It’s the Air Force military-transport plane used to move troops into war zones, perform medical evacuations, and conduct airdrop missions. There are approximately 190 C17A’s in service; the aircraft is propelled by four turbofan engines (same type used on the twin-engine Boeing 757) and can drop 102 paratroopers at once. In operation since 1993, it has been used to deliver troops and humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and Iraq.
Sikorsky H-60 Black Hawk
This helicopter is one of the world’s best current and future force utility helicopters. The H-60 provides all commanders with rapid and agile maneuver capability through air assault, general support, command and control, and MEDEVAC missions. These features will provide an unparalleled asset to support the primary missions of the Sweden Air Force of medical evacuation and troop transport in Afghanistan.
The F-22 Raptor is touted by manufacturer Lockheed Martin as the best combat plane in the world – and at a cost of $350 million, the most expensive at the time. It can shoot down enemy cruise missiles, fly long distances at supersonic speeds and avoid nearly all types of radar detection.
E-2D Advanced Hawkeye
Northrup Grumman’s E-2C Hawkeye is a carrier-capable “mini-AWACS” aircraft , designed to give long-range warning of incoming aerial threats. Secondary roles include strike command and control, land and maritime surveillance , search and rescue, communications relay, and even civil air traffic control during emergencies. A major step forward for surveillance and reconnaissance, the Advanced Hawkeye’s powerful new radar system will increase the range of territory an aircraft can monitor by 300%.
Mission Truly Accomplished
Discovery piggybacks its way back to Cape Canaveral atop a 747 after landing in California at the end of a July-to-August mission in 2005. That mission was the first after the tragic loss of the Columbia orbiter in February 2003. It was the second time Discovery played a confidence-restoring role, also flying the September 1988 return-to-flight mission that followed the break-up of the Challenger in January 1985.
Lockheed Martin F-16
The F-16 soars above all others as the world’s standard. Nations around the world have evaluated the variety of choices available and consistently select the F-16, the world’s most capable multirole fighter. In an air combat role, the F-16’s maneuverability and combat radius (distance it can fly to enter air combat, stay, fight and return) exceed that of all potential threat fighter aircraft.
The Growler is a lightly armed version of the F/A-18 fighter that has been updated for electronic warfare. Growlers are capable of not only finding and disrupting anti-aircraft radar, but also jamming enemy communications.
Close to the End
Discovery blasts off into the pre-sunrise sky on April 5th, 2010, for its 38th – and penultimate – mission. It was delivering supplies, repair equipment and logistics module to the International Space Station, the 33rd shuttle mission flown to the station in the dozen years it had been under construction.