Fixed-wing vs rotary CAS

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6 years 9 months

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not wanting to deviate too far in the a-10 and su-25 thread..
I was thinking about Andraxxus? or some one elses comments about the role of fixed wing aircraft performing CAS
sure A-10 was designed to be a tank buster, and to some extent the froggy too, but its being used in different roles.

Two US guys I know, one army the other marine said they prefer fixed wing support over helicopters when performing CAS roles.
so what say ye.

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I think attack helos are a horrible mis-spending and are only justifiable
for certain SOF operations, where some additional firepower may be warranted.

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The "Close" in CAS refers to both physical proximity and time.
On a network centric battlefield where the squad is a node in the net, CAS is best performed by battalion artillery shooting PGMs. PGM artillery delivers fire support in seconds instead of tens of minutes as you wait for a slow CAS airplane to get to your location (assuming that CAS airplane isn't diverted to another higher priority mission first).

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The "Close" in CAS refers to both physical proximity and time.
On a network centric battlefield where the squad is a node in the net, CAS is best performed by battalion artillery shooting PGMs. PGM artillery delivers fire support in seconds instead of tens of minutes as you wait for a slow CAS airplane to get to your location (assuming that CAS airplane isn't diverted to another higher priority mission first).

Artillery will never be able to replace tactical air power for CAS. Tacair is always going to have the high ground (no pun intended) for observation and situation awareness, it will have flexibility in choosing a strike axis that land mobile self-propelled artillery, tied to an overland logistics train, will never replicate and it has an effects range that artillery will always struggle to match. It also has strategic persistence that a logistics-tied forward artillery unit will be pressed to match.

Mixed-load, cab-rank, HALE/MALE UCAV racetracks just behind FEBA....providing strike effect with, simultaneous, on-call ISTAR support and intra-theatre comms relay services is the optimal solution. Artillery is complimentary to that solution, but, in no way can it replace it.

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Method of supporting front line units depends heavily on circumstances. For example while fighting with terrorists, shelling enemy postions with heavy artiller appear to be most useful, but after terrorists escape into mountinous areas, artillery and fixed wing aircraft cannot reliably find and target them, and helicopters are the only sure way of pursuing them.

One has to remember CAS is not only about protecting ground troops or hitting points they designate. There are scenarios fixed wing aircraft will work better (better response time, better payload etc) and there are scenarios rotary wing aircraft will do better.

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in tangos news, USAF confirms they will stick with plans to phase out a-10.
will use mixture of f-35 and a new cheaper light strike aircraft to replace it.

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They need something with the sniper pod to have the latest features for cas, i.e. IR pointer, high definition and ROVER. The scorpion from what I have seen has an electro optical system under the nose, but it's probably not as good as the sniper. Too bad also that the scorpion has no gun.

The USAF might also be interested in merging that requirement with the T-X. Why not build the T-X with 2 sets of wing? one for the training mission with supersonic capability, one with larger wingspan for better low speed maneuvrability, with more pylons and more fuel for CAS.