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GOV/MIL Air Force preps light attack plane for combat missions in great power war
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  1. #1
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    Air Force preps light attack plane for combat missions in great power war

    Air Force preps light attack plane for combat missions in great power war
    By Kris Osborn | Warrior Maven

    Despite the Air Force’s stated intention and the widespread assumption that a low-cost off-the-shelf Light Attack airplane would primarily perform counterinsurgency missions, it seems entirely conceivable that the plane could have limited uses for major power warfare as well.

    The Air Force’s Light Attack Aircraft program, including both the Sierra Nevada-Embraer A-29 Super Tucano and Textron AT-6, seeks aircraft optimized for counterinsurgency and other types of warfare wherein the U.S. Air Force largely has aerial dominance. Given this mission scope, the planes are not intended to mirror the speed, weaponry or stealth attributes of a 5th-generation fighter - but rather offer the service an effective attack option against ground enemies such as insurgents who do not present an air threat.

    The combat concept here, should the Air Force engage in substantial conflict with a major, technically-advanced adversary, would be to utilize stealth attack and advanced 5th-gen fighters to establish air superiority - before sending light aircraft into a hostile area to support ground maneuvers and potentially fire precision weapons at ground targets from close range. Over the course of history, there have certainly been instances wherein mechanized forces advanced into heavy combat while still maintaining air superiority. Fast-advancing infantry needing to maneuver through a complex battlespace in great power war wherein they will not only need ground-based supportive fire but also close air support similar to that which the Light Attack aircraft can provide.

    Following an initial Air Force Light Attack aircraft experiment earlier in the developmental process, which included assessments of a handful of off-the-shelf options, the Air Force streamlined its approach and entered a 2nd phase of the program. The second phase included “live-fly” assessments of the aircraft in a wide range of combat scenarios. The service chose to continue testing two of the previous competitors from its first phase - Textron’s AT-6 and the Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 Super Tucano.

    Now, amid some ongoing uncertainty as to the actual Air Force plan for the program, the service appears to be surging ahead with two options; earlier this month, the service announced it would “sole source” A-29 Super Tucanos and Textron’s AT-6 Wolverine. A formal solicitation from the Air Force says, “It is anticipated that formal solicitation will be released in May of 2019, and a contract will be awarded in the fourth quarter of FY19.”

    The emerging aircraft is envisioned as a low-cost, commercially-built, combat-capable plane able to perform a wide range of missions in a less challenging or more permissive environment. The idea is to save mission time for more expensive and capable fighter jets, such as an F-15 or F-22, when an alternative can perform needed air-ground attack missions – such as recent attacks on ISIS.

    Air Force officials provided these Light Attack assessment parameters to Warrior Maven, during an earlier analysis phase of the program.

    -Basic Surface Attack – Assess impact accuracy using hit/miss criteria of practice/laser-guided bomb, and unguided/guided rockets

    - Close Air Support (CAS) – Assess ability to find, fix, track target and engage simulated operational targets while communicating with the Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC)

    - Daytime Ground Assault Force (GAF) – assess aircraft endurance, range, ability to communicate with ground forces through unsecure and secure radio and receive tactical updates

    - Rescue Escort (RESCORT) – Assess pilot workload to operate with a helicopter, receive area updates and targeting data, employ ballistic, unguided/guided rockets and laser-guided munitions

    - Night CAS – Assess pilot workload to find, fix, track, target and engage operational targets

    A-29 Super Tucano

    US-trained pilots with the Afghan Air Force have been attacking the Taliban with A-29 Super Tucano aircraft, a platform which seems well-suited for the Air Force’s intended mission scope. Its integrated weapons and laser-firing technology enable the platform to both lay down suppressive fire in support of advancing infantry as well as pinpoint targets for precision strikes. This mission envelope seems to enable a wide sphere of operational possibilities, to include counterinsurgency and great power challenges.

    A-29s are turboprop planes armed with one 20mm cannon below the fuselage able to shoot 650 rounds per minute, one 12.7mm machine gun (FN Herstal) under each wing and up to four 7.62mm Dillion Aero M134 Miniguns able to shoot up to 3,000 rounds per minute.

    Super Tucanos are also equipped with 70mm rockets, air-to-air missiles such as the AIM-9L Sidewinder, air-to-ground weapons such as the AGM-65 Maverick and precision-guided bombs. It can also use a laser rangefinder and laser-guided weapons.

    The Super Tucano is a highly maneuverable light attack aircraft able to operate in high temperatures and rugged terrain. It is 11.38 meters long and has a wingspan of 11.14 meters; its maximum take-off weight is 5,400 kilograms. The aircraft has a combat radius of 300 nautical miles, can reach speeds up to 367 mph and hits ranges up to 720 nautical miles. Its range of 300 nautical miles positions the aircraft for effective attacks within urban environments or other more condensed combat circumstances.

    AT-6 Light Attack

    The Textron Aviation AT-6 is the other multi-role light attack aircraft being pursued by the Air Force. Like the A-29, the aircraft’s weapons and communication technologies position it for a wider swath of combat missions than may have initially been intended for the program. The AT-6 uses a Lockheed A-10C mission computer and a CMC Esterline glass cockpit with flight management systems combined with an L3 Wescam MX-Ha15Di multi-sensor suite which provides color and IR sensors, laser designation technology and a laser rangefinder. The aircraft is built with an F-16 hands-on throttle and also uses a SparrowHawk HUD with integrated navigation and weapons delivery, according to Textron Aviation information on the plane.

    https://www.foxnews.com/tech/air-for...reat-power-war

  2. #2
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    I do believe they have this already. It's called the A-10 Warthog.


    Just sayin...

  3. #3
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    I would LOVE to fly a super tucano..

    There's nothing like a prop fighter
    WARNING!!!

    My use of pronouns will offend faggots, the mentally ill, and the gender confused.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Olson View Post
    I do believe they have this already. It's called the A-10 Warthog.


    Just sayin...
    Exactly what I was about to say!

  5. #5
    Was developed and has been used for some 50 years - the HueyCobra / Snake.

  6. #6
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    The reason the Army developed helicopter gunships was the 1947 Key West Accord proviso restricting armed fixed wing aircraft to the then new USAF.

    The Warthog was developed to dominate low and slow airspace in conventional tank warfare in Europe. It's been around since the 1970s. We don't build them any more and if we did they would cost $50 million apiece or more.

    Toucano? $8 to 16 million or so. Plus less cost per flight hour.

    Times have changed. Missions have changed. Needs have changed. Snuffies on the ground need a forward-deployed fighter aircraft that can work out of austere airfields, loiter a long time, carry ordnance to suit various mission profiles, be flown by warrant officer pilots, be easily maintained/repaired in the field and not cost two arms and a leg doing it.

    But zoomies run the Air Force … not snuffies.
    The wonder of our time isn’t how angry we are at politics and politicians; it’s how little we’ve done about it. - Fran Porretto
    -http://bastionofliberty.blogspot.com/2016/10/a-wholly-rational-hatred.html

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Olson View Post
    I do believe they have this already. It's called the A-10 Warthog.


    Just sayin...
    Maybe its not expensive enough

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Dozdoats View Post
    The reason the Army developed helicopter gunships was the 1947 Key West Accord proviso restricting armed fixed wing aircraft to the then new USAF.

    The Warthog was developed to dominate low and slow airspace in conventional tank warfare in Europe. It's been around since the 1970s. We don't build them any more and if we did they would cost $50 million apiece or more.

    Toucano? $8 to 16 million or so. Plus less cost per flight hour.

    Times have changed. Missions have changed. Needs have changed. Snuffies on the ground need a forward-deployed fighter aircraft that can work out of austere airfields, loiter a long time, carry ordnance to suit various mission profiles, be flown by warrant officer pilots, be easily maintained/repaired in the field and not cost two arms and a leg doing it.

    But zoomies run the Air Force … not snuffies.

    You are surely correct Doz...but I was never an economist and would much rather be sitting
    on top of that A-10 cannon sayin WATCH THIS!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dozdoats View Post
    The reason the Army developed helicopter gunships was the 1947 Key West Accord proviso restricting armed fixed wing aircraft to the then new USAF.

    The Warthog was developed to dominate low and slow airspace in conventional tank warfare in Europe. It's been around since the 1970s. We don't build them any more and if we did they would cost $50 million apiece or more.

    Toucano? $8 to 16 million or so. Plus less cost per flight hour.

    Times have changed. Missions have changed. Needs have changed. Snuffies on the ground need a forward-deployed fighter aircraft that can work out of austere airfields, loiter a long time, carry ordnance to suit various mission profiles, be flown by warrant officer pilots, be easily maintained/repaired in the field and not cost two arms and a leg doing it.

    But zoomies run the Air Force … not snuffies.
    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon50 View Post
    You are surely correct Doz...but I was never an economist and would much rather be sitting
    on top of that A-10 cannon sayin WATCH THIS!
    In a peer v peer/near peer conflict, the niche, which currently is being filled often with drones, would include a very heavy ECM (electronic countermeasures) environment along with IADS (integrated air defense system) assets if not an full service one. In that case manned assets would allow for the greatest flexibility and utilization, along with the added personnel risks and footprint within the likely strike envelope of an opponent. The "high end" of this would be the A-29/AT-6 with rotary wing assets or even an armed version of the T-X tossed in or a do over of Scaled Composites "Mud fighter". At the bottom end of this would be a modern equivalent of a Piper Cub with a half dozen bazookas lashed to its struts or a Saab/Malmö MFI-9 "MiniCOIN" with an ordnance loadout....


    http://lbirds.com/wp-content/uploads...58-768x373.jpg
    Piper Cub


    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/5b...g=w782-h604-no
    Scaled Composites Ares (Mud Fighter)


    https://d1k5w7mbrh6vq5.cloudfront.ne...6393af5988.jpg
    Scaled Composites "Son of Ares"

    Or for the "F-5 class" Scaled Composites Swift of 2016...

    https://www.ainonline.com/sites/defa...amp=1548440005
    Last edited by Housecarl; 05-20-2019 at 08:25 PM. Reason: added images

  10. #10
    If the air force would start using the AT-6 and the Super Tocano, the cost per unit would probably be lower than some of our cheapest current inventory.

    Bacause we're buying both planes ALREADY under FMS (foreign military sales) and giving them to countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. The more we buy the cheaper they get.

  11. #11
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    HC could you share the link to the foolishly long thread on the eval discussion as well as the whole A-10/Super T/AT-6 light attack fighter discussion?? (I assume you have the link easier than I would be getting it.)
    Last edited by night driver; 05-20-2019 at 10:36 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by night driver View Post
    HC could you share the link to the foolishly long thread on the eval discussion as well as the whole A-10/Suoer T/AT-6 light attack fighter discussion?? (I assume you have the link easier than I would be getting it.)
    OA-X: More Than Just Light Attack
    http://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/showt...t-Light-Attack

    The Pentagon Has Two Choices for Light-Attack Planes (But There Are More Possibilities)
    Started by Dozdoats‎, 04-05-2016 08:59 PM
    http://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/showt...-Possibilities)

    “Even though we will lose CAS capacity, we are retiring the A-10 anyway” USAF says
    Started by Housecarl‎, 03-25-2016 04:53 AM
    http://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/showt...y%94-USAF-says

    Will the OV-10 ride again?
    Started by Housecarl‎, 01-25-2009 01:07 PM
    http://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/showt...-10-ride-again

  13. #13
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    Sweet!
    WARNING!!!

    My use of pronouns will offend faggots, the mentally ill, and the gender confused.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Olson View Post
    I do believe they have this already. It's called the A-10 Warthog.


    Just sayin...
    Was thinking the same thing.

    Notice there is no mention of the F-35 in that article?


    intothegoodnight
    "Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

    — Dylan Thomas, "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night"

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Olson View Post
    I do believe they have this already. It's called the A-10 Warthog.


    Just sayin...
    ... and prior to that was the Douglas A-1 Skyraider

    We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth... For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it. --Patrick Henry

  16. #16
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    Thanks, HC.
    More background and grist for the mill on this.

    ================================================== ========================

    Quote Originally Posted by EMICT View Post
    ... and prior to that was the Douglas A-1 Skyraider

    Yeah and if ya talk to guys from the Teams back in the Viet days they will tell ya that the Spad (their pet name for the Skyraider) should be brought back.


    (Nice of y'all to pick the WingBoss's personal ride for the pic.)
    Last edited by night driver; 05-21-2019 at 08:44 AM.
    RULE 1:
    THEY want you DEAD.

    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my brothers' children (and their parents) may have peace, and have NO KNOWLEDGE of what I have done."

    The BEST in Life:
    To CRUSH your enemies.
    To see them driven before you
    To listen to the lamentations of their women

  17. #17
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    The Hawg is still a very expensive piece compared to the OA-X candidates.

    That is compounded by maintenance and operational costs, airfield requirements and training requirements.
    Proud Infidel...............and Cracker

    Member: Nowski Brigade

    Deplorable


  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Millwright View Post
    The Hawg is still a very expensive piece compared to the OA-X candidates.

    That is compounded by maintenance and operational costs, airfield requirements and training requirements.
    am not talking economy....or waiting for something new...(isn't that all we do anymore)
    all I am saying is give me a "fresh TBO A-10, unlimited fuel & ammo, and point to the enemy".
    Devastation.. give me a dozen A-10s...pure devastation... why not use what we have??? and USE it...

  19. #19
    So everyone on tb is AF, or is this something all guys learn about coz their guys,..like music and guns and cars.,?
    Thoughts are things. Thus I'm careful of the thoughts I think, & the company I keep.
    I myself am entirely made of flaws, stiched together with good intentions.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by jward View Post
    So everyone on tb is AF, or is this something all guys learn about coz their guys,..like music and guns and cars.,?
    were just guys...pretty girl..

  21. #21
    Yes, yes you are lol
    Thoughts are things. Thus I'm careful of the thoughts I think, & the company I keep.
    I myself am entirely made of flaws, stiched together with good intentions.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by jward View Post
    Yes, yes you are lol
    on second thought
    Last edited by Falcon50; 05-21-2019 at 07:54 AM.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon50 View Post
    on second thought, your not that pretty.
    Well I'm no Douglas skyraider, but i get by.
    Last edited by jward; 05-21-2019 at 12:54 AM. Reason: Bought a vowel
    Thoughts are things. Thus I'm careful of the thoughts I think, & the company I keep.
    I myself am entirely made of flaws, stiched together with good intentions.

  24. #24
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    Night Driver.......your comment about the teams loving the Spad is right on the money. I had the privilege of running on joint Ranger/Seal team hunter killer missions. The Spads would be on station for a long period of time and deliver the hurt up close and personal when called. I loved them.

    11

  25. #25
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    The Air Force needs CAS capabilities to replace the A-10 and the Navy needs ASW/refuel capabilities to replace the S-3. The Navy recently stated that in the future it would not share an aircraft design with the Air Force. We are in worse shape than we have ever been. The mission requirements should define the aircraft/asset, not vice versa.

    FORTE EST VINUM, FORTIOR EST REX, FORTIORES SUNT MULIERES:

    SUPER OMNIA VINCIT VERITAS.


  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zagdid View Post
    The Air Force needs CAS capabilities to replace the A-10 and the Navy needs ASW/refuel capabilities to replace the S-3. The Navy recently stated that in the future it would not share an aircraft design with the Air Force. We are in worse shape than we have ever been. The mission requirements should define the aircraft/asset, not vice versa.
    DEAD ON!! PREACH DAT TRUFE!!!

    Do ya read Sal at all?? If not you should. He's VERY good about goring a LOT of oxen in the .mil...

    http://cdrsalamander.blogspot.com/
    RULE 1:
    THEY want you DEAD.

    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my brothers' children (and their parents) may have peace, and have NO KNOWLEDGE of what I have done."

    The BEST in Life:
    To CRUSH your enemies.
    To see them driven before you
    To listen to the lamentations of their women

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by night driver View Post
    DEAD ON!! PREACH DAT TRUFE!!!

    Do ya read Sal at all?? If not you should. He's VERY good about goring a LOT of oxen in the .mil...

    http://cdrsalamander.blogspot.com/
    Thanks, bookmarked it

    FORTE EST VINUM, FORTIOR EST REX, FORTIORES SUNT MULIERES:

    SUPER OMNIA VINCIT VERITAS.


  28. #28
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    The Air Force needs CAS capabilities

    Problem is, the Air Farce DOES NOT WANT CAS capabilities. There is no CAS Mafia. There's a Fighter Mafia, and a Bomber Mafia, and even a Transport Mafia, but no CAS equivalent. CAS is not zoomie territory and if it is not zoomie bait no one wants it.

    The ARMY needs organic fixed wing CAS, the hell with the USAF and the hell with Key West.

    is this something all guys learn about coz their guys

    Pretty much just old school guy stuff. My dad pulled maintenance on P-40s all through WW2. The old P-40 never got the glamor of the P-51 or P-47 or P-38 (P was for Pursuit in WW2, Pursuit is an old designation which is not used anymore, when you read about US Arm Air Force fighters in World war II like the P-47 or P-51 the P was pursuit. When the Army Air Forces were broken off to form the U.S. Air Force the P was dropped in favor of the F so you can spot a Korean war Vet for example if he talks about an F-51 Mustang. Now attack and Fighter- denote role and capability. (https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-di...ghter-aircraft)

    Dad went ashore on Operation Torch in North Africa - here's a Torch P-40 "in the field"



    -https://www.worldwarphotos.info/wp-content/gallery/usa/aircrafts/p-40-warhawk/P-40_Warhawk_Operation_Torch_North_Africa_1942.jpg

    1942, you say - that was pretty early in the war. Yes, it was. And he stayed all the way to VE Day, which found him somewhere in Italy, still nursemaiding P-40s. Not the best Allied plane in the war but it was what we had at the beginning, it was "good enough" and it was available.

    And that picture pretty well tells us today what a CAS airplane needs to be able to do. No hangars, no fancy bases, just rough and ready in the field.

    And I got started with the old "war baby" question - "What did you do in the war, daddy?"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=sjemZXu5l8Q
    P-40 - Documentary
    RT 43:52

    channel3746

    Published on Feb 8, 2017

    The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk is an American single-engined, single-seat, all-metal fighter and ground-attack aircraft that first flew in 1938. The P-40 design was a modification of the previous Curtiss P-36 Hawk which reduced development time and enabled a rapid entry into production and operational service. The Warhawk was used by most Allied powers during World War II, and remained in frontline service until the end of the war. It was the third most-produced American fighter, after the P-51 and P-47; by November 1944, when production of the P-40 ceased, 13,738 had been built,[4] all at Curtiss-Wright Corporation's main production facilities at Buffalo, New York.

    P-40 Warhawk was the name the United States Army Air Corps and after June 1941, USAAF-adopted name for all models, making it the official name in the U.S. for all P-40s. The British Commonwealth and Soviet air forces used the name Tomahawk for models equivalent to the P-40B and P-40C, and the name Kittyhawk for models equivalent to the P-40D and all later variants.

    P-40s first saw combat with the British Commonwealth squadrons of the Desert Air Force in the Middle East and North African campaigns, during June 1941. No. 112 Squadron Royal Air Force, was among the first to operate Tomahawks in North Africa and the unit was the first Allied military aviation unit to feature the "shark mouth" logo, copying similar markings on some Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Bf 110 twin-engine fighters.

    The P-40's lack of a two-speed supercharger made it inferior to Luftwaffe fighters such as the Messerschmitt Bf 109 or the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 in high-altitude combat and it was rarely used in operations in Northwest Europe. However, between 1941 and 1944, the P-40 played a critical role with Allied air forces in three major theaters: North Africa, the Southwest Pacific, and China. It also had a significant role in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, Alaska and Italy. The P-40's performance at high altitudes was not as important in those theaters, where it served as an air superiority fighter, bomber escort and fighter-bomber. Although it gained a postwar reputation as a mediocre design, suitable only for close air support, recent research including scrutiny of the records of individual Allied squadrons indicates that this was not the case: the P-40 performed surprisingly well as an air superiority fighter, at times suffering severe losses but also taking a very heavy toll of enemy aircraft. The P-40 offered the additional advantage of low cost, which kept it in production as a ground-attack aircraft long after it was obsolete as a fighter.
    The wonder of our time isn’t how angry we are at politics and politicians; it’s how little we’ve done about it. - Fran Porretto
    -http://bastionofliberty.blogspot.com/2016/10/a-wholly-rational-hatred.html

  29. #29
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    Problem is, the Air Farce DOES NOT WANT CAS capabilities.

    The Langley elitist mentality. The elitist air corp wants to have high tech F-35 and F-22 as a mainstay and suffer everything else that robs their big budget. The reality is that anytime there is conflict, its everything else that shows up and gets it done. Navy and Air Force are so conflicted with defense contracting that it almost breaks the law. We are headed towards a point where the elitists will be protected by the sacrifice of other lesser equipped warriors so as not to lose more valuable assets.

    Bases on the frantic effort to recover a lost Japanese F-35 and its secret technology, imagine what recovering a downed F-35 would be like somewhere in the Iranian desert.

    Vietnam fell into our sweet spot for capabilities. F100 thru F106 and F4. Intruder, Viking, Skyraider, Corsair, Dragonfly, A-47, AC-130 B-52, B-66 FB-111 All memories.

    FORTE EST VINUM, FORTIOR EST REX, FORTIORES SUNT MULIERES:

    SUPER OMNIA VINCIT VERITAS.


  30. #30
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    Wasn't the -40 the one that came in a pair of big assed crates with everything including assembly jigs required to build it and launch it??
    RULE 1:
    THEY want you DEAD.

    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my brothers' children (and their parents) may have peace, and have NO KNOWLEDGE of what I have done."

    The BEST in Life:
    To CRUSH your enemies.
    To see them driven before you
    To listen to the lamentations of their women

  31. #31
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    I think that was the P-47 …

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Noqms4AhTJA
    How to assemble a P-47 Thunderbolt Fighter in a field with unpowered hand tools (Restored -1944)
    RT 39:52
    The wonder of our time isn’t how angry we are at politics and politicians; it’s how little we’ve done about it. - Fran Porretto
    -http://bastionofliberty.blogspot.com/2016/10/a-wholly-rational-hatred.html

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