Important Considerations For Choosing Military Aircraft Tugs

Similar to airports around the world, governments require military tugs to move and push back military aircraft.

Aircraft tugs and tractors are essential to military aviation operations, but for different reasons that may require even more precision than an airport would. These unique military needs play an important role in your military aircraft tug selection.

Military Aircraft Tugs Must Meet All The Following Demands

  • Position military aircraft in hardened aircraft shelters (HAS) or protective aircraft shelters (PAS)

  • Park planes on aircraft carriers

  • Tow helicopters and other military rotorcraft

  • Maneuver military aircraft inside hangars for inspection and repair

  • Perform in harsh conditions and terrains

  • Be transportable by air

  • Minimize downtime and risk of mechanical failure

Must-Have Features Of Military Aircraft Tugs

Because of the critical nature of their operations and the unique challenges they face, military aircraft tugs need to offer the following characteristics.

Powerful Traction

Military personnel work all over the world, including extreme environments. Therefore, military tugs need to operate on a wide range of terrains and in harsh weather conditions. For maximum traction in various scenarios, you’ll need military tugs whose drive trains feature limited-slip differentials.


Because military units are often operating abroad, it’s also important to minimize the amount of equipment they need to transport with them. A single military tug that can tow multiple types of aircraft help provide maximum efficiency.

Lightweight Construction

Military equipment generally needs to be airlifted to where it’s needed. So the lighter it is, the better. For this purpose, you’ll want an all-wheel drive (AWD) military tug. Having AWD makes it possible for a military aircraft tug to provide at least as much drawbar pull (DBP) as a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) tug — while weighing only ⅓ as much.


In exceptionally tight spaces, military crews need aircraft tugs that can make the tightest of turns. This is another reason to choose AWD military tugs. RWD tugs can only push aircraft at angles no sharper than 45 degrees before their wheels begin to lift off the ground and lose grip. AWD military tugs can handle tighter angles without losing traction.


When it comes to military missions, there’s no time for equipment failure. Look for military tugs that have been proven in military applications and have a solid warranty. You’ll also want to choose military tugs with standardized parts and quick access to support, should any repairs be needed.

Why Eagle Tugs Military Tugs

Eagle Tugs military aircraft tugs and tow tractors are the only vehicles in their class that offer AWD, limited-slip differentials, standardized parts and a 3-Year/3,000-hour warranty.

They’ve also been proven to perform in military applications. In fact, some Eagle Tugs vehicles have been specifically designed for military use at the request of the U.S. government. And additional, custom-built tugs can be created if needed.

The following are some of the most popular and effective military aircraft tugs available.

USATS Military Aircraft Tugs

Originally created at the request of the U.S. Military,  USATS aircraft tugs are ideal for special forces operations, especially involving helicopters and other rotorcraft. Both the USATS-6 and USATS-8 offer AWD, a powerful DBP, factory-direct support and a 60” x 90” flat bed that’s ideal for helicopter transport.

The USATS-6 can carry a payload of up to 2,000 lbs. on its bed or tow an aircraft of up to 45,000 lbs. in all weather conditions. The  USATS-8 features a bed the same size and can carry up to 500 lbs. or tow up to 60,000 lbs. on all surface conditions.

TT Series Aircraft Tugs

The TT series of aircraft tugs packs a great deal of power and value into a compact, low-profile vehicle. With different vehicles for different types of aircraft, this series offers up to 12,000 lb. DBP.

eTT Series Aircraft Tugs

eTT Series aircraft tugs are the only AWD, four-wheel-steer (4WS) and 80V A/C electric aircraft tugs in their class. They offer both exceptional maneuverability and plenty of power, all at a low cost-per-hour of operation. Plus, the fact that they’re powered by electricity also makes them zero-emissions vehicles, which are good for the environment.

Find Military Tugs That Pull Their Weight And Then Some

Don’t settle for unproven or inferior alternatives. Go with the proven leader. Learn more about the military aircraft tugs available through Eagle Tugs, and request a quote.



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