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Herc on Floats for Spec Ops?

The Bread Guy

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Not the Onion ....
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The C-130J is an incredibly versatile aircraft, and since it’s creation, it’s landed on rough fields, in arctic locations and even an aircraft carrier Yet, it cannot land on water, which covers about 71% of the planet. As national strategic objectives shift focus to littoral regions, Air Force Special Operations Command is advancing new approaches to expand the multi-mission platform's runway independence and expeditionary capacity.

In partnership with the Air Force Research Lab's Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation (AFRL-SDPE) directorate, AFSOC is developing an MC-130J Commando II Amphibious Capability (MAC) to improve the platform's support of seaborne special operations. "The development of the MAC capability is the culmination of multiple lines of effort," said Lt Col Josh Trantham, AFSOC Science, Systems, Technology, & Innovation (SST&I) Deputy Division Chief. "This capability allows the Air Force to increase placement and access for infiltration, exfiltration, and personnel recovery, as well as providing enhanced logistical capabilities for future competition and conflict." ...
More on the idea here.
 

OldSolduer

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Not a Herc pilot BUT I'd like to see some simulations. Microsoft should be able to figure this out in a few days.....
 

KevinB

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The first (top) rendering looks like the wheels on the float give up rough field capability - which I doubt AFSOC would be willing to do - it also looks like the floats are permanent on a bunch of the renderings - so it's clearly in the idea stage still.
 

KevinB

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Pretty sure an MV-22 and a fast rope/SPIES rug is a better idea….oh wait….
I don't think the SEAL Boat fits in that.

I really like the Osprey - and AFSOC got 54 CV-22, odd they didn't call it MV for some reason?
- but still has 1/6 the range and 2/3 the speed of a MC-130J
That said - I'm curious what the affect to range and speed would be of the Float Herc mod.
 

Good2Golf

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That said - I'm curious what the affect to range and speed would be of the Float Herc mod.
Brutal.

Then again…

Could let the Nightstalkers take care of the SOCs?

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Colin Parkinson

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You won't get any rough field landings with those floats. Floats for a Beaver run between $50,000-150,000, just imagine how much these will cost! Plus the plane will likely be an absolute pig in the air.

Meanwhile the Japanese:
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KevinB

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You won't get any rough field landings with those floats. Floats for a Beaver run between $50,000-150,000, just imagine how much these will cost! Plus the plane will likely be an absolute pig in the air.
I suspect we will see close conformal floats that are jetisonable - and still allow for the normal gear to be used once it becomes closer to reality.
The other issue being the PS-1 or the US-2 aren't cargo planes - they don't have a rear ramp, and you can't drive in, nor do they have the space/weight for the role.
 

Colin Parkinson

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You won't be able drive much onto or off that Herc with the floats and your weight carried goes down thanks to those float weight and size. The Japanese aircraft could easily be adapted and likely do 80% of what this Herc could do if it ever flew, but do it soon, rather than another program follow the US Army light tank program....




Back in the day, this idea is not new
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YZT580

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Didn't they do the cushion thing with the Buffalo years ago? I'm sure that Viking would be delighted to dust it off and modernize it.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Didn't they do the cushion thing with the Buffalo years ago? I'm sure that Viking would be delighted to dust it off and modernize it.
yes they did, that was the testbed for the concept. But only on hard surfaces as I recall
 

NavyShooter

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What's old is new again....I'll reference theP6M SeaMaster, a nuclear strategic bomber floatplane. Literally a water-bomber....with nukes.

They encountered some significant difficulty with it due to the special circumstances of 'life at sea' for an airplane. Instead of fixing them, they went with SSBNs instead.

The Herc is a great airplane, very adaptable, but I question the transition to a float-plane except as an 'occasional' change-over, and will suggest that there will be a lot of extra post-flight maintenance required.
 

lenaitch

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I suspect we will see close conformal floats that are jetisonable - and still allow for the normal gear to be used once it becomes closer to reality.
The other issue being the PS-1 or the US-2 aren't cargo planes - they don't have a rear ramp, and you can't drive in, nor do they have the space/weight for the role.

I would think any envisioned tactical advantage of an amphibious Herc would be in the landing, not the taking off.
 

KevinB

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I would think any envisioned tactical advantage of an amphibious Herc would be in the landing, not the taking off.
Actually you need both.
While you can LAPES a boat/equipment in the water (it has been alleged that certain water craft can even have personnel in them for this - color me not interested in being on one), I think this has more of a retrieval of personnel and equipment aspect, as opposed to insertion or sustainment - and not as a "emergency landing option"

Insertions can be done off subs - but if you have a hot extraction, few subs want to be in shallow water against a pursuit - and a Herc can get in fairly quick and out --- BUT it needs to be able to take off after.

Again - I am not a pilot, but after 'sitting' with the crew chiefs and counting over 400 holes in the Blackhawk we just landed in -- I appreciate getting out of dodge as fast as one can...
 

daftandbarmy

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With a potential amphibious conflict on our radar screen, there are some good lessons to be learned from the 1940 campaign in Norway e.g., 'How are we doing with that 'Jointness' thing?' :)

War Over the FJORDS: The 1940 Norway campaign showed how modern warfare would require airpower and joint operations.

Two aspects of the Norway campaign are worth noting.

First, modern warfare would forever after be joint warfare. The days when admirals and generals could blithely ignore each other while fighting their separate campaigns were over. The arrival of airpower—necessary for both land and sea operations—made joint planning and joint command absolutely essential. The lack of jointness in the Norwegian campaign—on both sides— manifested itself in numerous ways. There was no unity of command, and conflicting orders were often sent to the component commanders, who generally maintained separate headquarters. Intelligence was poorly shared, so numbers, quality, and location of enemy aircraft, vessels, and shore batteries were often unknown to the key parties. Doctrines between the services were seldom compatible, and the lack of joint exercises during peacetime became painfully obvious. This was especially apparent in the poor results gained by naval gunfire in support of troops ashore and in the poor results obtained from close air support. Germany’s joint planning, command and control, and operations were more effective than those of the Allies. However, it was the Allies who took the lessons of Norway more to heart. In the future, they would excel in the area of joint operations.

Second, air superiority was shown to be essential for successful joint operations. The RAF’s bases were too distant for it to intervene effectively, and the FAA’s outmoded aircraft were of limited utility. As a consequence, the Luftwaffe controlled the air, and the Royal Navy could not maintain a presence in the face of that control. The Royal Navy’s official historian later concluded: “If effective air cover was lacking, warships could not be maintained overseas.” It was a startling admission. The Chief of the Imperial General Staff, Lord Alanbrooke, concurred with this assessment, writing that Norway demonstrated “the undermining of sea power by airpower.” The sole bright spot for the Allies was at Narvik, but this was so only because the Luftwaffe was unable to intervene.

https://www.airforcemag.com/PDF/MagazineArchive/Documents/2013/June 2013/0613fjords.pdf
 

Colin Parkinson

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Actually you need both.
While you can LAPES a boat/equipment in the water (it has been alleged that certain water craft can even have personnel in them for this - color me not interested in being on one), I think this has more of a retrieval of personnel and equipment aspect, as opposed to insertion or sustainment - and not as a "emergency landing option"

Insertions can be done off subs - but if you have a hot extraction, few subs want to be in shallow water against a pursuit - and a Herc can get in fairly quick and out --- BUT it needs to be able to take off after.

Again - I am not a pilot, but after 'sitting' with the crew chiefs and counting over 400 holes in the Blackhawk we just landed in -- I appreciate getting out of dodge as fast as one can...
If your looking for a fast "get out of dodge" option, there is this option, add modern avionics, engines and defensive systems

 
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