Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Boeing has equipped the C-17 with a new hypersonic missile launch system

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jun24,2024

>> alt=”The Boeing Company equipped the C-17 aircraft with a new launch system for hypersonic missiles” />

The Boeing Company presented the innovative REVOLVER launch system. It is expected to be a game-changer, turning the C-17 Globemaster III into a formidable hypersonic missile carrier. The integration of advanced technologies, such as the REVOLVER system, expands the C-17's capabilities in today's military landscape.

This launcher features two tandemly mounted drums and an electromagnetic catapult mechanism that allows rapid launch of up to 12 hypersonic Boeing X cruise missiles. -51A Waverider. Its design ensures accurate and rapid deployment of each missile, enhancing US air strike capabilities.

The C-17 Globemaster III, the second largest aircraft in the US Air Force fleet after the C-5M Super Galaxy, is nicknamed the “Buddha” due to its robust appearance. Capable of carrying 102 paratroopers, 54 medical patients or 85 tons of cargo, including tanks, it operates with a crew of three and can fly directly from the US to virtually anywhere in the world with mid-air refueling.

This versatile military transport aircraft is ideal for troop transfer, medical evacuation and cargo transport. With a payload capacity of around 78,000 kg and a range of 4,450 km, the C-17 is indispensable for global military operations. Its ability to integrate advanced systems such as the REVOLVER launcher enhances its role in modern military logistics.

Boeing has released virtual images and video of the REVOLVER launch system, demonstrating its potential, even though it has not yet been integrated into the C-17 Globemaster III. They provide insight into the system's ability to rapidly deploy hypersonic missiles and its potential impact on aerial combat. The system will be able to deploy the X-51A hypersonic cruise missile, which operates at a speed of more than Mach 5 with a direct jet engine. It will enable long-range precision strikes.

Future integration and testing of the REVOLVER launcher and X-51A Waverider missile on the C-17 platform will highlight advances in military capabilities. It promises to improve rapid, high-velocity missile deployment operations and set new standards in defense.

In March this year, the US Air Force tested a hypersonic cruise missile for the first time in the Pacific Ocean, seen as a signal to China that Washington remains competitive in an arms arena where Beijing believes it has an edge.

On March 17, the B bomber -52 from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam launched a “full prototype operational hypersonic missile”, an Air Force representative confirmed in a statement to CNN.

Hypersonic aircraft move at speeds exceeding Mach 5, which makes them difficult to detect and intercept. They also maneuver and change altitude, avoiding modern anti-missile defense systems.

US officials have acknowledged the aggressive stance of China and Russia in the field of hypersonic development. According to the non-partisan lobby group Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, China has been testing hypersonic gliders capable of carrying nuclear and conventional warheads since 2014.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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