Old Navy Tactic Soars Again – CBS News Video

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8 thoughts on “Old Navy Tactic Soars Again – CBS News Video”

  1. Another good reason for a modern Spad. Something that is small, agile, and can get in and out quickly, with a long on-station time and some heavy guns.

    Jets like the F-18 can do the job, but that’s not what it was designed to do, and a better support aircraft is needed.

  2. That’s why I’ve been supportive of the LAAR and O/A-X programs (though their about 7 years late!)

    It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to use a $80million SuperHornet to strafe.

  3. A SuperTucano with a .50 minigun pod, like the GE CAL50,under each wing, would work well against enemy infantry, and cost vastly less to operate than those SuperHornets. Or, better yet, the proposed Boeing OV-10X.

  4. Hawker Beechcraft has the upcoming AT-6 Texan 2. Someone finally figured out that the need for a low and slow, gun bird is again necessary. Even Embraer’s airplane would work. But don’t bet on the Air Force going for it. If it ain’t a whiz bang, high tech machine, they don’t want it. It was grunts that kept the Warthog around.
    And the Old And Venerable A-7(SLUF) was a good strafing platform. After action reports during Grenada.

  5. There has been a need for something like the A-37 all along. I like the idea of a centerline gun better than wing mounted. Either the Texan II or Tucano would work well, however, and would use fuel at a lower rate than a pure jet would. But then, an old AH-1 would work as well using the 7.62 mini-gun in the chin. The PA-48 would work as well.

    While I like the Spad (the old Navy A-1) the radial engine requires a lot of maintenance and is harder to operate. It would also require increasingly hard to obatin Avgas, and of a higher grade than is made these days (100LL is commercially available, but the military grade was 110/130 and no longer made).

  6. The 7.62 is a little too small. I’m pretty sure they’re looking for at least an M3 .50cal. And a centerline mount vs. wind mount isn’t that important. The loss of accuracy isn’t that great, since airplanes aren’t that accurate in the first place.

    As much as I love the Spad, it’s a non starter. Can you imagine the costs of building a R-3350, much less maintaining it and fueling it? That’s not even to get into the costs of the airframe.

    I think the OV-10X might be the best fit, but I also think it is the least likely platform. Both the SuperTucano and the AT-6 airframes are currently in production, and would be much quicker to build. The production learning curve would be much less steep. And the point of the program is to get it in service quickly. Good enough is the goal.

    As an aside, one of the more interesting Bronco variants was the NOGS, which was an OV-10D with an XM197 20mm gun turret mounted on the centerline. It could be pointed and aimed much like the gun on a late model Cobra.


    As handy as that is, you can see some problems from the pic. You lose not only the centerline station, where a drop tank normally hung, but also all the sponson stations. Plus, if you lost power to the turret while the gun was pointed down, landing would be problematical at best.

  7. FWIW,

    When I said “modern Spad” I wasn’t actually talking about the A-1 being reborn. Just something along those lines. Whatever they choose, I would earnestly hope they pick something with a turbo-prop. However, a small jet might work as well.

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