Oykie
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Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:18 pm

With today’s news about the AT-6 being dismissed by the U.S Air Force, I thought it would be a good opportunity to start a thread about Light Air Support (LAS) program.

First, here is a quick starter on what this program is about:

From Wikipedia

Quote:
The selected LAAR aircraft will have to meet several key requirements, including:

Rough field operations. The RFI requires that the aircraft be capable of operating from semi-prepared runways such as grass or dirt surfaces.

Defensive package. The aircraft will have to include several defensive measures, including a Missile Approach Warning System (MAWS), a Radar warning receiver (RWR), and chaff and flare dispensers.

Armored cockpit and engine.

Long loiter time. The aircraft must be able to fly 5 hour sorties (with 30 minute fuel reserves).

Range. The aircraft must have a 900 nautical mile (1600 km) ferry range.

Data link capability. The aircraft is required to have a line-of-sight data link (with beyond line-of-sight desired) capability of transmitting and receiving still and video images.
I
ntelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. The aircraft will have to laser track and designate targets, as well as track targets using electro-optical and infrared video/still images.

Weaponry. The LAAR aircraft will need at least 4 weapons stores capable of carrying a variety of weapons, including 500 lb bombs, 2.75 inch rockets, rail-launched missiles, and illumination flares. The aircraft will also be capable of aerial gunnery, either with an integrated or pylon mounted gun.

Desired traits (but not requirements) include:
Infrared signature suppression for the engine(s).
30,000 ft (9000 m) operational ceiling.
6,000 ft (1800 m) takeoff and landing distance.
Aerobatic capabilities capable of maneuvers such as the Immelmann turn, Cuban eight, and Split S.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_A.../Armed_Reconnaissance#Requirements

The program was born as the need for close air support in Iraq and Afghanistan has proved very expensive to do with F-16, F-15, A10 and B1 Lancer. While all are capable of giving close air support their operations are very expensive and the operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan have shortened the planes lifespan.

As there is little or no threat in the air in these two countries a simpler, yet advanced option has been debated, and that is using an advanced turboprop engine with network capabilities offering close air support at much cheaper cost. In operations with limited threats for the Air Force these planes could relieve the more advanced and expensive planes. The program is rationale and initially it was talked about as much as 100 light armed airplanes being ordered. It has also been argued the plane type would be perfect for homeland security as well as board.

But there has been some controversy inside the Air Force. Some have really argued against this option suggesting UAV in combination with stealth airplanes are the way of the U.S Air Force future.
The end result is that initially the RFP is for 15 planes that will be transferred to Afghanistan Air Force and perhaps 20 planes later as trainers for the U.S Air Force.

This thread is a good opportunity to follow this development. Suggested topics can include, but not be limited to:

Who will eventually be awarded this RFP?

Why is there such a resistance within the Air Force for a cheap Close Air Support airplane?

With the potential of 1 trillion cut in defense spending will that increase the potential for LAS?

Is it possible that the resistance will decrease as the Air Force gain operational experience?

Is there room for both UAV and LAS?

Is UAV or LAS a cheaper option?

Here is an article about the program:

http://www.defensemedianetwork.com/s...6-texan-ii-super-tucano-continues/

Here is an article about the axed AT-6:

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...cision-to-dismiss-at-6-bid-365163/


Edit to add some pictures:

AT-6 Texan ii
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-l58Uz9839Bw/TdKDJEAvVII/AAAAAAAABJY/HVMPDD4ty18/s1600/AT-6Bby%2Baviationnews.jpg

Embraer Super Tucano



[Edited 2011-11-22 09:23:06]
Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large, then go make that dream real - Donald Douglas
 
rwessel
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:52 pm

Quoting oykie (Thread starter):
Is it possible that the resistance will decrease as the Air Force gain operational experience?

Half a century of operational experience hasn't lessened USAF's resistance to the CAS role. I have few hopes that it will change. After the gulf war, which more-or-less embarrassed the USAF into keeping the A-10s, the USAF decided that their ideal CAS aircraft was the JSF (now F-35), which makes the use of F-16s in the CAS role look positively sane.

And they could buy new (and upgraded) A-10s for less than twice what these are going to cost, and you’d end up with a vastly more capable CAS aircraft (the Super Tucono is about $9M – before the Air Force “improves” it, in current dollars the A-10s cost about $17M each).
 
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alberchico
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:17 pm

So will the development of the AT6-B be continued for export sales ?
short summary of every jewish holiday: they tried to kill us ,we won , lets eat !
 
Devilfish
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:01 am

Quoting oykie (Thread starter):

Why is there such a resistance within the Air Force for a cheap Close Air Support airplane?

"Cheap" they say is relative.....and the opposition is not limited to the USAF.....

http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2010/0...no-a-practical-option-for-the-raf/


http://www.flightglobal.com/assets/getasset.aspx?itemid=42446


However, props and smart weapons do seem an anachronistic mix.   
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
Oykie
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:10 am

Quoting rwessel (Reply 1):
And they could buy new (and upgraded) A-10s for less than twice what these are going to cost, and you’d end up with a vastly more capable CAS aircraft (the Super Tucono is about $9M – before the Air Force “improves” it, in current dollars the A-10s cost about $17M each).

What are the chances for a restart of the A-10? They are built like tanks. I know they have been continuously updated, but at some point the Air Force needs a newer CAS aircraft. And as you say, when the enemies air difence is beaten the F-35 for CAS might be an overkill...  

On the cost side the Super Tacono seem more expensive than the AT-6 Texan ii, so I was surprised it got killed of in favor of Embraer.

Quoting Devilfish (Reply 3):
Cheap" they say is relative.....and the opposition is not limited to the USAF.....

Thanks for providing an article. It provided much information. And I am not suggesting that these planes can replace the jet fighters all together, but rather supplement them. Sometimes there is no need for speed, sound or weaponry but rather some eyes in the skies with a Hellfire or two... They should be cheaper to buy and operat than UAV.
Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large, then go make that dream real - Donald Douglas
 
Legs
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:10 am

Quoting oykie (Reply 4):
chances for a restart of the A-10?

Slim to none, unfortunately. A restart of A-10 production, no matter how sensible, just isn't going to happen while the F-35 program exists as it does now.
 
Oykie
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:25 pm

Quoting legs (Reply 5):
Slim to none, unfortunately. A restart of A-10 production, no matter how sensible, just isn't going to happen while the F-35 program exists as it does now.

But would a cheaper to buy airplane and maintain airplane make sense? Either in the form of a Turboprop or similar to the A10 subsonic CAS.
Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large, then go make that dream real - Donald Douglas
 
rwessel
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Thu Nov 24, 2011 8:08 am

Quoting oykie (Reply 6):
But would a cheaper to buy airplane and maintain airplane make sense? Either in the form of a Turboprop or similar to the A10 subsonic CAS.

Of course it would. There's nothing wrong with a CAS role for the F-35*, but it's very expensive, and many of its capabilities are pointless in the role (stealth and speed, for starters). It's also a very expensive and fragile asset to fly down where every Tom, Dick and Harry on the other side can take a potshot at it, and has a rather limited weapons load.

Given the USAF's utter disinterest in performing it, the primary CAS role should go back to the Army. The Army does much of that already, but does so by far over relying on helicopters (since that's all they're allowed). Helicopters excel at many roles, but are fragile, slow, and usually have very limited range. In many CAS situations an A-10-like aircraft would be a much better performer than an Apache, not to mention a darn sight cheaper to buy, fly and maintain. Of course the USAF will fight to the death before allowing the Army fixed wing assets to perform a job they don't want to do anyway.


*Or any other fighter platform, since the ability to carry a decent bomb load is more-or-less inherent in the design (low wing loadings and lots of power). But while a decent bombing capability is perfectly reasonable on an F-22, especially on a day when you need everything you can muster in that role, or that's all you have available, you certainly don't want to let your F-22s play in the mud on a regular basis.
 
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spudh
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:54 pm

I've just finished reading this book:

The Warthog and the Close Air Support Debate / Douglas N. Campbell ISBN 1557502323

For anyone interested in the politics of the USAF/US Army CAS debate and the A-10 genesis this is a must read.

With Fighter procurement, history will just keep repeating itself. The USAF will kill anything that threatens its buy of the F-35 even if that threat is the best CAS aircraft design imaginable (which the A-10 is not far off). This is all driven by budgets. The USAF made several sustained attempts to kill the A-10 as they viewed it as 1000 single mission planes they didn't want in the first place being bought with money they'd rather spend on their preferred solution, the multi role F-16. If Congress hadn't insisted they knew better than the generals the A-10 would not have been procured.

The AT-6 or any other CAS design will be killed by the USAF if there is a hint that it threatens the procurement of a single F-35.
 
PC12Fan
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Thu Nov 24, 2011 3:32 pm

It might not have fit all requests but I know I'd crappin' bricks if I saw this coming at me in anger.   

Just when I think you've said the stupidest thing ever, you keep talkin'!
 
Oykie
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Fri Nov 25, 2011 8:00 am

Quoting rwessel (Reply 7):
Of course it would. There's nothing wrong with a CAS role for the F-35*, but it's very expensive, and many of its capabilities are pointless in the role (stealth and speed, for starters). It's also a very expensive and fragile asset to fly down where every Tom, Dick and Harry on the other side can take a potshot at it, and has a rather limited weapons load.

Yesterday I listened to Norway’s former Chief of Defense Sverre Diesen as he visited my hometown. He was talking about the defense economics and why military budgets raises 3.5% annually that equals a doubling of defense budgets ever 20 years if the force is to stay the same. He said no nations can afford this so they everyone’s defenses gets a bit smaller.

He really highlighted the importance of high tech equipment, as a way to raise the bar for invasion by a foreign force.
According to him the capability of 1 F-35 equals 9 F-5’s that the Norwegian Air Force used 20 years ago. So even though it is very expensive he believes that the flexibility, firepower and precision of the F-35 make it worth the investment. Even for Close Air support. He said that the situation for Norway is different than for the U.S. In Norway with only 56 fighters, you need the plane to perform all missions. Norway needs 1 plane that can be used in conventional war and asymmetric war.

With the larger U.S military capacity there might be room for different kinds of capabilities. This is my argument, and not that of the former Chief of Defence.

Quoting spudh (Reply 8):
I've just finished reading this book:

Thanks. I will try to get a copy here in Norway.

Quoting spudh (Reply 8):
With Fighter procurement, history will just keep repeating itself. The USAF will kill anything that threatens its buy of the F-35 even if that threat is the best CAS aircraft design imaginable (which the A-10 is not far off). This is all driven by budgets.

  

Quoting PC12Fan (Reply 9):
It might not have fit all requests but I know I'd crappin' bricks if I saw this coming at me in anger.

That is an angry bird   
Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large, then go make that dream real - Donald Douglas
 
GDB
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:34 pm

Sensible to scrap it really. As a US services procurement at least.
By the time it would have been available, the Afghan role intended will have ended, one way or the other.

Unless the Super Tucano had just been procured quickly, off the shelf, minimum changes, in which case they would have been in service, in Afghanistan, some time ago.
Notable that in South America this platform has already seen combat as well.

But that's not the way things are done, is it?
There are paper mountains to build, lobbyists, lawyers to (further) enrich.
No procurement is complete either, without an inter-service bout of argument and maneuvering. Or without a legal challenge by the losing party.

Some of the above, at least, might be an inevitable consequence of a big, high tech, procurement.
But one that's supposedly a simple requirement for a current, on the ground, war-fighting need?

Export markets lost? Doubtful. Any sold by the US most would likely be in the form of military aid packages, which is how the Afghans will get an aircraft in that class, if they require one. It would make more sense for them than fast jets.
 
trigged
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:43 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 11):
Sensible to scrap it really. As a US services procurement at least.
By the time it would have been available, the Afghan role intended will have ended, one way or the other.

The issue is that the US needs to build aircraft and systems designed for the next war. More than likely there will be a need for CAS aircraft. One day the A-10's will wear out and need replacement. A new build version of the Spad or AT-6 would be a good choice for CAS IMHO.
 
GDB
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:46 pm

Quoting trigged (Reply 12):
The issue is that the US needs to build aircraft and systems designed for the next war. More than likely there will be a need for CAS aircraft. One day the A-10's will wear out and need replacement. A new build version of the Spad or AT-6 would be a good choice for CAS IMHO.

My understanding is that the current Afghan operation led to the idea of this procurement.
I agree generally with what your saying...but for an essentially simple platform?

However, aircraft in this class will be very vulnerable to SAM's or even competent light AA fire.
They don't have the nap of the Earth maneuvering options of helicopters or the escape speed of fast jets.

One objection could be that they have a role too similar to attack helicopters though with much less flexibility. Or sensors.
This sort of aircraft might not need much of an airstrip, but it will need one. Limiting deploy-ability, flexibility, speed of reaction to the battle area.

The 'Spad' of course was a mighty beast of a plane, any contender based on a trainer aircraft is never going to have it's robustness.
 
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spudh
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:16 am

Quoting trigged (Reply 12):
A new build version of the Spad or AT-6 would be a good choice for CAS IMHO
Quoting GDB (Reply 13):
The 'Spad' of course was a mighty beast of a plane

Spad???

What do you mean by Spad?

I can only think of one Spad and while it may have pioneered CAS, I think times may have moved on since WW1 and the Western Front
 
Areopagus
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:07 am

Quoting spudh (Reply 14):
Spad???

What do you mean by Spad?

I can only think of one Spad and while it may have pioneered CAS, I think times may have moved on since WW1 and the Western Front

The A-1 Skyraider was unofficially called "Spad" during the Vietnam war, highlighting its old technology, a prop plane in the age of Mach 2 jets. It was indeed a reference to the WWI S.P.A.D-13.
 
rwessel
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:18 am

Quoting oykie (Reply 10):
Yesterday I listened to Norway’s former Chief of Defense Sverre Diesen as he visited my hometown. He was talking about the defense economics and why military budgets raises 3.5% annually that equals a doubling of defense budgets ever 20 years if the force is to stay the same. He said no nations can afford this so they everyone’s defenses gets a bit smaller.

He really highlighted the importance of high tech equipment, as a way to raise the bar for invasion by a foreign force.
According to him the capability of 1 F-35 equals 9 F-5’s that the Norwegian Air Force used 20 years ago. So even though it is very expensive he believes that the flexibility, firepower and precision of the F-35 make it worth the investment. Even for Close Air support. He said that the situation for Norway is different than for the U.S. In Norway with only 56 fighters, you need the plane to perform all missions. Norway needs 1 plane that can be used in conventional war and asymmetric war.

Quantities are important too - too few aircraft just can't be everywhere. And frankly, if I had nine times as many F-5s as you have F-35s, you're going to lose (badly) unless I'm incompetent enough to allow you to pick off my F-5s (which, one-on-one, are going to get mauled) in small groups. The F-35s simply can't chase all those F-5s down, and once they're low on fuel or missiles, their bases are going to die. Sure I'll lose a bunch of F-5s in the process, but you'll lose all your F-35s.

But the cost of the F-35 is such that Norway could, instead of 56 F-35s, have 50 F-35s *and* 40 A-10s - which would be a far more potent force in almost all of the scenarios Norway might find itself in. I’d assume Norway would want an anti-ship role added to the A-10 (integrating SLAM-ER should be no big problem).
 
Gyreaux130J
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:52 am

Re-open the A-10 line!!
That is all
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spudh
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:25 pm

Quoting Areopagus (Reply 15):
The A-1 Skyraider was unofficially called "Spad" during the Vietnam war, highlighting its old technology, a prop plane in the age of Mach 2 jets. It was indeed a reference to the WWI S.P.A.D-13.

Ahhhh, now you're talking   

I thought its was called a 'Sandy'. Impressive piece of kit. How does its performance compare to the AT-6? I bet its piston engine can absorb more batle damage than a turboprop. IIRC there were many incidents of P-47's and Corsairs returning to base with entire pistons shot off completely.

On the A-10, from what I've read its greatest weakness (lack of speed) is linked to one of its greatest strengths, its simple thick wing. I believe that when they looked at upping the power they concluded that it would not gain any significant speed increase without a completely re profiled wing. It comes from the change of tactic to medium level CAS. The A-10's speed was considered enough to evade AAA and manpads when flying below 1000 feet but became vulnerable when operated above 5,000 feet. When they were doing their design trade offs it was never envisaged that the A-10 wold operate at altitude and so cost, lift, endurance and robustness were given priority over speed. I'd assume that any of the turbo props above would have the same vulnerability, are any of them significantly faster than the A-10?.
 
rwessel
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:23 pm

Quoting spudh (Reply 18):
On the A-10, from what I've read its greatest weakness (lack of speed) is linked to one of its greatest strengths, its simple thick wing. I believe that when they looked at upping the power they concluded that it would not gain any significant speed increase without a completely re profiled wing. It comes from the change of tactic to medium level CAS. The A-10's speed was considered enough to evade AAA and manpads when flying below 1000 feet but became vulnerable when operated above 5,000 feet. When they were doing their design trade offs it was never envisaged that the A-10 wold operate at altitude and so cost, lift, endurance and robustness were given priority over speed. I'd assume that any of the turbo props above would have the same vulnerability, are any of them significantly faster than the A-10?.

The US Aircraft A-67 is about 10kts slower than the A-10. The next fastest turboprop of the proposed LAAR aircraft, is the AT-6B, at about 60kts slower. The only non-turboprop, the Aermacchi M-346, is actually supersonic (M=1.2), and is more a small fast jet, than a proper CAS aircraft.

More power on the A-10 is not necessarily about increasing its speed. Improving its ability to keep the speed up during it's very energetic maneuvering would be a benefit, as would shorter takeoff roles (or heavier loadouts).
 
trigged
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:33 pm

The issue with CAS aircraft is that you design them with the redundancy and structure to take a hit and keep on ticking. They need to the the Timex of the air. You expect them to take some small AAA fire (up to a 12.7mm or so), a few tree branches, etc. You want CAS aircraft to be able to loiter over the fight and be on station when needed.

Personally, I prefer a twin turboprop which hearkens back to the P-38. I had some students to a study on a modern version of the P-38 for CAS with the quirks fixed (theoretically) such as loss rudder/elevator control at high speeds. If I remember correctly, the payload that was estimated was 2/3rd of the A-10, but it would cost alot less to fly.

Replace the forward nose M2's with a M134 and reconfigure the wings internally to have more hardpoints than before.


Just give it some thought.....
 
Devilfish
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:59 pm

Anyone knows what the UAE air force is using their ten AT-802s for?

View Large View Medium
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Photo © Peter Tonna
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Photo © Malcolm J.Bezzina


Doesn't look like they would sling those with as much firepower as this bad boy below.....   

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Photo © Paul Carlotti
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Photo © Rez Manzoori - FlightLineImages

Quoting trigged (Reply 20):
The issue with CAS aircraft is that you design them with the redundancy and structure to take a hit and keep on ticking. They need to the the Timex of the air. You expect them to take some small AAA fire (up to a 12.7mm or so), a few tree branches, etc.
.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y8GR4FDu7g

Cheap and sturdy enough?  
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
DiamondFlyer
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:41 am

Quoting Devilfish (Reply 21):
Cheap and sturdy enough?

Find one airplane that can take a 90 degree impact to the landing gear and not have it broke off. The AirTractors are nice airplanes, but I'm not convinced they would really do us much good.

-DiamondFlyer
From my cold, dead hands
 
trigged
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:41 pm

Quoting Devilfish (Reply 21):
Cheap and sturdy enough?  

Close....   

Its just not as sexy as a P-38 though. But then again, very few aircraft are.
 
L-188
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:09 am

Quoting trigged (Reply 20):
Personally, I prefer a twin turboprop which hearkens back to the P-38. I had some students to a study on a modern version of the P-38 for CAS with the quirks fixed (theoretically) such as loss rudder/elevator control at high speeds. If I remember correctly, the payload that was estimated was 2/3rd of the A-10, but it would cost alot less to fly.

Replace the forward nose M2's with a M134 and reconfigure the wings internally to have more hardpoints than before

Why would you replace the M2's? That is an excellent weapon that works. If you are going to replace a weapon with the gatling the 20mm would be my canidate....but is there a air version of the 25mm bushmaster that could be mounted up there instead of the 20?

Seriously I did toy with this idea too. A couple of the larger HP PT-6's, you can keep the same prop line as the piston version by wrapping them in armour up to the weight of the original Allisons.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
rwessel
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:19 am

Quoting L-188 (Reply 24):
Why would you replace the M2's? That is an excellent weapon that works. If you are going to replace a weapon with the gatling the 20mm would be my canidate....but is there a air version of the 25mm bushmaster that could be mounted up there instead of the 20?

The 25mm GAU-22/A from the F-35 would seem suitable. Even available in a pod. It's somewhat larger predecessor (GAU-12), was used in podded form on the Harrier.
 
chrisco1204
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:36 pm

Quoting PC12Fan (Reply 9):
It might not have fit all requests but I know I'd crappin' bricks if I saw this coming at me in anger

Bring back the A-1! The radial engine, uber badass, CAS airplane of the Vietnam War.
 
Devilfish
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:44 pm

Notice mis-delivered?

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...eal-filed-in-federal-court-366386/

Quote:
"A perceived mix-up in the mail apparently forced Hawker Beechcraft to miss a chance to protest a US Air Force decision to throw out the AT-6 Texan II from a competition for the light air support (LAS) contract, according to the US Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The GAO on 23 December dismissed Beechcraft's protest because the company missed a deadline by one day to file a response to the USAF's decision.

Beechcraft claims its executives were unaware of the agency's decision for more than 10 days because the USAF unexpectedly mailed the exclusion notice to an inappropriate address. It then took 11 days for the notice to be routed to the right office within the company.

[.....]

On 1 November, however, the USAF sent a notice by certified mail to Beechcraft's designated point of contact that the AT-6 bid was deemed "technically unacceptable" and out of the competitition.

Three days later, the Beechcraft's designated contact signed a certified mail receipt confirming that the USAF noticed was received, according to the GAO, which reviewed a copy of the receipt.

Boisture said the certified letter was signed by a member of the company's mail room. All other correspondence with the USAF during the LAS competition came during email, he added.

However, on 15 November, Beechcraft contacted the USAF's contracting officer to ask for a debriefing and notifiy the USAF that it had just received the notice dated 1 November, the GAO said.

From the date that an acqusition notice is received, companies have three days to request a debriefing and 10 days to file a protest."



Perhaps it'd be more convincing if they alluded to the Christmas rush and Santa's reindeers?  
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
Spacepope
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:31 am

Aaaaaaaand the winner is:

http://www.builtforthemission.com/news.php

The Super Tucano, to be assembled in Jacksonville, FL.
The last of the famous international playboys
 
dl021
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:19 pm

Once again....the missions calls for older technology that maxed out reliability, range, payload and ability to absorb punishment (admittedly fairly high maintenance, but not any higher than a new fighter) for something that has less range, less ability to absorb punishment, less payload and is more expensive to buy. Building a new line for modernized A-1s or even A-10s would make so much more sense. The Air Force being locked in it's eternal budget battle really doesn't give a damn if the Army or Marines get their CAS, and would rather spend more money on the airplanes they need for other purposes to be dual roled, than get the airplanes best suited for hte job and make flying them an attractive (or at least required job for higher rank).

I am glad, at least, that they selected an airplane with a proven combat record and proven itself to be maintainable by varied air forces....... it wasn't the best airplane but it was the best airplane they could buy without having to do too much work distracting them from their primary focus.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
Beta
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:02 pm

The Super Tucano is probably the best OTS propeller combat aeroplane money could buy presently. So no surprise! Good choice there!

However, I just do not understand why Boeing does not dust off the blue-print to make the A-1 Skyraider (from McD-D?), slap on a digital cockpit, partner up with one of the propeller engine maker for a new modern engine. That would make it an relatively inexpensive (compare to fighter jet), eminently capable platform, and extremely competitive to the Tucano. I'd think Boeing would find sale success in a lot of countries S.E Asia (Phillipines?), Africa, Latin America, just like Embraer has found sales success with the Tucano. How much of an investment does Boeing have to make in a production line? Any guess, anyone? Pull a # out of thin air, I'd say less than $1B USD, but the potential upside is big.

[Edited 2012-01-01 07:11:13]

[Edited 2012-01-01 07:13:34]
 
Devilfish
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:10 pm

Quoting Beta (Reply 30):
However, I just do not understand why Boeing does not dust off the blue-print to make the A-1 Skyraider (from McD-D?), slap on a digital cockpit, partner up with one of the propeller engine maker for a new modern engine. That would make it an relatively inexpensive (compare to fighter jet), eminently capable platform, and extremely competitive to the Tucano.

Its price would jump the moment Boeing touches it. Look how even the relatively straightforward but developmental AT-6 fared. KISS is the name of the game!

Quoting Beta (Reply 30):
I'd think Boeing would find sale success in a lot of countries S.E Asia (Phillipines?), Africa, Latin America, just like Embraer has found sales success with the Tucano.

The Philippines couldn't even buy an off-the-shelf Tucano...a souped-up Skyraider would even be more prohibitive. The Tucano was successful in its markets because it has remained true to its design brief.

Quoting Beta (Reply 30):
Pull a # out of thin air, I'd say less than $1B USD, but the potential upside is big.

Unfortunately, the potential often doesn't measure up. How many and for how much does Boeing need to sell? With a lot on its plate, there are more worthwhile uses for those funds.

And to illustrate.....

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...chcraft-launches-challenge-366450/
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
mffoda
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:41 am

Quoting Beta (Reply 30):
Quoting Devilfish (Reply 31):

Boeing was never interested in offering an updated A-1 Skyraider variant at any point in this light attack proposal. However, they did consider a variant of the OV-10 Bronco (the OV-10X). They own the rights to said A/C.

The A-1 Skyraider is really not in the same class of light attack A/C anyway... She had weapons payload of 8,000 lbs. (more then 50% more then the original AV-8A Harrier). And almost 250% more then the A-29 Super Tucano.

Regards,

[Edited 2012-01-03 17:45:50]
harder than woodpecker lips...
 
Devilfish
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RE: Light Air Support Program (AT-6 Axed)

Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:40 pm

"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield

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