Meanwhile, big changes are taking place in the global air cargo market. The three largest Chinese cargo air carriers (Air China Cargo, China Cargo Airlines and China Southern Cargo)announced yesterday that they would merge. While it is not known when the merger would take place, the new company would become the largest air freight operator in Asia.Here.
Air China Cargo, China Cargo Airlines and China Southern Cargo all currently operate a mix of aircraft that includes Boeing 747-400F and 747-400BCF variants, so the new combined entity could conceivably place new orders for 747-8F aircraft in the future. Air China’s passenger line received it’s seventh and final 747-8i last week.
The story talks about Boeing's production of the 747 but I can't help but wonder if there are military implications to this merger.
The 747 cargo variant has been proposed for everything from a surrogate for the C-17, to an air launched ICBM carrier, massive missile truck, and even as an cruise missile carrier.
The obvious concern should be that the reach of the Chinese People's Liberation Army just expanded again. If we consider the new light tank that the Chinese have developed, the new wheeled IFVs, and the emphasis on paratroops/Marines in their forces then it isn't a stretch to believe that they will do as we have in the past....A few of these airplanes will be dedicated to military operations.
If I'm right then dual use is about to bite us again.