U.S. KC-135R Stratotanker Refueling Operations
This video shows the U.S. KC-135R Stratotanker crew from the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron conducting air refueling operations over Afghanistan.
Credit: U.S. Air Forces Central Public Affairs, September 9th, 2010
One change which the new tanker will bring to the allied fleets is refuelability: air refueling is indeed a key enabler for power projection. The inability to buy a new tanker is seriously weakening US and allied power projection capability. The aging of a supply chain also adds its own costs, as items, which are produced by live commercial lines, have to be replaced by program specific historical museum pieces. And the modernization of an old fleet, with the known problems of aging airframes is expensive as well.