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

kaiserd

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Jeb said:
AeroFranz said:
Triton said:
Are helicopters and tiltrotor aircraft less vulnerable to the current generation of MANPADS than fixed-wing light attack aircraft?
My guess is there are larger vulnerable areas in helos and tiltrotors than in fixed wing aircraft (long transmissions, tail rotors, cross-shafts, etc.). The former are more likely to be twin-engined though...
Not to mention the overall speed and energy maneuver advantages that fixed wings convey.

I mean, if you get caught with your pants down by a SA-14 at too-close range, you're going to be in trouble, but some of that depends on where the SAM sees your heat. That's why Harriers turned out to be particularly vulnerable to IR seekers...they tended to hit at midbody where the hot exhaust nozzles were. That's also why the turboprop light attack candidates are going to have a tougher row to hoe...their turbine exhausts sit right between the propeller disc and the cockpit, and that's the last place you want a warhead to pop off. Broncos at least exhaust outboard of the engine nacelles.
The likes of the SA-14 are very old hat re: MANPADS; the last few generations of MANPADS (for example the SA-18 & SA-25) have far more sophisticated speakers than that for the SA-14 (e.g. the SA-25 with Multi spectral optical/imaging seekers) that are not drawn to specific hot spots but at an identified IR image of the target (massively reduces by the effectiveness of IR jammers and flares). It is the same seeker advancements seen in the latest generation of IR AAMs.
The near total inability to spoof such advance seekers drives the need to stay outside their missiles effective combat ranges as one of the few effective counter measures.
 

yasotay

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or develop new ASE that deals with the new seeker.
 

Jeb

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kaiserd said:
Jeb said:
AeroFranz said:
Triton said:
Are helicopters and tiltrotor aircraft less vulnerable to the current generation of MANPADS than fixed-wing light attack aircraft?
My guess is there are larger vulnerable areas in helos and tiltrotors than in fixed wing aircraft (long transmissions, tail rotors, cross-shafts, etc.). The former are more likely to be twin-engined though...
Not to mention the overall speed and energy maneuver advantages that fixed wings convey.

I mean, if you get caught with your pants down by a SA-14 at too-close range, you're going to be in trouble, but some of that depends on where the SAM sees your heat. That's why Harriers turned out to be particularly vulnerable to IR seekers...they tended to hit at midbody where the hot exhaust nozzles were. That's also why the turboprop light attack candidates are going to have a tougher row to hoe...their turbine exhausts sit right between the propeller disc and the cockpit, and that's the last place you want a warhead to pop off. Broncos at least exhaust outboard of the engine nacelles.
The likes of the SA-14 are very old hat re: MANPADS; the last few generations of MANPADS (for example the SA-18 & SA-25) have far more sophisticated speakers than that for the SA-14 (e.g. the SA-25 with Multi spectral optical/imaging seekers) that are not drawn to specific hot spots but at an identified IR image of the target (massively reduces by the effectiveness of IR jammers and flares). It is the same seeker advancements seen in the latest generation of IR AAMs.
The near total inability to spoof such advance seekers drives the need to stay outside their missiles effective combat ranges as one of the few effective counter measures.
All that basically just confirms the overall concept that you need speed and altitude (two things that the A-10 doesn't do well), and that means larger jet-powered airframes, and that a push to light attack aircraft is just "affordability theater" that doesn't reflect modern threats.
 

Triton

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yasotay said:
or develop new ASE that deals with the new seeker.
Aircraft Survivability Equipment [ASE] such as Directional Infrared Counter Measures (DIRCM)? Or are there other technologies to deal with the new seeker?
 

marauder2048

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DIRCM's viablility against imaging seekers depends on the "size"of the FPA: the number of elements that need to be saturated.
Against smaller format FPAs this is probably doable but if you can't saturate the entire FPA there's enough information
for the seeker to home-on-jam.

There's some suggestion that interleaving lasing and flares would get a missile in HOJ mode to eat the flare.
 

Triton

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How much of the OA-X light attack experiment this summer is to keep Senator John McCain happy? I understand that the 300 light attack aircraft requirement comes from McCain's white paper titled Restoring American Power and not from the United States Air Force.
 

Triton

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On the subject of MANPADS

"Russia built one of the most alarming antiaircraft systems in history — and won't say who it's sending it to"
Armin Rosen
Jun. 19, 2015, 4:02 PM

Source:
http://www.businessinsider.com/russia-built-one-of-the-most-alarming-anti-aircraft-systems-in-history--and-wont-say-who-its-sending-it-to-2015-6

One of Russia's most alarming new weapons capabilities may be on the move soon.

Jane's reports that KBM, a state-owned armament company specializing in missile systems, recently presented its 9K333 Verba man-portable air-defense system (MANPADS).

At an arms fair this week, the company announced that the weapon had been cleared for export — although KBM designer Gen. Velariy Kashin would not reveal the foreign buyer or buyers.

Kashin described the 9K333 Verba as "the most capable" MANPADS ever developed, according to Jane's. Missiles are guided to their targets using a "three-channel optical seeker, which operates in the ultraviolet, near-infrared, and mid-infrared wavelengths," a feature that increases the weapon's accuracy and speeds up its target acquisition.

As Armament Research Services explains, the 9K333's targeting system is specially built to fool its targets' anti-missile systems: Because the warhead contains three infrared sensors that are constantly cross-checking against one another, it is "even harder for a target aircraft to disrupt the system using decoys." The missiles' "seeker" also allows projectiles to better distinguish between aircraft and heat pockets that might throw off a less advanced weapon's targeting system.

The 9K333 can strike aircraft at up to 13,500 feet. The 9K38 Igla, a somewhat comparable system, only weighs about 27 pounds, making the 9K333 is an incredibly lightweight, mobile, and user-friendly tool for shooting planes out of the sky.

The 9K333's first export license is a potentially ominous development. Small-arms proliferation isn't quite as galvanizing an issue as, say, the possible spread of nuclear weapons.

But while a nuclear warhead hasn't been detonated for offensive purposes since 1945, MANPADS are one of the most democratizing weapons ever made, spreading antiaircraft capabilities to armies and militia groups around the world.

There are scores of irregular forces and terrorist groups that would love to get their hands on something like the 9K333, and that could use it to wreak havoc on US or allied targets....
 

Triton

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"Textron offers Scorpion and AT-6 for OA-X effort"
20 April, 2017 SOURCE: Flightglobal.com BY: Dominic Perry London

Source:
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/textron-offers-scorpion-and-at-6-for-oa-x-effort-436376/

Textron Aviation is promoting both the Scorpion jet and Beechcraft AT-6 turboprop to the US Air Force for its OA-X light attack demonstration effort.

Speaking on a first quarter earnings call on 19 April, Scott Donnelly, chief executive of parent company Textron, confirmed that it had responded to the service with both models.

"We think both aircraft, whilst they’re different aircraft in terms of the performance envelope, can both fit within the realm of what kinds of capabilities the air force is looking to see demonstrated," he says.

Donnelly anticipates a decision from the service in May on whether one or both aircraft will be invited to participate in a flight-test phase, due to take place in August or September this year at Holloman AFB in New Mexico.

The USAF has no programme of record for a light-attack type, but is keen to see if the capabilities offered could provide a more cost-effective solution against certain targets than expensive fourth- or fifth-generation fighters.

Donnelly says a second production-conforming Scorpion got airborne "earlier this week", adding to an example that first flew in December 2016.

With a third flight-test vehicle currently in final assembly, Donnelly says the expanded fleet could allow it to devote two aircraft to the OA-X campaign and a third to the certification effort.

He says there is already "a fair bit of work" being carried out to prepare the Scorpion's mission systems for OA-X "which is very specific to what we know the air force is going to want to see demonstrated".

The aircraft need to be ready before August, he adds, "because the program will require flight training for some of the air force pilots".

In addition, conversations are continuing with potential export customers, with a series of demonstration flights now being scheduled for "one of the more important" prospects, says Donnelly.

"As you can imagine, the foreign customers are also very interested in this US Air Force programme because they like to see what the US Air Force is doing," he says.

Developed by the Textron AirLand joint venture, the Scorpion is intended as a low-cost ground attack or surveillance platform.

Powered by twin Honeywell TFE731 engines, it has already conducted a number of tests, including a series of weapons firings in October 2016.
 

jsport

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Triton said:
On the subject of MANPADS

"Russia built one of the most alarming antiaircraft systems in history — and won't say who it's sending it to"
Armin Rosen
Jun. 19, 2015, 4:02 PM

Source:
http://www.businessinsider.com/russia-built-one-of-the-most-alarming-anti-aircraft-systems-in-history--and-wont-say-who-its-sending-it-to-2015-6

One of Russia's most alarming new weapons capabilities may be on the move soon.

Jane's reports that KBM, a state-owned armament company specializing in missile systems, recently presented its 9K333 Verba man-portable air-defense system (MANPADS).

At an arms fair this week, the company announced that the weapon had been cleared for export — although KBM designer Gen. Velariy Kashin would not reveal the foreign buyer or buyers.

Kashin described the 9K333 Verba as "the most capable" MANPADS ever developed, according to Jane's. Missiles are guided to their targets using a "three-channel optical seeker, which operates in the ultraviolet, near-infrared, and mid-infrared wavelengths," a feature that increases the weapon's accuracy and speeds up its target acquisition.

As Armament Research Services explains, the 9K333's targeting system is specially built to fool its targets' anti-missile systems: Because the warhead contains three infrared sensors that are constantly cross-checking against one another, it is "even harder for a target aircraft to disrupt the system using decoys." The missiles' "seeker" also allows projectiles to better distinguish between aircraft and heat pockets that might throw off a less advanced weapon's targeting system.

The 9K333 can strike aircraft at up to 13,500 feet. The 9K38 Igla, a somewhat comparable system, only weighs about 27 pounds, making the 9K333 is an incredibly lightweight, mobile, and user-friendly tool for shooting planes out of the sky.

The 9K333's first export license is a potentially ominous development. Small-arms proliferation isn't quite as galvanizing an issue as, say, the possible spread of nuclear weapons.

But while a nuclear warhead hasn't been detonated for offensive purposes since 1945, MANPADS are one of the most democratizing weapons ever made, spreading antiaircraft capabilities to armies and militia groups around the world.

There are scores of irregular forces and terrorist groups that would love to get their hands on something like the 9K333, and that could use it to wreak havoc on US or allied targets....
Thank you again for raising another capability which shows how lethal the environment will be. An conventional IADS-MANPADS-Active Protection System (individual vehicle mounted) network renders a survivable A-X a big difficult deal.
 

marauder2048

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Verba is believed to a be three color pseduo-imager but the general trend towards more IRCM
resistant MANPADS is clear.
 

Colonial-Marine

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marauder2048 said:
Verba is believed to a be three color pseduo-imager but the general trend towards more IRCM
resistant MANPADS is clear.
What do you mean by three color pseduo-imager? It isn't IIR in two wavelengths and UV?

Seems like we're rapidly approaching the point where flares are worthless against the latest MANPADS, but did flares ever even catch up to matter against the IIR generation of missiles like Stinger and Igla?

DIRCM could provide a new lease on life for an aircraft like the A-X but other guidance systems would remain a problem.
 

marauder2048

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Colonial-Marine said:
marauder2048 said:
Verba is believed to a be three color pseduo-imager but the general trend towards more IRCM
resistant MANPADS is clear.
What do you mean by three color pseduo-imager? It isn't IIR in two wavelengths and UV?

Seems like we're rapidly approaching the point where flares are worthless against the latest MANPADS, but did flares ever even catch up to matter against the IIR generation of missiles like Stinger and Igla?
From the patents, it looks like a trio of detectors (one per waveband) that's swept over the target scene.
With compressed sensing signal processing techniques, you can reconstruct a reasonably high fidelity
2D image.

Stinger and Igla are pseudo-imagers as well.

There's a class of spectrally adapted, spatially distributed flares which is effective against
some pseudo imagers. As you pointed out, in conjunction with DIRCM they could be
effective against some imaging seekers.
 

Void

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Pseudo imaging seekers use a single element or a small number of elements that are scanned in a rosette pattern at very high speed by risley prisms or something similar. Since this occurs at a very high rate it produces something like an image. Like a true imager it is able to resolve the position and extent of targets within the field of view though the sensitivity is much lower.

 

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http://breakingdefense.com/2017/05/reaper-drones-the-new-close-air-support-weapon/?utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=51740329&_hsenc=p2ANqtz--uNnjDbhHNMd9gLK1Q4MreV6V-v6cYiz4vcyS2zT6a5Esb7ZAwDUZvUolfCSWPKvW1aEVRz6ltSqs07nYgPNIzIvtykQ&_hsmi=51740329
 

FighterJock

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bobbymike said:
http://breakingdefense.com/2017/05/reaper-drones-the-new-close-air-support-weapon/?utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=51740329&_hsenc=p2ANqtz--uNnjDbhHNMd9gLK1Q4MreV6V-v6cYiz4vcyS2zT6a5Esb7ZAwDUZvUolfCSWPKvW1aEVRz6ltSqs07nYgPNIzIvtykQ&_hsmi=51740329
Strange to see the Reaper being even considered for the close air support role, true it has long loiter times but is it armoured? :-\
 

TomS

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FighterJock said:
bobbymike said:
http://breakingdefense.com/2017/05/reaper-drones-the-new-close-air-support-weapon/?utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=51740329&_hsenc=p2ANqtz--uNnjDbhHNMd9gLK1Q4MreV6V-v6cYiz4vcyS2zT6a5Esb7ZAwDUZvUolfCSWPKvW1aEVRz6ltSqs07nYgPNIzIvtykQ&_hsmi=51740329
Strange to see the Reaper being even considered for the close air support role, true it has long loiter times but is it armoured? :-\
1) Reaper isn't just "being considered" for CAS. it's actually flying the mission today in actual combat.

2) Most aircraft that perform CAS are not armored.

3) Modern CAS armament provides standoff, so armor is less useful in CAS aircraft than it used to be.

4) Without a pilot to protect, armoring a drone is less important.
 

GTX

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TomS said:
FighterJock said:
bobbymike said:
http://breakingdefense.com/2017/05/reaper-drones-the-new-close-air-support-weapon/?utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=51740329&_hsenc=p2ANqtz--uNnjDbhHNMd9gLK1Q4MreV6V-v6cYiz4vcyS2zT6a5Esb7ZAwDUZvUolfCSWPKvW1aEVRz6ltSqs07nYgPNIzIvtykQ&_hsmi=51740329
Strange to see the Reaper being even considered for the close air support role, true it has long loiter times but is it armoured? :-\
1) Reaper isn't just "being considered" for CAS. it's actually flying the mission today in actual combat.

2) Most aircraft that perform CAS are not armored.

3) Modern CAS armament provides standoff, so armor is less useful in CAS aircraft than it used to be.

4) Without a pilot to protect, armoring a drone is less important.
In addition, as already stated many times, the "close" in Close Air Support (CAS) relates to the fact that the enemy are close to the troops not the aircraft.
 

TomS

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Shocking absolutely no one, the Air Force picks the AT-6 and the Scorpion for the light attack demo. Slightly more surprising is that the Super Tucano is showing up after all.

http://www.defensenews.com/articles/us-air-force-selects-textrons-scorpion-jet-and-at-6-for-light-attack-aircraft-demo
 

Airplane

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TomS said:
Shocking absolutely no one, the Air Force picks the AT-6 and the Scorpion for the light attack demo. Slightly more surprising is that the Super Tucano is showing up after all.

http://www.defensenews.com/articles/us-air-force-selects-textrons-scorpion-jet-and-at-6-for-light-attack-aircraft-demo
That's all well and good, but what about once the Marines demand a STOVL variant, and the USAF a less stealthy version for export? ???
 

Pioneer

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Don't know if this has already been posted? :eek:

https://youtu.be/qieWLw-iq6M

Regardless of your views, I found it interesting, to say nothing of some fantastic cockpit views/footage

Regards
Pioneer
 

Triton

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"OA-X Demo: Sierra Nevada Training USAF Pilots To Fly A-29"
by James Drew

Jul 6, 2017

Source:
http://aviationweek.com/military-trainers-light-attack/oa-x-demo-sierra-nevada-training-usaf-pilots-fly-29

But aircraft participating in the OA-X initiative must be flown by U.S. government pilots who are previously unfamiliar with the aircraft, not contractors. Those aircrews will put the A-29 through its paces in a series of demonstrations taking place at Holloman AFB, New Mexico, starting on July 31.

In a June 29 interview, SNC’s Taco Gilbert, senior vice president of the company’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) business area, said SNC will begin training the two government pilots and two weapons officers on July 7.

The company is upgrading one spare Super Tucano with U.S.-standard datalinks (Link 16), communications gear and avionics to be interoperable with other Air Force aircraft during the demonstration period, which runs for 4-6 weeks.
 

bobbymike

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http://aviationweek.com/defense/air-force-weighs-scrapping-10-replacement?NL=AW-05&Issue=AW-05_20170718_AW-05_864&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_1&utm_rid=CPEN1000000230026&utm_campaign=10950&utm_medium=email&elq2=ebbd0f4fb05e4346b6f33d812817e570
 

Triton

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bobbymike said:
http://aviationweek.com/defense/air-force-weighs-scrapping-10-replacement?NL=AW-05&Issue=AW-05_20170718_AW-05_864&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_1&utm_rid=CPEN1000000230026&utm_campaign=10950&utm_medium=email&elq2=ebbd0f4fb05e4346b6f33d812817e570


When asked whether the service is taking steps to develop a single-role “A-X,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said “not yet.”

So does that mean a single-mission CAS platform will eventually go away? “Maybe,” Goldfein says.


“I don’t disagree that a single-role platform sets an incredibly high bar for the rest of the force,” he said during a wide-ranging interview with Aviation Week July 16. “But remember, [combatant commanders] have got the entire spectrum of conflict that I’ve got to support, from the highest end, the lowest end and everything in between, and I’ve got a certain amount of money that I’ve got to use to build the best Air Force that money can buy.”
Proves that the discussion of a new dedicated CAS platform was a bunch of BS in 2015.

As the air component commander in Afghanistan, Goldfein saw firsthand how the Air Force now relies on a family of systems, not just the A-10, for the close-air support (CAS) mission. The Warthog was not always his first choice to protect soldiers in battle: in the mountainous terrain of the east, an MQ-9 Reaper was the best choice to quickly navigate the peaks and valleys; in the volatile west, where operations could quickly take a turn for the worse, the multirole F-15E would give maximum agility; for the north, a B-1B bomber—with its endurance and large payload—worked best.

“If we can start having a conversation about that family of systems, and not which one weapon system is the most important, we’re going to actually have a 21st-century close-air-support discussion,” Goldfein said. “There’s very few mission sets that we have where I’m throwing a single bullet at it.”
Before making a decision, Goldfein will consult the CAS community about what the future of the mission looks like, because it may not look like the past. Experts argue that the A-10 performs well in an environment of total air dominance, like Iraq and Afghanistan, but as advanced anti-air weapons and surface-to-air missiles proliferate, it becomes more and more dangerous to fly a bulky, unstealthy Warthog into battle.

“Before we have any conversation about replacements ... we want to make sure that anything we talk about is moving us forward into new ways of doing business,” Goldfein said.
It appears that General Goldfein is back on track concerning the United States Air Force's opinion of the A-10 Warthog and a new dedicated CAS platform. Air Combat Command’s 2015 strategy document and the discussions of General Herbert J. "Hawk" Carlisle, commander Air Combat Command, of a new dedicated CAS platform were just a bone to throw at the decision makers and the public who objected to the retirement of the A-10 Warthog.
 

Triton

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"The USAF Admits It Isn't Actually Working on an A-10 Replacement"

by Joseph Trevithick

July 18, 2017

Source:
http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/12598/the-usaf-admits-it-isnt-actually-working-on-an-a-10-replacement
 

donnage99

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Yep just as many suspected. A load of BS to please some folks in Congress
 

bring_it_on

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Triton said:
It appears that General Goldfein is back on track concerning the United States Air Force's opinion of the A-10 Warthog and a new dedicated CAS platform. Air Combat Command’s 2015 strategy document and the discussions of General Herbert J. "Hawk" Carlisle, commander Air Combat Command, of a new dedicated CAS platform were just a bone to throw at the decision makers and the public who objected to the retirement of the A-10 Warthog.
Can't blame them. They are prioritizing and even then can't seem to protect all of their priorities. F-35 rate has taken a hit, The T-X and JSTARS will likely also feel budgetary pressure as may the B-21. In the absence of a significant increase in the budget top line they won't be able to execute the strategy for their priorities leave aside new programs.
 

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bring_it_on said:
Triton said:
It appears that General Goldfein is back on track concerning the United States Air Force's opinion of the A-10 Warthog and a new dedicated CAS platform. Air Combat Command’s 2015 strategy document and the discussions of General Herbert J. "Hawk" Carlisle, commander Air Combat Command, of a new dedicated CAS platform were just a bone to throw at the decision makers and the public who objected to the retirement of the A-10 Warthog.
Can't blame them. They are prioritizing and even then can't seem to protect all of their priorities. F-35 rate has taken a hit, The T-X and JSTARS will likely also feel budgetary pressure as may the B-21. In the absence of a significant increase in the budget top line they won't be able to execute the strategy for their priorities leave aside new programs.
Total budget in FY18 got a significant boost and an extra $400B total above BCA to 2021.
 

bring_it_on

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Total budget in FY18 got a significant boost and an extra $400B total above BCA to 2021.
There is no FY18 budget yet. Extra over BCA is a deceptive metric - We were exceeding the caps even prior to the most latest Budget request. However even with that, the USAF can't seem to find enough resources to adequately invest in the things it wants. Case in point - the slashing of the F-35 max buy rate by 25%. Now this may be reversed and the Congress may keep adding more aircraft etc but you can't start a new program using OCO funds and there isn't any stability out there as far budgets are concerned to invest in new starts without seriously jeopardizing existing modernization strategy.

The only way to fulfill the current priorities to USAF desired levels and to invest additional resources in additional programs not factored into the current strategy is to repeal the budget control act. This is a political matter, and a point the current administration seems to speak less of today then it did during the election where it was one of its top NatSec priorities. Until then all remaining budgets (till BCA goes away) will depend upon a negotiated defense and non defense (hence total spending caps) spending limits as exceeding the caps requires 60 votes in the Senate. The nation and our air-force was at a certain spending level in the 70s and 80s when it bought the force that it used over the last couple of decades. We aren't at that level now and are unlikely to get there in the medium term barring a significant change in the political bi-partisanship and/or our national security picture.
 

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DrRansom

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I can understand the USAF putting a dedicated attack aircraft at lower priority. But misleading Congress about it will not make the representatives happy at all...
 

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I don't see how they are. The ACC boss (current) said they are studying the matter and have sent a draft request up the chain, the CSAF said they are not taking steps to develop an A-10 replacement. Those two statements need not be contradictory. The ACC could very well be studying future CAS and it could very well have received a draft set of requirements. That does not constitute a program, or a program office or active efforts to invest in a dedicated program. You can't make stuff like this up in front of Congress since if someone out there believed that tehy actually had a program active they would have found funding for it. So the Congress likely knows the exact status. They could always fund it as an increase in the topline but then the AF would likely want other priorities addressed first. How about doing a BRAC and funding the program out of the money saved?
 

Grey Havoc

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https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/l-3-and-air-tractor-join-oa-x-experiment-439848/
 

Pioneer

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Michel Van said:
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 ?
I think you summed it up beautifully Michel Van
Unfortunately, the U.S. Military is nothing more than a business IMO; and due to the combination of the systemic 'promotion' and 'after service career employment' culture of the Pentagon, I regretfully can't see it happening.
Instead, if they are serious about replacing the A-10 with a true A-10-type combat capability, it will be a new program, which will equate to $$$$$.
In truth, and from memory, I think the actual AX / A-10 program was probably the last of the real/serious combat aircraft acquisition program, which intentionally derived a truly practical and functional combat aircraft platform built by the U.S.

Regards
Pioneer
 

Pioneer

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Abraham Gubler said:
donnage99 said:
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.
I would be interested in known more about this analysis my friend ;)

Regards
Pioneer
 

bobbymike

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http://www.investors.com/news/watch-the-aircraft-in-the-air-forces-light-attack-experiment/
 

Triton

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"USAF Preparing To Send Light Attack Contenders To Combat"
Sep 26, 2017 Lara Seligman | Aerospace Daily & Defense Report

Source:
http://aviationweek.com/defense/usaf-preparing-send-light-attack-contenders-combat

The U.S. Air Force is moving forward with preparations to take two off-the-shelf light attack turboprop aircraft downrange to fight terrorists next year.

Preparations for the combat demonstration, called Combat Dragon III, are notably far along—especially since Air Force leadership has not yet made a final decision on whether to move forward with the exercise. The Air Force has picked a squadron commander, a designation, and a total detachment size of about 70 people, said Air Force Reserve Col. Mike Pietrucha, light attack adviser to Air Combat Command (ACC).

The service has decided to take four total aircraft downrange—two each of the Embraer/Sierra Nevada Corp. A-29 Super Tucano and Textron’s AT-6 Wolverine, Pietrucha said.

“We are preparing as if we’re going,” he said.

Combat Dragon III would be the follow-on to the Air Force’s light attack demonstration that took place this summer at Holloman AFB, New Mexico. The goal of the high-profile experiment was to evaluate four off-the-shelf aircraft for the light-attack counterterrorism mission: top candidates Super Tucano and Wolverine, as well as two “tier two” contenders—Textron’s Scorpion jet and L-3-Air Tractor’s AT-802L Longsword.

The Air Force released the interim report from the light attack experiment internally on Sept. 21, and leadership expects to make a final decision on moving forward with the combat demonstration by year’s end, Pietrucha said.

Industry is on board; the last remaining hurdle is identifying a funding stream, Pietrucha stressed. The Air Force may not have to wait for Congress to reach a budget agreement for fiscal 2018 to find resources for the demo; it could request supplemental funding for fiscal 2017, or potentially use funds from the Overseas Contingency Operations account, he said.

Combat Dragon III likely will be much more costly than the light attack demo, which ran the Air Force less than $6 million paid for out of the service’s experimentation and prototype budget account. Pietrucha estimated the combat experiment would cost more than $100 million.

The concept of a light-attack combat demonstration has roots in the Combat Dragon II program, during which the U.S. Navy deployed a pair of heavily modified OV-10G Broncos to the Middle East to evaluate their surveillance and light-attack capability. Despite a successful deployment, Congress blocked the program.

But the time may now be ripe to pick up where Combat Dragon II left off. The high-end fighters currently helping the venerable A-10 Warthog provide close-air support for troops in the Middle East are worn out from decades of war. A new fleet of about 300 affordable light-attack aircraft designed for the low-threat environment would ease the burden on F-15s, F-16s and other aircraft, allowing them to perform the high-end missions they were designed for, officials argue.
Additionally, a light-attack fleet would provide much-needed seats for pilot training as the Air Force struggles with pilot production, absorption and retention.

Combat Dragon III would be the next step toward a program of record. To man the squadron, the Air Force is pulling airmen from operational squadrons and the air staff, Pietrucha said. The criteria for aircrew are the same as they were for the Holloman demonstration: 1,000 flight hours, time in fighter or attack aircraft, previous or current instructor qualification and combat experience.

At least one partner nation is interested in participating, Pietrucha said.

The combat experiment would take place in U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility, but where in the region would be decided by the commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command, Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian. The aircraft would be destroying targets in support of U.S. and coalition forces, just like any other assets in the region, Pietrucha said.

“We expect these aircraft to act like any other fighter attack aircraft that we deploy, a flexible air asset that’s assigned based on what the Combined Forces Air Component commander needs to assign in order to support the operations that are going on,” he said.

The Air Force has not yet decided where the combat demo would take place, but has ruled out several options. For example, the aircraft would not operate out of Al-Udeid air base, Qatar, because the airfield is too far away. They also would not operate in areas where Russian air defenses are present, which rules out certain regions in Syria.

During the combat demonstration the Air Force would for the first time evaluate the effectiveness of the aircraft’s weapons—precision weapons, free-fall munitions and guns, Pietrucha said. Officials also would look at maintenance sustainability, parts consumption and reliability for the operational environment.

“These are the kinds of things you want to know if you are going to work on a theater-wide operation: where can you put these aircraft, how can you sustain them?” Pietrucha said.

The Air Force also will examine options to use rapid acquisition authorities to procure the aircraft faster than in a normal acquisition program, he added. If the Air Force moves forward with a program of record, the service likely will buy the aircraft directly instead of leasing them, because they will be used in combat.
 

litzj

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I wondering why these kinds of light attack aircraft are needed. Vision, information or fire power from drone is already enough for counter terrorists
 

marauder2048

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litzj said:
I wondering why these kinds of light attack aircraft are needed. Vision, information or fire power from drone is already enough for counter terrorists
From the article above:

a light-attack fleet would provide much-needed seats for pilot training as the Air Force struggles with
pilot production, absorption and retention.
 

Airplane

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marauder2048 said:
litzj said:
I wondering why these kinds of light attack aircraft are needed. Vision, information or fire power from drone is already enough for counter terrorists
From the article above:

a light-attack fleet would provide much-needed seats for pilot training as the Air Force struggles with
pilot production, absorption and retention.
The answer to the usaf pilot problem is turboprops? Whoever said that needs to be fired.
 
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