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AF Light Air Support Aircraft

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1 hour ago, SPAWNmaster said:

American punched out of a supertucano today. Huge props to the Afghan Air Force prosecuting a successful SAR. Was half expecting to hear Pave Hawks. 
 

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/34694/american-pilot-reportedly-ejects-from-afghan-air-force-a-29-light-attack-plane

The 83 ERQS are only PJs now. They ride on Army CH-47s.

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Clark, just watched a show on the Smithsonian Channel about the OV-10 and their role in Iraq 2015 using APKWS. I know it’s not Scorpion, but good stuff. 

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1 hour ago, SurelySerious said:

That; the whole show digs all the way back to development of CAS concepts in WWII and Bronco in Vietnam etc. 

👍

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Lipstick on a pig...

 

Look we need to accept that cheap and small/light are mutually exclusive terms.

 

Persistence and hang time in the stack combined with the fact that a host of weapons to be carried could be dropped just as effectively from an AC-130 (ie from a non maneuvering MDS) and the sensors mean you don’t need to somehow combine aerobatic maneuver with an attempt to build SA in the battle space.

 

For F sake, can we stop trying to reinvent the sky warrior. Those ODA’s on the ground don’t want a new take on the P-47... they want a pocket size easy to get set of options that mimic the AC-130J’s. Get a turboprop or small turbofan something from the commercial market, put sensors and non direct fire ordnance in a variety of options that can tailor to a fight, and accept the fact that gone are the days of gunning a locomotive with 6-8x .50 cals, because it’s dumb in a world of everything from rockets to bombs that will guide from miles outside the WEZ of anything expected in asscrackistan or African.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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52 minutes ago, Lawman said:

Those ODA’s on the ground don’t want a new take on the P-47... they want a pocket size easy to get set of options that mimic the AC-130J’s. Get a turboprop or small turbofan something from the commercial market, put sensors and non direct fire ordnance in a variety of options that can tailor to a fight, and accept the fact that gone are the days of gunning a locomotive with 6-8x .50 cals, because it’s dumb in a world of everything from rockets to bombs that will guide from miles outside the WEZ of anything expected in asscrackistan or African.

Yea damn I really wish we had that 🤔

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1 hour ago, nsplayr said:

Yea damn I really wish we had that 🤔

For real though. Between this thread, the thread about whether or not your MWS affects your career opportunities, and the amount of fighter aircraft falling out of the sky, I feel like I'm taking crazy pills.

What will it take for RPAs to be taken seriously? Why were they bound by MTCR regulations so coalition partners couldn't have access to American products? I certainly do not know know.

If someone could lift the glass ceiling off RPAs that would be great.

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14 minutes ago, theoriginalturk said:

For real though. Between this thread, the thread about whether or not your MWS affects your career opportunities, and the amount of fighter aircraft falling out of the sky, I feel like I'm taking crazy pills.

What will it take for RPAs to be taken seriously? Why were they bound by MTCR regulations so coalition partners couldn't have access to American products? I certainly do not know know.

If someone could lift the glass ceiling off RPAs that would be great.

I don’t think RPAs aren’t taken seriously. They do a lot of work down range with superior sensors and good SA, and guys on the ground know that. I feel this is just the standard AFSOC trying to be extra special and turn themselves into their own independent branch of the Air Force. Talk to any guy on the ground and see what they actually want in the stack, it usually involves cannons, big guns, and 38s. JTACs usually want an RPA at the top, and many dudes have been saved by one loitering overhead watching them. I agree there should be much more focus on increasing bandwidth for them over acquiring new aircraft that can’t fight the big fight. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, theoriginalturk said:

For real though. Between this thread, the thread about whether or not your MWS affects your career opportunities, and the amount of fighter aircraft falling out of the sky, I feel like I'm taking crazy pills.

What will it take for RPAs to be taken seriously? Why were they bound by MTCR regulations so coalition partners couldn't have access to American products? I certainly do not know know.

If someone could lift the glass ceiling off RPAs that would be great.

Light Attack is supposed to be low cost. Have you read the white paper on how much commercial satellite bandwidth costs for RPAs? It’s Raptors money. While we conveniently never report that in the cost per flying hour, most countries can’t afford it.  OCO funding hides that pretty well. 

Edited by SurelySerious
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Question as this thread goes on, does Light still apply?

I think at the beginning of the thread in 2009 we think Light in terms of cost per flight hour likely in support of large numbers of repetitive sorties from a MOB or FOBs as part of a long-term campaign or operation, ala Iraqi Occupation or Afghanistan Stabilization but has that or that concept moved on from that and Light should be replaced with something else?

We will likely be engaging via air strike and SOF teams, VEOs and their fighters well into the future in Africa, Eastern Syria, etc... but are we going to be doing that so often that we still need to think in terms of something that inexpensive to fly that we can fly 6900+ sorties per year per theater in said LA that we need to buy something small and relatively cheap to keep the Bobs at bay?

Is it really not light but independent strike capability we are looking for (those advocating for this)?  Long legs so no AR, Austere Field capability so not tied to MOBs, Cross cue / connectivity so able FFF independently, Low MX footprint, etc... 

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There is a ton of people advocating for something not F-35. Beyond that, no consensus.

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On 7/5/2020 at 7:23 PM, tac airlifter said:

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

It is also VERY loud.  They had to shorten the prop to keep pavement from shortening it for them in the flare.  Useful to avoid prop strikes, but less useful when it takes the noise signature beyond the threshhold.

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3 hours ago, cryoglobin said:

It is also VERY loud.  They had to shorten the prop to keep pavement from shortening it for them in the flare.  Useful to avoid prop strikes, but less useful when it takes the noise signature beyond the threshhold.

That’s interesting, thanks for sharing.  Is prop RPM manually adjustable?

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On 7/15/2020 at 12:50 AM, Hawg15 said:

I don’t think RPAs aren’t taken seriously. They do a lot of work down range with superior sensors and good SA, and guys on the ground know that. I feel this is just the standard AFSOC trying to be extra special and turn themselves into their own independent branch of the Air Force. Talk to any guy on the ground and see what they actually want in the stack, it usually involves cannons, big guns, and 38s. JTACs usually want an RPA at the top, and many dudes have been saved by one loitering overhead watching them. I agree there should be much more focus on increasing bandwidth for them over acquiring new aircraft that can’t fight the big fight. 

RPAs have a specific mission they are very good at, loiter forever, track asshole x, kill asshole x without taking out the entire city block, in a permissive environment . Occasionally they execute other mission sets like CSAR, CAS, etc, and the community has evolved so much in 10 years with new TTPs and toys it generally goes well. 
Couple major issues with RPAs for this mission. They can’t land anywhere. You need a GCS, and some solutions are out there for quick site set up, but what happens when FARP site A gets rained out at the last minute and you have to flex to B. Man power ain’t there to support having alternates, and tearing down and putting up the infrastructure is a couple day project. 
 

Comms. If you flown in the stack with a RPA you appreciate why you don’t want them to be TAC-A. Their radios suck, a lot of lag, only 1 or 2. Most of this is limited by current SATCOM limitations. 
 

Lost link. Happens more frequently than most probably know, Do you really want your light attack aircraft getting a 9 line for CAS and then loose satcom link rendering it useless? 
 

I’ve spent a assignment in RPAs. The are a great tool, lethal as Fuck when employed correctly, I really don’t think they are a great answer for light attack, at least where we are with current technology. Get a king air or light turbo type aircraft, strap some cameras, as many PGMs as you can hold and some data links and call it day. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, viper154 said:

RPAs have a specific mission they are very good at, loiter forever, track asshole x, kill asshole x without taking out the entire city block, in a permissive environment . Occasionally they execute other mission sets like CSAR, CAS, etc, and the community has evolved so much in 10 years with new TTPs and toys it generally goes well. 
Couple major issues with RPAs for this mission. They can’t land anywhere. You need a GCS, and some solutions are out there for quick site set up, but what happens when FARP site A gets rained out at the last minute and you have to flex to B. Man power ain’t there to support having alternates, and tearing down and putting up the infrastructure is a couple day project. 
 

Comms. If you flown in the stack with a RPA you appreciate why you don’t want them to be TAC-A. Their radios suck, a lot of lag, only 1 or 2. Most of this is limited by current SATCOM limitations. 
 

Lost link. Happens more frequently than most probably know, Do you really want your light attack aircraft getting a 9 line for CAS and then loose satcom link rendering it useless? 
 

I’ve spent a assignment in RPAs. The are a great tool, lethal as Fuck when employed correctly, I really don’t think they are a great answer for light attack, at least where we are with current technology. Get a king air or light turbo type aircraft, strap some cameras, as many PGMs as you can hold and some data links and call it day. 

I think Goldfein is right though. I think light attach is an Enterprise solution. MQ-9s definitely fill a certain niche in that enterprise but we need something a bit more robust to fill in the rest. 

It is also worth noting that the next generation MQ-9 replacement is in development and so far noone knows much about it. It may be a capable replacement. Who knows. 

Edited by FLEA

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On 12/3/2018 at 7:05 PM, Tank said:

“I think AFSOC still has no LAA by 2021” - your direct quote.

The bet is a bottle of scotch that AFSOC will have LAA by 2021.  

I like Glenfarclas FYI.

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15 minutes ago, tac airlifter said:

I like Glenfarclas FYI.

Give this one a shot, I'm curious...

image.png.1310f10f86fe5b4829596415a22f17c7.png

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Just an FYI for the masses, the “Armed Overwatch” program is different from the “Light Attack” program. The Light Attack experiment with the A-29, AT-6, etc is done and is not simply being continued into Armed Overwatch. The analysis of several proposals is taking place now. 
 

Now that’s not ammo for Tank to get out of the scotch bet. Just saying.

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17 hours ago, busdriver said:

There is a ton of people advocating for something not F-35. Beyond that, no consensus.

Copy that.  

Consensus , hmmm.   Are there red headed stepchildren in ACC (attack) that could join forces with AFSOC advocates to define and get validated a requirement that would require a more robust solution?

4 hours ago, Danger41 said:

The analysis of several proposals is taking place now. .

Is the requirement substantially different than Light Attack necessitating very different platforms than the ones being officially considered for LA?

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