The KC-46 military tanker aircraft and the C-17 Globemaster III strategic military transport aircraft of the US Air Force (Air Force) in future conflicts should be able to drop smart bombs and transmit tactical data, Breaking Defense reports, citing the Chief of Command Air Force Air Transport Jacqueline Van Ovost.
According to her, these aircraft will use “holes” in the anti-missile defense (ABM) of such high-tech adversaries as China and Russia to strike. The publication reminds that initially the KC-46 and C-17 Globemaster III are not attack combat aircraft.
For the use of weapons, these aircraft are planned to be modernized. The publication notes that several exercises have already been conducted, during which the C-17 Globemaster III was used to strike.
In one of them, dummies of AGM-158 (Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile) JASSM high-precision cruise missiles were dropped from the C-17 Globemaster III. In another, the same aircraft was used to transmit data to the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) multiple launch rocket system located in the C-17 Globemaster III cargo hold. During the third exercise, F-15 Eagle fighters cleared a path through mock enemy air defenses for 35 aircraft, including the C-17 Globemaster III and C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.
The publication notes that the US Air Force plans to conduct an experiment, during which one of the aircraft of the Air Transportation Command will be turned into a backup relay hub and data center.
In August, US Air Force Chief of Staff Charles Brown Jr. said that the war of the future involving the United States will not be like the conflicts of the past two decades. “The war of the future will not stay far from our shores,” he suggested.
In September, Valerie Insinna, a journalist for the American edition of Defense News, spoke about a visit to the Combat Operations Center, created at the Joint Base Andrews of the US Naval Aviation, where she observed a simulated operation of a “revolutionary combat control system”, during which Washington's response to an attack by a potential enemy was shown probably Moscow.