You all know that Murdoc often comes out in favor of older established military technology. But get a load of this, noted in Defense Industry Daily’s CBO Report on America’s FY 2006 Defense Plans (updated):
In the naval section, on page 31, CBO’s “evolutionary” alternative includes this: “The CVN-21 carrier program would be canceled; its replacement would be a large-deck conventionally powered aircraft carrier, equivalent in size to today’s existing conventional carriers of about 80,000 tons. Under the evolutionary alternative, the Navy would buy the first ship of that class in 2012.“
Drunk sailors. Gotta be drunk sailors.
Pages 66-71 re: USA air tanker fleet. Their “evolutionary alternative” would upgrade current KC-135Es to KC-135R standard via re-engining and other refits, and defer purchases of new tankers until 2019.
This one doesn’t seem as outlandish as the idea to build new conventionally-powered carriers. If the tankers’ life can be extended, it’s probably the way to go.
But a problem might be that the Air Force is looking at combining the tanker and cargo missions (among other things) into one aircraft. Deciding that the current tanker fleet is suddenly viable for a lot longer than previously advertised weakens the justification for this proposed new multi-role plane and jeopardizes the other missions depending upon it. Which is exactly what Murdoc fears.
Hey! Speaking of tankers: EADS rolls out tanker demonstrator
Boom! With pics.