Happy Tanker Tuesday, FighterSweep Fans!
As a follow-up to yesterday‘s aerial tour of the Hindu Kush mountains in Nuristan Province, we have a short, homegrown clip of a couple Boeing F-15Es rejoining with a KC-135 Stratotanker for gas over Afghanistan. With its conformal fuel tanks and two “bags” (wing tanks), the Dark Gray can carry nearly 32 thousand pounds of fuel.
What does that translate to? A lot of on-station time–referred to as “loiter”–between trips to the tanker, all while carrying a pretty massive load of ordnance in a variety of different flavors–a JTAC’s dream, especially when he needs that ordnance delivered in a hurry.
As the second aircraft comes off the boom and swings underneath the first Mud Hen already riding off the tanker’s wing, notice the remaining JDAMs, air-to-air missiles, and the Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod.
These two aircraft had just finished their mission near Barg-i Matal, which led to the epic low-level rage you saw. Once clear of the mountains, they climbed out to get some gas. So it’s a short clip, but definitely gives you an idea for the experience we touched on with the NASA F-15D–except downrange and loaded for bear.
– Scott Wolff for FighterSweep.com