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Lightning II makes its debut, official naming link

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posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 01:13 AM
New technology actually makes it easier to get the targeting pod onto the target with JTAC assistance. The old 9-line brief, which used to be done verbally and included talking the pilot's eyes onto the target, can now be done electronically. JTACs with laser range finders and GPS systems can provide precise co-ords for targeting. The targeting pod view can be beamed to the JTAC, who confirms the target. All from 20 k+ feet. CAS still takes a degree of coordination, but it isn't as hard as the old days.

posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 01:45 AM
I know about digital fire control, we have used a coded message system that directly feeds data from Forward observers/scout teams to artillery computers since '80s.

But it would be preferrable to have air assets that can sweep areas infront of the grunts without the need for the ground troops to find out where the enemy is, because it costs lives to scout out the positions.

Do you get my point?

posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 02:59 AM
Then by definition it isn't close air support, is it? It becomes interdiction when forward of the FSCL. Even if you don't know where the enemy is, using a multi-million dollar platform as a trashfire magnet is dumb. And you can use GMTI to detect manoeuvre elements. If the ground element is smaller than that, then your forward troops should be able to deal. That is, after all, what they get paid for.

posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 04:04 AM
Ok i agree that ground troops should clear their own way, but that tends to cost blood. I'm looking at this thing from a Recon NCOs point of view and it might cause me to think, let the flyboys get their ass into this mess rather than my men, at least they have the multi million dollar machines to do the job, instead of me, APC and a 500$ rifle and usually too little backup firepower.

Besides i'm a firm believer in Artillery and Mortars as CS, but they have even less changes of destroying something that i haven't found out... meaning im most likely allready at the enemys range and in serious danger.

Ps. In Finnish army we have a good recocnition rule on how to determine if a plane is a friend or foe: If flys, it's hostile... so on my part this is theorethical discussion, in case of war i'm not expecting to see ANY support from air.

posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 05:04 AM
Doesn't criticism of the A-10 for being austere and slow rather miss the point? It was after all created *well* into the supersonic 'weapons system' era and was never ever a cutting edge design. It was deliberately designed to be austere and rugged after redundant A-1 Skyraiders etc were brought back inbto service because a rugged but basic ground support aircraft was found to be a very valuable asset over and above the supersonic fast jet integrated systems that were thought to have made such a type obsolete and unnecessary. If the A-10 is replaced by the F-35 isn't America simply repeating a mistake it made 40 years ago?

posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 07:47 AM
Just though I’d post this piece of information as it does relate to this discussion. Anyone know how many 500LB JDAM’s an F-35 can carry?

Boeing Scores Direct Hit In Laser JDAM Moving Target Test

During the test at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., a U.S. Air Force F-16 flying at 20,000 feet scored a direct hit on an Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) moving at 25 mph. Using its onboard targeting pod, the F-16 laser-designated the APC and released the 500-pound LJDAM approximately four miles from the target.

The Laser JDAM sensor is a modular kit that is easily installed in the field to the front of existing JDAM weapons. The laser sensor further enhances the highly capable Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System JDAM into one of the most mission flexible, low-cost weapons available in the world today.


posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 06:17 PM

The difference between now and forty years ago is the dramatic improvement in low altitude threat systems (which, considering AAA still accounts for most aircraft kills over the years, is kind of a scary comment), the improvement in aircraft sensors, and the increased accuracy of weapon systems. These days you don't have to get down into the weeds to see where the bad hats are and where the good guys are. You just don't have to do it to achieve mission success. Yes, pilots hate the fact they can basically fly an air to ground mission on altitude hold these days, but welcome to the new millenium. Flying low level CAS missions is a lot of fun (exercise of course!), but that is all it is these days. We still practice low level ingress and pop attacks, but guess how many times we are going to use them in a theatre of war? Absolutely zero. I don't think a comparison with the environment of 40 years ago is valid.

For Northwolf:

Our Air Defence guys have a saying - "It flies, it dies!" Guess that kind of echoes your sentiments!

I'm sorry you feel that your aircrew won't support your ground forces adequately in a combat situation. Here in Australia, we work hard to make sure that the ground guys get good support. At the end of the day it is the soldier who seizes and holds ground, not aircraft.

[edit on 12-7-2006 by Willard856]

posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 07:08 PM

Originally posted by ShatteredSkies02
Well, it's mostly political, an F-16 cannot do what an A-10 can, anyone with half a brain will realize this, the F-16 does not have a 30mm General Dynamics cannons running the length of the fuselage and it certainly isn't as strong as an A-10 is, can an F-16 return to base, land with parts of it's wings blown completely off and wittled with bullet holes?

An F-16 most definitely cannot fly at the low speeds that an A-10 does to provide close air support for infantry.

Exactly. And exactly why the Skyraider remained in service as long as it did. Even as good as Skyhawk was, it was still too fast for really effective CAS. That's why Cobra and Apache could carry so much crap on their wings. Will JSF replace Longbow as well? Or wasn't Commanche supposed to do that?

Huh, maybe they dropped Commanche because JSF could do its job too! Hell, if it's that good, what do we need Osprey for?

posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 09:09 PM
This is something that some of you don't know while others do, and is a very important point to help backup the replacement of the A-10.

The Air Force understands that SpecOps are the way to go in the future to kill ground forces. No more Army guys getting blown up. Send in a few groups of JTACs with the ground forces and let the AF air and space power take them out.

A lower number of guys on the ground with superior air and space support is how and why we can't be beat in combat. There isn't any way to prevent suicide bombers, but at least we can do the best we can to protect our ground forces and prevent fatalities on the battlefield.

I am glad they are going to replace the A-10 with something that can't be seen as easily. Terrorist and enemy countries will get better weapons, so a slow moving airframe isn't going to last as long as some of you think.

While my friends enjoyed having the A-10 provide them good air support they always say the fighters provide better support, not to mention get there alot faster. If you are in a jam you want a supersonic fighter to call in, not a slower plane that can take a beating, but might not get there in time to save you from being killed.

Not knocking the A-10, but it's time to move on and use something that goes along with the change of tactics we are using in the military. The F-35 will do very well.

posted on Jul, 13 2006 @ 12:31 AM
Our AF has 63 F-18s and some BAE Hawks, our most propable enemy in a full scale war is Russia, if you do the math you'll notice that our flyboys will be up to their necks in s*** just trying to defend our strategic assets... no time for CAS
But i rely on the Twin 120mm mortars on 4 AMOS systems that are under my fire control, they can actually lay down quite devastating barrage
(and if the need is big enough our brigade has 16 M98 155mm guns)

But i still i'd say you need to go low and slow to be able to get effective CAS, a dug in enemy is too hard to spot from 10000ft, so you need eyes down at 1000ft

posted on Jul, 13 2006 @ 04:05 AM
WILLARD, Yes thats all true but I just think that in a heavy ECM or even EMP environment old fashioned mech tech means you can still fly and fight.

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