Saturday, February 9, 2008

COIN Aircraft: Alternative to MiG29s

Part of a Super Tucano's Arsenal
The Super Tucano, a Brazillian made trainer/attacker can be an answer for the pesky Tiger Air Force (TAF) and also for counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations in Sri Lanka. The plane is specialized for counter-insurgency missions. An effective deterrence power in terms of counter-insurgency can be summarized as a fast Second Strike Capability: staying in the sky as much as they can and performing the missions of airborne warning and striking. It can also be a healthy alternative for the MiG-29s since its cheap, brand new and comes with a service contract.

Crew: One pilot on single seat version, one pilot plus one navigator/student on double seat version
Length: 11.33 m (37.17 ft)
Wingspan: 11.14 m (36.55 ft)
Height: 3.97 m (13.02 ft)
Wing area: 19.4 m² (208.82 sq ft)
Empty weight: 3,020 kg (6,658 lb)
Loaded weight: 4,520 kg (9,965 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 5,200 kg (11,464 lb)
Powerplant: 1× Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-68C , 1,600 hp (1,193 kW)

Performance
Maximum speed: 593 km/h (368 mph) Full enough to avoid the LTTE’s anti-aircraft system.
Range: 4,820 km (2,995 mi)
Service ceiling: 10,670 m (35,008 ft)
Rate of climb: 24 m/s (79 ft/s)
Armament
2x 12.7 mm FN Herstal M3P machine guns
1x 20 mm cannon pod below the fuselage
4x 70 mm rocket launcher pods
Conventional and intelligent bombs
2x AIM-9 Sidewinder or MAA-1 Piranha or Python 3/4 air-to-air missiles
External stores on 5 hard points

In this overall perspective, the plane has enough speed and armament, even better than MiG-27. Many of the existing supersonic and subsonic attack-craft in the SLAF make successful dive bombings at low speeds all the time. This is the point in which the aircraft are more vulnerable. However, the LTTE is still incapable of shoot them down. If this is the case, they will face the same problem with the Super Tucano, which flies at the same speed of a dive bombing jet. In addition, the maintenance fee for overhauls, are incomparably lower for Tucanos than jets and the single reciprocal engine of Super Tucano can be easily maintained by the ordinary engineers.

Pride Vs Practicality

During times of peace, a high-tech weapon would be reinforcing a national pride for the people. United Arab Emirate and Saudi Arabia are market makers in the arms trade. Those countries are collecting high-tech weapons like F-15 air superiority fighters, F-16 multi role fighters with their enormous oil money. Even though those weapons never get a chance to be used in reality until the end of airplane’s lifespan, the presence of high-tech weapon system could give a secured mind and pride to the people.

How many countries spend billions of dollars for that sort of military pride? For Sri Lanka, we do not have resources to waste on our pride. Sri Lanka is in a civil war. We need a solution through cost-effective investments of public money.

Video of a Super Tucano Shooting-down a Light Aircraft

SHY & DW

29 comments:

mavKFIR said...

dear DW,

How about the F-7 variant we purchased recently. Do they have the capability for the required missions?
I mean as a competent interceptor ?

Silva said...

How about shooting the plane down when its on the ground? like what happend in the Colombo and Anuradapura Airport? Can this plane run and hide on the ground?

or What if LTTE get the plane, do we have what it takes to shoot down this plane?

nemesis said...

SHY & DW,

Good article.

You can also include the OV-10D, AT-6 & the A-67 as contenders for a COIN aircraft.
I too believe we should have at least 1 or 2 squadrons of Prop-COIN A/Cs. But we would have to deploy them in swarm tactics like the US air cav. did in Nam. Operating in pairs in a Hi-Low configuration to provide protection for each other.

Because of the relative low speed and climb rate these are vulnerable to AAA & small arms fire. We would need a sizable number of them (thus my idea of two squadrons). The Props can be deployed to “forward” bases…operating out of roads and hastily prepared short length runaways. Been this close to the Forward edge of a changing battle field gives the COIN A/C lesser reaction time when called for. And the can be scrambled faster than jets!

If we can form a Light Armed Recon Helicopter element to work together with COIN A/C been directed by FACs and video feeds from TUAVs the SLAF can have a small, low cost, efficient, CAS/COIN hell from above hornets swarm :) The Hinds can be called in to mop up or take out fortifications..

But the issue of MANPADS and armor for the A/Cs must be addressed… we must also be ready accepting a few losses of both men & machines. Tigers are highly mobile..we need a highly mobile, fast & deadly fire force to counter them.

If the Americans still built the skyraiders A-1Ds we could have asked for them!! But that COIN workhorse is made no more…btw a Super Tucano ALX, new cost around $6 million. But operational cost is much much lower then jets.

onecountry said...

Max speed 593 km/h? There is something wrong.

MiG-27 — Max speed 1885km/h at 26k ft.

DW: Can you check the max speed again?

kiri said...

That video is really cool!

Can someone explain what kind of attack is being performed by the super toucan? It almost looks like a eagle using it's talons to attack prey. Why does it have to get so close?

Also is the an engagement in the night and the imaging is infrared?

What is the obeserving air craft?

Raptor said...

How can a Super Tucano be better than a MiG-27?

Max payload
S.Tucano=2000kg +
MiG-27=8500kg +

SLAF jets dive bomb at close to 700kmh, not 590kmh, which is the max speed of a Tucano, not its average or crusing speed.

Also the Tucano has limited capability to use guided munitions.

It will take the Tucano far longer that it takes a MiG or Kfir to reach a combat zone, unless they are based really close to the fighting, ie Vavuniya. They will be extremly vulnerable to AA fire as well as older SAM's that the LTTE might posses.

The FMA Pucara which was in SLAF service is similar to the Tucano, although it is slower (500kmh) and older, and it suffered quite badly in combat sorties, with 3 being shot down.

You cannot for a moment try to even compare the Tucano with a MiG-27 or Kfir, they are in different leagues. The reason we dont use turboprop planes for combat missions is because they are highly susceptible to AA fire, thats why we have helicopter gunships, they are more agile, heavily armoured and carry more weapons.

Buy Tucanos will be a red herring, much better to upgrade the F-7s and use then as dedicated interceptors and leave the bombing to the Kfirs and MiGs

Skywalker said...

Completely agree with raptor.

This turboprop a/c cannot be compared with a jet fighter. Also it is hard to compare Super Tucano or similar COIN a/c with an air supiriority fighter such as Mig-29. Interms of payload, max speed, vulnarability to AA fire.. this will be far lower than current players of SLAF kfir or Mig-27s. This could be used in a CAS role on selected scenarios such as sudden attacks on FDLs or assisting ground troops on movements into enemy territory where AA fire is minimized. Of course in most of the applications of this type of an a/c on ground attacks, it has to be grouped with other fighters that are capable of nutralizing potential AA positions or heavy ground fire. Unlike jets these will be very much vulnarable for Manpads too. Remember there were couple of times our migs were slightly injured from AA cannon fire, then how would it be for a slow and low flying a/c ?
If used in the present war this could help increase SLAF damages in air which they have controlled to a greater level so far.

One positive thing about this is, it could be very much useful in intercepting propeller driven crop-dusters like TAF tin cans.

onecountry,
yes the max speed is lower value like 593 km/h as its a turboprop a/c.

In terms of vulnarability to ground fire i hardly think this will be any better than hinds.

Illegal.existence said...

From what I can see, these cost $9 million (Rs. 1 billion) each and that really isn't cheap. That's how much Blackwater had to pay for Tucanos to use in Iraq, and Wikipedia says Colombia bought 25 for $234 million. At that price, I don't see us paying for 2 squadron's of brand new Super Tucanos any time soon Nemesis.

It has it's advantages over the MiG-29s, but I think we're better off buying more used MiG-27s that Super Tucanos. (at ~$4 mil we could buy 2 MiG-27s for each Tucano). The 27s can carry more armaments and travel a lot faster (read:less likely to get shot down) that the Tucanos.

Plus the problem P&W is a US company with extensive DoD funding, so Brazil needs US clearance to sell these aircraft. Given the resolution the house passed preventing arms sales to Sri Lanka, that may be an issue.

Illegal.existence said...

There's a report in the Lankabimabnews.lk which says,

"According to findings, the Sri Lankan Navy has ordered and paid the Colombo Dockyard Ltd for a fleet of ten Dvora Fast Attack Craft with the specified craft length of 27 meters. However, the craft the SLN received was three meters short of the specifications mentioned in the tenders."

The security forces people who did this sort of thing should be locked away for the rest of their lives, although I doubt it'll happen.

Anyone know how shortening an FAC will affect it's performance? Will it be slower, less controllable, less effective etc?

chamal said...

Defencewire,
Is the government considering buying these?
As you have mentioned, we don't necessarily need any 'famous' aircraft...If it can do the job for us, that's enough

TomCat said...

F 7 or the MIG 21 is a fast interceptor which can be used against fast moving targets. But in our case the low flying slow moving targets are not easy to target with the MIG 21. Tucano craft is a very good aircraft when it comes to our requirements.

The OV-10D is a great alternative but I don’t think US will provide us with this type of FAC (Forward Air Control) craft and when you look at the countries that it operates, you will see that its only for US Friendly countries.

The A-67 is a military aircraft currently being developed by US.

And when you look at all of these aircrafts there are several problems.
• Not battle proven
• Cannot survive direct hits from AA guns
• The armament is not good enough to penetrate LTTE defences
• High maintenance
• The country who develop it will not sell it to SL

With all these questions in mind we have to look for a better alternative. One is the battle proven A10 Thunderbolt II, this craft will pass all the tests except for the last one. US will not sell it to SL.

But the good thing is because of the good old Cold War there is always an counterpart for a US aircraft

Enter the SU 25. Work horse of the Soviet air force. This was developed as a specialised shturmovik armoured assault aircraft in order to provide close air support for the Soviet Ground Forces.

It entered service during the Soviet Afghan War. And proved it self as a Flying Tank it can take direct hits from a 20mm cannon and will have only scratch marks on it.

When the US A10 Pilots first had the chance to interact with it they were amazed to see its performance. Some points they always talk about the SU 25 are the ability to attack a target accurately and agility of the aircraft and most of all when it runs out of weapons it can reach Mach 1 and leave the war zone, something the A10 can’t even dream of.
General characteristics
• Crew: one pilot
• Length: 15.33 m (50 ft 11)
• Wingspan: 14.36 m (47 ft 1 in)
• Height: 4.80 m (15 ft 9 in)
• Wing area: 30.1 m² (324 ft²)
• Empty weight: 10,740 kg (23,677 lb)
• Loaded weight: 16,990 kg (37,456 lb)
• Max takeoff weight: 20,500 kg (45,194 lb)
• Powerplant: 2× Tumansky R-195 turbojets, 44.18 kN (9,480 lbf) each
Performance
• Maximum speed: 950 km/h (590 mph, Mach 0.82)
• Combat radius: 375 km (235 mi)
• Ferry range: 2,500 km (1,553 mi)
• Service ceiling 10,000 m (22,200 ft)
• Rate of climb: 58 m/s (11,400 ft/min)
• Wing loading: 584 kg/m² (119 lb/ft²)
• Thrust/weight: 0.51
Armament
• 1× GSh-30-2 30mm cannon with 250 rounds
• 11 hardpoints for up to 4,400 kg (9,700 lb) of disposable ordnance, including rails for two R-60 (AA-8 'Aphid') or other air-to-air missiles for self-defence and a wide variety of general-purpose bombs, cluster bombs, gun pods, rocket pods, laser-guided bombs, and air-to-surface missiles such as the Kh-25ML

Defencewire said...

This is part of our hypotheses for suggesting Super Tucano,

1. SLA's strategic march ahead must be matched by SLAF, SLN, STF etc.

SLAF cannot afford to only engage identified targets like LTTE leaders and assets. In the coming months, it would have to perform increased ground attack functions in areas with less threat of MANPADs/AA batteries to minimize human losses. MIG27/29,Kfir are expensive options for continuous ground attack supporting troops on a multitude of fronts, since they cannot hower around and provide second strike cabilities. Tucano can soar for longer and can provide second strike capability to ground troops or military intelligence in green 9means good to go) zones where there's much less threat to aircraft. They can also assist SLN for maritime surveillance with onbard strike capability (thus reducing reaction time), engagement of flotillas fast and accurately with a range of weapons etc. They can get airborne from almost any runway from SLAF camps throughout the island. This way, the number 10 squadron and a Tucano sqadron can complement each other and share the workload, but importantly help SLA maintain the pressure on LTTE FDLs.It is high time other armed forces chipped in, and they have, but SLAF can do more with more cost-effective tools. Tucano's purchase price is for a new plane. It will run with minimum expenses from there onwards.

2. MiG 27/ Kfir jet overhaul theory put forward by some members of the defence establishment is pretty dodgy. There are three types of overhauls. First, Service overhaul is that each engine manufacturer (with the FAA's approval) sets the Minimum standards that will comply with an engine's overhaul requirements. The key word here is ‘minimum’. In a Service Limit overhaul, the engine is disassembled, parts are checked, and any part that falls within the service limits set by the manufacturer is reinstalled.

In a New Limit Overhaul, engine parts are reworked or replaced as necessary to meet these more stringent limits, with the final result being an engine that is functionally equal to a new engine. For those who want an engine with the best chance of achieving ‘new engine’ reliability and longevity, this is generally the overhaul of choice.
Last is a ‘zero time’ overhaul. It is presently available only from the engines manufacturer, and typically comes with a new engine warranty. Obviously, excluding test-stand time, new recently manufactured engines are fairly and properly termed zero-time. All the parts will be factory new.
Even a brand new aircraft made by the Former USSR, the lifespan is around 350 to 1,000 flying hours (varies by airplane). Like the government assertion, 8 years lifespan or 850 hours flying time would be expected with zero time overhauls, installing new engine and full re-manufacturing.
There is a myth about overhauling. An overhaul sometimes costs more than a second hand airplane itself.

Zero overhaul costs are usually more than 3 million for MiG-23. It has long been known that brand new R-29-300 turbo jets (installed in MiG-27s) engine has lifespan of less than 800 operation hours (Generally, Russian engines are less durable than the Western made).

A million dollar can only get service limit overhauls without installing brand-new engines. If the government could make a zero overhaul possible with a million, we would be unstinting in my praise of the government’s efforts for the price chopping. But we do not believe government made a zero overhaul in one million with installation of brand-new Soyuz R-29-300 power plant.

We have done a thorough investigation regarding this some time ago, but have kept the findings to ourselves. Stiring up a hornets' nest when we are in the heat of battle is not a good idea. But, anyone whose interested in this can write to us.

3. How real is the threat of MANPADS/AA batteries? These threats are largely overrated. MANPADS brought down slow-moving transport planes. Not a single craft was lost due to AA batteries. Until many of the supersonic jets were purchased Siaimarchettis were the ground attack crafts in operation. Government does not discuss this issue when the MiG 27 deal came up. They went with the old threat analysis. In any case, SAMs are again missiles. The reason they call them missiles is because they miss, specially if they are fired at relatively high speed aircraft with good missile defense systems. AA batteries hitting a Tucano is not as easy as one might think. over 500k/hr is a pretty fast-moving object for a guy with a simple battery like what LTTE has, unless you turn the skies into Gulf War Baghdad.

4. The Tucano and other COIN aircraft could be the best answer to TAF. Please see video for more confirmation.

But unfortunately, we have neither a choice nor voice on his issue. But it is still our right to provide fresh alternatives. We think you would do too.

Defencewire said...

tomcat,
I think its high time you stopped fooling around and became a contributor like SHY.

Panhinda said...

The answer may not be having one or the other, but deploy CION to compliment Mig27s and the Kfir. Although the supersonics are more capable, it has to be based at Katunayake due to runway requirements. LTTE spies based around KIA gives advance warning to LTTE in Kilinochi. The element of surprise is lost giving them a 10-15 min window to take evasive action.

The turboprops could be based in any of the of the runways at Habarana, Trinco, Jaffna or even temporary runways setup close to FDLs. It could even hover for prolong periods reacting to enemy artillery fire and air support requests. You could also perhaps add night flying capability at low cost. Furthermore, it can bridge the gap with intercepting low flying light aircraft closer to the source at Vavuniya or Trinco which the supersonics have so far failed.

All in all, I don't think its a bad idea.

Srilankan said...

illegal.existance.. i am no military guy..but
1)did the navy pay the company ALL the money upfront..?or where they paid for by installments..and were all the installments paid in full for a 27m boat?..did the navy cut corners later?.hmm
2)Reducing the length of the boat by 3m..may not reduce its speed because it may reduce drag-shear force on hull..provided the same engines designed for the 27m was fitted...hmm was the same engine fitted for the 24m?
i am sure the company conducted model tests for these..
Armamentwise i am clueless

Moshe Dyan said...

DW,

"In this overall perspective, the plane has enough speed and armament, even better than MiG-27."

no way! this cannot possibly be true.

"SLAF cannot afford to only engage identified targets like LTTE leaders and assets. In the coming months, it would have to perform increased ground attack functions in areas with less threat of MANPADs/AA batteries to minimize human losses."

well said DW; much loved statement!!!! i've been telling this over and over and over....again amidst stiff opposition.

but i do not think the suggested plane has waht it takes to beat a Kfir or a MiG going by the specifications alone.

Bentz said...

This has a US engine.So will dey allow us to buy it???

Long-Ranger said...

"SLA's strategic march ahead must be matched by SLAF, SLN, STF etc."

But swarming the wanni skies with aircrafts is NOT the answer. These are heavily populated areas. I suppose you know the amount of flak the SLAF and subsequently the GOSL got for the apparent bombing of civilian areas when it the platoforms it used had NO ability of precision guidance. The F-7 and the Pucara were notorious for mis hits. Even the Kfir's WDNS-41 under optimal conditions has the ability to deliver at a CEM of around 8m. What is with the Tucano? How much cost will it be for Lanka's image on the world stage for civilian casualties? Right now despite bombing runs with Mk84 bunker busters in meters range of schools, temples etc the casualty figures are n average 2 injured or one death. Given the blast radius, this is one amazing achievement.

ONE of the main reasons why jayasikurui failed was the then administration didn't believe in investing towards the SLAF, simply because they hoped to link up Jaffna with the A9 so that they could travel by land instead of flying, which was the expensive option. We all saw the disaster didn't we?

And we are living in times when the tamil tigers will clutch at any straw in desperation. It will even post pictures of cluster munitions for propaganda to show its diaspora that it has shot a 'Sinhala' Air force bird. Given the history of Pucaras lost in the Lankan conflict, re-introducing turboprops will defnitely make the tamiltiger AA units to lick their lips. Even one shot down bird will bring rich dividends to such a desperate terrorist organisation. Why do you think we use our gunships sparingly? Simply because they are the most vulnerable of the entire SLAF fleet. Do you think the Tucano will fair any better?

Further the real cost of an aircraft comes from maintenance and training, not its actual price tag. To make sure SLAF too 'forward marches' like the SLA/SLN/STF means SLAF will actually need a fleet of at least 15-20. To accomodate that we need to train more pilots of a totally new aircraft and more importantly new flying tactics. To compliment this we need to train our technicians, bring in spares, armament, new hangars and other items to compliment this 'new' flying squadron. What would the total cost be?

Compare this to the MIG27, which we've been operating for the last 8 years. We have our own pilots, trained technicians and the entire lot in place and operate accordingly as required. If the TamilTigers decide to move in columns as they did during their famed 'ceaseless waves' I am pretty sure the MIG27/Kfirs will perform thir CAS operations. They have done it in past. I am pretty sure they are capable of doing it again in future. Not flying enough doesn't mean they are obsolete ot ineffective.

We must all remember one thing. SLAF needs targets to fly.

If anyone's interested in SLAF's hardware, overview of strategy and the lot please visit

http://www.lankanewspapers.com/news/2006/9/8415.html

PS- Im out of time. Could have included more details to this crude answer. Hope this helps :-)

Long-Ranger said...

This is one excellent blog/forum community building up.

Depending on my success in getting online via my laptop, my portal (blog) will be updated.

The next upcoming story will be titled an overview of Thambimuttus. This is a code word used by the seperatist Tamil Tigers for one of their key weapons against the Sri Lankan Government forces. Stay tuned at:

http://sf-3.blogspot.com/

Finally have you thought of putting this portal up at

http://www.milblogging.com/

worth considering :-)

Take care all...

Raptor said...

Supporting ground operations is a task for the Mi-24's, thats why we have bought them. Tucano's cannot carry a payload as big as them, they may have greater loiter time but that dosnt help when you dont have ammunition.

Its way way more expensive than any aircraft we have, and as someone rightly pointed out, it has a Pratt & Whitney engine, so its defenitely going to be vetoed by the US.

Why are we discussing impractical arguments here? Its not going to happen

GoldenEagle said...

Defencewire

How about the Czech made L-159 Alca? It has a payload of 2340kg and cost about $8 million each.

http://www.airforce-technology.com/
projects/l159/

uthum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
uthum said...

If we are so concerned about close-air support how come we don't put into use our Mi-24's more often? I have only heard a few reports over the past 2 years of them being used at all. I think we are seriously limiting ourselves by not tapping the valuable service those birds can provide.

But I do like the idea of this super Tacano; DW is the air force even considering purchasing some of these planes?

Long-Ranger said...

Uthum,

First of all we must bear in mind that the primary reason for the advent of gunships for CAS is against armour/IFVs and are designed to fight as part of a large battle group. USAF/marines AH-1W/AH-64 s fight as part of a large battle group. In SLAF's case the pilots are the only entity of the battle group.

Further add to the fact that gunships are the most vulnerable of the entire SLAF fleet for ground AA fire. If the gunships WERE part of a large battle group with a ground maneuver brigade combat team and a corps support group etc enemy AA fire can be negated. eg - how the Tamil Tigers neutralised the AA ability of the ANURADHAPURA base before calling in the airwing. Another way to overcome this among many is to make the enemy blind, i.e fight at night.
This is where the MI35M comes into play. The results will be pretty interesting once SLAF employs the "NOCTIS IN DIES" principle. :-)

Defencewire said...

This is not a competition between Mig and Tucano. Its about a possible division of roles.

The accuracy of the MiG is due to risk-taking by Pilots to engage in dive bombings. The first risk is in diving at 700kmph, not the AA guns or MANPADs. The Tucano will enable this. The best example is the SU35, which was written off as a slow jet before Afghan War. However, its less speed led to remarkable accuracy, which noone expected.

The USA provides the engine and much of the weapons guidance systems etc for Super Tucano. However, the aircraft is made overseas, in Brazil. USA can sell items which are non-lethal. For example, they can sell us a Raytheon radar or guiding system, but they cannot sell us the bombs. UK sold us fire control radars, but they asked us to get a Belgian Canon. The only problem with this is that there's no commission!

There are a number of other aircraft like Tucano, but none of them are battle-proven. In addition to countries like Colombia and Brazil that have to shoot down drug lords and their planes, other countries like Indonesia that face guerrilla warfare and also the US defence contractor Black Water (active in Afghanistan, Iraq etc) have plans of purchasing the plane already. They are also considering replacing the bronco with the Tucano in Indonesia. This speaks volumes for the Tucano.

Long-Ranger said...

Dive bombing is the hallmark of any CAS aircraft. True it has provided accuracy for SLAF, but there are other technological factors that determine the accuracy, which I tend to opt out of this public portal. To negate associated risk of low alti sorties is the reason why we see extra armour protection for the MIG27 or the A10. Even though the element of risk is present giving the enemy a chance of counter fire, then in the same vein the same applies for the Tucano. There are documented records that the MIGs operating bombing runs at Mach 1 at below 5000 feet in the Sri Lankan conflict. Hence what faces the higher risk of a successful hit for the AA gunner? The Tucano or the flogger?

To compare how the Tucano will perform in the Sri Lankan theatre, let me bring out the FMA IA58 Pucara. This is yet another South American platform. Speed and flight envelope wise it is quite similar to the Tucano (Pucara is faster) but far more superior bomb load wise. Would you mind posting to the public on how effectively the Pucara faired during its operational period?

If one considers SLAF should go back to slower CAS aircraft, why not go for the Pucara? SLAF already had previous experience of this particular platform hence will be cheaper to employ once again.

Tucano maybe the platform of choice in fighting small scale insurgencies, which no CONVENTIONAL capability whatsoever. The Tamil Tiger driven conflict of Sri Lanka, WHEN the MIG27 was inducted was raging on a CONVENTIONAL scale. Mass columns of Tamil Tigers moved ahead of FDLs backd by heavy barrages of artillery and mortar fire (can the same be said of Indonesia and South America?). To negate this the MIG27 was introduced. This was year 2001. Once the necessary infrastructure was in place to accomodate the MIG27 (trained technicians, pilots, armament, flying tactics, spares), for a small airforce like SLAF it is unfeasible to shelve the MIG27 and induct a totally new platform.

The MiG-27M is a dedicated low-level striker, and it having a relatively small wing area makes it a flying bombtruck with a higher wing load. This wing load DOES NOT hamper the flogger to operate at high speed and low level. Thus, the gust response is low and the plane has an excellent low-level ride. This increases the precision during bomb-attack and strafing, while enabling the aircraft to continue operating at high speeds, and thus make it less sensitive to AA fire be it AAA or MANPADS.

The complexity of maintenance of the MiG-27M could be slightly higher (even higher than a Kfir), but its equipment and the added low level punch more than makes up for it. Hope this helps...

TropicalStorm said...

defencewire

Wouldn't it be much better to purchase a few transports and convert them into gunships that can loiter at high altitudes and direct say 30mm fire at identified targets?

I'm referring to adapting a couple of old Ruski planes like the Antonovs for this role..

Ranil said...

I'm with Long Ranger on this.
We can't compare our conflict with others and try to shoe-horn in tactics that wont work due the nature of the problems

Ogre said...

I am with defense wire in this case

we all forgot to mention turn around time!


Mig takes longer

short range patrol - can refuel- load up and bomb

this is how Isreal won against 100;s of migs against the war in mid east (they trained and trained)

and this is how US and UK won WII against the germans/japanese

get a hint !

it how quickly you adopt

work with what we got and get coverage over those skies to rain lead on the enemy !

if not our boys are stepping in to killing fields.!

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