The US Air Force has offered the first artist’s impression of the Pentagon’s “arsenal plane” concept in a video presented by service secretary Deborah Lee James at an Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Florida.
Since no aircraft has been announced, air force graphic artists appear to have blended the eight-engine Boeing B-52 bomber with the body of a Lockheed Martin C-130 turboprop. The aircraft is seen in the video launching a barrage of networked Raytheon Small Diameter Bomb II glide bombs at mobile enemy radar warning and air defence targets.
The cargo-bomber airplane concept appears to be unmanned since it doesn’t have a cockpit window, but does have a side cargo bay door. It’s not known if the arsenal plane – based on an old, repurposed aircraft – will carry weapon specialists, similar to current AC-130 gunships.