strategic airlifttactical airliftstrategic airliftertactical transporttactical airlifterAir transportstrategictroop carrierair-portableairlifter
An airlift is the organized delivery of supplies or personnel primarily via military transport aircraft.wikipedia
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Military transport aircraft

transport aircrafttransporttransport helicopter
An airlift is the organized delivery of supplies or personnel primarily via military transport aircraft.
Military transport aircraft or military cargo aircraft are typically fixed wing and rotary wing cargo aircraft which are used to airlift troops, weapons and other military equipment by a variety of methods to any area of military operations around the surface of the planet, usually outside the commercial flight routes in uncontrolled airspace.

Low-altitude parachute-extraction system

low-altitude parachute extraction system
However, when the area is too small for this method, as with an isolated base, and/or is too dangerous to land in, a Low-altitude parachute-extraction system drop is used.
The low-altitude parachute-extraction system (LAPES) is a tactical military airlift delivery method where a fixed wing cargo aircraft can deposit supplies in situations in which landing is not an option, in an area that is too small to accurately parachute supplies from a high altitude.

Biafran airlift

the entire Biafran effort to survive
Examples include the Berlin Airlift, to supply isolated West Berlin with food and coal, the 1990 Air India airlift to rescue Indian citizens caught up in the Gulf War, and the 1967–70 Biafran airlift during the Nigerian Civil War.
It was the largest civilian airlift, and after the Berlin airlift of 1948-49, the largest non-combatant airlift of any kind ever carried out.

Royal Air Force

In April 1923 aircraft of the RAF's Iraq Command flew 280 Sikh troops from Kingarban to Kirkuk in the first British air trooping operation.
This largely consists of fixed-wing aircraft, including: fighter and strike aircraft, airborne early warning and control aircraft, ISTAR and SIGINT aircraft, aerial refueling aircraft and strategic and tactical transport aircraft.

Air Transport Command

Ferrying CommandAir Corps Ferrying CommandU.S. Air Transport Command
The USAAF's Air Transport Command began the largest and longest-sustained airlift of the war in May 1942, delivering more than half a million net tons of materiel from India to China over the Hump by November 1945.
It was consolidated with MAC in 1982, providing a continuous history of long range airlift through 1992 when the mission was transferred to today's Air Mobility Command.

The Hump

Hump airliftHumpHump Route
The USAAF's Air Transport Command began the largest and longest-sustained airlift of the war in May 1942, delivering more than half a million net tons of materiel from India to China over the Hump by November 1945.
Creating an airlift presented the AAF a considerable challenge in 1942: it had no units trained or equipped for moving cargo, and no airfields existed in the China Burma India Theater (CBI) for basing the large number of transports that would be needed.

Lockheed C-130 Hercules

C-130C-130 HerculesHercules
Aircraft which perform this role are considered strategic airlifters. This contrasts with tactical airlifters, such as the C-130 Hercules and Transall C-160, which can normally only move supplies within a given theater of operations.
It is now the main tactical airlifter for many military forces worldwide.

Antonov An-124 Ruslan

An-124Antonov An-124Antonov 124
Antonov An-124 'Ruslan'
The Antonov An-124 Ruslan (NATO reporting name: Condor) is a strategic airlift quadjet.

Antonov An-225 Mriya

An-225Antonov An-225Antonov An-225 ''Mriya
Antonov An-225 'Mriya'
The Antonov An-225 Mriya (Антонов Ан-225 Мрія, NATO reporting name: "Cossack") is a strategic airlift cargo aircraft that was designed by the Antonov Design Bureau in the Ukrainian SSR within the Soviet Union during the 1980s.

Ilyushin Il-76

Il-76Ilyushin Il-76TDIlyushin Il-76T
Ilyushin Il-76 'Candid'
The Ilyushin Il-76 (Илью́шин Ил-76; NATO reporting name: Candid) is a multi-purpose four-engine turbofan strategic airlifter designed by the Soviet Union's Ilyushin design bureau.

Lockheed C-141 Starlifter

C-141C-141 StarlifterC-141B
Lockheed C-141 Starlifter (retired)
The Lockheed C-141 Starlifter was a military strategic airlifter that served with the Military Air Transport Service (MATS), its successor organization the Military Airlift Command (MAC), and finally the Air Mobility Command (AMC) of the United States Air Force (USAF).

Lockheed C-5 Galaxy

C-5C-5 GalaxyC-5A Galaxy
Lockheed C-5 Galaxy
It provides the United States Air Force (USAF) with a heavy intercontinental-range strategic airlift capability, one that can carry outsized and oversized loads, including all air-certifiable cargo.


AnAntonov Design BureauAntonov Aeronautical Scientific-Technical Complex
Antonov An-124 'Ruslan' Antonov An-225 'Mriya'
In 1965, the Antonov An-22 heavy military transport entered serial production to supplement the An-12 in major military and humanitarian airlifts by the Soviet Union.


air dropairdropsdropped
Tactical airlift aircraft are designed to be maneuverable, allowing low-altitude flight to avoid detection by radar and for the airdropping of supplies.
An airdrop is a type of airlift, developed during World War II to resupply otherwise inaccessible troops, who themselves may have been airborne forces.

Boeing CH-47 Chinook

ChinookCH-47 ChinookCH-47
Larger helicopters such as the CH-47 Chinook and Mil Mi-26 can also be used to airlift men and equipment.
Another faction in Army Aviation thought that the new helicopter should be much larger, enabling it to be able to airlift large artillery pieces and possess enough internal space to carry the new MGM-31 "Pershing" missile system.

World War II

Second World WarwarWWII
Airlifts became practical during World War II as aircraft became large and sophisticated enough to handle large cargo demands.
Innovation included airlift (the capability to quickly move limited high-priority supplies, equipment, and personnel); and of strategic bombing (the bombing of enemy industrial and population centres to destroy the enemy's ability to wage war).

Short Belfast

BelfastBelfast C.1Short Belfast C.1
Shorts Belfast (retired)
The Short Belfast was a large heavy-lift strategic transport aircraft.

Ilyushin Il-276

Multi-role Transport AircraftMultirole Transport AircraftIl-214
United Aircraft Corporation of Russia Ilyushin Il-276 (under development)
The Ilyushin Il-276 (SVTS) is a medium-airlift military transport aircraft initially planned by the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) of Russia, and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) of India.

Boeing C-17 Globemaster III

C-17C-17 GlobemasterC-17 Globemaster III
Boeing C-17 Globemaster III
The C-17 commonly performs tactical and strategic airlift missions, transporting troops and cargo throughout the world; additional roles include medical evacuation and airdrop duties.

Airbus A400M Atlas

A400MAirbus A400MA400M Atlas
Airbus A400M 'Atlas'
It was designed by Airbus Military (now Airbus Defence and Space) as a tactical airlifter with strategic capabilities to replace older transport aircraft, such as the Transall C-160 and the Lockheed C-130 Hercules.

Operation Nickel Grass

a strategic airlift operationairlift of suppliesairlifts military supplies
Operation Nickel Grass
Operation Nickel Grass was a strategic airlift operation conducted by the United States to deliver weapons and supplies to Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.


EADSAirbus GroupEuropean Aeronautic Defence and Space Company
Airbus A400M 'Atlas'
It embarked on two main fields of development: aerial refuelling with the Airbus A310 MRTT (Multi-Role Tanker Transport) and the Airbus A330 MRTT, and tactical airlift with the A400M.

Airbridge (logistics)

airbridgeair bridgeair bridges
An airbridge is the route and means of delivering materiel from one place to another by an airlift.


strategic sealift shiptransportlogistics
It complements other means of transport, such as strategic airlifters, in order to enhance a state's ability to project power.