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ex. direct action, reconnaissance

Current military drones usually carry 4 hellfire missiles. If the military used a 747 drone the payload capacity could increase by a factor of 10.

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    $\begingroup$ Only a factor of 10? $\endgroup$
    – Thomas
    Dec 3, 2015 at 3:56
  • $\begingroup$ Probably all it could be good for, B-52 can also do. $\endgroup$
    – h22
    Oct 6, 2017 at 7:08

1 Answer 1

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There are no known 747s being used as drones, nor is there any public program to do so. Sure a weaponized 747 could carry a lot of missiles. Actually, there was a proposal to convert 747 into a missile carrier, called the Cruise Missile Carrier Aircraft or CMCA (it was manned though). And the factor of 10 is pretty conservative.

The CMCA was expected to carry more than 70 Air launched cruise missiles, specifically the AGM-86 ALCM.

CMCA

Image from foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com

The idea was to modify the nose loading 747-200C, with nine rotary launchers mounted on tracks inside of the stripped-out cabin. Each rotary launcher would hold eight missiles, and they could be slid back into a launching position at the rear right side of the aircraft through an overhead handling system.

A bay door on the right side of the 747's tail cone would open and an ejector system would launch the missiles either singly or in a salvo.

The idea was proposed when the B-1 was canceled and died when it was revived.

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