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

TomS

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Landing gear mishap unlikely to affect Bronco II’s chances in SOCOM competition

The Bronco II prototype has been flying demonstration flights in the United States as part of the Armed Overwatch competition, which could see up to 75 aircraft acquired. After several successful flights, the aircraft was parked on the ground on 9 July when it suffered minor damage to its landing gear, according to a photo obtained by Aviation Week.

A Leidos spokesperson told Aviation Week the aircraft suffered minor damage “during a preventative maintenance action.” It is not clear if human error or a technical problem was responsible, although it could be a combination of both.

Sounds like someone hit the gear retract and a weight-on-wheels switch failed, so the plane folded up the gear despite being firmly planted on the ground. Not the first time a WoW switch has failed like that, but certainly an embarrassing moment for it to happen.
 

Grey Havoc

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With bandwidth at even more of a premium than ever, I wonder. Though then again, some congressional and procurement types might insist on it for this test at least.
 

FighterJock

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Good news for the A-10, after all the money that the air force has spent on the upgrades in the past few years on the Hog I would wonder how the USAF would think on putting it up for retirement in the boneyard right now. Makes me angry just thinking about it. :mad:
 

compton_effect

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One interesting thing to note. The Bronco II actually has two versions. One that is ITAR compliant and assembled in the USA - the Bronco II. The other one with all restricted components and avionics replaced by South African or foreign sourced components - the Mwari. (Mwari is the name of an African Deity worshipped by the Shona tribes in Southern Africa.)

The first of several Mwari was just delivered to the Mozambican Air Force and will be used in Counter-Insurgency Operations against Islamic Militants in the Cabo Delgado province.
 

trose213

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One interesting thing to note. The Bronco II actually has two versions. One that is ITAR compliant and assembled in the USA - the Bronco II. The other one with all restricted components and avionics replaced by South African or foreign sourced components - the Mwari. (Mwari is the name of an African Deity worshipped by the Shona tribes in Southern Africa.)

The first of several Mwari was just delivered to the Mozambican Air Force and will be used in Counter-Insurgency Operations against Islamic Militants in the Cabo Delgado province.
I think the Bronco's chances are pretty low, just because it doesn't do anything particularly well and setting up a new line is pretty expensive. Light attack isn't the A-10 replacement.
 

FighterJock

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One interesting thing to note. The Bronco II actually has two versions. One that is ITAR compliant and assembled in the USA - the Bronco II. The other one with all restricted components and avionics replaced by South African or foreign sourced components - the Mwari. (Mwari is the name of an African Deity worshipped by the Shona tribes in Southern Africa.)

The first of several Mwari was just delivered to the Mozambican Air Force and will be used in Counter-Insurgency Operations against Islamic Militants in the Cabo Delgado province.
I think the Bronco's chances are pretty low, just because it doesn't do anything particularly well and setting up a new line is pretty expensive. Light attack isn't the A-10 replacement.

Quite right too trose213, I have always hated the thought of light attack aircraft replacing the A-10 just because of all those triple digit SAMs that the Russians are fielding right now they would not survive any future war that those missiles are used in.
 

trose213

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compton_effect

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One interesting thing to note. The Bronco II actually has two versions. One that is ITAR compliant and assembled in the USA - the Bronco II. The other one with all restricted components and avionics replaced by South African or foreign sourced components - the Mwari. (Mwari is the name of an African Deity worshipped by the Shona tribes in Southern Africa.)

The first of several Mwari was just delivered to the Mozambican Air Force and will be used in Counter-Insurgency Operations against Islamic Militants in the Cabo Delgado province.
I think the Bronco's chances are pretty low, just because it doesn't do anything particularly well and setting up a new line is pretty expensive. Light attack isn't the A-10 replacement.

Quite right too trose213, I have always hated the thought of light attack aircraft replacing the A-10 just because of all those triple digit SAMs that the Russians are fielding right now they would not survive any future war that those missiles are used in.
You are both right. The original concept of the AHRLAC was for a low-cost multirole aircraft that could offer some of the benefits of a helicopter, while being flexible enough to operate in various other ISR roles. The lead designer was part of the original Rooivalk Gunship project. And he did a fine job on those requirements.

It can operate out of austere environments, can survive small arms fire and act as a weapons platform. Observation, counter-insurgency operations, forward air control. If you compare it to the original Bronco - you'll see why they chose that name.

But its not an A-10 replacement. Its Mozambican deployment is exactly what it was designed for. Its a Bronco replacement.
 

riggerrob

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It has a more defavorable power to Weight ratio than the original Bronco. That's not good.
Bronco II only has to out-fly the Dishka heavy machineguns fielded by local dissidents, smugglers, etc.
Since few adhoc armies can afford aircraft, Bronco II does not need to worry about air-to-air combat.
The third advantage is that smaller, poorer nations can actually afford to operate a handful of Bronco IIs.
 

TomcatViP

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I do agree. But the limitations to employ an heavy unpowered aircraft are not trivials: it's payload and persistence at range that are directly imparted.

When the Colombian air force had to rely on armed Tucanos, their loiter time on armed patrol in many area could drop so significantly that militants just had to take a coffee break (or whatever was their thing) the time they left the area.
In the context of Africa this can only lead to a duplication of fixed fortified position to erect and defend small strips. Those positions are often a bona fida for that type of insurgents that can discreetly mass force around for an assault and grab heavy weaponry often found in those outpost.
(in effect such dispersed airfield are not used)

The need for payload and loiter time at range is real and IMOHO more efficient (compare the cost of manning the said outpost to the extra you'd pay for a better engine and the extra fuel consumption).
 

trose213

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Bronco II only has to out-fly the Dishka heavy machineguns fielded by local dissidents, smugglers, etc.
That's why the Bronco II, something more akin to a powered glider, is a poor successor to the OG Bronco, which was more of a cargo plane. Not really sure what II offers over a drone.
 

compton_effect

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Damn. I liked the look of the Bronco 2.
It offered modular functionality that was actually impressive.
FAjnndUXMAQWub1
 

muttly

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The A-10 can punch holes in anything on the battlefield. If you
can't find anything better keep what you have.
 

yasotay

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Damn. I liked the look of the Bronco 2.
It offered modular functionality that was actually impressive.
I was also surprised by it's relatively early demise. A broken airplane is always tough to overcome in a competition. I would suspect that there were other industrial issues and integration security issues that played a part of the decision. Honestly at this point, and knowing what little I do know on the subject, I would throw my hat in with the Sierra Nevada "Coyote". Two engines (important in poorly developed areas), tremendous payload flexibility, and perhaps most importantly it has already been flown by US AFSOC for a considerable amount of time, so they have trained pilots and maintainers with combat experience. The imponderables of politics (a.k.a. money) may be the only black swan on this program for me.
 

GTX

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The A-10 can punch holes in anything on the battlefield. If you
can't find anything better keep what you have.
Plenty of things batter than a nearly 50 year old platform using arguably 80yr old concepts of operation.
 

uk 75

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The A10 is basically a wingload of ordinance and a big gun.
A UAV version ought to be possible.
 

yasotay

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Give it to the Army!
Alas, the Army can't afford it. Not enough people slots to put into it. Not enough funds for all the parts and maintenance. The A-10 for all its greatness was designed into the Air Force means and methods. Probably not surprising the Air Force and the Army do things differently. As much as the Army loves the A-10 (favorite bar none), the Army also loves that it is the Air Force's aircraft.
 

TomS

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The A-10 can punch holes in anything on the battlefield. If you
can't find anything better keep what you have.

The Armed Overwatch program ( the current focus of the thread) is not meant as an A-10 replacement.
 

Firefinder

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Give it to the Army!
Alas, the Army can't afford it. Not enough people slots to put into it. Not enough funds for all the parts and maintenance. The A-10 for all its greatness was designed into the Air Force means and methods. Probably not surprising the Air Force and the Army do things differently. As much as the Army loves the A-10 (favorite bar none), the Army also loves that it is the Air Force's aircraft.
Also the Air Force said that the army can not make new air fields or parts for it.

Or update it.

Which was the killer...
 

Grey Havoc

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A UAV version ought to be possible.
The USAF's attempt to replace it with the original MQ-X 'Hunter-Killer' program did not go well.
Though reading your post again, I realise that I misunderstood your statement as promoting the idea of an unmanned replacement, rather than what you actually meant, i.e. converting existing A-10 airframes to at least semi-autonomous UCAVs. I think we have at least one thread relating to the latter idea lurking around somewhere...
 

Fluff

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A UAV version ought to be possible.
The USAF's attempt to replace it with the original MQ-X 'Hunter-Killer' program did not go well.
Though reading your post again, I realise that I misunderstood your statement as promoting the idea of an unmanned replacement, rather than what you actually meant, i.e. converting existing A-10 airframes to at least semi-autonomous UCAVs. I think we have at least one thread relating to the latter idea lurking around somewhere...
Not sure that solves many problems, does'nt make the plane any younger, etc. I suppose it updates the avionics, but you could do that to the manned aircraft. Also while UAV's are great over someone else's sparsely populated region, how realistic is it to have say 200 flying over say Poland, targeting Russian Tanks? Do we have the command and control for that, and with enemy UAV and manned fighters hunting them?
 

muttly

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What are these better things ? Are they operational and do we have them yet?
 

publiusr

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I think Five O’Clock Charlie in his bi-plane from M*A*S*H could shoot down our drones.

Give a Grunt an A-10, and he’d have Zeus crapping ball lightning.

I love it for the same reason I love SLS…everyone wants to kill them.
 

TomcatViP

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Also while UAV's are great over someone else's sparsely populated region, how realistic is it to have say 200 flying over say Poland, targeting Russian Tanks? Do we have the command and control for that [...] ?
Not yet. But close: FARA

PJMJRQQT5FCABIQU22YNNBNEME.jpg


Also an unmanned A-10 would be lighter (devoid of the titanium tub), have more range (extra internal fuel) and be even scarier (the idea that any 19 year old grunt could have such firepower on hands would make any elder think cautiously twice!).
 
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isayyo2

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Thailand will be the AT-6's launch customer

 

yasotay

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"Do we have the command and control for that, ...?"

To paraphrase a moderately okay science fiction movie - "That detective, is the right question."

One word: Bandwidth.
 

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