Close Air Support dedicated Fixed Wing Aircraft

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KarimAbdoun

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Unread post04 Apr 2014, 00:50

Can there be a space for a dedicated CAS fighter in the modern military of the 21st century? Is the experience of having the A-10 worthy of being replicated and maintained by any air force in the world facing 21st century threats? Can drones provide the CAS needed in nowadays?

I feel like the very specifics of CAS aircraft such as the A-10 can provide a sort of conundrum and a testimony to an air force's strategy and vision of what it's air power doctrine should be, and if so then is the US on the right track by replacing the A-10's mission with the F-35?

Rarely can you find an aircraft that can both handle a multitude of missions with great ability and confidence. The F-16 proved to be a great CAS aircraft when needed as well as the F/A-18, but are there any other aircraft who are multirole and combat proven to be reliable CAS aircraft near the level of the A-10?

And what are other CAS aircraft that you can think of that can be compared to the A-10? Su-22 or Su-25.... may be even the Su-34 (which I have unfounded concerns)?
The fighter is not what counts, it's the one who's flying it that matters!
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hb_pencil

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Unread post04 Apr 2014, 01:04

KarimAbdoun wrote:Can there be a space for a dedicated CAS fighter in the modern military of the 21st century? Is the experience of having the A-10 worthy of being replicated and maintained by any air force in the world facing 21st century threats? Can drones provide the CAS needed in nowadays?

I feel like the very specifics of CAS aircraft such as the A-10 can provide a sort of conundrum and a testimony to an air force's strategy and vision of what it's air power doctrine should be, and if so then is the US on the right track by replacing the A-10's mission with the F-35?

Rarely can you find an aircraft that can both handle a multitude of missions with great ability and confidence. The F-16 proved to be a great CAS aircraft when needed as well as the F/A-18, but are there any other aircraft who are multirole and combat proven to be reliable CAS aircraft near the level of the A-10?

And what are other CAS aircraft that you can think of that can be compared to the A-10? Su-22 or Su-25.... may be even the Su-34 (which I have unfounded concerns)?


You're about to face a torrent of pretty negative responses... partly because you could have searched this forum and gotten a pretty satisfactory answer to your question.

CAS doesn't operate in the way I think you and others suggest, and the A-10 does not operate in that fashion anymore. The recent upgrades have enabled it to operate more like how the F-16 and F/A-18s undertake CAS, which is mid altitude employment of guided weaponry... not low and slow attacks with its gun and missiles. That is excessively dangerous and led to extremely high combat losses during the gulf war, which is why the USAF has slowly moved away from that approach (actually it was already doing so in the 1980s). Thus the idea that the A-10 is "combat proven" is somewhat a fallacy...

Within the joint model of CAS, you'll see a constellation of platforms including UAV/UCAVs, Artillery, Fighters, JSTARS type aircraft and space based assets all be part of that mission, which is already occurring within Afghanistan. The A-10 concept of one or two aircrafts only operating in a direct relationship with ground troops, doesn't really exist anymore.
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smsgtmac

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Unread post09 Apr 2014, 02:10

hb_pencil wrote:You're about to face a torrent of pretty negative responses... partly because you could have searched this forum and gotten a pretty satisfactory answer to your question.

CAS doesn't operate in the way I think you and others suggest, and the A-10 does not operate in that fashion anymore. The recent upgrades have enabled it to operate more like how the F-16 and F/A-18s undertake CAS, which is mid altitude employment of guided weaponry... not low and slow attacks with its gun and missiles. That is excessively dangerous and led to extremely high combat losses during the gulf war, which is why the USAF has slowly moved away from that approach (actually it was already doing so in the 1980s). Thus the idea that the A-10 is "combat proven" is somewhat a fallacy...

Within the joint model of CAS, you'll see a constellation of platforms including UAV/UCAVs, Artillery, Fighters, JSTARS type aircraft and space based assets all be part of that mission, which is already occurring within Afghanistan. The A-10 concept of one or two aircrafts only operating in a direct relationship with ground troops, doesn't really exist anymore.


Ehhh. I think most folks think you covered it pretty well. I just point to my CAS series now. Saves a lot of time :D
http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/2011/07/debunking-close-air-support-myths-part.html
--The ultimate weapon is the mind of man.
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hb_pencil

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Unread post10 Apr 2014, 21:35

Thanks Mac. Truth be told, I usually just send them to your site as well. :wink:

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