In-theatre missions for tactical transport aircraft may be broadly broken down into three categories:
Initial deployment from the rear logistics base.
Resupply (ALOC - airline of communication).
Tactical troop and equipment movements.
The requirements for these three missions as imposed on the transport designer differ in many respects, thus making the design job a challenging one.
In this paper the in-theatre airlift support requirements are evaluated in terms of operational parameters which influence the design of a new transport aircraft, including the following: cargo dimensions, cargo density and payload, delivery times allowable, delivery radii, loading and turnaround times, vertical versus conventional takeoff and landing, and vulnerability.
The effect on these operational parameters, due to the differences in the support requirements between the three mission categories, is shown. For example, for a given design payload, optimum cargo bay cubage is greater for the initial deployment mission than for the resupply mission. Also, qualitative conclusions are drawn regarding the degree of design compromise required among the three mission categories.