Skunk Works Releases New KC-Z Stealth Tanker Rendering | Aviation

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A notional rendering of a tanker design for the Next-Generation Air Refueling System. (Photo: Lockheed Martin Skunk Works via AviationWeek)

Lockheed Martin’s secretive division released the rendering of a notional stealth tanker for the Next-Generation Air Refueling System program which aims to replace KC-46 and KC-135 tankers.

Lockheed Martin’s highly secretive Skunk Works division released a rendering of a notional stealth tanker meant for the Next-Generation Air Refueling System program, also known as KC-Z, which aims to replace KC-46 and KC-135 tankers in the 2030s. The tanker, which appears smaller than the types it will replace, is shown refueling an F-35A with the flying boom system.

The aircraft in the rendering, first published by the Aviation Week, appears to be based on a rather large lambda wing with canted twin tails. The engines, possibly two, are buried in the fuselage, with the air inlets under the wing’s root (also called “armpit” inlets) and possibly flat nozzles in the rear.

While the design in the rendering is notional (Lockheed Martin released another completely different rendering last year), it is interesting to notice that the concept of low observability is also making its way into the high value air assets. However, similarly too what we mentioned many times for the Next Generation Air Dominance program, the renderings might not be…

Source theaviationist.com

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