Wyvern

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In January of 2021, the RCAF issued an ITQ to replace their 40 year old CC-150 Polaris tanker aircraft. The requirement states that their replacement must be operated by a fellow NATO nation, thus narrowing the tender to the KC-46 and A330 MRTT.

The A310s were originally purchased by Wardair, in 1987. The aircraft were sold to to the Canadian Forces after the merger of Wardair and Canadian Pacific, and were quickly turned into cargo aircraft. They replaced the role of the CC-137 as the RCAF's main tanker. The Polaris fleet has since supported numerous overseas operations that the RCAF was deployed on.

The CC-150 fleet has now entered into its late thirties, and will serve until the late 2020's. A replacement is needed, and if everything goes to plan, a formal requirement will be announced either by the end of this year, or the beginning of the next. One of the requirements is that it must be able to carry enough fuel to cross the Atlantic and refuel CF-188 Hornets on the same journey, which is something the CC-150 is already capable of doing. The need for a replacement has been made clear by recent maintenance issues the fleet has experienced, mostly over the past four years.

I hope to post details of the specifications of the CC-150 and its potential replacements tomorrow. My guess will be that the A330 MRTT is chosen, as it is a proven platform already in service with multiple NATO and NATO-allied airforces, although it would be a tad bit large.

The details of the acquisition are described in greater detail in this video:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODNprWqCOfU&ab_channel=AlexPraglowskiAviation


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Wyvern
 

Archibald

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And... let's the fun begin. Canadian procurement (screwed since, what, 1956 and the last Sabres mk.6 ?) versus Airbus / Boeing tanker war.

If the two heavy trends (Canadian F-35 procurement, cough, and KC-46 saga, cough, cough) ever blends...

There will be blood !
 

Wyvern

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I would say that Airbus is probably being viewed with more favour, since the stink that Boeing kicked up when the C-Series was owned by Bombardier still, has still left a bit of an impact on Canadian lawmakers, from what I've seen.

As mentioned, the A330 MRTT would be a bit too large, and the KC-46/KC-767 would be more of a direct replacement. That being said, the A330 MRTT is proven, and there are many Canadian carriers who operate the type in civilian service. If it were to be ordered, its larger size would give greater capability, if a fleet of 5 was ordered. If the RCAF wishes to keep its current capability, then they will probably order 4 A330s.
 

Wyvern

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Specifications for the CC-150 Polaris as promised, albeit a week late.

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2 (flight crew)
  • Capacity: 194 passengers (up to) or 33,000 kg (73,000 lb) payload
  • Length: 46.66 m (153 ft 1 in)
  • Wingspan: 43.9 m (144 ft 0 in)
  • Height: 15.8 m (51 ft 10 in)
  • Empty weight: 80,000 kg (176,370 lb)
  • Gross weight: 157,000 kg (346,126 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × General Electric CF6-80C2A2 high bypass turbofan engines, 220 kN (50,000 lbf) thrust each
Performance

  • Maximum speed: Mach 0.84
  • Range: 9,600 km (6,000 mi, 5,200 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 12,500 m (41,000 ft)
This is in comparison to the performance of the KC-46:

General characteristics

  • Crew: 3 (2 pilots, 1 boom operator) basic crew; 15 permanent seats for additional/optional air crew members, including aeromedical evacuation crew members
  • Capacity: seating for up to 114 people, 18 463L pallets, or 58 patients (24 litters, 34 ambulatory) and 65,000 lb (29,500 kg) payload
  • Length: 165 ft 6 in (50.5 m)
  • Wingspan: 157 ft 8 in (48.1 m)
  • Height: 52 ft 1 in (15.9 m)
  • Empty weight: 181,610 lb (82,377 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 415,000 lb (188,240 kg)
  • Fuel Capacity: 212,299 lb (96,297 kg)
    Fuel Capacity (vol): 31,220 US gal (118,200 l)
    Maximum Transfer Fuel Load: 207,672 lb (94,198 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney PW4062 turbofan, 62,000[158] lbf (280 kN) thrust each
Performance

  • Maximum speed: 570 mph (914 km/h, 500 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 530 mph (851 km/h, 460 kn)
  • Range: 7,350 mi (11,830 km, 6,385 nmi) ; global with in flight refueling[158]
  • Service ceiling: 40,100 ft (12,200 m)
And the A330 MRTT:
General characteristics

  • Crew: 3: 2 pilots, 1 AAR operator
  • Capacity: Various passenger configurations are available including 291 passengers (United Kingdom)[153] and 8 military pallets + 1LD6 container + 1 LD3 container (lower deck cargo compartments)
  • Payload: 45,000 kg (99,000 lb) non-fuel payload
  • Length: 58.80 m (193 ft)
  • Wingspan: 60.3 m (198 ft)
  • Height: 17.4 m (57 ft)
  • Wing area: 362 m2 (3,900 ft2)
  • Empty weight: 125,000 kg (275,600 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 233,000 kg (514,000 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2× Rolls-Royce Trent 772B, or General Electric CF6-80E1A4, or Pratt & Whitney PW 4170; turbofans, 320 kN (72,000 lbf) 320 kN each
  • Fuel capacity: 111,000 kg (245,000 lb) max, 65,000 kg (143,000 lb) at 1,000 nmi (1852 km) with 2 hours on station
Performance

There is also the option of converting used 767s into tankers, but this will only be delaying the inevitable, as used 767s would need to be replaced within the next ten to fifteen years anyways.

Another source:
 

Wyvern

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It is possible, and would probably occur. Obviously, it depends on whether Air Canada is willing to give up their A330s (although I guess some good money in these hard times would be rather persuasive enough).
 

kitnut617

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You could say that the government owns the aircraft anyway, as they put up the money to get them (I should say they put up taxpayers money)

While I was at YYC (Calgary International) a couple of years ago, Air Canada was in the process of getting 787's
 

TomS

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You could say that the government owns the aircraft anyway, as they put up the money to get them (I should say they put up taxpayers money)

How so? My understanding is that Air Canada has been privatized since 1989.
 

kitnut617

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Yes, that's the 'official' line anyway. However, whenever Air Canada gets itself into trouble, the government always bails them out --- It doesn't happen to other Canadian airlines though ---
 

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Wyvern

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I guess they made the right decision. Obviously, things might change in the future.
 

CJGibson

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I wonder if these putative RCAF A330 MRTTs will be fitted with booms?


Chris
 

RavenOne

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In January of 2021, the RCAF issued an ITQ to replace their 40 year old CC-150 Polaris tanker aircraft. The requirement states that their replacement must be operated by a fellow NATO nation, thus narrowing the tender to the KC-46 and A330 MRTT.

The A310s were originally purchased by Wardair, in 1987. The aircraft were sold to to the Canadian Forces after the merger of Wardair and Canadian Pacific, and were quickly turned into cargo aircraft. They replaced the role of the CC-137 as the RCAF's main tanker. The Polaris fleet has since supported numerous overseas operations that the RCAF was deployed on.

The CC-150 fleet has now entered into its late thirties, and will serve until the late 2020's. A replacement is needed, and if everything goes to plan, a formal requirement will be announced either by the end of this year, or the beginning of the next. One of the requirements is that it must be able to carry enough fuel to cross the Atlantic and refuel CF-188 Hornets on the same journey, which is something the CC-150 is already capable of doing. The need for a replacement has been made clear by recent maintenance issues the fleet has experienced, mostly over the past four years.

I hope to post details of the specifications of the CC-150 and its potential replacements tomorrow. My guess will be that the A330 MRTT is chosen, as it is a proven platform already in service with multiple NATO and NATO-allied airforces, although it would be a tad bit large.

The details of the acquisition are described in greater detail in this video:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODNprWqCOfU&ab_channel=AlexPraglowskiAviation


Related Articles:








Wyvern

Makes sense logically and logistically

cheers
 
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