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Opportunity to update the CC-150 fleet?

KawarthaCruiser

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In spite of current government spending on Covid-19 and other military priorities like the fighter replacement or shipbuilding, wouldn’t this be an excellent time to pick up a half dozen used Airbus A-330’s on the civilian market to replace the aging CC-150 fleet?  With airlines grounding massive numbers of aircraft it would seem likely that good deals on used civilian airframes/powerplants could be made.  I seem to remember that the CC-150's were purchased on the used market from a bankrupt Canadian airline.  Is it time to replace the Polaris with something more modern and easier to maintain?
 

MilEME09

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KawarthaCruiser said:
In spite of current government spending on Covid-19 and other military priorities like the fighter replacement or shipbuilding, wouldn’t this be an excellent time to pick up a half dozen used Airbus A-330’s on the civilian market to replace the aging CC-150 fleet?  With airlines grounding massive numbers of aircraft it would seem likely that good deals on used civilian airframes/powerplants could be made.  I seem to remember that the CC-150's were purchased on the used market from a bankrupt Canadian airline.  Is it time to replace the Polaris with something more modern and easier to maintain?

Depends if anyone sells, the deal we can get, and if we are allowed to go buy it.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Now would be a good time to go shopping, but I fear the DND piggy bank will be empty unless it means jobs here.
 

dapaterson

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It would make more sense to buy new off a current production line so we would be part of a larger user community.  The C17 and Herc J fleets are successful because they were new, off the line, shared support with other nations, and the only Canadianization was the roundel on the tail.

Or we could Herc H it and build a fleet of similar but not the same aircraft and try to manage unique Canadian aircraft from aircraft that airlines didn't want.
 

PuckChaser

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Buying civilian airliners might be a good idea once we've made a decision on the aerial refueler replacement if we're finding we're short airframes after the initial buy, but now isn't the time to rush a major purchase like this. The Airbus A330 MRTT and the Boeing KC-46 based off the 767 jetliner are probably going to be our only bidders. Imagine the KC46 wins the competition and now we're holding 767s for refueling and A330s for pax transport. We're too small for a split fleet.
 

dapaterson

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The requirement is defined as a single fleet that can perform both roles.

And this isn't being rushed; there have been personnel working on the CC-150 replacement for a number of years.  The work is actually fairly well advanced.
 

KawarthaCruiser

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MilEME09 said:
Depends if anyone sells, the deal we can get, and if we are allowed to go buy it.

Yes, I expect that the Minister would be chased from the cabinet room at this time unless there was an extraordinary case to be made.
 

KawarthaCruiser

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dapaterson said:
It would make more sense to buy new off a current production line so we would be part of a larger user community.  The C17 and Herc J fleets are successful because they were new, off the line, shared support with other nations, and the only Canadianization was the roundel on the tail.

Or we could Herc H it and build a fleet of similar but not the same aircraft and try to manage unique Canadian aircraft from aircraft that airlines didn't want.

A new fleet of 5 or 6 strategic transports (including 2 tanker models) will be extremely expensive be they A-330’s or Boeing 767’s.  I would hope to see the retention of an MRTT like tanking capability for overseas fighter deployments.

You make an excellent point about commonality of the C-17 and C-103J fleets.  The CC-150's have been successful since they were first delivered to Wardair in 88-89.  They used to make use of the parts market that supported the 255 A-310’s produced but I understand the commercial fleet has dwindled to about 15 aircraft in commercial service now. (May be wrong about that number - source was a YouTube video.)  I expect that maintenance will only become more costly over time.

Do you have any idea what kinds of aircraft would replace the old tactical C-130’s in their tanking role? More new “J” models?  I doubt the government will come up with the funds to purchase KC-767's for a NORAD role.
 

dimsum

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KawarthaCruiser said:
Do you have any idea what kinds of aircraft would replace the old tactical C-130’s in their tanking role? More new “J” models?  I doubt the government will come up with the funds to purchase KC-767's for a NORAD role.

The USMC operates tanker C-130Js. 

However, the replacement will also depend on what fighter we operate - if it's the F-35, they need boom tankers, not probe/drogue tankers.  The J is a probe/drogue tanker.
 

dapaterson

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The Herc tankers were a stopgap between retiring the old Boeing tankers and the Airbus tankers, I do not think there is a plan to replace that capability.

And with airlines grounding thousands of planes, I think the only A310 commercial operators are in Iran. I don't think we can get simulator time in Tehran.
 

Zoomie

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dapaterson said:
I do not think there is a plan to replace that capability.
Concur - I believe divesting that capability is what funds the extra PYs for FWSAR.
 

Rifleman62

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Dimsum said:
The USMC operates tanker C-130Js. 

However, the replacement will also depend on what fighter we operate - if it's the F-35, they need boom tankers, not probe/drogue tankers.  The J is a probe/drogue tanker.

Do you think the the type of refueler will influence the purchase of the new fighter? If they need a boom tanker that means purchasing another aircraft type.
 

dapaterson

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Rifleman62 said:
Do you think the the type of refueler will influence the purchase of the new fighter? If they need a boom tanker that means purchasing another aircraft type.

I believe the Aribus tanker currently in production can be fitted for either.  Per Wikipedia:

For air-to-air refuelling missions the A330 MRTT can be equipped with a combination of any of the following systems:[citation needed]

Refuelling other aircraft
Airbus Military Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS) for receptacle-equipped receiver aircraft.
Cobham 905E under-wing refuelling pods for probe-equipped receiver aircraft.
Cobham 805E Fuselage Refuelling Unit (FRU) for probe-equipped receiver aircraft

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A330_MRTT
 

SupersonicMax

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kev994 said:
Here’s a video of an F35 doing probe and drogue. I’m pretty sure a boom can have a drogue fitted to it. https://youtu.be/7xR_3H0qaTE

Only the B and C variants have a probe.  The A model has a receptacle. 

Yes, a boom can have a drogue fitted to it however all modern tankers fitted with a boom also have wing drogues (A330 and KC-46).
 

dimsum

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kev994 said:
The base model never has the options you want ;)

Ha! 

But, the real reason is that the USAF aircraft are all receptacle (because it works better for large aircraft), so it's really for standardization within the service. 
 

MilEME09

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I believe the air force's plan is fighter first, refueled second just because of this issue, need to know what they need to fuel the future fighter.
 

dapaterson

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MilEME09 said:
I believe the air force's plan is fighter first, refueled second just because of this issue, need to know what they need to fuel the future fighter.

As noted, both the Boeing and Airbus models on offer can offer either refuelling system, so there is no need to sequence fighter, then transport/refuelling.
 
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