Author Topic: Close Air Support in the CF: Bring back something like the CF-5 or introduce something with props?  (Read 228260 times)

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Offline suffolkowner

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On the surface, this proposal appears to my inexperienced brain to at least have some possible merit.  I'd be very interested in hearing what the experienced people here feel about it.   

Replace the Griffons with AT-6Bs (or something similar) when they eventually require replacement.  You're replacing one airframe with another, not adding a new fleet to the existing mix.  Added bonus that it's an aircraft our pilots are already trained on.  Pilot and maintainer numbers wouldn't have to change, so once the transition to the new airframe is completed no real change in infrastructure and staffing (assuming similar numbers of aircraft). 

I'm sure that there are things that the AT-6B can't do that a Griffon can, but I also imagine that the AT-6B would add some capabilities that do not currently exist for the CF.  I think the key to making this work would be to combine this with the Senate recommendation for a new fleet of utility helicopters.  That would (hopefully) maintain some of the capabilities that would otherwise by losing the Griffon.

So the Senate Plan seems to call for:  Keep 40 of 95 Griffons.  Replace 55 of 95 Griffons with non-civilian medium/heavy lift helicopters.  Add 24 AH (giving us 40 x Griffons, 55 x UH and 24 x AH).  What if instead we eliminated the Griffons completely and replaced them with 40 x AT-6Bs and 55 x UH.  No net increase in airframes.  AT-6Bs give some added CAS capability in addition to being able to escort the Chinooks instead of the planned new AH's.  The UH's have better lift capability than the Griffon's they are replacing.  Some streamlining in training in that pilots are already qualified on the AT-6 (although not the tactical elements).

What are the major issues with this idea?  What do we gain and what do we lose?

I was more agreeing with chris and just added the link for info purposes. How feasible is it for an AT-6 to do helicopter escort? Right off the bat I'm thinking you would need bigger footprint to accompany the runway. I can't see us adding multiple helicopter types either

Doing Chinook escort with an AT-6 is definitely going to be controversial and was just one role envisioned. The AT-6 would at least have the speed to keep up with the Chinooks.

The article proposed 16 AT-6 each at Cold Lake and Bagotville another 12 for 431 and 6 spares effectively keeping the aircraft frames the same but getting rid of one aircraft type. There might be some personnel savings involved by using a common modern aircraft (431=80 pers?)
« Last Edit: May 10, 2017, 18:45:32 by suffolkowner »

Offline Loachman

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On the surface, this proposal appears to my inexperienced brain to at least have some possible merit.

I'd be very interested in hearing what the experienced people here feel about it.

We've already been saying it.

Nobody's listening.

The notion of trying to use something fast-moving and high with limited downward visibility and fixed-forward weaponry to escort helicopters is ludicrous, and completely impossible in a high-threat environment. I picked up a lot of suspicious activity with my naked eye, ahead of and downwards on my side of the machine, while flying two six-month Police helicopter trials (Peel Region and Toronto), as I could see a large area. The Police observer was generally looking at too small an area with the thermal imager.

I would not pay much attention to CASR. They will never have to do this for real.

Replace the Griffons with AT-6Bs (or something similar) when they eventually require replacement.  You're replacing one airframe with another, not adding a new fleet to the existing mix.  Added bonus that it's an aircraft our pilots are already trained on.  Pilot and maintainer numbers wouldn't have to change, so once the transition to the new airframe is completed no real change in infrastructure and staffing (assuming similar numbers of aircraft).

Fixed to runways - don't believe anything about austere/rough/unprepared airfields. Unable to provide close escort to other hels. Unable to provide close convoy escort. Unable to provide really close fire support to ground troops (I have seen video of Griffon and Kiowa crews engage Taliban at approximately 100 metres). Unable to carry passengers, including casualties. Unable to move cargo. Unable to use terrain and vegetation for concealment. Waste of money. Utility helicopters exist for good reason. "CF156s" do not. We do not have enough UHs to meet demand now. Fewer would be stupid. We do not have any "CF156s" now. More would be stupid.

I also imagine that the AT-6B would add some capabilities that do not currently exist for the CF.

Such as?

I think the key to making this work

There is no key to making the unworkable work.

combine this with the Senate recommendation for a new fleet of utility helicopters.  That would (hopefully) maintain some of the capabilities that would otherwise by losing the Griffon.

If we are to buy a new fleet of utility helicopters, then we are replacing our old/current utility helicopters (Griffon) with those.

You wish to add another fleet on top of that, and another fleet that does not give us any capability that we do not already have.

So the Senate Plan seems to call for:  Keep 40 of 95 Griffons.

Some of those Griffons are used as trainers in Portage La Prairie. Some are used as local SAR aircraft at fighter bases and Trenton. Some are used by 427 Squadron in the SOF role. Two are used as tech-training aircraft and do not fly. This would completely remove all UHs from 1 Wing. As a side effect, it would eliminate 1 Wing as a feeder community for 427 Squadron, both for crews and spare machines.

Replace 55 of 95 Griffons with non-civilian medium/heavy lift helicopters.

Too big for the general-purpose tactical role and many humanitarian operations. Two expensive for many roles. More rotorwash. Can't stuff as many into a C17 (one Chinook or three Griffon, and the Chinook requires a lot more time and people to make it fit in and re-assemble it when it comes out again at the other end; it's not fun to do that in rain and snow absent hangars, as some places are).

Add 24 AH

No sound reason has been stated for that number. It is too small to be sustainable. Thirty-two to thirty-six would be my minimum number.

(giving us 40 x Griffons, 55 x UH and 24 x AH).

None of those 40 Griffons would be Tac Hel, as I explained. And Griffons are UHs. The senate is talking about very expensive, big, fat, juicy target helicopters and should not be considered to be knowledgeable on this matter.

Eggs and baskets. We almost lost around thirty to thirty-five lucky eggs in this basket: http://www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/en/flight-safety/article-template-flight-safety.page?doc=ch147202-chinook-epilogue-flight-safety-investigation-report/hl6j9ilb . A few US Chinooks, crews, and passengers were not so lucky.

A lost fully-loaded Griffon or other UH would see eleven deaths max, and three others would deliver their troops. The effect on a particular mission, the units involved, and public and political will should not be underestimated.

What if instead we eliminated the Griffons completely and replaced them with 40 x AT-6Bs and 55 x UH.

Griffons are UHs. AT-6Bs cannot carry troops into battle, deliver cargo to forward areas in close proximity to an enemy, pick up casualties, perform SOF tasks, or pick up downed fighter pilots in Cold Lake, Bagotville, or Goose Bay, or lost/injured civilians across the Country, or assist in disaster relief, or operate away from runways.

AT-6Bs give some added CAS capability

F35 can do it better, and defend against enemy aircraft on top of that. UHs give some CCA (Close Combat Attack) capability. Our Griffons were quite potent in that regard in Kandahar.

able to escort the Chinooks

Nope.

The UH's have better lift capability than the Griffon's they are replacing.

Griffons are UHs. Just not the best UHs. UH-60 or UH-1Y would be better choices.

Some streamlining in training in that pilots are already qualified on the AT-6 (although not the tactical elements).

Not a significant factor.

We could eliminate the Harvard phase from the Helicopter Pilot training programme and achieve far greater efficiencies. We had that programme when we trained Jamaica Defence Force Pilots in Portage. An extended seized-wing training programme like our current one is wasteful (time and money) and adds no benefit. It's just useless a** f**ce tradition.

What do we gain

Nothing.

and what do we lose?

A lot of money at best and the next war at worst.

Offline Thucydides

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This thread[color] talks about a precision strike capability for the Aurora and C-130. I suspect it would be quite possible to mount the USMC strike "kit" on our C-130's and bring some extra fire support in lower threat environments without a great deal of fuss ad bother.

The other option which occurs to me is the low observable "pod" designed for the Advanced Super Hornet concept. Placing one of these under the wing would provide room to carry munitions, and the low observable aspect of the pod would provide a nasty surprise for anyone thinking they are on to a lumbering transport (if the pod is armed with AAMs), or even ground observers thinking its only a transport....
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Colin P

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Loachman, what do you think of the 2 helo's that the CCG just bought the 412 and 429?

Offline Chris Pook

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I get that we could hang 2000 lb missiles from a 150,000 lb lifter with four engines and five or more people on board but why would we?

Like the article on the Navy I posted "The missile is the thing".  What does it take to get the missile from the warehouse to the target in the most timely way possible?

And here I am using "missile" in its generic form:  dumb or guided or smart, unpowered or externally powere or internally powered.

If I am going to hire five people and maintain them, along with maintaining four engines why wouldn't I consider the option of hanging them at four different spots in the sky, at the same time or four different times?   Especially if the types of targets being plinked only require a 20 kg ViperStrike or even a 15 kg APKWS 70mm delivered once in a while?

Burning up engine time and air frame hours to supply a couple of firing platforms doesn't make sense to me, especially if that platform could be divided into smaller ones, perhaps even accompanied by unmanned ones in loose formation under supervision covering more area.

I have nothing against big planes with big crews - I presume that having a bunch of people sitting in one place brings benefits - in fact I know it does, in specific situations. It becomes worth the risk of putting that many people in one target.    Equally I have no problems with that bunch of people in that singular target having the ability to interact directly with the ground by having their own battery of missiles available to them.   But that doesn't mean that I think the primary purpose of a big lifter should be hauling 15 kg missiles that will only be in the sky at one point in space, occasionally.

For constabulary work, (low intensity, third block, Counter-Insurgency work if those are less offensive) it seems to me, you want a lot of platforms with small loads continually available.  For high intensity warfare you want large loads concentrated in time and space that put the fewest number of dollars and lives at risk.
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

Offline Thucydides

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What the USMC "kit" does is add more platforms carrying weapons than you would have had previously. This is an analogy of your own argument of putting containers carrying missiles on cargo ships, simply changing "container ship" to "C-130". If a Reaper, F-35 or attack helicopter spots a target which it can't attack on its own (for whatever reason) and a kitted C-130 is in range, then they put out the call and the Herc takes the shot.

This is really a lower tech/lower cost version of the USAF "Arsenal Plane" concept or the related USN 'Kill Web", where sensors and shooters are not necessarily on the same platform.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Bit of a "for fun" post. The Airtractor company, which makes crop-duster aircraft, had developed a ground attack version as part of the counter narcotics wars in Columbia (evidently the initial plan was to fly the actual crop dusters over the drug crops, but the narcos tended to shoot first and ask questions later). The company has now developed a third generation of this platform, which is eerily reminiscent of the Stuka dive bomber (similar problems result in similar solutions)

The three generations of the AT-802U:

and:

http://defense-studies.blogspot.ca/2014/06/iomax-offers-archangel-light-attack.html

Quote
IOMAX Offers Archangel Light Attack Turboprop to the Philippines
07 Juni 2014

IOMAX has offered its Archangel Block 3 Border Patrol Aircraft (BPA) to the Philippine Air Force (PAF) as a replacement for its ageing Rockwell OV-10 Bronco counterinsurgency fleet, IHS Jane's was told on 2 June.

The US defence company has submitted a bid to the Philippine government, in which it is pitching the Archangel as a replacement for the PAF's nine remaining OV-10s, which were acquired second-hand in the 1990s, IOMAX CEO Ron Howard disclosed during a visit to the company's North Carolina headquarters.

"IOMAX has previously done signals intelligence in Southeast Asia, and so we know the region. The Philippine mission is very well suited to the Archangel," he said.

The Philippine requirement was formally launched in mid-May, when the Department of National Defense (DND) issued tender documents to acquire six close air support aircraft and an accompanying logistics support package for PHP4.968 billion (USD114 million).

In its documents, the DND noted that the selected bidder must have had prior experience of such programmes over the previous decade, and that the selected platform should already be in service with the armed forces of the country of origin or by the military of at least two other countries.

Although the Archangel BPA is regarded by some (the US Department of Defense included) as being an essentially new platform, it is in fact the third iteration (hence the Block 3 designation) of the Block 1 and Block 2 AT-802 that IOMAX developed and supplied to the United Arab Emirates (and which it still supports). Also, with the Block 1 also now in service with Jordan, the Archangel does fit the criteria for selection as laid down by the DND.

While the DND did not publically disclose aircraft specifications, IHS Jane's understands that they have been written up with the Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano in mind, with requirements that it be equipped with retractable undercarriage and ejector seats, among other things.

The Archangel currently features neither of these, but Howard told IHS Jane's that IOMAX has done studies with Martin-Baker on the feasibility of replacing the current crash-resistant seating and roll-cage with twin ejection-seats and bubble canopy, and that this is perfectly doable (the United Arab Emirates is also said to be interested in the canopy for a potential follow-on order of aircraft, but not the ejection-seats). As for retractable undercarriage, Howard said the mission did not require it, and the weight penalties and rough field limitations would outweigh any benefits over the current fixed undercarriage, and so this would not be offered.

As retractable undercarriage is not being offered as an option, Howard said the company's designers were looking at a number of aerodynamic improvements to the Archangel that would help it close the speed gap from its current 180 kt cruise speed to bring it closer to the 220 kt of platforms such as the Super Tucano.

From spinner to tail, these enhancements include the option of an enhanced propeller with a scimitar-style composite blade; a sleeker nose profile; angling the exhaust rearwards to provide about 200 lb of additional thrust; speed fairings on the main undercarriage and wheel struts; remodelled wing roots and tips; blending the rear of the cockpit to the tail section to reduce buffeting and drag; remodelled tail and stabiliser roots and tips; and a more generally cleaned-up fuselage, with as few protruding parts as possible. According to IOMAX's chief scientist, Ray Nielson, who is leading this improvement effort, these modifications should increase the aircraft's cruise speed to about 210 kt.

Even so, Howard was keen to note that speed is not everything, and that rival platforms had sacrificed much in terms of payload and range/endurance in order to go faster. With a typical mission profile of 175 kt outbound to a range of 1,350 n miles, six hours on station, and 175 kt inbound to base, and all with a maximum gross take-off weight of 6,715 kg, the Archangel can cover more of the Philippine's area of operations with a greater weapon load than any of its competitors. At just USD8 million per aircraft (without options), the Archangel is also cheaper than many of its rivals ( IHS Jane's All the World's Aircraft gives the Super Tucano a unit price of USD12-13 million).

With the DND's tender documents now released, all bids must be submitted by 11 June, with the selected platform expected to be with the PAF 18 months after contract signature. Besides the Archangel and Super Tucano, other platforms expected to compete include the Beechcraft AT-6 Texan II, and perhaps even the Pilatus PC-21.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline daftandbarmy

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In the next war, fast jet pilots won't even have to leave friendly air space to provide close air support. I assume there will be fittings in the cockpit for a couch and popcorn maker  :)

F35 to control armed attack drones:

http://scout.com/military/warrior/Article/F-35-to-Control-Armed-Attack-Drones-101456567
"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 MarkOttawa

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Own fixed-wing manned CAS for US SOCOM (further links at original)?

Quote
U.S. Special Operations Forces Want Their Own Light Attack Aircraft
The U.S. Air Force is about to start its OA-X tests, but that program may soon have competition from SOCOM.

The U.S. Air Force is about to begin testing a number of light attack aircraft as part of an experimental assessment commonly known as OA-X.  At the same time, it appears that U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has been actively pushing the service for a project of its own, called Light Attack Support for Special Operations, or LASSO.

On July 28, 2017, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio announced the LASSO plan on the federal government’s main contracting website, FedBizOpps. The notice said the center’s Fighter Bomber Directorate had teamed up with SOCOM to explore both light attack aircraft and associated technology specifically for special operations forces.

The brief posting made clear that the first step would be simply to gather information on “emerging light attack platforms” and “platform-agnostic” systems, which is to say equipment that wouldn’t require any specific plane to accommodate it. SOCOM and its service components have long been interested in expanding their organic light attack capabilities, which presently including armed drones, fixed wing gunships, and specialized helicopters.

...“this effort is separate and distinct from the on-going Light Attack Experiment or any other Light Attack projects,” the notice explained. “This effort should not conflict with or be confused with any other Light Attack aircraft program or effort.”

But while any special operations light attack fleet would undoubtedly be smaller than one within the U.S. Air Force proper, it seems hard to imagine that LASSO won’t be a competitor to the nebulous OA-X experiment at least to some degree. As of yet, the Air Force has yet to articulate any real goals or objectives for the test project, which has become formally known as the Capability Assessment of Non-Developmental Light Attack Platforms.

In addition, the service insists that there is no existing plan to turn results from the OA-X into a fully fledged “program of record” that would lead to purchases of actual aircraft. This is despite the service’s own repeated acknowledgements of the obvious benefits of a fleet of low-cost attackers for operations in permissive environments with very limited anti-aircraft threats, namely freeing up high performance tactical aircraft for more high-risk missions, well as a push in Congress to include money in the next defense budget that could cover the cost of dozens of planes.

It seems almost guaranteed that OA-X and LASSO would end up evaluating many of the same technologies and exactly the same types of aircraft. At present, we know that the Air Force’s light attack experiment will evaluate three types, Sierra Nevada Corporation and Embraer’s A-29 Super Tucano, Air Tractor's OA-802, along with Textron’s AT-6 Wolverine and Scorpion.

Other similar planes on the market include IOMAX’s Archangel and L-3’s AT-802L, both of which are heavily modified agricultural designs like the OA-802, as well as the AC-208 Combat Caravan, an armed conversion of Cessna’s light utility aircraft. The U.S. military has already facilitated the delivery of the IOMAX and Cessna types, as well as Super Tucanos, to American allies abroad, including Afghanistan, Jordan, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates...

[Next: video of IDEX 2017: IOMAX Archangel 3 Armed ISR]
http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/13047/u-s-special-operations-forces-want-their-own-light-attack-aircraft

More:

Quote
"Archangel Manned Strike"
http://www.iomax.net/archangel/archangel-strike-platform/


Mark
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Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.

Offline Dimsum

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In the next war, fast jet pilots won't even have to leave friendly air space to provide close air support. I assume there will be fittings in the cockpit for a couch and popcorn maker  :)

F35 to control armed attack drones:

http://scout.com/military/warrior/Article/F-35-to-Control-Armed-Attack-Drones-101456567

Considering the jokes about RPA crews by folks who risk their butts by flying into enemy airspace, this is pretty ironic (assuming the F-35 and its driver can stay well inside protected airspace).
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

Reply:  "If."

Offline MarkOttawa

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Further to my post just above, back at USAF OA-X:

Quote
Another Light Attack Offering Joins Air Force’s OA-X Fly-Off

Another aircraft will fly at the Air Force’s OA-X light attack competition next week.

Air Tractor and L3 announced Monday [July 31] they will offer the AT-802L Longsword to participate in the fly-off at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, on Aug. 8 and 9, according to a release.

Together, the companies developed the L variant off its predecessor, the AT-802U, the release said. The Longsword is a light attack and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.

Related content:

     Super Tucano Enters Air Force Light Attack Demonstration
     Air Force to Invite Firms to Show Off OA-X Light-Attack Aircraft
     Air Force Mulls Low-Cost Fighter Experiment

“We are proud of the Longsword and the opportunity to participate in OA-X. We are looking forward to flying at Holloman AFB and showcasing our capabilities to the Air Force and to our partner nations,” said Jim Hirsch, president of Air Tractor.

“The AT-802L Longsword provides a highly effective capability based on a rugged, proven platform that adds class-leading technologies integrated by L3 for a simple, yet powerful solution,” added Jim Gibson, president of L3 Platform Integration and the L3 Aircraft Systems sector.

L3 developed a “certified, state-of-the-art glass cockpit and the L3 Wescam MX-15 EO/IR Sensor,” ideal for medium-altitude ISR and search-and-rescue missions, according to the New York-based company.

Air Tractor, based in Texas, and L3 in March showed the aircraft during the Avalon Airshow in Australia, rebranding it the OA-8 with hopes of securing Asia-Pacific partners. Variants are operated by countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Egypt and Kenya.

The Air Force distributed formal invitations to the fly-off in March.

Sierra Nevada in May announced the Super Tucano will participate in the event, pitching it as “A-29 for America.”

Textron and AirLand LLC will showcase the Scorpion jet, as well as the AT-6B Wolverine, an armed version of the T-6 Texan II made by Textron’s Beechcraft Corp. unit and Raytheon Co., according to an April release from Textron...


https://www.dodbuzz.com/2017/07/31/another-light-attack-jet-offering-joins-air-forces-oa-x-fly-off/

Mark
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« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 11:59:12 by MarkOttawa »
Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.

Offline daftandbarmy

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Considering the jokes about RPA crews by folks who risk their butts by flying into enemy airspace, this is pretty ironic (assuming the F-35 and its driver can stay well inside protected airspace).

Don't worry, we'll make sure the 'Argus Eye' gets their own fleet of drones to maintain air parity with the brylcreem boys.  :)
"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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Should the RCAF be worried?

Quote
The Air Force’s next step after its light attack demo: A combat trial
By: Valerie Insinna 
  
 
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein and Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson chat in front of the Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine produced by Textron. Goldfein and Wilson visited Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., on Aug. 8 for the light attack demonstration. (Valerie Insinna/Staff)


HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. — This month, three industry teams will hand over four different light attack aircraft to Air Force pilots for a series of flight demonstrations to test just how well the aircraft can prosecute targets on the ground while operating in austere desert environments. Those that prove their mettle will move on until the next phase of the experiment: a combat demonstration in the Middle East.

Specifically, planes could participate in the fight against the Islamic State and other terrorist groups, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told reporters Wednesday.

The Air Force won’t know for sure whether it will pursue a combat demonstration until the experiment at Holloman Air Force Base is finished. Then, the service will take the data it has collected and assess the aircraft cost, capability and the manufacturer’s production capacity.

“That data is intended to inform strategic decisions. It will also tell us whether we take this to the next step, to what we call a combat experiment, and whether any of these aircraft are ready for that,” Wilson said. “That combat experiment could take place early next year.”

Reporters headed to Holloman AFB on Wednesday to get a glimpse of the four aircraft participating in the demo: the A-29 from Sierra Nevada Corp. and Embraer, the AT-802L Longsword by L3 and Air Tractor, and the AT-6 Wolverine and Scorpion jet, both by Textron.

They weren’t the only interested parties. Several top Air Force officials also visited the base to observe the experiment, including Wilson; Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein, who flew both the A-29 and AT-6 today; Gen. Mike Holmes, who heads Air Combat Command; and Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, the service’s top uniformed acquisition official.

Representatives from about a dozen international partner militaries also attended, including members from Canada, Australia, the United Arab Emirates and Paraguay.

Although there is no real winner of the light attack demo, the A-29 Super Tucano and AT-6 Wolverine already seem to be a step ahead of the other options in terms of moving on to the next phase. Both aircraft have been categorized as “tier one” by the service for the purpose of the experiment, meaning that they meet all of the Air Force’s objectives, which include the ability to take off from unimproved fields and having an ejection seat.

Should the Air Force decide to press on with a combat demonstration, it would likely continue to evaluate those two planes, Bunch said.

“If the two ‘tier ones’ are successful in executing the first phase of the experiment and they want to continue to participate in the experiment, we plan to work with the combatant commanders to utilize both of those resources if they want to go forward,” he said.

But the “tier two” offerings — the Scorpion jet and AT-802L — won’t necessarily be left behind.

“I believe the tier twos are going to learn from this. I believe they are going to understand what we were looking for,” Bunch said. “They now have our criteria that were in the invitation to participate, so I think they’ll analyze that, they’ll go back and look at their systems, and then they can advance those.”

Or those companies may choose to go a different direction with their platforms. The experiment’s criteria were heavily centered around the needs of Air Combat Command, Bunch acknowledged. However, the requirements of other potential customers, such as the special operations community or international partners, may be different.

If Wilson and Goldfein approve a combat demonstration, Air Combat Command (ACC) will take the reins from Air Force Materiel Command, which is executing the experiment at Holloman, Holmes said.

Col. Michael “Starbaby” Pietrucha, ACC’s staff lead for light attack, said the command is already starting to consider how it could execute a combat demonstration. Though much is still to be determined, the demo will likely involve bringing light attack aircraft to the Middle East and having it fill in for other aircraft, like the F-16 or A-10, when low-end missions need to be executed.

A future combat exercise might also emphasize the aircraft’s ability to network with coalition ground forces.

“If we decide to move forward with a combat demo, we will take what we’ve learned … and then take that forward with some kind of a low cost network,” Holmes said. “It might be a cellphone. It might be an iPad, taking advantage of networks that are already there in some of these places.”

About Valerie Insinna
Valerie Insinna is Defense News' air warfare reporter. She previously worked the Navy/congressional beats for Defense Daily, which followed almost three years as a staff writer for National Defense Magazine. Prior to that, she worked as an editorial assistant for the Tokyo Shimbun’s Washington bureau.

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Offline Dimsum

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Should the RCAF be worried?

Keeping abreast of developments is IMO a pretty good thing to do. 
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Our new Interim fighter  [:p 

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http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/13393/usafs-oa-x-light-attack-experiment-is-looking-more-like-an-international-arms-fair

USAF's OA-X Light Attack Experiment is Looking More Like an International Arms Fair
- BY JOSEPH TREVITHICK AUGUST 10, 2017

This quote peaked my interest:

Quote
As with the U.S. Air Force, Australia and Canada could be interested in a light attack aircraft as a low-cost alternative to sending their multi-role F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets on operations abroad. Both countries routinely engage in counterterrorism and peacekeeping missions overseas that could call for surveillance and light attack missions in permissive environments.
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

Reply:  "If."

Offline MilEME09

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Well now that could change things for our fighter procurement, did someone with insider information just leak something?
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Is there an RCAF pilot that wouldn't be qualified on the AT-6 Wolverine given the use of the T-6 (CT-156 Harvard II) as the primary trainer and the similarities?



http://www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/en/aircraft-current/ct-156.page



Quote
The Beechcraft T-6 Texan II is a single-engine turboprop aircraft built by the Raytheon Aircraft Company (which became Hawker Beechcraft and later Beechcraft Defense Company, and was bought by Textron Aviation in 2014). A trainer aircraft based on the Pilatus PC-9, the T-6 has replaced the Air Force's Cessna T-37B Tweet and the Navy's T-34C Turbo Mentor. The T-6A is used by the United States Air Force for basic pilot training and Combat Systems Officer (CSO) training and by the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps for primary Naval Aviator training as well as primary and intermediate Naval Flight Officer (NFO) training. The T-6A is also used as a basic trainer by the Royal Canadian Air Force (CT-156 Harvard II), the Greek Air Force, the Israeli Air Force (Efroni), and the Iraqi Air Force. The T-6B is the primary trainer for U.S. student naval aviators. The T-6C is used for training by the Mexican Air Force, Royal Air Force, Royal Moroccan Air Force, and the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beechcraft_T-6_Texan_II

I guess the same question would apply to all the other air forces listed above.
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I'm really more surprised that the Americans aren't in full "Buy American" mode and single-sourcing the AT-6 over the Super Tucano. 
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

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So, if the OV10 has already demonstrated it prowess why not simply put it back into production. It is a proven design, offers significant loiter time and is combat proven.  And all the reports have already been written and signed off.  It was/is a great aircraft for its specifically designed duties.

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Tangent:

So, if the OV10 Buffalo has already demonstrated it prowess why not simply put it back into production. It is a proven design, offers significant loiter time and is combat proven.  And all the reports have already been written and signed off.  It was/is a great aircraft for its specifically designed duties.

/tangent

For the Bronco, mostly because like the Buffalo, it'd be more of a hassle to re-tool the line, etc to start making them again?  The T-6 and Super Tucano lines are still in production.
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

Reply:  "If."

Offline tomahawk6

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The CF probably cant afford a separate aircraft for CAS. The CF-18 will have to make do until the CF-35 is available.Although I do favor the Apache for supporting the ground forces.

Offline YZT580

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It would be a whole lot cheaper to stand up a couple of squadrons of T6's  than it would be to purchase 18 interim CF18s or the like.  Don't need any new infrastructure, we already train on type, maintenance and operating costs are far lower and it would get the libs out of the corner they have painted themselves into regarding Boeing and their ongoing trade dispute and of course the never buy F35 crowd.