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Is it possible to convert a 747 to an Air-Launched Cruise Missile platform?

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posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 11:29 AM
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Imagine the possbilities of having a platform which is a giant passenger plane most likely the 747 that carries about 90 to 100 ALCMs instead of passengers, and having overwhelming firepower, even against heavily defended targets, lets say China for example, no doubt it would overwhelm its defense around bases or other facilities. It sounds cheap and effective, it may not be stealthy, but firing the weapons over the horizon, the planes of that type dont need to be fast or stealthy. After all we are having fewer and fewer strategic bombers not to mention any potential future bombers are going to be expensive. B-1s, B-2s and B-52s.



Thought I put this pic to help you get a feeling as to see the size and potential of such missile carrier. Cool name missile carrier or Arsenal plane.

[edit on 7-3-2006 by deltaboy]




posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 11:38 AM
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and a great target it would be for SAM and Anti air craft guns



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 11:46 AM
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Originally posted by bodrul
and a great target it would be for SAM and Anti air craft guns



Yeah it would have been a great target, except most of the ALCMs have hundreds as well as over a thousand mile range. Do SAMs and anti air gun systems have such capability to reach that far?



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 11:58 AM
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Thats pretty much what the B-52 does with the AGM-86B cruise missiles

A average Boeing 747 costs about $155 million

A single B-52 Unit Cost about $53.4 million

The B-52 is very cost effective proven weapons platform

www.thebulletin.org...

www.af.mil...



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 12:02 PM
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Originally posted by deltaboy

Originally posted by bodrul
and a great target it would be for SAM and Anti air craft guns



Yeah it would have been a great target, except most of the ALCMs have hundreds as well as over a thousand mile range. Do SAMs and anti air gun systems have such capability to reach that far?


dont they have to be in a certain range before deploying their load?
and of their sheer size they would light up on radar screens which in effect give the apponent time to scramble air craft and intercept it.

unless you plan a world war 2 style bombers with escorts.

also Sams can be used as soon as it comes within range and most of the newist sam systems have long range.



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 12:05 PM
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The concept you are putting forward, that of a long range missile launch platform, are tempting for military planners. There have been serious proposals along these lines. Think how much cheaper Clinton's Afghan/Sudan raids would have been. But, the airforces in question already have bombers which can do the job AND are able to operate over enemy territory against resistance.

Also, the number of ALCMs you cite seems unrealistic. 20 maybe, and even then you'd need a major rebuild (=development costs).



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 12:08 PM
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Well to be honuest you could use one effectively, in the right circumstances.
Load her up with weapons and ECM and you wont know what hits you....mind you thats roughly the same for every craft in its specific role.



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 12:42 PM
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Originally posted by deltaboy

Yeah it would have been a great target, except most of the ALCMs have hundreds as well as over a thousand mile range. Do SAMs and anti air gun systems have such capability to reach that far?


That isn't the only threat... Fighters...???


if the enemy is in range .... so are you


Wich means that if you are in range, the enemy is too...

Besides the 747 isn't designed to be a bomber... That's where it all goes wrong... that's the bad thing here... "hey a big plane, let's make it a bomber"... it's much easier said than done...

[edit on 7-3-2006 by Figher Master FIN]



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 01:11 PM
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Originally posted by Figher Master FIN



if the enemy is in range .... so are you


Wich means that if you are in range, the enemy is too...



Thats hasnt been true for a very long time probably since atleast the time of the first English longbow. Effective ranges of different weapons vary a great deal. Superior range has decided many a battle.

The US has missiles (ICBMs) that can easily hit Iran does that mean Iran has missiles that can hit the US? I dont think so.



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 01:42 PM
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This idea has actually been around for almopst 30 years, here is a model of a USAF/Boeing proposal for a 747 based ALCM launcher from 1977.

This was based on the 747-200F and was to have a max load of 72 ALCM's




posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 04:03 PM
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Yeah this is kind of what the B-52 does but the B-52 is not a true missile carrier. I’m kind of reminded of the Ohio class SSGN’s, a platform which can carry 150 cruise missiles. Fit the 747 with an ECM suite and you’ll be ok, but the cost of retrofitting an existing 747 for this role might be too much.

And lets get some facts straight, current ALCM’s have a range of 300-500+ miles, and next generation ALCM’s have an even longer range. So the 747 might not be out of detection range but it certainly will be beyond the kill range of the SAM’s it is likely to encounter.
Also, it wouldn’t have to worry about enemy fighters because its not a deep penetration bomber, its merely a stand-off missile launcher.



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 06:52 PM
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Waynos beat me to the punch. The ALCM armed 747 was one idea that the Carter administration looked at and the that played a small part in its decision to elimiate the B1A program (Stealth was another).

In regards to costs, Yes the BUFF is a cheaper weapons platform, the 747 would offer some advantages in terms of efficency, reliability etc. Not to mention the fact that the boneyards in Arizona are starting to see the newer 747-400's being parked there. Ill bet you could pick some up for far cheaper than the 155 million that a new one costs.

www.boeing.com...


Remeber as well that the USAF plans to operate the ABL within what 200 miles of the battlezone so 300-500 miles is not as big of a threat as is being made out either



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 10:15 AM
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Originally posted by ShadowXIX

Thats hasnt been true for a very long time probably since atleast the time of the first English longbow. Effective ranges of different weapons vary a great deal. Superior range has decided many a battle.

The US has missiles (ICBMs) that can easily hit Iran does that mean Iran has missiles that can hit the US? I dont think so.


Figure of speech... I'am talking in general...



I still don't accept this theory... Sorry, the fault might be in me...


And there must have been good reasons why they didn't actually put that theory in use Waynos and Fred...
I still think that a bomb plane is a bomb plane and a transport plane a transport plane...



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 01:04 PM
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In terms of Cruise missile launch platforms, I think the real cost-benefit play-off should be the attack subs v the converted airliner (not necessarily 747). The subs are far more expensive to build and run, carry fewer weapons, once theikr weapons are expended they are slower to rearm, and are less mobile.



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