BLUF

The USAF plans to use cargo planes not just to deliver cargo but to launch a strike using palletised munitions/weapons that could include stand-off missiles.

Summary

Business Insider notes that the USAF plans to use cargo aircraft to deliver palletised munitions/weapons. See also AFRL, AFSOC launch palletized weapons from cargo plane. The Author Christopher Woods makes the following points:
  • Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, head of Air Mobility Command, has stated that cargo and tanker aircraft need to do more than deliver cargo and fuel in future conflicts.
  • Aircraft that are currently in support roles will be equipped with pods (a device that is externally mounted on aircraft)  to provide the aircraft with enhanced war-fighting capabilities.
  • Pods will enable transport aircraft to digitally connect with other units in the battlespace.
  • Mobility command will utilise current antenna technology to enhance capability by allowing cargo planes to operate more effectively in the battlespace.
  • Cargo aircraft will be provided with the capability to protect themselves when operating in the battlespace.