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USAF now considering C/B-17

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posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 02:37 AM
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What has got the generals excited is using C-17s as a flying aircraft carrier. Well, sort of. The C-17s would carry pallets loaded with “Dominator” UAVs. The idea behind “Dominator” is persistence, a one way UAV that carries two or more missiles, and lots of sensors for finding targets. The Dominator could cruise around for 12, 24 or more hours. After that, it would self-destruct, or dive into a target. The air force has been working on the Dominator for two years now, and there’s no guarantee that it would ever be built. It will be expensive for a disposable weapon, as it will have many of the characteristics of a UAV like the Predator, that costs over four million dollars each.

The concept, apparently, is that the C-17 would get as close to the combat zone (taking enemy air defenses into account) as possible, and dump the Dominators out the back of the aircraft. Current plans call for a C-17 carrying twenty or more Dominators. Now that would be a formidable amount of ground attack air power. A dozen or more Dominators, that would cruise at about 250 kilometers an hour, could cover a huge area, which would become a no-go zone for enemy forces below.

And there’s still the possibility of dropping JDAMs from C-17s as well…


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Good idea in my opinion. Since B-52s are getting old, and the B-1 and B-2 cost more to operate anyway. This would be a nice stop-gap till the U-CASs and the Interim Bomber enter service.




posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 03:35 AM
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One thing to be aware of is an attempt (A correct one IMHO) to keep the production line of the C-17 active. This is being done by both Boeing and its lobbiests as well as insiders in the military

There has also been discussion of a AC-17 variant as well. Remember that a C-5 launched a ICBM so using it as a cruise missile platform is not a strange as it sounds. However, it would be cheaper and more practicle IMHO to take many of the 747-400 now heading to the bone yard and refit them to do the same. In fact it also was discused during the Carter administration.



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 10:11 AM
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problem is the belly mounted wing of the 747-400 requires a much longer PAVED airfield to operate off of. And the current threat theater does not allow for long paved runways.

So the C17 is a much better platform giving the current state of affairs. Smaller localized engagements in realtively undeveloped countries.

Requiring a STOL operational aircraft that can use non paved runways.



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 04:29 PM
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Originally posted by robertfenix
problem is the belly mounted wing of the 747-400 requires a much longer PAVED airfield to operate off of. And the current threat theater does not allow for long paved runways.


I agree however, if you are going to load it to the gills with crusie missiles the odds of it taking off from a unimproved / theatre fields are pretty remote. Also there is the $$$$ question as well given the high cost of the C-17. The number of fields that the 747 could stage from are quite numerous and a2a refulling could extend this further.



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 05:12 PM
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I've said it before and I'll say it again. You are going to soon have high-time C-17 airframes and this will be a perfect use for them. I've been saying all along that we need an A/C-17 and I've posted about it before.

Yes this is an I told you so!



posted on Dec, 20 2005 @ 11:07 AM
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I am all for the Spectre concept but do you think a C-17 could be a bit big for the job? Ok it will be able to carry a wide variety of weapons and will have a good loiter time but won't its greater size be a bit of a burden in other ways?

If you are going to build a new better, "puff the magic dragon" platform what about an A/C - 22 Osprey! I know its a lot smaller and the weapons load would not be as great as the A/C - 17 but it could go anywhere with the jarheads or whoever needs it and be based on carriers or even merchant ships.

Obvoiusly the Osprey has yet to prove itself in service and fitting in the weapons and crew might be a bit of a squeeze but with a bit of automation and a lot of computer power I am sure it can be done.

SV out.......!



posted on Dec, 21 2005 @ 11:21 AM
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C-17 is too big and it's range is quite short (when compared to bombers), it's RCS also sucks so it would be visible very soon and could be destroyed by long range misilles.



posted on Dec, 21 2005 @ 11:46 AM
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Originally posted by longbow
C-17 is too big and it's range is quite short (when compared to bombers), it's RCS also sucks so it would be visible very soon and could be destroyed by long range misilles.


They are not looking at the C-17 to replace the AC-130's as an attack aircraft, they want the plane to act as a mothership for attacking RPVs. Kind of an airborne aircraft carrier.



posted on Dec, 21 2005 @ 12:09 PM
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Still it has too short range. I think the early versions are not even able to make it through Atlantic without air refuelling. I don't think there is need for Globemaster in this role. Just take 777 and equip it with stronger wings. It has great range, and sufficient payload.



posted on Dec, 21 2005 @ 05:15 PM
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Well how are the 747/777 alternatives going to do the job re delivering ordnance without major conversion ? The C17 concept could allow the USAF to use them in the transport role as well as bomber role,as long as they keep them out of harms way



posted on Dec, 21 2005 @ 07:21 PM
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I don't like the idea of these "Dominators" not being reusable. Why not make them reusable? Seems kind of wastefull to me.



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