Suivre ce blog Administration + Créer mon blog
5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 17:20
Boeing starts assembly of USAF KC-46 tanker's second refuelling boom

The skin of the second KC-46A boom being loaded into a jig at Boeing's boom assembly centre in Seattle, US. Photo: courtesy of Boeing


5 September 2013 airforce-technology.com


The US Air Force's (USAF) KC-46A aerial refuelling tanker development programme has moved ahead with the start of assembly of the second refuelling boom at Boeing's facility in Seattle, US.


Once assembled, the refuelling boom is scheduled to be mounted on a test aircraft for further validation of its design.


Boeing is currently manufacturing five test booms, of which the first will be utilised for risk-reducing laboratory tests at a System Integration Lab (SIL), also called as SIL 0, in early 2014.


Boeing KC-46 vice-president and programme manager Maureen Dougherty said the KC-46 boom is based on the proven KC-10 tanker's boom, which has performed extremely well in 30 years of its operation.


"Our team is achieving significant milestones as we prepare for flight tests to begin, and we remain focused on delivering this capability on schedule,'' Dougherty said.


Manufactured at KC-46 Boom Assembly Center at Boeing Field in Seattle, the modernised fly-by-wire boom is expected to provide KC-46 tanker with advanced refuelling capabilities, enabling it to refuel any fixed-wing receiver aircraft anytime and on any mission.


Developed from Boeing's 767-200ER, KC-46A is a military aerial refuelling and strategic transport aircraft designed to replace the USAF's ageing KC-135 Stratotankers fleet, which has served as its primary refuelling aircraft for more than 50 years.


Boeing is currently under contract to deliver 18 KC-46 refuelling aircraft by 2017 to the USAF, which is planning to acquire a total of 179 tankers by 2027.


An initial test flight of the fully-equipped KC-46A tanker is planned for early 2015, while delivery will take place in 2016.

Partager cet article
5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 07:20
Boeing KC-46 source Boeing

Boeing KC-46 source Boeing

September 4, 2013 defense-aerospace.com    

(Source: Boeing Co.; issued September 3, 2013)


Boeing Tanker Remains On Schedule with Start of 2nd Refueling Boom Assembly


SEATTLE --– Boeing workers in Seattle took another step toward delivering next-generation aerial refueling capability to the U.S. Air Force today when they began assembling the second refueling boom for the KC-46A Tanker program.


Based on the Boeing 767 commercial airplane, the KC-46A will feature a modernized fly-by-wire boom and hose and drogue systems, making it capable of refueling any U.S. or allied fixed wing aircraft any time on any mission. What’s more, the KC-46 itself can be refueled in flight, adding to its substantially greater capability and mission flexibility.


"Our team is achieving significant milestones as we prepare for flight tests to begin, and we remain focused on delivering this capability on schedule,” said Maureen Dougherty, KC-46 vice president and program manager. “The KC-46 boom is modeled after the proven KC-10 boom, which has performed extremely well in its 30 years of operation. We’re enhancing its reliability, making it even better.”


Five test booms are being built. The first will be used for risk-reducing laboratory tests that are scheduled to begin early next year. The second will be installed on a test aircraft to further evaluate the design.


Boeing invented the air refueling boom and has been building, upgrading and modifying them for more than 60 years. The company remains on plan to deliver the initial 18 combat-ready KC-46As by 2017. It will deliver 179 to the Air Force by 2027.



A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $33 billion business with 59,000 employees worldwide.

Partager cet article
4 septembre 2013 3 04 /09 /septembre /2013 05:50
HMS Illustrious (right) takes fuel from the French supply tanker FS Somme

16.08.2013 Photographer: PO(Phot) Ray Jones - UK MoD


HMS Illustrious met up with the FS Somme today, a tanker from the French Navy, to conduct a Replenishment At Sea (RAS). This is where two ships sail at extremely close quarters, pass lines between the two of them, and then pump fuel across. Even though Lusty only sailed a few days ago, it is always prudent to take the opportunity to top up the tanks when possible. This was also a useful training evolution for both ships companies, and once again demonstrated interoperability between the Royal Navy and the French Navy.


HMS Illustrious is currently deployed on Cougar 13. Cougar is the annual deployment of the UK Armed Forces Maritime Response Force Task Group to the Mediterranean and East of Suez. The deployment serves to protect the free, safe and lawful use of the sea and to promote UK interests by developing international partnerships. Cougar allows the UK’s maritime assets to exercise with multinational forces in the Gulf region, enhancing our interoperability.

Partager cet article
26 août 2013 1 26 /08 /août /2013 16:20
Boeing KC-46  source Boeing

Boeing KC-46 source Boeing

Aug 23, 2013 ASDNews Source : The Boeing Company


Boeing officially began assembling the second KC-46A Tanker this week as workers loaded the aircraft’s wing spar into an Automated Spar Assembly Tool. The on-time milestone brings the program another step closer to delivering the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation aerial refueling tanker.


The event comes less than two months after the KC-46 program began to assemble the first of four Engineering, Manufacturing and Development test aircraft. The wing spar, the main structural component of the wing, is 82 feet 5 inches long and provides critical support for flight loads and the weight of the wings.


“Completing production of the four test aircraft on schedule is our priority as we prepare to enter the flight test phase of the program,” said Maj. Gen. John Thompson, U.S. Air Force Program Executive Officer for Tankers. “The program continues to meet or exceed all contract milestones.”


The first test aircraft is expected to roll out of the factory in January 2014, while the second is scheduled to leave the factory in March. Boeing plans to fly the fully provisioned tanker for the first time in early 2015 and make the first delivery in 2016. The company expects to build and deliver the first 18 KC-46As by 2017 and a total of 179 by 2027 if all options under the contract are exercised.


“We’re exactly where we want to be right now,” said Maureen Dougherty, Boeing vice president and KC-46 Tanker program manager. “One year from now, all four test aircraft will be out of the factory, and the first two will be flying.”


The KC-46A is based on the Boeing 767 commercial jetliner, a proven airframe in service as an airliner, freighter and tanker. Boeing has delivered more than 1,050 767s worldwide.


“Production of the first tanker is going smoothly and remains on schedule,” said Scott Campbell, 767 vice president and general manager, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Partager cet article
3 juin 2013 1 03 /06 /juin /2013 06:20
Le premier vol du futur avion ravitailleur de l'US Air Force est programmé pour début 2015, les livraisons l\'année suivante. - Photo Boeing

Le premier vol du futur avion ravitailleur de l'US Air Force est programmé pour début 2015, les livraisons l\'année suivante. - Photo Boeing

03/06 Par Alain Ruello - LesEchos.fr


L'assemblage du premier dérivé militaire du 767 démarrera le 26 juin.


Février 2011. Après une bataille politico-commerciale épique, Boeing arrache - de manière définitive - le mégacontrat des avions ravitailleurs du Pentagone à EADS. Le montant estimé donne le vertige : plus de 30 milliards de dollars. Vingt-sept mois plus tard, le groupe s'apprête à enclencher une phase clef du programme, baptisé KC46. Le 26 juin, dans la foulée du salon du Bourget, l'avionneur américain va démarrer l'assemblage du premier des 179 exemplaires, le premier vol restant programmé pour début 2015 et le début des livraisons, l'année suivante.


Un calendrier très serré


« A ce stade nous sommes en phase avec le planning », assurait il y a quelques jours Jake Howitt, le responsable adjoint du programme, à Seattle, d'où sortiront ces dérivés militaires du Boeing 767. L'enjeu est de taille car Boeing a pris le risque de signer un contrat à prix fixe pour la conception, les tests et la livraison de 4 premiers ravitailleurs d'ici à 2017. Si le constructeur respecte ses échéances, le Pentagone transformera en commande ferme les options à prix fixe prévues pour les 175 autres appareils. La dernière livraison est prévue en 2027 au plus tard.


L'attention des ingénieurs est tout entière accaparée par la fin de la phase de développement, prévue au troisième trimestre. Le calendrier étant très serré, les responsables de Boeing veulent prendre le moins de risques possible. D'autant que le contrat passé avec l'Italie a laissé des traces, du fait des problèmes rencontrés avec la perche de ravitaillement. Le KC46 ne sera pas un bijou d'innovation, la plupart des équipements existent déjà. « Pour la grande majorité de l'appareil, nous n'inventons rien », résume Jake Howitt.


Si Boeing assure être en phase avec son planning, qu'en est-il du budget ? Tout en reconnaissant sa défaite, EADS avait affirmé à l'époque que jamais Boeing ne pourrait dégager de profit sur ce contrat. Interrogé à ce sujet, Jake Howitt confesse sobrement : « Nous n'anticipons pas un grand retour sur investissement » sur la tranche ferme du contrat signée, dit-il. Avant de se montrer plus explicite : Boeing perdra de l'argent sur cette phase (déjà 700 millions selon des estimations qui couraient mi-2011, chiffre non confirmé officiellement), mais prévoit toujours d'en gagner sur l'ensemble du programme. En clair, une fois les 179 exemplaires prévus livrés à l'armée de l'air américaine.


D'ici là, le KC46 pourra améliorer ses marges grâce aux ventes à l'international, où il se mesure à l'A330 MRTT d'Airbus. Au total, Boeing évalue le marché potentiel entre 25 à 50 appareils. Ce chiffre, qui porte sur les dix prochaines années, peut paraître faible, mais il est vrai que de nombreux pays sont déjà équipés en avions ravitailleurs.

Partager cet article
1 juin 2013 6 01 /06 /juin /2013 11:45
A330 MRTT photo Airbus Military

A330 MRTT photo Airbus Military

29 May 2013 by Guy Martin - defenceweb.co.za


The Algerian Air Force is looking to buy between four and six Airbus Military A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transports (MRTTs), Airbus has confirmed.


Rafael Tentor, head of light and medium aircraft at Airbus Military, told defenceWeb that Algeria was “very much interested” in the MRTT. Following a request from the Algerian Air Force, Airbus sent a Royal Air Force MRTT to the North African country at the beginning of May for evaluation.


This was seen at the Algerian Air Force’s main transport base of Boufarik near the capital Algiers. The aircraft that landed featured two refuelling pods mounted on the wingtips.


Tentor told defenceWeb that the MRTT conducted aerial refuelling tests with the Air Force’s Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets


He said that the Algerian Air Force is seeking to buy between four and six MRTTs to replace its existing fleet of Ilyushin Il-78 Midas tankers. Tentor was optimistic that Airbus Military would have an Algerian campaign by the end of this year.


Other African nations that may be interested in MRTTs are Egypt and South Africa, according to Tentor. South Africa could use the MRTT for externally deploying its fighters, and as the aircraft can be configured for VIP duties, it could also fulfil the government’s current requirement for a new VIP transport.


Funding has been made available for a VIP jet purchase this financial year. However, Airbus has not offered the MRTT to South Africa yet, according to the company, but is talking to the government about its C295 light transport.


The A330 MRTT is based on the commercial A330-200 passenger jet and is able to carry 111 tonnes of fuel in its wings, leaving the fuselage free for other payloads. It can be used as a pure transport aircraft able to carry up to 300 troops, or can carry 45 tonnes of cargo. The MRTT can also be converted to accommodate up to 130 stretchers for Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) missions.



The MRTT has been ordered by the United Kingdom (14), Australia (5), United Arab Emirates (3) and Saudi Arabia (6). The MRTT has also been selected by India and is the preferred choice of the French Air Force. India is expected to sign a deal shortly.


The MRTT has experienced two refuelling boom failures in flight, something Airbus said was due to operator error. The company said that modifications have been made to ensure no accidents occur again.



Guy Martin is attending Airbus Military’s annual Trade Media Briefing at the company’s invitation.

Partager cet article
16 avril 2013 2 16 /04 /avril /2013 18:11
Partager cet article
19 septembre 2012 3 19 /09 /septembre /2012 12:35

US Air Force KC-46 Tanker Programme


September 19, 2012 by Zach Rosenberg – FG


Washington DC - Eighteen months into the Boeing KC-46 tanker programme, all is progressing as planned, says Maj Gen John Thompson, the US Air Force (USAF) programme manager.


The programme, meant to produce an aerial tanker to replace the Boeing KC-135, is 21% finished with its development schedule and remains on time and on budget.


The first parts - skin for the tail boom - have been produced, "so if someone tells you this is a paper plane, you can point at them and say, 'liar!'" says Thompson.


"I will have plenty of number two and number three priorities, but my number one priority is to successfully get through the critical design review (CDR) next year."


CDR is scheduled for July, 2013, with a plethora of subsystem PDRs to be completed beforehand. After CDR, the aircraft is built. The first flight of the new 767 variant upon which the KC-46 is based is scheduled for 2014, with a 2015 flight of the actual tanker aircraft.


Budget sequestration, scheduled to take effect in January, 2013 without Congressional intervention, would be "near catastrophic" for the programme, says Thompson.

Partager cet article
6 juillet 2012 5 06 /07 /juillet /2012 16:40
C-27J Spartan Refuels from KC-767A Tanker


July 6, 2012 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Alenia Aermacchi; issued July 5, 2012)


C-27J: Positive Tests for the Fight-Refueling with the KC-767A Tanker


TURIN, Italy --- The C-27J is carrying out flight-refueling tests with the KC-767A tanker at the Italian Air Force Base in Pratica di Mare with the collaboration of the 14th Stormo of the Italian Air Force, Alenia Aermacchi, Rolls Royce and Dowty, the latter two responsible respectively for the engines and propellers of the aircraft.


After a series of ground test that did not present any complications, the flight test conducted had the C-27J perform a series of contacts with the KC-767 at various altitudes between 10.000 and 20.000 ft. and speeds up to and near 220 kts, including night flight-refueling with the aid of Night Vision Goggles; in turning pattern, in turbulence and during an emergency decent.


The preliminary results highlighted the exceptional flying quality of the C-27J, in both the day and night contacts. The test confirmed the high capability of fuel transfer (up to 2800 liters\min) predicted in the planning phase, allowing for a complete replenishment of the tanks in only 5 minutes.


Also confirmed during these test was the superior quality of the C-27J as an aircraft receiver also in conditions of slipstream turbulence generated by the tanker.


An aircraft piloted by Alenia Aermacchi test pilots was used for these tests, modified with the integration of a complex instrumentation dedicated to controlling the engine parameters, propellers, transfer of fuel and flight controls, in order to meet the requirements requested by the military certification.


The objective of these tests was to achieve the certification of the flight-refueling system, that so far has been adopted on the 12 C-27Js in service in Italy and on one of the three units in service with the Lithuanian Air Force.

Partager cet article


  • : RP Defense
  • : Web review defence industry - Revue du web industrie de défense - company information - news in France, Europe and elsewhere ...
  • Contact


Articles Récents