The Navy Fears Russia and China Could Exploit a Dangerous Military Weakness

    Zachary Keck

    Security, North America

    Killing U.S. military cargo and spy planes. 

    The U.S. Navy wants new, better ways to protect its large cargo and surveillance planes from increasingly sophisticated missiles threats from countries like China and Russia.

    Earlier this month, the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) began soliciting bids from defense firms for new ways to protect “wide body” planes like the Lockheed C-130 Hercules. The wide body designation would also include planes derived from civilian aircraft, such as Air Force planes like the future Boeing KC-46 Pegasus aerial refueling airplane. In fact, the Request for Information—as the official solicitation is called—singles out the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 as one of the wide body planes it is interested in protecting. The Air Force is the only service that operates a plane based on the DC-10. Other planes that could fit this description include the E-6B airborne command and P-8 maritime patrol aircraft.

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