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Thread: Random Thoughts on the Mighty Hog - Part 2

  1. #211
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    A propos of nothing : A-10C flying with Bulgarian Su-25

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  2. #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    Take a real good look here

    https://books.google.ca/books?id=Ljq...tadium&f=false

    The Marines set up a forward base with showers and toilets before the 1st Harrier arrived. They had a land LOC to secure the stadium.
    Fair enough. The GS' soccer field wasn't a good example then...

    Here's something from Spangdahlem Air Base page instead (emphasis added) :

    A-10s train with combat controllers during TSP
    By Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman, 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs / Published July 22, 2015

    SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- Members of the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron and 321st Special Tactics Squadron traveled to Nowe Miasto, Poland, to perform specialized training July 20-23, 2015.

    During the day and night, 354th EFS A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft pilots performed unimproved surface landings on an austere landing strip, set up by 321st STS combat controllers, to simulate conditions of a deployed environment.

    "The training we are getting here with our pilots will allow us to forward deploy even further than we already can," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Ryan Hayde, 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron commander. "In a real-life scenario, combat controllers and pilots with austere landing capabilities could land aircraft anywhere in enemy territory without leaving a large footprint."

    An unimproved surface can be dirt, grass, sand, or any other type of rugged terrain.

    The old runway where the training took place consisted of cracked, uneven asphalt and was previously only conquered by a few.

    "We started with just two pilots in the entire squadron qualified and now we have an extra 10 qualified," Hayde said. "For this training, we'll have the first set of our brand new qualified instructors leading pilots."

    The 354th EFS A-10 pilots in training are a part of the first European Theater Security Package in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve. They are currently operating out of Lask Air Base, Poland, working together with NATO allies.

    "The mission of the Theater Security Package is to reassure our NATO allies," Hayde said. "We have been doing that by providing micro deployments where we take four A-10s at a time to multiple countries. This is the final evolution of that. Now we are taking our entire squadron and putting them on an old runway in the middle of nowhere. We can land A-10s pretty much anywhere."

  3. #213
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    Quote Originally Posted by SW4U View Post
    Fair point re: bombs. Same problem with Mavericks.

    No such problem with Hydra (& APKWS), or Hellfire (though integration on the A-10C has been on hold since 2008).

    Zuni might well be an option (though procurement of laser-guided Zuni has been on hold since 2010 or so).

    Incidentally, incresing the number of rockets carried by the A-10C is one of the main focus of the research project currently carried out by AF Academy cadets
    I would like to pick their brains on why they want to add more rockets. Rockets are a FAC loadout, Not CAS. They already carry 14 rockets (2 LAU 68/131 pods) in a FAC loadout. And they can designate targets with either the Litening or Sniper pod.
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

  4. #214
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    Quote Originally Posted by SW4U View Post
    Fair enough. The GS' soccer field wasn't a good example then...

    Here's something from Spangdahlem Air Base page instead (emphasis added) :
    Why do they want to land in enemy territory? Helos yes, cargo planes, yes (raids,pickup/dropoffs ) but whats the purpose of a A-10 landing behind enemy lines?

    They do CAS/FAC/Battlefield interdiction. All close to base work
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

  5. #215
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    Quote Originally Posted by SW4U View Post
    AV-8B+ from VMA-211 suffered the same fate in September 2012 :
    Should have been Marines guarding the perimeter
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Grape View Post
    Rockets are a FAC loadout, Not CAS.
    From af.mil : (emphasis added)

    A-10 fires its first laser-guided rocket
    By Samuel King Jr, Eglin Air Force Base Public Affairs / Published April 03, 2013

    EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) -- The 40th Flight Test Squadron completed another first in February when an A-10 Thunderbolt II fired a guided rocket that impacted only inches away from its intended target.

    The 2.75 diameter, 35-pound, laser-guided rocket is known as the fixed-wing Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II. Before the Thunderbolt test, the rocket had proved effective in Afghanistan combat operations when fired from Marine helicopters.

    "Rockets are a staple close-air support weapon, but their weakness has always been their poor accuracy when shot at range," said Maj. Travis Burton, the 40th FTS A-10 pilot who performed the APKWS tests. "In improving rocket accuracy by several orders of magnitude, the APKWS makes the rocket a better weapon for today's low intensity conflicts, where minimizing collateral damage is a top priority."

    The test squadron performed three sorties to demonstrate the capability and ensure the rocket could be fired safely from a fixed wing aircraft - a test that had never been accomplished before.

    The first sortie tested whether aircraft flight would be impacted by carrying the rocket and launcher. During the second sortie, the A-10 fired an unguided inert rocket to ensure the weapon would separate from the aircraft without any issues. For the final sortie, two armed, guided rockets were fired at a surface target at altitudes of 10,000 and 15,000 feet. The last APKWS shot was fired into a 70-knot headwind and impacted the target within the two-meter requirement specifications.

    "The 70-knot headwind didn't allow us to accomplish the second guided shot using the planned delivery parameters, so the test team (myself, the chase pilot, the controllers and engineers) worked real-time to adjust those parameters in a manner that would still accomplish the test objective," Burton said. "In any scenario other than test, we would have adjusted the run-in direction to change the headwind to tailwind, or a crosswind."

    Both shots were considered successful, but the accuracy of the APKWS made a real impression on the project manager, Joe Stromsness.

    "We watched real-time video of the test at the central control facility when the rocket hit within inches of the laser spot," he said. "Everyone was ecstatic and high-fived each other. Many hours of work from the Navy, Air Force and the BAE contractor team went into the success of this test. This was a major milestone in moving forward to the next phase. "

    With the developmental test stage completed, the project will move to operational testing at China Lake Test Range, Calif., with the Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve Command Test Center. In May, Air Force pilots will fire 22 APKWSs from the A-10 and F-16 Fighting Falcon at both moving and stationary targets.

    With another positive outcome in May, Stromsness sees huge potential for the APKWS.

    "This is a lighter weapon with a smaller warhead that can potentially minimize collateral damage," he said. "We've added precision guidance; and based on our tests, we're within inches of the intended target. We don't have a precision weapon out there now that can do that."

    According to BAE Systems, the weapon's manufacturer, the APKWS is one-third the weight and cost of other precision rockets in the DOD inventory. The aircraft could potentially transport seven rockets per launcher and carry two launchers due to the APKWS's relatively small size and weight.

    Burton agrees with Stromsness about APKWS's potential benefit to the warfighter.

    "By improving rocket accuracy, the APKWS II gives the pilot the capability to achieve the desired weapons effect with a single rocket," Burton said. "Not only does this increase the lethality of any aircraft carrying rockets on a given day, it also allows the aircraft to do so at a greater range. This keeps the aircraft farther away from the surface-to-air threats typically found in a target area."

    Moving the APKWS to a fixed-wing aircraft began as an urgent operational need project for the Navy and Air Force in 2009. The tasking, called a joint concept technology demonstration, was to take the rotary-wing version of the rocket and modify it for fast-moving aircraft. The goal for the Air Force was to demonstrate it on the A-10 and the F-16 if possible, according to Stromsness. The Navy would test it on the AV-8B Harrier II and F/A-18 Hornet.

    Eglin AFB's 96th Seek Eagle office worked with the APKWS team to obtain flight clearance for both aircraft so the developmental testing could begin.

    An initial hurdle Stromsness and the test team discovered was the guidance section added 18 inches to the rocket. This addition caused it to be too long for the standard LAU-131 launcher. The Navy already had a modified launcher to fit the increased length of the rocket, so Stromsness brought those in to perform the tests.

    "The great thing about the modified launchers is they can fire the guided and unguided rockets with no problems," Stromsness said. "If this project moves forward and becomes operational, the better modified launchers will replace the legacy ones on an attrition basis."

    More Air Force testing and assessment will take place throughout 2013. The Navy is just behind the Air Force, successfully firing two APKWSs from an AV-8B, March 27. Once testing is complete, U.S. Central Command will submit a final report and endorsement to the Air Force and Navy program offices. According to Stromsness, if all goes smoothly, the APKWS could be ready for operational use by 2015.

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    Airmen from the 447th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron deployed to Incirlik AB, Turkey, disassemble and reassemble the Advance Precision Kill Weapon System, or APKWS, to contribute to the firepower of the A-10.

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    The M282 Multi-Purpose Penetrator (M282) is being integrated with APKWS : (emphasis added)

    New laser-guided rocket capability tested
    Team Eglin Public Affairs / Published October 03, 2016

    EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
    Team Eglin answered the warfighter’s call to rapidly test, integrate and deploy a high precision, low collateral weapon for immediate use in theater – in just six months.

    Brig. Gen. Shaun Morris, Air Force Program Executive Officer for Weapons and director of the Armament Directorate, assembled a team to produce a rapid fielding plan for the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II, a laser-guided rocket that turns existing Hydra 70 unguided rockets into precision-guided munitions through the addition of a laser guidance kit.

    APKWS fills the gap between an unguided 2.75-inch rocket and the Hellfire missile at less than one-third of the cost with a multi-shot capability. The conversion is an inexpensive modification designed to destroy targets while limiting collateral damage in close combat, according to Maj. Jesse Moreno, APKWS program manager.

    “We delivered an Initial Fielding Capability to the warfighter in March, three months faster than originally planned,” said Moreno. “We also achieved integration of APKWS with the M151 high explosive fragmentation warhead in July, also ahead of schedule by four months.”

    The M151, employed against personnel, material and non-armored vehicles, is one of several warheads in the Hydra 70 family. Traditionally referred to as the “10-Pounder,” the weapon’s burst radius is ten meters, however, high velocity fragments can expand its lethality radius beyond 50 meters causing excessive damage. APKWS reduces the M151’s collateral damage while maintaining its integrity in combat.

    To accelerate progress, the APKWS Program Office assembled stakeholders from across the Air Force and coordinated with its Navy partners to formulate a plan to integrate the M151 with existing rotary wing hardware. This teamwork was essential, because the Navy owned the program of record, contracting vehicles and production line for APKWS II, according to Moreno.

    The team also leveraged the expertise of the 96th Test Wing community to execute a rapid test event known as Plan 70, where all wing resources were brought to bear on a single test effort to meet and exceed the expected timeline. The effort proved successful as a Compatibility Captive Flight Profile test was performed in just 14 days, as compared to the average timeline of three months.

    “The 96th TW demonstrated its ability to be flexible and executed with precision, delivering a low collateral, moving target, precision attack, and game-changing weapon ahead of schedule,” said Joseph Rojas, Air Force Seek Eagle Office F-16 Project Manager.

    According to Moreno, what makes the CFP effort crucial is it’s the lead requirement to receiving an Air Force Seek Eagle Office store certification recommendation – clearance to test APKWS in the air.

    In July, the team successfully performed a final round of integration test shots with the A-10 and F-16 platforms, overseeing seven aircraft missions with 14 successful A-10 and F-16 test shots. Missions included minimum and maximum range, ripple release and trajectory shaping tests against a variety of realistic targets – all validating the program’s capability.

    The team solicited the support of the Arizona Air National Guard Air Reserve Test Center to work with the 96th TW community on these tests.

    “The APKWS program is a true testament of outstanding team work across multiple services and organizations,” said Moreno. “We successfully fielded an initial capability to the warfighter that enabled enemy target engagement in combat with no collateral damage within 11 days of deploying the system.”

    A significant advantage APKWS brings to the fight is an increase weapons loadout for both the A-10 and F-16. This close-air-support capability is a game-changer for warfighters, allowing them to engage several more targets where collateral damage is a concern, according to Moreno.

    “APKWS is a great example of what the acquisition enterprise and Team Eglin is capable of,” said Morris. “We showcased our ability to rapidly test, integrate, deploy and use the system in combat within six months of congressional approval.”

    The team has moved forward and is now engaged in integrating another rotary-wing Hydra 70 system, the M282 Multi-Purpose Penetrator. When integrated with APKWS, the warhead will allow the warfighter to engage and destroy fixed and moving light armor vehicles in addition to expanding options to engage different target sets across the battlefield.

    Recent ground-to-ground testing of the integrated M282 successfully showcased its desired capability. The team plans to start tests on the A-10 and F-16 platforms later this fall and deliver a limited capability to the warfighter early next year, according to Moreno.


    “Team Eglin is committed to quickly and safely delivering critical systems to the warfighter,” said Morris. “APKWS is just the latest example in a long tradition of excellence the enterprise represents.”
    M282 MPP brochure

  9. #219
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    Quote Originally Posted by SW4U View Post
    Fair enough. The GS' soccer field wasn't a good example then...

    Here's something from Spangdahlem Air Base page instead (emphasis added) :
    It's not what you think.

    By treaty, the main NATO powers are not to station permenant forces in the former Warsaw Pact. However, tempoary re-enforcements are allowed by Treaty. This is to show that the USAF is capable of moving combat forces into the former Warsaw Pact, not that it can conduct combat operations from within Russia. It is to show Russia that it's very easy for NATO to re-enforce Eastern Europe.

    Even here, however, the main air forces would be using Italy and Germany since that's where most of the stores are.

  10. #220
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    Quote Originally Posted by SW4U View Post
    From af.mil : (emphasis added)
    I would like the Major to show me a Fixed Wing CAS loadout that includes unguided rockets. The Air Force is just now deploying APKWS. Army and Marine helos sometimes use them for CAS but that is a different animal altogether.

    The laser guided APKWS will work real good, Just like laser guided Maverick, LGBs and 155mm Copperhead. Until they encounter rain, smoke,fog . Just like we found out in ODS. Will we ever learn our lesson?
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

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