US prepares KC-46 and C-17 aircraft to future strike at Russia, Moscow claims
MOSCOW, (BM) – The US Air Force’s KC-46 military tanker and C-17 Globemaster III strategic transport aircraft in future conflicts should be capable of dropping smart bombs and transmitting tactical data, Breaking Defense reports, citing the Chief of Command Air Force Air Transport Jacqueline Van Ovost, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
According to her, these aircraft will use “holes” in the anti-missile defense (ABM) of such high-tech adversaries as China and Russia to strike. The publication reminds that initially the KC-46 and C-17 Globemaster III are not attack combat aircraft.
For the use of weapons, these aircraft are planned to be modernized. The publication notes that several exercises have already been conducted, during which the C-17 Globemaster III was used to strike.
In one of them, dummies of AGM-158 (Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile) JASSM high-precision cruise missiles were dropped from the C-17 Globemaster III. In another, the same aircraft was used to transmit data to the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) multiple launch rocket system located in the C-17 Globemaster III cargo hold. During the third exercise, F-15 Eagle fighters cleared a path through mock enemy air defenses for 35 aircraft, including the C-17 Globemaster III and C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.
The publication notes that the US Air Force plans to conduct an experiment, during which one of the aircraft of the Air Transportation Command will be turned into a backup relay hub and data center.
In August, US Air Force Chief of Staff Charles Brown Jr. said that the war of the future with the US will not be like the conflicts of the past two decades. “The war of the future will not stay far from our shores,” he suggested.
In September, Valerie Insinna, a journalist for the American edition of Defense News, spoke about a visit to the Combat Operations Center, created at the Joint Base Andrews of the US Naval Aviation, where she observed a simulated operation of the “revolutionary combat control system”, during which Washington’s response to an attack by a potential enemy was shown probably Moscow.
Former US diplomat: ‘Nuclear weapons in Poland will provoke Russia’
Former US diplomat who worked in Poland at one time, Steven Pifer said on May 20 this year that the transfer of American nuclear weapons from Germany to Poland is a bad and expensive idea. Such a proposal was recently put forward by the current US ambassador to Warsaw, Georgette Mosbacher.
She wrote on Twitter that since Germany does not want nuclear weapons, then maybe it can be transferred to Poland. “If Germany wants to lower the level of nuclear potential and weaken NATO, then maybe Poland – which conscientiously fulfills its duties, understands the risk and is on the eastern flank of NATO – could accept this potential,” the idea of the US ambassador sounded.
Pifer criticized the proposal, expressing the hope that it does not reflect the position of the US authorities, and that the ambassador does not have sufficient knowledge of nuclear weapons. He argues that this is a very expensive process that would require the construction of special infrastructure – such weapons should be stored in special insulated aviation bunkers, which are not yet available in Poland.
Moreover, the former diplomat is sure that this operation is very dangerous. B61 bombs in Poland would be subject to a possible attack from Russia. Moscow would be able to attack them with Iskander missiles located in the Kaliningrad region. Bases with F-16 fighters would also be in the range of Russian missiles, he explains.
Stephen Pifer expresses concern that such a decision would be too provocative a step towards Russia. The American expert believes that the situation could become tense, as in 1962 during the Caribbean crisis, when Russia deployed missiles in Cuba at a distance of 150 km from the US border. He recalls that Russia very often decides to take provocative steps – it has already used military force against Ukraine and occupied Crimea.
According to the former diplomat, such a decision could bring discord between the NATO member countries, because some of them may not give their consent to the transfer of nuclear weapons to Poland. These conflicts as a whole would lead to a weakening of all of NATO and would prompt Russia to launch an attack on one of the member states.
At the moment, about 20 US B61 nuclear bombs are located at the Büchel military base in Germany. If NATO decides to use them, they can be dropped from American or German aircraft adapted for this type of operation. Such a scenario includes the ongoing exercises of the American and German army, but recently Polish F-16s have also been taking part in them, Gazeta summarizes.
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