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Yeah, I think it is low on the priorities and they are probably only doing this to placate Congress / keep another branch from procuring this aircraft or mission ala the C-27 but one can hope.

 

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1 hour ago, Clark Griswold said:

Yeah, I think it is low on the priorities and they are probably only doing this to placate Congress / keep another branch from procuring this aircraft or mission ala the C-27 but one can hope.

 

The AF deserves every bit of hate they get for f@cking that program into oblivion just to keep it from the Army. 

I don’t give a crap how much money the 130 community needed to go J model across the board, they outright promised and then stole it from the intra theatre replacement for the Sherpa and other Army non MWS platforms that was desperately needed so in the end they get to fight to support those missions out of 130 apportionment instead 

The AF should carry some serious shame for that disaster since the only person that truly won in that who debacle was the Coast Guard. 

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4 hours ago, Lawman said:

The AF deserves every bit of hate they get for f@cking that program into oblivion just to keep it from the Army. 

I don’t give a crap how much money the 130 community needed to go J model across the board, they outright promised and then stole it from the intra theatre replacement for the Sherpa and other Army non MWS platforms that was desperately needed so in the end they get to fight to support those missions out of 130 apportionment instead 

The AF should carry some serious shame for that disaster since the only person that truly won in that who debacle was the Coast Guard. 

Yup. 

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When they cancel the light attack idea, the buzz phrase they’ll use will be “we need capabilities to win the next war, not the last one.” Even though we’ll be still fighting the last one when the next war kicks off.

 

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Regarding the C-27s completely agree we screwed the Army on that one. At least the Army got some of them back, and is using them. They’ve got 2-3 at Yuma they use for MFF. Talked to one of their loadmaster equivalents, sounds like they get tasked all the time for lift requirements too.  Seems like the Army learned and cut the Air Force out where they can. 

Edited by afaf
Clarity

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Regarding the C-27s completely agree we screwed the Army on that one. At least the Army got some of them back, and is using them. They’ve got 2-3 at Yuma they use for MFF. Talked to one of their loadmaster equivalents, sounds like they get tasked all the time for lift requirements too.  Seems like the Army learned and cut the Air Force out where they can. 

 

There always was a requirement. The problem was we just burned up Chinooks by inefficiently moving pallet X which were needed to do other stuff.

 

Same with the C-12. We don’t have enough... ok just use 5 hours on 2x Black Hawks to move the 2 contractors from Taji to Erbil

 

It’s the same kind of issue really as the light attack argument. We’ve spent no investment on far lower cost “daily use” kind of stuff. That’s not just an aviation problem, that’s across the military. Like why are we transporting soldiers in an LMTV in garrison when the White/Blue bus fleet can do it far more efficiently and with a lot less cost per dollar in wear and tear.

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8 hours ago, MooseAg03 said:

When they cancel the light attack idea, the buzz phrase they’ll use will be “we need capabilities to win the next war, not the last one.” Even though we’ll be still fighting the last one when the next war kicks off.

Yup, that sounds about what the machine is likely to deliver in lieu of procurement.

The Borg collective is just incapable of admitting a mistake, that they should have bought a LAAR around the 2005-06 timeframe when it was obvious we were in for a long slog in two different theaters with no air/air threat and for fixed wing a mostly low threat environment.  Yet here we are.

 

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4 hours ago, LookieRookie said:

Earliest procurement is FY20 so October 2019.

So the $6.90 question is.... which one; Super T, AT-6B or some off-the-wall bizarre rabbit they will pull out of a hat? 

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Let's be honest, FY20 really means 2050 if the F-35 or any other program is an indication.  Even if these programs are "off the shelf," I have a feeling the USAF will screw up the procurement somehow.

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Light a candle but why only the AT-6B and A-29 in the second round of LAE?

To plagiarize @ClearedHot "Scorpion crushes the other offerings" and that is not to say the others are not without merit but the difference in capability is too great to pretend they are similar aircraft.  

But if it is to be between the AT-6B or A-29 let's just cut to the chase and get the AT-6B.  Not resignation as the AT-6B is a good buy but just impatience at wanting to see LAAR finally get here.  

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1 hour ago, Clark Griswold said:

Light a candle but why only the AT-6B and A-29 in the second round of LAE?

To plagiarize @ClearedHot "Scorpion crushes the other offerings" and that is not to say the others are not without merit but the difference in capability is too great to pretend they are similar aircraft.  

This.

If they are stretching out the timeline to buy into FY20, why did they artificially cull the field last summer? And TBH the cut happened even before the actual LAE flights because of the way the requirements were written. Air tractor and Scorpion knew going in that they didn't meet all the requirements (some of which were bull IMHO). Whoever wrote the requirements wrote them basically to a T for the A-29's current fielded capes.

Also could not agree more that the Scorpion jet is an amazingly capable aircraft and really the only one that fits the SECAF's light attack talking points re: modularity, plug-and-play, expandability, future-proof, etc.

Much higher, much faster, more payload, internal payload options, more stations time, two engines, tons of power generation from those two jet engines, far better sensors, datalinks and avionics, etc. etc. etc. Granted it's less mature and Textron has some issues where they shot themselves in the foot as a company, but as a crew dawg it's frustrating when what I think is clearly the most capable platform wasn't selected. Especially when Scorpion could have continued to mature over the 2+ years between LAE and the actual buy.

All that being said, something is way better than nothing and if the money is there we should just get on with it and standup an A-29 squadron at Moody tomorrow.

Edited by nsplayr

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8 hours ago, YoungnDumb said:

My guess is they already know what they are going to pick, but are making it appear as a competition.

This...

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18 hours ago, nsplayr said:

Also could not agree more that the Scorpion jet is an amazingly capable aircraft and really the only one that fits the SECAF's light attack talking points re: modularity, plug-and-play, expandability, future-proof, etc.

Much higher, much faster, more payload, internal payload options, more stations time, two engines, tons of power generation from those two jet engines, far better sensors, datalinks and avionics, etc. etc. etc. Granted it's less mature and Textron has some issues where they shot themselves in the foot as a company, but as a crew dawg it's frustrating when what I think is clearly the most capable platform wasn't selected. Especially when Scorpion could have continued to mature over the 2+ years between LAE and the actual buy.

All that being said, something is way better than nothing and if the money is there we should just get on with it and standup an A-29 squadron at Moody tomorrow.

Alright, I'll budge a little bit on the Scorpions modular payload, it is pretty good.  That being said, how much do those sensors cost, I'm betting that isn't in the bottom line because, well, they are modular.  The speed thing cannot be, it's T/W is the same as an A-10, sure its a bit more aerodynamic but I think it's power is underwhelming, on top of that how much do all those sensors weigh?  I also think the AF has been trying to get rid of NAV's for a long time, this platform doesn't help that.

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33 minutes ago, matmacwc said:

Alright, I'll budge a little bit on the Scorpions modular payload, it is pretty good.  That being said, how much do those sensors cost, I'm betting that isn't in the bottom line because, well, they are modular.  The speed thing cannot be, it's T/W is the same as an A-10, sure its a bit more aerodynamic but I think it's power is underwhelming, on top of that how much do all those sensors weigh?  I also think the AF has been trying to get rid of NAV's for a long time, this platform doesn't help that.

Re: sensor cost... > $1million for the most capable ones that you would want. My understanding is the Scorpion's advertised fly away cost includes it's currently-integrated sensor as does the A-29 and AT-6. For comparison, the MX-15DiD that was fielded on Scorpion for LAE is vastly superior than the old-ass FLIR Brightstar equipped on the A-29, and that sets aside that the Scorpion has been tested with and could field something like the MX-20 or MTS-B that would not fit on the smaller AT-6 or A-29. BL: Scorpion has a much better sensor out of the box and gives you the option to go Gucci in the future with more $$, whereas the A-29 or AT-6 almost certainly lock you in to a 15" class sensor, and at some point you just can't squeeze out more fidelity without larger optics.

Re: speed...the Scorpion is much faster in transit than the A-29 or AT-6. The sensor weight isn't super relevant in that statement because transit speeds are compared with a combat load, which includes all fuel/sensors/humans/weapons/etc. that you would want on each platform.

Re: backseaters...well that's like your opinion man. AFSOC certainly isn't getting rid of CSOs, and even if you just fucking hate navs, you could fly with another pilot in the back. I mean light attack is supposed to be a component of the new ramp-up of UPT production now right? It's also a moot point because all platforms at LAE were dual-seat, so it's not a differentiator between the platforms.

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I don't hate NAV's, I think mother AF doesn't like them, my jets background doesn't have them so maybe I just don't understand the need.

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Coming from a crew aircraft, having another brain  and set of eyeballs in there is pretty clutch. With CRM all things are possible.

 

 

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17 hours ago, matmacwc said:

Alright, I'll budge a little bit on the Scorpions modular payload, it is pretty good.  That being said, how much do those sensors cost, I'm betting that isn't in the bottom line because, well, they are modular.  The speed thing cannot be, it's T/W is the same as an A-10, sure its a bit more aerodynamic but I think it's power is underwhelming, on top of that how much do all those sensors weigh?  I also think the AF has been trying to get rid of NAV's for a long time, this platform doesn't help that.

What difference does the cost of the sensor make if they are going to put the same sensor on the prop version?  New sensors being developed are already being and tested for other platforms so that part is a wash.  The difference is Scorpion can carry MORE...perhaps three with the option federating one or two back to the JOC. 

You are a bit off on the A-10 speed comparison, T/W is comparable but the Scorpion is slick as shit.  The sensors can be retracted and when they are it can be difficult to slow down.  The other piece is the design of the wing which is 40 years more advanced than the A-10 and the product of millions of hours of highly efficient biz jet flying.  IMHO USAF totally missed the boat on what the speed and altitude capes do to the employment construct.  Having an aircraft that can take off and climb to the high 30's, cruise at 400+ knots to the AO, then drop down with 4-5 hours on station (perhaps more depending on how you load fuel), is a game changer in reach and changes the lily pad construct.  You can have the exact same (or less) response time from bases further away and have just as much if not more play time.

I encourage folks to think differently about the pit on these aircraft.  The original construct was to fly host nation folks so they could be trained to provide for their own defense.  If employed in a USAF only construct, there is huge benefit to having another brain stem to run the extra one or two sensors...doesn't hurt from a seasoning perspective for multiple pilots.

Bottomline, Lite Attack was  meant to supplement not replace the A-10 and by all measures except landing in the dirt (when was the last time we did that in combat?  What about security logistics etc...  If you have a jet that has the range and refueling capability you don't need to land in the dirt), Scorpion is a revolution beyond AT-6C and the A-29.  Unfortunately the requirement was written by A-29 guys and evaluated by A-29 guys.

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