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  1. Is it too soon to say, so much for the B-1 being a CAS platform? But really, seems like a good idea to bring the bombers into the same house. Anybody, with more insight into that world, object to the consolidation?
  2. How about we go back to the concept of EA? Wave forms are far easier and typically cheaper to change than paint schemes and wing lines. Plus if you are talking pods, I can slap them on just about anything. I'm not saying LO doesn't have its place, it just seems that every LO plane prices it out of of the numbers required when we see attrition. We have to find a balance before the 69th generation fighter/bomber/recce platform etc will eat up the entire budget.
  3. Wrt the 25 vs 30mm topic, in theory the right 25mm round could get you the kenitic affect of 30mm. It would take some design but I'm sure there is a big brain out there that could figure it out. Without getting into too much, bullett density accounts for much of the success against targets. It is why an average tactical burst from a hog is in the neighborhood of 100-200 rounds. Give me kenitic capibility and enough bullets and we can kill tanks. If I'm incorrect, I hope the AC130 guys will correct me, but the single barrel 30mm they have has a very different accuracy, rate of fire, and muzzle velocity compared to the GUA-8. The last numbers we were quoted, the community is still significantly cheaper per hour than anyother fighter platform. But that is coming from within the community so take your choice if you want to believe the number. As to the next CAS platform, there is rumor of a Boeing designed 90% scale hog that is light 200 rounds or so of the current 1150, sheds some weight of old wire bundles, and adds more efficient motors. Again pure rumor, but it was priced out below $20m. Take that for what you will.
  4. I stand corrected in my use of broad stroke generalities. My intent was to point out, the pods currently in use do not see IR markers/strobes and none of the traditional strike platforms that carry them have a magic software patch to change that fact. The assumption that the crew could see IR energy was wildly off base and never should have been made, because no fighter or bomber currently being employed has that ability. Ill go back to the peanut gallery now.
  5. I think you are missing the point, no one sees any of that "nifty IR shit" unless they look outside, through their NVGs. CAS is a an endevour grounded in looking outside and visually acquiring among other things, targets, friendlies, and trps.
  6. I now stand corrected, multiple times. I had forgotten about Vega and didn't know about Junker. Thanks for the history lesson.
  7. On open source side of this discussion, there are a lot of negative lessons learned as to the value of the traditional CSAR mission when you look at the assets that were available to even stage the mission. As was stated previously this is the first CSAR since O'Grady that occurred in a contested environment and we didn't not even have the opportunity to execute IAW doctrine. It will be interesting to see what the future holds and what lessons are derived. Especially, after the reports of civilian injuries, if they start putting handcuffs on where a CSAR package can shoot during the mission.
  8. The big brains at DARPA strike again. My link Sorry the link didn't work. Cut and paste below. Darpa To Demonstrate Unmanned CAS Aug 12, 2010 By Graham Warwick Washington Unmanned aircraft responding to calls for fire support from ground controllers, who directly command their sensors and weapons, could become reality if a Pentagon demonstration of advanced close air support technology is successful. The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Precision Close Air Support (PCAS) program aims to develop a kit that enables joint tactical air controllers to take command of sensors and weapons on manned and unmanned aircraft to increase the speed and accuracy of fire support for ground forces. With a wearable display, the controller would be able to use the aircraft’s sensors to improve situational awareness; visualize the effects before launching a weapon from the aircraft to assess likely damage; and monitor the weapon’s fly-out and send target updates via data link if needed. Compared with the voice communications now used, a direct digital link between controller and aircraft is expected to reduce response time to within 6 min. from 30-60 min. to get a bomb on target from an aircraft orbiting within 30 nm. The “machine-to-machine” link is also expected to reduce errors. Darpa plans a live-fire demonstration of PCAS at the end of Fiscal 2014 using a Fairchild A-10 modified for optionally manned operation. The A-10 will be equipped with dual Litening targeting pods to demonstrate that one aircraft could attack multiple targets, or service multiple controllers, simultaneously. The A-10’s 30-mm. gun, laser-guided 2.75-in. rockets, GPS-guided 250-lb. bombs and AGM-56E Maverick laser-guided missiles will be used for the live-fire demonstration, as they have different targeting errors and blast effects that must be modeled and presented to the ground controller on a head-up display. Although PCAS would increase the speed and accuracy of manned close air support, the program’s intent is to unlock the potential for unmanned aircraft to provide persistent CAS. The U.S. Air Force sees close air support as one of the missions for its proposed MQ-X next-generation unmanned aircraft. Planned to be fielded around 2020, the MQ-X would have a high-subsonic speed equivalent to manned aircraft but an endurance of 12-18 hr., compared with 6 hr. for the A-10, while carrying a larger payload of weapons than the MQ-1 Predator or MQ-9 Reaper. Proposals for PCAS are due by the end of September, with award of one or two contracts for preliminary design, and up to six for enabling technology development, by the end of November. After the 18-month first phase, plans call for one team to be selected to proceed with the demonstration.
  9. Not to get lost in the queep, but if we are talking about standardized comm, they are now known as Coordinated Attacks. It might help the new guys as they try to research them.
  10. To pile on to what Hoss and Rainman have said. The current AO has a long way to go when it comes to integration. The onus falls on both the air borne assets and the ASOC. With limited assets the ASOC is very hesitant to have multiple flights on scene at any given time and do not task or re-task very well. The individuals making the call often don't have the experience or knowledge to make great calls, i.e. an KC-130 driver. That aside, there are a lot of cultural differences in the strike assets, and their individual squadrons, that have been in theater. The level and quality of integration always ebbs and flows dependent upon who is out there at any given time. Rainman, part of the problem is that we are not doing ASC, the reasons why are an entirely different thread. That forces a JTAC, often displaced, to be in the loop no matter the scenario. All around there is a very limited understanding of Coordinated Attacks, formerly MFAs. To the extent that people don't grasp the difference in Air borne OSC and the FAC(A) roles. So as Hog guys we are often left out of the TAC(A)/OSC roles because platforms and JTACS can not separate target nomination and final control from racking, stacking, and updating. Everyone has there roles in the AO, sometimes the ASOC does a great job complementing the various strengths and more often they bone it away. But as a Hog guy, I do think it is incumbent on us to help educate ourselves and other platforms as much as we can. More often than not we are the ones who have seen the capabilities of massed and coordinated firepower not the other guys. The end service is to the guy on the ground. It doesn't matter who does the killing just so long as it is done. We might not be the Kings of CAS as a community but I think we do it better than anyone else. Now lets prove it.
  11. Overall, good guys. Having worked in a support roll with these guys, there are some frustrating aspects to integrating. That being said there isn't a country out there that I haven't gotten frustrated with before. One way or the other they are still keeping up the fight. I will say avoid seeing them playing volleyball. The scene is worse than Top Gun.
  12. It is interesting to see this thread pop back up after I started it way back when. Now that I have lived the gouge or cheating question Ill weigh back in. There is a lot of information floating around out there, to include on this forum. Some of that information is correct, some of it only points you in the right direction, and there is a lot of it that is just plain wrong. I will not sit here and define cheating, I think that with the exception of a few clear cut instances there are a lot of things that walk the thin line between gouge and cheating. I believe that what most people have said, "If you have any reservations about using the info, then it probably is cheating...", is an accurate statement. Most of us are officers and we are all professionals. Make a sound judgement call. That said, for the noobies, If the info is well publicized and you can talk about it in the flight room. You are probably golden. If noone feels comfortable talking about anywhere they may be overheard you may want to think twice. My final statement concerns the SEFE/IP gouge. I haven't been to a squadron that doesnt talk about what a SEFE/IP likes to ask. Most SEFEs/IPs incourage that conversation. I don't care if it is a training environment or OPs. Don't F a buddy(s) by holding back info.
  13. Two things, BAF, as of 6 to 9 months ago, is actually requiring belts while in PT gear. Now the thinking man would say, "but the PT gear is already reflective." Yeah Thinking men don't run BAF. Second, back in 06' the reflective belt thing was starting to take off. We posted fliers around BAF tying the color of your reflective belt to your rank. LTs of course had to wear pink. We though this was funny, until arguments broke out in the weight room and around Cunningham concerning this new policy. The Chief had to send out an email to refute the fliers. What sort of a world are we living in, when an outlandish prank like that, is actually taken seriously?
  14. This has the possibility to start yet another war. Take a look at the Coc picture, notice there are not any flight suits in the picture (yes a few may have put on their ABUs). My bet is they finally managed to find a use for all of the people who work 5 day weeks 8 hours per day. For those of you who have been there you know what I am talking about. By no means am I justifying this we got our buts chewed on more than one occasion for violating their ramp closures so that we could actually do our jobs.
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