Jump to content

AF Light Air Support Aircraft


Fud

Recommended Posts

But what is the real requirement(s)? 

This platform or that platform is a good discussion but to get the Bobs to cut the check they have to believe in the requirement and then (ideally) that a manned platform owned/operated by the USAF is the right solution.

I see it as two requirements - Conventional and SOF LASSO (light attack, surveillance, support and observation).

- Conventional is a manned (potentially capable of unmanned operations) attack platform designed to deliver PGM fires and medium persistence ISR into low-med threat environments without an extensive logistical footprint or air refueling on a typical mission; organic self-defense from guided SAFIRES and defensive retrograde/defensive fire from/to A2A threats with supersonic and/or BVR capabilities.  Highly connected and capable of connecting ground/air/naval players and inexpensive enough to operate repetitively for months/years on end in COIN, LIC or Hybrid conflicts that will require tailored use of the military IOP to achieve a desired/acceptable/inevitable end state.

Alternate role in conventional conflict is as a Fusillade Platform for forward LO assets to provide fires from a stand-off platform and not reveal their presence or expend their ordinance in initial volleys.

Shameless plug #69 and great example of this would be a more developed version of the Scorpion Jet with AR capabilities and additional systems (ECM provisions, BLOS, unmanned modes, etc...) tested and validated.

- SOF is a manned attack platform designed to deliver unguided, direct and PGM fires along with medium persistence ISR into low threat environments without an extensive logistical footprint.  It is designed to operate in support of SOF or Indigenous Forces from semi-prepared forward bases with a light logistical footprint, low total cost of operation and feasible for lesser economically capable Partner Nations to acquire, train and maintain.  One of the main roles of this aircraft is to be an American supported platform to encourage PNs to buy and fly their own, to fight their own fights with and enable us to support/mentor their militaries in conflicts we see engagement as in America's interest.

The repurposed Ag Applicator aircraft are probably better for that and not to be callous, the e-seat may be too expensive to for some PNs to afford and realistically maintain well.  This applies to some PGMs as well, a corollary to the Light Attack saga needs to be less expensive PGMs with at least Hellfire range and low on the shelf maintenance requirements.

Edited by Clark Griswold
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Tank said:

The AT-802U is good at what it’s intended for but I’ll argue that the IOMAX Archangel is better for multiple reasons.  Both though have pros and cons and the cons outweigh the pros for the USAF compared to the AT-6C and A-29C.  

Pros: lower cost, long loiter time, weapons and payload

Cons: slow airspeed, non-pressurized, low cockpit visibility, non-ejection seat

https://iomax.net/archangel/

 

I like the Paramount Group Bronco II.  Biggest problems though is that it’s not FAA certified and there’s no US based projection line yet.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/33277/new-team-pitches-south-africas-bronco-ii-light-attack-plane-to-american-special-operators

 

Completely disagree.

The AT-802 with the L3Harris mods is a GENERATION beyond the IOMAX Archangel...think U-28 on steroids.  Also, the 802 factory is still churning out aircraft for the commercial market at a record pace (over 800 802s have been built.)  IOMAX is in bankruptcy and was bought on the cheap for this endeavor.  75 airplanes is a substantial buy and having the logistical backbone to support is just as important as building the actual aircraft.  Also, the IOMAX mission management system is a joke.

The Bronco II is flawed in MANY ways.  I have seen it out flying in my local area (they are doing U.S. based development and testing at Crestview.)  The aircraft is fragile in my opinion and will carry about half what the 802 can carry with a much shorter duration of flight.  While they make a big deal about taking Bronco II to the dirt, having done the dirt, a pusher prop is the LAST platform I want to take to an unimproved strip.  Every rock, chunk of dirt or debris that airplane kicks up is going straight through the prop.  Also as you mention the lack of U.S. production is a huge political concern, are we really going to send up to $2B worth of aircraft production to South Africa AND rely on another country for logistical support (one of the reasons we are walking away from the A-29).  The FAA cert is another hurdle that is both high and expensive.  The IFR cert alone is a $10M piece of paper.  To date only two Bronco II's have been built and flown...there is much work to do.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really don’t think an AC-208 can replace the U-28.  That’s like trading out a Ferrari for a Miata and saying they’re similar.  
 

https://www.defenseone.com/business/2021/02/new-plane-key-special-ops-vision-africa-general-says/172092/

 

The AC-208 is a great low cost ISR/Strike aircraft for third world countries but the US needs better for the ground troops.  

Edited by Tank
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had a guy in my TFI squadron that would preach about the BT-67 any chance he got and he did so much that we thought he had a job lined up with them after retirement (he did and is now BD for them).  The more I look at the BT-67 though and how it can be modified to conduct all aspects of what is needed in a place like Africa (airdrop, mobility, MEDEVAC, HA/DR, ISR, Strike) and what it has to offer (long loiter time, long range, unprepared surface ops), this could be a great aircraft to our PNs.

https://www.baslerturbo.com/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Tank said:

We had a guy in my TFI squadron that would preach about the BT-67 any chance he got and he did so much that we thought he had a job lined up with them after retirement (he did and is now BD for them).  The more I look at the BT-67 though and how it can be modified to conduct all aspects of what is needed in a place like Africa (airdrop, mobility, MEDEVAC, HA/DR, ISR, Strike) and what it has to offer (long loiter time, long range, unprepared surface ops), this could be a great aircraft to our PNs.

https://www.baslerturbo.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/6th_Special_Operations_Squadron

Looks like the AF flew one of them for a few years in the 2000s.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

48 minutes ago, Tank said:

The more I look at the BT-67 though and how it can be modified to conduct all aspects of what is needed in a place like Africa (airdrop, mobility, MEDEVAC, HA/DR, ISR, Strike) and what it has to offer (long loiter time, long range, unprepared surface ops), this could be a great aircraft to our PNs.

Colombian AC-47 is a Basler conversion with pretty interesting capes. Tough ol' Spooky Gooney bird.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/39236/theres-one-place-in-the-world-where-ac-47-spooky-gunships-still-fly

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Tank said:

I really don’t think an AC-208 can replace the U-28.  That’s like trading out a Ferrari for a Miata and saying they’re similar.  
 

https://www.defenseone.com/business/2021/02/new-plane-key-special-ops-vision-africa-general-says/172092/

 

The AC-208 is a great low cost ISR/Strike aircraft for third world countries but the US needs better for the ground troops.  

Trading a Ferrari for a Miata makes a lot of sense if:

- you’re sick of the timeline required to train specialized drivers

- you are a mustang driver jealous that everyone wants the Ferrari 

- you tire of payments on a car that wins races because no one cares anymore about winning races 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Lawman said:


Infinitely superior to both A-29 and AT-6 for the intended role...

Ignored completely in our attempts to sell it for AVFID because it’s “just a crop duster with guns,” and not “fully aerobatic.”


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Also a tailwheel. The same Air Force that is afraid of VFR is sure a hell not going to try and train guys to fly a tailwheel. 
 

Absolutely ridiculous of course. I’d sign up to fly one in a heartbeat if I could. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/18/2021 at 10:33 PM, tac airlifter said:

Trading a Ferrari for a Miata makes a lot of sense if:

- you’re sick of the timeline required to train specialized drivers

- you are a mustang driver jealous that everyone wants the Ferrari 

- you tire of payments on a car that wins races because no one cares anymore about winning races 

😉 Having flown both...great for partners and lots of capes. Not enough for us...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, LoveDumpster said:

 

How'd you get hooked up with that 208 gig? Sounds like a pretty bad ass assignment. 

They send out mypers announcements occasionally for the air advisor unit in Kabul. Its a 365 though. 

I believe the 6 SOS also keeps 1-2 of them for kinetic proficiencies and TTP development while home station. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, FLEA said:

They send out mypers announcements occasionally for the air advisor unit in Kabul. Its a 365 though. 

I believe the 6 SOS also keeps 1-2 of them for kinetic proficiencies and TTP development while home station. 

Not for long....AFSOC wants and plans in the POM to kill the 6th SOS and everything AvFID.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, ClearedHot said:

Not for long....AFSOC wants and plans in the POM to kill the 6th SOS and everything AvFID.

Eh, this is one of those cases of I'll believe it when the aircraft are in the boneyard. I've just seen so many programs that were supposed to be "cut" and "something" always stops it. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, FLEA said:

Eh, this is one of those cases of I'll believe it when the aircraft are in the boneyard. I've just seen so many programs that were supposed to be "cut" and "something" always stops it. 

Understood, just telling you with the AFSOC/CC is submitting the POM.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, ClearedHot said:

Understood, just telling you with the AFSOC/CC is submitting the POM.

Yeah it makes sense. But I feel like 6 SOS is one of those programs that people have had an idea on cutting for a long time and yet they still continue to survive. Hell just 3-4 years ago they were looking at tripling the number of AvFID squadrons. Makes you wonder what changed? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having flown both...great for partners and lots of capes. Not enough for us...

The simple fact is, our partners won’t buy it because their Air Force are for show/pride. The AT-6 is loads more capable than say a Eurofighter in CAS or light attack but you’ll find Europeans buying EF2Ks because they make noise and go fast.


Sent from my iPhone using Baseops Network mobile app
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Icarus news and info, more ambitious than I thought at first:

Flight of Icarus: Canadian company proposes multi-role tactical aircraft - Skies Mag

TACTICAL AIR VEHICLE - TAV - Icarus Aerospace (icarus-aerospace.com)

From the first linked article:  

AMERICAN MARKET

Though still several years away from its first flight, the TAV variants have already attracted attention. The aircraft was recently assessed as an option for the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Armed Overwatch program, which is seeking a dedicated multi-role platform able to deliver precision munitions to replace the U-28A Draco — a militarized version of the PC-12 turboprop that provides ISR capability. 

... image was here ...

The TAV concept impressed SOCOM with scores that exceeded the objectives of the major technical requirements, Ivankovic claimed, but the aircraft was dropped because the program office required an aircraft to test-fly by November 2020. SOCOM has since pushed flying demonstrations to 2021 and Icarus Aerospace is hoping to reengage as the program further defines requirements.

U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has invited the company to submit whitepapers for Navy and Marine Corps programs, and the U.S. Air Force will be receiving a whitepaper for its MQ-X program, a replacement of the MQ-9 Reaper. The Branta would be an “ideal successor,” said Ivankovic, because of its cruise speed, range, power generation and payload options.

 

Is this real or another Stavatti?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...
  • 1 month later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...