US Air Force Airlift – Global US Military Aircraft

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US Air Force Airlift

What does it take to be who we are in the world? To be able to strike deals massively lopsided in our favor? To make demands, threats, and/or promises of peace? Who knows, we could be your best friend, or your worst enemy. What does it take for the US be in this position?

The answer: logistical capability spawned through the thorough application of immense capital both financial and human. A large US Army on the contintinental US can’t really do much across the globe unless it can get there. Of course, we can always use our US Navy sea-based assets to land US Marines on the shorelines. However, any major theater conflict or a landlocked battlefield will need more than just boats. That’s why the US Air Force possesses the largest and most complicated logistical airlift capability in the world.

The biggest: Lockheed Martin C-5 Galaxy

The C-5 Galaxy is one of the largest aircraft in the world. At over 247 ft long, it’s bigger than either of the newest and largest civilian aircraft to ever hit the market, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner or the Airbus A380. Designed to carry oversized loads at intercontinental distances, this mighty aircraft is classified as a strategic airlifter, capable of moving massive assets around the globe. It’s cargo capacity is an astounding 270 tons, but with all of this comes heavy maintenance and costs. In fact, this aircraft is reported to require 16 hours of maintenance to evey 1 hour of flight time. Ouch. This aircraft is typically used in special circumstances, where the C-17 Globemaster mentioned below bares the brunt of the strategic airlift demands of the US Military.

Medium-Sized: Boeing C-17 Globemaster III

This beastly aircraft takes the middle ground between size and speed, and can perform roles of either strategic or tactical airlift missions. With up to 190 operational C-17s in the US Airforce inventory, this aircraft is one of the most heavily relied-upon workhorses in the military. It’s payload of 170,000 tons enables it to carry massive amounts of cargo, but due to the large size/weight of most of the US military’s mechanized forces, it can only carry 1 M1A1 Abrams tank (70 tons). These aspects of airlifting (weight/maintenance/costs) are major influencing factors on the Army’s current investments in building a lighter and more mobile fighting force, epitomized by vehicles such as the Stryker. Either way, this aircraft strikes the balance needed between the obscenely massive C-5 Galaxy and the smaller C-130 Hercules featured below.

Tactical Airlift Champ: Lockheed C-130 Hercules

The Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules has almost too many variants and uses to list. Being awarded for the single longest production-run airframe of any other in the world, the C-130 is nearly impossible to avoid participation in either a tactical transport, aerial refueling, or even strike mission role in any conflict over the last 50 years. Likewise, the C-130 is the most widely exported plane, with over 50 nations having purchases some variant since the original C-130 maiden flight in 1954. Popular and widely variants of the transport version C-130 hercules would be the HC-130 variants intended for troop insertions and aerial refueling of helicopters, and also the AC-130 Spectre gunship, intended for close-combat air support and assaults. The newest and most up-to-date production model is the C-130 J Super Hercules.

HC 130AC 130

Posted by Andrew   @   27 May 2008 25 comments

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Jul 23, 2008
6:15 pm
#1 Alex :

Can the military make aircrafts a lot more bigger like a starship that can float in the air, on water, and in space?

Jul 22, 2009
9:46 pm
#2 hadeel :

hehehe !! it sounds funny !! palestinian ppl hold knifes nd u get scared !! u have this aircraft nd still scared nd try 2 make sth better but palestinian ppl never get afraid !!!OKAY LOSERS !
so dreeeam hehhe!!!

Sep 21, 2009
1:40 pm
#3 Samanta Thanaxay :

hey americans need these to lower the human casualties rather than larger number of casualties hadeel

Jan 10, 2010
8:43 pm
#4 Nelson Solorzano :

To stay dominant and secured our security defence in our interest achivements. What we need to achive as a super power, against other growing super powers is to control space. To achive peace and to make demands, threats and promises of peace. America stand tall in our belives and grow democracy all over the world, to protect what we belive and our constitution, is total superior control of space. United States need to achive all of this first. to be the eye of the whole world.

Feb 6, 2010
9:15 am
#5 the urbanizer :

With all the big guns and machinery of the US and NATO alike u are still vulnerable to gorilla warfare and suicide attacks as fought in Afgan and Irak so better to improve ur personnel competency than to WASTE HUGE tax pairs money in JUNK,get this in ur INCOMPETENT heads,men WIN WARS not MACHINES,Man U r the guys who make TERMINATOR movies,AT LEAST learn something from URSELVES

Feb 28, 2010
6:14 am
#6 rayve :

aaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwtssssssssssssssss sakit kaayo ang mga bullettttttt

Mar 16, 2010
8:11 pm
#7 pez :

@urbaniser, you seriously need to learn how to spell and punctuate your sentences properly. You obviously have had a very poor education. Also your comment had no relation to the topic.

Apr 10, 2010
4:08 pm
#8 Glen :

To hadeel and urbanizer. When will you islamic nut jobs get it through your heads that there is no future in your suicide mentality? While the non-stone age parts of the world are trying to improve quality of life you are trying to take it away. Like pez said, go and get an education and open your eyes. Life is the greatest adventure.

Aug 27, 2010
4:30 am
#9 djaya love :

even the guns is sophisticated but we can make wolrd peace by gun but by our heart let send peace to everyone so that we are the one there is no gun anymore

Nov 5, 2010
8:58 am
#10 futwo :

fuck you asshole i served 8 fuckin year shooting towlelshead mf come up to me and see if your box knifes work asshole

Nov 9, 2010
1:18 am
#11 donsdon :

The way I look at it is that this is war and your luckly someone like myself is in office.Because caualities are that and war is war if your in the area you get bombed and shot sorry for you but you shouldn’t have messed with this country.

Dec 9, 2010
2:13 pm
#12 t-rex :

okay honestly out of everything here, I agree with Glen. seriously that’s an amazing statement right there!!!!

Feb 11, 2011
8:28 pm
#13 british bastard :

Seriously 75% of you have terrible english and yes im talking to you americans. I wouldnt be surprised if the reason why you kicked out of england was your LACK OF ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE PROPERLY! That and mr. futwo and his retarded anger issues combined with racism.

Not to say im against war I just think the world is over populated and all you hypocrites who talk of peace with guns pointed at someone should die.

Apr 10, 2011
8:30 am
#14 american bastard :

@british bastard The irony of your whole comment is amusing. “if the reason why you kicked out of england…” Really? If you’re going to dedicate a sentence to ridiculing Americans of poor english, could you at least have the common courtesy to use correct grammar there? Also, the comment about hypocrites who talk of peace with guns should die, absolutely priceless. You accuse someone of the same prejudices you yourself make. Kicked out of England? I’m pretty sure we kicked some sorry ass red-coats out of America then came to your aid when then Germans nearly overran you all. I suppose I’d be bitter as well.

May 25, 2011
1:54 pm
#15 vile prince :

ugh. for all those here who say that “we are mighty because of our military and we need to make it grow.” you really need to get the fuck over your ego’s. do we really need things like this to help maintain peace? half of all the wars in history were started by patriotism and a show of arms. i realize that one of the only the ways to maintain peace is to prepare for war, but that doesnt mean that power should be sought out. im sorry america, but i refuse to say that you are human beings until you realize that your overblown self confidence will eventually be your own downfall.

Jun 2, 2011
4:33 pm
#16 airman w. :

Okay see i love how all of you get on a computer to ream each other. its not egos, its not the show of arms that causes wars, its morons like you people who instead of putting your heads and ideas together would rather sit on your lazy rear ends and rip each others head off. its not only americans that have huge egos, the english do too. who doesnt? have any of you besides the guy that served ever left your countries? i doubt it. maybe some of you should get out sometime instead of holding this or that over each others heads. learn to get along and maybe the theory of peace will become a fact.

Jun 23, 2011
2:08 pm
#17 samuel idowu samson :

Rid on America, God is on your side. don mind those enemy of progress. you are the greatest nation ever. Develop more weapons to counter terrorism and extremist. 4rm nigeria

Nov 4, 2011
9:24 pm
#18 Fodeke yinka :

To d Americans, U may stand for peace today, but oneday u’ll be tempted to go opposite………..but as for me, the u. s military will begin world war III (probably, against iran, russia and china) so prepare u may loose this time……’s TICKING and u can hear it too. Fair warning, keep ur technology secret and safe ur ego. I love america……from Nigeria

Sep 21, 2013
12:09 am

Just long live the peace! and let us enoy it while we still have it.

Oct 26, 2013
1:43 am

If you’re going to dedicate a sentence to ridiculing Americans of poor english, could you at least have the common courtesy to use correct grammar there? Make this effort…

Nov 18, 2013
4:25 am

For all those here who say that “we are mighty because of our military and we need to make it grow.” you really need to get over your ego’s. do we really need things like this to help maintain peace?

Dec 23, 2013
3:17 pm

I every time spent my half an hour to read this weblog’s articles all the time
along with a mug of coffee.

Jul 15, 2014
3:22 am
#23 John :

America #1

Thanks to all those who served, and continue every day. Who is talking about Palestine and men winning wars. A road side bomb isn’t what “men” do. If isreal or the usa desired, they could eliminate your existence. Yet America doesn’t, and will never. We are the good guys. We are free. We don’t believe in judging based upon religion unlike the most dangerous place on earth, the Middle East. Get it together, it’s 2014 people. Who gives a fuck about who u worship or what group you are with. Muslim Jewish catholic , who cares. Work together to fix your differences and stop shooting each other. America has all this shit just in case someone or something threatens our freedom and our way of life. It’s a signal to the world, saying don’t fuck with us, because we can hit you back harder and eliminate all that you know. My family immigrated from Cuba and has lived a great life by working hard. I love this country and what we stand for. Put your words back in your mouth and think before you speak.

Jul 15, 2014
3:24 am
#24 John :


Dec 8, 2014
12:39 am

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