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A-X all over again - USAF pushes for A-10 replacement

_Del_

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sferrin said:
_Del_ said:
Even if you load out with APKWS,Brimstones and other small missiles, a higher payload enables you to strike more targets per sortie by carrying more weapons. If endurance is equal between two platforms, an eight-hour patrol by a Texan is cut short after he expends his loadout. Then he spends more time in transit back and forth and off-target. While the Reaper stays on station with extra weapons still on pylons before a Winchester call. It can also take them on station farther away because it has longer legs/endurance. And it barely, if ever makes the news when they lose one. A Texan seems like an unnecessary redundancy.
The Texan doesn't go TU when the com. link goes down.
Not an insignificant point. Does that mean we should look to small, less-capable turoprops, or can we also we look for something more capable that has some or most of the qualities of the Reaper we want/need that is manned and not vulnerable to that one specific weakness? Also, does this completely outweigh the fact that you could lose a dozen Reapers in a single day and it would barely make it to the back page, while the first time a Texan/STucano is lost to enemy action it will involve loss of life and/or an effort intensive CSAR diverting assets and be front page news and seen all over the nightly news?

I think you still need human eyes up there. I just don't see much capability (speed, payload, range, endurance) in the smaller turboprops that would justify a purchase given the multitude of other options.
 

marauder2048

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FWIW, the "O" mission via the AERONET datalink that the light attack turboprops were required to
use in the experiment is probably only going to be useful in a fairly benign comms environment.

Actually CSAR is probably one of the areas where the smaller turboprops could have utility.
 

LowObservable

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a Texan is cut short after he expends his loadout.

Them's fightin words in Foat Wuff, son.
 

Jeb

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_Del_ said:
I think you still need human eyes up there. I just don't see much capability (speed, payload, range, endurance) in the smaller turboprops that would justify a purchase given the multitude of other options.
Can you imagine the 60 Minutes expose if a unit of operators was overrun and slaughtered because the USAF had deployed slow, lightly armed PROPELLOR PLANES into a combat theater instead of the supersonic strike fighters that could have reached and protected the boots in time to save their lives? Then it'd be just another round of "the Air Force doesn't care about CAS".
 

_Del_

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And the same wags who constantly harp on our need to cut spending on the military budget will ask why the USAF was determined to start flying propeller planes instead of using stealthy jets.
 
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