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Author Topic: Strategic/Theatre/Vertical Configurable Air Transports (S-CAT, T-CAT, V-CAT)  (Read 7652 times)

Offline Skyblazer

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Since the U.S. Joint Heavy Lift topic has become way too crowded with its 20+ pages, I think it's time to devote individual pages to the more significant projects, such as the S-CAT, T-CAT and V-CAT Configurable Air Transport designs.
 
 Images and texts from AFRL's Innovations in Tankers, Air Mobility, and Expeditionary Forces Support (2006).pdf
 
 


 The Air Force is now completing its fighter modernization, where it will deploy nearly 2,000 5th generation fighters. The acquisition community is now focusing on further modernization, starting with tankers, but also thinking about theater airlift, SOF and gunships, Heavy VTOL, UCAVs, replacement bombers, replacement EW aircraft and replacement aeromedical evac aircraft.
 
 Especially important, what path will let the future Air Force execute effectively?
 
  • Across the full spectrum of military operations
  • Against a wide variety of threats including chem / bio / nuclear / energy
  • With integrated command, control, communications, and mobility
  • With flexibility to quickly adapt to future needs and threats
  • With a “joint” solution
There is a new approach that will better address 21st century challenges:
  • Strategic Configurable Air Transports (S-CAT): Strategic tanker – airlifter – air power platform
  • Theater Configurable Air Transports (T-CAT): Theater tanker – airlifter – air power platform
  • Tactical Vertical Configurable Air Transports (V-CAT): Tactical airlifter – air power platform
Presentation Purpose
 
  • Redefine “air mobility” for the 21st century in terms of the mission capabilities
  • Identify a new set of integrated “air mobility” capabilities:
  • Utilizing emerging science and technology advancements
  • Enabling significantly improved operational capabilities, especially for joint operations
  • Addressing emerging 21st century challenges
Modular approach
  • Mixed air-refueling, cargo, air power missions
  • New designs
  • Module for carrying cargo
  • Missionized modules for flexible mission capabilities
  • Strategic – theater – tactical integration
  • Generic fleet with true multi-mission capabilities
« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 11:35:12 am by Stargazer2006 »

Offline Skyblazer

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CATs’ core mission is air refueling:

Strategic CAT provides global-range escort for deploying fighters:

    Blended Wing Body Transports: Improved – Aerodynamic performance – Reduced structural weight fraction
    Strategic CAT is sized for 5,100 nm escort mission with F-22
    Strategic CATs have the range/offload to support global power projection

Theater CAT can provide theater air refueling support:
  • Theater CAT (T-CAT) concept could also be BWB configuration.
  • T-CAT has moderately better range/payload than C-130.
  • T-CATs complement S-CATs to complete delivery of modules to forward bases:
  • Regional bases are used to transfermodules to T-CATS.
  • Arriving S-CATs detach modules on ramp
  • T-CATs rapidly pick-up modules and depart for forward bases
  • Theater CAT can deliver modules to 3,000 ft runways
T-CATs will also offer significant multi-mission capability:

    - Tanker
    - Tanker + airlifter
    - Tanker + gunship
    - Tanker + bomber
    - UCAV tanker + UCAV tender
    - Tanker + EW platform

CAT Tankers
  • Increase strategic offload capacity
  • Provide good large/medium tanker match
    - Support global force deployment and power projection
    - Provide theater commander with dedicated tankers that can also perform other air mobility missions
  • Strategic CAT uses BWB design to improve mission performance and partially offset the weight penalty of being able to carry modules
  • Theater CAT could probably also be BWB
What would be an economical utilization rate for a new tanker?
  • 30,000 hour airframe life
  • 20-year replacement cycle
  • 1,500 hrs/yr
    - 450 hrs/yr for tanker
    - 1,050 hrs/yr for other air mobility missions
A new commercial-based tanker would provide improved airlift capabilities:

    - 19 pallet positions
    - 58 tons (planning)
    - 520 aircraft
    - 1,050 hrs/yr
    - 60,900 ton-hrs/yr/aircraft
    - 31.7 M ton-hrs/yr (fleet)
« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 10:06:50 am by Stargazer2006 »

Offline Skyblazer

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Module-Carrying Tankers

Containerization has swept the commercial shipping world. An entire new architecture of shipping has been implemented world-wide. Modules offer a new approach to efficient cargo transport:

    - Preloaded modules can be towed to ramp area for pickup
    - When directed, modules move to the active ramp
    - Module self-movement minimizes required personnel on active ramp
    - Modules are designed to enable rapid cargo loading
    - Modules can be raised or lowered to facilitate cargo loading without MHE
    - Readied modules are positioned on the active ramp for pickup
    - Arriving S-CATs taxi into position to pickup waiting modules
    - Loaded CATs quickly depart to establish global-range, high-throughput air bridges
    - Modules provide secure storage for arriving supplies & equipment

With modules, cargo aircraft turn time is dramatically reduced.

    - C-17 Offload - 195 minutes (AFPAM 10-1403)
    - 767 Offload – 180 minutes
    - C-17 Offload expedited – 105 minutes
    - Strategic CAT – 20 minutes

CATs would extend C-17 and C-5 lives while providing useful multi-mission support. A strategic CAT would also provide improved airlift capabilities:

    - 12 pallet positions
    - 40 tons (planning)
    - 520 S-CATs
    - 1,050 hrs/yr
    - 42,000 ton-hrs/yr/aircraft
    - 21.8 M ton-hrs/yr (fleet)

Module-carrying tankers will provide significant cargo transport utility:
  • Can be loaded and unloaded without specialized MHE
  • Aircraft time on the ground for “unloading” the cargo is substantially reduced
  • MOG constraints are significantly reduced
  • Enroute cargo transfer minimized
Many existing dedicated airborne missions can be moved to missionized modules. Modules enable unique airlift and HUMRO missions to be readily undertaken:
  • General medical evacuation can be done with medevac- configured cargo modules
  • Special medical evacuation can be done with special medevac modules
  • Hospital modules can be used for air-mobile emergency medical facilities
By having the module always available, realistic training and exercises can be undertaken at any time to keep troops fully prepared
The entire module can be decontaminated, if needed.


VIP transport can use VIP modules:

    - Special protection
    - Added communications
    - Integrated ground mobility capabilities

Secure prisoner transport and temporary detainment can be undertaken with special modules.

HUMRO equipment and supplies can be preloaded and prepositioned for rapid transport. Allies and cooperative organizations (e.g., Red Cross) can own, equip, and staff modules.
Air national guard units can use special modules to aid forest and urban fire fighting.

Modules will add substantial new flexibility in meeting unique airlift and HUMRO missions:

    - No dedicated aircraft
    - Prepositioning of modules for rapid response
    - Special modules (e.g., contaminated patient transport) for training and exercises
    - Allied countries and humanitarian organizations can provide their own modules
    - New unique mission capabilities can be readily added

Module-carrying strategic and theater tankers can be used to modernize most airborne missions.

Using modules reduces mission preparation timeline:
  • CATs can provide airpower capabilities
  • Strategic CAT can carry three weapon pylons
  • Theater CATs can also perform airpower missions
  • Same weapon pylons can be used on strategic and theater CATs
  • Theater CAT with 1 weapons module has intermediate bomber performance
  • With air refueling T-CATs can significantly extend the mission radius or mission endurance
CATs provide a way to “air base” UCAVs to provide persistent forward presence.

CATs provide a new means to use EW in battlespaces where it makes sense. S-CATs would enable EW to be combined with other airborne missions.


Modernizing through missionized modules will have several advantages:
  • Multi-mission use adds to economic return on investment in new strategic and theater aircraft
    – Avoids need to add unique new airframes to modernize airborne missions
  • Provides a common cockpit and pilot training environment
    – Reduces number of different aircraft to train for
  • Common logistics support
    – Simplifies depot structure
    – Strengthens vendor/supplier base
  • Eases the transition of missions from older dedicated platforms to new modular platforms to maintain desired level of capabilities
    – Existing electronics can be moved to modules if airframe life is the issue
    – May enable earlier transition
  • Enables new missions to be readily added to fleet
    – Shortens development and deployment time and cost by avoiding the need to compete, acquire, and support different airframes
  • Long production runs
    – Enables total available fleet size to be adjusted over the next 20-30 years
    – May support multi-year funding
Module-carrying strategic and theater tankers can be used to modernize BEAR base construction and support. Expeditionary forces need rapidly established forward bases:
  • Modules will take the place of erectable personnel and support facilities (Facilities for about 150 people): 2-3 modules delivered by T-CATs each hour, 24-36 modules per day. Examples include crew quarters, command facilities, hospital, mess facilities, etc.
  • Self-contained modules require minimum on-site preparation and construction
  • Modules can provide increased chem-bio and small arms protection
  • Sleep modules will provide initial deployed forces with secure sleeping quarters
  • Complex support capabilities can be provided in self-contained modules; 10 modules / day will deliver 200 tons of supplies
« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 10:12:32 am by Stargazer2006 »

Offline Skyblazer

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VTOL CAT

Just an idea at this time. VTOL-CATs will offer significant multi-mission capability:

    - Airlifter
    - Gunship
    - Bomber
    - EW
    - ISR
    - CSAR
    - SOF support
    - HUMRO
    - Heavy material handling


Conclusion

With T-CATs and V-CATs, theater commanders will have unprecedented flexibility in mission-configuring assigned air forces and responding quickly to changing circumstances. With CATs, the need for most permanent mission-configured aircraft will go away. Missions that can transition to modules:

    - Bomber
    - EW / IW / specialized surveillance
    - AWACS / JSTARS
    - Electronic jammers
    - VIP transport and support
    - MedEvac
    - Airborne test support
    - Gunship
« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 10:18:56 am by Stargazer2006 »

Offline Firebee

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What is the source of the concept art you've posted?  The blended-wing concept reminded me of an old Lockheed California concept.  I think it may just be the four giant turbofans.   ;)   Lockheed's  was meant to be a 'flying airbase' for fighters.  This scan isn't mine, but the same picture appears in the 1984 book "Future Fighters and Combat Aircraft" by Bill Gunston.

Offline Skyblazer

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Sorry, I had a problem updating the first post (tried to include the file as an attachment but it's too big) but now it's there.



Offline Skyblazer

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Offline flateric

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"There are many disbelievers in
stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works

Offline Hobbes

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With modules, cargo aircraft turn time is dramatically reduced.

    - C-17 Offload - 195 minutes (AFPAM 10-1403)
    - 767 Offload – 180 minutes
    - C-17 Offload expedited – 105 minutes
    - Strategic CAT – 20 minutes

What?

You'd think that the existing transports with their roller floors could be offloaded in a couple of minutes. Just start pushing at the back and move the whole mess in one go.

Offline jsport

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  • I really should change my personal text
If smaller solid state lasers development continues w/o problems so these big chickens can be protected than this 'most of your eggs in the same baskets' strategy becomes harder to argue against. Real multi-mission always drives up size unfortunately. Future Army selection of a GCV would be pivotal in final sizing. This may not solve all higher speed bomber/ LRS family issues but some could be hedged for the sake of multi-mission.

Offline Skyblazer

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What?
You'd think that the existing transports with their roller floors could be offloaded in a couple of minutes. Just start pushing at the back and move the whole mess in one go.

Hey! Cool it! The text is not mine! I merely reproduced it from the 2006 AFRL Powerpoint-type presentation...  ;D

Offline RanulfC

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With modules, cargo aircraft turn time is dramatically reduced.

    - C-17 Offload - 195 minutes (AFPAM 10-1403)
    - 767 Offload – 180 minutes
    - C-17 Offload expedited – 105 minutes
    - Strategic CAT – 20 minutes

What?

You'd think that the existing transports with their roller floors could be offloaded in a couple of minutes. Just start pushing at the back and move the whole mess in one go.
For the 767 you have to unload carefully and pretty slowly since your pallets come out the sides not the front/back. (NOT following this procedure lead to the interesting sight at one AFB in the late '80s of a twin-turbo-prop cargo AC sitting neatly on it's tail on the ramp :) )
 
I suspect that the C-17 issues is it has to be unloaded with forklifts because (IIRC) though the larger load/unload vehicles CAN mate up to it they have to be at a downward angle which means you have to winch each pallet up the loader and secure it before you can move onto the next. It's actually faster and easier to just fork-lift each pallet off.
 
Randy

Offline XP67_Moonbat

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Funny how the concept of one plane with different modules for different missions never goes away.

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=11245.0

This latest one is still pretty cool but the basic idea is nothing new.
In God we trust, all others we monitor. :-p

Offline hesham

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By the way,


I spoke about this aircraft before;here;


http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2308.30.html


Offline Skyblazer

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By the way,
I spoke about this aircraft before;here;
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2308.30.html

 :o :o :o

You spoke about it???

Hesham, every time someone posts something, you always come up with that same answer: "I spoke about it here...", "I wrote about it there...". This is seriously getting on my nerves.

You never speak about things, you only post links! How on earth do you expect people to find the things you "speak" about? I spent over an hour preparing the topic on CAT transports...  And this is by no means an isolated case! When did you ever spend more than two minutes on a post?

Also, please re-read the very first sentence of this topic: it's about devoting special status to some prominent designs appearing in the middle of very long and/or generic threads!

[Sorry for being off-topic, folks...]
« Last Edit: April 03, 2012, 07:19:27 pm by Stargazer2006 »