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originally posted by: MystikMushroom
I we could dream up a new CAS platform...what would it look like?
originally posted by: buddah6
I don't know where to start my reply. My guess is that I'm the only person here that has experienced the affected policies of the Army/Air Force turf wars of the 1960's.
Let me qualify myself. I was a infantry platoon leader in Viet Nam (69-70) followed by another tour as an aviation platoon leader/company XO in '72-'73. I think I have an unusual perspective on CAS having seen both sides of the issue.
While sitting on a hilltop calling for air support we received help from a wide array of aircraft. The Army helicopters was welcomed but couldn't stay long and had a light load of arms. The AF/Navy aircraft carried a big load but again they couldn't stay long on station. The two aircraft we loved were the A-1 Skyraiders and the A-37s. They could delivered close accurate support and stay on station for much longer than the two passes by other types. My fellow grunts shared the same feeling toward the Skyraiders as do the A-10 supporters now.
When I attended flight school in 1971, I saw many aircraft types that had been tested by the army for CAS duties until the Key West agreement a few years before. The Army wasn't allowed to have "armed fixed wing aircraft". Some of these aircraft just sat in a corner of a hangar or languished in a lot next to the aviation museum.
The AF had a half-hearted program to develop counter insurgency aircraft (COIN) to fill the Army's needs. The A-10 was only developed to meet a cold war requirement not lessons learned in Viet Nam.
As I see this problem, the AF generals have a "Buck Rogers/Star Wars mentality and the Army generals are too scared to venture away from their rotary wing comfort zone. The AF likes mega buck aircraft programs and it has taken 20+ years for army aviation to look seriously at procuring tilt rotor aircraft. The CAS mission lacks the Star Wars allure. The low tech A-10 isn't a Buck Rogers airplane as is the F-22 or F-35 so the AF doesn't like it. The Army doesn't like fixed wing aircraft because they are outside their comfort zone and has a bad taste in their mouth due to the Key West accords. It would appear that the A-10 issue is a victim of a fraternal mentality between the AF and the Army.
originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: JimTSpock
There have been several CAS missions over Afghanistan where the 1800 rounds of the GAU-8 saved the day. Anything else would have had to have multiple flights and left the ground guys uncovered until the next flight arrived. The two A-10s were able to stay overhead until they were able to break contact, because they had enough ammunition internally.
The AAA problem is the reason a replacement is necessary. The Hogs can't survive, but a new aircraft would be able to, while still being a CAS specialist that is necessary.