United States Marine Corps (USMC) KC-130J tanker replacement requirements and cost/benefit analysis
McCarthy, Mitchell J.
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NAVAIR funded a research project to answer the question: how many KC- 130Js Aerial Refueling Tankers will the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) need to meet their future wartime requirements? This thesis supports that study. Thesis results were incorporated into the recently completed Marine KC-130 Requirements Study. by Professors Gates, Kwon, Washburn, and Anderson. Specifically, the thesis focuses on the tradeoffs the USMC faces between requirements, performance, and life-cycle costs. The KC-130J aerial refueling requirement must support expected USMC fixed-wing refueling demand during two nearly simultaneous major theater wars. Furthermore, refueling capacity must keep the average time an aircraft waits in the aerial refueling queue (CT(q)) below five minutes. To define the tradeoff between the KC-130J requirement and system performance (waiting time), the thesis develops a Simulation Model using the ARENA(copyright) simulation language. The simulation model highlights the impact of capacity failures (refueling drogues and hoses) and overlaps between KC-130J sorties, two potentially significant factors that can't be explored with standard static queuing theory models. Next, the thesis develops a Life Cycle Cost (LCC) Model that incorporates cost variability using the Crystal Ball EXCEL(copyright) spreadsheet add-on. The model defines the tradeoffs between LCC and KC-130J fleet size. The resulting analysis and conclusions specify a base- case KC-130J requirement and discuss the tradeoffs between the requirement, life-cycle cost and system performance
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