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Opportunity to update the CC-150 fleet?

Mick

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lenaitch said:
There should be two each in cold Lake, Bagotville and Trenton to support arctic intercept response.  I'm not convinced the tanker Hercs are fast or long-legged enough for an adequate tactical response.  It's our arctic, we shouldn't have to rely on US for fuel.  At the very least two in Winnipeg (split the east-west distance).

http://rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/en/article-template-standard.page?doc=cc-150-polaris-tanker-fleet-reaches-norad-milestone/kctml0p5

With the retirement of the Herc Hs looming, it looks like steps are being taken to ensure the RCAF can continue providing NORAD with a Canadian tanker capability.
 

SupersonicMax

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suffolkowner said:
From all the reports over the last couple of years it's possible that the Polaris fleet is not giving us the option of time to work the file.

Same thing for the Navy's ships, or the Future Fighter Replacement.  Which one do you prioritize? We have solutions for the foreseeable future for refueling: the U.S. and contracted air-to-air refueling.  Not so much for ships and fighters.
 

SeaKingTacco

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Dimsum said:
So, there's an aircraft flown operationally by multiple allied nations, and one that's barely sorting itself out.

Clearly, if history is any indication, we will go for the “barely sorting itself out” option...

Actually, (and I stress that I do not have any inside info and what follows is pure speculation) it would not surprise me if a Canadian Airline was offered liquidity, in return for 5-6 of its (currently) under-utilized wide-bodies of a variant that also serve as tankers.
 

MilEME09

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SeaKingTacco said:
Clearly, if history is any indication, we will go for the “barely sorting itself out” option...

Actually, (and I stress that I do not have any inside info and what follows is pure speculation) it would not surprise me if a Canadian Airline was offered liquidity, in return for 5-6 of its (currently) under-utilized wide-bodies of a variant that also serve as tankers.

If we went that route, I'd hope we would buy a couple extras as spares/ emergency expansion of our air lift capability if required.
 

FJAG

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MilEME09 said:
If we went that route, I'd hope we would buy a couple extras as spares/ emergency expansion of our air lift capability if required.

There are lots of opportunities out there. Unfortunately our years' long procurement cycles won't allow us to capitalize on them.

:pop:
 

Cloud Cover

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A few posts up mentions retiring the C130H tanker. I get that they are old, but to retire them and not replace with J model refueler seems like another tactical capability deleted.  An Airbus or Boeing tanker are strategic assets vs the tactical options of the JHerc (short rough runways, multi mission, austere locations etc). 
 

kev994

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CloudCover said:
A few posts up mentions retiring the C130H tanker. I get that they are old, but to retire them and not replace with J model refueler seems like another tactical capability deleted.  An Airbus or Boeing tanker are strategic assets vs the tactical options of the JHerc (short rough runways, multi mission, austere locations etc).
H Tankers are from ‘91 http://www.rwrwalker.ca/CF_CC130.html not that old for an airplane. They were on the chopping block to make FWSAR PY neutral. The short runway capability in the middle of the country has come in handy a lot in the last 2 weeks, we can hope it will get revisited.
 

dapaterson

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The H fleet is time expired, and despite efforts not a common platform across all a/c.  Retiring them is a good thing.
 

kev994

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dapaterson said:
The H fleet is time expired, and despite efforts not a common platform across all a/c.  Retiring them is a good thing.
Absolutely not. The tankers are not even remotely close to the number of hours we’ve put on other E/H models.

Edit: removed numbers, opsec and stuff.
 

lenaitch

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I get the general tactical features of the C-130 (robust, short runways, austere conditions, etc.), as someone who knows little about matters military and even less about aerial refueling, specifically in remote areas, I suppose I'm missing how they are considered suitable for our NORAD role as a tanker.  First, to clarify; am I correct that the only RCAF aircraft we refuel are our CF-18s (and perhaps other NORAD/NATO fast jets that use drogues)?  If we race off from Cold Lake/Bagotville to do an intercept, how is a Herc/T lumbering out from Wpg the most appropriate choice?  I get that with all the surveillance assets we have access to, foreign probing into our airspace likely does not come as a complete surprise and a little pre-planning is available, but some unforeseen suspicious/nefarious/unknown commercial flight on a polar route implies fast response, long loiter, escort, etc., in the high arctic, perhaps depleting fuel before a Herc could get there.  I suppose the FOLs might allow a pit stop if weather allows, but is calling a time out for gas really this best response?

Given our geography and the location of fighter assets, range comes into play with all of the contenders for the new fighter acquisition.  Some argue for turning FOLs into FOBs but that is a whole 'nuther discussion involving staffing, recruiting, etc.

No doubt I am missing a whole lot.
 

kev994

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You forward deploy it before you need it.

Edit: thus the ‘tactical’ part of the tactical tanker. Different ball of wax from a strategic tanker that is getting replaced.
 

kev994

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If you want to fly your hornet from Bagotville to Europe you want a strategic tanker. If you want to hang out in the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range and not go very far and have multiple launches you want a tactical tanker. Each can sorta do the other’s job but with a fair bit of compromise.
 

dapaterson

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kev994 said:
Absolutely not. The tankers are not even remotely close to the number of hours we’ve put on other E/H models.

Edit: removed numbers, opsec and stuff.

We seem to want our a/c to fall into pieces as they touch down on their final flights, rather than replace and divest them once we have received reasonable use.  We have in the past bought clapped out, time expired a/c from other nations for parts to keep our a/c (with more hours on them!) in the air.

 

kev994

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kev994 said:
If you want to fly your hornet from Bagotville to Europe you want a strategic tanker. If you want to hang out in the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range and not go very far and have multiple launches you want a tactical tanker. Each can sorta do the other’s job but with a fair bit of compromise.
I’ll quote myself to better explain.
The tanker burns fuel too. And if you have a bigger tanker it’s burning it faster. The fuel truck can only push it so fast, so after landing the bigger tanker takes longer to send back up, and if you leave either up too long it burns all the fuel and has none left to give away.
 

GR66

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SupersonicMax said:
I think our biggest challenge right now, in implementing SSE, is the lack of staff-power in the procurement shops to push all those files.  We have a finite number of people that can generate a finite amount of work.  All the files are important but require a significant amount of staff-power.  Because it is going forward and that it is approved in the budget doesn't mean it won't stall at some point in the process (not because we don't want/don't have the money to buy the equipment but because we lack the people to push the ball forward). I believe CGAI (Jeffrey Collins) and Doug Dempster wrote about this.

Curious...how much of this staff work is required due to the complexity of the contracts and how much is self imposed?  Asking seriously.  This is a purchase that is basically looking at two aircraft options.  I know that the purchase covers much, much more than just the aircraft themselves, but this is not the only aircraft purchase we have made/are making.  Do we not have standard contract requirements in terms of in service support, spares, training, economic offsets, etc. that could more or less be applied to various aircraft type purchases?  Are the technical requirements for AAR for Canada so significantly different than for our Allies that the "book" has to be completely re-written for our purchase?  Are the Canadian-specific equipment requirements for an AAR aircraft significantly different than for a fighter or FWSAR aircraft? 

On the other hand, how much of the staffing effort is actually to protect the CAF from potential lawsuits from losing bidders rather than related to our technical requirements?

 

SupersonicMax

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I think those constrains are placed upon us by the TBS; they are not internal to DND.
 

GR66

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SupersonicMax said:
I think those constrains are placed upon us by the TBS; they are not internal to DND.

Then maybe the CF should just hand the technical requirements off to Public Services and Procurement Canada and let THEM provide the staffing to deal with the externally imposed contract requirements. 

It may not get us our equipment any faster, but I would take some perverse satisfaction in seeing our MND, when asked by the opposition why the purchase of vital equipment "X" is taking so long, he/she could stand up in the House and say "The Canadian Forces provided PSPC our technical requirements for this item ten years ago and provided them our technical feedback on the field testing of the prototypes provided by the bidders they generated in 2013, so I will defer to my Honourable colleague, the Minister responsible to comment on the delivery of this item."
 

Cloud Cover

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Is the governments cunning plan to not buy the F35 falling apart here?
"We cant buy a new tanker because we don't know what the new fighter aircraft requires" + 'We cant buy a new fighter because we don't know what will refuel them" + "The wheels have fallen off the PM's Polaris" + "OMG we need a new PM airplane with wifi and a bidet" + "Air Force Acquisitions: where can we stick the probe/drogue on that?" + "Fighter Pilots: We have some ideas about where it should go."

 

kev994

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CloudCover said:
Is the governments cunning plan to not buy the F35 falling apart here?
"We cant buy a new tanker because we don't know what the new fighter aircraft requires" + 'We cant buy a new fighter because we don't know what will refuel them" + "The wheels have fallen off the PM's Polaris" + "OMG we need a new PM airplane with wifi and a bidet" + "Air Force Acquisitions: where can we stick the probe/drogue on that?" + "Fighter Pilots: We have some ideas about where it should go."
Both of those tankers do both boom or probe and drogue.
 
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