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Author Topic: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement  (Read 66594 times)

Offline RavenOne

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A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« on: April 07, 2016, 01:17:44 pm »

http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/air-space/2016/04/07/air-force-moving-forward--10-replacement/82746220/

WASHINGTON — The Air Force is moving forward with a key step in developing a dedicated close-air support plane to replace the A-10 Warthog, a top general said Thursday.

“My requirements guys are in the process of building a draft requirements document for a follow-on CAS airplane,” Lt. Gen. Mike Holmes, the deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and requirements, said. “It’s interesting work that at some point we’ll be able to talk with you a little bit more.”

Defining the requirement is the first concrete step toward developing potentially developing a replacement A-10 for the close-air support mission, often dubbed A-X. The Air Force has been studying the idea of a procuring single-role A-X for at least a year now, hosting a joint-service summit in March, 2015, to work out options for the close-air support, or CAS, mission.

Offline Steve Pace

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2016, 01:26:49 pm »
Too bad they just can't build more A-10s with updated avionics and propulsive system. -SP
« Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 03:48:53 pm by Steve Pace »
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Offline sferrin

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2016, 02:05:44 pm »
Too bad they just can't built more A-10s with updated avionics and propulsive system. -SP

Could we even build that gun in the US if we wanted more?
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Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2016, 02:13:31 pm »
Too bad they just can't built more A-10s with updated avionics and propulsive system. -SP

Could we even build that gun in the US if we wanted more?

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Offline sferrin

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2016, 02:21:08 pm »
Too bad they just can't built more A-10s with updated avionics and propulsive system. -SP

Could we even build that gun in the US if we wanted more?

There's a guy on Aliexpress can do a good deal...

I could swear I read somewhere that the facility that use to make gatling guns in the US is long gone; that even "new" miniguns are just refurbed old stock made decades ago.
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline Mark Nankivil

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2016, 02:47:09 pm »
If that's so, it is truly sad....

Enjoy the Day!  Mark

Offline sferrin

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2016, 03:15:27 pm »
If that's so, it is truly sad....

Enjoy the Day!  Mark

The history of the classic "minigun" is a depressing read:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minigun

(Yeah, I know, it's Wiki, but it's a decent summation.)
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline litzj

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2016, 06:48:52 pm »
How about single seat version of korea's T-50 when it is selected as T-X aircraft?

Although it is not specialist of CAS, it could be optimized to CAS aircraft with single seat modification.

Offline litzj

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2016, 06:51:59 pm »
How about single seat version of korea's T-50 when it is selected as T-X aircraft?

Although it is not specialist of CAS, it could be optimized to CAS aircraft with single seat modification.

Offline yasotay

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2016, 07:32:10 pm »
If that's so, it is truly sad....

Enjoy the Day!  Mark

The history of the classic "minigun" is a depressing read:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minigun

(Yeah, I know, it's Wiki, but it's a decent summation.)

Dillon is manufacturing new mini-guns.

As for A-X,  I'd vote for the ARES myself.

Offline sferrin

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2016, 08:02:16 pm »
If that's so, it is truly sad....

Enjoy the Day!  Mark

The history of the classic "minigun" is a depressing read:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minigun

(Yeah, I know, it's Wiki, but it's a decent summation.)

Dillon is manufacturing new mini-guns.

As for A-X,  I'd vote for the ARES myself.

Never understood the fascination with ARES.  Seems like more of a lightweight COIN aircraft than a CAS/BAI like the A-10 was meant to be.  As for the gun, I was talking about gatling guns in general and the GAU-8 specifically.  Maybe whoever produces the Goalkeeper CIWS still builds them but I'm pretty sure nobody in the US is anymore. 
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Offline TomS

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2016, 08:23:28 pm »
GD-OTS lists goalkeeper as a joint effort withThales Nederland.  As far as I Know, the actual guns are still supplied from the US.

Of course, it's very unlikely that a clean sheet CAS design developed today would carry a 30mm Gatling.  A 25mm would offer more than enough terminal effect -- actual tanks can be dealt with in many other ways.

Offline Arian

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2016, 09:56:07 pm »
Too bad they just can't built more A-10s with updated avionics and propulsive system. -SP

Could we even build that gun in the US if we wanted more?

There's a guy on Aliexpress can do a good deal...

I could swear I read somewhere that the facility that use to make gatling guns in the US is long gone; that even "new" miniguns are just refurbed old stock made decades ago.

http://www.gd-ots.com/productsbycategory.html
https://www.dillonaero.com/content/p/9/pid/1/catid/1/Standard_M134D
« Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 10:04:23 pm by Arian »

Offline Moose

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2016, 12:12:51 am »
Too bad they just can't built more A-10s with updated avionics and propulsive system. -SP

Could we even build that gun in the US if we wanted more?

There's a guy on Aliexpress can do a good deal...

I could swear I read somewhere that the facility that use to make gatling guns in the US is long gone; that even "new" miniguns are just refurbed old stock made decades ago.
General Dynamics would like a few words with you.

Offline Michel Van

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2016, 01:14:49 am »
Let face it the A-10 is best attack aircraft ever build.
A unique opportunity were Military, Politician and Engineers work together to create ultimate tank hunter

The A-10 Thunderbolt II is design for robust, reliability, Durability under extrem conditions
it got triple control systems, The cockpit is a Titan shell
It's designed to be refueled, rearmed, serviced and repaired with minimal equipment on Field

And what they wanted to replace it ? F-35, now the F-35 became zillion dollar project that's behind how many years ? 
and now new A-X project, this time with meddling Politician in the game...

Scaled Composites ARES is nice concept for lightweight COIN aircraft, disposal after one mission.
or you beliefe it survive a mission that A-10 venture ?

The best thing they can do for moment is go to Northrop-Grumman (rights owner of Fairchild Republic)
and order New A-10, yes order new ones !  why change a success story ? 
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Offline Mark S.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2016, 08:12:19 am »
I don't know if we can design the gun but it wouldn't be too difficult to get it built here in the U.S.  Plenty of firms have the technical know-how especially in the Midwest.

Offline sferrin

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2016, 08:24:43 am »
Too bad they just can't built more A-10s with updated avionics and propulsive system. -SP

Could we even build that gun in the US if we wanted more?

There's a guy on Aliexpress can do a good deal...

I could swear I read somewhere that the facility that use to make gatling guns in the US is long gone; that even "new" miniguns are just refurbed old stock made decades ago.
General Dynamics would like a few words with you.

If they've acquired the tooling, and still have the know-how, for the GAU-8 I would be delighted  to be wrong.   :)
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline sferrin

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2016, 08:26:08 am »
I don't know if we can design the gun but it wouldn't be too difficult to get it built here in the U.S.  Plenty of firms have the technical know-how especially in the Midwest.

Ugh.  An AR is not a 30mm Gatling gun.  Lots of people make ultra-lights and hang-gliders too but none of them are going to be kicking out a fighter plane anytime soon.
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Offline Steve Pace

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2016, 10:05:56 am »
I don't know if we can design the gun but it wouldn't be too difficult to get it built here in the U.S.  Plenty of firms have the technical know-how especially in the Midwest.
Where's Mr. Gatling when you need him? -SP
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Offline TomS

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2016, 11:05:15 am »
General Dynamics would like a few words with you.

If they've acquired the tooling, and still have the know-how, for the GAU-8 I would be delighted  to be wrong.   :)

General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems bought (by way of Lockheed Martin) the GE activity that originally developed the GAU-8.  GD-OTS is is actively supporting GAU-8 with spares.  Given that new GAU-8s are still being produced for Goalkeeper installations for the ROKN, it seems that new guns are being made, and GD-OTS is the only company that can do that.


http://www.usaopps.com/government_bids/detail/ADP14012808290000301.htm


Quote
The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division intends to acquire continued research, development, analysis, testing documentation, prototype fabrication, pre-production, and production of Gatling Gun weapon systems hardware and associated gun control systems software. The effort will be fulfilled through other than full and open competition with General Dynamics - Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS), Williston Technology Center, 326 IBM Road, Building 862, Williston, VT 05494. This requirement encompasses several different variants of this multi-barrel gun (to include the 25mm GAU-12 and GAU-22; 30mm GAU-8; .50cal GAU-19/A and 19/B; and the 20mm M61 and 3 barrel variant M197). GD-OTS is the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) for these guns and has been in continuous production for these guns for almost 70 years. No other company can produce these guns new. GD-OTS is the Current Design Authority (CDA) for the 25mm GAU-12 and GAU-22; 30mm GAU-8; and .50 cal GAU-19/A and 19/B. The entire Technical Data Packages (TDPs) for the .50 cal GAU-19 gun is GD-OTS Proprietary and portions of the TDPs for the 25mm GAU-12/GAU-22 and 30mm GAU-8 guns are GD-OTS proprietary. GD-OTS has also developed the ammunition handling systems that support integrating these multi-barrel weapons in every frontline aircraft for the US Government.

Offline elmayerle

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2016, 11:20:05 am »
If that's so, it is truly sad....

Enjoy the Day!  Mark

The history of the classic "minigun" is a depressing read:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minigun

(Yeah, I know, it's Wiki, but it's a decent summation.)

There was a fascinating article on the development of the mini-gun in Small Arms Review about a year ago.  After the prototype was developed by experimental engineering, production development and design was taken over by production engineering, with no input from the group that developed the prototype.  Ultimately, they had to bring back the original engineer and design to develop an alternate design, to that of production engineering, that would work.

Offline GTX

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2016, 11:30:24 am »
How about single seat version of korea's T-50 when it is selected as T-X aircraft?


So basically the FA-50:



Offline sferrin

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2016, 11:43:46 am »
If that's so, it is truly sad....

Enjoy the Day!  Mark

The history of the classic "minigun" is a depressing read:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minigun

(Yeah, I know, it's Wiki, but it's a decent summation.)

There was a fascinating article on the development of the mini-gun in Small Arms Review about a year ago.  After the prototype was developed by experimental engineering, production development and design was taken over by production engineering, with no input from the group that developed the prototype.  Ultimately, they had to bring back the original engineer and design to develop an alternate design, to that of production engineering, that would work.

I still wish they'd have found a use for the micro-gun  ;D in 5.56mm. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XM214_Microgun

"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline sferrin

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2016, 11:45:22 am »
General Dynamics would like a few words with you.

If they've acquired the tooling, and still have the know-how, for the GAU-8 I would be delighted  to be wrong.   :)

General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems bought (by way of Lockheed Martin) the GE activity that originally developed the GAU-8.  GD-OTS is is actively supporting GAU-8 with spares.  Given that new GAU-8s are still being produced for Goalkeeper installations for the ROKN, it seems that new guns are being made, and GD-OTS is the only company that can do that.


http://www.usaopps.com/government_bids/detail/ADP14012808290000301.htm


Quote
The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division intends to acquire continued research, development, analysis, testing documentation, prototype fabrication, pre-production, and production of Gatling Gun weapon systems hardware and associated gun control systems software. The effort will be fulfilled through other than full and open competition with General Dynamics - Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS), Williston Technology Center, 326 IBM Road, Building 862, Williston, VT 05494. This requirement encompasses several different variants of this multi-barrel gun (to include the 25mm GAU-12 and GAU-22; 30mm GAU-8; .50cal GAU-19/A and 19/B; and the 20mm M61 and 3 barrel variant M197). GD-OTS is the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) for these guns and has been in continuous production for these guns for almost 70 years. No other company can produce these guns new. GD-OTS is the Current Design Authority (CDA) for the 25mm GAU-12 and GAU-22; 30mm GAU-8; and .50 cal GAU-19/A and 19/B. The entire Technical Data Packages (TDPs) for the .50 cal GAU-19 gun is GD-OTS Proprietary and portions of the TDPs for the 25mm GAU-12/GAU-22 and 30mm GAU-8 guns are GD-OTS proprietary. GD-OTS has also developed the ammunition handling systems that support integrating these multi-barrel weapons in every frontline aircraft for the US Government.

<breathes a huge sigh of relief> 
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Ian33

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2016, 12:26:09 pm »
General Dynamics would like a few words with you.

If they've acquired the tooling, and still have the know-how, for the GAU-8 I would be delighted  to be wrong.   :)

General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems bought (by way of Lockheed Martin) the GE activity that originally developed the GAU-8.  GD-OTS is is actively supporting GAU-8 with spares.  Given that new GAU-8s are still being produced for Goalkeeper installations for the ROKN, it seems that new guns are being made, and GD-OTS is the only company that can do that.


http://www.usaopps.com/government_bids/detail/ADP14012808290000301.htm


Quote
The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division intends to acquire continued research, development, analysis, testing documentation, prototype fabrication, pre-production, and production of Gatling Gun weapon systems hardware and associated gun control systems software. The effort will be fulfilled through other than full and open competition with General Dynamics - Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS), Williston Technology Center, 326 IBM Road, Building 862, Williston, VT 05494. This requirement encompasses several different variants of this multi-barrel gun (to include the 25mm GAU-12 and GAU-22; 30mm GAU-8; .50cal GAU-19/A and 19/B; and the 20mm M61 and 3 barrel variant M197). GD-OTS is the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) for these guns and has been in continuous production for these guns for almost 70 years. No other company can produce these guns new. GD-OTS is the Current Design Authority (CDA) for the 25mm GAU-12 and GAU-22; 30mm GAU-8; and .50 cal GAU-19/A and 19/B. The entire Technical Data Packages (TDPs) for the .50 cal GAU-19 gun is GD-OTS Proprietary and portions of the TDPs for the 25mm GAU-12/GAU-22 and 30mm GAU-8 guns are GD-OTS proprietary. GD-OTS has also developed the ammunition handling systems that support integrating these multi-barrel weapons in every frontline aircraft for the US Government.

Then...

Quote
<breathes a huge sigh of relief>

I joined you then raised a fine single malt to the Gods as thanks.

Online marauder2048

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2016, 01:09:54 pm »
Curious to see how well the combination of APKWS II and 25mm on AV-8B work out CAS-wise against ISIS. Might inform some of the Air Force's deliberations.

Offline LowObservable

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2016, 01:16:37 pm »
That was a strange discussion about guns. I'd have thought it was pretty obvious that someone had to be able to make the GAU-22/A...

Offline sferrin

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #27 on: April 08, 2016, 01:50:52 pm »
That was a strange discussion about guns. I'd have thought it was pretty obvious that someone had to be able to make the GAU-22/A...

Sure.  Doesn't mean it's the same company that built the GAU-8. 
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Offline Gildasd

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #28 on: April 08, 2016, 02:22:56 pm »
That was a strange discussion about guns. I'd have thought it was pretty obvious that someone had to be able to make the GAU-22/A...

Sure.  Doesn't mean it's the same company that built the GAU-8.
Or that due to improvements in materials, maybe 3 or even 1 barrel is sufficient...

Offline sferrin

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #29 on: April 08, 2016, 02:24:18 pm »
That was a strange discussion about guns. I'd have thought it was pretty obvious that someone had to be able to make the GAU-22/A...

Sure.  Doesn't mean it's the same company that built the GAU-8.
Or that due to improvements in materials, maybe 3 or even 1 barrel is sufficient...

I hadn't heard of any discovery of Unobtainium yet so I'm kinda thinking "no" on that front.  Besides, this has zero to do with whether or not anybody is currently building the GAU-8 so I'm not sure what your point is suppose to be.
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Offline muttbutt

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #30 on: April 08, 2016, 02:47:24 pm »
I have the feeling this may just be the USAF shining on the US-Army with a "look we're doing something" so the US-A won't make a push for a fixed wing CAS aircraft themselves.

I don't think this will ever see the light of day. :-[

Offline Gildasd

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #31 on: April 08, 2016, 02:51:48 pm »
That was a strange discussion about guns. I'd have thought it was pretty obvious that someone had to be able to make the GAU-22/A...

Sure.  Doesn't mean it's the same company that built the GAU-8.
Or that due to improvements in materials, maybe 3 or even 1 barrel is sufficient...
I hadn't heard of any discovery of Unobtainium yet so I'm kinda thinking "no" on that front.  Besides, this has zero to do with whether or not anybody is currently building the GAU-8 so I'm not sure what your point is suppose to be.
Ceramics for one... Very good at keeping heat of the combustion out of the metal, and metals have improved a lot since the GAU etc.
Different coatings that limit the need for lubirification/maintenance or composite support. Just look a what Space X is doing with it's engines with printed titanium...
Why build a "Vintage" GAU, why not have the same or more fire power for less weight and complexity?

Offline sferrin

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #32 on: April 08, 2016, 03:20:50 pm »
A ceramic gun barrel?
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Offline Gildasd

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #33 on: April 08, 2016, 04:36:43 pm »
A ceramic gun barrel?
Not all of it, just part of the lining where the heat, pressure and wear are the highest.

Offline TomS

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #34 on: April 08, 2016, 05:58:04 pm »
A ceramic gun barrel?

Ceramic liners or inserts in gun barrels are a recurring topic of research. They seem to be getting closer.


Offline sferrin

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #35 on: April 08, 2016, 06:50:00 pm »
Ceramics for one... Very good at keeping heat of the combustion out of the metal, and metals have improved a lot since the GAU etc.
Different coatings that limit the need for lubirification/maintenance or composite support. Just look a what Space X is doing with it's engines with printed titanium...
Why build a "Vintage" GAU, why not have the same or more fire power for less weight and complexity?

I realize "ceramics" and "3D printing" are the uber buzzwords of the day but ceramics aren't THAT good and 3D printing does nothing for improving the properties of material.  It just makes it easier to shape parts that would be difficult or impossible to cast or machine.
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Online marauder2048

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #36 on: April 08, 2016, 07:14:16 pm »
An inductive fuze setter for a programmable burst (airburst, point detonation + delay etc) cannon round would be an interesting trade against a higher ROF or higher muzzle velocity.

Offline sferrin

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #37 on: April 08, 2016, 07:19:38 pm »
An inductive fuze setter for a programmable burst (airburst, point detonation + delay etc) cannon round would be an interesting trade against a higher ROF or higher muzzle velocity.

I was wondering if they could stuff a Millennium gun in the space taken by a GAU-8.
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Offline aethertek

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #38 on: April 08, 2016, 07:31:38 pm »
I realize "ceramics" and "3D printing" are the uber buzzwords of the day but ceramics aren't THAT good and 3D printing does nothing for improving the properties of material.  It just makes it easier to shape parts that would be difficult or impossible to cast or machine.

Well if you don't need to be busting tanks all day & are primarily tasked with CAS maybe you could do with a hot 25 & some fancy new programmable shells.

Don't like ceramic? how about glass steel?
http://www.gizmag.com/steel-alloy-strong-nanotechnology-sintering/42648/

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Offline sferrin

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #39 on: April 08, 2016, 07:36:02 pm »
I realize "ceramics" and "3D printing" are the uber buzzwords of the day but ceramics aren't THAT good and 3D printing does nothing for improving the properties of material.  It just makes it easier to shape parts that would be difficult or impossible to cast or machine.

Well if you don't need to be busting tanks all day & are primarily tasked with CAS maybe you could do with a hot 25 & some fancy new programmable shells.

Don't like ceramic? how about glass steel?
http://www.gizmag.com/steel-alloy-strong-nanotechnology-sintering/42648/

K~

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Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #40 on: April 08, 2016, 08:14:26 pm »
GD-OTS lists goalkeeper as a joint effort withThales Nederland.  As far as I Know, the actual guns are still supplied from the US.

Of course, it's very unlikely that a clean sheet CAS design developed today would carry a 30mm Gatling.  A 25mm would offer more than enough terminal effect -- actual tanks can be dealt with in many other ways.

Dont introduce such logic into a discussion about the A- 10.

Rockwell (NAA) and Boeing have all done post stealth studies into a CAS/BAI aircract that have been made public. Both were high subsonic speed flying wings with lots of fuel and big weapons bays. Loitering, hard to spot birds with great eyes able to swoop in fast and agile to hit hard and be tough enough to take anything in return. Kind of a cross  between an A-10 and an F-111.
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Offline donnage99

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #41 on: April 08, 2016, 08:44:29 pm »

Rockwell (NAA) and Boeing have all done post stealth studies into a CAS/BAI aircract that have been made public. Both were high subsonic speed flying wings with lots of fuel and big weapons bays. Loitering, hard to spot birds with great eyes able to swoop in fast and agile to hit hard and be tough enough to take anything in return. Kind of a cross  between an A-10 and an F-111.

You talking about this project?
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,5569.0.html

Offline sferrin

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #42 on: April 08, 2016, 08:46:03 pm »
GD-OTS lists goalkeeper as a joint effort withThales Nederland.  As far as I Know, the actual guns are still supplied from the US.

Of course, it's very unlikely that a clean sheet CAS design developed today would carry a 30mm Gatling.  A 25mm would offer more than enough terminal effect -- actual tanks can be dealt with in many other ways.

Dont introduce such logic into a discussion about the A- 10.

Rockwell (NAA) and Boeing have all done post stealth studies into a CAS/BAI aircract that have been made public. Both were high subsonic speed flying wings with lots of fuel and big weapons bays. Loitering, hard to spot birds with great eyes able to swoop in fast and agile to hit hard and be tough enough to take anything in return. Kind of a cross  between an A-10 and an F-111.

The main mission the A-10 was designed for seems to me a bit suicidal to attempt with a gun against anybody possessing even average air defenses.  My main concern was that we'd lost the ability to produce that type of gun.
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Offline CiTrus90

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #43 on: April 08, 2016, 11:55:51 pm »
I have the feeling this may just be the USAF shining on the US-Army with a "look we're doing something" so the US-A won't make a push for a fixed wing CAS aircraft themselves.

I don't think this will ever see the light of day. :-[

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Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #44 on: April 09, 2016, 12:32:41 am »
You talking about this project?
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,5569.0.html

Nope. Page 224 of Living in the Future. The 1982 Rockwell CAS-X based on their operational analysis of how to replace the A-10 but making it survivable and able to oprate in the Middle East.
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Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #45 on: April 09, 2016, 12:47:07 am »
Quote
My main concern was that we'd lost the ability to produce that type of gun.

As TomS said you can just use the 25m gun. If high rate of fire 30mm was super crucial then you can just zero hour the GAU-8 or the four barrel gunpod version. But the marines brought the 300-400 stock of these weapons from USAF in the 90s with eye gleam dreams of sticking them on LCACs. Im sure theyll still have them in a warehouse somewhere. Bigger caliber like 35mm or 40mm will give better accuracy at long range. Enabling high altitude (10 000') standoff fires like a gunship...
"There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Thomas Schelling

Offline kaiserd

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #46 on: April 09, 2016, 01:30:49 am »
Quote
My main concern was that we'd lost the ability to produce that type of gun.

As TomS said you can just use the 25m gun. If high rate of fire 30mm was super crucial then you can just zero hour the GAU-8 or the four barrel gunpod version. But the marines brought the 300-400 stock of these weapons from USAF in the 90s with eye gleam dreams of sticking them on LCACs. Im sure theyll still have them in a warehouse somewhere. Bigger caliber like 35mm or 40mm will give better accuracy at long range. Enabling high altitude (10 000') standoff fires like a gunship...

Appears American's gun obsession strikes again....
You heard about the invention of precision stand-off weapons right?
And the likely air defense environment an A-10 follow on would have to be able to operate in?
A gun to our range SAMs?

A small enough number of niche aircraft to operate against opponents with little to no effective air defense systems. Spend billions to end up with something only marginally more effective or survivable than (for example) a Super Tucano or (Textron) Scorpion at many times the price.
A great idea that will die soon enough.

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #47 on: April 09, 2016, 02:38:53 am »
Quote
My main concern was that we'd lost the ability to produce that type of gun.

As TomS said you can just use the 25m gun. If high rate of fire 30mm was super crucial then you can just zero hour the GAU-8 or the four barrel gunpod version. But the marines brought the 300-400 stock of these weapons from USAF in the 90s with eye gleam dreams of sticking them on LCACs. Im sure theyll still have them in a warehouse somewhere. Bigger caliber like 35mm or 40mm will give better accuracy at long range. Enabling high altitude (10 000') standoff fires like a gunship...

Appears American's gun obsession strikes again....
You heard about the invention of precision stand-off weapons right?
And the likely air defense environment an A-10 follow on would have to be able to operate in?
A gun to our range SAMs?

Welcome to my ignore list.
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Offline LowObservable

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #48 on: April 09, 2016, 05:53:46 am »
As for GAU-8 gun production: a quick Wiki search says that Korea for one is still building ships with Goalkeeper, which suggests that the gun is available. Thales doesn't make guns so unless they subbed and licensed the gun to Oto Melara, Rheinmetall or Nexter (which I have never heard of) the guns come out of Burlington. Which in itself is not impractical since the USAF needs replacement parts.

That said, nobody needs the GAU-8. It was a viable weapon against a moving tank in 1970, when LGBs were exotic and Maverick was unproven. Brimstone and guided 70-mm. are available today, and if you want a gun, with laser rangefinding you can get away with a short burst length.

The trouble with stealth CAS is that you have to be out of sight and earshot. This starts to be problematic for laser designation and weapon flight time - JTACs hate it when they get to "thousand-and-43" before something goes bang.

Offline totoro

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #49 on: April 09, 2016, 06:24:33 am »
if there is a dedicated next gen CAS plane, and if it is stealthy, it would most probably not be flying so low that the pilot uses his eyes for targeting and identification.

medium altitudes seem better suited, even if that means no-show for low cloud cover situations. (or it can go low in such situations and risk getting shot, if the risk is worth it) Today's tech could make the plane very, very quite at such altitudes. RF stealth is a given but it might need even better IR stealth than B2.

25mm non gatling gun is a given, more than enough for the mission.

The plane itself would probably be larger than A10 with the need for internal weapon bay. Modular one, mind you, so in 20 years time they can put a laser inside it for certain missions.
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Offline sferrin

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #50 on: April 09, 2016, 06:32:36 am »
medium altitudes seem better suited, even if that means no-show for low cloud cover situations. (or it can go low in such situations and risk getting shot, if the risk is worth it) Today's tech could make the plane very, very quite at such altitudes. RF stealth is a given but it might need even better IR stealth than B2.

25mm non gatling gun is a given, more than enough for the mission.

Shooting at at the ground from medium altitude with a 25mm gun?  Okay. . .
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Offline Orionblamblam

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #51 on: April 09, 2016, 06:33:20 am »

That said, nobody needs the GAU-8.

The ability to lay down one hell of a smackdown with one hell of a gun remains a useful ability. Not every target is a single discrete target appropriate for a LGB or a missile; sometimes you want to make a mess of a highway full of trucks or turn a building into Swiss cheese or put a whole lot of big bullets into a bunch of bushes at the request of some soldiers under fire.

Viet Nam showed that reliance upon missiles can jump up and bite you.
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Offline sferrin

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #52 on: April 09, 2016, 06:35:14 am »

That said, nobody needs the GAU-8.

The ability to lay down one hell of a smackdown with one hell of a gun remains a useful ability. Not every target is a single discrete target appropriate for a LGB or a missile; sometimes you want to make a mess of a highway full of trucks or turn a building into Swiss cheese or put a whole lot of big bullets into a bunch of bushes at the request of some soldiers under fire.

Viet Nam showed that reliance upon missiles can jump up and bite you.

The funniest part is some of those saying the next CAS aircraft doesn't need a gun would be screaming blue murder if the F-35 didn't have one.  ;)
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Offline sferrin

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #53 on: April 09, 2016, 06:50:23 am »
That said, nobody needs the GAU-8. It was a viable weapon against a moving tank in 1970, when LGBs were exotic and Maverick was unproven. Brimstone and guided 70-mm. are available today, and if you want a gun, with laser rangefinding you can get away with a short burst length.

The trouble with stealth CAS is that you have to be out of sight and earshot. This starts to be problematic for laser designation and weapon flight time - JTACs hate it when they get to "thousand-and-43" before something goes bang.

The impression I get is that the GAU-8 in the A-10 is being used more like an aimable cluster bomb.  One where you can vary the number of bomblets you "drop".  Maybe guided 70mm and Zunis with bomblets could fill that role? 
« Last Edit: April 09, 2016, 06:56:39 am by sferrin »
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Offline totoro

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #54 on: April 09, 2016, 07:09:04 am »


Shooting at at the ground from medium altitude with a 25mm gun?  Okay. . .

that is not what the post said. most of the missions would be flown at medium altitude. no gun needed or used. some missions might feature low flight, and those missions might require a gun. hence why the gun is included at all. it is also plausible that the gun is to be carried as a pod, and not have it integrated into the platform. Then again, if we are talking about plane that's larger than a-10, there might be enough real estate for an integrated gun.
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Offline sferrin

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #55 on: April 09, 2016, 07:15:34 am »


Shooting at at the ground from medium altitude with a 25mm gun?  Okay. . .

that is not what the post said. most of the missions would be flown at medium altitude. no gun needed or used. some missions might feature low flight, and those missions might require a gun. hence why the gun is included at all. it is also plausible that the gun is to be carried as a pod, and not have it integrated into the platform. Then again, if we are talking about plane that's larger than a-10, there might be enough real estate for an integrated gun.

So pretty much the way the F-35B is going to operate with the USMC then right?
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Offline totoro

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #56 on: April 09, 2016, 07:23:38 am »
yep. which plays into the hand of those that fear/hope the project itself won't ever come to fruition.

if it does get into active service, it would have to carry sufficently more payload and have sufficently more loiter time/range over f-35 to make it worthwhile. Which, being subsonic and tasked with just one mission type while being a decade or two more modern - might not be so unrealistic.
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Offline donnage99

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #57 on: April 09, 2016, 08:47:21 am »
Appears American's gun obsession strikes again....
You heard about the invention of precision stand-off weapons right?
The a-10's gun is cleared to fire much closer to friendly force than any other precision stand-off weapons.  Those rounds saved lives. 

Offline sferrin

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #58 on: April 09, 2016, 08:49:56 am »
Appears American's gun obsession strikes again....
You heard about the invention of precision stand-off weapons right?
The a-10's gun is cleared to fire much closer to friendly force than any other precision stand-off weapons.  Those rounds saved lives.

Do you think a laser guided 70mm rocket with bomblets might do as well?  I think at least part of the reason the gun can go closer is there isn't so much *BOOM* at the end.
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Offline LowObservable

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #59 on: April 09, 2016, 09:55:59 am »
The funniest part is some of those saying the next CAS aircraft doesn't need a gun would be screaming blue murder if the F-35 didn't have one.

If you have no other way to hit a moving target (other than an LGB, which can hit slow movers but is a blunt instrument) then you need a gun for CAS.

Maybe you still do in addition to guided weapons, but the automatic "the gun is cheapest" may not be clear-cut on the LCC level. Guns need regular training on a live-fire range, with all that entails. Gun rounds are cheaper than rockets, but you don't fire >100 rockets every time you pull the trigger. If it's an internal gun you carry it all the time, whether you need it that day or not... and so on.

Offline shedofdread

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #60 on: April 09, 2016, 11:17:34 am »
More knowledgeable people may be able to put me straight on this one but I thought there was a programme of re-winging the A-10s? If that's the case, that rather implies they're going to keep them going a while longer..?

Offline Avimimus

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #61 on: April 09, 2016, 12:28:11 pm »
Re - Gun CAS issue:

Wouldn't it make more sense to have a modular design? Mount the gun in an externally podded mobile mount (like the SPPU-6) or in a module replacing the weapon bay with sensors and turret (e.g. YOG gunship style)!

That way you have persistent close support as an option in permissive environments, but you can allocate the extra weight to fuel and other weapons in a less permissive environment...

Of course, if a guided round can be created in a 40mm weapon (without too much loss to exploding charge) - then the extra standoff and lethality might still be worth building an aircraft around a gun. It wouldn't be useful for suppressive effect, and it wouldn't be that much more cost effective (i.e. fewer but more expensive rounds are expended) - but it might keep the aircraft out of MANPAD range and still give a higher PK. I suppose the main benefit compared to using small guided weapons is that you could carry more 40mm rounds than 70mm rockets (although I suspect the overall cost and weight of the gun system might still end up being higher)!


Offline Avimimus

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #62 on: April 09, 2016, 12:36:42 pm »
What I find a bit more interesting is the overall debate regarding the requirements. There are different ways to do CAS:
1. A high speed platform that can respond quickly and makes a precision strike assisted by forward air controllers (most survivable)
2. A manoeuvring platform that persists for multiple runs over the target (low cost examples being the Pucara, whereas a high cost example would be the Su-25 - with higher cost designs generally being much more survivable)
3. A high altitude loitering platform capable of remaining on station and making multiple attacks (e.g. MQ-9, AC-130)
4. A V/STOL design capable of being stationed close to the front lines, allowing for faster response times (e.g. AH-64, AHRLAC)

Offline Peebo-Thulhu

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #63 on: April 09, 2016, 05:50:10 pm »
What I find a bit more interesting is the overall debate regarding the requirements. There are different ways to do CAS:
1. A high speed platform that can respond quickly and makes a precision strike assisted by forward air controllers (most survivable)
2. A manoeuvring platform that persists for multiple runs over the target (low cost examples being the Pucara, whereas a high cost example would be the Su-25 - with higher cost designs generally being much more survivable)
3. A high altitude loitering platform capable of remaining on station and making multiple attacks (e.g. MQ-9, AC-130)
4. A V/STOL design capable of being stationed close to the front lines, allowing for faster response times (e.g. AH-64, AHRLAC)

So... basically... the offspring of a 'Tomcat' and a 'Harrier' that's the size of a 'Hercules'.. or, perhaps, better yet a 'Globemaster'?

Seems easy enough to design.  ;D

Sorry for the poor attempt at levity.

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #64 on: April 09, 2016, 08:44:03 pm »
What I find a bit more interesting is the overall debate regarding the requirements. There are different ways to do CAS:
1. A high speed platform that can respond quickly and makes a precision strike assisted by forward air controllers (most survivable)
2. A manoeuvring platform that persists for multiple runs over the target (low cost examples being the Pucara, whereas a high cost example would be the Su-25 - with higher cost designs generally being much more survivable)
3. A high altitude loitering platform capable of remaining on station and making multiple attacks (e.g. MQ-9, AC-130)
4. A V/STOL design capable of being stationed close to the front lines, allowing for faster response times (e.g. AH-64, AHRLAC)

Combine 1, 2 and 3 for the win.

Guns provide a low cost means of target defeat. A gunship uses its 40mm Bofors to knock out mobile trucks, tanks, etc from a nice standoff range. Giving them great dominance of large ground areas over long times. Just they are not survivable in the face of GBAD. As in ODS. But a purpose designed platform can provide that survivability. Mount a 35mm or 40mm gun in a retractable turret under a stealthy A-12 sized aircraft and you can provide plenty of CAS in a high intensity conflict. See the CalPoly Firefox study for a good unclass cost-benefit analysis of contemporary weapon types.
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Offline sferrin

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #65 on: April 09, 2016, 08:46:24 pm »
What I find a bit more interesting is the overall debate regarding the requirements. There are different ways to do CAS:
1. A high speed platform that can respond quickly and makes a precision strike assisted by forward air controllers (most survivable)
2. A manoeuvring platform that persists for multiple runs over the target (low cost examples being the Pucara, whereas a high cost example would be the Su-25 - with higher cost designs generally being much more survivable)
3. A high altitude loitering platform capable of remaining on station and making multiple attacks (e.g. MQ-9, AC-130)
4. A V/STOL design capable of being stationed close to the front lines, allowing for faster response times (e.g. AH-64, AHRLAC)

Combine 1, 2 and 3 for the win.

Guns provide a low cost means of target defeat. A gunship uses its 40mm Bofors to knock out mobile trucks, tanks, etc from a nice standoff range. Giving them great dominance of large ground areas over long times. Just they are not survivable in the face of GBAD. As in ODS. But a purpose designed platform can provide that survivability. Mount a 35mm or 40mm gun in a retractable turret under a stealthy A-12 sized aircraft and you can provide plenty of CAS in a high intensity conflict. See the CalPoly Firefox study for a good unclass cost-benefit analysis of contemporary weapon types.

Any idea how the Millennium gun compares to a GAU-8 in the recoil dept? 
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Offline DrRansom

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #66 on: April 09, 2016, 10:23:09 pm »
Turreted guns are a bad idea, they won't have the accuracy or power required for close range CAS. See the A-16 program for examples there.

What I don't get is the idea that a AWPKS could replace the GAU-8. The GAU-8 is used because it's danger close range is ~40m. No other precision weapon gets that close. What in the AWPKS could replace that short range danger close capability? Using AWPKS to replace GAU-8 does not make sense when AWPKS will have a larger danger close that GAU-8.

The A-10's gun is accurate and can punch through light cover. It gives the A-10 it's most unique CAS capability. I don't know why a replacement A-X aircraft wouldn't have that.

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #67 on: April 10, 2016, 01:23:11 am »
Turreted guns are a bad idea, they won't have the accuracy or power required for close range CAS. See the A-16 program for examples there.

Gun accuracy is a relationship between dispersion and range. There is nothing inherently wrong with turreted guns and dispersion. The F-16 with 30mm exercise (no actual A-16s were built and GDFW had a plan to avoid the F-16 problem) in inaccuracy was thanks to attaching a gun pod to a blow off drop tank pylon. Using a turret enables gun fire from the following:  above 10,000 feet, at moving targets, response without changing flight vector, across a wide area, etc. It also alows danger close with very little displacement just from low altitude.
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Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #68 on: April 10, 2016, 01:32:47 am »
What I find a bit more interesting is the overall debate regarding the requirements. There are different ways to do CAS:
1. A high speed platform that can respond quickly and makes a precision strike assisted by forward air controllers (most survivable)
2. A manoeuvring platform that persists for multiple runs over the target (low cost examples being the Pucara, whereas a high cost example would be the Su-25 - with higher cost designs generally being much more survivable)
3. A high altitude loitering platform capable of remaining on station and making multiple attacks (e.g. MQ-9, AC-130)
4. A V/STOL design capable of being stationed close to the front lines, allowing for faster response times (e.g. AH-64, AHRLAC)

Combine 1, 2 and 3 for the win.

Guns provide a low cost means of target defeat. A gunship uses its 40mm Bofors to knock out mobile trucks, tanks, etc from a nice standoff range. Giving them great dominance of large ground areas over long times. Just they are not survivable in the face of GBAD. As in ODS. But a purpose designed platform can provide that survivability. Mount a 35mm or 40mm gun in a retractable turret under a stealthy A-12 sized aircraft and you can provide plenty of CAS in a high intensity conflict. See the CalPoly Firefox study for a good unclass cost-benefit analysis of contemporary weapon types.

Any idea how the Millennium gun compares to a GAU-8 in the recoil dept?

Each 35mm AHEAD round produces 1.85 times the recoil potential as the 30mm PGU-13 round of the A-10. Since the A-10 shoots at ~4000rpm and the MG at ~1000rpm you should get about half the potential recoil from a burst of the same length. Vibration should be a lot less without the rotating barrels.
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Offline kaiserd

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #69 on: April 10, 2016, 08:58:36 am »
Wouldn't the availability and use of low collateral precision weapons like the laser guided rockets (APKWS) and UK Brimstone result in less reliance on/ relax the associated specifications for a CAS platforms gun or guns?

http://www.baesystems.com/en/product/apkws-laser-guided-rocket

http://www.raf.mod.uk/equipment/brimstone.cfm

And I would query the affordability and realism of fielding a very "stealthy" (apologies for the use of this glib broad term) dedicated CAS playform given the clear overlap/ duplication versus the F35 and limited US defense budgets.

If a true new A-X was to emerge far more likely to be something along the lines of a composite A-10 crossed with a Reaper - low cost in development and operation trumping any ambitions for deep penetration survivability.
Not likely to be anything like as ambitious as a A-12 Avenger.....

Offline sferrin

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #70 on: April 10, 2016, 12:05:29 pm »
I'd ditch the whole LO concept for a CAS aircraft.  A juiced up DIRCM on it's belly though. . .
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Offline DrRansom

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #71 on: April 10, 2016, 12:57:21 pm »
I'd ditch the whole LO concept for a CAS aircraft.  A juiced up DIRCM on it's belly though. . .

If the plane will have to operate under the weather and/or at low altitudes, LO doesn't make any sense. CAS doctrinally only occurs after local SEAD, so the radar threats should be reduced.

DIRCM will be a must for any ground attack aircraft.

KaiserD - the problem with AWPKS is there is no reason to suspect it's danger close radius to be substantially smaller than any other precision weapon. The GAU-8 has a Danger Close of ~40m, until a precision missile gets that range, it won't be useful for CAS for firefights.

Abraham - turreted weapons don't make sense for an A-X. One mission of the A-X will be to conduct CAS below the weather. In those situations, a turreted gun adds nothing of value to the A-X, as the A-X won't spend it's time orbiting and waiting for targets.

In a contested environment with MANPADs, A-X can use terrain masking to reduce exposure window. A plane cruising at 10k ft will be exposed to everybody on the ground.

Offline TomS

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #72 on: April 10, 2016, 02:34:33 pm »
The number I've seen for APKWS is 95m. But the Marines have been looking at alternative warheads to reduce danger close distances. With precision weapons, danger close mostly depends on warhead size.   Viper Strike (2.3-lb warhead) is cleared to 50 meters.  No reason an APKWS warhead couldn't get down to about that as well.  A pure kinetic warhead (like the flechette antitank round in the CRV-7PG) might do even better. 
« Last Edit: April 10, 2016, 06:41:55 pm by TomS »

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #73 on: April 10, 2016, 06:21:18 pm »
Vought's HVM that was being developed for the A-10 sure would be nice to have, a-x or f-35! That was a fantastic weapon and I was surprised that it was never fielded.  As much as I loathe the 35, with 8 internal HVMs and a flight of linked 35s, that would be impressive against an armored group.  Are guns a little out dated for using against armor? Anti personal,yeah, still needed and you can get away with something smaller and lighter than the 10s 30mm.

Edit: actually I take back all I said about the 35 and HVM.  I think the HVMs range was about 3500 yards, which means the 35 might be too fast to fire and keep the targets illuminated before overflying.  The HVM was not fire and forget which is why/how they were keeping the costs low per round.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2016, 04:26:42 am by Airplane »
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Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #74 on: April 12, 2016, 04:09:51 pm »
If the plane will have to operate under the weather and/or at low altitudes, LO doesn't make any sense. CAS doctrinally only occurs after local SEAD, so the radar threats should be reduced.

Doctrine is the result of capabilities fitted into need. If you have a survivable ground attack platform then you can use it for CAS in the face of GBAD and don't need to wait for SEAD/DEAD (which is certainly the need of the ground forces being CASed). Also you will want your A-X to fly BAI as well as CAS. Or CAS close and CAS distant or whatever the new names for CAS and BAI are these days.

Abraham - turreted weapons don't make sense for an A-X. One mission of the A-X will be to conduct CAS below the weather. In those situations, a turreted gun adds nothing of value to the A-X, as the A-X won't spend it's time orbiting and waiting for targets.

So in all those other missions where the is no weather ceiling and you can fly the A-X above the trash fire line it also doesn't add value? Ahh nope. And even in weather with ISAR radars and networked capability and a high intensity warfare safety threshold flying high and shooting through the weather is more than feasible. A turreted gun can do everything a fixed gun can do and more. The penalty is the weight of the turret but being able to provide gunship capability (AC-130, AC-27) everywhere should be more than worth it.

In a contested environment with MANPADs, A-X can use terrain masking to reduce exposure window. A plane cruising at 10k ft will be exposed to everybody on the ground.

Which is why it is designed to be survivable by using LO. Flying at >10 000 feet also gives you the opportunity to counter those threats that manage to get through the outer layers of the survivability onion. Which you can't do while terrain masking. That is if you at low level and you happen to fly over a MANPADS then you're dead. But if you are at 10 000 feet and you happen to fly over a MANPADS then you have the time it takes to get from 0 to 10 000 feet to counter it with DIRCM, decoys, agility, etc.
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Offline jsport

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #76 on: May 26, 2016, 08:38:03 am »
"The assertion that the A-10 or A-X2 can survive and operate in such an environment is wishful thinking. There may be a way to operate effectively in that environment (I suggest precision rocket artillery), but neither the A-10 nor the A-X2 is it."

seems to be a unfounded presumptuous statement. the sequester is what needs fixing.

Online marauder2048

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #77 on: May 26, 2016, 12:35:46 pm »
"The assertion that the A-10 or A-X2 can survive and operate in such an environment is wishful thinking. There may be a way to operate effectively in that environment (I suggest precision rocket artillery), but neither the A-10 nor the A-X2 is it."

seems to be a unfounded presumptuous statement. the sequester is what needs fixing.

At least it provokes some discussion on doctrinal issues particularly the Army's commitment to SEAD. In GW1, ATACMS was used in the SEAD role and many of the
Army's anti-tank teams in the 80's reprioritized their target list to focus on the "funnies" i.e. the SPAAGs/SPADS which would leave the air defense denuded
heavy armor for the A-10s and other aerial assets.

With the Army looking at long-range precision fires again, it's a good time to revisit some of these issues especially in light of the proposed combat radius for
FVL medium. At 229-450nm, that radius puts it mostly beyond the currently INF-constrained range of Army rockets/missiles.





Offline bobbymike

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Offline bobbymike

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #79 on: June 16, 2016, 08:34:33 pm »
Call the CAS Doctors

—Will Skowronski

6/17/2016


​​Continuing the long-running debate, Air Force Chief of Staff nominee Gen. David Goldfein told the Senate Armed Services Committee the service should not retire the A-10 “in the near term.” But Goldfein, who currently serves as the vice chief of staff, told lawmakers during his nomination hearing on Thursday he is just as concerned about the A-10 community as he is about the platform itself when it comes to replacing the close air support fighter. “The A-10 community is actually our PhD force when it comes to close air support, and they set the bar for not only the joint team, but for the coalition team,” he said. “So my focus is going to be on ensuring that I go back to the doctors of CAS—the A-10 fleet and the A-10 operators, and say, ‘What is the future of close air support?’.” Goldfein seemed to throw out ideas of his own for capabilities that should be included in a replacement platform: an ability to fire 10 minutes’ worth of 30-mm rounds   :o, the use of precision-guided rounds, and technology to help pilots distinguish between friend and foe and perform collateral damage assessments. Goldfein, a 1983 Air Force Academy graduate, led Air Forces Central Command from August 2011 to July 2013 and has flown combat missions in Iraq, the Balkans, and Afghanistan. In April, sources told Air Force Magazine Defense Secretary Ash Carter wanted the next service chief to be a combat veteran capable of leading the Air Force during the ongoing air war against ISIS
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Offline sferrin

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #80 on: June 16, 2016, 08:46:30 pm »
Call the CAS Doctors

—Will Skowronski

6/17/2016


​​Continuing the long-running debate, Air Force Chief of Staff nominee Gen. David Goldfein told the Senate Armed Services Committee the service should not retire the A-10 “in the near term.” But Goldfein, who currently serves as the vice chief of staff, told lawmakers during his nomination hearing on Thursday he is just as concerned about the A-10 community as he is about the platform itself when it comes to replacing the close air support fighter. “The A-10 community is actually our PhD force when it comes to close air support, and they set the bar for not only the joint team, but for the coalition team,” he said. “So my focus is going to be on ensuring that I go back to the doctors of CAS—the A-10 fleet and the A-10 operators, and say, ‘What is the future of close air support?’.” Goldfein seemed to throw out ideas of his own for capabilities that should be included in a replacement platform: an ability to fire 10 minutes’ worth of 30-mm rounds   :o, the use of precision-guided rounds, and technology to help pilots distinguish between friend and foe and perform collateral damage assessments. Goldfein, a 1983 Air Force Academy graduate, led Air Forces Central Command from August 2011 to July 2013 and has flown combat missions in Iraq, the Balkans, and Afghanistan. In April, sources told Air Force Magazine Defense Secretary Ash Carter wanted the next service chief to be a combat veteran capable of leading the Air Force during the ongoing air war against ISIS

"an ability to fire 10 minutes’ worth of 30-mm rounds"

Apparently this guy has been learning from politicians when it comes to pandering.
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline Jeb

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #81 on: June 17, 2016, 11:46:38 am »
I still wonder about the technology used to de-program the CAS experience and knowledge from former A-10 drivers who move to other platforms, because to hear it explained, they completely forget all about the CAS mission when they end up in something with afterburners.

Offline ouroboros

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #82 on: June 25, 2016, 02:28:20 am »
Revisiting the CalPoly Firefox design with guided 40mm CTA rounds (which seem feasible based on Sandia/DARPA laser guided 50cal recent work) would seem to put more hits on target than many alternatives and satiate CAS needs. The recent 2.5" seeker head on unguided rockets is functionally the same. Bigger hits would require the equivalent of SDB-II but the Firefox's large caliber cannon with guided rounds would again be equivalent.

Offline Avimimus

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #83 on: June 25, 2016, 06:28:15 am »
"an ability to fire 10 minutes’ worth of 30-mm rounds"

Apparently this guy has been learning from politicians when it comes to pandering.

Yup, definitely sounds a bit silly...

Best case scenario would be a gunship with a water cooled M230LF ...in which case it'd amount to only 2000 rounds. Worst case scenario he wants 42,000 rounds...

However, if he is including a 10 minute cooling off period it could be as low as 300 rounds... :D

Ah, ambiguous press statements...!

Offline jsport

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #84 on: June 25, 2016, 09:18:42 am »
Call the CAS Doctors

—Will Skowronski

6/17/2016


​​Continuing the long-running debate, Air Force Chief of Staff nominee Gen. David Goldfein told the Senate Armed Services Committee the service should not retire the A-10 “in the near term.” But Goldfein, who currently serves as the vice chief of staff, told lawmakers during his nomination hearing on Thursday he is just as concerned about the A-10 community as he is about the platform itself when it comes to replacing the close air support fighter. “The A-10 community is actually our PhD force when it comes to close air support, and they set the bar for not only the joint team, but for the coalition team,” he said. “So my focus is going to be on ensuring that I go back to the doctors of CAS—the A-10 fleet and the A-10 operators, and say, ‘What is the future of close air support?’.” Goldfein seemed to throw out ideas of his own for capabilities that should be included in a replacement platform: an ability to fire 10 minutes’ worth of 30-mm rounds   :o, the use of precision-guided rounds, and technology to help pilots distinguish between friend and foe and perform collateral damage assessments. Goldfein, a 1983 Air Force Academy graduate, led Air Forces Central Command from August 2011 to July 2013 and has flown combat missions in Iraq, the Balkans, and Afghanistan. In April, sources told Air Force Magazine Defense Secretary Ash Carter wanted the next service chief to be a combat veteran capable of leading the Air Force during the ongoing air war against ISIS

"an ability to fire 10 minutes’ worth of 30-mm rounds"

Apparently this guy has been learning from politicians when it comes to pandering.
sounds like somebody w/ Richard issues.  B)
the coke machine (w/ precision) analogy sounds competent.

Offline jsport

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #85 on: June 26, 2016, 08:24:14 am »
A possible explanation for such a bizarre proclamation about a such deep magazined gun could be a Washington side step to turn the A-X argument into one for a larger multi-purpose jet 130 replacement.  That plane is what the AF actually wants and to eliminate the A-X requirement altogether.

Offline r16

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #86 on: June 27, 2016, 01:09:02 am »
or maybe he's calling for external drive and the lot for variable rates of fire so that 1000 rounds can be fired over 10 minutes in God knows how many passes . Not that USAF is that smart to get that but .

Offline jsport

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #87 on: June 27, 2016, 10:07:24 am »
off flight axis firing most likely is still out there having already been tested. Precision should be even easier nowadays. So what about 3 shots rather than 70 at a time. 

This may also be another onside argument for deep magazine DEW which the AF would also prefer to switch the argument to.

PS Sorry again but Solid state  w/ capacitors alone is not going to get ya there.. Hybrid w/ chemicals

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Offline AeroFranz

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #89 on: July 01, 2016, 10:46:31 am »
Interesting article. I always wondered how you can claim to remain undetected to radar whilst being physically close to the emitter (remember radar-range equation works against you) and loitering, thus presumably periodically presenting RCS spikes to an emitter. Are we talking about CAS from twenty miles away?
Regarding intercepting the incoming munitions using SPAAAGs, is there any precedent for that? I keep hearing about it but don't know of an actual test where that was done.
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Offline Jeb

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #90 on: July 01, 2016, 11:10:37 am »
Interesting article. I always wondered how you can claim to remain undetected to radar whilst being physically close to the emitter (remember radar-range equation works against you) and loitering, thus presumably periodically presenting RCS spikes to an emitter. Are we talking about CAS from twenty miles away?
Regarding intercepting the incoming munitions using SPAAAGs, is there any precedent for that? I keep hearing about it but don't know of an actual test where that was done.

Therein lies one advantage of a Gen 5 platform...you've got the stealth aspect that lets you ghost off into a lower-signal area (be where the enemy's attention isn't, inasmuch as that can be accomplished) and then if/when a call for an airstrike comes in, you've got the speed, and hopefully the benefit of altitude, to dash from your quiet space into the hot zone, deliver your smart munitions on the target (no need to lase or line up a manual bomb run), and dash right on out. It's not really that important to be totally invisible through the whole thing, just hard enough to lock up and kill that you leave the SAM operators pissed off and maybe in a cold sweat because "Now they know where we are..."


Offline kaiserd

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #91 on: July 01, 2016, 11:36:52 am »
Interesting article. I always wondered how you can claim to remain undetected to radar whilst being physically close to the emitter (remember radar-range equation works against you) and loitering, thus presumably periodically presenting RCS spikes to an emitter. Are we talking about CAS from twenty miles away?
Regarding intercepting the incoming munitions using SPAAAGs, is there any precedent for that? I keep hearing about it but don't know of an actual test where that was done.

I agree with you that the article was thought provoking (and with your suggestion that perhaps the author may be somewhat over stating various systems capabilities against actual munitions).

The realistic point that an expensive stealthy tailored A-10 replacement isn't worth pursuing is well made.
The only aspect I would add is that some of the CAS role could potentialy be forefilled by F-35 level platforms making greater use of longer range stand-off weapons; achieving many of the same results in a different way.

Relatively small numbers of less ambitious CAS tailored aircraft will have a place in the inventory but best not to aim at a high levels of survivability against true peer level defences (or pretend that a dedicated straffer as being suggested in discussions above can survive and prosper except against very low threat levels).

Offline jsport

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #92 on: July 01, 2016, 11:43:57 am »
http://warontherocks.com/2016/06/the-myth-of-high-threat-close-air-support/
thank you for posting BM. assumed disagreement at first but ... even P-munitions are currently and are going to be progressively more threatened. 

Online marauder2048

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #93 on: July 01, 2016, 01:47:14 pm »
Interesting article.


Not really. It's full of factual errors e.g. radar guided 57mm AAA and high end SAMs were commonly encountered in the late Vietnam War period in CAS operations. It completely ignores CAS operations over Yugoslavia which demonstrated that AAA and heat seeking SAMs could be suppressed. And then there are the logical inconsistencies most notably the conclusion: the author's magical artillery solution will (at a claimed lower cost) penetrate the SPaaGs and terminal air defense systems that are apparently capable of attriting air launched weaponry into oblivion.

Offline jsport

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #94 on: July 01, 2016, 05:48:22 pm »
Interesting article.


Not really. It's full of factual errors e.g. radar guided 57mm AAA and high end SAMs were commonly encountered in the late Vietnam War period in CAS operations. It completely ignores CAS operations over Yugoslavia which demonstrated that AAA and heat seeking SAMs could be suppressed. And then there are the logical inconsistencies most notably the conclusion: the author's magical artillery solution will (at a claimed lower cost) penetrate the SPaaGs and terminal air defense systems that are apparently capable of attriting air launched weaponry into oblivion.

http://www.strategycenter.net/research/pubID.152/pub_detail.asp

At the 2007 IDEX show Chinese sources were willing to offer some comments on a successor tracked SPAAG-M that had been partially revealed by late 2006 Internet images. They confirmed that it would be armed by a twin 35mm cannon and new SAMs they would not identify. Following the pattern of the Type-95, and the Russian ZSU-23 or the German Gepard, targeting would be provided by a combination of tracking and search radar, plus optical systems. Chinese sources also said the 35mm gun would utilize AHEAD (Advanced Hit Efficiency and Destruction) type technology. Originally developed by the Swiss firm Oerlikon Contraves AG (now part of Germany’s Rhinemetall Defense), this unique system uses electromagnetic inductors at the end of the gun barrel to measure the speed of the shell, and then to convey a signal to the shell’s fuse to produce a precisely timed explosion, to allow the disbursal of 152 tungsten subprojectiles in the path of the incoming missile or aircraft. The Oerlikon gun fires at 1,000 rounds per minute (RPM), and typical 25-round burst is used to create a "cloud" of 3,800 tungsten projectiles which shreds incoming missiles or precision-guided munitions (PGMs).

    
    
In the late 1980s China purchased a license to co-produce some quantity of an earlier version of the Oerlikon 35mm gun but did not acquire the license to co-produce the unique AHEAD ammunition. However, the source for China’s claim to have AHEAD capability in its new tracked SPAAG was revealed at IDEX: after a European source had identified the 35mm gun on the new SPAAG as South African in origin, South African sources then confirmed that China had purchased the DENEL 35mm Dual Purpose Gun "several years ago." DENEL literature describes this gun, originally designed for naval use, as being upgradeable with AHEAD "In collaboration with Oerlikon Contraves AG…" It cannot be confirmed whether China also obtained the capability to manufacture the AHEAD ammunition from South Africa. However, this is a possibility given the Chinese claim to have AHEAD for this new 35mm tracked SPAAG. It is also possible that South Africa provided additional "consulting" for this SPAAG, perhaps based on its defunct twin-35mm cannon ZA-35 project of the 1980s, which reportedly also formed the basis for Poland’s PZA Loara twin-35mm tracked SPAAG."

Offline jsport

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #95 on: July 01, 2016, 06:17:26 pm »
Interesting article.


Not really. It's full of factual errors e.g. radar guided 57mm AAA and high end SAMs were commonly encountered in the late Vietnam War period in CAS operations. It completely ignores CAS operations over Yugoslavia which demonstrated that AAA and heat seeking SAMs could be suppressed. And then there are the logical inconsistencies most notably the conclusion: the author's magical artillery solution will (at a claimed lower cost) penetrate the SPaaGs and terminal air defense systems that are apparently capable of attriting air launched weaponry into oblivion.

http://warsonline.info/pvo/kontsern-almaz-antey-sozdaet-noveyshiy-zrk-blizhnego-radiusa-deystviya-morfey.html

Online marauder2048

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #96 on: July 01, 2016, 06:40:09 pm »
Quote
to create a "cloud" of 3,800 tungsten projectiles which shreds incoming missiles or precision-guided munitions

IOW, a recipe for radar blackout which complicates kill assessment and follow-up engagements. This, in part, is why there has been a shift to more intelligent shells and HTK techniques.

SPAAGs are going to want to stay away from close contact with enemy ground forces (i.e. a CAS scenario) since they are vulnerable to the lightest of anti-tank weapons. Recall, SPAAGs and other mechanized air defense systems (the "funnies") were at the top of the priority target list for NATO anti-armor teams.

Offline fightingirish

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #97 on: July 22, 2016, 04:45:20 am »
Quote
A-10 Warthog Replacement: U.S. Air Force Considers Two-Step Approach
Aerospace Daily & Defense Report
Lara Seligman
Jul 21, 2016

The U.S. Air Force is contemplating pursuing a low-end, light attack “OA-X” aircraft to augment the A-10 Warthog in a close-air support (CAS) role, while simultaneously aiming for a more robust replacement, dubbed “A-X2,” down the line.
As the Air Force prepares to start sunsetting the beloved A-10 in fiscal year 2018, the service is still deciding on a path ahead for CAS. During a July 20 meeting, U.S. Air Force officials briefed outside stakeholders on the most recent thinking, detailing the possibility of pursuing two separate light-attack aircraft, potentially in parallel, to meet immediate and long-term needs.

The service officials detailed a possible “OA-X” for solely permissive environments, according to Mark Gunzinger, an analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. OA-X would be a low-end, low-cost, non-developmental aircraft meant to augment the Air Force’s existing light attack capabilities, he said.

For OA-X, the officials said the Air Force would likely look to an existing airframe, such as the A-29 Super Tucano or the AT-6 trainer, for use in a low-threat battlespace, said Loren Thompson, an analyst with the Lexington Institute.

The Air Force does not see OA-X as a replacement for the A-10, but rather as a supplemental capability, Gunzinger stressed.

Simultaneously, the service is also looking into an “A-X2” as a long-term Warthog replacement, the analysts said. Ideally, A-X2 would be designed to operate in a moderate- to low-threat regime, meaning that it could fight in some contested conditions. The service officials left the door open as to whether A-X2 would be an existing airframe or an entirely new aircraft, but noted that affordability and speed to ramp would be critical.

The push for a new light attack capability comes as the Air Force faces budget constraints and a readiness gap across the fleet. The service is looking at potentially adding a cheap, off-the-shelf aircraft to not only to fulfill the CAS role, but also to augment pilot training and add some new cockpits to the fleet, said Rebecca Grant, president of IRIS Independent Research.

“One way they can assist with their readiness is to have some additional cockpits available … maybe this is two birds with one stone,” Grant said. “I think they feel they need to buy some new planes.”

Gunzinger stressed that details are yet to be finalized, but said he thinks the Air Force could allocate money for the program as soon as the 2019 Program Objective Memorandum (POM).

“They are thinking about how to continue to support this critical mission area given that they have an aging force, a smaller force, and readiness issues and of course definitely budget issues,” Gunzinger said. “This is a very concrete signal that the Air Force is committed to supporting our men and women on the ground.”

Gunzinger also raised the possibility that one or both could be funded through the supplemental war fund, called the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account.

But Thompson said the Air Force may see pushback if it attempts to add two separate aircraft to the modernization plan.

“The reason why they are looking at that instead of simply maintaining the A-10 is because they claim the A-10 costs too much,” Thompson said. “But now they are going to try to add two aircraft to their modernization plan that no one was expecting.”
Source: http://aviationweek.com/defense/10-warthog-replacement-us-air-force-considers-two-step-approach
« Last Edit: July 22, 2016, 04:51:17 am by fightingirish »
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Offline AeroFranz

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #98 on: July 22, 2016, 08:39:33 pm »
I think there is room below the F-35 for an affordable, low-threat, CAS machine. I don't know that there is room for a third tier though!
Adopting a dual-role platform (training in peace time, CAS in war time) is attractive. Much of the required CAS/ISR capability can be left out of the airframe and supplemented when needed with pods (NGMS OpenPod comes to mind). It would make sense to wire all the airframes for the capability, just not carry it all the time.
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Offline CiTrus90

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #99 on: July 23, 2016, 01:34:59 am »
Quote
The U.S. Air Force is contemplating pursuing a low-end, light attack “OA-X” aircraft to augment the A-10 Warthog in a close-air support (CAS) role, while simultaneously aiming for a more robust replacement, dubbed “A-X2,” down the line.

[...] the possibility of pursuing two separate light-attack aircraft, potentially in parallel, to meet immediate and long-term needs.

[...]“OA-X” for solely permissive environments [...] low-end, low-cost, non-developmental aircraft meant to augment the Air Force’s existing light attack capabilities.

[...]The Air Force does not see OA-X as a replacement for the A-10, but rather as a supplemental capability.

[...]Simultaneously, the service is also looking into an “A-X2” as a long-term Warthog replacement [...] designed to operate in a moderate- to low-threat regime, meaning that it could fight in some contested conditions. The service officials left the door open as to whether A-X2 would be an existing airframe or an entirely new aircraft, but noted that affordability and speed to ramp would be critical.

[...] The service is looking at potentially adding a cheap, off-the-shelf aircraft to not only to fulfill the CAS role, but also to augment pilot training and add some new cockpits to the fleet.

[...] "I think they feel they need to buy some new planes.”

[...]But Thompson said the Air Force may see pushback if it attempts to add two separate aircraft to the modernization plan.

I can't shake off the impression that the author of this article really meant to say OA-X = Textron Scorpion and A-X2 = T-X offshoot.

Regards.
Regards.

L. Landino

Offline kaiserd

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #100 on: July 23, 2016, 02:43:06 am »
Quote
The U.S. Air Force is contemplating pursuing a low-end, light attack “OA-X” aircraft to augment the A-10 Warthog in a close-air support (CAS) role, while simultaneously aiming for a more robust replacement, dubbed “A-X2,” down the line.

[...] the possibility of pursuing two separate light-attack aircraft, potentially in parallel, to meet immediate and long-term needs.

[...]“OA-X” for solely permissive environments [...] low-end, low-cost, non-developmental aircraft meant to augment the Air Force’s existing light attack capabilities.

[...]The Air Force does not see OA-X as a replacement for the A-10, but rather as a supplemental capability.

[...]Simultaneously, the service is also looking into an “A-X2” as a long-term Warthog replacement [...] designed to operate in a moderate- to low-threat regime, meaning that it could fight in some contested conditions. The service officials left the door open as to whether A-X2 would be an existing airframe or an entirely new aircraft, but noted that affordability and speed to ramp would be critical.

[...] The service is looking at potentially adding a cheap, off-the-shelf aircraft to not only to fulfill the CAS role, but also to augment pilot training and add some new cockpits to the fleet.

[...] "I think they feel they need to buy some new planes.”

[...]But Thompson said the Air Force may see pushback if it attempts to add two separate aircraft to the modernization plan.

I can't shake off the impression that the author of this article really meant to say OA-X = Textron Scorpion and A-X2 = T-X offshoot.

Regards.

In reality the OA-X would logically be an off the shelf purchase of a realitively smal number (approx 100) of an existing turboprop CAS aircraft such as the Super Tucano

I still don't see the logic of a A-X2, especially if developed out of the T-X. Apart from being nominally cheaper to purchase why would a T-X derived airframe be any more suited to the CAS role than, say, an F-16 or even F-35. It would be no more tailored for the role and would be less useful and less survivable.
Instead perhaps more clearly seen as a third tier aircraft for the US airforce really intended for political purposes; an aircraft to help secure the T-X, equip air national guard units and keep bases open but essentially not to be risked against anything but the least capable opponents. It would actualy make more sense to spend the same money on some new F-16s (or just more F-35s) but such a procurement strategy is not about making sense.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2016, 02:51:27 am by kaiserd »

Offline Dragon029

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #101 on: July 23, 2016, 03:58:45 am »
A lot of my opinion is subject to timelines, budgets, what OA-X is, etc, but I think A-X2 could or potentially should be something like an unmanned T-X variant.

I think that if you're dealing with insurgents that are rarely equipped with anything other than small arms, a reasonably armoured, simplistic COIN aircraft like the Super Tucano should be fine and could become OA-X. For high-end / WW3 / Marines storming Shanghai or the western plains of Russia or whatever, you'd naturally have a mix of platforms, but you'd be a bit more more reliant on B-21s, F-35s and potentially F-22s for CAS.

For the middle ground; like for the opening days of an invasion of Iran or the second offensive wave of North Korea, it'd be dangerous to have Super Tucanos flying around, but it might also be unnecessary to have 5th gen assets performing the majority of CAS. Something like a T-X variant might be ideal, but I would expect such a plane to be relatively lightly armoured, if at all, and I'd also expect it to sparingly use unguided munitions, meaning that it's dollars per kill ratio might not be that much greater. There's nothing inherently preventing such a plane from doing rocket attacks and gun runs, but even A-10s generally leave those attacks until the enemy's first been softened up with PGMs.

If such a plane can be small and relatively cheap, by maximising the economy of scale benefits through commonality with T-X, an unmanned conversion could be a good solution; cheaper to operate due to the reduced training usage, relatively expendable if it does for a gun run and hidden AAA tears it apart, and it can alleviate the concerns about having "non-CAS pilots" flying the airframes. An evolution of DARPA's work with PCAS could even allow the systems to be slaved directly to JTACs in the area.

Offline DrRansom

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #102 on: July 23, 2016, 06:42:53 am »
I can see a role for a straight A-10 replacement. To begin with, there is the cost issue. From what we've seen of the F-35, CPFH is a serious concern for the USAF, hence the interest in doing training in T-X and more advanced simulators. Meanwhile, a lesson from Iraq/Afghanistan is the importance of having a dedicated CAS group which trains extensively with the Army on maneuvers. Thus, a F-35 based CAS squadron will have to spend a lot of time training in T-X platform. At which point, you may ask, why not give it a T-X like platform...

Second, and more importantly, CAS is a doctrinally less important mission. In a medium to high intensity conflict, the USAF will want to use its expensive F-35 squadrons for the important missions: OCA, SEAD, Interdiction, etc. An AX-2 which costs half as much as a F-35 can do the frontline CAS at a much cheaper rate than F-35. In other words, why waste the F-35 on a mission where it might blow up a tank or two before returning to refuel and rearm. Furthermore, AX-2 will be more suited to dispersed operations, allowing it to do rapid turnaround for CAS.

Lastly, I don't really think that high-end CAS is actually a thing. If the front line is too dangerous for an A-10 style replacement, it is too dangerous for anything running CAS. (Pantsir S1 has a missile altitude of  15km) If there is unsuppresed high-end Air Defenses, CAS has to come from Army artillery, not the USAF. Again, a CAS mission in high-end environment is putting an expensive stealth fighter at risk for the possibility of killing a few tanks.

Side question: Can the F-35 carry CBUs internally? Is there a provision for putting dumb bombs internal? I wonder, because I suspect smart nom munition shortage will be a problem in a future high end battle.

Offline jsport

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #103 on: July 24, 2016, 01:18:52 pm »
Russian Air Defence Systems (Almaz Antey Concern)


take a gander at start minute 2:36
Gazetchik E
Radar protection Equipment


Offline TomS

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #104 on: July 24, 2016, 07:27:23 pm »

Side question: Can the F-35 carry CBUs internally? Is there a provision for putting dumb bombs internal? I wonder, because I suspect smart nom munition shortage will be a problem in a future high end battle.

Eventually WCMD internally.  Nothing dumb internally, and only a very few types externally.  If they do have shortages, they'll still reserve smart weapons for missions where internal carriage is needed.

Offline Triton

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #105 on: July 25, 2016, 12:28:32 pm »
I wonder how much this notional A-X program is related to the Light Attack/Armed Reconnaissance (LAAR) or Light Air Support (LAS) program. I also wonder if the United States Air Force will purchase the Sierra Nevada A-29 Super Tucano and/or the Beech AT-6 Wolverine if the war against ISIS involves boots on the ground.

Offline TomS

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #106 on: July 25, 2016, 01:00:13 pm »
Sounds like LAS with just enough changed to justify a new competition for Beechcraft to win protest again.

Offline jsport

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #107 on: July 27, 2016, 09:33:51 am »
Discussion about the F/A--XX needing a deep magazine is correct. A magazine of standoff survivable swarms maybe. The whole strategy of current technology PGMs is in question not to mentioned a survivable CAS aircraft. Soon even individual vehicles may possess APSs which can defeat traditional PGMs not mention all the evolving IADS tech previous mentioned on this thread.  This of course doesn't even address the DEW threat to PGMs.

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/1893973/china-moves-big-step-closer-star-wars-laser-weapons

Offline CiTrus90

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #108 on: July 28, 2016, 12:00:51 am »
I can't see OA-X to be a turboprop single engine aircraft.

Just for an example, consider the OV-10s deployed to Iraq. The USAF did not choose to send the A-29 or the AT-6, why would that be?
I suspect 3 main reasons: range, payload, survivability.

A-29 and AT-6 are single engined aircraft, if the engine cuts out or gets hit (of high importance in the last period, keeping into consideration the proliferation of MANPADS), the crew has lower chances to make it back to base compared to a twin engined aircraft.

Considering the modern operational theaters, the areas to be patrolled and interdicted are wide, and an aircraft providing CAS is required to stay on station for an effective amount of time. With an A-29 or an AT-6 you have short legs; you can extend their range with external fuel tanks, but this comes at the price of sacrificing the amount of deliverable payload on targets.

It's true turboprops have lower operating cost in regards to a jet aircraft, but while they can be more than effective for the training role and for homeland defence roles, they're not an effective asset that can be deployed to a front-line, even considering a low-threat asymmetrical battlefield.

The Scorpion gives a solution to all these issues. It's been built from the get go as as a trainer, light attack and ISR platform. True, it comes at a higer price and slightly higher operating costs, but it offers much more than a single engined turboprop could. It's in the middle: not as cheap as it could be, and not as expensive as other platforms for the performances it provides.

Moreover, there could be political reasons for such a choice. The Scorpion is currently awaiting a launch customer; while it has been received with much interest by many, so far no state seems to be currently willing to be the first one to field it. Without a US launch customer it may probably never get into production.

Also, the T-6 II is already in use in the US, so it would be a logical choice to go (taking into consideration only the economical aspects) with the AT-6 for that role. But, the AT-6 is a Beechcraft product, and Beechcraft is part of Textron Aviation. While the AT-6 may still have a market for a decade at most, the Scorpion could have at least two decades of production ahead of itself. I guess Textron would be more willing to push the Scorpion for the role rather than the Wolverine.

But this is just my opinion...
Regards.

L. Landino

Offline DrRansom

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #109 on: July 28, 2016, 01:51:01 pm »
Whatever replaces the A-10, high end or low end, has to be small arms resistant, up to 14.5mm. I don't know if the light attack craft are up to that task...

Offline Arian

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #110 on: July 30, 2016, 07:32:39 pm »
take a gander at start minute 2:36
Gazetchik E
Radar protection Equipment

Looks like chaff launchers. How are those going to stop a weapon which doesn't rely on radar to engage a radar? Those radar self-defense systems have been around for several decades already, either false emitters to draw HARM fire away from the radar or chaff launchers like the ones shown in the video.

None of that would really work against the guidance used on modern AD suppression weapons. Not when you have targeting solutions being drawn not only from passive emitter detection but also by SAR maps of an area which will be able to visually detect the locations of radars and AD equipment, giving you GPS coordinates which you can then use to attack with any number of weapons. These decoy/self-defense systems are designed to deal with the weapons of the 90s, not of today.

These AX-2 types of requirements aren't for "second wave" attacks after F-35 has suppressed enemy AD. That's still going to be F-35s, but probably mounting external weapons at that point. With the large fleet of F-35 planned, this isn't about conserving F-35s and using a cheaper plane for the job. AX-2 is likely for scenarios where you need loitering + ISR capability and weapons that don't need to be 500lb class. Which means you're not going to need hundreds of these planes, but probably a small force. Something a bit more versatile and cheaper than a Reaper drone.

That's this thing: http://www.scorpionjet.com/

Offline kaiserd

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #111 on: July 31, 2016, 01:45:51 am »
With all due respect do some of you guys have shares in the Scorpion?

The US airforce isn't going to buy the thing to just boast its export potential.

The hard facts are that you have a cheaper, proven CAS/ COIN aircraft like the A-29 Tucano versus an unproven aircraft (Scorpion) which has technical issues (need for a new/ developed wing) and that would need considerable development for the CAS role (for example currently featuring any armour?).

If the US airforce decides that the a A-29 Tucano type-solution isn't for them then a new set of requirements will be written and a new design will surely emerge. The odds of everything to align for the Scorpion are very small (even a T-X based solution, which I wouldn't be a fan of, makes more sense.)
« Last Edit: July 31, 2016, 01:47:48 am by kaiserd »

Offline Sundog

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #112 on: July 31, 2016, 07:05:45 am »
With all due respect do some of you guys have shares in the Scorpion?

The US airforce isn't going to buy the thing to just boast its export potential.

The hard facts are that you have a cheaper, proven CAS/ COIN aircraft like the A-29 Tucano versus an unproven aircraft (Scorpion) which has technical issues (need for a new/ developed wing) and that would need considerable development for the CAS role (for example currently featuring any armour?).

If the US airforce decides that the a A-29 Tucano type-solution isn't for them then a new set of requirements will be written and a new design will surely emerge. The odds of everything to align for the Scorpion are very small (even a T-X based solution, which I wouldn't be a fan of, makes more sense.)

The Scorpion doesn't need the armor, because it doesn't get low, it targets our of range of ground fire. The redesigned wing is already designed and is going to fly this year, so that isn't even an issue. The Scorpion is actually much closer to filling the CAS role than the TX role. None of us supporting the Scorpion are talking about it being a low alt gun platform. We're talking more along the lines of what F-16s and F-35s will do, but at much lower cost in permissive environments like they're flying now. A down low gun platform would require an all new design, the A-29 couldn't even come close to replacing the A-10 in that role. The USAF doesn't like the A-10 as it is and they would like the A-29 even less.

Also, Textron didn't offer the Scorpion for the TX program because they knew it couldn't even come close to meeting the performance specifications, so that was always a non starter.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #113 on: July 31, 2016, 11:21:59 am »
Unfortunately, we aren't hearing what the customer wants, the United States Army and the United States Marine Corps, in this discussion. The discussion is limited to the service that the United States Air Force is willing to provide.

Offline CiTrus90

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #114 on: July 31, 2016, 01:27:04 pm »
With all due respect do some of you guys have shares in the Scorpion?

No, I don't :D

Quote
The hard facts are that you have a cheaper, proven CAS/ COIN aircraft like the A-29 Tucano versus an unproven aircraft (Scorpion)

Proven CAS/COIN aircraft as in "it's an aircraft that has seen service since 2003" or proven as in "combat proven"?

Because if you mean the first, yes you're right. It's an already developed platform, fully mature. It can be bought as is, but you won't probably see much room for potential future upgrades for it.

If you mean combat proven, I disagree. Bombing narcos airfields in the jungle doesn't mean providing CAS to troops on the ground.
It may have been a good candidate at providing CAS until some 2 or 3 years ago, but now MANPADS are an issue. I keep insisting on this point, because a MANPADS is the highest level of threat an aircraft providing CAS should be facing. If there is A2/AD in place CAS should not be conducted, because no aircraft would be able to survive it (unless we're talking about a stealth one).

Moreover, putting aside the MANPADS threat, and just thinking about 14.5mm or higher caliber weapons, is it easier to target an aircraft flying at 590km/h or one that can fly at 833km/h?

Again, speed is paramount for 2 reasons: first, the faster you run the higher chances you have to outrun whatever they're throwing at you, and second, higher speeds mean you're able to reach the guys who need you for CAS faster, and this saves lives.

Notice how the A-10 max speed is 706km/h and cruise speed is 560km/h.
The Super Tucano tops at 590km/h and cruises at 520km/h.
I wonder how much they change when they fly with a full loadout, but I suppose the Scorpion would still retain a higher speed than the A-29. And it stalls at 176km/h, so while the Scorpion can slow down if needed, the A-29 cannot speed up.

You could tell me the A-29, being slower, has a better turn rate so it could get back in the area faster, but this in turn would mean never leaving the area in the first place. This exposes the aircraft to a higher possibility of being fired upon from the ground and creates deconfliction issues with whatever may be needed in the area where CAS is being conducted (e.g. artillery strikes, MEDEVAC...).

Quote
(Scorpion) which has technical issues (need for a new/ developed wing) and that would need considerable development for the CAS role (for example currently featuring any armour?).

The wing is being worked upon. Was the prototype EMB-314 ready for the CAS role when it rolled out?

Quote
If the US airforce decides that the a A-29 Tucano type-solution isn't for them then a new set of requirements will be written and a new design will surely emerge. The odds of everything to align for the Scorpion are very small (even a T-X based solution, which I wouldn't be a fan of, makes more sense.)

If, and it's a big IF, things stay like they are, they clearly stated they need a new aircraft in the short term, while waiting for a better platform to take over the A-10s role.
If they really want a new aircraft as soon as possible to complement the A-10, which I somewhat doubt because we're talking about the Air Force, they will not wait for a company to start a new project up from scratch. It's now or never, which is also the reason I see with some suspicion the fact that Boeing recently entered a development partnership to produce a militarized version of the South African Ahrlac.

The T-X solution would be a good idea in order to standardize the fleet, much as with what is happening with the KAI TA-50, FA-50. It could do pretty much the same an F-16 currently does, but it would never be a true successor for the A-10, so in this aspect it's quite misleading to call it the A-X2. But the era for dedicated single role aircraft is over.
Regards.

L. Landino

Offline kaiserd

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #115 on: July 31, 2016, 03:21:30 pm »
With all due respect do some of you guys have shares in the Scorpion?

No, I don't :D

Quote
The hard facts are that you have a cheaper, proven CAS/ COIN aircraft like the A-29 Tucano versus an unproven aircraft (Scorpion)

Proven CAS/COIN aircraft as in "it's an aircraft that has seen service since 2003" or proven as in "combat proven"?

Because if you mean the first, yes you're right. It's an already developed platform, fully mature. It can be bought as is, but you won't probably see much room for potential future upgrades for it.

If you mean combat proven, I disagree. Bombing narcos airfields in the jungle doesn't mean providing CAS to troops on the ground.
It may have been a good candidate at providing CAS until some 2 or 3 years ago, but now MANPADS are an issue. I keep insisting on this point, because a MANPADS is the highest level of threat an aircraft providing CAS should be facing. If there is A2/AD in place CAS should not be conducted, because no aircraft would be able to survive it (unless we're talking about a stealth one).

Moreover, putting aside the MANPADS threat, and just thinking about 14.5mm or higher caliber weapons, is it easier to target an aircraft flying at 590km/h or one that can fly at 833km/h?

Again, speed is paramount for 2 reasons: first, the faster you run the higher chances you have to outrun whatever they're throwing at you, and second, higher speeds mean you're able to reach the guys who need you for CAS faster, and this saves lives.

Notice how the A-10 max speed is 706km/h and cruise speed is 560km/h.
The Super Tucano tops at 590km/h and cruises at 520km/h.
I wonder how much they change when they fly with a full loadout, but I suppose the Scorpion would still retain a higher speed than the A-29. And it stalls at 176km/h, so while the Scorpion can slow down if needed, the A-29 cannot speed up.

You could tell me the A-29, being slower, has a better turn rate so it could get back in the area faster, but this in turn would mean never leaving the area in the first place. This exposes the aircraft to a higher possibility of being fired upon from the ground and creates deconfliction issues with whatever may be needed in the area where CAS is being conducted (e.g. artillery strikes, MEDEVAC...).

Quote
(Scorpion) which has technical issues (need for a new/ developed wing) and that would need considerable development for the CAS role (for example currently featuring any armour?).

The wing is being worked upon. Was the prototype EMB-314 ready for the CAS role when it rolled out?

Quote
If the US airforce decides that the a A-29 Tucano type-solution isn't for them then a new set of requirements will be written and a new design will surely emerge. The odds of everything to align for the Scorpion are very small (even a T-X based solution, which I wouldn't be a fan of, makes more sense.)

If, and it's a big IF, things stay like they are, they clearly stated they need a new aircraft in the short term, while waiting for a better platform to take over the A-10s role.
If they really want a new aircraft as soon as possible to complement the A-10, which I somewhat doubt because we're talking about the Air Force, they will not wait for a company to start a new project up from scratch. It's now or never, which is also the reason I see with some suspicion the fact that Boeing recently entered a development partnership to produce a militarized version of the South African Ahrlac.

The T-X solution would be a good idea in order to standardize the fleet, much as with what is happening with the KAI TA-50, FA-50. It could do pretty much the same an F-16 currently does, but it would never be a true successor for the A-10, so in this aspect it's quite misleading to call it the A-X2. But the era for dedicated single role aircraft is over.

The reality is that we are likely talking about a buy of a small number of cheap limited capability aircraft to complement more expensive and survivable types (the F-35 being the obvious example); in that context a A-29 like solution makes most sense.
If facing actualy threatening air defences (including latest generation MANPADS) then for political and other reasons less survivable typed like a Scorpion just won't be risked; it will be the likes of F-16s and F-35s from medium altitude with stand-off weapons. The Scorpion offers very marginal unproven and unnecessary performance advantages over existing proven turboprop alternatives for the level of threat it would be politically acceptable to send either against.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2016, 03:24:45 pm by kaiserd »

Offline Arian

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #116 on: July 31, 2016, 06:38:21 pm »
Yes, a small number of limited capability aircraft is likely what we're talking about. Providing CAS after the heavy AD have been suppressed. But as we've seen in Ukraine and Syria and Yemen and Georgia, no matter the environment, the threat of MANPADs and light AAA is always going to be there and going to be very dangerous for any aircraft flying within their envelope.

An A-29 just isn't going to cut it. Not enough firepower or ISR capability. CAS is going to be from higher latitudes and outside the range of such weapons, with a gun option thrown in. Which means you'll need to carry lots of sensors to be able to carry out that mission from outside the range of short-range AD, unless you want to lose aircraft daily. If its not going to be the Scorpion, it's going to be something very similar to the Scorpion.

I am less convinced of a T-X solution because at that point you're simply talking a small F-16 type airplane.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #117 on: July 31, 2016, 08:38:10 pm »
This exposes the aircraft to a higher possibility of being fired upon from the ground and creates deconfliction issues with whatever may be needed in the area where CAS is being conducted (e.g. artillery strikes, MEDEVAC...).

The deconfliction issues are going to become more pronounced as extended range mortars and artillery become more prevalent; the 81mm ACERM (a winged mortar with forward canards) stays above 1000m over most of its flight path out to 20+ km.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2016, 09:00:05 pm by marauder2048 »

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #118 on: August 04, 2016, 01:08:05 pm »
It's also instructive to see the capabilities that will be coming to the AC-130J (~ $5000 CPFH) in the next few years. (From SOFIC 2016). And since I got tired of looking at 3D renderings of Dynetics' Small Glide Munition there are some actual photos.


« Last Edit: August 04, 2016, 02:32:12 pm by marauder2048 »

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #119 on: August 04, 2016, 01:14:53 pm »
Slide showing development and fielding plans for SGM.

Offline Hood

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #120 on: August 05, 2016, 01:07:44 am »
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/usaf-air-combat-command-chief-skeptical-over-new-air-428185/

Related Flight article, the USAF sees no real role for a low-end type and even if it did there probably no money to buy a new fleet anyway.

Offline kaiserd

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #121 on: August 05, 2016, 10:26:26 am »
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/usaf-air-combat-command-chief-skeptical-over-new-air-428185/

Related Flight article, the USAF sees no real role for a low-end type and even if it did there probably no money to buy a new fleet anyway.

Any such plans may have to wait until the A-10s are about to go (i.e. when US airforce no longer forced to retain them). However it does put talk of a realistic likelihood of a new more expensive survivable CAS dedicated platform into context.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #122 on: August 05, 2016, 11:54:21 am »

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #123 on: August 05, 2016, 12:08:57 pm »
OPINION: Why US Air Force needs a low-cost gun-slinger

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/opinion-why-us-air-force-needs-a-low-cost-gun-sling-428223/

It's probably a good thing that this incredibly poorly reasoned piece of drivel doesn't have a byline attached to it.

Offline CiTrus90

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #124 on: August 05, 2016, 12:36:34 pm »
OPINION: Why US Air Force needs a low-cost gun-slinger

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/opinion-why-us-air-force-needs-a-low-cost-gun-sling-428223/

A Super Tucano costs less than a F-35, so it's good value.

Ok.

So, given that grass is cheaper we should just eat that, rather than groceries.
Or gravel...or sand...there is plenty of that and it's free, like...you know...good value...

Do the ones that write these articles get paid?

If I were his editor I'd feel ripped off.
Regards.

L. Landino

Offline Triton

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #125 on: August 05, 2016, 02:03:11 pm »
You can pay £145, €179, or US$229 a year for such well-researched and well-reasoned analysis and opinion.  ::)


« Last Edit: August 05, 2016, 02:13:57 pm by Triton »

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #126 on: August 05, 2016, 02:27:38 pm »
So explain to me why Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) isn't trading in their AC-130 gunships for F-35s?

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #127 on: August 05, 2016, 02:52:49 pm »
So explain to me why Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) isn't trading in their AC-130 gunships for F-35s?

AFSOC does not operate fast jets.  Or were you just being fatuous?

Offline Triton

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #128 on: August 05, 2016, 03:15:53 pm »
No, I am not being facetious. Re-read what General Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle wrote:
Quote
“The idea of a low-end CAS platform that’s being discussed inside the air force, it’s one that I’m struggling with a little bit,” Carlisle says. “Given the evolving threat environment, I sometimes wonder what permissive in the future is going to look like or if there’s going to be any such thing with the proliferation of potential adversaries out there and the threats.”

If you can't operate the A-10 in the future threat environment to provide CAS, how can you operate a non -Stealth four-engined turboprop gunship based on the C-130?


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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #129 on: August 05, 2016, 03:37:44 pm »
No, I am not being facetious. Re-read what General Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle wrote:
Quote
“The idea of a low-end CAS platform that’s being discussed inside the air force, it’s one that I’m struggling with a little bit,” Carlisle says. “Given the evolving threat environment, I sometimes wonder what permissive in the future is going to look like or if there’s going to be any such thing with the proliferation of potential adversaries out there and the threats.”

If you can't operate the A-10 in the future threat environment to provide CAS, how can you operate a non -Stealth four-engined turboprop gunship based on the C-130?

Self-deployed drone(s) + a deep magazine of standoff weapons + defensive DEWs.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2016, 03:39:30 pm by marauder2048 »

Offline kaiserd

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #130 on: August 06, 2016, 12:56:22 am »
No, I am not being facetious. Re-read what General Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle wrote:
Quote
“The idea of a low-end CAS platform that’s being discussed inside the air force, it’s one that I’m struggling with a little bit,” Carlisle says. “Given the evolving threat environment, I sometimes wonder what permissive in the future is going to look like or if there’s going to be any such thing with the proliferation of potential adversaries out there and the threats.”

If you can't operate the A-10 in the future threat environment to provide CAS, how can you operate a non -Stealth four-engined turboprop gunship based on the C-130?

Self-deployed drone(s) + a deep magazine of standoff weapons + defensive DEWs.

There will almost certainly be a small niche role for dedicated CAS platforms like the Hercules gunships and possibly a relatively small number of Super Tucano type platforms.
However they will only ever be risked against opponents with the lowest/ most limited ability to shoot back, with developments like those mentioned above to allow them to continue to survive in that most benign threat environment as it evolves and gets tougher.

It's the guys peddling fantasies of a stealthy highly survivable future "A-10" designed and dedicated around low altitude straffing and the like (operating in manner even the A-10 now seldom does) that should take a reality check from these comments coming out of the US airforce; no money for it even if if technically feasible, which it isn't.

Offline Hood

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #131 on: August 06, 2016, 01:46:13 am »
The thrust of the Flightglobal articles is that if the USAF says the Super Tucano is vulnerable in the CAS role and there is no real need for them then why is the US actively selling them to its allies (Afghanistan) to do exactly the job the USAF says doesn't exist or it can't do. The double standards are probably USAF denial to save cash for its high-end platforms and a potential way to block the US Army getting any. I don't see any money coming forward for a new A-X for some time.

MANPADs have been around since the 1970s yet CAS aircraft have been operating since then quite successfully, I don't see that fundamentally changing.
The CAS role is so wide and varied that its no surprise the USAF doesn't know what it wants. Hunting a few terrorists in Toyota pick-ups, some maybe tooled up with an old Soviet twin 23mm in the back, is somewhat different to hunting down Russian and Chinese armoured formations and mobile artillery defended by modern SAM and SPAAG systems. The USAF is focused on the high-end of this spectrum but that's overly wasteful for the low-end in terms of resources and losses. Realistically the chances of being involved in the lower-end if far higher than the high-end. Modern air forces are so risk-adverse (to avoid losing expensive aircraft and pilots) but CAS is a dangerous business and losses are inevitable.


Offline JFC Fuller

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #132 on: August 06, 2016, 03:54:53 am »
Really? How many CAS losses did the USAF suffer in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Some of the favourite CAS assets for troops on the ground in Afghanistan were the B-1B and the F-15E. What was important was sensors and payload, not some romantic notion of swooping down low and strafing things. Fighters and bombers could stay high away from any ground fire and were essentially invulnerable whilst modern targeting pods combined with things like ROVER made them better able to provide CAS than any other asset before them. At the same time Reapers can provide long-endurance over-watch.

The Afghans are getting Super Tucanos because they are cheap and simple compared to an F-16 or a Reaper. 

Offline jsport

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #133 on: August 06, 2016, 08:52:40 am »
Really? How many CAS losses did the USAF suffer in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Some of the favourite CAS assets for troops on the ground in Afghanistan were the B-1B and the F-15E. What was important was sensors and payload, not some romantic notion of swooping down low and strafing things. Fighters and bombers could stay high away from any ground fire and were essentially invulnerable whilst modern targeting pods combined with things like ROVER made them better able to provide CAS than any other asset before them. At the same time Reapers can provide long-endurance over-watch.

The Afghans are getting Super Tucanos because they are cheap and simple compared to an F-16 or a Reaper.
Yes, getting anywhere close is becoming way too risky, even standoff is risky enough. Reapers are clay pigeons in such environments.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #134 on: August 06, 2016, 12:06:24 pm »
The thrust of the Flightglobal articles is that if the USAF says the Super Tucano is vulnerable in the CAS role and there is no real need for them then why is the US actively selling them to its allies (Afghanistan) to do exactly the job the USAF says doesn't exist or it can't do.

This is completely wrong; the A-29 in Afghan service is a replacement for the Mi-35 attack helicopters which struggle in the hot-and-high conditions that prevail in that country. A modern attack helicopter that could operate in those conditions is, at present, beyond the ability of the Afghans to afford or maintain.

MANPADs have been around since the 1970s yet CAS aircraft have been operating since then quite successfully, I don't see that fundamentally changing.

MANPADS have forced almost all CAS operations (I use the term loosely here since, for example, operations over Kosovo did not involve friendly forces in contact) to higher altitudes with the occasional excursion undertaken under conditions of good energy states and typically after the target area had been sanitized with GBUs, CBUs, missiles, etc.

Offline yasotay

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #135 on: August 07, 2016, 07:47:21 am »
What is most important to the soldier, those that this mission is designed for, is that the bad guys go boom.  The bigger the boom the better.  That said the moral factor of the GAU, or the 30mm chain gun on a helicopter to soldiers in combat cannot be overstated.  I have had the privilege of talking to several young men with multiple tours and they recall that the arrival of low flying aircraft was often enought to make the enemy break contact and leave.  When in an outpost the "freight train" arrival of a JDAM on a hillside tended to have the same effect.  In major conflict with constant explosions and massed fires, I suspect the soldier will not care where the weapons come from, as long as the people trying to kill them go away.

General Warfare  give me bombs on call.  In COIN having a noise to remind bad guys I can bring destruction down on them is an important factor.  In general warfare I want to turn aircraft as fast as I can.  In COIN I want to loiter.  There is no simple answer.

Offline quellish

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #136 on: August 07, 2016, 01:36:52 pm »
What was important was sensors and payload, not some romantic notion of swooping down low and strafing things.

This is incorrect and has been discussed many, many times on the forums in threads including this one:
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,20355.msg271382.html#msg271382

"Swooping down low and strafing things" is valuable, and often much more so than guided munitions such as JDAM and Hellfire.

There are different types of CAS and it is important to understand those to have informed discussion.

Offline kaiserd

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #137 on: August 07, 2016, 02:58:00 pm »
What was important was sensors and payload, not some romantic notion of swooping down low and strafing things.

This is incorrect and has been discussed many, many times on the forums in threads including this one:
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,20355.msg271382.html#msg271382

"Swooping down low and strafing things" is valuable, and often much more so than guided munitions such as JDAM and Hellfire.

There are different types of CAS and it is important to understand those to have informed discussion.

I think the point is that many contributors view that the swooping in low and strafing will get the aircraft killed in anything but the most benign threat environment and that the resulting necessarily solutions will have to involve greater standoff and precision weapons.
Other contributors (which I think included you but not looking to put words in your mouth) reasonably point to the proven utility (including specific examples) where such low level, staffing attacks have "saved the day", rescuing positions and saving lives.
No one that I can see disagrees. disrespects  or wishes to deny these cases. However (again not looking to put words in people's mouths) the view is that these approaches are only likely to be open going forward to low cost unmanned drones (that would be seen as disposable).
It is also not a question of bravery or commitment by airforce pilots; against future defenses they will have their own threats to face and defeat. It a case of being realistic about how CAS will have to be achieved going forward,

Offline Triton

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #138 on: August 07, 2016, 04:13:09 pm »
Will the Army and/or Marines perform the A-X mission themselves in the future with compound rotorcraft or tiltrotors? Will the Marines arm the MV-22 with Griffin missiles from the results of the PCAS study?

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #139 on: August 07, 2016, 08:14:06 pm »
"Swooping down low and strafing things" is valuable, and often much more so than guided munitions such as JDAM and Hellfire.

There are different types of CAS and it is important to understand those to have informed discussion.

The utility of strafing was never in doubt and the F-35, for example, has some of the most exacting requirements for strafing (in terms of dispersion, angle, range,  wind/aim wander compensation, lethality etc).

*But* if you look at recent historical instances where strafing was employed you'll often find it was not due to the proximity of friendlies in contact but due to (in no particular order):

1. PGM seeker limitations e.g. target contrast, target resolution
2. Munition release geometry/trajectory limitations
3. Probing uncertain target areas (barns, berms, etc.)
4. Stores depletion
5. Stores malfunction

With the exception of (3),  modern PGMs have gotten considerably better on all fronts. So while strafing is still important (and will be much safer to train for with Auto-GCAS) I tend to think it'll be less necessary and less frequent. 

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #140 on: August 07, 2016, 08:43:02 pm »
In the information age you are not going to do much strafIng in COIN at least without PID.  General warfare... threat will make it difficult at best.

Army will never do CAS.  That is the USAF's mission.  Army aviation will do hasty attacks though.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2016, 08:45:20 pm by yasotay »

Offline jsport

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #141 on: August 08, 2016, 07:30:26 am »
Future threat tanks maybe launching as many three classes of uas from a single tank while mounting ever advancing hard kill APS. both the USAF and the USA need to be thinking way more long term than they appear to be currently.

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Offline yasotay

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #143 on: August 08, 2016, 10:02:01 am »
Future threat tanks maybe launching as many three classes of uas from a single tank while mounting ever advancing hard kill APS. both the USAF and the USA need to be thinking way more long term than they appear to be currently.

Stealth solar unmanned flying rail guns.

Offline George Allegrezza

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #144 on: August 08, 2016, 10:18:06 am »
Stealth solar unmanned flying rail guns.

Stealth solar nuclear unmanned flying rail guns.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #145 on: August 08, 2016, 10:28:10 am »
Future threat tanks maybe launching as many three classes of uas from a single tank while mounting ever advancing hard kill APS. both the USAF and the USA need to be thinking way more long term than they appear to be currently.

Did you not see the AC-130J slides I posted?

Offline Triton

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #146 on: August 08, 2016, 11:20:13 am »
Army will never do CAS.  That is the USAF's mission.  Army aviation will do hasty attacks though.

The United States Air Force doing Close Air Support (CAS) and the United States Army doing Close Combat Attack (CCA)?

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #147 on: August 08, 2016, 01:16:47 pm »
Future threat tanks maybe launching as many three classes of uas from a single tank while mounting ever advancing hard kill APS. both the USAF and the USA need to be thinking way more long term than they appear to be currently.

Did you not see the AC-130J slides I posted?
No
if you could point them out please.
Thank you.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #148 on: August 08, 2016, 03:10:35 pm »
Future threat tanks maybe launching as many three classes of uas from a single tank while mounting ever advancing hard kill APS. both the USAF and the USA need to be thinking way more long term than they appear to be currently.

Did you not see the AC-130J slides I posted?
No
if you could point them out please.
Thank you.

Please see reply #118 and the additional slides from Col. Eric Forsyth's SOFIC 2016 posted below

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #149 on: August 08, 2016, 03:13:08 pm »
Forsyth SOFIC 2016 Continued: AC-130 HEL slide

Offline jsport

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #150 on: August 08, 2016, 03:40:34 pm »
Thank you for sharing Marauder. Amazing how the more things change the more they stay the same =slow. Glade the 105mm is not completely replaced by the 30mm.
An A-X needs a whole new concept if any pilot is going to fly more than directly to the crash site on the first mission leaving not even a tank touched. Again to the point are we sure we are not talking about the FA-xx as eluded to by the 'war on rocks' article and the contention layed out in posts previously in this thread..

Offline yasotay

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #151 on: August 08, 2016, 04:05:23 pm »
Army will never do CAS.  That is the USAF's mission.  Army aviation will do hasty attacks though.

The United States Air Force doing Close Air Support (CAS) and the United States Army doing Close Combat Attack (CCA)?

Close Combat Attack is an obsolete term now.  Hasty or deliberate attack are now the means by which Army aviation prosecutes targets.  Many beers are needed to fully explain the significance. 😎

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #152 on: August 08, 2016, 04:14:02 pm »
Thank you for sharing Marauder. Amazing how the more things change the more they stay the same =slow. Glade the 105mm is not completely replaced by the 30mm.
An A-X needs a whole new concept if any pilot is going to fly more than directly to the crash site on the first mission leaving not even a tank touched. Again to the point are we sure we are not talking about the FA-xx as eluded to by the 'war on rocks' article and the contention layed out in posts previously in this thread..

You don't see "a whole new concept" in the AC-130J's planned development?

Offline jsport

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #153 on: August 08, 2016, 04:30:38 pm »
Thank you for sharing Marauder. Amazing how the more things change the more they stay the same =slow. Glade the 105mm is not completely replaced by the 30mm.
An A-X needs a whole new concept if any pilot is going to fly more than directly to the crash site on the first mission leaving not even a tank touched. Again to the point are we sure we are not talking about the FA-xx as eluded to by the 'war on rocks' article and the contention layed out in posts previously in this thread..

You don't see "a whole new concept" in the AC-130J's planned development?

No sir. a jet AC-X would have been a new concept and would be so low density as to be not useful for an A-10 replacement. See only same old from first proposed as early as 2005-6. Dynetics SGB and actually carrying a full SDB onboard a little newer but nowhere near an answer. Griffin etc old, bad. ATL on a V-22 was proposed as early as around 2000. Sensor dev on board ~2003 proposals. USMC having all 130s harvest hawk would be a start for SOF but what about conventional CAS in HIC...

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #154 on: August 08, 2016, 04:37:06 pm »
Army will never do CAS.  That is the USAF's mission.  Army aviation will do hasty attacks though.

The United States Air Force doing Close Air Support (CAS) and the United States Army doing Close Combat Attack (CCA)?

Close Combat Attack is an obsolete term now.  Hasty or deliberate attack are now the means by which Army aviation prosecutes targets.  Many beers are needed to fully explain the significance. 😎

Unless it changed in the last few months, CCA is defined as "hasty or deliberate attack" and is still the term and concept used in official Army doctrine.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #155 on: August 08, 2016, 04:42:49 pm »
Thank you for sharing Marauder. Amazing how the more things change the more they stay the same =slow. Glade the 105mm is not completely replaced by the 30mm.
An A-X needs a whole new concept if any pilot is going to fly more than directly to the crash site on the first mission leaving not even a tank touched. Again to the point are we sure we are not talking about the FA-xx as eluded to by the 'war on rocks' article and the contention layed out in posts previously in this thread..

You don't see "a whole new concept" in the AC-130J's planned development?

No sir. a jet AC-X would have been a new concept and would be so low density as to be not useful for an A-10 replacement. See only same old from first proposed as early as 2005-6. Dynetics SGB and actually carrying a full SDB onboard a little newer but nowhere near an answer. Griffin etc old, bad. ATL on a V-22 was proposed as early as around 2000. Sensor dev on board ~2003 proposals. USMC having all 130s harvest hawk would be a start for SOF but what about conventional CAS in HIC...

Self-deployed UAV: new
Defensive DEWs: new
Offensive DEWs: new
Guided 105: new
Guided 30: new
JAGM: new


Offline jsport

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #156 on: August 08, 2016, 05:46:16 pm »
Thank you for sharing Marauder. Amazing how the more things change the more they stay the same =slow. Glade the 105mm is not completely replaced by the 30mm.
An A-X needs a whole new concept if any pilot is going to fly more than directly to the crash site on the first mission leaving not even a tank touched. Again to the point are we sure we are not talking about the FA-xx as eluded to by the 'war on rocks' article and the contention layed out in posts previously in this thread..

You don't see "a whole new concept" in the AC-130J's planned development?

No sir. a jet AC-X would have been a new concept and would be so low density as to be not useful for an A-10 replacement. See only same old from first proposed as early as 2005-6. Dynetics SGB and actually carrying a full SDB onboard a little newer but nowhere near an answer. Griffin etc old, bad. ATL on a V-22 was proposed as early as around 2000. Sensor dev on board ~2003 proposals. USMC having all 130s harvest hawk would be a start for SOF but what about conventional CAS in HIC...

Self-deployed UAV: new
Defensive DEWs: new
Offensive DEWs: new
Guided 105: new
Guided 30: new
JAGM: new
uaV : 1-2  toy unarmed tired garbage (boondoggle)
Def dew: talked about for two decades finally (believe when seen)
off dew :as stated talked about since before 2000
Guided 105; how long has 155mm copperhead been around 70s?
Guided 30: expensive short rg and not new plus believe when someone really decides to pay for given its limited ability.
JAGM: not even worth addressing
all irrevelant because 130 can't survive HIC and are too low density asset in first place to replace A10.

fail to see any point.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #157 on: August 08, 2016, 05:56:23 pm »

Thank you for sharing Marauder. Amazing how the more things change the more they stay the same =slow. Glade the 105mm is not completely replaced by the 30mm.
An A-X needs a whole new concept if any pilot is going to fly more than directly to the crash site on the first mission leaving not even a tank touched. Again to the point are we sure we are not talking about the FA-xx as eluded to by the 'war on rocks' article and the contention layed out in posts previously in this thread..

You don't see "a whole new concept" in the AC-130J's planned development?

No sir. a jet AC-X would have been a new concept and would be so low density as to be not useful for an A-10 replacement. See only same old from first proposed as early as 2005-6. Dynetics SGB and actually carrying a full SDB onboard a little newer but nowhere near an answer. Griffin etc old, bad. ATL on a V-22 was proposed as early as around 2000. Sensor dev on board ~2003 proposals. USMC having all 130s harvest hawk would be a start for SOF but what about conventional CAS in HIC...

Self-deployed UAV: new
Defensive DEWs: new
Offensive DEWs: new
Guided 105: new
Guided 30: new
JAGM: new
uaV : 1-2  toy unarmed tired garbage (boondoggle)
Def dew: talked about for two decades finally (believe when seen)
off dew :as stated talked about since before 2000
Guided 105; how long has 155mm copperhead been around 70s?
Guided 30: expensive short rg and not new plus believe when someone really decides to pay for given its limited ability.
JAGM: not even worth addressing
all irrevelant because 130 can't survive HIC and are too low density asset in first place to replace A10.

fail to see any point.


Thanks for the nuanced feedback incoherent ranting.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #158 on: August 08, 2016, 06:16:42 pm »

Thank you for sharing Marauder. Amazing how the more things change the more they stay the same =slow. Glade the 105mm is not completely replaced by the 30mm.
An A-X needs a whole new concept if any pilot is going to fly more than directly to the crash site on the first mission leaving not even a tank touched. Again to the point are we sure we are not talking about the FA-xx as eluded to by the 'war on rocks' article and the contention layed out in posts previously in this thread..

You don't see "a whole new concept" in the AC-130J's planned development?

No sir. a jet AC-X would have been a new concept and would be so low density as to be not useful for an A-10 replacement. See only same old from first proposed as early as 2005-6. Dynetics SGB and actually carrying a full SDB onboard a little newer but nowhere near an answer. Griffin etc old, bad. ATL on a V-22 was proposed as early as around 2000. Sensor dev on board ~2003 proposals. USMC having all 130s harvest hawk would be a start for SOF but what about conventional CAS in HIC...

Self-deployed UAV: new
Defensive DEWs: new
Offensive DEWs: new
Guided 105: new
Guided 30: new
JAGM: new
uaV : 1-2  toy unarmed tired garbage (boondoggle)
Def dew: talked about for two decades finally (believe when seen)
off dew :as stated talked about since before 2000
Guided 105; how long has 155mm copperhead been around 70s?
Guided 30: expensive short rg and not new plus believe when someone really decides to pay for given its limited ability.
JAGM: not even worth addressing
all irrevelant because 130 can't survive HIC and are too low density asset in first place to replace A10.

fail to see any point.


Thanks for the nuanced feedback incoherent ranting.
your quite welcome.
 If one wants crap off the self (cOT) UAVs that is what one gets.
the latest TOW makes more sense then JAGMs appears to.. Maybe someone can restart the Follow on to TOW (FoTT) program back up to increase range etc.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #159 on: August 08, 2016, 06:57:45 pm »

your quite welcome.
 If one wants crap off the self (cOT) UAVs that is what one gets.
the latest TOW makes more sense then JAGMs appears to.. Maybe someone can restart the Follow on to TOW (FoTT) program back up to increase range etc.


As to UAVs, the current thinking is "expendable" rather than your evocative language.
So JAGM: F&F/Multi-mode seeker + LOAL + selectable fuzing (including HOB) + multi-purpose warhead makes less sense than TOW-2 RF which has none of the above?
« Last Edit: August 08, 2016, 07:01:37 pm by marauder2048 »

Offline jsport

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #160 on: August 08, 2016, 07:23:06 pm »
only would stay expendable is great but performance of pure military design would be good start.

JAGM like MEADS took too much to get here. but unlike MEADS JAGM may well be a costly obsolescence. not a Raytheon salesman but their patents have something even more important than the likely easily retrofitable technology you speak of.  It is great you can get to the target but if can't get it done when you get there, well. More importantly can you train militia's to carry and fire JAGM. The Russians have never lost sight of the ubiquitous importance of tube launch.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #161 on: August 09, 2016, 09:16:24 am »
uaV : 1-2  toy unarmed tired garbage (boondoggle)


The 'toy' UAV may well be something armed like a Switchblade which I gather has been performing well. Finding and knocking out point targets from several miles away with minimal collateral damage is a useful capability.

As LMAMS tools up, small lethal UAVs are getting better fast --and as the Chinese CL-901 gets going, much cheaper...

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #162 on: August 09, 2016, 01:07:41 pm »
Army will never do CAS.  That is the USAF's mission.  Army aviation will do hasty attacks though.

The United States Air Force doing Close Air Support (CAS) and the United States Army doing Close Combat Attack (CCA)?

Close Combat Attack is an obsolete term now.  Hasty or deliberate attack are now the means by which Army aviation prosecutes targets.  Many beers are needed to fully explain the significance. 😎

Unless it changed in the last few months, CCA is defined as "hasty or deliberate attack" and is still the term and concept used in official Army doctrine.

Effective as of the April 2016 version of FM3.04 Army Aviation, the term Close Combat Attack (CCA) is no longer used in the Army lexicon.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #163 on: August 09, 2016, 03:25:12 pm »
uaV : 1-2  toy unarmed tired garbage (boondoggle)


The 'toy' UAV may well be something armed like a Switchblade which I gather has been performing well. Finding and knocking out point targets from several miles away with minimal collateral damage is a useful capability.

As LMAMS tools up, small lethal UAVs are getting better fast --and as the Chinese CL-901 gets going, much cheaper...
well aware
comment stands

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #164 on: August 09, 2016, 04:29:58 pm »
Effective as of the April 2016 version of FM3.04 Army Aviation, the term Close Combat Attack (CCA) is no longer used in the Army lexicon.

Thanks for the update; the beers required for explanation are on me.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2016, 05:19:59 pm by marauder2048 »

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #165 on: August 09, 2016, 05:10:24 pm »
only would stay expendable is great but performance of pure military design would be good start.

JAGM like MEADS took too much to get here. but unlike MEADS JAGM may well be a costly obsolescence. not a Raytheon salesman but their patents have something even more important than the likely easily retrofitable technology you speak of.  It is great you can get to the target but if can't get it done when you get there, well.

Considering the large differences in available volume and allowable weight, you're far more likely to see tandem MEFP retrofitted to JAGM than all of JAGM's stuff retrofitted to TOW.
Not to mention a range boost in forthcoming increments.


More importantly can you train militia's to carry and fire JAGM. The Russians have never lost sight of the ubiquitous importance of tube launch.

The Russians also never developed and deployed a soft-launch, man-portable, F&F ATGM;.
Much easier to train militia to carry and fire Javelin/MMP/Spike etc since they won't get distracted by the missile in flight
which is a common source of aim wander (and consequently misses) for radar/beam/wire riders.

Offline jsport

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #166 on: August 09, 2016, 08:03:30 pm »
F&F is now a given.
 novel approaches will be needed to defeat tanks w/ ever more capable APS combined w/ SitAwar plus their own defeat technologies w/ ever increasing range afforded to them by three classes of UAS. 

There is nothing at all novel about the in-service missiles if anything they are severe compromises. There is barely anything Howard Hughes didn't know about before he died. Just look at the patents. Same old story PMs are still swallowing the same old crap the contractors throw over the transom because they want to work for the contractor. (Javelin.. surely you jest.) There should be guided Viper LAW by now.

It would seem material and and electronics advances science would energize the USG to hold makers more accountable to art of the possible..of course the USG would have to assume more risk than buy the Crap off the Shelf (CoTs) they have been buying--and care more about the troops than their yard.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #167 on: August 12, 2016, 09:46:31 am »
F&F is now a given.
 novel approaches will be needed to defeat tanks w/ ever more capable APS combined w/ SitAwar plus their own defeat technologies w/ ever increasing range afforded to them by three classes of UAS. 

There is nothing at all novel about the in-service missiles if anything they are severe compromises. There is barely anything Howard Hughes didn't know about before he died. Just look at the patents. Same old story PMs are still swallowing the same old crap the contractors throw over the transom because they want to work for the contractor. (Javelin.. surely you jest.) There should be guided Viper LAW by now.

It would seem material and and electronics advances science would energize the USG to hold makers more accountable to art of the possible..of course the USG would have to assume more risk than buy the Crap off the Shelf (CoTs) they have been buying--and care more about the troops than their yard.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FGR-17_Viper

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #169 on: October 20, 2016, 02:42:46 am »
http://www.scorpionjet.com/scorpion-jet-successfully-completes-first-weapons-capability-exercise/

Good find marauder2048.  I have just noticed in the picture the Scorpion has just fired a live HELLFIRE missile. Is this unusual for a first launch?

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Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #172 on: November 01, 2016, 01:45:28 am »
http://www.tboverse.us/HPCAFORUM/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=20431

As per MikeD over there however:

Quote
Take the news with a healthy grain of salt, gents, as there's a good chance it may be smoke and mirrors. The depot at Hill is and has been behind on its maintenance line for the Hog with regards to maintenance at their level, due to the cuts that have been going on the past few years with supply chain and the like. Cuts that were done in the so-called "back door divestment" manner that went against what congress was mandating, rightly or wrongly. Things such as new wings/wing boxes, and the like, have been getting contracts unfunded or cancelled. Right now, of the 283 airframes in operational inventory, there's 173 planes with new wings, and 110 with old wing sets. As of now, there's no contract to re-wing those 110 with new wing sets. Apparently, there is about a 3 year timeframe from the time a contract is awarded, to when new wings will come off the production line. Coincidentally, these planes with the old wings will time-out from flying hours and end up grounded.....in just about 3 years. Congress has directed that there will be no retiring or otherwise intentional fleet reduction of the A-10, however a jet being grounded due to normal time-out, isn't considered to be an intentional reduction as defined by Congress. Therefore, it would appear to the AF that they have no requirement to put money towards new wing sets, since there's no intentional retirements going on, in the letter of the law. And as the airframes dwindle, especially by about 40% or so, the cost to maintain the rest of the fleet will rise. As that fleet also gets more and more hours placed upon them.

In the boneyard, early-converted A-10C models are already entered into the Type 3000/4000 storage, that being planes being scrapped for parts. The earlier 1975-77 A-model A-10s retired immediately post-Desert Storm, are nearly gone (few Euro-1 green Hogs left at the boneyard). And many of these were sent to the boneyard mostly complete with parts that are now unable to be acquired through the supply chain, and must be pulled from boneyard airframes.

While the news of the depot "reopening" (when it was never approved to be closed....again, rightly or wrongly), may not be much more than a nice soundbite.
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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #174 on: January 18, 2017, 01:54:32 pm »
Quote
Scorpion is one of several aircraft the USAF will examine during an experiment slated for this spring that will consider low-cost fighter options, USAF chief Gen David Goldfein told an audience at a Washington think tank 18 January. The experiment is not a competition and the service has not issued a request for information, Goldfein adds.

“Right now we’re running an experiment where we go out to industry and say what do you have that’s commercial off the shelf, low cost that can perform this mission,” he says. “We’re going to do this experiment and see what’s out there, and I’m expecting many of the companies to come forward.”

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/air-force-mulls-low-end-fighter-experiment-433299/

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #176 on: January 18, 2017, 08:34:47 pm »
I don't see how a Super Tucano, Bronco, or even Scorpion would be a good A-10 replacement. Why not just upgrade the A-10 avionics or build a real successor to it.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #177 on: January 18, 2017, 11:19:03 pm »
I don't see how a Super Tucano, Bronco, or even Scorpion would be a good A-10 replacement. Why not just upgrade the A-10 avionics or build a real successor to it.

IIRC - The USAF wanted to get rid of A-10's because the weren't going to have the numbers of maintainers (and budget) to dedicate to the platform as the 35's came on-line.
     -  That premise may change w/PEOTUS and SECDEF-D as Mattis has said he wants to focus on readiness.

I decided to read this thread (again) from the beginning.  There is quite a disparity of opinions about the mission, how those missions are best served based on several different perceived threats.  Having just finished the four part article re: the Air Superiority 2030 Flight Plan my take on the A-10 has changed.

The article suggests that continuous development (block upgrades) to open architecture platforms is critical to success post 2030.  The ability to rapidly change to threat environments is what I took away from it.  Building off of parallel development.  "A bomb truck with guns", the Ghostrider is an excellent (but large) platform. 

With that in mind, instead of an low-end fighter, how about the Ghostriders little brother.  A smaller "bomb truck with guns".  Perhaps built around the GAU-23/A used in Ghostriders? 

Is that a larger version of the A-10 with better range/loiter or something like the AC-27J?  Don't know.  But if you need a fast-mover, perhaps you send an F-35.

But I do like the idea of re-imagining the A-10 in this manner. 




« Last Edit: January 18, 2017, 11:23:26 pm by NeilChapman »

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #178 on: January 19, 2017, 12:34:23 am »
http://breakingdefense.com/2017/01/mccains-300-low-end-fighters-a-great-idea-csaf-gen-goldfein/

McCain is nuts. A scorpion would get slaughtered in a modern battlefield. It can't take the abuse, for one. Its a one hit wonder. Hit it oone and the pilot will wonder what happened. How will it survive manpads? No. The 35 is the date we brung to the dance and she's the one we gotta dance with. At least it flies high enough and is LO enough to be survivable, not to mention sensors.

If the USAF gets a dedicate CAS platform, the plane that makes the most sense is a 35B or a fixed wing 35C.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2017, 12:41:35 am by Airplane »
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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #179 on: January 19, 2017, 01:37:29 am »
http://breakingdefense.com/2017/01/mccains-300-low-end-fighters-a-great-idea-csaf-gen-goldfein/

McCain is nuts. A scorpion would get slaughtered in a modern battlefield. It can't take the abuse, for one. Its a one hit wonder. Hit it oone and the pilot will wonder what happened. How will it survive manpads? No. The 35 is the date we brung to the dance and she's the one we gotta dance with. At least it flies high enough and is LO enough to be survivable, not to mention sensors.

If the USAF gets a dedicate CAS platform, the plane that makes the most sense is a 35B or a fixed wing 35C.

It's not intended to operate against peer opponents.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #180 on: January 19, 2017, 04:05:03 am »
I don't see how a Super Tucano, Bronco, or even Scorpion would be a good A-10 replacement. Why not just upgrade the A-10 avionics or build a real successor to it.
Is this not part of the OA-X program?

It was stated last year or maybe in late 2015 (it was just before CSAF Welsh retired) that the new plan was to procure 2 new types of aircraft:

OA-X would be COTS/MOTS like the Super Tucano, and (as the name suggests) work as a COIN and FAC aircraft.

A-X or "A-X2" would be a 'true' A-10 replacement. What it'd be is up in the air, but it was being suggested as a UCAV that builds upon the PCAS program; a "Coke machine in the sky" (Gen. Welsh) that 'dispenses whatever flavour of CAS is desired.'

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #181 on: January 19, 2017, 05:25:09 am »
http://breakingdefense.com/2017/01/mccains-300-low-end-fighters-a-great-idea-csaf-gen-goldfein/

McCain is nuts. A scorpion would get slaughtered in a modern battlefield. It can't take the abuse, for one. Its a one hit wonder. Hit it oone and the pilot will wonder what happened. How will it survive manpads? No. The 35 is the date we brung to the dance and she's the one we gotta dance with. At least it flies high enough and is LO enough to be survivable, not to mention sensors.

If the USAF gets a dedicate CAS platform, the plane that makes the most sense is a 35B or a fixed wing 35C.

It's not intended to operate against peer opponents.

Unless it's going to be used against Belize, then it may make sense. But of all the trouble spots around the globe where it could/might/maybe used, it's a hostile battlefield. A Scorpian aircraft.... no thank you.
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Offline yasotay

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #182 on: January 19, 2017, 10:07:45 am »
http://breakingdefense.com/2017/01/mccains-300-low-end-fighters-a-great-idea-csaf-gen-goldfein/

McCain is nuts. A scorpion would get slaughtered in a modern battlefield. It can't take the abuse, for one. Its a one hit wonder. Hit it oone and the pilot will wonder what happened. How will it survive manpads? No. The 35 is the date we brung to the dance and she's the one we gotta dance with. At least it flies high enough and is LO enough to be survivable, not to mention sensors.

If the USAF gets a dedicate CAS platform, the plane that makes the most sense is a 35B or a fixed wing 35C.

It's not intended to operate against peer opponents.

Unless it's going to be used against Belize, then it may make sense. But of all the trouble spots around the globe where it could/might/maybe used, it's a hostile battlefield. A Scorpian aircraft.... no thank you.

If you think that people have not been shooting missiles at airplanes and helicopters for the last fifteen years you would be mistaken.  You only hear about it when they are successful.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #183 on: January 19, 2017, 03:21:20 pm »
http://breakingdefense.com/2017/01/mccains-300-low-end-fighters-a-great-idea-csaf-gen-goldfein/

McCain is nuts. A scorpion would get slaughtered in a modern battlefield. It can't take the abuse, for one. Its a one hit wonder. Hit it oone and the pilot will wonder what happened. How will it survive manpads? No. The 35 is the date we brung to the dance and she's the one we gotta dance with. At least it flies high enough and is LO enough to be survivable, not to mention sensors.

If the USAF gets a dedicate CAS platform, the plane that makes the most sense is a 35B or a fixed wing 35C.

It's not intended to operate against peer opponents.

Unless it's going to be used against Belize, then it may make sense. But of all the trouble spots around the globe where it could/might/maybe used, it's a hostile battlefield. A Scorpian aircraft.... no thank you.

If you think that people have not been shooting missiles at airplanes and helicopters for the last fifteen years you would be mistaken.  You only hear about it when they are successful.

Yes, I know - I was shot at in my former life in the 90s.  I also know you are incorrect in your statement that you only hear when they are successful. You hear about equipment and life losses.... not hits. Hits don't make the news at 6:00. I also know the A-10 and Apache can and have taken ground fire and made it back to be repaired and fly again. Stuff like the Scorpian, like I said, is a one hit wonder. It get's hit once and you wonder where it went down. If I was offered a chance to fly a Scoprian'esque plane I would rather fly a desk.
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Offline yasotay

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #185 on: January 20, 2017, 08:23:54 am »
http://breakingdefense.com/2017/01/mccains-300-low-end-fighters-a-great-idea-csaf-gen-goldfein/

McCain is nuts. A scorpion would get slaughtered in a modern battlefield. It can't take the abuse, for one. Its a one hit wonder. Hit it oone and the pilot will wonder what happened. How will it survive manpads? No. The 35 is the date we brung to the dance and she's the one we gotta dance with. At least it flies high enough and is LO enough to be survivable, not to mention sensors.

If the USAF gets a dedicate CAS platform, the plane that makes the most sense is a 35B or a fixed wing 35C.

It's not intended to operate against peer opponents.

Unless it's going to be used against Belize, then it may make sense. But of all the trouble spots around the globe where it could/might/maybe used, it's a hostile battlefield. A Scorpian aircraft.... no thank you.

If you think that people have not been shooting missiles at airplanes and helicopters for the last fifteen years you would be mistaken.  You only hear about it when they are successful.

Yes, I know - I was shot at in my former life in the 90s.  I also know you are incorrect in your statement that you only hear when they are successful. You hear about equipment and life losses.... not hits. Hits don't make the news at 6:00. I also know the A-10 and Apache can and have taken ground fire and made it back to be repaired and fly again. Stuff like the Scorpian, like I said, is a one hit wonder. It get's hit once and you wonder where it went down. If I was offered a chance to fly a Scoprian'esque plane I would rather fly a desk.
  Well we have "being shot at" in common.  For clarification, if "they" are an enemy and they cause "equipment and life losses" to their enemy then I would imagine they consider that "they are successful".  Your comment does add granularity to my point.  For the record I agree with you that I would much prefer an aircraft as robust and capable as the A-10.  I think the challenge that senior military leaders face is that Turcano's, Caravans, and Thrush are being used (to what effect I cannot say) in "lesser" wars.  The budget is not going to suddenly get better.  The folks with the checkbook are not inclined to open it.

Offline kcran567

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #186 on: January 20, 2017, 07:21:07 pm »
http://breakingdefense.com/2017/01/mccains-300-low-end-fighters-a-great-idea-csaf-gen-goldfein/

McCain is nuts. A scorpion would get slaughtered in a modern battlefield. It can't take the abuse, for one. Its a one hit wonder. Hit it oone and the pilot will wonder what happened. How will it survive manpads? No. The 35 is the date we brung to the dance and she's the one we gotta dance with. At least it flies high enough and is LO enough to be survivable, not to mention sensors.

If the USAF gets a dedicate CAS platform, the plane that makes the most sense is a 35B or a fixed wing 35C.

It's not intended to operate against peer opponents.

Unless it's going to be used against Belize, then it may make sense. But of all the trouble spots around the globe where it could/might/maybe used, it's a hostile battlefield. A Scorpian aircraft.... no thank you.

If you think that people have not been shooting missiles at airplanes and helicopters for the last fifteen years you would be mistaken.  You only hear about it when they are successful.

Yes, I know - I was shot at in my former life in the 90s.  I also know you are incorrect in your statement that you only hear when they are successful. You hear about equipment and life losses.... not hits. Hits don't make the news at 6:00. I also know the A-10 and Apache can and have taken ground fire and made it back to be repaired and fly again. Stuff like the Scorpian, like I said, is a one hit wonder. It get's hit once and you wonder where it went down. If I was offered a chance to fly a Scoprian'esque plane I would rather fly a desk.

Why don't people who think the Scorpion is so fantastic see this? The only opponent the Scorpion was designed for is one armed only with rifles and small arms hiding in a cave. A peer opponent or one with good air defenses would be trouble for the Scorpion. If you want to go cheap and small why not something fast and stealthy like ATLAS. A mission pod for any mission. 25-30mm gun for a CAS mission, separate bomb/strike mission pod, maybe another one to take out air targets like helicopters...a real adaptable, survivable, configurable low cost solution.

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/LTV%20Atlas%20Concept.pdf
« Last Edit: January 20, 2017, 07:43:01 pm by kcran567 »

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #187 on: January 20, 2017, 09:29:29 pm »

Why don't people who think the Scorpion is so fantastic see this? The only opponent the Scorpion was designed for is one armed only with rifles and small arms hiding in a cave. A peer opponent or one with good air defenses would be trouble for the Scorpion. If you want to go cheap and small why not something fast and stealthy like ATLAS. A mission pod for any mission. 25-30mm gun for a CAS mission, separate bomb/strike mission pod, maybe another one to take out air targets like helicopters...a real adaptable, survivable, configurable low cost solution.

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/LTV%20Atlas%20Concept.pdf

For the sort of radius ATLAS gives you, you might as well just fire GLSDB.

There is a need for a responsive, low CPFH platform for the low intensity fight.

Scorpion gives you radius, payload, endurance, redundancy and reduced
pilot workload.  With APKWS II or JAGM it can stay out of MANPADS range.
And it has to rate of climb to get out of most flak traps.

Offline kcran567

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #188 on: January 21, 2017, 10:46:10 pm »
I admit you're right about Scorpion's strengths. Atlas may lack the radius, standoff, payload and range but has lower observability than the Scorpion and ability to get in close like the A-10 had. Scorpion is also a fairly large target. I think there is a place for an Atlas like aircraft even now. Maybe a mixed force of Atlas/Scorpion type would be very effective and low cost way to fill several roles.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #189 on: January 23, 2017, 07:06:31 pm »
I admit you're right about Scorpion's strengths. Atlas may lack the radius, standoff, payload and range but has lower observability than the Scorpion and ability to get in close like the A-10 had. Scorpion is also a fairly large target. I think there is a place for an Atlas like aircraft even now. Maybe a mixed force of Atlas/Scorpion type would be very effective and low cost way to fill several roles.

While the (US) experience with lightweight fast jets operating from austere forward bases is that their sortie generation rate declines rapidly it
may not matter for an initial, intense intervention against a high-end foe.  So, I agree that there's a place for both.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #190 on: January 25, 2017, 05:02:45 am »
I admit you're right about Scorpion's strengths. Atlas may lack the radius, standoff, payload and range but has lower observability than the Scorpion and ability to get in close like the A-10 had. Scorpion is also a fairly large target. I think there is a place for an Atlas like aircraft even now. Maybe a mixed force of Atlas/Scorpion type would be very effective and low cost way to fill several roles.

While the (US) experience with lightweight fast jets operating from austere forward bases is that their sortie generation rate declines rapidly it
may not matter for an initial, intense intervention against a high-end foe.  So, I agree that there's a place for both.

If you're all so very deadest on wasting a billion dollars to kill bad guys armed with rifles because after all 'The F-35 can't soil it's hands on that mission," then just weaponize the T-X. Issue solved.

But this a total waste of dollars when the US has an aircraft that can do the mission, and if needed to do so, can keep other more advanced potential adversaries in bordering nations in check by have the F-35 in the area killing the bad guys instead. The F-35 can simply be re-armed for A2A. The Scoprian and it's peers cannot survive 5 minutes if a bordering state with real fighters or forward based Russians wanted to do something about it.  Yes, the A-X as envisioned is a WASTE of money that could be spent on an AMRAAM replacement, a C-17 replacement (since the US decided to end production there are no cargo planes being built anymore), more funds for the new tanker. The list goes on, on where the money could be used bigley.



« Last Edit: January 25, 2017, 05:04:26 am by Airplane »
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Offline AeroFranz

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #191 on: January 25, 2017, 08:24:29 am »
the "business case" for a varied fleet is that it might cost less to have a high/low mix to use according to the situation.

I'm obviously simplifying here, but it's like having a an electric car for your daily commute and a larger gas car for the occasional longer trip.
If you were to have the electric car only, you wouldn't be able to perform the occasional long trip "mission". If you have the big gasoline car only, your operating costs are very elevated.
Of course you now have two different replacement parts, maintenance procedures, insurance, etc., So you have to run the numbers and gaze in the crystal ball.

Whether a high/low mix makes sense depends on unpredictable things like "how many confrontations with near-peers will i get into" and somewhat more tractable metrics like CPFH, engineering NRE, gas $$, training, etc. But the point is, unless you can run those numbers, you can't say it doesn't make sense.
I could come up with a scenario where in the next thirty years there are only low-level skirmishes and they're being flown by F-35s plinking bombs from straight and level, something a Cessna Caravan could do (I'm exaggerating of course).
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Offline NeilChapman

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #192 on: January 26, 2017, 11:53:34 am »
the "business case" for a varied fleet is that it might cost less to have a high/low mix to use according to the situation.

I'm obviously simplifying here, but it's like having a an electric car for your daily commute and a larger gas car for the occasional longer trip.
If you were to have the electric car only, you wouldn't be able to perform the occasional long trip "mission". If you have the big gasoline car only, your operating costs are very elevated.
Of course you now have two different replacement parts, maintenance procedures, insurance, etc., So you have to run the numbers and gaze in the crystal ball.

Whether a high/low mix makes sense depends on unpredictable things like "how many confrontations with near-peers will i get into" and somewhat more tractable metrics like CPFH, engineering NRE, gas $$, training, etc. But the point is, unless you can run those numbers, you can't say it doesn't make sense.
I could come up with a scenario where in the next thirty years there are only low-level skirmishes and they're being flown by F-35s plinking bombs from straight and level, something a Cessna Caravan could do (I'm exaggerating of course).

I'm all for a high/low mix.  It would be nice if they looked around and dual-purposed an airframe that would already be in-theater.  Adding forward-based logistical support for "another" airframe is a significant complication that isn't necessary.

This doesn't have to be an "Air Force" only solution.  Although the AFSOC has been working on upgrades for their CV-22's for the last few years that are in the pipeline already (~Q3/21).  These upgrades can be extended to the Marine Corp and Navy.
http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/archive/2016/May/Pages/CV22OspreysGetExtraUpgradesforSpecialOperations.aspx
http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2015SOFIC/RW_SilentKnightRadar.pdf

The MV-22 is a possibility. The Marines are all-in on this airframe.  Maybe it's time to look at a block upgrade of avionics, engines and armor for their fleet.  They will also be backed up with 35B's.

Why not look at the the UH-60 replacement programs? 

The V-280 or the SB-1 look like suitable platforms.  Adding mission based weapon systems is not out of the question. 

Still think this needs be looked at as a gun/bomb/missile truck.  The AFSOC CV-22 upgrades are in the pipeline already.  From the above article, "The Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division in Virginia is conducting a study to determine the optimal weapon for the V-22 and where that weapon should be placed in order to maximize coverage of the aircraft. The study, which began in 2015, is expected to continue through 2018. It will focus on guns and precision-guided munitions, according to Naval Air Systems Command."
http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.display&key=56424953-9562-4734-B373-AAB87ADAB56F

From http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-us-marines-might-have-found-secret-weapon-it-had-all-18747
"NSWC (Naval Surface Warfare Center) Dahlgren explored the use of forward firing rockets, missiles, fixed guns, a chin mounted gun, and also looked at the use of a 30MM gun along with gravity drop rockets and guided bombs deployed from the back of the V-22. The study that is being conducted will help define the requirements and ultimately inform a Marine Corps decision with regards to armament of the MV-22B Osprey."

This is not a complicated problem that needs a 100% solution.  Continue support of the A-10.  Upgrade it as necessary.  Marine Corp already needs upgrades of their MV-22B fleet. They're availability for B's is too low (~75%) today.  Integrate the AFSOC systems, engine upgrades (from C models) and weapons into the B upgrade process.  Ensure these capabilities are included for future block upgrade road map for UH-60 replacement program.

Don't acquire a new airframe when there are existing airframes that require upgrades today to boost combat readiness rates.
Don't acquire a new airframe when there are existing airframes that have upgrades in the pipeline that just need funding.
Don't acquire a new airframe when there are existing airframes that already have in-theater logistical support plans.
Don't acquire a new airframe when these upgraded airframes will provide the capability required.

Just my 2¢.

N

EDIT - Added the picture of the MV-22 firing a hydra rocket.  Picture from http://defense-update.com/20160320_apkws-2.html

« Last Edit: January 26, 2017, 12:12:26 pm by NeilChapman »

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #193 on: February 03, 2017, 11:13:02 am »

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #194 on: February 03, 2017, 11:17:44 am »
Is The USAF Finally Serious About Fielding A Light Air Support Aircraft?

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/7335/is-the-usaf-finally-serious-about-fielding-a-light-air-support-aircraft

Rule of thumb: If a news article's headline is a question, the answer is almost always "No."

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Offline NeilChapman

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #196 on: February 03, 2017, 08:56:14 pm »
Is The USAF Finally Serious About Fielding A Light Air Support Aircraft?

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/7335/is-the-usaf-finally-serious-about-fielding-a-light-air-support-aircraft

Pretty much every article that expounds upon the need for a light tactical aircraft denotes the lag in F-35 production as a reason for its requirement.  This makes no sense to me. 

Produce more F-35's.  The capability exists.  The production, lowers the cost.  Just do it. 

The other argument is is the lack of tactical support.  To which I say, create more tactical support - with airframes in theater already.  I just don't understand the logic behind an additional tactical capability that requires more logistical support.  Why add another airframe when it's existence creates a burden on a existing logistical train? 

Compounding the point, the existing tactical support has not been adequately maintained.

This is the same case being made by the Navy.  "Fix the availability of the 279 ships we have today before you purchase new ships."




Online marauder2048

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #197 on: February 04, 2017, 09:09:26 pm »
There's likely another element at work here: recruitment and retention.

A light attack aircraft represents a still desirable assignment to those pilots
who fail elimination checks for the F-series.

Often, these pilots tend to be in the top half of their T-6 II class but (for a variety of reasons) at
the bottom half of their T-38 (T-X) class.  So there's quality if latent material there.

Previously, the consolation prize would be transports or RPAs and in all likelihood early
departure from the service; the light attack aircraft offers a desirable, alternative career path
with a marketable, transferrable skill set.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #198 on: February 05, 2017, 11:22:28 am »
There's likely another element at work here: recruitment and retention.

A light attack aircraft represents a still desirable assignment to those pilots
who fail elimination checks for the F-series.

Often, these pilots tend to be in the top half of their T-6 II class but (for a variety of reasons) at
the bottom half of their T-38 (T-X) class.  So there's quality if latent material there.

Previously, the consolation prize would be transports or RPAs and in all likelihood early
departure from the service; the light attack aircraft offers a desirable, alternative career path
with a marketable, transferrable skill set.

I'm not sure I'm following. The USAF/USN is losing pilots for lack of flight time and career growth due to the reduction in maintenance dollars, readiness dollars, airframes and squadrons.  I'm all for purchasing qty 1200 (vs 300) T-X for >USD10Million and let them fly as much as they are able.  Buy an existing airframe, spin up production to 120+ per year and get them flying.

F-35 is taking the place of Air Force F-16's and, perhaps A-10's and maybe F-15's - over 1700 jets.  The F-35 is designed to be easier to fly and provide sensor fusion allowing more effort towards pilots tactical mission.  Presumably, with these systems enhancements, you're opening the MOS to more pilots.

F-16 and F-15's are very near the end of their services lives.  It's imperative to expedite F-35 production to 200+ per year and ensure there are airframes for pilots to be flying. 

I don't see adding a new CAS airframe with the expectation that it will help in retention.  I'm hoping SECDEF steps in and nixes this, especially when other CAS/Assault Support platforms need upgrades - today.





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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #199 on: February 05, 2017, 04:04:18 pm »
Easy-to-fly doesn't mean that employing the aircraft in the fight isn't vastly more demanding from a cognitive perspective.

The portion of the applicant pool that possesses the cognitive and proprioceptive aptitude to fight and win in
the F-35 and F-22 is likely going to be smaller than for previous platforms but you still want the pool to be as large possible.

That means having a viable career path if you don't make the first cut.

From "Improving The UPT Student Follow-on Assignment Selection Process" by Maj. Messer USAF.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #200 on: February 05, 2017, 09:47:59 pm »
Easy-to-fly doesn't mean that employing the aircraft in the fight isn't vastly more demanding from a cognitive perspective.

The portion of the applicant pool that possesses the cognitive and proprioceptive aptitude to fight and win in
the F-35 and F-22 is likely going to be smaller than for previous platforms but you still want the pool to be as large possible.

That means having a viable career path if you don't make the first cut.

From "Improving The UPT Student Follow-on Assignment Selection Process" by Maj. Messer USAF.

Thanks for the stats M.

I'm still not convinced by the argument.  You seem to be lumping the F-35 and F-22 pilots into the same pool.  One is an air superiority fighter designed in the 1980's the other is an ground attack system designed 20 years later as a direct replacement for the F-16. 

The F-22 and F-35 are both 5th gens (sensor/shooters) but isn't that about where the two diverge?  The F-35's mission control systems are much less "pilot intensive" than the F-22.  The concept of sensor fusion is to enhance the available information to reduce the cognitive and proprioceptive demands on the pilot. 

I guess I don't see the F-35 pool as "likely" to be smaller than previous platforms - by design as an F-16 replacement.  So by extension, I still see a new A-X platform as pulling resources away from other platforms in-theater that provide the same CAS/Assault Support role.

If there were unlimited funds I wouldn't be making this argument.  A new A-X would be great.  I just see a better weighted argument for making the required upgrades to platforms that perform this function already.

BTW...I'm on board with life extensions for the A-10 as well as systems enhancements for MV-22's and 60's.  Just don't want it to take away from F-35 acquisition increases.





Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #201 on: February 07, 2017, 12:22:28 pm »
http://www.defensenews.com/a10%20retirement%202021

Given the ongoing efforts by the F-35 supporters in the USAF and elsewhere to kill the A-10, I must say that I'm a bit cynical about this supposed about face.

The OA-X program is seemingly still in play by the way.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2017, 12:25:18 pm by Grey Havoc »
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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #202 on: February 07, 2017, 01:14:32 pm »
http://www.defensenews.com/a10%20retirement%202021

Given the ongoing efforts by the F-35 supporters in the USAF and elsewhere to kill the A-10, I must say that I'm a bit cynical about this supposed about face.

The OA-X program is seemingly still in play by the way.

McCain, the SASC chair, won re-election. If retaining the A-10 is the price of securing top-line budget relief from Congress that's a trade
the Air Force is likely to favor.

Goldfein's MQ-9 reference is interesting since SDB II integration on MQ-9 is supposed to begin this year.


Offline XP67_Moonbat

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #203 on: February 14, 2017, 09:44:01 am »
Oh WTF? Not these jabronis again! They're baaackk! 😂😂😂😂😂

Stavatti is making noise again in regards to the OA-X requirement. Frankly, the only thing Stavatti cranked out is pretty vaporware worthy of DeviantArt. I don't think anyone is actually gonna take this seriously!

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-machete-the-super-plane-could-replace-the-10-warthog-or-19431
« Last Edit: February 14, 2017, 11:26:49 am by XP67_Moonbat »
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Offline TomS

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #204 on: February 14, 2017, 11:16:44 am »
This is what happens when the major contractors stop talking publically about their designs.  The amateurs start getting attention because at least they have pretty pictures to put into "news" articles that drive clicks on websites.  It's hard to get clicks with an article titled "Raytheon declines to discuss OA-X proposal." 
« Last Edit: February 15, 2017, 11:31:06 am by TomS »

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #205 on: February 15, 2017, 10:05:29 am »
This is what happens when the major contractors top talking publically about their designs.  The amateurs start getting attention because at least they have pretty pictures to put into "news" articles that drive clicks on websites.  It's hard to get clicks with an article titled "Raytheon declines to discuss OA-X proposal."

Good point.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #206 on: February 15, 2017, 10:23:16 am »
Oh WTF? Not these jabronis again! They're baaackk! 😂😂😂😂😂

Stavatti is making noise again in regards to the OA-X requirement. Frankly, the only thing Stavatti cranked out is pretty vaporware worthy of DeviantArt. I don't think anyone is actually gonna take this seriously!

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-machete-the-super-plane-could-replace-the-10-warthog-or-19431

What!? CAS and no cannon slaved to the helmet? POS.
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Offline MaverickSawyer

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #207 on: February 21, 2017, 10:33:54 pm »
The DoD already has the capabilities it needs for the mission, albeit split across two separate platforms...
For sheer firepower and medium-threat airspace survivability, the A-10 will be impossible to replace in ANY form.
As for low-threat airspace, fuel efficient and low-cost operations, operating in confined airspace, and flying from rough fields close to the front lines, the OV-10 can be brought up to modern precision engagement capabilities with ease. There's already a pair of them upgraded to the G+ configuration that have served over Iraq and Syria with incredible success... For the cost of a new aircraft, you could probably completely overhaul the remaining fleet to near-new status, and add modern avionics and systems at the same time. Problem would be finding enough airframes to field an effective force.
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Offline Jeb

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #208 on: February 22, 2017, 07:30:56 am »
It's the logical solution. But the Pentagon will surely find some way to not do it.

Offline Hood

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #209 on: February 24, 2017, 01:49:54 am »
There seems to be some more concrete movement on OA-X, they seem to be dubbing this a low-cost fighter but that seems like a tag for what in reality is a CAS platform. Whether an experiment will actually lead to procuring something is probably doubtful, but I guess it will feed into whatever A-X might turn out to be.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/usaf-requests-funding-for-low-cost-fighter-test-434520/


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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #211 on: February 27, 2017, 06:23:41 am »
An affordable, subsonic, light fighter/attack aircraft optimized for COIN with a high-bypass turbofan for range/endurance, armor for survivability and one or more cannons for versatility would make a lot of sense.  It will never, ever happen, mind you, but it would make a lot of sense.   :P
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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #212 on: February 27, 2017, 08:18:37 am »
An angle generally missed by the other articles:

Quote
Though he has previously referred to the need for a less expensive attack-type aircraft,
Goldfein noted remotely piloted aircraft could also fill the need for close-air support.

"There is no reason not to look at RPAs. We're going to be looking at those too,"
he said, adding that the service will be working with industry to see what is available immediately, can operate in
contested environments and be used by allied nations and coalition partners.


http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=2424

Offline Flyaway

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #213 on: March 03, 2017, 12:54:34 pm »

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #215 on: March 07, 2017, 05:05:06 am »
Uh-oh, does this mean that the next generation attack aircraft will have to be carrier-rated as well?  ;-)  In all seriousness, I bet there are some turboprop options that could operate comfortably from a carrier without arrestor gear.  Maybe an armored, single-seat Texan II or Super Tucano with a podded version of the Apache's M230 30mm?
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Offline TomcatViP

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #216 on: March 07, 2017, 04:41:45 pm »

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #217 on: March 08, 2017, 04:44:38 am »
Yup, I had the Bronco and the Mohawk in the back of my mind when I wrote that.  An armored light twin turboprop would make a lot of sense in that role, but I can't think of any in current production that would come close, just singles.
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Offline Triton

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #218 on: March 16, 2017, 08:42:17 pm »
"USAF Chief Approves Low-Cost Fighter Demo"
Mar 13, 2017 Lara Seligman | Aerospace Daily & Defense Report

Source:
http://aviationweek.com/awindefense/usaf-chief-approves-low-cost-fighter-demo

Quote
U.S. Air Force Chief Gen. David Goldfein on March 8 approved a light-attack fighter flight demonstration to take place at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, this summer. The Air Force expects to issue an invitation to industry to participate in the experiment shortly, according to spokeswoman Ann Stefanek. Goldfein’s signature marks another baby step for the Air Force toward possibly buying 300 off-the-shelf light fighters to help combat violent extremists in the Middle East. But ...

Why hold yet another light attack experiment? Didn't the SNC/Embraer A-29B Super Tucano already win a similar evaluation before the United States Air Force pulled out of Light Air Support (LAS), formerly Light Attack/Armed Reconnaissance (LAAR)?
« Last Edit: March 16, 2017, 09:22:41 pm by Triton »

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #219 on: March 16, 2017, 09:48:14 pm »
LAS was an attack helicopter replacement program for the Afghan National Air Force since the Hind struggles
in the hot-and-high conditions.

OA-X has several objectives. One that we've discussed is fighter pilot recruitment, training and retention which General Bunch
addressed during his AFA Breakfast talk.

Quote
Why are we even exploring this concept?  The need is we need to absorb fighter pilots.
We need to bring them into the field and into platforms that are relevant,
so they can be seasoned and we can … address our fighter pilot shortfall.”

http://secure.afa.org/Events/Breakfasts/Breakfast-3-16-17-Bunch.mp3 @ 16:44

Offline Triton

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #220 on: March 16, 2017, 09:59:10 pm »
LAS was an attack helicopter replacement program for the Afghan National Air Force since the Hind struggles
in the hot-and-high conditions.

And the 100 aircraft from the original RFI dated July 27, 2009 were intended to be operated by the Afghan Air Force when the program was called Light Attack/Armed Reconnaissance (LAAR)? Or were these to be United States Air Force operated aircraft under LAAR?
« Last Edit: March 16, 2017, 10:13:13 pm by Triton »

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #221 on: March 16, 2017, 10:36:35 pm »
LAS was an attack helicopter replacement program for the Afghan National Air Force since the Hind struggles
in the hot-and-high conditions.

And the 100 aircraft from the original RFI dated July 27, 2009 were intended to be operated by the Afghan Air Force when the program was called Light Attack/Armed Reconnaissance (LAAR)? Or were these to be United States Air Force operated aircraft under LAAR?

Iraq, Afghanistan, possibly Lebanon and some of the newer, poorer NATO members. 

Iraq was to account for about 50 of those aircraft but that deal fell through and only Afghanistan ended up with aircraft under LAS. 

Offline bring_it_on

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #222 on: March 19, 2017, 07:03:30 am »
From this weeks request on the light attack aircraft -

NOTIONAL LIGHT ATTACK REQUIREMENTS
Old radar types never die; they just phased array - Unknown

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #223 on: March 23, 2017, 12:36:07 pm »
Who Are Contenders For the OA-X Light-Attack Demo?

Quote
The U.S. Air Force will take its first step toward potentially fielding a low-cost, light-attack aircraft this summer with a flight demonstration at Holloman AFB, New Mexico. The service is looking to choose up to four industry partners to bring one or two off-the-shelf aircraft to Holloman for a capability assessment in which Air Force aircrew will evaluate each aircraft’s ability to perform light attack and armed reconnaissance missions and operate from austere locations. For ...

http://aviationweek.com/defense/who-are-contenders-oa-x-light-attack-demo

Offline TomcatViP

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #224 on: March 23, 2017, 01:45:19 pm »
D6. Air Sovereignty Alert  is an interesting addition. A long endurance loitering jet could have some advantages to play against traditional QRA. With the increase fasle alert/safe check only.

Offline Dynoman

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #225 on: March 24, 2017, 07:39:49 am »
In the early 1990's I thought an F-16XL or a modified variant (maybe with two engines  :) similar to a Taiwanese Ching Kuo) would be a good interim aircraft until a dedicated A-10 replacement came about. I think the original assessment of an A-16 was that the aircraft was too fast and could not loiter like the A-10. With conformal fuel tanks maybe the design would be more ideal. The F-16XL had 17 hard points and can carry about 16,000 lbs of ordinance. After it released its payload it would have the ability to maneuver and have a supersonic dash out of the area. Downside, it lacks a big cannon like the A-10, and not as survivable if hit like the Warthog.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2017, 10:52:30 am by Dynoman »

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #226 on: March 24, 2017, 09:45:58 am »
The F-16XL had 17 hard points and can carry about 16,000 lbs of ordinance.

Thing is, sheer weight of payload was never the key factor in CAS.  Much was made of the ability to load the A-10 wingtip to wingtip, but I think the usual CAS load in Desert Storm was the gun, two Mavericks, and a couple of cluster bombs plus an ALQ and a Sidewinder for self-defense.  Today, you could probably do with even less weight (more munitions, but much smaller than Maverick)

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #227 on: March 30, 2017, 09:21:01 am »
"Boeing Opts Out Of USAF’s Light Attack Demo"
Mar 29, 2017 Lara Seligman | Aerospace Daily & Defense Report

Source:
http://aviationweek.com/defense/boeing-opts-out-usaf-s-light-attack-demo?NL=AW-05&Issue=AW-05_20170330_AW-05_761&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_2&utm_rid=CPEN1000001526993&utm_campaign=9328&utm_medium=email&elq2=239b441e4e5f4c169c40aa52efd9dfd2

Quote
Boeing has decided not to participate in the U.S. Air Force’s light-attack flight demonstration, a company spokeswoman says.

Boeing’s decision to opt out of the initial phase of the Air Force’s “OA-X” effort could leave the company at a disadvantage should the service ultimately decide to move forward with a plan to buy 300 low-cost, light attack aircraft for counterterrorism operations.

Boeing chose not to participate in this early stage of OA-X because the company does not “see a viable path forward for this phase,” spokeswoman Caroline Hutcheson told Aviation Week. The demonstration is planned to take place this summer at Holloman AFB, New Mexico. Proposals are due to the Air Force on April 7.

Hutcheson did not rule out Boeing participating in OA-X at a later date.

The move comes as a bit of a surprise, as Boeing has several off-the-shelf designs that would fit the OA-X bill. In 2009, Boeing put together internal plans to build a modernized version of North American Aviation’s OV-10 Bronco observation aircraft for a possible light-attack program that was later scrapped.

History shows the Air Force would be open to an OV-10X. The service evaluated two OV-10s as part of the 2013 Combat Dragon II program, aimed at demonstrating that a small turboprop can be effective at counterterrorism missions.

Boeing could also offer an attack variant of its next-generation T-X, which it is co-developing with Saab as an option for the Air Force to replace its legacy T-38 pilot trainers.

Less well known is Boeing’s collaboration with the South Africa-based Paramount Group on a new reconnaissance and light attack aircraft known as Mwari. Boeing is developing an integrated mission system for the aircraft, enabling it to perform intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and light strike missions. Mwari is a high-wing, twin-boom aircraft powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-66B turboprop engine and pusher propeller. The wings accommodate six hard points for external stores and weapons; the fuselage contains a 20mm cannon.

The Holloman demonstration will inform the Air Force’s decision on whether or not to procure a light-attack fleet to help fight violent extremists in the Middle East and could potentially serve to alleviate the service’s growing pilot shortage. But the Air Force has stressed that right now the effort is in the experimentation phase, and no program of record has been initiated. The assessment at Holloman could lead to another experiment, a combat demonstration, or even an immediate acquisition program, said Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, the Air Force’s military acquisition deputy.

The Air Force is looking to choose up to four respondents to bring just one or two non-developmental aircraft to Holloman for a four- to six-week capability assessment. Air Force aircrew will fly the selected aircraft to assess its basic aerodynamic performance as well as its weapons, sensor, communications and austere field operations capabilities.

The aircraft selected must be able to perform light attack and armed reconnaissance and operate from austere locations, according to a list of notional requirements.

Qualifying aircraft need to be able to support a high operations tempo of 900 flight hours per year for 10 years and have a 90% mission capable rate for day and night missions. The aircraft must be able to take off using a maximum runway length of 6,000 ft. and be equipped with secure tactical communications and the ability to hit stationary or moving targets day and night. In addition, qualifying jets must have a 2.5-hr. mission endurance with an average fuel flow of about 1,500 lb./hr. or less. The aircraft will also be evaluated for survivability, including infrared and visual signature.

The most obvious front-runners are Embraer/Sierra Nevada’s A-29 Super Tucano, Textron/Beechcraft’s AT-6, and Textron’s Scorpion.

Offline Jeb

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #228 on: March 30, 2017, 11:26:56 am »
The F-16XL had 17 hard points and can carry about 16,000 lbs of ordinance.

Thing is, sheer weight of payload was never the key factor in CAS.  Much was made of the ability to load the A-10 wingtip to wingtip, but I think the usual CAS load in Desert Storm was the gun, two Mavericks, and a couple of cluster bombs plus an ALQ and a Sidewinder for self-defense.  Today, you could probably do with even less weight (more munitions, but much smaller than Maverick)

Heh. I just flashed back to visions of the A-10 with twin Sidewinders, triple racks of Mavericks,  and loads of cluster bombs, the way we used to build the model kits.

Offline sferrin

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #229 on: March 30, 2017, 11:57:26 am »
The F-16XL had 17 hard points and can carry about 16,000 lbs of ordinance.

Thing is, sheer weight of payload was never the key factor in CAS.  Much was made of the ability to load the A-10 wingtip to wingtip, but I think the usual CAS load in Desert Storm was the gun, two Mavericks, and a couple of cluster bombs plus an ALQ and a Sidewinder for self-defense.  Today, you could probably do with even less weight (more munitions, but much smaller than Maverick)

Too bad the A-10 never got the pairs of 19-round HVM launchers.
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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #230 on: April 09, 2017, 12:39:31 pm »
"Lockheed Passes On USAF’s Light Attack Demo"
Apr 8, 2017 Lara Seligman | Aerospace Daily & Defense Report

Source:
http://aviationweek.com/awindefense/lockheed-passes-usaf-s-light-attack-demo

Quote
Lockheed Martin has decided not to offer an aircraft for the U.S. Air Force’s light attack demonstration this summer, making it the second major defense contractor in two weeks to opt out of the OA-X experiment. Lockheed joins Boeing in passing on the OA-X demonstration this summer at Holloman AFB, New Mexico, company spokesman John Losinger confirmed to Aviation Week. Proposals for the experiment – which could lead to a buy of 300 off-the-shelf, light-attack aircraft for ...

Offline TomcatViP

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #231 on: April 09, 2017, 06:51:37 pm »
Lockheed is not Sikorsky, right?

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #232 on: April 09, 2017, 10:50:36 pm »
Lockheed owns Sikorsky, and the folks from CT have a lot on their plate just this moment without OA-X to worry about.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #233 on: April 11, 2017, 04:59:31 am »
Not surprised to see these two opt out.  I think neither LM nor Boeing have an offering that fits the current demonstration requirement. 

Boeing doesn't have anything flying and non-developmental with austere field capability.  OV-10X is a PowerPoint airplane (I'm not sure if Boeing even owns any flying OV-10 airframes right now) and T-X isn't even remotely "non-developmental" at this point.  They don't have an airframe to spare for an OA-X demonstration even if they wanted to.  Mwari isn't theirs to offer, since they just do mission systems for it. 

Same for Lockheed Martin.  FA-50 doesn't do austere fields and there's nothing else in their product line that would answer the mail. 


Offline FighterJock

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #234 on: April 11, 2017, 05:48:10 am »
What about a modified variant of the Scorpion?  With what I have seen online about the Scorpion it can carry all the weapons that the A-10 can, the only thing missing would be a 25-30mm cannon pod but that would be easy to design and fit on.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #235 on: April 11, 2017, 08:30:23 am »
If you want to replace the A-10 (and its gun) with a Scorpion carrying a pod-mounted gun, consider the size of the A-10's gun.

Offline FighterJock

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #236 on: April 11, 2017, 08:54:35 am »
If you want to replace the A-10 (and its gun) with a Scorpion carrying a pod-mounted gun, consider the size of the A-10's gun.

Okay perhaps not the A-10's cannon, maybe something a bit smaller like the Apache's Chain Gun for instance?

Offline sferrin

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #237 on: April 11, 2017, 11:42:12 am »
If you want to replace the A-10 (and its gun) with a Scorpion carrying a pod-mounted gun, consider the size of the A-10's gun.

Okay perhaps not the A-10's cannon, maybe something a bit smaller like the Apache's Chain Gun for instance?
Just FYI there was/is a 4-barrel podded 30mm variant.  It was not nice to F-16s trying to employ them.
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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #238 on: April 11, 2017, 12:23:35 pm »
There's a pretty good 25mm gun pod right now.

Offline XP67_Moonbat

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #239 on: April 12, 2017, 09:11:18 am »
« Last Edit: April 12, 2017, 09:13:09 am by XP67_Moonbat »
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Offline TomS

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #240 on: April 12, 2017, 10:01:27 am »
OA-X contenders are looking kinda sparse.

http://www.combataircraft.net/2017/04/12/oa-x-contenders-are-dropping-like-flies/

Not too shocking not to see the Tucano show up -- they've already won one competition (LAS) and are seeing at least some actual combat.  The demonstration won't add to that.

Scorpion sort of has to show up to look credible, since Textron hasn't really got much track record in this sort of product. 

AT-6 has to try to demonstrate how they've improved since losing the LAS competition. 

IOMAX probably isn't high enough performance to be seriously considered -- nothing that struggles to get to 200 knots is going to work for the USAF.

Offline Avimimus

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #241 on: April 12, 2017, 01:35:36 pm »
Out of curiosity - what is keeping  AHRLAC out of the competition?

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #242 on: April 12, 2017, 03:33:28 pm »
Out of curiosity - what is keeping  AHRLAC out of the competition?
They're partnered with Boeing on upgrading their plane and Boeing is sitting this part of the program out. They could go around Big B to enter a demonstrator, but since they'd still need an American company to team with for any potential production order they likely wouldn't want to.

Offline TomS

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #243 on: April 12, 2017, 05:27:00 pm »
Also, AHRLAC have only one or two flying airframes right now, and those are probably tied up in development for their current customers.

Offline kcran567

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #244 on: April 12, 2017, 07:59:42 pm »
Every light fighter out there is uninspiring to say the least. And there is no true A-10 replacement on the horizon. No innovation, no balls.

Bronco, Tucano, Hawk...are you kidding?

If you want the big gun and armor, you'll end up with the A-10, but there will never be another true armored big gun airplane like the A-10. Maybe something like a scaled down Frogfoot.

Maybe something like a modern swing wing aircraft hi sortie aircraft that can fly slow and then Dash when needed, but needs to be made tough enough to take punishment to be a true CAS.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2017, 08:09:57 pm by kcran567 »

Offline Avimimus

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #245 on: April 12, 2017, 08:00:38 pm »
Interesting. Thanks for the insights.

Offline Colonial-Marine

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #246 on: April 12, 2017, 08:53:32 pm »
Every light fighter out there is uninspiring to say the least. And there is no true A-10 replacement on the horizon. No innovation, no balls.

Bronco, Tucano, Hawk...are you kidding?

If you want the big gun and armor, you'll end up with the A-10, but there will never be another true armored big gun airplane like the A-10. Maybe something like a scaled down Frogfoot.

Maybe something like a modern swing wing aircraft hi sortie aircraft that can fly slow and then Dash when needed, but needs to be made tough enough to take punishment to be a true CAS.

I think the complexity of the swing-wing would defeat one of the purposes of having such an aircraft. Better to accept that it will be somewhat slow.
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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #247 on: April 13, 2017, 11:04:00 am »
there is no true A-10 replacement on the horizon. No innovation, no balls.


If you are referring to something that requires use of a big gun and Mk1 eyeball as its main sensor (essentially what the A-10 is), then I would add "No need".  The mission of the A-10 can be done in other ways.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #248 on: April 13, 2017, 12:02:57 pm »
"IOMAX Archangel to sit out USAF's OA-X demonstration"
Gareth Jennings, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
12 April 2017

Source:
http://www.janes.com/article/69507/iomax-archangel-to-sit-out-usaf-s-oa-x-demonstration

Quote

IOMAX will not enter its Archangel Border Patrol Aircraft (BPA) into the US Air Force's (USAF's) OA-X light-attack demonstration set to be flown later this year, the company CEO told Jane's on 12 April.

While Ron Howard gave no reason for the lack of interest in the USAF's capability assessment planned for the third quarter of 2017, it is likely down to the OA-X requirements being geared towards a particular platform other than the Archangel BPA, and also to the company's recent experiences with the service over its thwarted attempts to sell the Archangel BPA to foreign allies.

In terms of the OA-X requirements, a solicitation posted by the USAF on 17 March listed a series of requirements that appear to have been drawn up with the Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano in mind (the USAF already sources this aircraft for allied air forces through Sierra-Nevada Corporation [SNC]).

Specific requirements listed include a pressurised cockpit (up to 25,000 ft) with tandem zero-zero ejection seats; a documented ability to employ Paveway II weapons, aerial gunnery, and guided/unguided rockets; a documented ability to meet a 2.5 hours (with an average total fuel flow approximately 1,500 lbs/h) mission endurance with appropriate visual flight rules fuel reserves, full guns, and two weapon stations loaded with munitions (external fuel tanks are permissible to attain this mission endurance); a documented ability to taxi, take off, land, refuel, and re-arm on austere fields with unimproved surfaces (rated at a California Bearing Ratio-5) with no ground support other than fuel and US standard munitions handling equipment; a demonstrated ability to take off using a maximum runway length of less than 6,000 ft to clear a 50-ft obstacle, and to then fly a minimum 2.5 hour combat profile; and a documented manufacturing capability and capacity, in compliance with Buy America Act, to meet the intended production quantities and lot buys.

Offline TomS

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #249 on: April 13, 2017, 12:12:58 pm »
"IOMAX Archangel to sit out USAF's OA-X demonstration"
Gareth Jennings, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
12 April 2017

Source:
http://www.janes.com/article/69507/iomax-archangel-to-sit-out-usaf-s-oa-x-demonstration

So those requirements also indicate why AHRLAC isn't participating.  Notably the requirement to comply with the Buy America Act -- they don't have any sort of US-based manufacturing capability. 

Offline Triton

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #250 on: April 13, 2017, 01:47:18 pm »
"OA-X: Is the U.S. Air Force Ready to Purchase a New Light Attack Aircraft?"
Dave Majumdar
March 28, 2017

Source:
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/oa-x-the-us-air-force-ready-purchace-new-light-attack-19927

Quote
The United States Air Force is expected to hold demonstrations this summer to show off the capabilities of a new light attack aircraft the service might eventually purchase under a new OA-X program.

The Air Force had attempted to buy a light attack aircraft in 2008 under a previous iteration of the OA-X program, but ultimately that effort came to naught. The previous OA-X effort came at a time when the Air Force was fighting two counterinsurgency wars simultaneously in Iraq and Afghanistan, but political forces and bureaucratic inertia within the service carried the day. How this latest iteration of the OA-X will fare is an open question—but undoubtedly there are those within the Air Force who will vigorously fight the purchase of any new tactical aircraft that isn’t the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Nonetheless, the Air Force is proceeding with its planned demonstration effort. The hope is that an operational OA-X would eventually free up more expensive fighter aircraft such as the Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle or F-35 Lightning II for missions against more challenging foes.

Former Air Force B-52 pilot and airpower analyst Mark Gunzinger at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments said that this time around, the Air Force is likely serious about the OA-X. The service desperately needs more aircraft to provide more flying hours for its pilots and a low-cost OA-X could be just the answer the Air Force is looking for.

“The Air Force has been clear it is pursuing a light attack aircraft – perhaps more than a single variant over time – that could support counterinsurgency operations in permissive environments as well as increase the number of cockpits available to season pilots at an affordable cost per flying hour,” Gunzinger told The National Interest.

“I think the latter point is too quickly dismissed by some critics of this initiative. The Air Force has a pilot shortfall that is projected to grow to over 700 in the next couple of years. Moreover, while the Air Force’s Combat Air Force has shrunk to 55 fighter squadrons and a handful of bomber squadrons, there are other critical positions that require pilots such as joint staffs, operational planning staffs, etc. The Air Force is going to produce more pilots, but they will need cockpits for them – and a light attack aircraft with a two-pilot cockpit and a cost per flying hour of $4-5,000 could be a cost-effective alternative.  Add to that the availability of several off-the-shelf (or nearly so) aircraft; this becomes an option the Congress could fund that would have a near-immediate impact on the Air Force’s readiness.  There is also the potential for foreign military sales to allies and partners.  So, this said, I think the initiative has a good chance of succeeding.”

Col. Michael Pietrucha—one of the originators of the 2008 OA-X concept—wrote in War on the Rocks that the demand signal for airpower fighting counterinsurgency wars shows no sign of abating.

“We can no longer pretend that the demand for combat airpower in irregular conflicts will end soon,” Pietrucha wrote.

“The re-emergence of great power competition does not automatically translate into a reduction of irregular threats. Faced with a problem set that will not go away and a fighter/attack fleet that has been ridden hard and put away wet, it makes perfect sense to add combat capability quickly, and it is entirely reasonable that that airpower be designed for the conflicts we face today.  OA-X is intended to be an additive capability — not to replace any other element of the fighter/attack fleet.  The Air Force is not trading away its ability to fight a peer adversary, but it is making sure that the forces necessary for a modern theater war are ready for that fight by not frittering the lifespans of our advanced legacy fighters away on tasks that could be done as well for far less cost. The Air Force has done this before, and it has good reason to try again.”
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 01:59:56 pm by Triton »

Offline Triton

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #251 on: April 13, 2017, 02:08:32 pm »
there is no true A-10 replacement on the horizon. No innovation, no balls.


If you are referring to something that requires use of a big gun and Mk1 eyeball as its main sensor (essentially what the A-10 is), then I would add "No need".  The mission of the A-10 can be done in other ways.

Perhaps because the A-10 replacement is still the F-35A?

Offline GTX

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #252 on: April 13, 2017, 02:19:25 pm »

Perhaps because the A-10 replacement is still the F-35A?

Not just the F-35.  The F-35 is jus one way of undertaking the roles traditionally performed by the A-10.  Other platforms (e.g. F-16, F-15, F/A-18 etc) all contribute.  As do larger platforms (e.g. B-1b, B-2 etc) as well as non manned platforms (various UAVs, guided missiles etc) and indeed non-air platforms altogether (artillery rounds etc etc).  In a modern/future battlefield heavily laden with networked systems and the like the whole "network centric warfare" effect could take the lead here.  Therefore, to take just one traditional A-10 role, that of CAS, technically an infantry unit in the field could call in for CAS support but get this satisfied using some combination of F-35s dropping ordnance, a MQ-9 firing missiles, a USMC unit launching HIMARS rockets or even potentially a naval platform firing rounds inland.

My point was that in the future, the old A-10 with big gun and Mk1 eyeball is just one way of undertaking said missions and arguably an outmoded means at that (even if it is sexy).
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 02:23:47 pm by GTX »

Offline TomcatViP

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #253 on: April 13, 2017, 03:58:13 pm »
"Specific requirements listed include a pressurised cockpit (up to 25,000 ft) with tandem zero-zero ejection seats"
This killed out the Archangel and others similar design. Without pressurisation, Pilots would have to fly below 15000ft or keepr their oxygen masq on for a lengthy period of time.
On the IOMAX, this translate to orbit at 12kft and 100+ knots. Not a survivable environement if you also want to nurture your pilots flight hours.
If none of the FVL competitors enter the competition (the 10/20M$ might seem a little bit too tight budget), the game will certainly be runned b/w Textron (a mix of aircraft?) and SN
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 04:01:04 pm by TomcatViP »

Offline kcran567

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #254 on: April 14, 2017, 02:33:55 am »

Perhaps because the A-10 replacement is still the F-35A?

Not just the F-35.  The F-35 is jus one way of undertaking the roles traditionally performed by the A-10.  Other platforms (e.g. F-16, F-15, F/A-18 etc) all contribute.  As do larger platforms (e.g. B-1b, B-2 etc) as well as non manned platforms (various UAVs, guided missiles etc) and indeed non-air platforms altogether (artillery rounds etc etc).  In a modern/future battlefield heavily laden with networked systems and the like the whole "network centric warfare" effect could take the lead here.  Therefore, to take just one traditional A-10 role, that of CAS, technically an infantry unit in the field could call in for CAS support but get this satisfied using some combination of F-35s dropping ordnance, a MQ-9 firing missiles, a USMC unit launching HIMARS rockets or even potentially a naval platform firing rounds inland.

My point was that in the future, the old A-10 with big gun and Mk1 eyeball is just one way of undertaking said missions and arguably an outmoded means at that (even if it is sexy).
there is no true A-10 replacement on the horizon. No innovation, no balls.


If you are referring to something that requires use of a big gun and Mk1 eyeball as its main sensor (essentially what the A-10 is), then I would add "No need".  The mission of the A-10 can be done in other ways.

Perhaps because the A-10 replacement is still the F-35A?

Funny, troops on the ground actually want the A-10 but we are force feeding the mission of the A-10 to the F-35, unmanned, aircraft and other much Less capable aircraft. When did the A-10 mission become irrelevant, low tech and Brutish? Technology can help in amazing ways, that's why a true A-10 replacement would really benefit from the systems used on the f-35, pilotless aircraft, and other small payload, high altitude, bomb trucks that can't really get close to troops and combat on the ground.

Offline kaiserd

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #255 on: April 14, 2017, 08:51:37 am »

Perhaps because the A-10 replacement is still the F-35A?

Not just the F-35.  The F-35 is jus one way of undertaking the roles traditionally performed by the A-10.  Other platforms (e.g. F-16, F-15, F/A-18 etc) all contribute.  As do larger platforms (e.g. B-1b, B-2 etc) as well as non manned platforms (various UAVs, guided missiles etc) and indeed non-air platforms altogether (artillery rounds etc etc).  In a modern/future battlefield heavily laden with networked systems and the like the whole "network centric warfare" effect could take the lead here.  Therefore, to take just one traditional A-10 role, that of CAS, technically an infantry unit in the field could call in for CAS support but get this satisfied using some combination of F-35s dropping ordnance, a MQ-9 firing missiles, a USMC unit launching HIMARS rockets or even potentially a naval platform firing rounds inland.

My point was that in the future, the old A-10 with big gun and Mk1 eyeball is just one way of undertaking said missions and arguably an outmoded means at that (even if it is sexy).
there is no true A-10 replacement on the horizon. No innovation, no balls.


If you are referring to something that requires use of a big gun and Mk1 eyeball as its main sensor (essentially what the A-10 is), then I would add "No need".  The mission of the A-10 can be done in other ways.

Perhaps because the A-10 replacement is still the F-35A?

Funny, troops on the ground actually want the A-10 but we are force feeding the mission of the A-10 to the F-35, unmanned, aircraft and other much Less capable aircraft. When did the A-10 mission become irrelevant, low tech and Brutish? Technology can help in amazing ways, that's why a true A-10 replacement would really benefit from the systems used on the f-35, pilotless aircraft, and other small payload, high altitude, bomb trucks that can't really get close to troops and combat on the ground.

The point is that technological advances mean that (1) far less likely to get "close" and survive (and far less willingness to accept losses) and (2) far less need to get "close" due to advancements in targeting and weapons. The CAS role/ mission has hence evolved and many mindsets haven't kept up.
Hence in such discussions the A-10 becomes a symbol/ signal rather the aircraft it actualy is with its plus and minus points (perhaps more fairly "nice to have" rather than "must have" points) versus other components of the constellation/ combination of solutions that make up the CAS team of which the A-10 is a part.
Hope the A-10C continues in service as long as possible but the thinking that only an A-10 can fulfill the CAS role is misguided. The F-35 in combination with a whole load of other solutions will eventually replace the A-10 in this role and they will do it better (but differently).

Offline GTX

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #256 on: April 14, 2017, 10:49:53 am »
The F-35 in combination with a whole load of other solutions will eventually replace the A-10 in this role and they will do it better (but differently).

Exactly.

And by the way, when will people finally understand that the "Close" in Close Air Support actually refers to the fact that the enemy is close to the troops calling for support.  It is not that the delivering system has to get close...

Offline Jeb

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #257 on: April 14, 2017, 12:23:22 pm »
When did the A-10 mission become irrelevant, low tech and Brutish?

When it was introduced, to be honest. Remember that the reason that the A-10 was built with so much redundancy and that titanium bathtub wasn't so it could keep fightin' when it was hit (and it would be hit, often, in any near-peer conflict), it was to get the pilot safely out of a major danger zone and either back to the airfield if lucky or somewhere that friendlies could pick said pilot up.

Offline Triton

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #258 on: April 14, 2017, 02:10:38 pm »
The F-35 in combination with a whole load of other solutions will eventually replace the A-10 in this role and they will do it better (but differently).

Exactly.

And by the way, when will people finally understand that the "Close" in Close Air Support actually refers to the fact that the enemy is close to the troops calling for support.  It is not that the delivering system has to get close...

But are counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, and close air support missions in permissive environments a good use of a fifth-generation multi-role fighter aircraft with operating costs of $42,169 per hour or another high-end aircraft that costs tens-of-thousands of dollars to operate? Or do you want to use the very expensive high-end platforms for other missions and give the counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, and close air support mission to a light attack aircraft that is cheaper to procure and operate?

Offline GTX

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #259 on: April 14, 2017, 02:49:29 pm »
But are counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, and close air support missions in permissive environments a good use of a fifth-generation multi-role fighter aircraft

I thought I made it clear that the F-35 is simply one potential system able to be used.  It does not necessarily need to be used in all cases.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #260 on: April 14, 2017, 04:10:09 pm »
Or do you want to use the very expensive high-end platforms for other missions and give the counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, and close air support mission to a light attack aircraft that is cheaper to procure and operate?

Or you use (as it being used) the MQ-9 but in all probability enlisted men will be permitted to fly
it which will mean that fighter pilots who finished in the top half of their class on the T-6 II but
the bottom half of their class on the jet trainer will have nowhere to go aside from bombers
or transports and in all likelihood will leave the service.

Enter the OA-X: for retention and some combat utility in permissive.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #261 on: April 15, 2017, 06:03:12 pm »
Sounds like someone needs to dust off the Rutan Ares (or a similar concept) to be able to offer anything truly adapted to the mission.

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Offline TomcatViP

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #262 on: April 15, 2017, 06:11:59 pm »
This was a terrain hugging airframe. Surely NOT something that is wanted today.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #263 on: April 16, 2017, 03:06:29 pm »
Sounds like someone needs to dust off the Rutan Ares (or a similar concept) to be able to offer anything truly adapted to the mission.

900 lbs of external payload? No thanks.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #264 on: April 17, 2017, 10:10:50 am »

If you are referring to something that requires use of a big gun and Mk1 eyeball as its main sensor (essentially what the A-10 is), then I would add "No need".  The mission of the A-10 can be done in other ways.

Please elaborate. In what "other ways" can that mission be done?

Offline GTX

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #265 on: April 17, 2017, 10:37:47 am »
Read above follow up posts

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #266 on: April 17, 2017, 08:13:46 pm »
When it was introduced, to be honest. Remember that the reason that the A-10 was built with so much redundancy and that titanium bathtub wasn't so it could keep fightin' when it was hit (and it would be hit, often, in any near-peer conflict), it was to get the pilot safely out of a major danger zone and either back to the airfield if lucky or somewhere that friendlies could pick said pilot up.

Half of A-10s hit by MANPADS in the Gulf War were lost. Evidently the concept of taking a hit needed some work, with attrition like that they would have evaporated against the thousands of MANPADs Warsaw Pact forces would have brought to bear in a European conflict.

Offline VTOLicious

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #267 on: April 17, 2017, 11:56:57 pm »
DefenseNews: In the fight against ISIS, Predators and Reapers prove close-air support bona-fides

"While the words “close-air support” bring to mind the venerable A-10 Warthog, unmanned Predator and Reaper drones are increasingly assuming that role in battles against the Islamic State group, particularly in constrained urban environments like that of Mosul."

“I think that is not a well understood piece of what we are doing and certainly something that commanders on the ground are asking us to do day in and day out, multiple times a day.”

 ::)

http://www.defensenews.com/articles/in-the-fight-against-isis-predators-and-reapers-prove-close-air-support-bona-fides


Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #268 on: April 18, 2017, 01:55:08 am »
It seems like just more of the USAF's anti-Warthog propaganda to me. The piece closely follows the same line the Air Force and other UAV proponents within the Armed Forces/DOD have been spouting for at least well over a decade. However, given how consistently their assertions and claims have fallen short of the mark in real life during that time, I would say their PR efforts are ringing more than a bit hollow at this stage.
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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #269 on: April 18, 2017, 08:12:37 am »
It seems like just more of the USAF's anti-Warthog propaganda to me. The piece closely follows the same line the Air Force and other UAV proponents within the Armed Forces/DOD have been spouting for at least well over a decade. However, given how consistently their assertions and claims have fallen short of the mark in real life during that time, I would say their PR efforts are ringing more than a bit hollow at this stage.

Therein lies the problem. The USAF has spent over 15 years now in operations against an adversary that basically has small arms for air defense. That's a long time to go without seeing what a real AD network can do against aircraft. Makes the current force mix seem entirely adequate across the board, because your A-10s can cue up basic gun runs all day long with minimal maneuvering and countermeasures.

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #270 on: April 18, 2017, 10:47:19 am »
It seems like just more of the USAF's anti-Warthog propaganda to me.

Not this rubbish again... :o

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #271 on: April 18, 2017, 10:52:35 am »
It seems like just more of the USAF's anti-Warthog propaganda to me. The piece closely follows the same line the Air Force and other UAV proponents within the Armed Forces/DOD have been spouting for at least well over a decade. However, given how consistently their assertions and claims have fallen short of the mark in real life during that time, I would say their PR efforts are ringing more than a bit hollow at this stage.

Yes a vast and insidious anti-Warthog propaganda campaign that includes unreserved
praise for the A-10 and detailed descriptions of what the A-10 is accomplishing and
what it brings.


http://www.airforcemag.com/DRArchive/Pages/2017/April%202017/April%2013%202017/The-A-10-Operations-Tempo-Against-ISIS.aspx

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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #272 on: April 18, 2017, 06:09:34 pm »
When it was introduced, to be honest. Remember that the reason that the A-10 was built with so much redundancy and that titanium bathtub wasn't so it could keep fightin' when it was hit (and it would be hit, often, in any near-peer conflict), it was to get the pilot safely out of a major danger zone and either back to the airfield if lucky or somewhere that friendlies could pick said pilot up.

Half of A-10s hit by MANPADS in the Gulf War were lost. Evidently the concept of taking a hit needed some work, with attrition like that they would have evaporated against the thousands of MANPADs Warsaw Pact forces would have brought to bear in a European conflict.

What percentage of the other types were hit by MANPADS and survived? Was it more or less than the A-10? I am wondering if you just found a statistic online and are parroting it, or if you actually know what you're talking about.
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Re: A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement
« Reply #273 on: April 18, 2017, 07:34:12 pm »
Half of A-10s hit by MANPADS in the Gulf War were lost. Evidently the concept of taking a hit needed some work, with attrition like that they would have evaporated against the thousands of MANPADs Warsaw Pact forces would have brought to bear in a European conflict.

What percentage of the other types were hit by MANPADS and survived? Was it more or less than the A-10? I am wondering if you just found a statistic online and are parroting it, or if you actually know what you're talking about.

The official statistical survey did not distinguish between losses due to the bigger, vehicle mounted IR SAMs (SA-9/SA-13) and  MANPADS (SA-7/SA-14).

But apparently, subsequent analysis has shown that half of the A-10s downed by IR SAMs were downed by SA-13s.


This site is a compilation (with updates/clarifications)

http://www.rjlee.org/air/ds-aaloss/

of the official survey:

https://media.defense.gov/2010/Sep/27/2001329816/-1/-1/0/AFD-100927-065.pdf

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