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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…
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.
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.