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Dutchy
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Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:41 am

The U.S. Air Force chief of staff endorses the idea of buying 300 low-cost, light-attack fighters for counterterrorism missions as a “great idea.”


http://aviationweek.com/defense/us-air- ... 0107ab049c

Sounds like a good idea, no need for the more expensive platforms. I like the A-10 for this aspect. Wouldn't it be more cost effective to extend the A-10 fleet or bring some back from storage.
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iamlucky13
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:54 pm

Dutchy wrote:
The U.S. Air Force chief of staff endorses the idea of buying 300 low-cost, light-attack fighters for counterterrorism missions as a “great idea.”


http://aviationweek.com/defense/us-air- ... 0107ab049c

Sounds like a good idea, no need for the more expensive platforms. I like the A-10 for this aspect. Wouldn't it be more cost effective to extend the A-10 fleet or bring some back from storage.


Considering the A-10 just went through a SLEP program that should have them in structurally good condition for another 25 years, and completed a major avionics upgrade to the A-10C standard in 2011, one would think so.

It's heavier aircraft and will have higher operating and maintenance costs than a dedicated light aircraft, but it seems like it should have not problem handling the light attack role, and would mean also keeping the CAS capability in the fleet.
 
LightningZ71
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:00 am

A dedicated light attack craft, potentially based off of the upcoming TX platform, would have some particular appealing characteristics as compared to the A-10.

Faster to station
Longer range
Modest A2A abilities
Better dynamics at higher altitudes
Potentially better loiter times

While still retaining flight hour costs at least as low as the A-10.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Fri Jan 20, 2017 5:50 am

Light means more something like T-6, Super Tucano or perhaps Scorpion.
 
ThePointblank
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Fri Jan 20, 2017 6:21 am

iamlucky13 wrote:

Considering the A-10 just went through a SLEP program that should have them in structurally good condition for another 25 years, and completed a major avionics upgrade to the A-10C standard in 2011, one would think so.

Not really, the A-10 fleet is suffering from more cracks, even after a SLEP. The wing boxes are the new area of concern, and there's going to be another program to replace the wing boxes on the A-10's, if they elect to keep the A-10's in service.

And that's ignoring parts obsolesce issues...
 
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seahawk
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:21 am

And engines..
 
iamlucky13
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:04 am

ThePointblank wrote:
The wing boxes are the new area of concern, and there's going to be another program to replace the wing boxes on the A-10's, if they elect to keep the A-10's in service.


I don't think the modifications done in the early 2000's were considered a full SLEP. That ultimately was found insufficient and the Air Force moved ahead with new wing boxes. Those replacement wings are already in production:
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... on-421567/
 
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keesje
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:41 am

I think this could give a totally new turn to the running T-X competition.

Trump isn't shy putting paper in the shredder when he feels a situation changed.

The T-100, Boeing T-X and LM T-50 seem capable (war load, g's, speed) of a secondary attack role,

NG seems to have focused on getting the job dome at minimal costs. Not sure how they feel right now..

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ThePointblank
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:18 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
ThePointblank wrote:
The wing boxes are the new area of concern, and there's going to be another program to replace the wing boxes on the A-10's, if they elect to keep the A-10's in service.


I don't think the modifications done in the early 2000's were considered a full SLEP. That ultimately was found insufficient and the Air Force moved ahead with new wing boxes. Those replacement wings are already in production:
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... on-421567/

No, the existing program (and the one that's being referenced in your article) are about the wing panels, not the wing boxes. What's happening is that after the aircraft are modified with the thicker wing panels, there are increased loads being discovered in the wing boxes near the fuselage, which is causing cracking.
 
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Balerit
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Fri Jan 20, 2017 5:44 pm

I'd go for the Saab Gripen, an excelent light multirole fighter.
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SAS A340
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Sat Jan 21, 2017 6:37 am

Image
Would love to see Trump,s face on that one Balerit ;)
It's not what u do,it's how u do it!
 
LightningZ71
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Sat Jan 21, 2017 1:19 pm

The Gripped is a lot more fighter than what they are looking for.
 
olle
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Sat Jan 21, 2017 3:05 pm

Does not the Boeing-Saab trainer uses a lot from Gripen like software etc?

How hard would it be to put some RBS15 antishipping, meteor airtoair etc?

With Meteor it would even have better weapons then most of USAf today can carry ;-)
 
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seahawk
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Sat Jan 21, 2017 4:40 pm

Cause terrorists usually fly fighters and have warships?
 
olle
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:01 pm

Well the RBS15 today also have GPS and can struck land targets as well. The airborn version does not have as long range as the seacarried or land carried version but anyway.
 
Ozair
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:31 pm

LightningZ71 wrote:
The Gripped is a lot more fighter than what they are looking for.

Exactly.

The below article has a little more info and background than the snippert from Aviation week.
http://www.defensenews.com/articles/air ... rcraft-buy

“The Air Force should embrace a 'high/low mix' of fighter aircraft. Very expensive fifth-generation technology is not needed in every scenario,” McCain wrote in the paper. If the Air Force purchased additional planes to supplement its current inventory, “these aircraft could conduct counterterrorism operations, perform close air support and other missions in permissive environments, and help to season pilots to mitigate the Air Force’s fighter pilot shortfall.”

Independent of Congress, the Air Force has been internally debating whether to purchase additional light attack aircraft since mid-2016. The proposed initiative, which goes by the moniker OA-X, is seen by its supporters as a way to accomplish the fight against militant organizations like the Islamic State group at a lower cost per flight hour, while freeing up other assets for training for battles in nonpermissive environments.

I don't think any of the T-X competitors are going to rival the A-29 or AT-6 for per hour costs and potential deployment locations in the middle east and other remote locations. A key component of the plan is also minimal work to deliver the capability and with T-X we are 5 years at least from a viable option.
 
ThePointblank
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Sun Jan 22, 2017 2:47 am

LightningZ71 wrote:
The Gripped is a lot more fighter than what they are looking for.

Also, far more expensive than what they are looking for; the USAF would be better off with keeping their F-16 fleet.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:51 am

or buying new ones.
 
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Balerit
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:39 am

Or the BAE Hawk, proven all over the world.
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SJPBR
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:36 pm

They (USAF) probably wants Super Tucanos (they know how they operate) but will have At-6 (specially with the new administration, since AT-6 is american and A-29 is not...)
 
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Aesma
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:58 pm

I can't imagine the USAF using a trainer with no armor, no countermeasure, no nothing to protect the pilot.
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LightningZ71
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:25 am

I'm sure these would be "derived from" the trainer with additional equipment installed.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:10 am

Aesma wrote:
I can't imagine the USAF using a trainer with no armor, no countermeasure, no nothing to protect the pilot.


AT-6 has all this: http://www.airforce-technology.com/proj ... ht-attack/
 
bhill
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:16 pm

Uhhhhh...how "light" do you get before rotary wing fits the bill?
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LightningZ71
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:30 am

Range and time to station become issues there.
 
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Balerit
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:32 pm

Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (retired).
 
cumulushumilis
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:06 pm

I think this will work just fine :lol:

Image
 
iamlucky13
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:11 am

What are we actually looking at here? Maybe it's the angle, but that looks like it has significant aerodynamic differences, and more hints of low observable changes, than any photo or rendering of the Gripen NG I can find.

It looks really awesome though.

SAS A340 wrote:
Image
Would love to see Trump,s face on that one Balerit ;)
 
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SAS A340
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:49 am

[quote="iamlucky13"]What are we actually looking at here? Maybe it's the angle, but that looks like it has significant aerodynamic differences, and more hints of low observable changes, than any photo or rendering of the Gripen NG I can find.

It looks really awesome though.

I wondered just how long it would take before someone noted this;). I've seen a nosecone a couple of years ago to the Gripen NG, which fits into the picture, but the plane in the picture is probably only a work of photoschop or other application ....;) so far ;)
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ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Thu Jan 26, 2017 4:47 pm

I would imagine the cost of all the extra staff needed to operate the extra frames would make the cost of the actual aircraft irrelavent. 300+ pilots and 300 * however many ground crew per airframe and the people needed for training new pilots and crew. It all adds up extremely quickly.
 
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keesje
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Sun Jan 29, 2017 2:24 am

I think a state off the art, relatively cheap, easy to fly and capable airframe, that can fly both 1 and 2 person missions, incoporating training, and it being bought by the USAF anyway, could be an option. T-X.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Sooner787
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Sun Jan 29, 2017 2:47 am

Time to dust off those A-4 blueprints :)
 
LMP737
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Sun Jan 29, 2017 2:59 am

Trying to figure out where they are going to get the money for this.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
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keesje
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:34 pm

LMP737 wrote:
Trying to figure out where they are going to get the money for this.


Cancel 100 JSF's?
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
LMP737
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:41 pm

keesje wrote:

Cancel 100 JSF's?


The chances of that happening are approximately zero.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
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keesje
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:48 am

LMP737 wrote:
keesje wrote:

Cancel 100 JSF's?


The chances of that happening are approximately zero.


The chances of that happening used to be approximately zero.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-27/trump-s-pentagon-chief-orders-review-of-f-35-jet-air-force-one
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Ozair
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:30 am

keesje wrote:
LMP737 wrote:
keesje wrote:

Cancel 100 JSF's?


The chances of that happening are approximately zero.


The chances of that happening used to be approximately zero.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-27/trump-s-pentagon-chief-orders-review-of-f-35-jet-air-force-one

That consideration is about the naval F-35C, not the entire program.
 
Ozair
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:55 pm

Loren Thompson has called into question the need and financial responsibility of the light fighter proposal.

As the Trump administration's budget plans come into sharper focus, it is increasingly clear that the Pentagon will not be getting enough money to recover from the depressed investment levels of the Obama years. Trump's proposed defense spending level for next year is only 3% above what Obama planned, and there is no guarantee that Congress will repeal budget caps precluding robust investment in new weapons. With readiness for near-term conflict the military's top priority, America's arsenal will continue to age.
Against that backdrop, the Air Force has decided to push ahead on an oddly ill-timed initiative to experiment with using light fighters against low-end threats like ISIS. The Air Force doesn't have any light fighters today, so developing such a plane would require squeezing another new program into an already over-subscribed modernization agenda. That agenda currently includes plans to field a new high-end fighter, a new bomber, a new tanker, a new radar plane and a new trainer. And that's before we even get to its plans for space.


Plenty more at the following link, https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2017/03/06/air-force-light-fighter-concept-seems-a-bit-light-on-logic/#31f4f7764d0d

The key issue is probably how one assesses what the future operating environment of the USAF will be and whether permissive air environments will continue into the 2020/30s.
 
aviationaware
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:53 pm

LMP737 wrote:
Trying to figure out where they are going to get the money for this.


Gutting useless stuff like development aid, planned parenthood and EPA, and cutting funding to overstaffed agencies like State et al.
 
LMP737
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:09 pm

aviationaware wrote:

Gutting useless stuff like development aid, planned parenthood and EPA, and cutting funding to overstaffed agencies like State et al.


Not sure if that's sarcasm or not.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
LMP737
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:09 pm

aviationaware wrote:

Gutting useless stuff like development aid, planned parenthood and EPA, and cutting funding to overstaffed agencies like State et al.


Not sure if that's sarcasm or not.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
DenverA330
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:57 am

In an ideal world, an updated OV-10D would be the ultimate solution. Proven combat effectiveness, excellent avionics capabilities, and a nice mid-range option between a fully fledged CAS aircraft and a dedicated COIN aircraft.
 
cmb56
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:15 pm

Just my two cents worth of opinion. 1. I cannot under any circumstances conceive of the USAF buying a prop driven combat aircraft, they will not do it. 2. If stand off weapons instead of gun armament are to be the primary striking power what difference does the platform make. A Cessna Caravan can carry plenty of weapons, two crew in comfort, and stay up for a long time while plinking targets on the ground from two miles away. 3. If you want guns how do you want to use them, same platform, use a Caravan with a couple of 30MM chain guns out the side with digital targeting presented up front for the pilots. You could hose down a parking lot with 30MM HE from two miles away plus still carry all the guided rockets you want.
NOPE: The AF will get a jet or nothing. Give it back to the Army and let them pick a close air support platform.
 
SCAT15F
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Re: Possible 300 light attack fighters for USAF?

Sat Mar 25, 2017 5:33 am

DenverA330 wrote:
In an ideal world, an updated OV-10D would be the ultimate solution. Proven combat effectiveness, excellent avionics capabilities, and a nice mid-range option between a fully fledged CAS aircraft and a dedicated COIN aircraft.



Agreed. New engines and avionics would really make it a excellent option.

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