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Continuing relevance of the A-10 Warthog today and tomorrow?

quellish

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SpudmanWP said:
A Hellfire would have done a better job without the potential collateral damage.

APKWS2 would be better still.
GAU-8 0.1% probability of incapacitation distance is 65m, AGM-114 is 110 to 125m depending on variant.
So... no.
 

SpudmanWP

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The problem with that calculation is assuming only a single GAU-8 impact instead of a widely spaced (30m-40m diameter) impacts that took two passes to complete. Was your calculation using the 30mm explosive rounds used in the video or the DU rounds?

But as I said before, APKSW2 would have been the best choice as it's only a 13lb warhead.

Here is some combat footage of APKWS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNVQ4J1dJbs
 

quellish

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SpudmanWP said:
The problem with that calculation is assuming only a single GAU-8 impact instead of a widely spaced (30m-40m diameter) impacts that took two passes to complete. Was your calculation using the 30mm explosive rounds used in the video or the DU rounds?
My calculation?
That was directly from FM 3-09.32/MCRP 3-16.6A/NTTP 3-09.2/AFTTP(I).
It does not assume a single GAU-8 impact. What would give that impression?
 

SpudmanWP

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The "0.1% " rating is a combination of weapon accuracy and warhead damage potential. For instance, the AGM-65 (with its 126lb warhead) has a value of only 95 while a small 2.75 inch rocket (unguided) has a value of over 200 meters.

I've only found the FM from 2007 so info on newer munitions is not available (like APKWS2).

https://info.publicintelligence.net/MTTP-JFIRE.pdf
 

quellish

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SpudmanWP said:
The "0.1% " rating is a combination of weapon accuracy and warhead damage potential.
Can you provide a source for that? The probability of incapacitation value and risk estimate distances are modeled using one (of several) software packages and accompanying databases.

Risk-estimate distances are based on fragmentation and blast patterns.
All values were calculated using the Joint Munitions Effectiveness Manual Weaponeering System (JWS) version 1.1 software dated 31 Oct 2006 classified SECRET//NOFORN from the Joint Technical Coordinating Group for Munitions Effectiveness.
The classified assumptions and conditions used to develop the risk-estimate table are available on the ALSA classified website,
 

SpudmanWP

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Can you provide a source for that?
Sure

The easiest way to see this is to look at items that have multiple range values and how the PI increases at longer ranges due to dispersion. Also, note the differences in the Hellfire PI and the note (#3). The Hellfire's on the table are either the blast-frag variant or the thermobaric version. The anti-tank versions have an undisclosed but stated lower PI (due to the lack of a blast-frag sleeve).



Another example is various Gatling guns. Given that the GAU-12 is known to be more accurate than the M61A1, this is the obvious reason for the lower PI despite being a larger round (25mm vs the M61's 20mm).

 

quellish

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SpudmanWP said:
The easiest way to see this is to look at items that have multiple range values and how the PI increases at longer ranges
That is inference. Based on what you see you are guessing how those values were calculated.

Do you have a source that describes how the PI values were calculated? The I quoted from 3-09.3 would be an example of a source. It describes how those values were calculated and what they mean.
 

marauder2048

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quellish said:
SpudmanWP said:
A Hellfire would have done a better job without the potential collateral damage.

APKWS2 would be better still.
GAU-8 0.1% probability of incapacitation distance is 65m, AGM-114 is 110 to 125m depending on variant.
So... no.
The newer low-collateral damage tactic employed for the latest Hellfire
(and weapons with cockpit selectable fuzes e.g. SDB, JDAM) is partial or full burial of the warhead.

The argument for APKWS is that the minimum burst from an A-10 consumes ~ 100 PGU-13s which
displaces (shipping wise) at least one fastpack with four APKWS AURs.

For targets of the type above, that's one stowed kill from one and only one aircraft type* vs.
four stowed kills from just about any aircraft/helicopter.

* I'm leaving out the AC-130 since while you can use the PGU-13 in the GAU-23 the dud-rate
and reduced accuracy has prompted a switch to PGU-46 which AFAIK has not been qualified
with the GAU-8.
 

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Both should be used by A-10 because only so many Hellfire's available, and the 30 mm would be most flexible armament available for all sorts of targets of opportunity. Why limit armament choices based on statistics? Rockets, Hellfire's and Cannon all add to the synergy of the A-10. Why is this even a discussion (Gun vs. Hellfire.)
 

quellish

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kcran567 said:
Both should be used by A-10 because only so many Hellfire's available, and the 30 mm would be most flexible armament available for all sorts of targets of opportunity. Why limit armament choices based on statistics? Rockets, Hellfire's and Cannon all add to the synergy of the A-10. Why is this even a discussion (Gun vs. Hellfire.)
These are the statistics used by JTACs when choosing armaments. Some weapons can be used closer to people you do not want to kill than others.
 

kaiserd

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quellish said:
kcran567 said:
Both should be used by A-10 because only so many Hellfire's available, and the 30 mm would be most flexible armament available for all sorts of targets of opportunity. Why limit armament choices based on statistics? Rockets, Hellfire's and Cannon all add to the synergy of the A-10. Why is this even a discussion (Gun vs. Hellfire.)
These are the statistics used by JTACs when choosing armaments. Some weapons can be used closer to people you do not want to kill than others.
In addition this discussion demonstrates the reduced relative significance and unique utility of th A-10s gun versus when it was originally conceived and entered service.
Hence why replacements or complements unlikely to need a gun of the same capability.
 

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I disagree 100%. If seeking a lower-cost alternative to fast movers and expensive precision guided munitions, a gun is essential. Why spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to take out a couple of old Toyota trucks rigged as technicals when you do so very simply with guns?

There is also the flexibility of internal, always available gun armament vs. most precision guided munitions. Didn't bring any air-to-air but the enemy has a fixed- or rotary wing threat? Came on a recon run with external sensor pods but friendlies are in trouble and need help now?

I agree that the tank-killing mega gun of the A-10 is overkill in the modern environment, but some sort of gun seems like it will continue to be useful long into the future.
 

kaiserd

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cluttonfred said:
I disagree 100%. If seeking a lower-cost alternative to fast movers and expensive precision guided munitions, a gun is essential. Why spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to take out a couple of old Toyota trucks rigged as technicals when you do so very simply with guns?

There is also the flexibility of internal, always available gun armament vs. most precision guided munitions. Didn't bring any air-to-air but the enemy has a fixed- or rotary wing threat? Came on a recon run with external sensor pods but friendlies are in trouble and need help now?

I agree that the tank-killing mega gun of the A-10 is overkill in the modern environment, but some sort of gun seems like it will continue to be useful long into the future.
You appear to misunderstood my comments.
You 100 percent disagree with me but more or less 100 percent agree me in your comments :)
I agree a gun of some type is an extremely useful part of the mix of weapons for this role.
It’s just not as important as it once was and the absolute capabilities of the A-10s avenger cannon doesn’t need to be replicated in compliments and direct/ indirect replacements going forward.
 

quellish

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kaiserd said:
I agree a gun of some type is an extremely useful part of the mix of weapons for this role.
It’s just not as important as it once was and the absolute capabilities of the A-10s avenger cannon doesn’t need to be replicated in compliments and direct/ indirect replacements going forward.
Typical engagement distances for troops in contact is well less than 250 meters.
A JTAC can have a sky filled with aircraft but no appropriate weapons to employ because the enemy is too close to friendlies.
 

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Triton said:
Watch an A-10 Thunderbolt II Put Four Cannon Rounds on Target with Amazing Precision
Feb 08 2018 - 0 Comments
By Tom Demerly

Source:
https://theaviationist.com/2018/02/08/watch-an-a-10-thunderbolt-ii-put-four-cannon-rounds-on-target-with-amazing-precision/
Four rounds on target, another 46 or so in an area the size of a tennis court around the target. So precision. Such brrt.
 

marauder2048

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Jeb said:
Triton said:
Watch an A-10 Thunderbolt II Put Four Cannon Rounds on Target with Amazing Precision
Feb 08 2018 - 0 Comments
By Tom Demerly

Source:
https://theaviationist.com/2018/02/08/watch-an-a-10-thunderbolt-ii-put-four-cannon-rounds-on-target-with-amazing-precision/
Four rounds on target, another 46 or so in an area the size of a tennis court around the target. So precision. Such brrt.
Total expenditure was at least 200 rounds @ ~ $60*/round for a new HEI round (remanufactured is ~ $30*/round).
At that cost, APKWS is starting to look competitive on cost ground as well as stowed kills/ease-of-use.

* The Air Force, in its wisdom, stopped publishing per round cost a few years back.
 

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https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/us-air-force-considers-equipping-a-10s-with-3-d-audi-453386/

https://www.defensenews.com/congress/2018/11/15/the-a-10s-biggest-advocate-lost-her-bid-for-the-senate-but-does-it-actually-matter/
 

kcran567

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Jeb said:
Triton said:
Watch an A-10 Thunderbolt II Put Four Cannon Rounds on Target with Amazing Precision
Feb 08 2018 - 0 Comments
By Tom Demerly

Source:
https://theaviationist.com/2018/02/08/watch-an-a-10-thunderbolt-ii-put-four-cannon-rounds-on-target-with-amazing-precision/
Four rounds on target, another 46 or so in an area the size of a tennis court around the target. So precision. Such brrt.
It just seems that there is always going to be a need for a big gun on the battlefield. And is the A-10 really that slow? It was designed with speed and agility to take out tanks, etc. We can't predict the future to say 100% that there would not be a dire need for an A-10 in some Future conflict. And what about attrition/malfunction or simple destruction of highly sophisticated equipment. In a prolonged conflict the A-10 would probably be needed again. Its almost as if futurists are taking over the pentagon. Whats next get rid of all rifles because other weapons make rifles obsolete?
 

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Considering the cost of new wings, why not install newer engines too?
 

RobertWL

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Foo Fighter said:
Considering the cost of new wings, why not install newer engines too?
All boils down to $$$. They discussed replacing the engines a few years back but it never went anywhere.
 

Jeb

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kcran567 said:
Jeb said:
Four rounds on target, another 46 or so in an area the size of a tennis court around the target. So precision. Such brrt.
It just seems that there is always going to be a need for a big gun on the battlefield. And is the A-10 really that slow? It was designed with speed and agility to take out tanks, etc.
An interesting book to read, if you can find it, is A-10s Over Kosovo, written by a pair of A-10 pilots (a Colonel & Lt. Col) with lots of contributions from additional pilots. It's a really interesting read, with lots of details about the development of the A-10 as a Sandy CSAR platform and the way that they flew their missions. They're impressively honest about the drawbacks of a 300kt cruise speed and the kinematics of a draggy, heavy airframe and thick wing with TF34s trying to push it around.
 

cluttonfred

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The complete book is available free in PDF format from the DOD:

https://media.defense.gov/2017/Mar/31/2001724978/-1/-1/0/B_0090_HAAVE_HAUN_A10S_OVER_KOSOVO.PDF
 

_Del_

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cluttonfred said:
The complete book is available free in PDF format from the DOD:

https://media.defense.gov/2017/Mar/31/2001724978/-1/-1/0/B_0090_HAAVE_HAUN_A10S_OVER_KOSOVO.PDF
Thank you! Just in time for holiday reading.
 

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https://blog.usni.org/posts/2018/12/19/the-light-attack-aircraft-program-the-pentagons-sigil-of-shame
https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/12/18/start-of-air-forces-light-attack-plane-competition-pushed-back-until-next-year/
 

_Del_

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I imagine with USB, you could manage a much smaller wing. Which would definitely help ride quality down low, service life, lower drag, higher speed, etc

If you just want a medium-/high-altitude loiter platform, you're not asking for anything a UAV wouldn't be as good or better at.
 

Triton

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"The U.S. Army Wants the F-35 for Close Air Support"
Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven October 25, 2018

Source:
https://defensemaven.io/warriormaven/air/the-us-army-wants-the-f-35-for-close-air-support-Pf5miV7yF0eD2QtsL2lrLA/

The US Army wants the F-35 to support its ground troops.

It’s that simple. We hear volumes of information about the Marine Corps vertical-take-off-and-landing F-35B, Navy carrier-launched F-35C and Air Force F-35A - but what does the Army think of the emerging Joint Strike Fighter?

Does the Army think the 5th-Gen stealth fighter would bring substantial value to targeting and attacking enemy ground forces in close proximity to advancing infantry? What kind of Close Air Support could it bring to high-risk, high-casualty ground war?

“When you are in a firefight, the first thing infantry wants to do it get on that radio to adjust fire for mortars and locate targets with close air support with planes or helicopters. You want fires. The F-35 has increased survivability and it will play a decisive role in the support of ground combat,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told reporters at the Association of the United States Army Annual Symposium.

Gen. Milley’s comments are quite significant, given the historic value of close air support when it comes to ground war. His remarks also bear great relevance regarding the ongoing Pentagon evaluation assessing the F-35 and A-10 Warthog in close air support scenarios.

Over the years, close-air-support to Army ground war has of course often made the difference between life and death - victory or defeat. The Army, Milley said, wants next-generation close-air-support for potential future warfare.

“We fight with the Navy, Marines and Air Force. Our soldiers have never heard an Air Force pilot say ‘I can’t fly into that low-altitude area,’ These guys take incredible risk. If there are troops on the ground, they are rolling in hot,” Milley said.

While Milley of course did not specifically compare the A-10 to the F-35 or say the Army prefers one aircraft over another, he did say the F-35 would be of great value in a high-stakes, force-on-force ground war....
 

jsport

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Triton said:
"The U.S. Army Wants the F-35 for Close Air Support"
Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven October 25, 2018

Source:
https://defensemaven.io/warriormaven/air/the-us-army-wants-the-f-35-for-close-air-support-Pf5miV7yF0eD2QtsL2lrLA/

The US Army wants the F-35 to support its ground troops.

It’s that simple. We hear volumes of information about the Marine Corps vertical-take-off-and-landing F-35B, Navy carrier-launched F-35C and Air Force F-35A - but what does the Army think of the emerging Joint Strike Fighter?

Does the Army think the 5th-Gen stealth fighter would bring substantial value to targeting and attacking enemy ground forces in close proximity to advancing infantry? What kind of Close Air Support could it bring to high-risk, high-casualty ground war?

“When you are in a firefight, the first thing infantry wants to do it get on that radio to adjust fire for mortars and locate targets with close air support with planes or helicopters. You want fires. The F-35 has increased survivability and it will play a decisive role in the support of ground combat,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told reporters at the Association of the United States Army Annual Symposium.

Gen. Milley’s comments are quite significant, given the historic value of close air support when it comes to ground war. His remarks also bear great relevance regarding the ongoing Pentagon evaluation assessing the F-35 and A-10 Warthog in close air support scenarios.

Over the years, close-air-support to Army ground war has of course often made the difference between life and death - victory or defeat. The Army, Milley said, wants next-generation close-air-support for potential future warfare.

“We fight with the Navy, Marines and Air Force. Our soldiers have never heard an Air Force pilot say ‘I can’t fly into that low-altitude area,’ These guys take incredible risk. If there are troops on the ground, they are rolling in hot,” Milley said.

While Milley of course did not specifically compare the A-10 to the F-35 or say the Army prefers one aircraft over another, he did say the F-35 would be of great value in a high-stakes, force-on-force ground war....
Author was deliberately misleading.
While the title says "The U.S. Army Wants the F-35 for Close Air Support"
the article states
"While Milley of course did not specifically compare the A-10 to the F-35 or say the Army prefers one aircraft over another,..."

Milley even states a need for "Next generation CAS" of which the F-35 has not been specifically designed or titled as .
 

AeroFranz

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jsport said:
A Light & Heavy Attack Craft if we had a decent procurement culture.
what conceptual design is that? i don't think i've ever seen it. Seems like the product of an individual and not a company.

>> I imagine with USB, you could manage a much smaller wing. Which would definitely help ride quality down low, service life, lower drag, higher speed, etc

Err...ride quality is indeed affected by wing area (or more precisely wingloading), but also by lift curve slope (CLalpha). Wings with high aspect ratio have steep CLalpha, which is why terrain following aircraft the likes of a Tornado, TSR.2, and F-111 have lots of wing sweep and high wingloading.
Using the A-10 and Frogfoot as the yardstick for a reasonable compromise between low-speed agility and wing weight, that wing likely has more aspect ratio than necessary. I could see something like that as a medium altitude lotering platform though.
 

jsport

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AeroFranz said:
jsport said:
A Light & Heavy Attack Craft if we had a decent procurement culture.
what conceptual design is that? i don't think i've ever seen it. Seems like the product of an individual and not a company.

>> I imagine with USB, you could manage a much smaller wing. Which would definitely help ride quality down low, service life, lower drag, higher speed, etc

Err...ride quality is indeed affected by wing area (or more precisely wingloading), but also by lift curve slope (CLalpha). Wings with high aspect ratio have steep CLalpha, which is why terrain following aircraft the likes of a Tornado, TSR.2, and F-111 have lots of wing sweep and high wingloading.
Using the A-10 and Frogfoot as the yardstick for a reasonable compromise between low-speed agility and wing weight, that wing likely has more aspect ratio than necessary. I could see something like that as a medium altitude lotering platform though.
Thread deleted ..you claimed to have read and called a poor presentation. Obviously a College kid is not a corporate presentation.
https://www.aiaa.org/2017-2018-Undergraduate-Individual-Aircraft-Design-Competition/
Third Prize: Pedro Toledo of the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, for his design “A-X Overseer.” Dr. R. Barrett-Gonzalez, faculty advisor.
 

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Ok, thank you for providing the reference! I did read the first place winner... the one written by an air Force cadet or something along those lines.
The one that uses high-bypass ratio commercial turbofans mounted in an unlikely installation in the rear fuselage among other things...
Yeah, since that piece of work was the first place winner, frankly I did not feel compelled to give the third place a try...

I don't want to bash the work of students, the AIAA competition is a great exercise for people who want to get in the conceptual design business. But there's a lot of flawed stuff in there that wouldn't survive a semi-serious design review in industry. It's certainly true for some of the reports i submitted in the early- to mid-2000s when i was participating in these competitions.
 

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_Del_ said:
cluttonfred said:
The complete book is available free in PDF format from the DOD:

https://media.defense.gov/2017/Mar/31/2001724978/-1/-1/0/B_0090_HAAVE_HAUN_A10S_OVER_KOSOVO.PDF
Thank you! Just in time for holiday reading.
Thanks!
Any other suggestions from this site?
 

marauder2048

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As summarized by a retired U.S. Army field-grade officer who served multiple joint duty assignments,

If you go back to WWII and the Army Air Corps, the view of the air and ground
fight was the Air Force was there to support ground fighting and bombing. When
established as a separate service, the Air Force was searching for their own identity.
They took strategic bombing on as their own separate task, and have continually
tried to reduce their role in close air support. An effort in the 1980s to get rid of
the A-10 went away because it was [the military’s] only close-support aircraft. An
effort to trade Patriots for A-10s to do high altitude air defense fell apart in Desert
Storm when A-10s were seen as invaluable.
Seems like a very garbled account of McPeak's offer is circulating in some Army circles.
 

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jsport

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An FA-16 could lob 30mm guided rds BLOS to stop advancing armor if the DARPA MADFIRES program is proves out. Given a previous program allowed a F-15 to lob unguided cannon accurately some time back.
 

marauder2048

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jsport said:
An FA-16 could lob 30mm guided rds BLOS to stop advancing armor if the DARPA MADFIRES program is proves out. Given a previous program allowed a F-15 to lob unguided cannon accurately some time back.
The slant ranges looked at for the guided 30x173 round for the AC-130 were 2.5 - 3.0 nautical miles @ 15,000 ft and above.
Not sure what kind of impact velocity say PGU-14/B would have. But I suppose there's nothing preventing you
from developing a HEDP type round.
 

jsport

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marauder2048 said:
jsport said:
An FA-16 could lob 30mm guided rds BLOS to stop advancing armor if the DARPA MADFIRES program is proves out. Given a previous program allowed a F-15 to lob unguided cannon accurately some time back.
The slant ranges looked at for the guided 30x173 round for the AC-130 were 2.5 - 3.0 nautical miles @ 15,000 ft and above.
Not sure what kind of impact velocity say PGU-14/B would have. But I suppose there's nothing preventing you
from developing a HEDP type round.
Flying low enough to avoid AAA and rendering all but the more sophisticated "look down" SAMs unable to gain LOS.
 

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Flying low is pretty much the perfect way to NOT avoid AAA.
 

jsport

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TomS said:
Flying low is pretty much the perfect way to NOT avoid AAA.
Unless you know exactly where the AAA is prior, and they never know you where there until their "suppressed" and your gone.
 

quellish

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jsport said:
Unless you know exactly where the AAA is prior, and they never know you where there until their "suppressed" and your gone.
So... invisible, silent, and not dropping ordinance. Got it.
 
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