2 juin 2020 | International, Aérospatial

The Air Force's Goal: Turn Cargo Planes into Makeshift Bombers

  • The Air Force is proposing turning unarmed military cargo jets into temporary bombers.
  • Cargo jets, with their large internal volume, could launch missiles from safe distances, far away from enemy forces.
  • The Air Force has already successfully tested dropping simulated munitions from the back of airplanes.

The U.S. Air Force is looking at arming otherwise unarmed cargo planes, pressing them into service as makeshift bombers. The service believes future wars with adversaries like Russia or China will require plenty of aerial firepower and transport planes, loaded with pallets of cruise missiles, could provide an inexpensive solution.

According to Defense News, the Air Force thinks aircraft such as the C-130J Super Hercules and C-17 Globemaster III could become part-time missile trucks.

The unarmed aircraft typically shuttle troops and equipment, but in a pinch, would be equipped with “smart pallets” carrying long-range cruise missiles and other munitions.

The pallets would be capable of feeding position, navigation, and targeting data to their onboard missiles. Once dropped from the rear of the aircraft, the pallets would quickly release their missile cargoes, sending them downrange to their targets. The larger the aircraft, the more missiles it could carry.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a32714464/air-force-cargo-planes-makeshift-bombers/

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