"The Phantom Threat": Why are American airliners stuffed with cruise missiles dangerous for Russia?


Heavy economic the situation in which the Boeing corporation finds itself forces it to look for new ways to subsidize from the military budget. The American press has recently been actively talking about the possibility of reviving the long-forgotten Pentagon project to create a so-called "cruise missile aircraft carrier" on the basis of civil liners. Will Boeing be able to lobby for its initiative, and if so, what kind of danger can such "civilian missile carriers" pose to our country?


The emergence of effective air defense systems in the USSR during the Cold War showed that altitude is no longer a reliable defense for American bombers, since the use of free-fall ammunition is radically complicated. At the same time, the Vietnam War demonstrated that the potential for the use of "stratospheric fortresses" B-52H against the countries of the Third World is still very large. Therefore, the Pentagon eventually came up with the concept of a massive launch of cruise missiles from a safe distance outside the range of the air defense system. For this, a conventional subsonic aircraft, capable of carrying a heavy load and delivering missiles to the launch point, was quite enough.

CMCA (Cruise Missile Carrier Aircraft)


The idea of ​​using civilian liners for the needs of the military arose even earlier. On the basis of conventional transport aircraft, air tankers and AWACS aircraft were created. Equipping them with launchers for cruise missiles seemed quite a promising undertaking, since it gave a lot of advantages. The same Boeing airliners have a long-range flight radius, low fuel consumption, are produced in large quantities, while it is possible to disguise an armed aircraft as a standard civilian one and deliver an unexpected strike.

This is how the Boeing-747 CMCA version was created with nine drums located in the tail section. In total, they contained 72 AGM-86 ALCM air-launched cruise missiles, which could be fired from an opened hatch in less than 15 minutes. Such a rate of fire made the direction to intercept the fighter already meaningless. In addition, a large advantage of a civilian liner over military aircraft was its impressive size, which made it possible to place a mass of control equipment inside, which turned it into an air command post. The Boeing 747 CMCA has been technically aligned with the E-4 Nightwatch. It was assumed that hundreds of such "werewolves" would be enough to replace the "stratospheric fortresses." The Pentagon especially liked the idea of ​​a preemptive strike from such "cruise missile carriers" across the Soviet Union from air routes along its borders. Also, civilian airliners converted into missile carriers could be used for air strikes against the infrastructure of Third World countries.

All the leading American aircraft building corporations then joined the competition for the Pentagon budget. McDonnell Douglas offered to arm its DC-42 liner with 10 cruise missiles. Lockheed presented two options at once: the L-1011 CMCA for 50 missiles and the C-5 Galaxy for 110 missiles. Boeing also offered to arm its YC-36 with 14 missiles as a fire support aircraft for troops in non-nuclear conflicts. The project received the approval and support of the Pentagon.

The idea, in fact, is very good, it is a pity that it is directed against our country. Therefore, it is worth rejoicing that at one time it was never implemented. The reason is trivial: even the United States did not have enough money to do everything at once. The Pentagon chose to go through the rearmament of reliable and proven "stratospheric fortresses" B-52 on ALCM missiles, funding the development of a stealth bomber and creating a supersonic low-altitude B-1B to break through the air defense system.

Nowadays


Today, the likelihood of a return to this old project is very high.

At firstBoeing, this "national treasure" of the United States, is in dire need of financial support. Despite the fact that it is in "effective private hands", the corporation found itself in a severe crisis and without government subsidies in the form of a program for the conversion of civilian airliners into military aircraft, it may not survive it.

Secondly, a new type of free-fall ammunition called CLEAVER (Cargo Launch Expendable Air Vehicles with Extended Range) has been developed and successfully tested in the USA. It is designed to be dropped from conventional military transport aircraft, which actually turn into bombers. Of course, you can't use them against a technically advanced enemy like Russia or China, but against some Afghanistan or Libya, it's easy. A hundred CMCA can unleash enormous striking power on the heads of the "barmaley" at once, even without the need to engage and expend the resources of a real bomber aircraft.

Thirdly, still poses a potential threat to the possibility of disguising an aircraft stuffed with cruise missiles under an ordinary civilian airliner. Such "werewolves" can secretly concentrate in the airports of countries allied to the Americans, for example, in Ukraine or in the Baltic States, and, taking off from there, strike a preemptive strike on the infrastructure facilities of the RF Ministry of Defense.

The need to constantly track and identify such shape-shifters will turn into a constant headache for Russian or Chinese intelligence.
24 comments
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  1. zenion Offline zenion
    zenion (zinovy) 3 November 2021 13: 45
    0
    But you can clean such a country with a few bombs.
    1. greenchelman Offline greenchelman
      greenchelman (Grigory Tarasenko) 3 November 2021 14: 04
      +3
      "Cleaning such a country with several bombs" is possible only in your imagination. If we talk about so many ammunition, then at best we can talk about one city. But it all depends on the size of the settlement and the power of the warheads. As a specialist in civil defense, I am telling you this. More than 330 million people live in the US, you will get tired of cleaning up. The bulk of the population lives in "one-story America"; there are huge agglomerations, which generally make no sense to touch, neither military nor practical. Military, industrial, scientific, energy and transport infrastructure, this is the main priority for the strike. But it is better that nothing like this happens at all. After all, it will fly to us, but our cities are just compact.
      1. Igor Berg Offline Igor Berg
        Igor Berg (Igor Berg) 3 November 2021 15: 41
        +2
        And the people just blurt out. Everyone sitting at home is very brave and warlike
        1. greenchelman Offline greenchelman
          greenchelman (Grigory Tarasenko) 3 November 2021 16: 20
          +3
          100%. It's good at least about the "Yellowstone explosion" and "tsunami sweeping cities from a nuclear torpedo" did not begin to talk. I am generally silent about the "Stalin Strait". It pleases at least.
        2. Adler77 Offline Adler77
          Adler77 (Denis) 4 November 2021 10: 31
          0
          That's right, "with one left", "we'll throw our hats"….
      2. zenion Offline zenion
        zenion (zinovy) 3 November 2021 19: 07
        -1
        So the body is that these planes should be as close to the enemy as possible.
      3. JD1979 Offline JD1979
        JD1979 (Dmitriy) 4 November 2021 10: 53
        -1
        Forgive me, the bad specialist in civil defense among you))) of all the primary goals, only energy was guessed))
        1. greenchelman Offline greenchelman
          greenchelman (Grigory Tarasenko) 4 November 2021 11: 39
          +1
          You know better...
  2. Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 3 November 2021 19: 29
    0
    These missiles are dangerous for everyone.
    And the rest is like a verse about the Maxim machine gun. Bad for those who do not have it.
  3. Bulanov Offline Bulanov
    Bulanov (Vladimir) 3 November 2021 21: 53
    +5
    And fourthly, did Rossi seem to have allowed American cargo planes to pass through its territory? I can imagine how many American scouts and "pollinators" disguised as civilian ships can fly over Russia.

    The same Boeing airliners have a long-range flight radius, low fuel consumption, are produced in large quantities, while it is possible to disguise an armed aircraft as a standard civilian one and deliver an unexpected strike.

    It will only be possible to use all this only once. Then all Boeings and other suspicious planes will go astray.
    1. viktortarianik Offline viktortarianik
      viktortarianik (Victor) 14 December 2021 10: 30
      0
      If only he will be who and what after such a raid.
  4. Face Offline Face
    Face (Alexander Lik) 3 November 2021 22: 55
    +2
    The transformation of civilian liners into missile carriers is quite in the spirit of the Anglo-Saxon ghouls. I am sure that the idea that then the enemy will start shooting down all the liners in a row, without understanding which of them are with missiles and which are with people, they calmly dismissed them.
    But it seems to me that the reason for the abandonment of this program in the United States is not about money. Indeed, in response, missiles can fly, located in ordinary sea containers from ordinary commercial dry cargo ships. And nuclear armored trains are behind our siding.
    1. Marzhecki Online Marzhecki
      Marzhecki (Sergei) 4 November 2021 08: 48
      -1
      As an obviously great connoisseur of weapons, tell me, weren't Russian nuclear trains eliminated? Or do you have other information? Then please share.
      And tell me, what will happen if, for example, tomorrow the US Navy stops for inspection a Russian dry cargo ship not far from its borders and finds containers with Caliber on it? What will be the international legal implications?
      1. Face Offline Face
        Face (Alexander Lik) 4 November 2021 18: 21
        0
        I am not an expert on weapons, except for small arms and grenade launchers.
        There was such a project "Barguzin". As far as I know, the United States was able to negotiate with us so that it remains a project. What our demanded in return is not in the know.
        As far as stopping and inspecting the vessel is concerned, you may be right. But before they were not so boring, now everything is possible.
        1. Marzhecki Online Marzhecki
          Marzhecki (Sergei) 5 November 2021 07: 24
          +1
          There were BZHRKs, but they were cut into metal at the insistence of the Americans. Recently there has been talk of resuming the program, but it seems that money has not been found.
          1. Face Offline Face
            Face (Alexander Lik) 5 November 2021 08: 43
            +1
            "Barguzin" is a new project, and it hasn't been in hardware yet. I am sure there will be money if necessary. Apparently, there is no need yet.
  5. Pavel57 Offline Pavel57
    Pavel57 (Paul) 3 November 2021 23: 25
    -1
    We have nothing to oppose - perhaps the Tu-204 and the Il-76.
  6. Peter Sergeev Offline Peter Sergeev
    Peter Sergeev (Peter Sergeev) 4 November 2021 07: 24
    0
    They have planes, we have trains and shipping containers. trains are okay, but shipping containers are a decent answer.
    1. JD1979 Offline JD1979
      JD1979 (Dmitriy) 4 November 2021 11: 16
      0
      What answer? What are you talking about? Do you have containers other than show samples? Or maybe there are dry cargo ships not flying the Panamanian flag? And most importantly, while the dry cargo ship saves, if it does, everything will be over.
  7. Abakan Offline Abakan
    Abakan 9 November 2021 19: 46
    0
    Quote: greenchelman
    "Cleaning such a country with several bombs" is possible only in your imagination. If we talk about so many ammunition, then at best we can talk about one city. But it all depends on the size of the settlement and the power of the warheads. As a specialist in civil defense, I am telling you this. More than 330 million people live in the US, you will get tired of cleaning up. The bulk of the population lives in "one-story America"; there are huge agglomerations, which generally make no sense to touch, neither military nor practical. Military, industrial, scientific, energy and transport infrastructure, this is the main priority for the strike. But it is better that nothing like this happens at all. After all, it will fly to us, but our cities are just compact.

    the United States has hundreds of bases around the world, and 32 NATO countries will attack us if we attack the United States, 7 NATO countries have nuclear weapons, more than 40 submarines with 24 nuclear missiles each. Basically, it will be Russia against 32 NATO countries, not just the United States, even China is attacking us to regain control over Siberia and the Far East. Japan will also want to get the Kuril Islands, even Finland will want to get some of what they lost in 1945, besides, Ukraine and Georgia can also attack, Turkey, Poland, the Baltic countries, etc.
    1. Alen xxxxd Offline Alen xxxxd
      Alen xxxxd (ole gim) 1 January 2022 17: 41
      0
      Everything is the same as in 1941, history repeats itself
  8. Michael Offline Michael
    Michael (Michael) 13 December 2021 22: 54
    0
    The counter-strike of the Russian Federation will certainly not be able to bring victory. Only on the southern flank of NATO, for temporary neutralization, at least 250 missiles with special charges - bases, ports, communication centers - from Famagusta to Gibraltar will be required. And NATO forward-based facilities from the Baltic to the World Cup? 74 airfields with 1200 attack aircraft ... And then there is strategic space. Yes, the Russian Federation will not have enough nuclear mochilov. On the other hand, there are 126 nuclear power units in Western Europe, 103 in the USA. What is the result of a ground penetrating strike by a missile with a special charge into a reactor? Thousands of tons of long-lived isotopes and overexposed soil in the stratosphere. .) showed that with a warhead of 1987KT and an active zone of 50 tons - and weak wind Within 500 days, the area of ​​the contaminated area with the level of 3 MPC for gamma radiation will be 2-0,3 million square meters. km. And 0,4 reactors? The statehood, infrastructure, land, water, food of the enemy have been destroyed. With the right choice of wind directions for the time, the territory of the Russian Federation will suffer little.
  9. Denis radish Offline Denis radish
    Denis radish (Denis Moroz) 17 December 2021 12: 37
    0
    I believe that already in the event of a real military threat, all movement will stop in a 1000-kilometer zone from the borders of Russia. will not stop by itself - a couple of megatons will stop it. and a retaliatory nuclear strike, I believe, will become real only if the territory of the enemy itself, say the United States, is subjected to a nuclear strike. But even if Mexico or Canada is a question ... I believe even more that in fact, if you really smell of fried, NATO's powerful clenched fist will instantly turn out to be a trembling senile palm.
  10. lelik613 Offline lelik613
    lelik613 (Sergei) 18 December 2021 12: 15
    0
    Actually, I have already suggested this, perhaps I am not the only one. The idea is in the air.
    We need not so much White Swans as workhorses capable of ironing the sky for XNUMX hours on duty, economical and inexpensive. They do not need a high speed, until the hour "H" it is not necessary, and after that it does not matter anymore. For the period before the creation of a new generation of technology, this will quickly replenish the number of missile carriers.