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Not so fast you Zoomie bastards...


Belesarius
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Then you are going to have a bunch of Spark-esqe people claiming the A-10 is the bestest ever and nothing can replace it like nothing can replace the GAVIN. 

 

A-10 can certainly be improved upon. Newer MBTs are going to be all but invulnerable to the 30 mm gun which I don't think is that good. The YOV-10 Bronco's turret thingy back in the mudfighters thread could easily have modern computers aim better and be much more effective at killing soft targets and light armor vehicles than the Avenger. 

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A-10 is the best CAS plane currently flying.  

 

I'd like to see a CAS/COIN aircraft purpose built with modern tech and composites.

 

I disagree. I think the A-10 is a very dedicated aircraft, but that the F/A-18E is probably better and more survivable for the CAS mission.

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CAS will always be within MANPADS range.

Kinda the nature of the beast.  CLOSE Air Support.

 

PGMs and modern sensors let you get higher up to avoid light AA. It's the same deal as everywhere else, technology increases the threat, technology lets you increase the plane's capabilities to render the threat incapable.

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PGMs and modern sensors let you get higher up to avoid light AA. It's the same deal as everywhere else, technology increases the threat, technology lets you increase the plane's capabilities to render the threat incapable.

The future is tank plinking.

(Nobody ever remembers what killed the most tanks in desert storm)

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Also, not sure how invulnerable top and side armor would be against 30mm DU rounds.

For modern tanks the sides should be able to absorb a good amount of punishment. I don't think any modern MBT will be at risk.

I don't see the A-10 diving to strafe the roof of an MBT either. ATG missiles are better and not nearly as cumbersome. A smaller auto cannon would be fine for COIN operations and against light vehicles.

Mighty Aardvark plinks Saddam's Sardine Cans the best.

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I wonder how many Brimstones or Hellfires you could load on an A-10?

Should be at least 6, probably could carry a good bit more.

Still, I'd rather have an FB-22 as my CAS plane against a military that isn't shit.

Against insurgents, something like a highly modified Bronco would be a lot cheaper and about just as effective.

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My money is on two approaches; very contested and sort of safe.

 

For very contested areas, you can use something unmanned or something with low observability and good standoff (ie: B2 with the bays packed full of air-to-surface missiles and guided bombs).

 

For safer zones, you can use something like a modernised, purpose-designed AC-130; combining long loiter time, a large suite of sensors, communication gear and ordinance (mainly guided bombs and missiles) into one lumbering package. I'm calling it archangel, because that name hasn't been completely overused already ;)

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My money is on two approaches; very contested and sort of safe.

 

For very contested areas, you can use something unmanned or something with low observability and good standoff (ie: B2 with the bays packed full of air-to-surface missiles and guided bombs).

 

For safer zones, you can use something like a modernised, purpose-designed AC-130; combining long loiter time, a large suite of sensors, communication gear and ordinance (mainly guided bombs and missiles) into one lumbering package. I'm calling it archangel, because that name hasn't been completely overused already ;)

So basically this, but with different flying thingies

Still, I'd rather have an FB-22 as my CAS plane against a military that isn't shit.

Against insurgents, something like a highly modified Bronco would be a lot cheaper and about just as effective.

FB-22 v. B-2 fight!

 

YOV-10D vs. AC-130 fight!

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I don't see the A-10 diving to strafe the roof of an MBT either.

 

Diving is a non-starter for CAS - any useful angle is suicidal. You're going almost straight down to get a useful reduction in armour thickness, which means you're high - which means every MANPAD for miles around has a perfect view of you. treetop height is the only safe option, and side armour has got much better than it used to be.

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And the first time kills some American soldiers get killed in a friendly fire incident or the first time a drone isn't able to get the job done because of a technical glitch, electronic interference or getting hacked will be the last time they are solely used as Close Air Support.

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And the first time kills some American soldiers get killed in a friendly fire incident or the first time a drone isn't able to get the job done because of a technical glitch, electronic interference or getting hacked will be the last time they are solely used as Close Air Support.

 

They're already working on fixing that. EMBRACE FLYING ROBOT TERMINATORS.

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And the first time kills some American soldiers get killed in a friendly fire incident or the first time a drone isn't able to get the job done because of a technical glitch, electronic interference or getting hacked will be the last time they are solely used as Close Air Support.

 

And when was the last time the entire drone fleet got grounded by a friendly fire mistake? Oh wait that never happened, and in fact the drones are still flying missions despite constantly hitting civilians by mistake. Maybe it's because they figured the ones at fault are the human operators evaluating and picking the targets, and not the drones?

 

Meanwhile entire squadrons of manned CAS aircraft get grounded whenever Joint Strike Fighter suffers some kind of glitch again - usually computer-based ones that renders the entire airplane inoperable because modern aircraft are so computer-dependent.

 

Really, it's glaring how people keep going we shouldn't all-drone for a risky job like CAS, when Space Exploration went all-drone years ago, suffers plenty of glitches and lost missions, and yet the reaction to lost space probes is "Oh well, good thing we didn't send a guy up there or he'd be dead now!" while taking the risk to the human operator away from CAS is treated as dangerous sci-fi fantasy despite drones conducting the majority of actual air strikes (as well as most of the recon flights) since Obama became president.

 

CAS is going the way of drones and very soon because the very nature of the entire Air Force is so hugely dependent on electronics. Yes, yes, drones may be jammed and the Iranians claim to have done it once but so can the comms of a manned CAS aircraft, which is just as bad because you now have your CAS pilot needing to figure out who the hell among those little figures on the ground are the good guys while going through the stress of being shot at. Jamming / counterjamming is not some magic counter to drones; it's just something that you have to take into account for with manned aircraft just as you do with drones.

 

Manned CAS simply does not have a future for modern militaries if they were thinking straight instead of trying to preserve their petty little fiefdoms in the military hierarchy. Going drone is simply cheaper in terms of air frame cost (important given that the aircraft is always at risk in CAS) because you can make drones a lot smaller since you don't have to worry about fitting a pilot, and you are assured of preserving your skilled operators since they are never put in any danger. Manned CAS's niche will in fact be with very low cost militaries that can't really afford to keep up on the electronics and want something very simple to operate and maintain.

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