TRANSALL C-160 | Tactical transport aircraft


Militarymedia.net | The C-160 military transport aircraft was jointly developed and produced by West German and French companies. An agreement between the two countries to develop a new aircraft was signed in 1957. Italy was also involved in the early stages of the project, but later abandoned the project in favor of their original aircraft. In 1959 the Transporter Allianz consortium (TRANSALL) was formed. It consisted of Nord Aviation of France and Weser Flugzeugbau and Hamburger Flugzeugbaug of West Germany. A new tactical aircraft is required to carry 16 t of cargo at a distance of 1 720 km, or a load of 8 t at a distance of 4 540 km. It was also required that the aircraft be able to operate at semi-ready airfields. The new aircraft made its first flight in 1963. Production began in 1965. The first production aircraft were delivered in 1967. Initially this cargo plane was intended for the French and West German air forces. However, it has also been exported to Indonesia (6 units), South Africa (9 units, now retired) and Turkey. Production was discontinued in 1985. A total of 214 aircraft were built. Despite its age this aircraft is still in service with Germany (60), France (50) and Turkey (20). The C-160 aircraft is nearing the end of its service life. It will be replaced by the new Airbus A400M Atlas. However, if necessary, the operational period of the C-160 aircraft can be extended until 2018.

The TRANSALL C-160 is designed to perform cargo, troop transport and medical evacuation missions. For more than 50 years of service, the C-160 has provided logistical support to a number of deployments and operations.

The C-160 is powered by two Rolls Royce Tyne turboprop engines, producing 6 100 shp each. This drives a four-bladed propeller. The twin engine configuration was chosen over the four engine configuration to reduce unit and production costs. Also twin-engine aircraft have a simplified design and are more reliable. In addition, it is lighter and uses less fuel.

The aircraft is operated by a crew of three, including two pilots and one flight engineer. It can carry 93 troops or 61-88 paratroopers. Or can carry 62 stretchers. The TRANSALL C-160 has a payload capacity of 16 tons. With a maximum payload, it has a range of 1,850 km. It can also carry a payload of 8.5 tons over a distance of 5,000 km. Typical loads include wheeled or wheeled vehicles, light or medium tow artillery and standard pallets with cargo. This tactical aircraft can operate directly from frontline positions. It can land on airstrips as short as 400 m and take off from airstrips as short as 700 m. It can also operate from semi-ready airstrips.

The payload capacity and dimensions of the TRANSALL C-160 are generally similar to the American Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules tactical transport aircraft. But the four-engine Hercules had a higher top speed and longer range.

During its operational life, the aircraft was continuously improved. Modifications include a new navigation and flight control system, autopilot, Kevlar armor, missile approach warning system, chaff/flare dispenser, electronic warfare self-protection system.

It proved to be a versatile aircraft. The C-160 has served in specialist roles, such as electronic intelligence and communication platforms, aerial refueling tankers.


TRANSALL C-160 Variant

C-160D variant for the West German Air Force (110 built).

C-160F variant for the French Air Force (50 built).

Civilian mail carrier C-160P. Four C-160F aircraft were converted for this role. It is operated by Air France (4 built).

C-160NG (Generation Nouvelle or New Generation) improved French version. This is a second generation production aircraft. It was ordered in 1977 and produced since 1981. It has additional fuel tanks in the center of the wing. This version can carry 28,000 liters of fuel compared to 19,000 liters of the original C-160F. Also has an in-flight refueling probe. The cargo door on the left side has been removed. The aircraft is also equipped with updated avionics. A total of 29 C-160NG cargo planes were built for the French Air Force. Half of them are configured as aerial refueling tankers. Plus there are an additional 4 non-standard aircraft for special missions. Subsequently 6 C-160NG aircraft were built for Indonesia.

C-160R (Renove) some French C-160F aircraft were upgraded to the C-160NG standard.

C-160G (Gabriel) French electronic reconnaissance aircraft. This can be easily distinguished by the antenna mounted on the aircraft. This is a further development of the C-160NG.

C-160H START. In the French Air Force it is referred to as the Airborne Relay Station For Special Transmissions. This aircraft was used for communication with the sunken French nuclear submarine. This aircraft was in service until the early 2000s. It was also based on the C-160NG.

C-160T. This aircraft is operated by the Turkish Air Force. 20 of them were delivered in 1971.

C-160Z variant for the South African Air Force (9 built). All of these planes were delivered in 1969 and 1970. Now all of these planes are retired.

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