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CAS - A Turboprop Solution for the COIN Fight

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Research paper

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The Counter Insurgency COIN fight and asymmetric warfare in general, have become the new norm in modem warfare. As the U.S. military adapts to this ever-evolving fight, a shortfall has developed in Close Air Support CAS delivery. Modem U.S. fighters bring a terrific punch to the battlefield, but their limited on-station time and high attack velocities make them a poor fit for complex CAS delivery in the COIN fight. Attack helicopters are formidable platforms, but their slow speeds make for long transit times to and from the fight. Fixed wing and rotary wing attack aircraft are very expensive machines to fly and maintain. Todays Forward Air Controller FAC is often under fire, on the move, or cannot see the target. Our Information Surveillance and Reconnaissance aircraft are over-worked and in high demand A possible solution is an off-the-shelf turboprop aircraft. There are several models available immediately that can solve many of these problems. Modem turboprop aircraft are fast most of the models presented here are 300knot aircraft. They can deliver ordnance at survivable speeds that still allow for solid target acquisition. These aircraft are very affordable. The initial purchase prices are fractions of what a modern jet costs. Turboprops are much cheaper to operate than rotor wing or fixed wing aircraft. They are survivable. Many of these aircraft are built with the latest Aviation Survivability Equipment installed, or at least hardwired for the upgrade. Modern turboprops have incredible endurance some of the models here can loiter for 5 hours of on-station time. This allows the pilot to develop a high degree of situational awareness and to direct the airborne fight with precision. Most of the turboprops presented here are hardwired for off-the-shelf sensors, such as the third generation Brite Star from FLIR Systems.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Aircraft Operations
  • Aircraft
  • Unconventional Warfare

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