- US Air Force launches cruise missile from a cargo plane
- Missile launched from cargo plane successfully hit the target
- Tested at Overwater Test Range at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida
The US Air Force on Thursday successfully destroyed a target by launching a cruise missile from a cargo plane. This test was conducted on Thursday in the Gulf of Mexico under the Rapid Dragon Program. In this, the cruise missile was launched from the rear door of the cargo plane. The Rapid Dragon’s final flight test took place at the Overwater Test Range at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Rapid Dragon has conducted five flight tests in the last five months on three different aircraft MC-130J, EC-130SJ and C-17A.
The cruise missile was kept in the box
The Air Force Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation Office said that during this test the missile box kept inside the cargo plane was shot down. He said that we have also developed and successfully tested the pelletized munition system. The Air Force Research Laboratory said the program could enable the US and allies to convert cargo planes into heavily armed bomb ‘trucks’.
Cargo planes can also be used for attack
Experts said such tests could provide military commanders with greater firepower to destroy enemy positions from a safe distance. Last month, the US Air Force successfully test-fired one such long-range cruise missile separation test vehicle without a warhead. There was no warhead or engine in this missile. The missile successfully ejected from its box during the test.
Missile fired from MC-130J aircraft
AFRL said in a release that this time the Air Force Special Operations Command has test-fired a warhead-equipped missile from an MC-130J Commando II aircraft. The battle management system on the MC-130 received new targeting data in flight. This data was then sent to the cruise missile flight test vehicle.
The parachute was fitted in the Rapid Dragon system
When the MC-130 reached the drop zone over the Gulf of Mexico, the aircraft’s crew also downed a palatized munition system and three dummy boxes of cruise missiles in mass and size. Only one cruise missile was fitted with the Palletized Munition System. A parachute was also attached to stabilize the falling Rapid Dragon system.
Missile destroyed the target
After a few seconds of launch, the dummy weights came out, after which the missile also jumped in the air and flew towards the target with all its might. The Air Force later confirmed that the missile’s engine resumed its work after falling from the aircraft and carried it towards the target at full speed. The warhead mounted on the missile successfully destroyed the target.