The U.S. Air Force uses aircraft that can land and fly over land and sea. The move comes in view of the strategic potential for such aircraft in future conflicts. The commander of the Air Force’s Special Operations Command said that the system would be added to the U.S. Air Force’s MC130J aircraft by next year. AFSOC Commander Lt. Gen. Jim Slife said the test of the aircraft, which will be able to land and take off, will take place before December 31 next year. The new move would give the U.S. Air Force the upper hand over military operations in areas close to the sea.
The United States has long sought to establish its dominance in the Pacific by overcoming the Chinese challenge. Although countries like Japan have large military bases, small military bases on small islands in the region have little ability to withstand wartime attacks. The new US move is expected to address this shortfall. The U.S. military does not currently have a single aircraft capable of land and water use. However, countries such as Japan, Russia, and China have such aircraft. The U.S. Navy and Air Force have been making significant efforts over the next few years to figure out how to respond in the Indo-Pacific region in the event of a war.
Research is also underway to include aircraft safes that can be safely unloaded at sea. In addition to moving cargo, it is estimated that such aircraft will be able to deploy troops faster. Lockheed’s C130 Hercules aircraft are likely to have such a system. It is not clear how many aircraft will be converted to land and water.