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Do you guys think the armed overwatch aircraft (whatever it ends up being) could function as CAS asset somewhere between RW CAS and an A-10 or fighter tpye? Using RW tactics but adapted for the realities of fixed wing flight.

 

Why or why not?

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Depends on the RW CAS you are comparing.  An Apache is going to be different than a Huey.  Probably, could be somewhat similar though, as airspeeds are likely to be somewhat similar (at least if you take a slower fixed wing).  That said, some helicopter tactics aren't going to be available unless you have STOL capability and a headwind.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Lawman said:

 

This isn’t “one time at Band Camp” crap.

 

I’ve watched plenty of robots be either flat booted to “padlock useless building at grid....” or piss in the pool bad enough that they are pushed back for the rest of that task forces rotation when there is any other option.

 

Remember not all of us on here are with Big Blue. Some of us live with the ground force. The guys that get all the toys are picky and they have their reasons. Whether there is an equipment limitation or other those guys design that sensor plan and there is a hierarchy to what they want if they get to pick from the whole menu. Robots aren’t at the top of it. Especially not if there is a Gunship or even a U-28 available.

 

 

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I'm certainly not naieve in those respects which is 100% why I disagree with you. Yes, there are weapon system priority list but those are often built on mission requirements. Your evidence is anecdotal at best which is why it exactly is what you say it isn't, "bro talk."  Being padlocked a building almost definitely doesn't mean you are in timeout. 

Regardless, noone records "how many times someone was put in timeout corner." But there are numbers out there on what asset employed the most munitions in the summer of 2016, what an asett's first run attack success rate is, how many vbieds, which was the #1 threat to ground forces at the time, were destroyed, etc... Ive seen all of those answers before and they might surprise you. 

U-28s are great when they can nail their CDE comm procedures for a given AOR. Gunships are also awesome when they can correlate a target correctly. You're using a few instances/expereince you saw and youre coloring your whole perception on that. You saw a few robots fuck up and had a conversation with some JTACs about it. Cool  I've seen a lot of manned aircraft fuck up and did the same. Most of what you elude to is shit that has more to do with crew training, expereince and familiarity with the CAS environment though. And out of the above communities which one has the shortest training pipeline, gives a weapons release card to the youngest members and does not afford CT. This to me indicates that it's not the platform that's incapable but the crews, which is easily solvable on the enterprise level. Nothing of what you point to though has anything specific to do with the fact that the weapon system is unmanned. 

For whatever it's worth, I already said that I don't believe the MQ-9 is equipped for a light attack role. I just don't think that had

Sanything to do with JTACs perceptions of the pink squishy component. The MQ-9 does what it was engineered to do incredibly well. Occasionally it has been asked to do things it wasn't engineered to do with mixed success. If you engineer a light attack platform it would presumably do that incredibly well also. If that design included the ommission of a pilot, it would still presumably perform the same, so long as it was engineered to do so and the crew was appropriately trained. 

Edited by FLEA
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I'm certainly not naieve in those respects which is 100% why I disagree with you. Yes, there are weapon system priority list but those are often built on mission requirements. Your evidence is anecdotal at best which is why it exactly is what you say it isn't, "bro talk."  Being padlocked a building almost definitely doesn't mean you are in timeout. 
Regardless, noone records "how many times someone was put in timeout corner." But there are numbers out there on what asset employed the most munitions in the summer of 2016, what an asett's first run attack success rate is, how many vbieds, which was the #1 threat to ground forces at the time, were destroyed, etc... Ive seen all of those answers before and they might surprise you. 
U-28s are great when they can nail their CDE comm procedures for a given AOR. Gunships are also awesome when they can correlate a target correctly. You're using a few instances/expereince you saw and youre coloring your whole perception on that. You saw a few robots up and had a conversation with some JTACs about it. Cool  I've seen a lot of manned aircraft up and did the same. Most of what you elude to is shit that has more to do with crew training, expereince and familiarity with the CAS environment though. And out of the above communities which one has the shortest training pipeline, gives a weapons release card to the youngest members and does not afford CT. This to me indicates that it's not the platform that's incapable but the crews, which is easily solvable on the enterprise level. Nothing of what you point to though has anything specific to do with the fact that the weapon system is unmanned. 
For whatever it's worth, I already said that I don't believe the MQ-9 is equipped for a light attack role. I just don't think that had
Sanything to do with JTACs perceptions of the pink squishy component. The MQ-9 does what it was engineered to do incredibly well. Occasionally it has been asked to do things it wasn't engineered to do with mixed success. If you engineer a light attack platform it would presumably do that incredibly well also. If that design included the ommission of a pilot, it would still presumably perform the same, so long as it was engineered to do so and the crew was appropriately trained. 


All things Equal the manned platform will be preferred over unmanned.

Yes *insert call sign here* was padlocked to just go look at something not even in the city limits of Raqqa repeatedly and not just by one task force JTAC. Yes, I’ve watched 9 lines punted from one asset to another because dudes training didn’t get it done or because they weren’t responsive enough to the dynamic nature of the target. Drones weren’t the primary VBIED killer over Mosul, the Apaches flying at Block 7-9 under them were. Or did they just imagine the 1100 Hellfires we shot into that city.

You guys asked the open ended question of “does the ground force care” without actually living/knowing the ground force and you seem to have definitive answers to speak for those guys. Or you don’t buy it when somebody gives you their take. Which one of us probably has the answer and backstory as to why they feel the way they do about it. It’s not hard to know how they feel about drones vs manned aircraft and why they prefer one over the other when you actually spend time with the dude who to the rest of the stack is a callsign and suffix.


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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Lawman said:

 


All things Equal the manned platform will be preferred over unmanned.

Yes *insert call sign here* was padlocked to just go look at something not even in the city limits of Raqqa repeatedly and not just by one task force JTAC. Yes, I’ve watched 9 lines punted from one asset to another because dudes training didn’t get it done or because they weren’t responsive enough to the dynamic nature of the target. Drones weren’t the primary VBIED killer over Mosul, the Apaches flying at Block 7-9 under them were. Or did they just imagine the 1100 Hellfires we shot into that city.

You guys asked the open ended question of “does the ground force care” without actually living/knowing the ground force and you seem to have definitive answers to speak for those guys. Or you don’t buy it when somebody gives you their take. Which one of us probably has the answer and backstory as to why they feel the way they do about it. It’s not hard to know how they feel about drones vs manned aircraft and why they prefer one over the other when you actually spend time with the dude who to the rest of the stack is a callsign and suffix.


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So I'll admit I asked your opinion and got exactly that. That's fair. But I was hoping for something more empirical. Two of my best friends are JTACs I worked with in Al Tabqah and Manbij and their opinions are exactly opposite yours. So you'll have to pardon me when I don't weigh "guy on the internet" as highly.

I'm personally impressed by what we've asked the RPA enterprise to do and what they've accomplished. I do think there is value in investing in their enterprise. Specifically training, which for the last 15 years has been made a third tier priority because of the ground forces. Much of your complaints would be absolved if the community was allowed to train. 

Edited by FLEA
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35 minutes ago, FLEA said:

So I'll admit I asked your opinion and got exactly that. That's fair. But I was hoping for something more empirical. Two of my best friends are JTACs I worked with in Al Tabqah and Manbij and their opinions are exactly opposite yours. So you'll have to pardon me when I don't weigh "guy on the internet" as highly.

I'm personally impressed by what we've asked the RPA enterprise to do and what they've accomplished. I do think there is value in investing in their enterprise. Specifically training, which for the last 15 years has been made a third tier priority because of the ground forces. Much of your complaints would be absolved if the community was allowed to train. 

RPA is a great asset. Not to specifically answer your JTAC question, but to address why the light attack won’t be drone. 
 

Manning-the RPA enterprise can’t fill that bill. They are doing everything they can to improve manning in their current posturing. Cross training the entire U-28 community would tax the system to much. Long run, it could be be done, but it would take a large amount of assets. The 18x community is trying to become a pure 18x community with minimal 11s, so it would go against that long term plan. 
 

 Hardware-satcom delay makes comms a ass pain, especially with troops on the ground. The KU delay also makes flying at low levels, as well as the “aggressive” maneuvering for gun/rockets pretty much impossible to do safely for both ground guys and the aircraft. Lastly is the requirement for austere ops. You need a ground team to land the 9 at the airfield/farp point, this takes significant time/security  to set up. Also the several million dollar camera is on the front of the aircraft real close to the ground. It’s a recipe for disaster landing on anything not paved and maintained. There are some additional considerations but this is not the appropriate medium for that discussion. 
 

I’ve flown both manned and unmanned ISR aircraft, each are both great at what they do, and have made serious TTP improvements in the last decade. Both also have their respective weaknesses. Can a drone fill these low block CAS mission sets in the future? Probably, but those technology gains aren’t going to happen in the timeline laid out by SOCOM. 

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26 minutes ago, viper154 said:

RPA is a great asset. Not to specifically answer your JTAC question, but to address why the light attack won’t be drone. 
 

Manning-the RPA enterprise can’t fill that bill. They are doing everything they can to improve manning in their current posturing. Cross training the entire U-28 community would tax the system to much. Long run, it could be be done, but it would take a large amount of assets. The 18x community is trying to become a pure 18x community with minimal 11s, so it would go against that long term plan. 
 

 Hardware-satcom delay makes comms a ass pain, especially with troops on the ground. The KU delay also makes flying at low levels, as well as the “aggressive” maneuvering for gun/rockets pretty much impossible to do safely for both ground guys and the aircraft. Lastly is the requirement for austere ops. You need a ground team to land the 9 at the airfield/farp point, this takes significant time/security  to set up. Also the several million dollar camera is on the front of the aircraft real close to the ground. It’s a recipe for disaster landing on anything not paved and maintained. There are some additional considerations but this is not the appropriate medium for that discussion. 
 

I’ve flown both manned and unmanned ISR aircraft, each are both great at what they do, and have made serious TTP improvements in the last decade. Both also have their respective weaknesses. Can a drone fill these low block CAS mission sets in the future? Probably, but those technology gains aren’t going to happen in the timeline laid out by SOCOM. 

100% agree with everything you said. 

That said, I think the -9 provides an excellent fusion platform for the light attack aircraft if the LAAF is capable of tapping it's sensors. 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, FLEA said:

Just curious, can you articulate why you think this or why? I've been in CAS stacks manned and unmanned, albeit without weapons manned. Also worked in several MPCs for major SOF air operations. Regardless, I never felt the JTACs cared so much as long as the people there did their jobs. I'm not buying the "skin in the game" argument because it's weightless. 

Tac Air nailed it. From my experience I’d say it was the LOS comm w the GFC and my ability to look out the window which added the biggest benefit. 
 

lost link is a big detractor. Jamming. Etc. 

RPA icing restrictions can hamper a lot as well

but I’d take a MQ-9 in the stack over a two ship of anything. 

Edited by BashiChuni

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1 hour ago, BashiChuni said:

but I’d take a MQ-9 in the stack over a two ship of anything. 

 

91AE2C45-8EFB-4F1F-B23A-B4F6B3A4FF4A.jpeg

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Time now and with our (SOF) RPA partners, I’d agree with Bashi on that. Not the case 9 years ago, but where the MQ-9 RPA community is at now is very impressive. I don’t mean to exclude the ACC MQ-9’s, just not as habitual of a relationship.

On the ground force topic, it does depend but I’m not going to argue because you both have good points (I’m personally more with Lawman but you both have good points).

One thing that blew my mind was talking with certain JTAC/FSO’s is that they know which squadrons are in theater and adjust their game plans accordingly. We were developing a CoF one time and the guy said that “we won’t have the *certain state ANG A-10’s* doing this next week when the *other state ANG A-10’s* leave”. When I asked why it was because “they’re assholes”. That really drove the value of relationships home.

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11 hours ago, Tank said:

 

91AE2C45-8EFB-4F1F-B23A-B4F6B3A4FF4A.jpeg

serious. SOF MQ-9s are the heat. I can get their feed instantly. talk to them on the redline. MIRC them. que them instantly to my SPI. and they have 18 hours play time. and highly accurate weapons. some of the shit i've seen that community do is insane. insane.

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3 hours ago, Tank said:

Looks like Mag Aerospace and Orbital ATK are now in the mix...
 

https://www.foxnews.com/tech/us-special-operations-arms-surveillance-aircraft-for-precision-attack

Having worked with both companies and flown the AC-208 for a while this is pretty interesting. Lack of pressurization is a factor depending on where you operate. I would say 8x -114s or 28x APKWS would be extreme, would cut way into fuel. We were putting 14x unguided on with three guys and could only do about 1400 lbs of gas, still about 3 hours play time but APKWS are about 10 lbs heavier. Mission system would need a complete overhaul too, it’s killing people with DOS.  

If they take a multi platform approach I could definitely see a -208 at the low end. Cheap, simple and flexible. Problem with APKWS is lack of hard target Cape unless you throw a penetrator on there (Never used it but willing to try!). Will be interesting to see where this goes. 
 

Cooter

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On 5/28/2019 at 10:57 PM, mcbush said:

Honestly I don’t even know why you guys take the time to discuss this. We’re not any closer to fielding a new airframe than we were 10 years and 1400 posts ago.

The Air Force will never make the intelligent move to acquire a light attack platform. 

Another year down, and we’re further than ever from dedicated light attack.

For the optimists out there... see you next year.

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From the article:

it’s time to build a platform that meets the needs of our SOF operators from scratch. New aircraft with the right tools to provide just what the operator needs on the ground, wherever they find themselves. If we don’t do it now, we will have to react aggressively later to meet the need and likely come up with something less capable and more expensive.

Buy the Scorpion.

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTjTwySBVyHpoqZP0A9tjb

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On 7/4/2020 at 9:06 AM, Clark Griswold said:

From the article:

it’s time to build a platform that meets the needs of our SOF operators from scratch. New aircraft with the right tools to provide just what the operator needs on the ground, wherever they find themselves. If we don’t do it now, we will have to react aggressively later to meet the need and likely come up with something less capable and more expensive.

Buy the Scorpion.

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTjTwySBVyHpoqZP0A9tjb

What is the Scorpions dirt/short field ability? The powers that be want a aircraft that can land on on a short dirt strip, grab some gas/munitions and go. TOLD would have to be in the PC-12/C-208 range for it to be a player. From some info I got it seems this is a primary factor/requirement to the powers that be. Who knows if this project is ever going to actually happen, but I’m guessing if it does it’s going to be a prop. 

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What is the Scorpions dirt/short field ability? The powers that be want a aircraft that can land on on a short dirt strip, grab some gas/munitions and go. TOLD would have to be in the PC-12/C-208 range for it to be a player. From some info I got it seems this is a primary factor/requirement to the powers that be. Who knows if this project is ever going to actually happen, but I’m guessing if it does it’s going to be a prop. 

Not sure, I have not seen the requirements but that would check with the interest expressed in the Air Tractor

Not sure if Scorpion has rough field capes, doubt it but I think there’s room for more than one type of light attack
Scorpion geared towards Hybrid Warfare where conventional military capes are used intermixed with SOF & Stability Ops, a likely prop based platform used in austere, SOF focused ops


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i doubt underwing turbofan engines on a plane that short are dirt/rough-field capable...

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i doubt underwing turbofan engines on a plane that short are dirt/rough-field capable...

Yeah but it can be done, MiG 29 has intake doors and upper intake louvres and Scorpion to my knowledge is not offered with that or other devices that can block/prevent FOD but it’s still in development and the design is inherently flexible

Protecting the balls (gigitty) is not a problem as they are retractable and the wing is high with the fat fuselage blocking FOD from impacting the stores during to/land

This is the right plane for the mission as it was designed from the gear up for this mission, if the AF will get behind this concept they will get a great aircraft that provides the support a door kicker wants


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Bronco II...

DD713EC3-8184-4190-AAD8-6583058A0F54.jpeg

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6 hours ago, viper154 said:

What is the Scorpions dirt/short field ability? The powers that be want a aircraft that can land on on a short dirt strip, grab some gas/munitions and go. TOLD would have to be in the PC-12/C-208 range for it to be a player. From some info I got it seems this is a primary factor/requirement to the powers that be. Who knows if this project is ever going to actually happen, but I’m guessing if it does it’s going to be a prop. 

IMO that is what kills the light attack altogether if short, unprepared runways is a necessity. The impact of just hardpoints alone on performance is significant, it’s a huge impact when adding bombs and different sorts of pods. The drag hurts even more than the weight. Even jets that have tons of power compared to the hawg feel the struggle when they are heavy and it’s hot on takeoffs. You either will require something that’s in the realm of an actual fighter to get off the ground with some 38s, or sacrifice having a payload that makes you relevant. And if we are talking two engine aircraft that will have SERC requirements here then you can just forget about it. 
 

It sounds like they need a helicopter, not fixed wing. If all they want is apkws duct tape that shit onto some U-28s. 

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Bronco II...
DD713EC3-8184-4190-AAD8-6583058A0F54.jpeg.e551c663d0a5a4587ca4986cc02f395d.jpeg

Yeah but....

I prattle on this thread as there is a need as I see it for a manned platform that essentially brings the capes of 4th gen pointy nose without the cost or need for AR for a decent vul time - Bronco 2 and the other t-props are good but limited in speed, range and altitude along with potential for growth, except Bronco 2 as it has an adaptive structure for different mission loads

This is the A-7 of our time, an unsexy but very innovative no nonsense attack design we are unfortunately resisting


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1 hour ago, Tank said:

Bronco II...

DD713EC3-8184-4190-AAD8-6583058A0F54.jpeg

Lacks required FAA certifications.  Although technically still in the running for AO the unofficial word is they’ll be DQ.  Also, it sucks.

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