Australia is considering using Lockheed Martin C-130J tactical transport aircraft for HIMARS “shoot and scoot” maneuvers close to enemy lines.
The truck-mounted rocket system’s ability to fit inside the aircraft was one of the reasons Canberra bought it in January, a Lockheed representative revealed recently.
Canberra snapped up 20 HIMARS in January for an estimated $385 million. The country is expected to start receiving the deliveries in 2025.
“It was one of their high priority requirements,” Flight Global quoted Wayne Harrison as saying at the Avalon Airshow outside Melbourne.
“Put [HIMARS] into a C-130, and then fly it deep to the flank, where maybe the enemy is not expecting it and firing a mission that surprises the enemy,” Harrison explained, saying that the mission is technically called a “fire raid,” and informally a “shoot and scoot.”
‘Shoot and Scoot’
The outlet explained that the rapid maneuver involves unloading the five-ton Lockheed system and a three-member crew from the aircraft.
The crew then drives it toward the opposite end of the runway for a rocket salvo at predetermined targets as the aircraft taxis for take-off.
The HIMARS and the aircraft then meet at the “downwind end of the airstrip for loading and take-off into the wind,” in a less-than-10-minute operation.
The US Marines Corps first employed the “fire raid” maneuver in 2010.
The service’s air-ground task forces consisting of air and land assets such as the C-130 and HIMARS practice this maneuver.