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Originally posted by Colt40Five
Interesting capability for a fighter class aircraft...
(Best Ace Ventura Voice)
It's all on oh-please hypocrisy as the fighter pilots try desperately to save their job descriptions from a long deserved obsolescence by sounding all 'CIA like' in their Killroy Was Here attempted snooping.
In reality this-
Air Force fighters in the skies over Afghanistan and Iraq are providing powerful backing to US ground forces, responding as they always have done with on-call air support when troops come into contact with the enemy. Increasingly, however, that support features not precision attack but delivery of video on demand.
The capability—known as “nontraditional ISR,” or NTISR—also has vastly sped up the process of battle damage assessment, giving air commanders a faster read on whether targets have been hit and destroyed or need to be struck again. The power to do this is critical early in an air campaign against high-value objectives.
In both Southwest Asia theaters of operation, armed fighters fly high above the ground, ready to respond immediately to a call for air support from ground troops. When that call comes, they can use their targeting pods—Litening, Sniper, or LANTIRN—to zoom in on a target and put ordnance precisely where it’s needed.
Fitted with targeting pods, fighters such as this A-10 can offer full-motion video intelligence to troops on the ground. (USAF photo by TSgt. David W. Richards)
“Initially, there was tremendous pushback from fighter pilots who resisted the notion of becoming ‘manned Predators,’ ” noted Lt. Gen. Walter E. Buchanan III, commander of USAF’s 9th Air Force and of US Central Command Air Forces.
Is closer to what is going on and most likely /will always be/ what is happening. As even traditional militaries shift to guerilla like tactics to offset the enormous disparity in conventional warfighter numerics and specifically airpower.
The sad part being that you _don't need_ HALF THE CRAP on a 'fighter jet' to do this mission. And if you /pull it/, along with the switch flipper on his rocket recliner, you get a _better_ traditional ISR system.
Not least because:
1. You can design the optical aperture as a thimble which provides true 360` all 'round coverage.
2. You can honestly expect 10-14hr loiters (not quite a predator but vastly more than an F-16 or 35).
3. You can design for much greater signature reduction (no tails, no gaping supersonic inlets, no condi nozzles 'glowing in the wind')
4. Flight Hour costs go DOWN from the roughly 5,000 dollars per flight hour towards $1,200 dollars per flight hour. Not including pilot salary and his endless training regimen and family care issues.
5. With optimized systems like MTS and XTRA or Lynx, you get _superior_ small target tracking.
These idiots have a Star Wars complex in an OK Corral world. They further have ZERO idea of what D1/R1 is going to look like in a DEWS driven **S2A** threat picture. And so they sop to the pilot corps that effectively has 'signing authority' for OUR money.
Something that _The Freakin' Constitution Of The United States_ and various Anti Deficiency Act 'supplimentary legislation' should have long since put a stop to.
The ultimate irony being that these brave aerial assassins are in fact bored to tears flying these merry go 'round missions. And they cost so much to support that the very nature of airpower 'as originally conceived' (to put eyes over and beyond the immediate horizonline of battle) is being jeopardized because we cannot sustainably generate more than about half the sorties we need to keep the Iraqis from butchering each other for sport.
Danger Will Robinson, the aluminum siding tin-men are out in force!!
Originally posted by Kriskaos
The arnament on this thing is like an f-14 bombs and air- to air missiles. wow.
Originally posted by Spectre
Like cmdrkeenkid said, the 100kw laser weapon is really interesting. That is the kind of technology that could radically change things. If Raytheon, or a competitor ,can shrink a solid state laser down to the size of a drop tank and still have enough power to destroy incoming air-to-air missiles, that would beat the crap out of chaff and flares!