LightningZ71
Posts: 462
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:59 pm

Re: News on Air Force Light Attack Experiment (OA-X)

Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:37 pm

The DOD still needs something that can conduct CAS for less money per flight hour than what they are currently using. They have effectively shit canned the current project. The only place to go from here is a MINOR revision of the T-X that adds the ability to mount the external cannon of the F-35 B/C in a nonstealth shell with an expanded capacity ammo store. Aside from the avionics changes, it shouldn't need much else to essentially be a modern A4. Since it was designed to have low cost per flight hour, it's already ahead of the game, though it'll still be much more expensive to operate than the crop dusters.
 
ThePointblank
Posts: 3118
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Re: News on Air Force Light Attack Experiment (OA-X)

Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:31 am

keesje wrote:
Ozair wrote:
keesje wrote:

I don't think 2030 EIS is ok.. Still I can understand Air Forces preferring jets. Helicopters and Turbo props are noisy, giving the adversaries time to get out of their caves and pull the nets of their DShK's.

You are always good for a laugh Keesje, a DShK tops out at about 4,000 ft so plenty of air above for the RW and turboprops. The USAF will still have plenty of jet aircraft left to deploy to areas where it suits and leave OA-X to those areas it suits.


The CAS mission requires you to come down to do the job, also for aircraft that can fly much higher and faster.

Image
A10

Having two engine redundancy, speed and being more quiet dramatically improves survival of your crew, or their willingness to get in. The DShK might not be the ideal weapon for AA, massive quantity & availability compensates a lot, apparently.


No, it doesn't; see JP 3-09.3:
https://fas.org/irp/doddir/dod/jp3_09_3.pdf

2. Close Air Support Overview
a. CAS is air action by fixed-wing (FW) and rotary-wing (RW) aircraft against hostile targets that are in close proximity to friendly forces and requires detailed integration of each air mission with the fire and movement of those forces. All fires should support the joint force commander’s (JFC’s) objectives, guidance, and priorities.
b. CAS is planned and executed to support ground tactical units. CAS execution is tightly integrated at the tactical level with the fire and maneuver of supported ground forces. The air apportionment and allocation process for CAS occurs at the operational level. CAS planning focuses on providing timely and accurate fires in support of friendly forces in close proximity to the enemy.
c. CAS can be conducted at any place and time friendly forces are in close proximity to enemy forces. The word “close” does not imply a specific distance; rather, it is situational. The requirement for detailed integration because of proximity, fires, or movement is the determining factor. At times, CAS may be the best means to exploit tactical opportunities in the offense or defense. CAS provides fires to destroy, disrupt, suppress, fix, harass, neutralize, or delay enemy forces.
 
Ozair
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Re: News on Air Force Light Attack Experiment (OA-X)

Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:38 am

ThePointblank wrote:

No, it doesn't; see JP 3-09.3:
https://fas.org/irp/doddir/dod/jp3_09_3.pdf

Ha, beat me to it. As the doctrine clearly states, CAS is an effect that can be accomplished by a host of different aircraft. The issue is not the platform that delivers the weapon but the effect the weapon creates on the ground to the supported unit.

CAS experiences in Vietnam also showed how the presence of ground based air defence pushed the aircraft up above 10k ft but CAS still continued. Today the many and varied small air launched precision weapons allow CAS to be done from all altitudes and from many different platforms.
 
Reddevil556
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Re: News on Air Force Light Attack Experiment (OA-X)

Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:07 am

Ozair wrote:
ThePointblank wrote:

No, it doesn't; see JP 3-09.3:
https://fas.org/irp/doddir/dod/jp3_09_3.pdf

Ha, beat me to it. As the doctrine clearly states, CAS is an effect that can be accomplished by a host of different aircraft. The issue is not the platform that delivers the weapon but the effect the weapon creates on the ground to the supported unit.

CAS experiences in Vietnam also showed how the presence of ground based air defence pushed the aircraft up above 10k ft but CAS still continued. Today the many and varied small air launched precision weapons allow CAS to be done from all altitudes and from many different platforms.


Precisely, the layered system works well depending on enemy assets. You apply the most effective weapon system based on the enemy's capabilities. If you can, you use low and slow as they can be the most cost effective and lethal as far as effectiveness of their relative target.
Jumped out of: C130H, C130J, C17A, C212, CH47, and UH60. Bucket list: C160, A400, C2
 
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keesje
Posts: 12225
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2001 2:08 am

Re: News on Air Force Light Attack Experiment (OA-X)

Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:29 am

Reddevil556 wrote:
Ozair wrote:
ThePointblank wrote:

No, it doesn't; see JP 3-09.3:
https://fas.org/irp/doddir/dod/jp3_09_3.pdf

Ha, beat me to it. As the doctrine clearly states, CAS is an effect that can be accomplished by a host of different aircraft. The issue is not the platform that delivers the weapon but the effect the weapon creates on the ground to the supported unit.

CAS experiences in Vietnam also showed how the presence of ground based air defence pushed the aircraft up above 10k ft but CAS still continued. Today the many and varied small air launched precision weapons allow CAS to be done from all altitudes and from many different platforms.


Precisely, the layered system works well depending on enemy assets. You apply the most effective weapon system based on the enemy's capabilities. If you can, you use low and slow as they can be the most cost effective and lethal as far as effectiveness of their relative target.


If you can't beat them, confuse them? The low tech, low level environment where these light attack aircraft operate in, makes them vulnerable for ground fire air of many kinds in many places. Doing surveillance, finding targets, firing machine guns isn't done from 10k ft.

Image
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Reddevil556
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Re: News on Air Force Light Attack Experiment (OA-X)

Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:55 pm

It does make them vulnerable, but that is warfare. At some point you have to be willing to take risks. 20th century warfare shows us the myth that AirPower alone isn’t effective in disuading an enemy force. At some point in time you need boots on the ground to direct the attacks and make direct contact with the enemy. It’s risky, but the historical evidence speaks for itself.
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Ozair
Posts: 3360
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: News on Air Force Light Attack Experiment (OA-X)

Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:59 pm

keesje wrote:
Reddevil556 wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Ha, beat me to it. As the doctrine clearly states, CAS is an effect that can be accomplished by a host of different aircraft. The issue is not the platform that delivers the weapon but the effect the weapon creates on the ground to the supported unit.

CAS experiences in Vietnam also showed how the presence of ground based air defence pushed the aircraft up above 10k ft but CAS still continued. Today the many and varied small air launched precision weapons allow CAS to be done from all altitudes and from many different platforms.


Precisely, the layered system works well depending on enemy assets. You apply the most effective weapon system based on the enemy's capabilities. If you can, you use low and slow as they can be the most cost effective and lethal as far as effectiveness of their relative target.



keesje wrote:
If you can't beat them, confuse them?

Keesje the only one confused here is you. You keep changing the scenario you have in mind while maintaining an inaccurate understanding of what CAS actually is.

keesje wrote:
The low tech, low level environment where these light attack aircraft operate in, makes them vulnerable for ground fire air of many kinds in many places. Doing surveillance, finding targets, firing machine guns isn't done from 10k ft.

So Keesje which is it? Are we talking a low tech low threat environment such as Afghanistan, where the air threat for CAS aircraft was generally regarded as low. In those scenarios a light attack aircraft, ala AT-6, is sufficient and obviously the CAS assets don’t have to remain above 10k ft.

The 10k ft reference was to Vietnam, as you can clearly read in the post you quoted. The Vietnam scenario saw air threat increased to the point that in 1972 slow CAS fixed wing and RW couldn’t operate below 10,000 ft due to the threat.

In case you need the reference again it is found in AFD 110323-037 and has the following quote,
To make matters worse, the North Vietnamese brought in many sophisticated AA weapons, including multiple-barrel 37mm and twin-barrel 57mm guns, plus SA-7 strella surface-to-air missiles. This array of firepower compelled the low-flying AC-ll9K's and Army cobra helicopter gunships to move out. Forward air controllers in the slow-moving ov-10's and 0-2Ars likewise found low-altitude work too risky. They went to above 10,000 feet AGL where the strellas and AA fire lost their punch.

Jet strike pilots found the shoulder-fired strellas less of a problem than the heavy concentrations of AA fire around An Loc. To evade the SA-7, the pilot kept airspeed beyond 450 knots and pulled 4 Gs in a tight climbing turn to above 10,000 feet AGL. On the other hand, the mass fire from 37mm, 57mm, and 85mm guns often required him to release his bombs from 6,500-7,000 feet. This somewhat diminished accuracy.


Note the diminished accuracy is much less of a problem now for Western CAS that is dominated by precision guided munitions and better integration between ground and air units.
 
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keesje
Posts: 12225
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Re: News on Air Force Light Attack Experiment (OA-X)

Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:28 am

Ozair wrote:
keesje wrote:
Reddevil556 wrote:

Precisely, the layered system works well depending on enemy assets. You apply the most effective weapon system based on the enemy's capabilities. If you can, you use low and slow as they can be the most cost effective and lethal as far as effectiveness of their relative target.



keesje wrote:
If you can't beat them, confuse them?

Keesje the only one confused here is you. You keep changing the scenario you have in mind while maintaining an inaccurate understanding of what CAS actually is.

keesje wrote:
The low tech, low level environment where these light attack aircraft operate in, makes them vulnerable for ground fire air of many kinds in many places. Doing surveillance, finding targets, firing machine guns isn't done from 10k ft.

So Keesje which is it? Are we talking a low tech low threat environment such as Afghanistan, where the air threat for CAS aircraft was generally regarded as low. In those scenarios a light attack aircraft, ala AT-6, is sufficient and obviously the CAS assets don’t have to remain above 10k ft.

The 10k ft reference was to Vietnam, as you can clearly read in the post you quoted. The Vietnam scenario saw air threat increased to the point that in 1972 slow CAS fixed wing and RW couldn’t operate below 10,000 ft due to the threat.

In case you need the reference again it is found in AFD 110323-037 and has the following quote,
To make matters worse, the North Vietnamese brought in many sophisticated AA weapons, including multiple-barrel 37mm and twin-barrel 57mm guns, plus SA-7 strella surface-to-air missiles. This array of firepower compelled the low-flying AC-ll9K's and Army cobra helicopter gunships to move out. Forward air controllers in the slow-moving ov-10's and 0-2Ars likewise found low-altitude work too risky. They went to above 10,000 feet AGL where the strellas and AA fire lost their punch.

Jet strike pilots found the shoulder-fired strellas less of a problem than the heavy concentrations of AA fire around An Loc. To evade the SA-7, the pilot kept airspeed beyond 450 knots and pulled 4 Gs in a tight climbing turn to above 10,000 feet AGL. On the other hand, the mass fire from 37mm, 57mm, and 85mm guns often required him to release his bombs from 6,500-7,000 feet. This somewhat diminished accuracy.


Note the diminished accuracy is much less of a problem now for Western CAS that is dominated by precision guided munitions and better integration between ground and air units.


Amazingly you make it sounds like there´s different specified doctrines to choose from and the environment will adjust to flight specifics, while it is the other way around. If you are faster and quieter and have engine redundancy, it enlarges the number of situations you can operate more safely. Vietnam saw slow, low moving aircraft and helicopters shot down by the thousands. Mostly due to unsophisticated anti aircraft guns. Today losses are a lot harder to deny, the videos are online before you can say it is unknown or technical.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_aircraft_losses_of_the_Vietnam_War
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Reddevil556
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:09 pm

Re: News on Air Force Light Attack Experiment (OA-X)

Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:18 am

It is still a balance of risk and effectiveness. CAS in general is best when it’s low and slow. High and fast isn’t really CAS, it becomes tactical bombing. But CAS has been needed in every war since WWI and as long as nations are willing to us military force, they will be taking the risks of using CAS.
Jumped out of: C130H, C130J, C17A, C212, CH47, and UH60. Bucket list: C160, A400, C2
 
Ozair
Posts: 3360
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: News on Air Force Light Attack Experiment (OA-X)

Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:12 am

keesje wrote:
Amazingly you make it sounds like there´s different specified doctrines to choose from and the environment will adjust to flight specifics, while it is the other way around.

Keesje, again you are missing the point. The threat defines how the CAS aircraft operates but the point of CAS is not what aircraft delivers the load from what altitude, it is all about the effect the CAS has on the ground situation.

keesje wrote:
If you are faster and quieter and have engine redundancy, it enlarges the number of situations you can operate more safely.

So? The USAF didn’t want that in this competition, they specifically down selected the AT-6 and the A-29 for a reason. While they apparently have reassessed what they want out of OA-X it is primarily driven by budget constraints.

keesje wrote:
Vietnam saw slow, low moving aircraft and helicopters shot down by the thousands. Mostly due to unsophisticated anti aircraft guns. Today losses are a lot harder to deny, the videos are online before you can say it is unknown or technical.

Keesle linking to a wiki page on Vietnam losses is completely irrelevant. How many of those were involved in CAS missions at the time? That is the discussion we are having, not about aircraft overall kill rates in Vietnam. There is a distinct difference that you need to grasp. As for the stats, I have posted them many times on this forum and if you actually took the time to read the above quoted report which is titled “The Air Force In South East Asia: Tactics and Techniques for Close Air Support Operations 1961- 1973” you would see how CAS changed as the threat changed.
 
Ozair
Posts: 3360
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: News on Air Force Light Attack Experiment (OA-X)

Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:31 am

Reddevil556 wrote:
It is still a balance of risk and effectiveness. CAS in general is best when it’s low and slow. High and fast isn’t really CAS, it becomes tactical bombing. But CAS has been needed in every war since WWI and as long as nations are willing to us military force, they will be taking the risks of using CAS.

The doctrine is very clear that CAS is support to ground forces who are in proximity to enemy forces that requires coordination. It doesn’t matter where that support comes from, be it B-52 or MQ-9, for it to be CAS when the goal and situation is the above.

You could define CAS as a subset of tactical bombing with the other main type being Air Interdiction. Essentially the proximity and the requirement for ground air coordination is the distinction between the two.
Air interdiction (AI) is defined as “air operations conducted to divert, disrupt, delay, or destroy the enemy’s military potential before it can be brought to bear effectively against friendly forces, or to otherwise achieve objectives that are conducted at such distance from friendly forces that detailed integration of each air mission with the fire and movement of friendly forces is not required.

https://www.doctrine.af.mil/Portals/61/ ... on-Fun.pdf
 
RJMAZ
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Re: News on Air Force Light Attack Experiment (OA-X)

Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:20 am

This program is a complete waste of money.

It results in excessive capability overlap between the existing drones and manned jets. The F-35 and existing drones can perform any mission this aircraft could do.

Excessive capability overlap is great in high threat environments as it gives you options. However this manned aircraft could never operate in a high threat environment.

In a low threat environment you do not need excessive capability overlap. If the drone took an extra 10 seconds to ID a target that is no big deal in a low intensity conflict.

This manned CAS aircraft does not save money in a low intensity conflict. For example if 24 hour CAS was required in a 1000x1000km combat area you might require 20 of these manned CAS aircraft. 10 Reapers could cover the same area for less cost as they have greater endurance. With the money saved you could have a single F-35 fueled and armed with a pilot on alert and probably still be cheaper than the 20 manned CAS aircraft. The existing drones and F-35.

The 1000kg Predator, 5000kg Reaper and 9000kg semi-stealthy Avenger provide an excellent low-medium-high mix.

In the highest threat environment you could have 50 Predators, 20 Reapers, 5 Avengers and 2 F-35's in the air 24 hours a day dedicated to CAS, recon and tactical bombing. You can get eyes in the sky within minutes and the available weapons capability increases as the larger platforms arrive on scene.
 
Reddevil556
Posts: 21
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Re: News on Air Force Light Attack Experiment (OA-X)

Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:03 pm

Ozair wrote:
Reddevil556 wrote:
It is still a balance of risk and effectiveness. CAS in general is best when it’s low and slow. High and fast isn’t really CAS, it becomes tactical bombing. But CAS has been needed in every war since WWI and as long as nations are willing to us military force, they will be taking the risks of using CAS.

The doctrine is very clear that CAS is support to ground forces who are in proximity to enemy forces that requires coordination. It doesn’t matter where that support comes from, be it B-52 or MQ-9, for it to be CAS when the goal and situation is the above.

You could define CAS as a subset of tactical bombing with the other main type being Air Interdiction. Essentially the proximity and the requirement for ground air coordination is the distinction between the two.
Air interdiction (AI) is defined as “air operations conducted to divert, disrupt, delay, or destroy the enemy’s military potential before it can be brought to bear effectively against friendly forces, or to otherwise achieve objectives that are conducted at such distance from friendly forces that detailed integration of each air mission with the fire and movement of friendly forces is not required.

https://www.doctrine.af.mil/Portals/61/ ... on-Fun.pdf


I agree in the doctrine, but I am speaking more from personal experience. Hence why the A10 has lasted so long.
Jumped out of: C130H, C130J, C17A, C212, CH47, and UH60. Bucket list: C160, A400, C2
 
Reddevil556
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:09 pm

Re: News on Air Force Light Attack Experiment (OA-X)

Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:07 pm

RJMAZ wrote:
This program is a complete waste of money.

It results in excessive capability overlap between the existing drones and manned jets. The F-35 and existing drones can perform any mission this aircraft could do.

Excessive capability overlap is great in high threat environments as it gives you options. However this manned aircraft could never operate in a high threat environment.

In a low threat environment you do not need excessive capability overlap. If the drone took an extra 10 seconds to ID a target that is no big deal in a low intensity conflict.

This manned CAS aircraft does not save money in a low intensity conflict. For example if 24 hour CAS was required in a 1000x1000km combat area you might require 20 of these manned CAS aircraft. 10 Reapers could cover the same area for less cost as they have greater endurance. With the money saved you could have a single F-35 fueled and armed with a pilot on alert and probably still be cheaper than the 20 manned CAS aircraft. The existing drones and F-35.

The 1000kg Predator, 5000kg Reaper and 9000kg semi-stealthy Avenger provide an excellent low-medium-high mix.

In the highest threat environment you could have 50 Predators, 20 Reapers, 5 Avengers and 2 F-35's in the air 24 hours a day dedicated to CAS, recon and tactical bombing. You can get eyes in the sky within minutes and the available weapons capability increases as the larger platforms arrive on scene.


Simple answer is this. Afghanistan and Syria taught us drones alone aren’t ready to remove pilots yet. They are coming along rapidly and may be exclusively in that role in 20 years. But for now the need remains for humans pilots in the CAS role.
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smithbs
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Re: News on Air Force Light Attack Experiment (OA-X)

Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:56 pm

CAS for Afghanistan is unique in that:
1. The anti-aircraft threat is currently low (although an out-of-state actor could change this for the paltry sum of a couple million $$),
2. The Afghan Air Force can't operate anything remotely complicated, which rules out most if not all current Western platforms.
3. They are not as loss-averse as Western air forces.

In their case, an armed turboprop is probably the only way to get CAS in a sustainable fashion. But if any of those three points changes, then they'll have to park them and do something else. Such is the danger of a niche application: the risk of being parked because the delicate formula changed.

A CAS platform needs to be able, while being coached by a FAC, to do the following:
1. Precisely deliver the right munition to the right place.
2. Observe the tactical situation.

From the beginning of aviation until just recently, you had to be low and slow in order to do this for both accuracy and to be able to see with the Mk 1 eyeball. This includes everything from P-47 to A-10. But today, if you can afford a LITENING pod, a F-16 and some JDAMs or SDBs, then you don't need to be so low and slow.
 
Ozair
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Re: News on Air Force Light Attack Experiment (OA-X)

Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:56 pm

Reddevil556 wrote:

I agree in the doctrine, but I am speaking more from personal experience. Hence why the A10 has lasted so long.

Those two points are not logically linked. The A-10 has lasted so long only because the USAF invested in it. Had it not received the C upgrade and the new wings it would have been retired years ago for both fatigue and capability/interoperability issues. While the A-10 is a good CAS aircraft it operated only a subset of all CAS missions over Afghanistan, other platforms provided just as effective CAS support. For me the best feature of the A-10 is actually the rough field capability which sets it apart from other USAF fighter/attack aircraft.
 
Reddevil556
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Re: News on Air Force Light Attack Experiment (OA-X)

Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:51 pm

Ozair wrote:
Reddevil556 wrote:

I agree in the doctrine, but I am speaking more from personal experience. Hence why the A10 has lasted so long.

Those two points are not logically linked. The A-10 has lasted so long only because the USAF invested in it. Had it not received the C upgrade and the new wings it would have been retired years ago for both fatigue and capability/interoperability issues. While the A-10 is a good CAS aircraft it operated only a subset of all CAS missions over Afghanistan, other platforms provided just as effective CAS support. For me the best feature of the A-10 is actually the rough field capability which sets it apart from other USAF fighter/attack aircraft.


Sorry my post was a bit scattered, it made sense in my head. My train of thought was the brass makes the doctrine historically and there has been a general trend to make CAS more high tech. There have been several moments the AF was on the verge of canning the aircraft. However the plane has endured and has been very effective in the battlefield that past 17 years. While aircraft like the F16 and other multirole aircraft can do CAS well, there still is a need for the low and slow based off of operational mission sets.
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