The Air Force studies the profitability of the system to streamline military supply
The United States Air Force is evaluating the ability of commercial rockets to rapidly transport logistical cargo anywhere in the world, for military or humanitarian purposes.
Specifically, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) explores whether leasing rockets to commercial suppliers can include improvements in cost and speed of delivery compared to existing air cargo operations, in situations such as humanitarian assistance from urgency and disaster response. If the program, dubbed Rocket Cargo Vanguard, demonstrates that rocket-based transportation is feasible, affordable and advantageous for the agile global logistics of the US Department of Defense, the Center for Missile and Space Systems (SMC) will be responsible for the transition of the Vanguard program to implementation.
The program will focus on commercial rockets and test drives to allow up to 100 tons of cargo to be delivered anywhere on the planet within tactical time frames.
The military utility of this new capability includes supporting the United States Transportation Command (Ustrascom) resupply mission, with faster delivery and potentially lower cost. Possible mission applications include special airlift to deliver the equipment needed to rapidly restore a lost mission operations and humanitarian aid and disaster relief payloads to affected areas. According to Ustranscom, a rocket-based space transportation capability can complement your air, sea and land logistics operations.
“Logistical speed is at the heart of military supremacy. If a commercial company is in advanced development for a new capability to move material faster, then the Department of Defense must quickly get involved and seek to be an early adopter. That is the fundamental motivation to start the Rocket Cargo program, “says the US Air Force in a statement.