That Time a Defense Contractor Wanted to Load Up 747s With ICBMs

Discussion in 'Defense Industry & Policy' started by Vergennes, Aug 8, 2016.

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  1. Vergennes

    Vergennes Captain Staff Member Ret. Military International Mod

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    It's kind of an insane idea. Or maybe not.

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    An interesting concept for America's nuclear deterrent recently emerged on the Internet. A former employee for a US defense contractor describes an idea to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles from midair…using a civilian jetliner. The idea was ultimately shelved, but is reminiscent of a current DoD program for conventional weapons.

    According to the post on The Unwanted Blog the author, was an employee for Orbital ATK, a San Jose-based defense contractor specializing in rockets and missiles. The author came across some Powerpoint presentations of a concept developed with another defense contractor, BAE, for turning a 747 into a nuclear missile carrier.

    The concept isn't exactly new—back in the 1970s and 1980s, there were also proposals to equip 747s with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles. The jetliners would have been a cheaper alternative to the B-1B Lancer strategic bomber, then under development. Ultimately the B-1B won out, and the 747 stayed in firmly in the civilian camp.

    Read more at : http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/research/a22197/icbms-on-747s-plan/
     
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  2. Falcon

    Falcon Major Staff Member Social Media Team

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    I think it was and is still a good idea except of course that you are inadvertently endangering innocent passenger planes by disguising yourself as one.

    The concept of carrying a large amount munitions on a passenger plane will come to existence with the arsenal plane however it won't be camouflaged as a civilian plane.
     
  3. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

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    And this is the reason the Klub-K never caught on.

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    In modern warfare civilian shipping or airlines aren't typically targeted, though some instances like the Tanker Wars have show this still happens too. By arming civilian craft, ships or airliners, you put civilians at a massive and unnecessary risk and open the door for unrestricted warfare against all non-friendly craft.

    This hasn't been seen since WWII, and hopefully wont.

    It's an interesting concept, one from actual and deployed ALBMs like Skybolt:

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    But one that petered out with SSBNs and mobile ICBMs, and frankly, one that was too dangerous to civilians to ever put into operational service.

    The concept of an ALBM remains though, only with target missiles this time around:

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    The air-launched eMRBM was used as a THAAD target.
     
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  4. Falcon

    Falcon Major Staff Member Social Media Team

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    To be honest though I would not be surprised if our government and all other nuclear powers have some kind of nuclear weapon deployment capabilities masked as something civilian.
     
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