The concept of arming airlifters with cruise missiles is evolving quickly, which is a big deal for the Air Force, and possibly other air arms as well.
The U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin have provided new looks and additional insights into a recent full demonstration of the Rapid Dragon air-launched palletized munitions concept. On this occasion, surrogate weapons were delivered from the cargo holds of a C-17A Globemaster III airlifter and an EC-130J Super J, a psychological warfare platform based on the classic Hercules transport. The development reinforces the swift pace established by this program, which 10 months ago existed only in concept form and is managed by the Air Force’s Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation (SDPE). Its implications could extend beyond the United States as well.