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Needs, Effectiveness, and Gap Assessment for Key A-10C Missions: An Overview of Findings

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RAND Project AIR FORCE Santa Monica United States

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To comply with a congressional directive in the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2016regarding the capabilities to replace the A-10C aircraft, RAND Project AIR FORCE analyzed a range of missions assigned to the A-10C aircraft troops-in-contactclose air support CAS, forward air controller airborneFACA, air interdiction, strike control and reconnaissance, and combat search and rescue support CSAR.RAND analyzed the needs that this mission set might generate in the next five years and assessed existing and planned forces effectiveness and capability gaps in performing those missions. RAND found that U.S. Air Forceprogrammed forces can effectively conduct these missions with few gaps when flying in air defense environments characteristic of current counterinsurgency operations. Certain gapsin responsive CAS, FACA,and CSAR, for examplecould widen if A-10Cs are removed from the force. With or without A-10Cs, the Air Forceprogrammed forces will be challenged to perform some missions in environments with more capable air defenses, unless changes are identified and made to tactics, equipment, and training.

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Technical Report




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Approved For Public Release;

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