Old Tankers Never Die…Or Even Fade Away, Apparently

Old tankers in holding pattern

After more than 50 years as the military’s gas station in the sky — and a decade of attempts to replace it — the KC-135 is showing its age…

The tanker planes were built in the late ’50s and early ’60s and were supposed to fly for 20 years. The failure to replace the fleet of 450 planes reveals much of what’s wrong with how the military buys weapons.

What? There’s something wrong with how the military buys weapons? Why hasn’t someone mentioned this before?!?

The Bush administration basically “punted” this issue to the new one. Let’s see if anything happens.

An F-15 Strike Eagle aircraft refuels from a KC-135 Stratotanker from the Mississippi Air National Guard while another F-15, top, and an F-22 Raptor standby Sept. 22, 2008, during a refueling mission over Eastern Florida. The F-15s are from the 325th Fighter Wing out of Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. (DoD photo by Master Sgt. Scott Reed, U.S. Air Force/Released)

An F-15 Strike Eagle aircraft refuels from a KC-135 Stratotanker from the Mississippi Air National Guard while another F-15, top, and an F-22 Raptor standby Sept. 22, 2008, during a refueling mission over Eastern Florida. The F-15s are from the 325th Fighter Wing out of Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. (DoD photo by Master Sgt. Scott Reed, U.S. Air Force/Released)

Comments

  1. “Let’s see if anything happens.”

    New tankers aren’t “shovel ready,” so I wouldn’t expect a whole lot on that front. BHO is much more concerned with reprogramming America in his image while he has momentum on his side. Keeping Boeing or Northrup Grumman going while replacing old aircraft doesn’t have the same vote buying potential of massive redistribution programs like socialized medicine, or expanded unemployment, etc.

    He may suprised me and actually care about U.S. military might and capability, but I doubt it. The academic mold he comes from can’t stand the military. They want the Army to hold bake sales so they can fund their social programs. Their bumper stickers say so! =)

  2. Ah! No worries. We won’t have any new f-22s to tank up anyway.

    DOD budget proposal from Gates.

    Its funny how we can afford to spend 50% more money than we take in in taxes when it comes to expanding domestic government. But military spending has got to actually cut back. Just not enough money for that.

  3. Can we fairly say the Bush administration punted this, or Congress? Who made the decision to re-open the bidding process after Boeing pitched a fit? Isn’t this sort of thing a Congressional responsibility?

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