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Offline MarkOttawa

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USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« on: March 03, 2017, 15:51:18 »
Be interesting to see what really comes of this--note possible jet trainer derivatives at end:

Quote
Air Force leaders confirm light attack aircraft demo to take off this summer

The Air Force’s light attack aircraft flight demonstration is officially on the books, with an experiment scheduled this summer at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.

That event could be the first in a series of demos to determine the business case for a program of record, which has been termed OA-X. 

“We’re going to formally invite industry to participate,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said Friday. “Bring us what you have that fits the basic criteria of what we’re looking for. We call it ‘shovel ready.’ This is not something we’re looking to do a lot of research and development on. This is commercial, off-the-shelf that we can rapidly employ.”

A second phase of the experiment would send those aircraft to the Middle East, in very much the same manner as the Combat Dragon II exercise earlier this decade, when two OV-10 Broncos were deployed to Central Command, Goldfein said.

In a speech at the Air Force Association’s air warfare symposium, Acting Air Force Secretary Lisa Disbrow said the experiment will prove whether it makes sense to add money to the budget for a low-price aircraft that could be procured almost immediately to do low-end combat in the Middle East.

“We want to see if there’s a business case there,” she said. “This concept could free up higher-cost, higher-performance platforms from doing low-threat missions, which would allow us time to prepare for more complex threats with those assets. It could also help us absorb new pilots and be useful as we work with allies and partners.”..

At this point, it’s unclear whether the Air Force will limit its options to inexpensive turboprop airplanes or if a more advanced light fighter could be of interest. Much excitement has surrounded the Textron AirLand Scorpion since it was released on the market. The aircraft hasn’t secured its first order yet, but its low operating and acquisition costs — less than $20 million per unit and $3,000 per flight hour — could make it a good fit for OA-X.

Other low-cost options could include the Beechcraft AT-6 or Embraer’s A-29 Super Tucano. If the service considers higher-performing entries, some T-X entrants — particularly Lockheed Martin’s FA-50 or Leonardo’s M-346 — could be other alternatives.
http://www.defensenews.com/articles/air-force-leaders-confirm-light-attack-aircraft-demo-to-take-off-this-summer


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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2017, 14:21:57 »
USAF OA-x latest:

Quote
Is the U.S. Air Force’s OA-X Light Attack Aircraft Really Going to Happen?

The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) has added $1.2 billion to the fiscal year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the U.S. Air Force’s OA-X light attack/observation aircraft effort.

The service will be conducting an experiment this summer to determine if such an aircraft would be useful to perform missions over permissive airspace in place of much more expensive and capable fourth and fifth-generation fighters. The Air Force is expected to test four different aircraft types including Sierra Nevada’s A-29 Super Tucano, the Hawker Beechcraft AT-6, the Textron Scorpion Jet and the Air Tractor AT-802U during its experiment. The Senate—and particularly SASC chairman Sen. John McCain—wants to push the Air Force into buying a fleet of roughly 300 OA-X aircraft to help relieve the ever-increasing burden on the service’s tactical fighter fleet and to help season younger pilots.

“The idea behind funding this is actually to move this program along,” a Senate aide told reporters during a SASC background brief on June 29.

“The best way to do that is to provide the funding to get the program started.”

The OA-X is not technically an Air Force program of record yet, but the idea behind the SASC funding line is to push the service into transforming it into a formal acquisitions program. The Air Force had intended to use its experiment this summer to gauge the utility of an OA-X aircraft for combat missions over permissive environments during low intensity conflicts before building a business case to buy such a plane. The SASC language would bypass that process and appropriate $1.2 billion to buy 300 OA-X aircraft by 2022. Those aircraft would be an addition to the Air Force fleet—bolstering the number of frontline squadrons—rather than a replacement for any other type...
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-us-air-forces-oa-x-light-attack-aircraft-really-going-21411?page=show

Air Tractor AT-802U is now 802L OA-8 Longsword:
http://www.janes.com/article/68365/avalon-2017-l3-and-air-tractor-marketing-at-802l-armed-turboprop-as-oa-8-longsword
http://www.militaryfactory.com/aircraft/detail.asp?aircraft_id=1766



New Shturmovik?
https://airandspace.si.edu/stories/editorial/stalin%E2%80%99s-ilyushin-il-2-shturmovik
 
 

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Offline Colin P

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Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2017, 15:50:40 »
My gut says they go with turboprops to avoid buy a "Jet fighter" which someone in congress will point to as being cheaper than a F-35.

Offline gryphonv

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Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2017, 16:47:42 »
My gut says they go with turboprops to avoid buy a "Jet fighter" which someone in congress will point to as being cheaper than a F-35.

There are advantages to turboprop fighters in certain scenarios. Not all of them due to cost.

If I was a FAC, I'd rather have access to a platform with 2+hrs of overhead time vs one with 20-30 minutes. (made these numbers up, but it should show my point)


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Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2017, 17:55:37 »
The amount of loiter time per machine is not itself significant. Constant coverage is.

During Fallexes in Germany, we had almost constant access to A10 coverage, with fresh pairs every fifteen minutes, when warranted, in 4 CMBG's area. One pair would head home as we briefed the new one for its run. The schedule rotation was based upon ammunition duration, not fuel.

There were always multiple aircraft, rotary- and seized-wing, aloft in Kandahar and eager to pounce, and as soon as one pair ran out of ordnance another would replace it.

We took out IED emplacement teams with Predator (Hellfire) followed by B1 (500lb JDAMs) followed by A10 (cannon) and Kiowa (.50 cal/2.75 in rocket/full-mag single burst M4 out of the left-hand door) followed by F15 (500lb JDAMs) combinations, for example, with no interruption.

Aircraft were lightly loaded, presumably to avoid having to land at high weight with unexpended weaponry, as most missions did not see anything fired/dropped.

Offline gryphonv

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Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2017, 18:30:01 »
The amount of loiter time per machine is not itself significant. Constant coverage is.

During Fallexes in Germany, we had almost constant access to A10 coverage, with fresh pairs every fifteen minutes, when warranted, in 4 CMBG's area. One pair would head home as we briefed the new one for its run. The schedule rotation was based upon ammunition duration, not fuel.

There were always multiple aircraft, rotary- and seized-wing, aloft in Kandahar and eager to pounce, and as soon as one pair ran out of ordnance another would replace it.

We took out IED emplacement teams with Predator (Hellfire) followed by B1 (500lb JDAMs) followed by A10 (cannon) and Kiowa (.50 cal/2.75 in rocket/full-mag single burst M4 out of the left-hand door) followed by F15 (500lb JDAMs) combinations, for example, with no interruption.

Aircraft were lightly loaded, presumably to avoid having to land at high weight with unexpended weaponry, as most missions did not see anything fired/dropped.

Thank you for this post as I don't have any real first hand knowledge. Do you feel a multirole A/C is the best path going foward for something as defined as ground support? To me it seems like its a huge waste of money for something with less compairable capabilities.

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Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2017, 19:05:38 »
For us, F35.

In much bigger militaries, specialization has more viability.

It is no longer required to overfly targets at low levels to attack them. Technology has advanced, and will continue to do so. Weapons have more standoff capability, detection/designation/guidance systems have improved (laser, millimetre-wave radar, GPS), platforms are increasingly being connected via networks to share target and other information, cockpit workloads have been decreased, and low-observable technology has reduced the chances of radar detection and virtually eliminated the chances of radar tracking and guidance.

Armoured vehicles replaced cavalry in the First World War.

Firearms replaced bows, crossbows, and trebuchets.

Offline gryphonv

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Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2017, 19:11:59 »
For us, F35.

In much bigger militaries, specialization has more viability.

It is no longer required to overfly targets at low levels to attack them. Technology has advanced, and will continue to do so. Weapons have more standoff capability, detection/designation/guidance systems have improved (laser, millimetre-wave radar, GPS), platforms are increasingly being connected via networks to share target and other information, cockpit workloads have been decreased, and low-observable technology has reduced the chances of radar detection and virtually eliminated the chances of radar tracking and guidance.

Armoured vehicles replaced cavalry in the First World War.

Firearms replaced bows, crossbows, and trebuchets.

Oh I agree with that, but there has to be a value of the psychological effect of having constant overhead a/c towards a less robust enemy. Even though we can strike from far, I would think the sound and visuals of having AC buzzing their heads would benefit our guys with boots on the ground.

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Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2017, 19:49:14 »
Don't underestimate the effect of targets just blowing up, and not knowing where it's coming from, or who's next, and not being able to stop it or even shoot back.

Early Hellfires were laser-designated. Apaches could fire sequentially, have multiple missiles in the air, and move the designator from one target to another as each blew up. The helicopter could be up to 8 k away, so it was hard to detect, but still had to be exposed throughout the engagement process. The Longbow system (millimetre-wave radar) on AH64D was a huge step forward - a single helicopter simply had to unmask for just long enough to do a single sweep of the battlefield, share target information with the rest in the company, which would then be fed to the missiles (now fire-and-forget), and all could then be fired simultaneously. The ultimate result was virtually identical (but fewer missiles would be launched as the company commander could block off individual killzones for each machine and thus avoid multiple strikes on targets), with one difference from the enemy's point-of-view: instead of his vehicles blowing up in sequence when engaged by A-models, they would all blow up simultaneously when engaged by D-models. Instant, simultaneous mass death; nobody got any warning.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2017, 20:41:28 »
An interesting footnote, a New Zealand company called the ILM group did conceptual studies of aircraft which used their volume more efficiently and came up with a design concept called ADDEX. Widely spaced engines and upper surface blowing (called at the time "Self Stabilized Airfoil") combined to produce a compact aircraft with some rather amazing predicted performance, especially for a late 1970-early 1980's design project.:

https://hushkit.net/2016/10/25/iml-addax-new-zealands-design-for-a-super-fighter/

Quote
IML Addax: New Zealand’s design for a superfighter

One free-thinking group of aircraft designers considered how to make a new multirole fighter. The result of the study was a design for an aircraft like nothing else before or since. Even more surprisingly, this exciting plan for a futuristic superfighter came not from the elite fighter houses of the USSR or the US, but an unknown company in New Zealand.

From the late 1970s, the IML Group in New Zealand studied existing combat aircraft to see if they could come up with a better solution. Their concept, the Addax, proved to be exceptionally bold. The Addax-1 was to be powered by two vectored thrust turbofans in the 10,000-Ib thrust class (obvious contenders would have included the Rolls-Royce Spey or TF34)

The aerodynamic configuration was unusual to say the least, consisting of a ‘self-stabilising aerofoil’ formed by the fuselage between the tailbooms, with upper surface blowing across all lifting surfaces providing the aircraft with extreme short take-off and landing capabilities.

Internal weapon bays could carry up to ten 1,000-Ib bombs and external pylons could carry an additional 3,000 Ibs. The gun armament would have been ferocious comprising either four 30-mm Oerlikon cannon or two 20-mm M61A1 Vulcans. Maximum speed would have been 740mph, and it would had a lo-lo-lo tactical radius of 480 miles with maximum bombload.

The Addax-S was even more impressive. This was a supersonic air-superiority fighter based on the same configuration, with outstanding manoeuvrability.

Of course, The New Zealand Government was never really going to fund either Addax, but it was an intriguingly left-field glimpse of how fighters could have evolved. The designs were released in 1982, but even today they appear more futuristic than any known aircraft programme.

A battlefield support variant was also proposed, which from the one illustration I can find is suggestive of an attack helicopter fitted with field wings rather than rotors.

Looking at the United States, there was a 1980's vintage concept as well which might solve several issues (including new high performance trainers), the Northrop F-20, an evolution of the F-5 with a much more powerful engine.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 20:44:19 by Thucydides »
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

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Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2017, 11:04:33 »
More on Air Tractor Longsword:

Quote
From Pest Control To Drug Patrol, Now Air Tractor Targets OA-X

Air Tractor is best known for pest control and fertilization. But the Olney, Texas-based company’s AT-802 agricultural aircraft has evolved from crop duster to firefighter, narcotics eradicator and now a surveillance and strike platform for counterinsurgency operations.

The newest AT-802 combat derivative—the L3 Technologies AT-802L Longsword—has been invited to fly in the U.S. Air Force’s OA-X capability assessment of lightweight-attack platforms; alongside the Textron Aviation AT-6 Wolverine, Scorpion Jet and Sierra Nevada Corp./Embraer A-29 Super Tucano.
Ag Attack

L3/Air Tractor AT-802L Longsword invited to fly in OA-X capability assessment

Iomax’s Thrush 710-based “Archangel” sitting out OA-X

Kenya deal would certify Longsword attack variant

Air Tractor eyes U.S. special forces LASSO light-attack program

The hardy agricultural aircraft might not be a perfect fit for the Air Force’s proposed light-attack and fighter pilot training fleet, but L3 and Air Tractor are mostly eyeing opportunities for export and special forces missions. Air Tractor confirms interest in the newly launched Light Attack Support for Special Operations (LASSO) program, a partnership between the Air Force’s fighters and bombers directorate and U.S. Special Operations Command’s Office for Fixed-Wing aviation programs.

The AT-802, a single-engine turboprop, flies low and slow, carrying almost 2.5 times its own weight in fuel and stores.

It was used by the U.S. State Department for several years to eradicate coca plantations in Colombia, the source crop for cocaine and a critical income stream for the FARC rebel group.


The AT-802L Longsword is L3 Technologies’ and Air Tractor’s answer to the Iomax Archangel, now based on the Thrush 710. It’s pictured carrying a combination of six Mk. 82 bombs, two rocket pods, two guns pods and one centerline MX-15D sensor ball. Credit: L3 Technologies...
http://aviationweek.com/military-trainers-light-attack/pest-control-drug-patrol-now-air-tractor-targets-oa-x

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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2017, 15:48:52 »
By USAF officer actually at Hollman (imagine such a piece by a serving Canadian officer):

Quote
Back to Basics: The Light Attack Experiment Begins

This month at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, an unusual event is occurring. For the first time since the end of the Vietnam era, the Air Force is conducting a flying experiment with combat aircraft. This nontraditional event, bringing together four major commands and three industry partners, was put together in only five months. The cost is in the single digit millions. Here, a mix of test pilots and operationally experienced aircrew are putting four light attack aircraft through their paces. The method? Experimentation. The objective? Learn. The Air Force is interested in assessing the potential of low-cost, commercially developed ground attack aircraft to conduct the kind of combat missions that have composed the vast majority of combat missions in the last 25 years. The light attack experiment is the first large-scale experiment of its type in decades.

Two years ago, this would have been impossible. The Air Force had no money appropriated for experimentation. Budgetary pressures imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act took a toll across the board, affecting readiness, force structure, manpower, and research and development. But in the past two budgets, small amounts of money have been set aside for experimentation. The Air Force established a brand-new organization within Materiel Command — the Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation (SDPE) Office — to facilitate experimentation. Over two years SDPE has toiled in relative obscurity to rack up a series of small successes, focused on emerging weapons and tactics. The light attack experiment is the first full-scale, live fly event, with aircraft conducting representative missions on tactical ranges, complete with precision and non-precision weapons, aerial gunnery, and simulated targets, supported by terminal attack controllers on the ground.

The Air Force is below our minimum sustainable force size. We have too much mission and too little force. Maintaining sustained combat operations for 26 years has taken its toll. We have worn out our tactical aviation fleet, sacrificing readiness and size, and delaying modernization in the face of relentless demand for combat airpower. In order to successfully rebuild and re-train the force to handle major combat operations against a traditional, nation-state enemy, we have to get some breathing room. By switching the weight of burden to aircraft that are less expensive to purchase and easy to sustain and operate, we can shift the majority of day-to-day operations to aircraft designed for the kind of relatively low-intensity warfare that has characterized air operations since Operation Desert Storm. A push by experienced combat aviators for this class of aircraft has been brewing by nine years — but the lack of government-collected data has made this a hard sell. The experiment has provided an opportunity for U.S. Air Force and industry aviators, maintainers, engineers, and acquisition personnel to exit their comfort zones to engage in old-style, in-depth data gathering with the objective of creating a cadre of experimenters who are better-informed about modern, commercial aviation developments as they apply to combat aircraft. It’s not business as usual, and many of the participants have jumped at the opportunity to be part of it.

For a service that has long become accustomed to expensive, high-performance jets, the experiment is an eye-opener. The Longsword, Super Tucano, and Wolverine aircraft use a powerful variant of the most popular turboprop engine in the world. The Scorpion uses advanced versions of commercial “bizjet” engines [read on]...

Col. Mike “Starbaby” Pietrucha was an instructor electronic warfare officer in the F-4G Wild Weasel and the F-15E Strike Eagle, amassing 156 combat missions and taking part in 2.5 SAM kills over 10 combat deployments. As an irregular warfare operations officer, Colonel Pietrucha has two additional combat deployments in the company of US Army infantry, combat engineer, and military police units in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is on the staff at Air Combat Command and is at Holloman AFB for the experiment. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Air Force or the US Government.
https://warontherocks.com/2017/08/back-to-basics-the-light-attack-experiment-begins/

Mark
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Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2017, 15:53:36 »
By USAF officer actually at Hollman (imagine such a piece by a serving Canadian officer):

Mark
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Well, since there is a Canadian there for that test, I wouldn't be surprised if there's a write-up about it either in official or unofficial circles.
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

Reply:  "If."

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Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2017, 16:00:45 »
But not publicly on a popular internet publication  ;)

Mark
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Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2018, 14:45:20 »
Only AT-6 and A-29 left in USAF OA-X consideration:

Quote
Air Force announces next steps in light attack experimentation
Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs / Published February 02, 2018

 Following the Light Attack Experiment conducted in August 2017, the Air Force announced its intention to continue experimenting with two non-developmental aircraft, the Textron Aviation AT-6 Wolverine and the Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 Super Tucano, from May to July 2018 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.

"Rather than do a combat demonstration, we have decided to work closely with industry to experiment with maintenance, data networking and sensors with the two most promising light attack aircraft — the AT-6 Wolverine and the A-29 Super Tucano," said Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. "This will let us gather the data needed for a rapid procurement."

Further experimentation will examine logistics and maintenance requirements, weapons and sensor issues, training syllabus validity, networking and future interoperability with partner forces. The Air Force will also experiment with rapidly building and operating an exportable, affordable network to enable aircraft to communicate with joint and multi-national forces, as well as command-and-control nodes.

"This effort to find a lower-cost and exportable aircraft for permissive environments is directly in line with the National Defense Strategy," said Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David Goldfein. "A light attack aircraft would not only provide relief to our 4th and 5th generation aircraft, but also bolster our interoperability, so we can more effectively employ airpower as an international team."

The light attack effort supports our nation’s defense strategy to counter violent extremism on a global scale, alongside allies and partners. A light attack capability could sustain competence in irregular warfare, maximize capability from financial investment, and harness existing, innovative technologies. A light attack aircraft option not only offers additional value and flexibility, but also accelerates modernization of current and potential partner forces who do not require advanced fighter aircraft.

Five international partners observed the first phase of the Light Attack Experiment, and the Air Force plans to invite additional international partners to observe this second phase of experimentation.

The Air Force expects to have the information it needs to potentially buy light attack aircraft in a future competition, without conducting a combat demonstration, based on data collected during the first round of the experiment and future data anticipated to be collected in the next phase of experimentation [emphasis added].
http://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1431104/air-force-announces-next-steps-in-light-attack-experimentation/source/GovD/

More:

Quote
Air Force Chooses AT-6, A-29 for Secondary Light Attack Experiment
...
"Rather than do a combat demonstration, we have decided to work closely with industry to experiment with maintenance, data networking and sensors with the two most promising light attack aircraft -- the AT-6 Wolverine and the A-29 Super Tucano," said Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson. "This will let us gather the data needed for a rapid procurement [emphasis added--Carla Qualtrough note]."..

"In less than five months, we had four aircraft on the ramp to test at Holloman Air Force Base and, last night, I just got the test report. So in less than 11 months, with five pages, we have tested four aircraft for a potential light attack aircraft for the United States and allies," she said during a December Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on acquisition reform.

The four aircraft -- AirTractor and L3's AT-802L Longsword; Sierra Nevada and Embraer's A-29 Super Tucano; and Textron and AirLand LLC's Scorpion, as well as their AT-6B Wolverine -- conducted live-fly exercises, combat maneuver scenarios and, on some occasions, weapons drops during the Holloman demonstration...
https://www.military.com/dodbuzz/2018/02/02/air-force-chooses-6-29-secondary-light-attack-experiment.html

Mark
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« Last Edit: February 02, 2018, 15:01:21 by MarkOttawa »
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Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2018, 15:09:14 »
Quote
Further experimentation will examine logistics and maintenance requirements, weapons and sensor issues, training syllabus validity, networking and future interoperability with partner forces. The Air Force will also experiment with rapidly building and operating an exportable, affordable network to enable aircraft to communicate with joint and multi-national forces, as well as command-and-control nodes.

That is intriguing.  I wonder if it might not have implications down the road for Canada's fighter selection.

Does it have the potential to make inter-operability less platform dependent?  Improving the ability to create a network of platforms of varying ages, nationalities and capabilities?
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

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Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2018, 17:41:01 »
This is intriguing:

Quote
The French Army Eyes All-New Fleet of Light Attack Airplanes
The head of the service's aviation arm is eager to get modern choppers, too, but says fixed-wing planes make more sense in various situations.

The French Army is in the process of defining the armament and other characteristics of its future Airbus H160M helicopters, which will replace its aging Aérospatiale SA342 Gazelles in the armed scout role. At the same time, particularly given the demands of France’s broad counter-terrorism campaign in Northwest Africa, the service is looking at light attack aircraft to supplement scout and gunship helicopters in certain circumstances and as cost-effective alternative to expensive multi-role combat aircraft.

...given the nature of the [Sahel/Barkhane] terrain, the ALAT is becoming increasingly of the view that helicopters might not be the best tool for all situations and that relying on fast-moving French Air Force multi-role fighter jets to provide additional support simply isn’t practical or cost effective. Lieutenant General Grintchenko revealed to a gathering in London that he was actively looking at acquiring a fleet of manned, fixed wing light attack aircraft to supplement his rotary wing fleet...


Grintchenko did not specify any particular aircraft he was interested in buying, but he has no shortage of possible options. The French Air Force has ordered a number of Pilatus PC-21 turboprop trainers, a type that could potentially serve as the basis for a light attack platform. The French Army could potentially find a way to leverage that existing deal for its own needs...
http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/18196/the-french-army-eyes-all-new-fleet-of-light-attack-airplanes

Mark
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« Last Edit: February 02, 2018, 17:45:48 by MarkOttawa »
Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2018, 18:00:57 »
That which is old is again become new.



"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2018, 20:14:01 »
Chris Pook: Hurribomber (12 guns)?

Quote
...
Mk IIB Hurri-Bomber

Hurricane Mk IIB Hurri-bomberThe Mk IIB saw the twelve gun wings finally become standard, with two extra .303 Browning machine guns located further down the wing. Of more significance was the addition of two bomb racks, down the wing from the landing gear. At first these were used to carry one 250 lb bomb each, increased to 500 lbs by the end of 1941. From the autumn of 1941 the Mk IIB was used to bomb small targets in occupied Europe..."


Picture showing a Hawker Hurricane IIB Hurri-bomber being armed with with its second bomb. This aircraft has the twelve gun wing, but one of the four inner guns appears to have been removed or sealed up.
http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_hawker_hurricaneII.html

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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2018, 20:49:54 »
Only AT-6 and A-29 left in USAF OA-X consideration:

More:

Mark
Ottawa

I assume that these are not intended to be piloted by 'first world' air force pilots, otherwise the casualty counts would likely bring down the relevant governments....
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2018, 15:41:00 »
Looks like USAF might actually go ahead with real OA-X competition...on verra:

Quote
The light attack aircraft competition will be down to two competitors

The Air Force is preparing to begin buying light attack aircraft next year — and the winner is going to be either Textron’s AT-6 Wolverine or the Sierra Nevada Corp.-Embraer A-29 Super Tucano.

According to a pre-solicitation posted on FedBizOpps on Aug. 3, the service will put out a final request for proposals to the two competitors in December with the hopes of awarding a contract by the end of September 2019.

However, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told Defense News on Monday that service leaders have not yet made a final decision on whether to green-light a program of record [emphasis added]. Should that happen, the pre-solicitation will ensure that the service can move as quickly as it would like to eventually procure new planes, she said.

If the new weapons program moves forward, it appears the service will limit the competition to the two aircraft currently involved in the service’s light attack experiment. The pre-solicitation states that SNC and Textron Aviation “are the only firms that appear to possess the capability necessary to meet the requirement within the Air Force's time frame without causing an unacceptable delay in meeting the needs of the warfighter.”

The Air Force’s decision to only consider the A-29 and AT-6 had been foreshadowed by officials like Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, its top uniformed acquisition officer, who repeatedly stated that the service would likely limit a competition to those two participants...


An AT-6 experimental aircraft is prepared for takeoff from Holloman Air Force Base. The AT-6 is participating in the Air Force's Light Attack Experiment, a series of trials to determine the feasibility of using light aircraft in attack roles. (Ethan D. Wagner/Air Force)
https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/08/06/the-light-attack-aircraft-competition-will-be-down-to-two-competitors/

Mark
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Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2018, 15:51:26 »
Fine planes though they be none can match the A-10.

Offline FJAG

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Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2018, 16:39:47 »
Then there's always this one.



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Offline SupersonicMax

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Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2018, 17:43:35 »
Well, since there is a Canadian there for that test, I wouldn't be surprised if there's a write-up about it either in official or unofficial circles.

I am intrigued.  Pilot?

Offline FSTO

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Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #24 on: August 06, 2018, 20:23:16 »
USAF Fighter Community Mafia?

http://cdrsalamander.blogspot.com/2018/08/the-benefits-of-light-attack-experiment.html

Monday, August 06, 2018
“The benefits” of the light-attack experiment? No, try “the shame…”

Nothing will start off a week right better than a wee little rant.

You simply must watch this video from DefenseNews. I can't embed it, so go to the link - I'll wait here. It is gobsmacking in its satire-proof nature.

I would have serious challenges scripting a more farcical description of the shameful slow-rolling by the USAF of the light-attack program.

Here is the crown jewel;
… great example of ... rapid procurement fielding…
Bullsh1t. We’ve known about this requirement since shortly after 9/11. I know, I was at C5F in late 2001 when we were talking EXACTLY ABOUT THIS REQUIREMENT AND HOW LONG IT WOULD TAKE TO GET IT HERE!

Just like the riverine forces we ignored until well in to the IRQ conflict, these capabilities were ignored, starved, and killed by the wrong people for the wrong reasons. When we actually have a no-kidding shooting war on our hands, our Soldiers and Marines die because they don’t have the support they need and have to execute missions with more risk. We expend untold millions of additional monies and airframe time shoe-horning other assets to do a job they are not designed to do, and they do it in a suboptimal manner when they do.

As the Bronco part of this experiment showed us, we had this capability available for a “good enough” solution early on – but no. People far removed from the pointy end had other priorities. Mostly their own egos and pre-conceived notions about what war should be vice what it is … but they had priorties.

In the video, they brag about how they are at “90-95%” solution and apologize about not being 100%. Good googly moogly, is there no self-awareness here of promoting perfection as the enemy of the good? 70% is a passing grade. 2.0 and go is good enough when you’re being shot at … but then again … those making the decisions are not being shot at nor are at any threat of being shot at.

Heck, ignore the Broncos in storage. The Brazilians had Super Tucanos (variant AT-29B) ready to go in 2001 and Colombians had combat ready squadrons in 2006. Zero reason we had to wait for just a few to show up in AFG in 2016 with the Afghan Air Force. We should have had them in AFG and IRQ in 2005 with USAF on the side.

Well, as reports show today, we may have some by 2019. That means ready for a combat deployment by what – let’s use round numbers – 2021.

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

Stephen Trimble
@FG_STrim
 BREAKING: USAF releases notice disclosing firm plans to acquire a Light Attack Aircraft fleet in late 2019. RFP coming in December 2018. The notice advises potential bidders only Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 and Textron Aviation AT-6 may be considered. 
https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=50dbc57e1f5fecf5f5517c2ee58df1c9&tab=core&_cview=0

Two decades. Tell me more about our “rapid procurement” programs. Better late than never, but this is no time to pat ourselves on the back and say how awesome we are.

Taxpayer money wasted and their sons and daughters die unnecessarily because we have a procurement system that does not support the military; the military supports the procurement system.

That is our shame.

Rip it up root-and-branch. Like an untended and neglected garden, it is overgrown with vines, weeds, and saplings – holed and corrupted by burrowing vermin.