Skip to comments.Why Boeing's Design For A 747 Full Of Cruise Missiles Makes Total Sense
Posted on 07/22/2014 8:19:21 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
From Foxtrot Alpha: After the Carter Administration's cancellation of the B-1A program due to fiscal concerns, the rise of air-launched cruise missiles and the possibility of developing a stealth bomber, Boeing put forward a low-risk, relatively cheap, cruise missile delivery vehicle alternative based on the mighty 747. It was called the Cruise Missile Carrier Aircraft, or CMCA for short.
The idea was relatively simple, turn the premier long-range commercial hauler into an arsenal ship capable of carrying between 50 and 100 air-launched cruise missiles (ALCMs). At the time the AGM-86 air-launched cruise missile was all the rage (it is still in service today) so the 747 CMCA concept was built with the 21ft winged missile in mind.
The configuration was fairly straight forward, the design was based on the 747-200C, a nose-loading cargo derivative of the ubiquitous airliner, with nine rotary launchers mounted on tracks inside of the stripped-out cabin. Each rotary launcher would hold eight missiles, and they could be slid back into a launching position at the rear right side of the aircraft via the help of an overhead handling system.
A bay door on the right side of the 747's tail cone would open and an ejector system would punch the missiles out into the air stream and send them on their way either one at a time, or in rapid succession.
In this configuration, a single 747 CMCA could launch 72 AGM-86 ALCMs on a single sortie, which is absolutely impressive considering a B-52 can carry up to 20. Satellite data links and other forms of communication could have allowed for the CMCA's missiles to be re-programmed from external sources while the aircraft was already in flight.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com ...
I think Ivan needs to stock up on those.
There you go again, you military - industrial complex you!
Russia has done this with the Bear
And old DC-10s, 737s, etc, could be spectacular drones.
Osama taught us that.
I’ve often thought a great way for Israel to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities would be to use commercial-airliners turned drones with tons upon tons of high explosives.
Suppress the air defense and move in.
They aren’t stealthy and don’t cost $1 billion each and require 2 decades of development time. Therefore, the Air Force has no interest in them.
I wonder how many plane loads of explosives it would take to penetrate down to the nuclear facilities?
Not a bash, a legitimate question. I’m picturing planes circling in the sky waiting for their turn.
Fill them with several tonne tungsten rods going the length of the fuselage and just dive at mach (which even a 737 can do — once).
Rods from G-d.
I’d probably put some sort of liquidizing thermite in for fun.
Wouldn’t that plane be a super-high value target?
You could make the mother of all fuel air explosives. It probably wouldn’t crack a fortified installation but could be heard for a hundred miles and make a nice mushroom cloud.
Incidentally Lockheed and others have been kicking around plans like this for at least 20 years, probably much more. They can launch them out of cargo planes like C-130s or C-5s too... but again, not sexy enough for the jet jockeys at the top.
Not as effective as filling it with JDAMs and dropping a cloud of GPS accurate bombs over a city.
As satisfying as that might be, that would not destroy the extremely hardened targets being discussed.
As you noted, would not penetrate.
Kinetic energy is the way to go.