Author Topic: Close Air Support in the CF: Bring back something like the CF-5 or introduce something with props?  (Read 281670 times)

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Offline Colin P

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You are correct and I acknowledge the ownership up thread. If we have to bring these to a fight, you won't have time to train new pilots or supply new aircraft. Until the fight is over. Having the planes part of the fleet and having the air training near a decent place to live, might be a preferred posting. If done right, might help retention \. You can still hire civy (ex-RCAF) to assist in training.

Offline Chris Pook

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No recent government has elected to add PYs. Whatever we gain in one area has to be offset in another. What - again (I've asked a few times before) - are you willing to give up in order to gain a limited-use niche-role pseudo-capability, and why?

Legitimate ask (histrionics aside).  I am one that has come around over time to your position Loachman.  There is no push to hire pilots, mechanics or sailors.  Therefore there is no requirement for aircraft or ships of any type.

Soldiers are a marginally acceptable buy, so long as they are never used and don't require any weapons.

We might be able to find more Air Force PYs if the RCN were willing to reduce the number of sailors it needed to man ships, but that will never happen.  Just like the Institutional Army will never reorg itself.

Edit - On the other hand, arming trainers is still an idea I support.  The question of what we will do to train pilots once the balloon goes up is moot.  We will burn through both aircraft and pilots faster than either can be replaced.

« Last Edit: April 25, 2019, 16:37:27 by Chris Pook »
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Offline MarkOttawa

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Ma Deuce


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

Offline Colin P

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The AOP's are hulls with significantly less manpower for the same tonnage, so technically yeas the RCN has dropped PY's. An incremental increase in PY in the pointy bits of each service and reduction in HQ staff would make significant difference.

Frankly I too would prefer Attack Helicopters, but suspect arming training aircraft would be far more likely. 

Offline Loachman

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There is no push to hire pilots, mechanics or sailors.  Therefore there is no requirement for aircraft or ships of any type.

There is, and there is.

Recruiting for most, if not all, occupations continues, but retention sucks. Aircraft and ships are relatively cheap - politically, at least - things to quickly push overseas for a little flag-waving and, occasionally, achieving something useful. Demand exceeds capability for all of our fleets.

Edit - On the other hand, arming trainers is still an idea I support.

And I never will. That's just a waste of valuable aircrew and ground crew. They're the bigger investment, by far. Equipment can be bought, but people need time for training and experience-gathering. If we are going to invest in such people, give them something useful to fly and maintain - a real aircraft, with real capabilities including a chance of survival and not just some short-range un(der)-armed putt-putt that does not even belong to the CF.

The question of what we will do to train pilots once the balloon goes up is moot.  We will burn through both aircraft and pilots faster than either can be replaced.

Keep training anyway. Suicide tactics are not our style.

Offline Colin P

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It won't be suicide, but the attrition rate of aircraft and pilots in a war with a peer enemy might be quite sobering. Particularly after each side runs short of missiles to arm their remaining aircraft with. I wonder how quickly we would deplete current stocks in 3 weeks of intensive combat?

Offline Eye In The Sky

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In the conflicts we've been involved in over the past decade/decade and a half, it's more the stuff in the picture attached and links below that concerns me...

https://www.businessinsider.com/us-a-10-warthog-planes-in-iraq-reportedly-shot-at-by-isis-militants-with-manpads-2015-1

http://www.aircraftresourcecenter.com/Stories1/001-100/0016_A-10-battle-damage/story0016.htm
« Last Edit: April 25, 2019, 19:43:38 by Eye In The Sky »
Everything happens for a reason.

Sometimes the reason is you're stupid and make bad decisions.

Offline Loachman

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It won't be suicide, but the attrition rate of aircraft and pilots in a war with a peer enemy might be quite sobering.

If you are going to send a guy or girl into combat, give him/her a fighting chance to both kill an enemy or several, either in the air, on the ground, or both, and get back home to re-arm with whatever stocks remain.

A trainer will have to carry out far more sorties to launch the same number/weight of weapons as a single F35 (or whatever) will in a single sortie, and has little in the way of survivability aids - no sensors, no datalinks, no stealth, no ability to designate targets and carry even a light load. Pack the noses with C4 if we ever get desparate enough to send kids to battle in trainers. They'd have the same chances of survival, and greater effectiveness.

This country can afford real aircraft. There is no excuse to cheap out and potentially - and criminally - risk Canadian lives for no gain.

If we do eventually buy 88 fighters as "promised", we'll not be able to fill all of the seats anyway, in the shape that we're in now and for the foreseeable future.

Offline GR66

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The point I was making was that without a fundamental change to the way the government funds the military (and and equally fundamental change in the way the CF structures the military) we will never have a dedicated, properly capable in a true high-intensity combat environment, CAS aircraft.

As you've noted, even manning (an inadequately sized) fighter fleet of 88 aircraft will be a serious challenge for the CF.  How on earth could we manage an additional fleet of proper CAS aircraft? 

So, if we want to have any type of air support capability at all, then to my mind it will be something like was done with the Griffons, taking an existing asset and making it useful in a way that wasn't originally intended for it.  And then only in situations where we're up against an enemy that isn't in a position to really exploit its weaknesses.

An armed transport/utility helicopter, or trainer against China/Russia/Iran/North Korea of course would be a stupid idea.  Against a low-tech insurgent group like IS?  Maybe it might have some merit. 

Is spending money on that (niche) capability worthwhile compared to spending the same money on other core capabilities like more ATGMs for the infantry, more guns for the artillery, etc?  I have my doubts.

Offline Colin P

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The only advantages would be that you could conduct CAS training with them and have a secondary fleet if the crap really hits the fan and you need far more aircraft than you ever have.
If we get the F35 the only CAS it will do is drop bombs from a fairly high altitude, which is not a bad thing, just might not be what the grunts would want. If there is conflicting priorities for the few fighter aircraft we will have is the RCAF going to place any importance on CAS? 

Offline MCG

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If the “grunts” get the effect they need, does it matter if it was delivered by the plane they think they want?

Offline Chris Pook

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If the “grunts” get the effect they need, does it matter if it was delivered by the plane they think they want?

Personally I wouldn't care if the "package" were delivered by ICBM, if it arrived in a timely fashion and removed the problem while leaving me happily drinking my beer.
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

Offline daftandbarmy

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Personally I wouldn't care if the "package" were delivered by ICBM, if it arrived in a timely fashion and removed the problem while leaving me happily drinking my beer.

I can see a business opportunity here for FedEx ;)
"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 Chris Pook

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"Wyrd bið ful aræd"