The Continuing Requirement for V/STOL in the Close Air Support Role.
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KANS
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The U.S. Marine Corps has been interested in VSTOL aircraft for over thirty years. The AV-8A, the worlds first operational high performance JET-VSTOL aircraft, has been utilized by the Marine air-ground task force for six years. This study examines the current posture of VSTOL aviation and whether the Marine Corps experience with VSTOL warrants a follow on to the AV-8A. This study reviews the history of JET-VSTOL and the many concepts that have evolved over the years. The requirements for close air support are thoroughly discussed and the impact that VSTOL has had on those requirements is presented. The paper concludes with a discussion of Western world military employment concepts as well as those of the Soviet Union. VSTOL, with its many applications, is presented as a viable concept for tactical aviation. This innovative concept has provided the ground commander, particularly in the area of close air support, a responsiveness through basing flexibility that heretofore did not exist. Despite the obvious advantages of VSTOL, research revealed that there is not complete agreement on the future of the concept. The author concludes that the military advantages offered by the VSTOL concept far outweigh any political or economic considerations that could delay or eliminate the program. Author
- Attack and Fighter Aircraft
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics