Multipoint Aerial Refueling. A Review and Assessment,
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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The United States Air Force currently relies principally on boom-and- receptacle technology to conduct aerial-refueling operations for fixed-wing aircraft. With this approach, a single aircraft at a time may be refueled behind a tanker. An alternative concept, called multipoint aerial refueling, uses probe-and-drogue technology to enable more than one fighter aircraft to aerially refuel simultaneously from a tanker. Advocates of a transition to multipoint aerial refueling describe multipoints benefits as follows greater flexibility and interoperability of U.S. forces, and the possibility of budgetary savings resulting from the smaller tanker inventory that could be required. Several studies in recent years have addressed the efficacy of multipoint aerial refueling for fighter-employment operations. Not surprisingly, since each study used different analytic approaches and assumptions, the results of the studies have varied. I reviewed five of these studies to understand the reasons for the differences among them and to determine whether any general conclusions could be drawn about the desirability of equipping U.S. tanker aircraft with the multipoint aerial-refueling capability.
- Military Aircraft Operations
- Pumps, Filters, Pipes, Tubing, Fittings and Valves