a niche role and the likelihood that land based AAR not being available for an op so low means that in my view, there are FAR better things we can spend our money on.

Regards,
MM

Is that on Afterburner to maintain the slow speed or sort of super cruise?

Do you think that thing could ever do ramp take off?
 
Is that on Afterburner to maintain the slow speed or sort of super cruise?

Do you think that thing could ever do ramp take off?

If you mean the F35-B then it will be ramp/ski jump launched won't it?

Unless you mean the MV-22..... for that the Americans can always buld a huge rubber band catapult for use of NATO carriers :p
 
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