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USAF just cancelled the remainder of the current LAE at White Sands.

Saw that.

Now they have enough data to decide whether or not to go to an OA-X evaluation because you know this is so new and cutting edge...

Rope a dope continues

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USAF giving away OV-10's so long as you provide the transportation to final destination.

 

US Air Force is giving away retired turboprop light attack aircraft to Philippines

https://www.defensenews.com/global/asia-pacific/2018/07/24/us-air-force-is-giving-away-retired-turboprop-light-attack-aircraft-to-philippines/

Philippines to bolster airborne COIN capabilities with Broncos, potentially Baslers

http://www.janes.com/article/81975/philippines-to-bolster-airborne-coin-capabilities-with-broncos-potentially-baslers

 

 

 

Edited by RegularJoe

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Why do I have a sinking feeling about this? 

No word on new jets and the AF starts cleaning out the desert of the most recent workhorse that filled the need.  

Standard AF procedure....give away an aircraft that COULD do the job.  Then tell Congress there is no need to field anything new, nor are there any former jets that could be refurbished available to do the job.  No refurbished jets pushed back on the service, no new jets for CAS and the AF marches on, not actually growing or doing its job! A win/win for the top brass.

Where oh where are the guys that would ravagedly take on this opportunity to field new jets that can get in the fight tomorrow?  Actually grow the AF and fill a requested need like a service is supposed to do shouldn't be this hard.

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https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/usaf-reveals-intentions-to-acquire-light-attack-figh-450940/

 

  • 06 AUGUST, 2018
  •  
  • SOURCE: FLIGHTGLOBAL.COM
  •  
  • BY: GARRETT REIM
  •  
  • LOS ANGELES

After more than a year of flight demonstrations the US Air Force is formally moving the light attack aircraft experiment into the acquisitions phase, with the intention that it will award a production contract to Sierra Nevada Corporation or Textron Aviation in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2019.

The pre-solicitation notice for the other than full and open competition was announced on 3 August. It is anticipated that a formal solicitation will be released in December of 2018, according to the USAF.

“[Light attack aircraft] will provide an affordable, non-developmental aircraft intended to operate globally in the types of irregular warfare environments that have characterized combat operations over the past 25 years,” the USAF wrote in its pre-solicitation notice. “Sierra Nevada Corporation and Textron Aviation are the only firms that appear to possess the capability necessary to meet the requirement within the Air Force's time frame without causing an unacceptable delay in meeting the needs of the warfighter.”

The USAF had been using data gathered from the light attack experiment phase, a series of demonstration flights over more than a year by the Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 Super Tucano and the Textron’s Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine, to decide whether to buy potentially hundreds of light attack aircraft. The hope is these fighters could be cheaper alternatives for certain missions to using aircraft such as the Lockheed Martin F-35 and Boeing F-15.

The experiment was suspended prematurely after the fatal crash of a Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 Super Tucano on 22 June. The crash would not harm Sierra Nevada/Embraer's chances of winning the competition, the USAF said.

The USAF appears to be barring any manufacturers who did not participate in the light attack experiment by limiting potential bidders for the light attack production contract. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Czech aerospace manufacturer Aero Vodochody – companies that did not participate in the experiment – publicly pitched their jointly developed F/A-259 Striker jet to the US Air Force in July as a speedy, cost effective and production model that would meet the service’s requirements.

It is not clear if IAI and Aero Vodochody would protest their exclusion from the other than full and open competition. Neither company responded immediately for a request for comment.

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I about fell out of my seat reading the headline. Good thing they clarified the timeline in the body of the article - Dec 2018 contract award. The editor over there at FlightGlobal.com really doesn't know how fiscal years work does he/she?

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Why do I have a sinking feeling about this? 
No word on new jets and the AF starts cleaning out the desert of the most recent workhorse that filled the need.  
Standard AF procedure....give away an aircraft that COULD do the job.  Then tell Congress there is no need to field anything new, nor are there any former jets that could be refurbished available to do the job. 


There is a bit more too it with this situation.

The Phils had all of 3 operational OV-10s in their fleet in 2014, and they were unsafe to fly at night because the instruments were in such disrepair. This was after we spent a multimillion dollar program to put PGM on them and train 1st Strike Wing to use them as part of our campaign against the Moro insurgents down south.

Giving them “new” OV-10s is a band aid to maintain that cape in a regional power with a history of bad maintenance but it’s the only way to keep them flying outside of watching them screw up another FMS contract in favor of a DCS program they are woefully incapable of succeeding in.

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"...without causing an unacceptable delay..."

So this program has been ongoing for years and COIN ops have been going on far longer and the AF is just now getting around to this...if this is an "unacceptable delay" what constitutes an acceptable delay?

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Tactics development for LAARs at Pitch Black...

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/22950/australias-exercise-pitch-black-saw-mv-22-ospreys-escorted-by-light-air-support-planes

kkkkad1c.jpg?quality=85

RAAF PC-9s not really LAARs (article references some mods for training but not a full up ISR/Light Strike platform) but were performing FAC-A role.

I suspect the Osprey could potentially out range and out run the LAARs under consideration by the USAF (with a SCL and integrated FMV sensor) so again why buy an already max'ed out aircraft not able to support in potential mission sets?

To repeat the mantra, just buy one AF but because we eliminated the most capable of the offerings (Scorpion) we are likely to have some buyer's remorse (better than not having but...)

Edited by Clark Griswold

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3 hours ago, nsplayr said:

If this is the case, I see the 20 aircraft being used more for the FID Advisor mission than the ACC CAS mission.  

  • Like 1

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18 minutes ago, Tank said:

If this is the case, I see the 20 aircraft being used more for the FID Advisor mission than the ACC CAS mission.  

...or the SOF CAS mission. 

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2 hours ago, Standby said:

20 is better than 0. You know damn well that small fleet doesn’t mean small global impact. 

Obviously given my background I’m well aware of that.

Still would be a massive change from the bag if goods being sold up to this point, i.e. 300 tails, relieve pressure from the 4th en fleet, we needed this 10+ years ago, etc. 

If this is a small FID fleet we hand off to the Bulgarians or whatever, we already have that program and it’s the A-29 at Moody and we just wasted 2 years and a bunch of effort to keep dribbling the ball in the same spot. 

Selfish reason too: the ANG has been slated for many of the theoretical 300 aircraft, but with a fleet of 20 that probably ain’t gonna happen...

Edited by nsplayr

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36 minutes ago, nsplayr said:

Obviously given my background I’m well aware of that.

Still would be a massive change from the bag if goods being sold up to this point, i.e. 300 tails, relieve pressure from the 4th en fleet, we needed this 10+ years ago, etc. 

If this is a small FID fleet we hand off to the Bulgarians or whatever, we already have that program and it’s the A-29 at Moody and we just wasted 2 years and a bunch of effort to keep dribbling the ball in the same spot. 

Selfish reason too: the ANG has been slated for many of the theoretical 300 aircraft, but with a fleet of 20 that probably ain’t gonna happen...

Current fleet breakdown:

304 to ACC, 55 to AFSOC

I heard Oklahoma and Michigan both wanting the LA but no words on where they’d actually be stationed in ACC or ANG.  You’re right though, 359 total down to 20 is a joke!

Edited by Tank

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We wonder why we are still losing the war. What happened to utilizing this program to expand our pilot base to help with growth when we are acquiring F-35s at full speed? You can’t bank a bunch of fighter pilots with only 20 planes.

Oh, and we used to have a program for countries that couldn’t afford expensive fighters. It was called the F-5.


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Goldfein Says Light Attack Experiment Chiefly an International Partnership Initiative

The Light Attack aircraft experiment should be viewed chiefly as a way to partner with allied air forces and not simply as an inexpensive way to conduct operations against violent extremists, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said in an interview with Air Force Magazine. While saving the cost of high-end combat jets in an uncontested battlespace is a plus, Goldfein said the Light Attack concept is mainly geared toward meeting the National Defense Strategy’s mandate to seek partnerships and alliances. A draft request for proposals has been released, and a final version is expected by the end of the year, but Goldfein said the jury is still out on how many of the aircraft USAF will want to buy.

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2 hours ago, Tank said:

Goldfein Says Light Attack Experiment Chiefly an International Partnership Initiative

The Light Attack aircraft experiment should be viewed chiefly as a way to partner with allied air forces and not simply as an inexpensive way to conduct operations against violent extremists, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said in an interview with Air Force Magazine. While saving the cost of high-end combat jets in an uncontested battlespace is a plus, Goldfein said the Light Attack concept is mainly geared toward meeting the National Defense Strategy’s mandate to seek partnerships and alliances. A draft request for proposals has been released, and a final version is expected by the end of the year, but Goldfein said the jury is still out on how many of the aircraft USAF will want to buy.

So requiring stripping experienced pilots from other airframes to fill. Seems like a great plan (sic)

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Tactics development for LAARs at Pitch Black...
http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/22950/australias-exercise-pitch-black-saw-mv-22-ospreys-escorted-by-light-air-support-planes
kkkkad1c.jpg?quality=85
RAAF PC-9s not really LAARs (article references some mods for training but not a full up ISR/Light Strike platform) but were performing FAC-A role.
I suspect the Osprey could potentially out range and out run the LAARs under consideration by the USAF (with a SCL and integrated FMV sensor) so again why buy an already max'ed out aircraft not able to support in potential mission sets?
To repeat the mantra, just buy one AF but because we eliminated the most capable of the offerings (Scorpion) we are likely to have some buyer's remorse (better than not having but...)


If the Ospreys are going that far to get to the X, there is no necessity to base the Light Attack with them. I can potentially outrange the light attack options with a 47/60 thanks to air refuel that they have in the special mission community same as I can outrange the C-12s/U-28s or UAS if launched from the same point.... launch from somewhere else. The more austere capable the better like I said way back earlier.

but for that mission I’m gonna have far more assets committed than just the lift and the attack/CAS. So that one problem isn’t the end of the world either.


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4 hours ago, Lawman said:

If the Ospreys are going that far to get to the X, there is no necessity to base the Light Attack with them. I can potentially outrange the light attack options with a 47/60 thanks to air refuel that they have in the special mission community same as I can outrange the C-12s/U-28s or UAS if launched from the same point.... launch from somewhere else. The more austere capable the better like I said way back earlier.

but for that mission I’m gonna have far more assets committed than just the lift and the attack/CAS. So that one problem isn’t the end of the world either.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Copy that

Range/Endurance has been the requirement that has been to my knowledge defined (900 NM Ferry Range & 5 hours endurance with 30 minute reserve) but not with the necessary caveats (internal fuel only, two wet stations used for external tanks to get the required range/endurance, etc...) and AR was not on the list of requirements.  

No argument from me as the costs need to be kept in check but as the fight evolves from mainly Afghanistan with some large airfields/MOBs dispersed throughout the country to other existing/potential AORs that have the tyranny of distance (HOA, Phillipines, Mali, etc...) from MOBs, we might want to invest in a fixed wing platform that is Long Range LAAR+.

My suggestion (repeat) would be a military modified Saab 340 MSA or like aircraft... still inexpensive to fly (around $2500 a flight hour) and with range/endurance to not require AR support (9 hours or about 2000 NMs)

Maritime_security_-_main.jpg

Give it multiple sensors, links and a mixed PGM capability... less than a Gunship but more than a Reaper.  Cheaper than either & would allow absorption of newly minted pilots/CSOs and a good fit for any number of ARC units

Edited by Clark Griswold

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Copy that
Range/Endurance has been the requirement that has been to my knowledge defined (900 NM Ferry Range & 5 hours endurance with 30 minute reserve) but not with the necessary caveats (internal fuel only, two wet stations used for external tanks to get the required range/endurance, etc...) and AR was not on the list of requirements.  
No argument from me as the costs need to be kept in check but as the fight evolves from mainly Afghanistan with some large airfields/MOBs dispersed throughout the country to other existing/potential AORs that have the tyranny of distance (HOA, Phillipines, Mali, etc...) from MOBs, we might want to invest in a fixed wing platform that is Long Range LAAR+.
My suggestion (repeat) would be a military modified Saab 340 MSA or like aircraft... still inexpensive to fly (around $2500 a flight hour) and with range/endurance to not require AR support (9 hours or about 2000 NMs)
Maritime_security_-_main.jpg
Give it multiple sensors, links and a mixed PGM capability... less than a Gunship but more than a Reaper.  Cheaper than either & would allow absorption of newly minted pilots/CSOs and a good fit for any number of ARC units


I’d love to see a medium category turboprop like the Dash 7 expound into this role. It could cover a whole lot of gaps between UAS/Gunship/Fixed wing manned in a single package that would be cheap enough to buy more than some low 2 digit number (like Gunships) and be limited by sustainable tails forward.

Plus it does something else similar to the C-146 Wolfhounds, not brightly advertise what it is and what it’s doing there. Let’s face it, a small tandem seat turboprop with a pod and F’ing shark teeth isn’t fooling anybody when we aren’t trying to advertise our presence for whatever reason.


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4 hours ago, Lawman said:

I’d love to see a medium category turboprop like the Dash 7 expound into this role. It could cover a whole lot of gaps between UAS/Gunship/Fixed wing manned in a single package that would be cheap enough to buy more than some low 2 digit number (like Gunships) and be limited by sustainable tails forward.

Plus it does something else similar to the C-146 Wolfhounds, not brightly advertise what it is and what it’s doing there. Let’s face it, a small tandem seat turboprop with a pod and F’ing shark teeth isn’t fooling anybody when we aren’t trying to advertise our presence for whatever reason.

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Big 2 on that...

Fleet number is something that gets overlooked, the number of sustainable CAPs and tails for flexing gets overshadowed by the capabilities of individual tails....

Attack is a spectrum from inside the WEZ of an SA-400 to inside the WEZ of an AK-47... remember your roots AF and support the door kicking 20 something in Turdshitistand...

And just buy one...

Honest question to AFSOC and ACC types... if both want this type of platform (I think ACC types would particularly want this on their ALPHA tour) and both are such big dogs in the force supplying world, why the hell can't y'all just get one?  I can't believe with all the money sloshing around out there that even with sustainment cots figured in that these MAJCOMs couldn't find the money to buy one of these in the 100 to 200+ range...

Edited by Clark Griswold

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It’s cause AFSOC/acc/Air Force doesn’t really want it. 

AFSOC blows their load on gunships. 

ACC is fighter mafia. 

And the Air Force is incompetent. 

 

Look at the history and and origin of the U-28. It wasn’t any Air Force types pushing that rope. And look how AFSOC/Air Force treat that platform. There’s your answer for light attack. 

Itll continue to be the red-headed step child 

Edited by BashiChuni
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  • Upvote 6

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