For firing at ground targets has long been used special aircraft (bombers) and fighters and, in modern times — drones. However, 4 years ago in the United States are thinking about how to develop a plane that could not only carry a large number of weapons, but also know how to interact with other military aircraft (to obtain from them information about the targets in automatic mode) and even to teams to launch missiles from a fighter pilot. Previously, such decisions were taken directly by the pilots of the aircraft or, in the case of the UAV, the operator of a military vehicle. The concept was called “flying Arsenal” and has recently successfully tested it in action.
Tests were conducted by experts of the U.S. air force, which converted a conventional military transport aircraft into a bomber. During the test flight was dropped two prototypes of cruise missiles, while the launch happened with fighter jet, which was located nearby and carried a minimum armament. Test flight was considered a success, and now, experts plan to conduct test flights with real weapons.
New U.S. military plane
Since the fighter need to stay maneuverable, due to its weight it cannot carry a lot of heavy weapons. Whether it is a multi-ton military transport aircraft, where you can download a variety of missiles and bombs. However, such aircraft is unable to perform intelligence functions and much slower fighter. Therefore, in accordance with the project “flying Arsenal” fighter performs the role of “scout” and then, noticing the enemy remotely provides data about the targets and signals to launch missiles in protected channels.
In the future these planes it is planned to establish system of video processing that they receive data from sensors, drones and other combat aircraft. To remake such aircraft is planned for the existing bombers B-1B Lancer and B-52H and the transport C-130 or a Lockheed Martin MC-130J Commando II. With the latter, and was made a test launch of missiles in late may.
Like this will work “flying Arsenal”
In March last year in the US tested an unmanned fighter "Valkyrie". This is a relatively cheap platform that is able to disrupt enemy electronic equipment exposed to attack opponents, to scout the area and in particularly dangerous moments to take the brunt of it to protect expensive piloted vehicles.
The drone can fly alone or in a group where one of the pilots will be able to control it with the remote control. For take-off can be used as a runway and booster, and the payload may consist of several bombs. It is possible that “Valkyrie” will be part of the future “flying Arsenal” of the U.S. air force.
Flight Of The Valkyrie
And before SpaceX first launched into space a top-secret experimental drone of the U.S. air force called the X-37B. Not only that, he set a record of being in orbit, having spent 678 days without a break, so still nobody really knows (except the U.S. government, of course), what is in all those days did. Now, when SpaceX successfully launched astronauts into space, it can receive additional military contracts.
Russian bombers against the U.S.
Advanced technology for bombers being developed not only in USA but also in Russia. So, in 2016, the Russian scientists had developed the engine for space bomber! They plan to combine aircraft and rocket engine. In parallel, we develop a new hypersonic strategic bomber, which will have features, for example, will be able to strike from space. It is assumed that the aircraft will take off from conventional airfields, but will be able to reach any point of the planet for a couple of hours, thanks to the Eva. Weigh the plane will be about 25 tons usually weigh so much shock the bombers. The test sample was expected to do in 2020, but this project is unheard of.
I wonder how the US and Russia have chosen very different paths for future weapons. If Americans want to improve the conventional military transport planes and “help” them with fighter jets, drones and other faster and more maneuverable aircraft, in Russia, decided to develop a fast bomber. Thus, the aircraft will not have to work in conjunction with other aircraft, it will be fast, maneuverable and able to bear the shock the stock of firepower.