Palletized munitions delivery vs traditional bombers

Ronny

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Rapid dragon concept allow you to load cruise missile inside pallets and put on common cargo aircraft, then these cargo aircraft can launch all short of cruise missiles and bombs just like a bomber.
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For example: a C-17 can carry and launch 32 JASSM/LRASM missile
For comparison, a dedicated bomber such as B-1B can carry 24 JASSM/LRASM internally and another 12 JASSM/LRASM externally for a total of 36 missiles. A B-52 can carry 8 JASSM/LRASM internally and 12 JASSM/LRASM externally for a total of 20 missiles. So we can see that Cargo aircraft can carry just as much if not more missile and bombs than conventional bombers . So, with palletized munitions delivery concept, will cargo aircraft now able to do bombers job even better than dedicated bombers?. Do we even need dedicated bomber anymore?
 

riggerrob

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Palletized works great as long as you enjoy air superiority within range of the target.
As soon as a defender fields significant numbers of AAA or AA missiles, you will lose transport planes by the dozens.
 

publiusr

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Here is where prevailing winds play a part.

The munitions don’t need to come home, right?

Deploy during very strong winds blowing to target just outside of enemy range.

Cargo craft fly back…by the time enemy fire is encountered, all it hits are empty pallets because your munitions have been sent streaking towards targets a moment beforehand.

Just keep the racks aloft just long enough to deploy…a whole new twist to JPL’s “seven minutes of terror!”

Arsenal balsa gliders anyone?
 
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skyblue

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Here is where prevailing winds play a part.

The munitions don’t need to come home, right?

Deploy during very strong winds blowing to target just outside of enemy range.

Cargo craft fly back…by the time enemy fire is encountered, all it hits are empty pallets because your munitions have been sent streaking towards targets a moment beforehand.

Just keep the racks aloft just long enough to deploy…a whole new twist to JPL’s “seven minutes of terror!”

Arsenal balsa gliders anyone?
It'll be hard to build CONOPS where everything hinges upon winds blowing in precisely the right direction at the right time.
 

publiusr

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You can tack into the wind with kite sails. I am thinking of combining the very highest tech with the very lowest—to defeat common 20th Century tech. The pallets have big chutes and maybe an ultralight engine pushing them just close enough…that sort of thing….just long enough for the cargo planes to escape.
 

donnage99

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our transport fleet is usually in high demand during a conflict. Idk about burdening them with bomb truck role as well.
 

Ronny

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Palletized works great as long as you enjoy air superiority within range of the target.
As soon as a defender fields significant numbers of AAA or AA missiles, you will lose transport planes by the dozens.
Palletized delivery can allow cargo aircraft to drop cruise missile from extended range just like bombers can. And i also don't think a B-52 is particularly more survivable than C-17
 

Ronny

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our transport fleet is usually in high demand during a conflict. Idk about burdening them with bomb truck role as well.
I mean will palletize munition delivery eliminate the need to design/produce a dedicated bombers?, may be you just need to manufacturing cargo aircraft and they can do both jobs
 

Josh_TN

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Clearly this method of delivery is specific to very long ranged weapons that can be easily palletized. There is a huge multitude of ordnance and missions that the B-52 can undertake that a C-17 would not. But as a cheap way of kicking more of one specific type of cruise missile in the air, it seems viable. Though as someone noted above, it seems likely the C-17 fleet is quite occupied in the event of a conflict. But it uses a missile and a plane in inventory, so the development of the delivery method seems pretty cost effective. Presumably a C-17 can carry a fairly large load of AGM-158s on pallets. A quick google search indicates that a C-17 can carry 18 pallets, though depending on how many missiles there are per pallet it would probably mass out before you could load that many. There would probably be center of gravity issues as well with a full capacity load. Still, seems likely you could carry many more missiles than a bomber.
 

Ronny

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Clearly this method of delivery is specific to very long ranged weapons that can be easily palletized. There is a huge multitude of ordnance and missions that the B-52 can undertake that a C-17 would not. But as a cheap way of kicking more of one specific type of cruise missile in the air, it seems viable. Though as someone noted above, it seems likely the C-17 fleet is quite occupied in the event of a conflict. But it uses a missile and a plane in inventory, so the development of the delivery method seems pretty cost effective. Presumably a C-17 can carry a fairly large load of AGM-158s on pallets. A quick google search indicates that a C-17 can carry 18 pallets, though depending on how many missiles there are per pallet it would probably mass out before you could load that many. There would probably be center of gravity issues as well with a full capacity load. Still, seems likely you could carry many more missiles than a bomber.

According to this, C-17 can launch 32 JASSM-ERs. Which weight around 32 tons, maximum weight capacity of C-17 is 77 tons, so I guess the limit could be due to missile length
The data is uploaded to the missiles, then cleared for release. The pallet rolls out the back, dropping by parachute at a safe distance from the C-17, stabilizes and then automatically fires up to 32 JASSM-ERs or other munitions at a target hundreds of miles away
 

Josh_TN

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Thanks...rather less than I expected, but certainly a non trivial amount. There's no shortage of volume in the C-17 for this weapon type; I suspect they are limited by how many pallets they can safely eject from the aircraft without causing flight control issues. IE, were they just delivering the missiles to a forward base and landing normally I suspect they can carry much more.
 

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