As mentioned above, the Army Chief of Staff has specified that all equipment in the IBCT must be able to be moved via C-130. Depending on how far the plane has to fly and its payload, the C-130 is capable of flying from 240 nautical miles to 1000 nautical miles, with payloads ranging from 34,000 pounds to 45,000 pounds. However, the practical weight for assault landings is 36,500 pounds9.
The potential vehicles for the IBCT have the following airlift characteristics:10, 11
|Vehicle|| Weight (Pounds)|| C-130|| C-17|| C-5 |
|LAV III12|| 36,000|| Y|| Y|| Y|
|LAV III-MGS|| 41,000|| N|| Y|| Y|
|HEMMT Cargo|| 38,800|| Y|| Y|| Y|
|HEMMT Fuel13|| 38,165|| Y|| Y|| Y|
|HEMMT Wrecker|| 43,180|| N|| Y|| Y|
|M1078|| 19,351|| Y|| Y|| Y|
|M1083|| 23,463|| Y|| Y|| Y|
|M1089|| 36,325|| Y|| Y|| Y|
|M998 HMMWV|| 5,280|| Y|| Y|| Y|
|M93|| 38,500||N|| Y|| Y|
|M113A3|| 23,800|| Y|| Y|| Y|
|M901A3|| 24,576|| N|| L|| Y|
|M1068A3|| 25,650|| Y|| Y|| Y|
|M1064A3|| 27,635|| Y|| Y|| Y|
|M981A3|| 28,300|| N|| Y|| Y|
|M8 Level I|| 38,500|| Y|| Y|| Y|
|XM8 Level II|| 44,500|| N|| Y|| Y|
|XM8 Level III|| 49,500|| N|| Y|| Y|
|M198 Howitzer|| 15,400|| Y|| Y|| Y|
|M813/M19814|| 36,310|| N|| C|| L|
|M9 ACE|| 35,500|| Y|| Y|| Y|
|Table 2 Representative IBCT Transport Factors|
As can be readily seen, most, but not all, of the proposed tracked and wheeled vehicles are C-130 transportable. The notable exceptions include the HEMMT Wrecker, the M93 FOX, M901A3 ITV (which can only be carried under limited conditions by the C-17), the M981A3 FIST V, and a combination truck and M198 Howitzer.
An Australian version of the M113A3 with an appliqué armor package was successfully moved from Australia to Timor via C-130, so it is obvious that this capability already is in place.
Figure 1 Australian M113 with appliqué armor being loaded onto C-130.
The XM-8 with Level II and III armor packages mounted is too heavy for the C-130, as are any other armor packages applied to the LAV or M113, but with Level I protection can be air landed or air dropped.
The LAVIII MGS prototype is too heavy (at 41,000 pounds) and too tall (at 105 inches) to transport by C-130. General Dynamics undoubtedly intends to lighten the vehicle and reduce its height to fit on the aircraft (possibly by using smaller tires and a low-profile, automatic turret)15.
In practical terms, these weights limit the C-130 to ranges of about 500 miles, provided fuel is available at the destination airfield. Except for special mission aircraft, the C-130 is not air refuelable16. C-130J's have the internal plumbing, but not the receptacle.
USAF currently has a total of 393 C-130s, 93 in the active force and 296 in the reserves. This is sufficient to support a 500 mile airlift from a staging base to a forward operating base (FOB). Given the small number of C-17s, we do not believe that it would be risked for delivery missions to forward based airfields.