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Thread: Future of Close Air Support(CAS)

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    Default Future of Close Air Support(CAS)

    I debated about this in other threads.

    I think that concept of CAS aircraft is outdated and no longer effective in current conflicts. I am not talking about Afghanistan type of conflicts where enemy have few if any air defences. I am talking about full-scale conventional wars against an opponent with modern and capable air defences.

    IMHO close air support aircraft(SU-25, A10 etc) should be replaced by either combat UAV's or assign the job to multi role fighters.

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    Senior Member Winger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoshi View Post
    I debated about this in other threads.

    I think that concept of CAS aircraft is outdated and no longer effective in current conflicts. I am not talking about Afghanistan type of conflicts where enemy have few if any air defences. I am talking about full-scale conventional wars against an opponent with modern and capable air defences.

    IMHO close air support aircraft(SU-25, A10 etc) should be replaced by either combat UAV's or assign the job to multi role fighters.
    The A-10 is still viable. Its ability to withstand punishment is 2nd to none among other aircraft in the world. It can take a lick and keeping ticking.

    What is the next step beyond the A-10? A better designed and improved A-10.

    If you could take the A-10 and turn it into a UAV that would be even better.

    The best way to improve the SU-25, scrap it and build an A-10

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    Senior Member signatory's Avatar
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    • speed
    • survivability
    • extensive sensor suite
    • endurance
    • weapons flexibility

    Until fast ucavs is here the only credible cas platform will be multirole jets...

    Not that many countries use A-10... and against a
    decent opponent that jet would be toast.

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    Snoshi,

    You've been hanging out with the USAF too much.

    Would you trust a USAF chair jockey in Las Vegas remotely operating a UAV to provide CAS in Iraq?

    The most effective means to provide CAS is to be under a single command and control from the ground. (i.e. USMC)

    Many Latin American air forces are lamenting the retirement of the AT-37B Dragonfly without a suitable replacement from the US. It's a lost opportunity for the US and gain for Brazil (Super Tucano), Russia (Su-25, Mi-28), Argentina (Pucrara), Switzerland (PC-9/21).

    You are forgetting the psychological factor.
    Would you think a local tribesman be more impressed with a UAV flyby (yawn) or an AV-8 Harrier ?

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    Senior Member DaveDash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoshi View Post
    I debated about this in other threads.

    I think that concept of CAS aircraft is outdated and no longer effective in current conflicts. I am not talking about Afghanistan type of conflicts where enemy have few if any air defences. I am talking about full-scale conventional wars against an opponent with modern and capable air defences.

    IMHO close air support aircraft(SU-25, A10 etc) should be replaced by either combat UAV's or assign the job to multi role fighters.
    You are not proposing here that CAS is outdated. You are just proposing that the combat aircraft that carry out CAS are different.

    I don't see what the difference is providing CAS with an A-10 or with a F/A-18. UAV's offer both advantageous and disadvantegous.

    I'm not so sure if your argument passes the test. Usually the first aspect of any major full scale convential war (Iraq 1991 can be considered an example) is to dismantle air defense systems (along with gain air superiority) and radar using HARM missiles, cruise missiles, etc. I would argue that the accuracy of GPS guided devices in this day in age, it's easier than ever to disable radar based air defence networks. AAA is largely ineffective without a supporting SAM network - and would not last very long, while MANPADS are probably the greatest risk. Not enough of a risk to warrent CAS ineffective IMO.

    You can argue the same thing about anything being ineffective in this day in age (Tanks, for example, can be considered 'ineffective' against modern ATGMs), but if you use your assets properly, they all act as effective force multipliers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoshi View Post
    I debated about this in other threads.

    I think that concept of CAS aircraft is outdated and no longer effective in current conflicts. I am not talking about Afghanistan type of conflicts where enemy have few if any air defences. I am talking about full-scale conventional wars against an opponent with modern and capable air defences.

    IMHO close air support aircraft(SU-25, A10 etc) should be replaced by either combat UAV's or assign the job to multi role fighters.

    Artillery launched precision guided munitions.

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    Senior Member Pete031's Avatar
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    UAV's and Multi Role fighters don't have the payload that close air support aircraft have.
    Thats the main thing.... Those CAS aircraft have to be able to stay on station long enough to support the ground callsign properly.

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    I see your point but your missing one important thing. Eventually one of those armies in that so called conventional war will eventually win air superiority. Then a nice tank buster CAS aircraft like lowtech a10's and frogfoots are awesome tools to have in the box. Just ask (former Iraqi army) insurgents and the Georgian military if they deem CAS aircraft like such obsolete.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snoshi View Post
    I debated about this in other threads.

    I think that concept of CAS aircraft is outdated and no longer effective in current conflicts. I am not talking about Afghanistan type of conflicts where enemy have few if any air defences. I am talking about full-scale conventional wars against an opponent with modern and capable air defences.

    IMHO close air support aircraft(SU-25, A10 etc) should be replaced by either combat UAV's or assign the job to multi role fighters.

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    Banned User Laworkerbee's Avatar
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    What beats the A-1 Sky Raider in the COIN role? nothing I say

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    Quote Originally Posted by GiladS View Post
    Artillery launched precision guided munitions.
    X2.......
    24/7 rapid reaction precision strike.
    The trend is already shown in especially Iraq with ATACMS, GMLRS and Excalibur.
    Later on we'll see precision-guided(GPS and Laser) mortar rounds.
    This combined with UCAV's are the future in my opinion.

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    Senior Member Ravage's Avatar
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    The Predator drone may be the future of CAS, but will you trust a robot to drop ordnance 'danger close' ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by signatory View Post

    Not that many countries use A-10... and against a
    decent opponent that jet would be toast.
    You'd be surprised at just how effective the A-10 can be, even in an A-A role. It can pretty much out turn almost any modern jet fighter. I remember reading somewhere about even F-16 pilots being shot down by A-10's in dogfights.

    Of course, it's not an air superiority fighter. MRM of course is it's major weakness and caught out in the open it will probably be shot down. However it's a very effective weapons system, hence the whole reason it's still around today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Laworkerbee View Post
    What beats the A-1 Sky Raider in the COIN role? nothing I say
    Several countries is actually thinking in that direction for COIN/low intensity conflicts, turboprops with low runingcosts like eg. the Brazilian EMB-314 Super Tucano ALX.

    Can stay on station for much longer time than any combathelicopter or jetfighter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ordie View Post
    Snoshi,

    You've been hanging out with the USAF too much.
    And Ordie, you've been hanging out with ignorant people too much.
    Contrary to what you think, not everyone in the USAF believes that the UCAV is the end-all airframe.

    You are forgetting the psychological factor.
    Would you think a local tribesman be more impressed with a UAV flyby (yawn) or an AV-8 Harrier (YAWN!)?
    Fixed, because a tribesman would be more impressed with an A-10 gun run, or a B-1b hugging the ground.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danskeren View Post
    Several countries is actually thinking in that direction for COIN/low intensity conflicts, turboprops with low runingcosts like eg. the Brazilian EMB-314 Super Tucano ALX.

    Can stay on station for much longer time than any combathelicopter or jetfighter.
    Just for info: the video above is about the old EMB-312 Tucano. Here's one video about the EMB-314 Super Tucano (called A-29 ALX by Brazilian AF):
    http://br.youtube.com/watch?v=Matf6OjuO6E

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