Air Transportation: April 11, 2003

Archives

For the first time in combat, the U.S. C-17 air transport moved M-1 Abrams tanks onto a battlefield. An unannounced number of M-1 tanks and M-2 Bradley infantry vehicles have been flown to airfields in northern (Kurdish controlled) Iraq. This tank moving capability was part of the basic specification for C-17s. But it is rarely used because the concentration of weight puts a lot of stress on the C-17, especially during landings. In fact, the air force refuses to land a C-17 carrying a Abrams on a dirt landing field. The C-17 is built to land on such crude fields, but this also puts a lot of extra stress on the landing gear. So adding a rough field and a C-17 with an Abrams is considered too risky. The C-17 can also carry two Bradleys. These, together, are nearly as heavy as one M-1, but the weight is distributed more evenly. These armored vehicles are probably being flow in from Kuwait, where the U.S. 4th Mechanized division had been unloading its equipment for the last week or so. The distance is only about 800 kilometers, so a C-17 could make one round trip every three hours or so. There some reports of as many as a hundred armored vehicles appearing in northern Iraq, which would indicate two or three battalions of troops. This could be a brigade, with some of the 4th Mechanized division infantry traveling in trucks. 

 


Article Archive

Air Transportation: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close