Military Review

U.S. Air Force hit target with cruise missile from transport aircraft

73

The US Air Force has long had the idea of ​​using cruise missiles from special platforms mounted on cargo ships. On December 16, a cruise missile with a combat warhead from the rear of the MC-130J Commando II special operations vehicle was tested at the Eglin airbase surface on the Gulf of Mexico.


The Rapid Dragon system with cells for several cruise missiles was dropped from the ramp of an MC-130J transport aircraft. A cruise missile was then fired from the underside of the platform from the cell. Immediately after launch, it performed a maneuver and moved towards its designated target, according to a release from the US Air Force Research Laboratory. As a result, the cruise missile successfully destroyed the target.

At the same time, the Air Force has not yet disclosed the type of sea target and the type of cruise missile involved in the tests. However, previous demonstrations of the Rapid Dragon platform are known to have used extended-range anti-ship air-to-surface missiles. It is possible that they were used now too.

According to the US military, the very name of the Rapid Dragon concept comes from the crossbow catapult developed by the Chinese military, which fired multiple crossbow arrows with one click, which made it possible to inflict heavy damage on enemy armies from an impressive distance. Now the US Air Force has decided to adopt this principle.

Expanding the use of cruise missiles plays an important role in the development of actions against potential adversaries of the United States, especially China. After all, the same anti-ship missiles can be used against PLA naval ships if they approach the targets that will be protected by the American armed forces, and this, by the way, is not necessarily the coast of the United States, but, for example, the same island of Taiwan or Japan.

If the US military is faced with the task of repelling the Chinese invasion of Taiwan, it will have to sink a large number of Chinese ships. Then missiles on pallets will play a very important role, and the Pentagon is well aware of this, expanding the test program for this type of weapons.

The next step in testing has already announced the use of cruise missiles from the strategic Boeing C-17 Globemaster III in the spring of 2022. The Air Force also plans to launch other types of weapons from aircraft, including unmanned aerial vehicles.

Within the next two years, the US military expects to begin operating the Rapid Dragon.
Author:
Photos used:
Lockheed Martin
73 comments
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  1. NDR-791
    NDR-791 17 December 2021 10: 46
    +4
    ... a cruise missile test took place with a warhead from the rear of the vehicle special operations ...
    Gorgeous phrase !!! The day is fun laughing
    1. seregatara1969
      seregatara1969 18 December 2021 09: 31
      0
      A kind of Makar from our transport plane, by unloading bricks from a great height, you can bomb, no, you can destroy a large area with the manpower of enemies. After all, it makes no difference to the brick on whose head it falls
  2. rocket757
    rocket757 17 December 2021 10: 48
    -3
    The U.S. Air Force has long had the idea of ​​using cruise missiles from special platforms mounted on cargo ships.
    The next experiment ... to hang / shove rockets or something else, into a passenger plane ... fantasy, we can, and crazy, but who knows, to what, all sorts of figures, can think of ??? one hope is that it is technically difficult and not cheap, but there is a little more practical sense than not at all.
    1. OgnennyiKotik
      OgnennyiKotik 17 December 2021 10: 55
      +15
      Quote: rocket757
      The next experiment ... hang / shove rockets or something else, into a passenger plane ... fantasy,

      There was a CMCA project, according to which it was supposed to convert the Boeing 747 into an arsenal aircraft. These are the 70s.
      1. rocket757
        rocket757 17 December 2021 11: 07
        +2
        It becomes a military aircraft, finally ... you can't use it differently ...
        "camouflaged" ersatz bomber.
        1. Terran ghost
          Terran ghost 17 December 2021 14: 47
          0
          It becomes a military aircraft, finally ...

          "camouflaged" ersatz bomber.

          "It" (the US Air Force transport aircraft) has always been a military aircraft.
      2. GAndr
        GAndr 17 December 2021 13: 45
        +9
        By the way, by analogy with ships, arsenals are a very interesting thing. A transport worker can take any more of this stuff than a bomb carrier. And just as a weapon of intimidation and fluttering of the nerves is the very thing. For example, now just imagine if a couple of such things were spinning near the Crimea ... Not a couple of fighters, but a couple of such arsenals. I think ours would be much more nervous, in fact, each such thing has a striking power like a missile destroyer, no less.
        I'm not talking here now, about the combat value in the real period of wartime, I think that this is more a piece of preventive persuasion (demonstration of force) and keeping the enemy in an unrealistic tension.
        And by the way, such a thing, unlike a destroyer, does not fall under any conventions in the Black Sea :)
    2. just exp
      just exp 17 December 2021 10: 59
      +12
      on the contrary, it is a cheap replacement for strategic missile carriers.
      and therefore cheap, which will not replace full-fledged missile carriers, because the BC is several times smaller.
      By the way, they organized bombing from transport workers, and ours did the same.
      1. rocket757
        rocket757 17 December 2021 11: 06
        -1
        A transport worker, if he is already used in the military department ... everything is clear here and there was an article about ours.
        The question with the former civilian board ... after the alteration, it ceases to be what it was, forever and finally? Then it is already a military plane, by the fact of belonging ...
      2. NDR-791
        NDR-791 17 December 2021 11: 07
        +1
        Quote: just explo
        from transport workers and staged bombing, and ours did the same.

        AN-8/10/12/24/26/30 are adapted from birth to this. I don’t know about the jet.
      3. 2 Level Advisor
        2 Level Advisor 17 December 2021 11: 52
        +8
        come on ... do you think according to the scheme as in the article in the IL-76 will fit less cruise missiles than in the Tu-95? the Il-76 has 3 times more maximum carrying capacity in general ... there is a question of a shorter range of use .. but in 1x it is far from always needed, in 2x the range of missiles has become much larger, which again reduces dependence on the radius of combat use .. and not so much they have a different radius + you can also attach additional tanks to the IL-76 .. so it is quite a viable idea, and as they say - "cheap and cheerful"
        1. dauria
          dauria 17 December 2021 12: 19
          0
          but in 1x it the maximum is far from always needed,

          Yes, here the goal is different. Remove the launcher from the impact. Ground-based launchers, even shipborne ones in Taiwan, won't last long. And here it seems like with the presidential board N1. laughing He rose into the air - and how can you get him over his territory, except for fighters?
    3. YOUR
      YOUR 17 December 2021 11: 14
      +15
      Such surveys were carried out with us. In the sense of the USSR. load a ballistic missile into a transport ship; drop it over a given point and forward. The air launch is called. Later we agreed during SALT-1 and all these air launches stopped. For it is impossible to track where the planes with missiles are. The Americans closed the shop the same, but as we can see, not completely.
      All in all, not very good news.
      In a threatened period, a flock of such transport workers rises and dumps a bunch of CDs.
      One of the options for the start of the 3rd World War. Maximum number of cruise missiles and ballistic missile warheads entering the enemy's air defense zone at the same time.
      In general, the news is not very pleasant.
      1. Nikolaevich I
        Nikolaevich I 17 December 2021 11: 38
        +2
        Quote: YOUR
        load a ballistic missile into a transport ship; drop it over a given point and forward. The air launch is called.

        Once I came across a "piece of material" on the Internet that the USSR considered the option of using An-124 "Ruslan" transport aircraft as carriers of the X-55 KR ... After a certain time, I mentioned this in the comments; but I was "severely" refuted and demanded proof! Alas! It was not possible to find the material familiar to me again! (By the way, I have repeatedly noticed that the information that was once available on the Internet, after 10 years, or even less, is no longer possible to find!).
        1. Archon
          Archon 17 December 2021 11: 48
          +2
          Not all sites live long and not everyone benefits from storing information for a long time. You need to pay for space on the server regularly (albeit a little), and if the site does not generate income, then it is easier to close it. And if something physically happened to the owner of the site and he is not able to pay, then the site will be gradually closed for non-payment.
        2. YOUR
          YOUR 17 December 2021 11: 49
          +4
          Quote: Nikolaevich I
          information that was once available on the Internet, after 10 years, or even less, is no longer possible to find

          For that, all sorts of nonsense is complete.
          Concerning
          Quote: Nikolaevich I
          the use of An-124 "Ruslan" transports as carriers of the Kh-55 missile launcher

          And what's the difference to launch a rocket from the Tu-160 or Tu-95 or from the An124. Work out the airplane release system and that's it. I don’t think this is some kind of overwhelming and unsolvable task.
          1. 2 Level Advisor
            2 Level Advisor 17 December 2021 12: 00
            -1
            Yes, there is already a question ... but why, in general, specialized aircraft for the CD? it is possible to alter / apply the IL-76 for the launch of the CD .. it is no longer planned to break through the air defense as in the TU-160 .. but just reach the launch point and it will be able to ..
            1. YOUR
              YOUR 17 December 2021 12: 14
              +2
              A specialized aircraft can not only launch a CD, plus it is specially equipped with equipment for breaking through the enemy's air defense, the use of transport aircraft to launch a CD, a build-up of forces at either the first strike against the enemy, or to create an advantage in a certain section of the front, for surprise strikes. For strikes on some formations without attracting expensive bombers.
              There are a lot of reasons for using it.
        3. Captain Pushkin
          Captain Pushkin 17 December 2021 12: 07
          +1
          Quote: Nikolaevich I
          repeatedly noticed that information that was once available on the Internet, after 10 years, or even less, is no longer possible to find

          Most often, this means that the topic from the realm of fantasy has moved into the phase of real elaboration.
      2. Terran ghost
        Terran ghost 17 December 2021 14: 50
        0
        Later we agreed during SALT-1 and all these air launches stopped.

        What exactly was "kicked"? Long-range air-to-surface cruise missiles?
        1. YOUR
          YOUR 17 December 2021 15: 00
          0
          That which cannot be tracked.
          1. Terran ghost
            Terran ghost 17 December 2021 15: 42
            0
            That which cannot be tracked.

            What do you mean by "cannot be tracked"?
            1. YOUR
              YOUR 17 December 2021 15: 44
              0
              The same as you
      3. km-21
        km-21 17 December 2021 22: 27
        +1
        Quote: YOUR
        In a threatened period, a flock of such transport workers rises and dumps a bunch of CDs.
        One of the options for the start of the 3rd World War. Maximum number of cruise missiles and ballistic missile warheads entering the enemy's air defense zone at the same time.
        In general, the news is not very pleasant.

        In addition, this news is aggravated by the fact that a large number of American (NATO) transport workers are based in Europe in close proximity to Russian strategically important facilities. At the same time, Russia does not have the ability to create a symmetrical threat to the United States, since all Russian transport workers are based exclusively on its territory.
        1. YOUR
          YOUR 18 December 2021 02: 37
          0
          That's why I wrote that the news is not good.
          1. km-21
            km-21 18 December 2021 10: 47
            +1
            Yes, there is something to think about. It is even possible that a "peaceful" transporter who is flying in transit over Russian territory by official permission suddenly opens the cargo hatch and launches massive tomahawks somewhere near Yekaterinburg or Irkutsk. It looks like aviation could collapse worse than covid.
            1. YOUR
              YOUR 18 December 2021 11: 23
              +1
              I think this option is in a row possible. There are no suicides there. And here is what you originally indicated. In Europe, there is a sufficient number of transport workers, and if they, under the guise of exercises, dump a large number of CDs somewhere, it will be very, very bad.
              First, these planes deliver a surprise strike, clearing the way for combat aircraft, followed by combat aircraft and a ballistic missile strike.
              1. km-21
                km-21 18 December 2021 12: 29
                +1
                One way or another, but we must admit the obvious fact that the number of real threats to Russia is increasing every day. And if nothing is done about this, then sooner or later the West will have the opportunity to deliver a disarming blow to Russia, to which Russia will not be able to adequately respond. And I state with great regret that many Russians take this problem too lightly.
                1. YOUR
                  YOUR 18 December 2021 12: 43
                  0
                  Quote: km-21
                  The West will be able to deliver a disarming blow to Russia

                  This will only happen if our leadership disarms the country to please the Western bankers. As long as there is nuclear weapons in any of its manifestations, there will be no attack. At present, so much nuclear weapons have been accumulated that by blowing up their part on their own territory the whole world will be destroyed.
                  Quote: km-21
                  many Russians take this problem too lightly.

                  How can we influence these processes? Yes, no, it means you just need to live
    4. Krasnodar
      Krasnodar 17 December 2021 11: 53
      0
      Quote: rocket757
      The next experiment ... hang / stuff rockets or whatever, into a passenger plane ..

      If you need to hit a vnezhdanka at some target from the passenger echelon, or at several targets before a big attack - why not? laughing
      1. rocket757
        rocket757 17 December 2021 12: 49
        +1
        Guerrilla warfare, military tricks, was not invented yesterday, and it is not for us to cancel.
        1. Krasnodar
          Krasnodar 17 December 2021 14: 00
          -2
          Quote: rocket757
          Guerrilla warfare, military tricks, was not invented yesterday, and it is not for us to cancel.

          It is rather from the category of very expensive and high-tech sabotage)).
          1. rocket757
            rocket757 17 December 2021 17: 47
            +1
            A method available to everyone who makes missiles of this class ... the question is whether they will bother, unless absolutely necessary.
    5. Zoldat_A
      Zoldat_A 17 December 2021 13: 44
      0
      Quote: rocket757
      The next experiment ... to hang / shove rockets or something else, into a passenger plane ...

      The next step is the launch from a helicopter and from a "maize" like our (sorry, now Ukrainian) An-2. Expansion of the list of carriers and other blah blah ... good
      1. rocket757
        rocket757 17 December 2021 17: 49
        0
        A decent rocket is longer than a maize, perhaps, and its weight is not small.
        But making containers and stuffing them on sea transport is, yes, quite real.
        1. Sergey Valov
          Sergey Valov 17 December 2021 23: 14
          0
          “So to make containers and stuff them on sea transport, yes, it’s quite real to itself” - only there will be practically no real threat to the foe, or, even worse, we will get a second Cuban Missile Crisis. You, apparently, have no idea how the games with the placement of such weapons on civilian courts can end.
          1. rocket757
            rocket757 18 December 2021 00: 07
            +1
            Here are not plans for world wars, attacks on someone and so on, stuff, is being discussed ... THIS IS A BABY, just about nothing, out of boredom or something like that.
            1. Sergey Valov
              Sergey Valov 18 December 2021 10: 33
              +1
              It is good if you perceive what is happening on the forum that way. It seems to me that many people are quite sincere in their aggressive and amateurish attacks.
              1. rocket757
                rocket757 18 December 2021 10: 46
                +1
                Youthful maximalism, sofa experts ... to convince, to correct can only life itself, who can be corrected. And so, fortunately, "God did not give horns to the vigorous goat," that is what keeps it going .... they talk, they blow the whistle, and the bainki will go.
                Here, it is often indicated / reminded that you always need to think about the consequences, i.e. there are enough sane people.
    6. Non-fighter
      Non-fighter 18 December 2021 10: 33
      +1
      The passenger differs from the cargo one by the presence of windows. Drawing them is not a problem. And if we take military boards, then we’ll be smart with electronics, in extreme cases, screw something so that the radio-emitting signature would be one to one civilian.
      1. rocket757
        rocket757 18 December 2021 10: 51
        0
        You can do anything, but no matter what they write in the media and newspapers, no matter what politicians talk, no one is in a hurry to arrange the transcendent ... for objective reasons.
        Plans, experiments are one thing, but real, mass preparation is another. When this becomes known, MANDATORY, everyone will take restrictive measures to neutralize such a threat ...
  3. APASUS
    APASUS 17 December 2021 10: 49
    -10
    I don’t understand what kind of strange technical solutions. Some kind of ersatz weapon. Like a pickup truck with a machine gun, but the barmaley have no money, and here the Americans are inventing how to launch a rocket from a transport ship.
    1. Egoza
      Egoza 17 December 2021 10: 56
      +1
      Quote: APASUS
      the Americans are inventing how to launch a rocket from a transport plane.

      Hence the conclusion: civilian - military - since the United States, then shoot down everyone at once! )))
      1. barclay
        barclay 17 December 2021 11: 13
        +7
        They can say the same about our Club-K container missile system, which can be placed on civilian cargo ships.
        1. Zoldat_A
          Zoldat_A 17 December 2021 13: 52
          -4
          Quote: barclay
          They can say the same about our Club-K container missile system, which can be placed on civilian cargo ships.

          Port of Los Angeles. Which one is Club-K? Let them think ...
      2. prior
        prior 17 December 2021 11: 20
        -4
        Obviously, our relationship with the Americans has reached a new level when it is perfectly acceptable to say:
        a good American plane is a downed American plane,
        a good American is a dead American.
        At the same time, it should be noted that we did not strive for this.
        1. Zoldat_A
          Zoldat_A 17 December 2021 13: 55
          -2
          Quote: prior
          Obviously, our relationship with the Americans has reached a new level when it is perfectly acceptable to say:
          a good American plane is a downed American plane,
          a good American is a dead American.
          At the same time, it should be noted that we did not strive for this.

          I sincerely don’t understand why the peacekeepers attacked with "minuses"? Well, the Americans want this - so here it is ...
    2. rocket757
      rocket757 17 December 2021 11: 01
      0
      Not by washing, so by skating ... to compensate for the lack of specialized media, and there is also an element of unpredictability, an unexpected one.
    3. Sentinel-vs
      Sentinel-vs 17 December 2021 11: 03
      +8
      The idea is that there are many transports available, there is no need for specialized missile carriers.
    4. NDR-791
      NDR-791 17 December 2021 11: 11
      +5
      Quote: APASUS
      I don’t understand what kind of strange technical solutions. Some kind of ersatz weapon

      Well, why weird, Lockheed AC-130U Spooky is also a nee transporter. Adapted the same.
    5. Captain Pushkin
      Captain Pushkin 17 December 2021 12: 15
      -1
      Quote: APASUS
      what a strange technical solution

      This will make it possible to launch the maximum number of missiles in the first salvo in order to overload and destroy air defense and missile defense systems.
      Effective and economical. Unambiguously, the same will be adopted by the Russian Federation.
    6. Non-fighter
      Non-fighter 18 December 2021 12: 21
      0
      You can laugh at a pickup truck with a machine gun as much as you want, but it works.
  4. riwas
    riwas 17 December 2021 10: 50
    +2
    U.S. Air Force hit target with cruise missile from transport aircraft

    With the advent of long-range missiles, there is no need to enter the enemy's air defense zone, so civilian aircraft can also be used. But this is how it fits in with international treaties on the non-use of civilian carriers for military purposes.
    1. OgnennyiKotik
      OgnennyiKotik 17 December 2021 10: 57
      +11
      No way. Used a military transport aircraft.
    2. Toucan
      Toucan 17 December 2021 10: 57
      +6
      Quote: riwas
      therefore, civil aircraft can also be used. But this is how it fits in with international treaties on the non-use of civilian carriers for military purposes.

      We are not talking about civilians, but about military transport.
    3. rocket757
      rocket757 17 December 2021 10: 59
      -1
      Precisely, the question also arose about the "Rules of Conduct" ... they seem to have a big and fat ... a bolt can be put, if not yet ???
      1. Barberry25
        Barberry25 17 December 2021 11: 56
        0
        these rules never survived the start of the DB
      2. Terran ghost
        Terran ghost 17 December 2021 14: 55
        0
        What are the "rules of war"? The cruise missile was launched from the US Air Force TRANSPORT AIRCRAFT. Not from a civilian passenger or cargo ship.
    4. URAL72
      URAL72 17 December 2021 11: 09
      +1
      But this is how it fits in with international treaties on the non-use of civilian carriers for military purposes..

      I don't know about such agreements, because everyone has always used civilian equipment in case of war. Often it is requisitioned for the Armed Forces, or simply chartered, such as ships for the transfer of forces to the Persian Gulf, or as we are to Syria.
      1. Free wind
        Free wind 17 December 2021 13: 01
        +1
        I have my own tractor. is registered at the military registration and enlistment office. Until 05, without registration at the military registration and enlistment office, the tractor was not registered with the technical supervision. In case of war, the tractor could be requisitioned from me, or I could go to war on it. but this is at my request, if the age came out. During the war, both Hitler and ours flew on passenger planes. Hitler flew to the occupied territories. And if he was shot down, hardly anyone would feel remorse.
  5. just exp
    just exp 17 December 2021 10: 57
    -4
    the idea is old.
    in the USSR, even ballistic missiles were fired in this way.
  6. Pavel57
    Pavel57 17 December 2021 10: 57
    +12
    We will not get a symmetrical answer. There are not enough transport planes.
    1. Vadim237
      Vadim237 17 December 2021 14: 58
      -5
      And Russia does not need this - they will produce the Tu 160 and a new bomber, and we need transport aircraft for their direct functions.
  7. URAL72
    URAL72 17 December 2021 10: 58
    -5
    I think it's time for us to develop similar systems for the Il-76 and a promising medium-sized transport aircraft. But the emphasis should be placed not on anti-ship missiles, but on missiles for ground targets. It is necessary to keep in sight not only Europe, but also Japan, the Middle East, Alaska. We shouldn't forget about China either.
    1. Jacket in stock
      Jacket in stock 17 December 2021 11: 56
      +8
      Quote: URAL72
      it's time for us to develop similar systems for the Il-76 and a promising medium-sized transport aircraft

      We would first have to make these very average transports, and with the Il76, not everything is in order yet.
    2. Barberry25
      Barberry25 17 December 2021 11: 59
      -3
      it will be difficult for us, because the VTA is not very large, and it will be difficult to ensure the duty ... It can be done, but why? it is still more optimal to adapt the current platforms for new machines ... develop air-to-surface missiles with a range of 900 km, for the mig-29/35 and su-27/30/34/35 ... Well, the mig-41 is on the way, and he is a small bomber in itself ... I think that in in the case of the production of 200-250 mig-41 with an internal arrangement of weapons, stealth technologies and a range of 3 km, the question of the need for ersatz bombers will be removed
  8. Jacket in stock
    Jacket in stock 17 December 2021 11: 54
    +4
    In fact, the rocket does not matter at all where it is launched from, from a transport aircraft or from a bomber. Yes, even from a cart with a horse.
    The only question is how to correctly push it out of this transporter, which, along the way, the Americans decided.
    By the way, they can only drop their "mother of all bombs" from a transport plane.
  9. Evgeny Trifonov
    Evgeny Trifonov 17 December 2021 13: 08
    -2
    I still have a small question: what is the dispersion area of ​​this aircraft, and what was the point in creating stealth, if, in the end, the missiles will be launched from cargo planes?
    The Americans came to the conclusion that stealth technologies do not work and it is necessary to change the tactics of using weapons? From the secrecy of delivery vehicles to the massive use of rocket weapons. But wouldn't it be easier to make a massive salvo from a ship, and not from an airplane, and if the time has come to return to the combat use of ekranoplanes, we already have these technologies.
  10. Abdula Volny
    Abdula Volny 17 December 2021 16: 36
    0
    dastardly weapon, two minutes on a parachute, and the plane flies away. And then `` it's not us our plane was far from this place '' or straight from the ground in two days, but they will say `` ISIS ''
  11. Rainfall
    Rainfall 18 December 2021 04: 13
    +1
    Computer graphics show transport planes dropping anti-tank weapons.

    Saddam Hussein used a business jet with anti-ship missiles to attack the USS Stark. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Stark_incident
  12. Kaufman
    Kaufman 18 December 2021 06: 46
    -1
    we can't keep up with them ... especially the navy. Yes, and aviation. And you don't need a crowbar against every admission. There is something to scare away, so far enough.
  13. Reserve buildbat
    Reserve buildbat 21 December 2021 11: 58
    -1
    Thus, the military-technical cooperation of mattresses goes into the category of military aviation and is subject to mass destruction.