Author Topic: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX  (Read 11088 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Thucydides

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 195,650
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 13,736
  • Freespeecher
Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #25 on: August 06, 2018, 22:17:29 »
While having close air support is always laudable, I do have to wonder if going back to "Contact Patrol" fighters is really an improvement? (For historically minded people, Contact Patrol fighters were armoured biplanes brought out in the last days of WWI to conduct ground support missions with bombs and machine guns in support of "Plan 1919". The Sopwith Salamander and Buffalo were the single and two seat examples of that philosophy). Today, we can fill the sky with sensors ranging from small UAV's to helicopters and high flying aircraft, network their observations and dispatch a multitude of weapons to service identified targets, including artillery, helicopter gunships, glide bombs which can attack targets from 100 km away and other tools. Even ground launched missiles can have "man in the loop" capabilities and operator override whale being able to service targets up to 60km away (Avibrás FOG-MPM).

The reasoning for "low and slow" was pretty clearly defined back in the Viet Nam war when Skyraiders (aka "Spads") were much more valuable to the troops than "fast movers" like the F-100 or F-4, and a plethora of jet and propellor ground attack aircraft were developed around the idea.

Fast forward to today, however, and even a handful of Spetznaz operators with handheld MANPADS essentially swept the skies over the Donbass from Ukrainian airforce SU-25's (which are the Soviet era analogues of the A-10) and you have to wonder how well a large, manned platform will do in these sorts of environments?
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.

Offline tomahawk6

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 110,880
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 9,857
Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #26 on: August 06, 2018, 22:46:17 »
I agree that the USAF would be better off with the A10 or an armed drone.

Offline daftandbarmy

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 249,250
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 13,889
  • The Older I Get, The Better I Was
Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #27 on: August 07, 2018, 14:28:48 »
Fast forward to today, however, and even a handful of Spetznaz operators with handheld MANPADS essentially swept the skies over the Donbass from Ukrainian airforce SU-25's (which are the Soviet era analogues of the A-10) and you have to wonder how well a large, manned platform will do in these sorts of environments?

Not very well if they are trying to win the war on their own from the skies, as has been learned and re-learned throughout history.
"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 Furniture

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • 28,802
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 424
Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #28 on: August 07, 2018, 17:42:57 »
While having close air support is always laudable, I do have to wonder if going back to "Contact Patrol" fighters is really an improvement? (For historically minded people, Contact Patrol fighters were armoured biplanes brought out in the last days of WWI to conduct ground support missions with bombs and machine guns in support of "Plan 1919". The Sopwith Salamander and Buffalo were the single and two seat examples of that philosophy). Today, we can fill the sky with sensors ranging from small UAV's to helicopters and high flying aircraft, network their observations and dispatch a multitude of weapons to service identified targets, including artillery, helicopter gunships, glide bombs which can attack targets from 100 km away and other tools. Even ground launched missiles can have "man in the loop" capabilities and operator override whale being able to service targets up to 60km away (Avibrás FOG-MPM).

The reasoning for "low and slow" was pretty clearly defined back in the Viet Nam war when Skyraiders (aka "Spads") were much more valuable to the troops than "fast movers" like the F-100 or F-4, and a plethora of jet and propellor ground attack aircraft were developed around the idea.

Fast forward to today, however, and even a handful of Spetznaz operators with handheld MANPADS essentially swept the skies over the Donbass from Ukrainian airforce SU-25's (which are the Soviet era analogues of the A-10) and you have to wonder how well a large, manned platform will do in these sorts of environments?

The point of the AC isn't to fight against peer/near peer regular and SOF troops, it's to provide air support in operations like Mali, Afghanistan, Iraq. Places where enemy AD is not present/not effective, and the USAF is spending big money(fuel, maintenence, airframe hours) flying around very expensive fighters to deliver ordinance to ground targets. If a smaller, cheaper turboprop can deliver the same effect on the ground why not have a fleet of them for those type of constabulary operations?

I'm not en expert on all things aviation, but my understanding is small airplanes are cheaper to fly/operate than helos as well, so replacing some attack helo's on these types of missions is likely a cost saver as well.

Offline daftandbarmy

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 249,250
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 13,889
  • The Older I Get, The Better I Was
Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #29 on: August 07, 2018, 17:56:56 »
The point of the AC isn't to fight against peer/near peer regular and SOF troops, it's to provide air support in operations like Mali, Afghanistan, Iraq. Places where enemy AD is not present/not effective, and the USAF is spending big money(fuel, maintenence, airframe hours) flying around very expensive fighters to deliver ordinance to ground targets. If a smaller, cheaper turboprop can deliver the same effect on the ground why not have a fleet of them for those type of constabulary operations?

I'm not en expert on all things aviation, but my understanding is small airplanes are cheaper to fly/operate than helos as well, so replacing some attack helo's on these types of missions is likely a cost saver as well.

UCAVs are the future of CAS:

https://tacairnet.com/2015/04/06/ucavs-are-the-future-of-close-air-support/

Oh, wait, the MQ9 Reaper is already doing it better than the A10 in some cases:

https://breakingdefense.com/2017/05/reaper-drones-the-new-close-air-support-weapon/

"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

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 74,140
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 6,618
  • Two birthdays
    • The 3Ds Blog
Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #30 on: January 18, 2019, 16:31:58 »
Not entirely unanticipated actually, no USAF enthusiasm (cf. A-10):

Quote
US Air Force’s plan to launch light-attack aircraft competition is now deferred indefinitely

 The start of a competition to provide light-attack aircraft for the U.S. Air Force has been postponed for the foreseeable future, as the service decides the way forward for additional experiments, the Air Force’s No. 2 civilian said Friday.

The Air Force started evaluating light-attack plane offerings in 2017 and was set to release a request for proposals in December 2018 to potentially lead to a program of record. But the service is not ready to commit to a program just yet, and wants to continue the experimentation phase, Under Secretary of the Air Force Matt Donovan told reporters after an Air Force Association event.

"We're going to broaden the scope a little bit,” he said, potentially alluding for the possibility of new aircraft types to enter the competition.



Asked if this meant the two aircraft positioned by the Air Force as potential contenders for a contract — the Sierra Nevada Corp.-Embraer A-29 Super Tucano, and the Textron AT-6 Wolverine — were no longer in the running, Donovan responded: “We’re not excluding anything.”

The Air Force’s decision is a somewhat surprising one. The light-attack experiment began with four aircraft involved in flight tests at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico: the A-29 and AT-6, but also Textron’s Scorpion jet and L3’s AT-802L Longsword.

The AT-6 and A-29 moved onto the second phase of experiments in 2018, which were mostly centered around the planes’ maintainability and network capability.

When the Air Force put out a draft RFP later that year, the solicitation stated that Textron and the SNC-Embraer partnership were “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.”..


An Afghan Air Force A-29 Super Tucano returns from a sortie in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 14, 2015. (Staff Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr./U.S. Air Force)
https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/01/18/the-air-forces-plans-to-begin-a-light-attack-aircraft-competition-are-now-deferred-indefinitely/

Mark
Ottawa
Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.

Offline CBH99

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • 27,125
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 812
Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #31 on: January 18, 2019, 17:16:50 »
"An unacceptable delay in the needs of the warfighter..."

That's rich.  So the company can get the aircraft to you on time, the problem is - you just decided to potentially order the aircraft 20 years too late, then intentionally dragged you feet on the matter until the current conflicts wrapped themselves up...



This type of aircraft would have made great sense from 2001 to about 2016 or so.  Now that only 7000 troops will remain in Afghanistan and a predominantly SOF oriented Syria contingent, with with pockets of SOF throughout Africa - the USAF needs to start gearing up for it's next big fights: China and Russia.

If the USAF were to acquire this type of aircraft, it should have done so 10 to 15yrs ago -- before flying their high end fighters to the end of their service lives. 

Now though, it makes more sense for them to replenish the fleet with high end fighters for the upcoming conflicts.     :2c:
Fortune Favours the Bold...and the Smart.

Wouldn't it be nice to have some Boondock Saints kicking around?

Offline Colin P

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 144,460
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 9,594
  • Civilian
    • http://www.pacific.ccg-gcc.gc.ca
Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #32 on: January 20, 2019, 17:48:03 »
The USAF is big enough that they could have tapped 1-2 NG squadrons to fly these and move their bigger aircraft to beef up other squadrons. You have them for the conflicts that make sense, places like Mali, etc.

Offline MarkOttawa

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 74,140
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 6,618
  • Two birthdays
    • The 3Ds Blog
Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #33 on: February 06, 2019, 14:04:25 »
Could Boeing/Saab T-X also be basis for O-AX (authors say as a follow-on but OA-X not looking a very sure thing https://milnet.ca/forums/index.php/topic,125319.msg1559566.html#msg1559566 ) and more? Start of a detailed piece:

Quote
Blurring the Lines, Part I: A Promising New Trainer Aircraft and Its Combat Variants

In the 1950s, Northrop Grumman designed a lightweight fighter wrapped around two compact jet engines, designed for the Navy’s escort carriers. Soon after, the Navy dispensed with escort carriers entirely, so the N-156 was instead offered as a supersonic trainer to replace the Air Force’s aging T-33s, the aircraft then used to train pilots to fly jets. The N-156 entered service in 1961. Eventually, Northrop would build 1,146 of the aircraft, renamed the T-38 Talon. The Talon served as the airframe for the highly successful F-5 Freedom Fighter, which has been in frontline service since 1962.  The F-5A Freedom Fighter entered service in 1962, with a second version (the F-5E), following in 1973. Widely employed, including in combat operations with the Air Force in Vietnam, the F-5 is still in service — as is the T-38.

With the selection of the Boeing T-X to be the Air Force’s next-generation trainer aircraft, the service again has the opportunity to make a combat aircraft out of an existing jet trainer — only this time, planned in advance. The coming introduction of the T-X could allow the Air Force to get more bang for its buck, rolling together trainers, jet attack aircraft, and lightweight fighters that are all drawn from a common design. This would, in effect, blur the lines between trainer and combat aircraft in a manner that has been highly successful before. Using a common airframe for multiple roles could very well be cheaper, faster to develop, and easier to support from a common logistical pool.  Given that new aircraft programs often take decades to mature at exceptional cost, developing a single airframe in many different ways can offer a way to break out of a long, slow, and difficult acquisition process. Why not take an aircraft designed to have “fighter-like” characteristics and make it into a fighter?  The Air Force should pursue rapid prototyping effort to create a new lightweight fighter series, leaping at the opportunity to repeat a successful aircraft program from the past.

This article is the first in a three-part series intended to offer policy options for airpower that break out of the existing paradigm for training forces or employing forces, or which otherwise depart from the comfortable complacency that all large organizations find themselves in from time to time. In many cases, some of which we will call out, the Air Force has entered an “accepted” way of doing things without adequately considering how we got there and why we should stay.  Alongside these ideas, we will offer historical examples of how and why the Air Force did things differently, and why it should reconsider “old” ways of doing business. In all of our cases, we are advocating a reexamination of the strict boundaries the institution has placed upon itself in pursuit of the mission and how those lines may be “blurred” to examine other options [note Table I. further in article]...

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 over 10 combat deployments. As an irregular warfare operations officer, Col. Pietrucha has two additional combat deployments in the company of U.S. Army infantry, combat engineer, and military police units in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is currently assigned to Air Combat Command.

Lt. Col. Jeremy “Maestro” Renken is an instructor pilot and former squadron commander in the F-15E Strike Eagle, credited with over 200 combat missions and one air-to-air kill in five combat deployments.  He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Weapons Instructor Course and is currently an Air Force Fellow assigned to Air Combat Command.

The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Air Force or the U.S. government.



Figure 1: T-X (left) and T-38 (right).  (Photo by Mark Nankivil, The Aero Experience)
https://warontherocks.com/2019/02/blurring-the-lines-part-i-a-promising-new-trainer-aircraft-and-its-combat-variants/

Where are CAF officers writing such pieces?

Mark
Ottawa
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 15:48:27 by MarkOttawa »
Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.

Offline Chris Pook

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Legend
  • *
  • 208,605
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 12,758
  • Wha daur say Mass in ma lug!
Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #34 on: February 06, 2019, 17:08:19 »
So, short form?

Why not make sure that every aircraft is weapons-capable and be prepared to employ all aircraft on operations - ASSUMING - a compatible environment?

Back to why not arm Harvards and Hawks as well as Hornets and FCAs.

The lessons of the last few years seem to me to have been that any aircraft is better than no aircraft and that you don't need a 5th gen aircraft for all roles.  Better to husband them to keep the skies clear of the opposition so that other aircraft (to include helos and UAVs) can operate.
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

Offline Colin P

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 144,460
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 9,594
  • Civilian
    • http://www.pacific.ccg-gcc.gc.ca
Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #35 on: February 06, 2019, 20:51:35 »
Sheesh that's so warlike and like didn't you listen to Harassment and Diversity courses? That stuff applies to the disadvantaged peoples that are trying to kill us as well, don't you know? Don't you know how much it costs to pay off these poor souls hurt by our bombs and missiles?

Offline daftandbarmy

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 249,250
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 13,889
  • The Older I Get, The Better I Was
Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #36 on: February 09, 2019, 16:31:03 »
Could Boeing/Saab T-X also be basis for O-AX (authors say as a follow-on but OA-X not looking a very sure thing https://milnet.ca/forums/index.php/topic,125319.msg1559566.html#msg1559566 ) and more? Start of a detailed piece:

Where are CAF officers writing such pieces?

Mark
Ottawa

Busy making sure their 'IBTS boxes' are all checked off so the bureaucrats in Ottawa will leave them alone :)
"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

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 74,140
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 6,618
  • Two birthdays
    • The 3Ds Blog
Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #37 on: March 04, 2019, 12:23:48 »
How the USAF rationalizes new actually going for OA-X--excerpts:

Quote
The Little Airplane that Couldn’t? The Air Force’s Light Attack Message

...recent statements by other Air Force officials about light attack aviation over the last several months reveal a confusing trail of conflicting pronouncements...What is most unfortunate for the Air Force is the way that this announcement casts further doubt on if it is allergic to close air support and similar missions...These decisions amplify the Air Force’s trust problem when it comes to its willingness to meet its responsibilities across the range of military operations...
https://warontherocks.com/2019/03/the-little-airplane-that-couldnt-the-air-forces-light-attack-message/

Mark
Ottawa
Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.

Offline Chris Pook

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Legend
  • *
  • 208,605
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 12,758
  • Wha daur say Mass in ma lug!
Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #38 on: March 04, 2019, 12:46:36 »
How the USAF rationalizes new actually going for OA-X--excerpts:

Mark
Ottawa


Gone the same direction as this

"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

Offline Chris Pook

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Legend
  • *
  • 208,605
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 12,758
  • Wha daur say Mass in ma lug!
Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #39 on: March 04, 2019, 12:59:21 »
At least when the USN took over the Joint Highspeed Vessel from the Army it had the civilian MSC to fall back on.



The same outfit also operates this

"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

Offline MarkOttawa

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 74,140
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 6,618
  • Two birthdays
    • The 3Ds Blog
Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #40 on: March 13, 2019, 14:53:05 »
USAF studying O-AX to death--or killing time hoping for Boeing/Saab TX jet trainer in light attack role?

Quote
Pentagon budget 2020: US Air Force plans Light Attack Experiment expansion

The US Air Force (USAF) is planning to expand its Light Attack Experiment (LAE) in fiscal year 2020 (FY 2020) to other aircraft classes such as rotary wing, unmanned, or turbojet, but what exactly the experiment will look like is still to be determined.

The USAF is considering expanding its LAE beyond just turboprop aircraft such as Textron Aviation's AT-6 Wolverine.

The service requested USD35 million for LAE in FY 2020, Air Force deputy assistant secretary for Budget Major General John Pletcher told reporters at the Pentagon on 12 March. He said the service will likely continue the effort’s focus on experimentation as it did the previous two years. The USAF in 2018 had planned to procure light attack aircraft but decided against it, Gen Pletcher said.

“We just didn’t feel comfortable that we had the right mix of capabilities that was going to attract the partners and allies that we needed,” Gen Pletcher said. “So we want to look further.”
https://www.janes.com/article/87172/pentagon-budget-2020-us-air-force-plans-light-attack-experiment-expansion

Mark
Ottawa
Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.

Offline MarkOttawa

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 74,140
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 6,618
  • Two birthdays
    • The 3Ds Blog
Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #41 on: March 13, 2019, 16:05:04 »
But...who knows what real USAF intentions are--note USMC and allies--hoping to spread costs around:

Quote
Air Force to Procure 'Small Number' of Light Attack Aircraft

The U.S. Air Force intends to buy a small fleet of turboprop aircraft as part of its light attack effort, putting some at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, and some with Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, Florida, the service's top general said Wednesday.

"What you'll see in this [2020] budget [request] is money we are going to use to procure a small number of aircraft," Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein told members of the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee.

The Air Force will begin by purchasing up to three each of Textron Aviation's AT-6 Wolverine and Sierra Nevada/Embraer's A-29 Super Tucano.

"We're going to place a detachment with those at Nellis Air Force Base … where we do conventional training, and a detachment with those that do special operations at Hurlburt," Goldfein said.

He added that the Marine Corps is joining the light attack effort, and "we're going to invite allies and partners" into the program to expand and experiment in order to build an "interoperable network [emphasis added]."

Goldfein said procurement funds for the full program will be laid out in the 2022 to 2024 budget cycles.

His announcement comes a day after the Air Force asked for an additional $35 million for light attack aircraft in its 2020 budget request, though it is not yet a Defense Department program of record [emphasis added]...
https://www.military.com/dodbuzz/2019/03/13/air-force-procure-small-number-light-attack-aircraft.html

Mark
Ottawa
Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.

Offline daftandbarmy

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 249,250
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 13,889
  • The Older I Get, The Better I Was
Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #42 on: March 13, 2019, 17:44:52 »
Maybe they should just dust off a few dozen Skyraiders, which they likely already have in mothballs somewhere:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_A-1_Skyraider

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tagcgGVNKZo
"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

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 74,140
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 6,618
  • Two birthdays
    • The 3Ds Blog
Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #43 on: March 13, 2019, 19:09:37 »
daftandbarmy:

Indeed, earlier tweet of mine (just need today's good turboprops, earlier Douglas Skyshark didn't work https://www.militaryfactory.com/aircraft/detail.asp?aircraft_id=1578):
https://twitter.com/Mark3Ds/status/951879309966311424

Quote
Mark Collins
‏ @Mark3Ds
Replying to @TotherChris

@SciteCito I'm a Douglas #Skyraider man myself, great plane--#USAF #OAX? http://www.navalaviationmuseum.org/attractions/aircraft-exhibits/item/?item=a-1h_skyraider  2) http://www.historynet.com/able-dog-was-the-ad-skyraider-the-best-attack-bomber-ever-built.htm #USAF #VietnamWar #CAS

Mark
Ottawa
Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.

Offline Retired AF Guy

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 50,750
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,736
Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #44 on: September 14, 2019, 09:27:54 »
Because of USAF waffling, US lawmaker threatens to move the USAF light attack program over to the Army.

Quote
  US Lawmaker Threatens to Give the Next Attack Plane to the Army

By Marcus Weisgerber Global Business Editor Read bio

September 11, 2019

Tired of USAF slow-rolling, Rep. Michael Waltz has already spearheaded legislation allowing SOCOM to seek light attack aircraft.

Frustrated by the U.S. Air Force’s slow fielding of propeller-driven attack planes to support ground troops, one lawmaker raised the possibility of putting the project under Army control.

“My frustration is almost palpable at why it is taking so long to get this platform out to where the warfighters need it,” Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., said Wednesday at a Mitchell Institute event. 

The House has already given U.S. Special Operations Command the authority — if not yet the appropriations — to buy such planes. But Waltz said the need is so great that perhaps the Army should also be given such authority.

Over the past 12 years, the Air Force has waffled about whether it wants propeller-driven planes. Advocates have long argued that they are far cheaper to buy and operate than gas-guzzling combat jets, yet can carry the same types of smart bombs, missiles, and rockets. Opponents say they are too easy to shoot down, particularly by sophisticated adversaries.

But Waltz said battles against extremists are not going away.

“Whether it’s Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, South America, we are going to be engaged with our local partners on the ground in low-intensity conflict, I think, for the foreseeable future,” he said. “We are in a generational war against extremism. To that end, we can’t shift too far away from our counterterrorism mission toward near-peer competition.”

Waltz, a former Green Beret, believes it’s time to jumpstart acquisition of light attack aircraft. Frustrated with the Air Force’s waffling, he co-sponsored the legislation that would allow USSOCOM to ask Congress for money to buy the planes. That legislation is part of the House’s version of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, which will eventually need to be reconciled with the Senate’s own version.

In the meantime, Waltz is trying to signal to the Air Force just how serious he is.

“If we can’t move this program forward, then perhaps we need to explore if the Army needs that authority,” he said.

Right now, the Air Force is planning to buy two types of light attack planes: the A-29 Super Tucano, made by Embraer and built in the United States by Sierra Nevada Corp., and the AT-6 Wolverine, made by Textron’s Beechcraft. The plan is to buy at least six aircraft, and base them at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada and at Hurlburt Field in Florida. The planes at Nellis would be used for training while the ones at Hurlburt would be used in combat air advisor missions.

Asked when these planes might arrive at the bases, Air Force spokesman Capt. Cara Bousie said she had no date.

The U.S. Navy and the Air Force spent the early part of the decade experimenting with the A-29 Super Tucano and Vietnam-era OV-10 Bronco as part of the Imminent Fury and Combat Dragon projects. The planes were used in combat operations in theMiddle East and Africa. More recently, the Air Force has been testing the A-29 and AT-6 in a series of experiments that began in 2017. A naval aviator died during those trials when his A-29 crashed in June 2018.

In July, the Air Force asked lawmakers to shift $156.7 million to the effort. On Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations’ defense subcommittee approved $210 million for six light attack planes in its edit of the appropriations bill.

Phillip Clay, a former Navy test pilot who participated in the Imminent Fury and Combat Dragon projects said the military needs “at least a wing” of these types of planes.

“I believe the mission they would conduct would be beyond just special operations missions,” Clay said at the event Wednesday.

It would not be unprecedented for the Air Force turn some planes over to the Army. In 2013, the Air Force gave Army Special Operations Command some relatively new C-27J Spartan cargo planes that it no longer wanted.

    Marcus Weisgerber is the global business editor for Defense One, where he writes about the intersection of business and national security. He has been covering defense and national security issues for more than a decade, previously as Pentagon correspondent for Defense News and chief editor of ... Full bio

Defense One
   
"Leave one wolf alive, and the sheep are never safe."

Arya Stark

Offline tomahawk6

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 110,880
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 9,857
Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #45 on: September 14, 2019, 10:34:20 »
The Army will take this opportunity and run with it. USAF was looking at 6 airframes so a buy of that number or an even dozen would be doable. USAF was looking at Nellis AFB to base from but the Army could assign some to AFRICOM and some other hotspots.

Offline Chris Pook

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Legend
  • *
  • 208,605
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 12,758
  • Wha daur say Mass in ma lug!
Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #46 on: September 14, 2019, 10:39:15 »
Quote
In 2013, the Air Force gave Army Special Operations Command some relatively new C-27J Spartan cargo planes that it no longer wanted

So the Air Force handed the C27s back to the Army, who originally requested them, after blocking the Army's access to them on the grounds that the Air Force could do the job with their existing fleet.
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

Offline tomahawk6

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 110,880
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 9,857
Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #47 on: September 14, 2019, 11:00:10 »
Inter service politics. With a shortage of pilots they decided to give in. The Army is short pilots and those that can be aircraft commanders.

https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2019/08/07/the-pilot-shortage-the-armys-struggle-to-fix-its-aviation-problems/
« Last Edit: September 14, 2019, 11:12:00 by tomahawk6 »

Online FJAG

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 204,195
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,423
  • Ex Gladio Justicia
    • Google Sites Wolf Riedel
Re: USAF looking for new light attack aircraft: O-AX
« Reply #48 on: September 14, 2019, 18:08:05 »
Inter service politics. With a shortage of pilots they decided to give in. The Army is short pilots and those that can be aircraft commanders.

https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2019/08/07/the-pilot-shortage-the-armys-struggle-to-fix-its-aviation-problems/

It really all goes back to this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_West_Agreement


So the Air Force handed the C27s back to the Army, who originally requested them, after blocking the Army's access to them on the grounds that the Air Force could do the job with their existing fleet.

And this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnson-McConnell_agreement_of_1966

 :cheers:
Illegitimi non carborundum
Semper debeatis percutis ictu primo
Access my "Allies" and "Mark Winters, CID" book series at:
https://sites.google.com/view/wolfriedel
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WolfRiedelAuthor/