Skip to comments.Plan to turn a 747 into a missile launcher revealed: Design would have put 70 cruise missiles ...
Posted on 01/23/2016 5:06:41 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki
The B-52 had long been one of the Air Force's key weapons, being the first aircraft to attack Baghdad during the Persian Gulf War.
But over the past two decades, half of the military's B-52s have been scrapped due to budget constraints, leading several companies to come up with suggestions for a replacement.
One of these groups was Boeing, who came up with a plan in the 1980s to turn a 747 into a launcher capable of carrying 70 cruise missiles.
The aim was to create a low-cost bomber, at 15 per cent the price of the B-2, but able to carry 50 more missiles than its predecessor.
A major benefit of the plan, according to Boeing, was that the enemy would find it difficult to separate B-747s from civilian 747s.
This would also make it flexible enough to land at civilian airports without raising alarm among nearby residents.
The plane â which remained a concept - was named the Cruise Missile Carrier Aircraft, or CMCA for short.
The design was based on the 747-200C, a cargo version of the plane, with nine launchers mounted on tracks inside of the cabin.
Each launcher would hold eight missiles that could be hidden in the rear right side of the aircraft, according to an in-depth report in Foxtrot Alpha.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3410999/Plan-turn-747-missile-launcher-revealed-Design-70-cruise-missiles-body-Boeing-aircraft.html#ixzz3y4Yw16Dy Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
Boeing came up with a plan in the 1980s to turn a 747 into a launcher capable of carrying 70 cruise missiles. The aim was to create a low-cost bomber, at 15 per cent the price of the B-2, but able to carry 50 more missiles than its predecessor
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3410999/Plan-turn-747-missile-launcher-revealed-Design-70-cruise-missiles-body-Boeing-aircraft.html#ixzz3y4YpUmVM Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
Makes perfectly good sense, IMO.
This was public in the 1980's.
The 747 IS an amazing workhorse!
Doomed to failure because it didn’t cost enough.
Politicians and their pals can’t get rich on low cost weapons systems.
During the 1970’s the Air Force Launched a Minuteman Missile from the back of a c-141.
I'm not sure that would be a successful gambit in a real war. I would point to RMS Lusitania.
For the purpose this bomber plays (of getting cruise missiles close enough that they could be fired), there are MUCH LESS EXPENSIVE options.
Think of putting as few as 1 cruise missile on a WWII prop plane from the boneyard, piloted by remote control. The plane and two hundred like it, but only one-tenth of which carry missiles, would swarm an adversary’s air defense system. The attack would be unstoppable.
All the planes would be one-way throwaways. But, none of the infrastructure exposed. We could follow-up with another swarm attack.
Now put the shoe on the other foot. We’re not the only country with the potential to attack a defense system by this technique.
There’s a certain quality to quantity.
might not the enemy start shooting every 747 it saw out of the air to take no chances?
probably a dumb question. just wondering.
Even Clancy had the “look like a civilian airliner” trick in Hunt for Red October. At anything beyond visual range a B-52 is indistinguishable from a 747 or other large airliner.
“Fly the unfriendly skies.”
Bingo. Good historical reference. Can’t distinguish it from a civilian ship; then assume its military.
Not so much low lost as one-trick-pony.
Bombers can carry a large variety of munitions. The 747 concept was limited to ALCMs. Where each rotary launcher was chucked out the back once it’s missiles were expended.
In the nuclear role it was a one-shot doomsday platform, a role that was already being adequately filled by SSBNs and ICBMs. In the conventional role, with the then-secrer CALCMs,it was a single use, one shot first-night-of-war platform, lacking the “day two” flexibilty of the other strategic bombers.
Low cost, that is.
Yeah. Always wondered why we didn’t modify a civilian jumbo to act as a “ bomb truck” for the type of wars we have been fighting. A couple of rotary launchers with various ordinance, it could carry massive bomb loads with the ability to stay on station for extended periods, deliver the goods as needed. But there’s no huge. Contractor $$$$ and not “ sexy” to the Generals.
In a 'real war', civilian airliners will stay away from the war zone, if they have any sense. This would launch its missiles from up to 1000 to 1500 miles from the target. No enemy SAMs or interceptors can cover that large an envelope.
If you are really worried about interceptors, mix in a few "P-51 Mustang" drone missiles to provide 'escort' if needed. For that matter, the Phoenix system could track enemy fighters out to 120 miles and engage them 60 miles away. The upstairs deck of the 747 has plenty of room for Weapons Intercept and Electronic Countermeasure Operators!
No civilian aircraft in wartime. They become part of the reserve fleet. That’s how we were going to reinforce Europe during a war.
Most airliners are low-wing, meaning that positioning of the bomb bay(s) becomes a tricky engineering thing, particularly with center of gravity. Witness the various positioning of the 737-derived P-8s weapons bay from front to aft (due in large part to allow mounting of an external side scan radar) prior to design freeze.
Once you have air superiority then dumb bombs come into play. It isn’t high tech and sexy.
There’s this thing called IFFF.
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