RAF RC-135's can't refuel from RAF tankers

#1
Yes, I get that bit, flying boom and all that, but what am I missing here?


RAF sources said the Rivet Joint can fly for up to ten hours without refuelling so commanders would rarely need to rely on their allies for assistance.
But they said fitting the spy plane with RAF-friendly mid-air refuelling capabilities would have seen costs spiral 'astronomically' and delay the introduction of the aircraft for several years.
One officer said: 'This is not the gold-standard but that was not possible in the time frame we wanted to have the planes in operation.


Read more: Embarrassment for MoD as new £650million spy Airseeker planes cannot refuel in mid-air | Mail Online
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Hmmm, does he really mean someone dropped a bollock?

 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
I thought one thing we get repeatedly asked for off the US is our refueling capability so how come these things don't fit.

somebody knew as usual and as usual somebody higher up decided it wasn't necessary - like our new tanker fleet being a bag of shite costing more for less than other buyers.
 
#3
Well, it's called compromise isn't it. Of course we could have insisted on AAR capability (although 10-12 hours seems like a reasonable sortie length to me), but someone has to make a cost-benefit decision. To try and paint it as an oversight, however, is ridiculous.
 
#6
As said in the article, it was either soon, cheap(er) and without AAR or late, more expensive and the gold standard.

Of note is the fact that USMC/Navy (and alot of other countries) aircraft use probe and drogue too - hence why our tankers are so popular on Ops.

(Editted to add that KC-135 can also refuel probe and drogue - although this was not always the case...)
 
#7
Well, it's called compromise isn't it. Of course we could have insisted on AAR capability (although 10-12 hours seems like a reasonable sortie length to me), but someone has to make a cost-benefit decision. To try and paint it as an oversight, however, is ridiculous.
I was referring to the claims of astronomical cost rises and years of delay to bolt a fuel probe to the cab roof. Does seem a bit of an over egging of the issue. I mean, it's not as if the things haven't already got all the properly installed refuelling plumbing already running up to the roof, is it?


That isn't a Rivet Joint

Yes, I know, it's a E-3, same airframe as the RC-135, same flying boom refuelling arrangements, that the RAF were able to bolt a refuelling probe on in quick time without breaking the national coffers and spending years doing it.
 
#8
RJ was never going to be P/D capable without a massive wedge of extra cash - that cash could only have come from within the RJ 'buy', so the choice was either 3 RJ without P/D that fit seemlessly into the USAF RJ programme - including upgrades - or 2 RJ with P/D that don't fit seemlessly into the USAF RJ programme, and don't have upgrades.

only a fucknut could possibly have thought option 2 was the better option.
 
#9
I thought one thing we get repeatedly asked for off the US is our refueling capability so how come these things don't fit.

somebody knew as usual and as usual somebody higher up decided it wasn't necessary - like our new tanker fleet being a bag of shite costing more for less than other buyers.
USN & USMC use hose & drogue.

On original topic... LOL! it's all you can do,
 
#11
RJ was never going to be P/D capable without a massive wedge of extra cash - that cash could only have come from within the RJ 'buy', so the choice was either 3 RJ without P/D that fit seemlessly into the USAF RJ programme - including upgrades - or 2 RJ with P/D that don't fit seemlessly into the USAF RJ programme, and don't have upgrades.

only a fucknut could possibly have thought option 2 was the better option.
So why didn't the RAF wonk just say they wanted them to stay 100% USAF compatible instead of waffling on about gazillions in cost and years of delays and save all the confusion?
 
#12
I was referring to the claims of astronomical cost rises and years of delay to bolt a fuel probe to the cab roof. Does seem a bit of an over egging of the issue. Yes, I know, it's a E-3, same airframe as the RC-135, same flying boom refuelling arrangements, that the RAF were able to bolt a refuelling probe on in quick time without breaking the national coffers and spending years doing it.
Anyone remember the Nimrod disaster and subsequent enquiry about just bolting on a fuel probe? Royal Air Force Nimrod XV230 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
#13
It's okay. It's just a case of doing more with less.

Easy that.
 
#14
Any news though?
 
#16
So why didn't the RAF wonk just say they wanted them to stay 100% USAF compatible instead of waffling on about gazillions in cost and years of delays and save all the confusion?
Because the cost would be astronomical - who is the Design Authority for the jet? How much would they charge and how long would it take. Who would you get to sign it off following the exploding Nimrod saga? This has been known since day one I believe and is not a drama.
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#17
I think they should reprice all mod procurements using the new currency of inf battalions which seems to be becoming popular in the mod nowadays
 
#18
I think they should reprice all mod procurements using the new currency of inf battalions which seems to be becoming popular in the mod nowadays
Don't worry - soon all the Army will have is infantry battalions.
 
#20
I think it's an encouraging indication that MoD (the RAF dont procure) are going for the 80% option at an affordable time/cost rather than the 100%, seldom needed, risky and expensive option.
 
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