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C-17A: U.S. Air Force’s Secret Weapon Revealed – Part 4

Daniel Kim Views  

Transforming into a Bomber Capable of Dropping 72 Stealth Missiles

The process entails a high-altitude transport plane opening its rear door mid-flight and releasing an entire pallet. As the pallet descends slowly, a parachute deployed from the top assists in its descent. Subsequently, the pallet sequentially releases and launches the missiles it contains. The cargo bay of the C-17A transport aircraft, measuring approximately 85 feet (26 meters) in length and 18 feet (5.5 meters) in width, can accommodate up to eight of these missile-loaded pallets. With this capability, a single aircraft has the potential to launch up to 72 JASSM missiles, effectively transforming it into a potent bomber.

The B-52H bomber’s capacity to carry JASSM missiles is limited to only 20, making its striking power truly formidable. The standard JASSM missile currently used by the U.S. military is the extended-range version, JASSM-ER, which has a range of about 596 miles (960 kilometers) and incorporates stealth design, rendering it undetectable by North Korea’s air defense systems.

With the implementation of the Rapid Dragon deployment system, transport planes can now serve as potent weapons platforms, significantly enhancing their threat to adversaries like North Korea. This capability allows strategic bombers and transport aircraft to unleash a barrage of stealth ground-to-air missiles, altering traditional perceptions of their role. The exercise showcasing this capability serves as a clear demonstration to adversaries such as North Korea, China, and Russia.

A military expert emphasized the unpredictability of transport planes loaded with long-range cruise missiles like JASSM, highlighting the difficulty in discerning their payload before deployment. Consequently, C-17A transport planes, frequently operating near the Korean Peninsula and Japan, are viewed as more formidable missile carriers than traditional bombers like the B-52H or B-1B, needing heightened vigilance and monitoring.

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Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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