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No Combat Demo For Usaf's Light Attack Aircraft


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#1 Dawes

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 1558 PM

I think the USAF would like to just buy the Super Tucano and be done with it, but politics dictates otherwise:

 

https://www.defensen...ttack-aircraft/


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#2 DKTanker

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 2020 PM

About 40 years there was a proposal to bring back the F-51 for CAS missions that didn't warrant the attention of an A-10.  USAF has been down this road before, they'll throw out a couple of bones, have a flyoff, and then say no thanks.


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#3 Panzermann

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 2221 PM

About 40 years there was a proposal to bring back the F-51 for CAS missions that didn't warrant the attention of an A-10.  USAF has been down this road before, they'll throw out a couple of bones, have a flyoff, and then say no thanks.

 

 

 

 

That is probabaly the end of the story in the end. :mellow:

 

 

That the Scorpion and Airtractor are out i understand. Th Scorpion is a jet and they want cheap to fly which means props and the Airtractor has a nose too long and offers bad visibility. no problem when bombing a field with chemicals or a forest fire. Wasn't the Airtractor originally powered by radial engines? thus the long nose to keep balance.

 

 

the artcle says they want to conduct more experiments
 

 

Rather than do a combat demonstration, we have decided to work closely with industry to experiment with maintenance, data networking and sensors with the two most promising light attack aircraft — the AT-6 Wolverine and the A-29 Super Tucano,” Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said. “This will let us gather the data needed for a rapid procurement.”

 

 

SOunds like delaying tactic until it drowns in paper work. The Afghan Air force has been flying Tucanos for years now. There should be enough data on the maintainability by now. :glare:


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#4 Burncycle360

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 2248 PM

This sounds like the Air Force's version of the LCS.

Is there any reason to play in the mud if you don't have to?

If you want cheap (to operate), buy a regional airliner, fit it with sonobouy like tubes full of Raytheon Pyros, ATK Hatchet, or other similar small guided munition and strap a Sniper XR on the wing.  Head up to 50,000 feet and hang out.

All day.

All night.

Dial-a-yield from 12 pounds to JDAM sized bombs on call and enough of them to service anything you need serviced, and since the crew aren't jinking, turning and burning at 6G's and scanning with the Mk1 eyeball while trying to avoid flight into terrain, they can focus on not hitting friendlies.

Or just more predators...


Edited by Burncycle360, 02 February 2018 - 2252 PM.

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#5 2805662

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 0138 AM

The Airtractor didnt seem to have any problems when I was watching (& hearing) them operate in Egypt bombing insurgents near Gaza..... Anecdotally, they were more concerned about them than the Apaches as there was absolutely no warning of the 250lb bomb being dropped on them.
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#6 shep854

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 0910 AM

HERESY Alert!!! Ditch Key West and let the Army do light attack.  Their circus, let them have their own monkeys.


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#7 Yama

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 0942 AM

About 40 years there was a proposal to bring back the F-51 for CAS missions that didn't warrant the attention of an A-10.  USAF has been down this road before, they'll throw out a couple of bones, have a flyoff, and then say no thanks.

 

Way I read it was that US Congress - particularly Strom Thurmond - were in love with Enforcer and kept funding it until USAF finally managed to turn it down.

 

No surprise that they cut some of the contestant, Scorpion is much disparate from the others three. Still I think that for practical purposes, Scorpion would be the best match for type of missions USAF mostly seems to fly - long endurance missions for dropping few JDAMs.


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#8 Dawes

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 1406 PM

Wonder how the old A-37 Dragonfly comparted to these newer prop planes? As a light attack aircraft, it seemed to do a reasonably credible job in Vietnam.


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#9 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 1426 PM

Vulnerable to SA7 in the later stages of the war thought apparently. OTOH, by then you could argue it didnt make much difference.

 

Lets face it, military procurement on both sides of the Atlantic is broken, and there seems no immediate prospect of sorting it out.


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#10 Ivanhoe

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 1522 PM

HERESY Alert!!! Ditch Key West and let the Army do light attack.  Their circus, let them have their own monkeys.

 

The side with the thickest daily ATOs wins. Surely you know this.


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#11 TTK Ciar

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 1730 PM

HERESY Alert!!! Ditch Key West and let the Army do light attack.  Their circus, let them have their own monkeys.


That's been my thought as well. Even without formal permission, there have to be ways to work around the stricture. For example, modular kits that slide into/out of transport aircraft cargo bays to give them ground attack capabilities (and on paper they could be transporting the kits rather than providing CAS), or hiring PMCs to operate their own ground attack vehicles.

If necessary, a trustworthy/trained PMC could be constructed from "retired" army personnel with the understanding that they're still army in all but the legal sense.
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#12 Burncycle360

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 0106 AM

Agreed, IMO there's more than one way to skin a cat, at the end of the day as long as airspace is deconflicted who cares?


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#13 shep854

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 1800 PM

The problem is response time, especially when there are competing demands for the air assets.  AF planes naturally tend to do AF stuff first, then work in mud moving when they have time.  A-10s are the notable exception, but Big AF sees them as a resource drain from preparing for the Big Peer War, when they expect to be doing A2A and Strategic Things.


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#14 Colin

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 2347 PM

Take a 737 or similar, redesign the fuselage to take a rotary bomb bay, add fuel tanks, comms, a small defense suite and targeting pods, also add a few bunks, galley and let it loiter over COIN areas, dropping munitions on call and carrying a section of weapon types. I would avoid hard points as they increase design and operating costs. Keep the wings and tail pretty much stock.


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#15 Burncycle360

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 0150 AM

Take a 737 or similar, redesign the fuselage to take a rotary bomb bay, add fuel tanks, comms, a small defense suite and targeting pods, also add a few bunks, galley and let it loiter over COIN areas, dropping munitions on call and carrying a section of weapon types. I would avoid hard points as they increase design and operating costs. Keep the wings and tail pretty much stock.

 

Sounds like a P-8 Poseidon


Edited by Burncycle360, 05 February 2018 - 0151 AM.

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#16 Markus Becker

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 0553 AM

SOunds like delaying tactic until it drowns in paper work. The Afghan Air force has been flying Tucanos for years now. There should be enough data on the maintainability by now. :glare:


How do they deal with MANPADS? I thought they pretty much prevent the use of prop planes.
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#17 shep854

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 0909 AM



 



Take a 737 or similar, redesign the fuselage to take a rotary bomb bay, add fuel tanks, comms, a small defense suite and targeting pods, also add a few bunks, galley and let it loiter over COIN areas, dropping munitions on call and carrying a section of weapon types. I would avoid hard points as they increase design and operating costs. Keep the wings and tail pretty much stock.

 

Sounds like a P-8 Poseidon

 

My thought, too.  The Marines have developed roll-in pallets for C-130s to make them 'instant gunships'.

https://news.usni.or...30j-v-22-fleets


Marines To Add ‘Harvest Hawk’ Weapons Kit to Entire C-130J, V-22 Fleets

"Lt. Gen. Jon Davis said the Marines’ next aviation plan would include upgrading all 79 C-130Js into Harvest Hawk-capable platforms. The Hercules Airborne Weapons Kit (HAWK) includes both modifications to the plane – the installation of a new MX-20 sensor ball with a laser designator on the nose of the plane, and the Intrepid Tiger electronic warfare pod – as well as a supply of Hellfire, Griffin and Viper Strike missiles for precision strike."


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#18 Skywalkre

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 1435 PM

Take a 737 or similar, redesign the fuselage to take a rotary bomb bay, add fuel tanks, comms, a small defense suite and targeting pods, also add a few bunks, galley and let it loiter over COIN areas, dropping munitions on call and carrying a section of weapon types. I would avoid hard points as they increase design and operating costs. Keep the wings and tail pretty much stock.

How much would it cost to keep something like this airborne per hour?  How long could it be up there?

 

The whole point of this program was to introduce a cheaper airframe to save on costs and to stop wearing out its 15/16/18 fleet... right?  I'm reminded of the scenes from Junger's War where air support was needed or on call for the guys in the Korengal.  Planes like this should in theory have been able to respond to requests faster than Apaches and been much cheaper to operate than the 15/16s and B1s that were sometimes on call up above.  It's a shame that the AF seems bent on dragging their feet with this to the point that by the time something is picked, if it even is, the wars some wanted it for will be over.


Edited by Skywalkre, 05 February 2018 - 1505 PM.

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#19 Rick

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 1800 PM

About 40 years there was a proposal to bring back the F-51 for CAS missions that didn't warrant the attention of an A-10.  USAF has been down this road before, they'll throw out a couple of bones, have a flyoff, and then say no thanks.

What happened to the A37 Dragonfly?


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#20 bfng3569

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 2259 PM

They tested the crap out of these things already over the years.

If they were serious, just go with the OV-10's that wete recently used.

The whole program seems like a waste of money though.
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