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The time has come to supply Ukraine with COIN/LAAR aircraft, what the heck is the West waiting for?


On the way

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22 hours ago, On the way said:

 

You said  "I should remind of A-10 and AH-64 significant losses over Iraq. " But they did not suffer significant losses. A-10 unoperational does not mean they were losses. If they were damaged and later put back into flying condition, how is that a loss? 31 damaged AH-64 is once again not losses. You even said that when you mention only one being shot down. Maybe English is not your first language, but I don't think you comprehend the word loss.

If you can't sustain the operational tempo vs damage losses it is the same practical result. That is the reason that A-10 were restricted in their flights for example.

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18 hours ago, Olof Larsson said:

 Lacking stealth and adequate SEAD-capacity, both sides have realised that the way to survive is to fly low and fast and deploying your weapons from the greatest range possible.

What the Ukrainians have learned by the dozens of dead pilots is that even nap of the Earth tactics do not work if you overfly a battery or are being tracked from above. 

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18 hours ago, Olof Larsson said:

Considering that the main US strategic rival for most of the last 75 years is currently being grinded down for change money & surplus equipment, I'd say that it's the most efficient military investment the US has ever made. And if Ukraine wins, the US can now put more strategic focus on the Pacific, as Russia will be weaker or fragmented, while the European NATO countries can put more emphasis on their navies & air forces (with the Russian army being less of a threat), meaning that they could either take over more of the US Navy's role in the Atlantic, or even (especially the UK obviously) aid the US directly in a possible confrontation with China. Furthermore with Russia weakend or fragmented, Indian, Vietnam & so on might lean more on the west for equipment, military tech and so on, making the anti-PRC alliance even stronger & more in line with US policies.

You missed the entire 1990's?  And your assumption about rivals is wrong, simplistic and myopic.  The main strategic and existential problem of actual Americans exists right here within the US borders.  Russia is a raw materials exporting hinterland, with little to no influence on the American people.  Their biggest threat is sending forth desperate citizens who invade America with grasping hands and foreign perceptions and values to be weaponized and exploited by the loathsome foreign overlords of the American empire.  S/F....Ken M  

 

 

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21 hours ago, Olof Larsson said:

..... the main US strategic rival for most of the last 75 years ......

That ended 3 decades ago. PRC is now the great rival. Ukraine is a distraction.

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23 hours ago, lucklucky said:

If you can't sustain the operational tempo vs damage losses it is the same practical result. That is the reason that A-10 were restricted in their flights for example.

The thing about A-10s is that they were developed almost 50 years ago and were very much intended for conventional war not COIN (although they turned out to be great at COIN). They were supposed to be the US Sturmovik. The fact that they've suffered too many losses against AD that are the same age as the A-10 might mean that the original concept was flawed, although maybe those losses would have been acceptable in WW3. 

I’ve probably posted this comment too many times but my dad was one of the first A-10 pilots and I’m 50 years old! he thinks deploying A-10s to Ukraine would be a horrible mistake. 

Edited by Angrybk
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12 minutes ago, Angrybk said:

The thing about A-10s is that they were developed almost 50 years ago and were very much intended for conventional war not COIN (although they turned out to be great at COIN). They were supposed to be the US Sturmovik. The fact that they've suffered too many losses against AD that are the same age as the A-10 might mean that the original concept was flawed, although maybe those losses would have been acceptable in WW3. 

I’ve probably posted this comment too many times but my dad was one of the first A-10 pilots and I’m 50 years old! he thinks deploying A-10s to Ukraine would be a horrible mistake. 

If they use them as stand off platforms, they should be OK.  At least as good as using Su-25 - better with Western stand off PGM rather than unguided rockets.

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Just now, Angrybk said:

Yeah, you could use most airplanes for stand-off weapons. The point is that the A-10 concept is pretty obsolete now for conventional warfare (and might have always been a mistake, but that’s debatable). 

Most Western fighters can probably carry the weapons and instrumentation that an A-10 can carry.  An F-16 or Gripen would do as well and have a better air-air capability, if needed.  I'm just saying the A-10 would be useful for Ukraine.

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2 hours ago, Angrybk said:

The thing about A-10s is that they were developed almost 50 years ago and were very much intended for conventional war not COIN (although they turned out to be great at COIN). They were supposed to be the US Sturmovik. The fact that they've suffered too many losses against AD that are the same age as the A-10 might mean that the original concept was flawed, although maybe those losses would have been acceptable in WW3. 

I’ve probably posted this comment too many times but my dad was one of the first A-10 pilots and I’m 50 years old! he thinks deploying A-10s to Ukraine would be a horrible mistake. 

I don't know where you all get this urban fantasy of A-10 "suffered too many losses against AD". I am going back through all the USAF combat losses since 1983. There has been a total of only 6 A-10 combat losses out of tens of thousands of missions. In the Gulf War alone, they flew 8100 missions. 6 losses for the ground attack role is very low, based on the number of missions flown. Kindly get with the facts.

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1 hour ago, R011 said:

Most Western fighters can probably carry the weapons and instrumentation that an A-10 can carry.  An F-16 or Gripen would do as well and have a better air-air capability, if needed.  I'm just saying the A-10 would be useful for Ukraine.

I agree 100%. But the US are not going to send A-10 to Ukraine or gift/sell them to the Ukrainians. The next best solution is a COIN/LAAR aircraft like  the A-29N Tucano. Its not the perfect replacement for the A-10, but its the best available.

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You could also just pre-programme major targets and toss them into the right basket. It's not like this is a case where air dominance is in place to allow a cab rank system for CAS. Nobody has the luxury of leisurely, on-board target acquisition.

In the medium term (and that might be defined as "next year", if some systems scale well), we'll see tight decision loops feeding into a broader range of potential responses. This would mean rapidly selecting the most effective munitions from the set of UCAVs, loitering munitions, guided and precise unguided artillery systems, ground-launched missiles and rockets of various types and so on.

We see the individual elements of this already - Lancet cued by distant surveillance drones on one side, precision real-time artillery fire missions also cued real time by surveillance drones from the Ukrainian side and the (currently marginally effective) FP drone attacks seen recently against the "scooby do" vans.

It will only get to be faster responding and with broader spectrum of munitions in future. I don't see manned CAS being viable in near-peer conflicts in the future, it's all going to be stand-off or uncrewed, and stand-off attacks probably don't have the response time to be considered CAS any more.

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On 4/23/2023 at 3:35 PM, lucklucky said:

If you can't sustain the operational tempo vs damage losses it is the same practical result. That is the reason that A-10 were restricted in their flights for example.

That is a ridiculous logic. Not being able to sustain the operational tempo has nothing to do with losses. A hull loss means the aircraft is forever taken out of future missions. A damaged aircraft, repaired and put back into service is a temporary unavailability for missions. And for your information, NO high paced Operational tempo can sustain long periods even if you have no aircraft losses or damaged aircraft. Even well maintained aircraft will start breaking down in up tempo ops, without a bullet even scratching them. And aircraft availability will decrease as ops continue, just by aircraft being pulled off the line to have parts replaced and other parts maintained.

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23 minutes ago, On the way said:

I agree 100%. But the US are not going to send A-10 to Ukraine or gift/sell them to the Ukrainians. The next best solution is a COIN/LAAR aircraft like  the A-29N Tucano. Its not the perfect replacement for the A-10, but its the best available.

Something that can't carry the weapons , targeting systems, or sensors as an actual fighter, and can't survive in any sort of AD environment as has been repeated pointed out here.

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6 hours ago, R011 said:

Something that can't carry the weapons , targeting systems, or sensors as an actual fighter, and can't survive in any sort of AD environment as has been repeated pointed out here.

Yeah, its a COIN/LAAR aircraft, not an actual fighter. Which part of this are you confused about?

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That this is not COIN we're dealing with here, but a conventional war against the enemy that has air defense network that is in a class of its own? That using such kind of aircraft would be suicidal even for Russia, against air defense definitely inferior to their own?

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3 hours ago, urbanoid said:

That this is not COIN we're dealing with here, but a conventional war against the enemy that has air defense network that is in a class of its own? That using such kind of aircraft would be suicidal even for Russia, against air defense definitely inferior to their own?

Good points, put the USAF seems to want to get rid of the A-10 anyways, and the Ukrainians are using the broadly analogous SU-25's for over a year.    If they're not sending them, it must be some sort of broader policy where Western aircraft will not be supplied?

Edited by glenn239
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10 minutes ago, glenn239 said:

Good points, put the USAF seems to want to get rid of the A-10 anyways, and the Ukrainians are using the broadly analogous SU-25's for over a year.    If they're not sending them, it must be some sort of broader policy where Western aircraft will not be supplied?

We'll see, it's also possible that neither the US nor the Ukrainians themselves are particularly enthusiastic about the UAF using A-10s in this war, given their limited... well, usefulness.

Ukrainian AD might be less sophisticated than Russian one, but it's good enough that it forced the Russian Air Force to operate on basically the same level as the Ukrainians - low level attacks in proximity to the frontline. Given that Russian AD is superior to the Ukrainian one, it would be one hell of a challenge for the West to give UAF the capabilities to do more than they're already doing (or the Russians are doing to them).

Ukraine is reportedly getting JDAM-ERs. No idea if they're provisionally integrated with Su-24 or MiG-29 or something else like they did with HARMs (whatever it is, it's radar doesn't have SAR mode which would allow to utilize JDAM's whole potential), but their range even from high altitude is comparable to GMLRS fired from the ground, where the risk of loss of the launcher is considerably less than of the loss of the aircraft. Sure, the bang is bigger than GMLRS in case of bigger bombs, but I'm not sure if the risk is worth the payoff.

I'd say that instead of boosting the Ukrainian Air Force it would be more effective and cheaper, not to mention requiring less training and maintenance to:
a) keep up the supply of HIMARS/MLRS launchers and munitions, consider supplying ATACMS to use against strategic targets, including in Crimea,
b) continue strengthening of Ukrainian AD, to make sure the Russian AF stays limited to what it does now (basically CAS).
c) possibly supply more drones with some A2G capability, won't be more survivable than manned aircraft, but at least you don't risk the pilot.

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10 hours ago, On the way said:

Yeah, its a COIN/LAAR aircraft, not an actual fighter. Which part of this are you confused about?

What part of the Ukraine war not being an insurgency with the consequent lack of AD assets are you confused about?

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Seems like a bunch of desperate clownery at American taxpayer expense.  "Do something!"  even if it's stupid and wasteful and pointless.  

Ukraine should be a buffer state between Russia and Western Europe if you people are so worried about it.  S/F....Ken M 

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