Thursday, June 20, 2013

OV-10G+ Combat Dragon II. Why isn't the Marine Corps all over this???

Read about it here.


Why isn't the Marine Corps all over this like a hooker on a Marine on payday?

I can tell ya why...because our eyes are on a certain target, our fangs are out and we've nailed 'em to the floorboard 'cause we want it so bad.

When do you know your procurement model is broken?  When common sense, multi-use opportunities present themselves but you're so locked into a course of action that you can't adjust to take advantage.

What can an OV-10G+ do?

*operate off LHDs.
*escort our MV-22, CH-53K.
*provide a platform to drop recon units.
*act as a Fast FAC.
*provide close air support.
*act as an aerial anti-helicopter platform.

I would so love to see a squadron or two in USMC service.  I think the idea of a Special MAGTF-Crisis Response Force is a bad idea, but a pair of OV-10G+ escorting the MV-22s would definitely make the concept a bit more realistic.


  1. My father Flew T-28's for the Royal Laotian Air force and he can tell you, the T-28's were way better for CAS and had the ability to pound the ground into submission

  2. GPMGs would bring these down with little trouble, any half way serious missile system would chew through them with ease.
    If you think the S300 can keep super hornets and growlers out, what future do you see for this?

    1. The S-300/400/500 will not be a treath to the Bronco.There are several reasons why this is true:
      -The OV-10 will only operate near the FLOT where the major treaths are MANPADS and AAA.The S-300 will never be this close to the front line.
      -The S-300 does not work against the Bronco:it flyes to low to be detected.During the libyan conflit the LARAF operated Aermacchi SF.260s light attack/trainers against insurgents with total impunity despite the no-fly zone by NATO.!/2011/03/spade-is-spade-for-odyssey-dawn.html
      -This kind of aircraft is MORE survival than any helicopter...
      This means your comment is not true and that Solomon is right...

  3. Each mission is tailored to the threat at hand.

    Just like you would not take a Cobra into S-300 country, you would not go down low & slow where GPMGs are around.

    Besides, this is one of the benefits of PGMs and better Situational Awareness (from datalinks and the FLIR). You can stay up above a few thousand feet but still be able to respond with quick and accurate CAS.

    You would use it just like they plan to use the SuperT, but with more options (cargo, cannot, etc).

  4. The Corps should certainly operate a low end ISR and CAS aircraft. One could argue all day the merits of particular platforms, personally I'd go with the Super Tucano, but the main point is that no such aircraft will be considered as the Corps some years ago went all in on the F-35.

  5. I am not an aviator, BUT USN Black Pony OV-10 flew CAS for my PBRs in 'Nam and they impressed me all the hell!
    This is NOT an either or situation, it is can the USMC afford more smaller ISR/CAS a/c, can they use them at forward airstrips, and can the Marines afford to loose some (morbid but true)? So would the Marines want to spend LESS R&D on an existing a/c and field some possibly sooner, and/or spend a hellavu lot more R&D on fewer much more exquisite a/c now and later and later to get some in-service later and later?

    1. Actually it is an either/or situation in terms of force structure. The Corps could decide to bring the Observation squadron but exactly which other unit gets cut to support that? Once upon a time there were light attack aircraft in some attack squadrons (A-4, A-1, etc.) but these were all replaced by the AV-8B.

      There's certainly no room whatsoever for any new, however inexpensive and cost effective, light attack aircraft as that's a case for less F-35 units. The USMC long ago decided to give up the medium attack and EW squadrons and have every single fighter replaced by the F-35. Moreover, they are replacing their dedicated attack aircraft in the AV-8B by an aircraft that is twice as heavy. That's not a logic train with room for a light cost effective attack aircraft.

      All this aside the main reason it's an either/or is that anything in the aviation budget that isn't F-35 is a direct threat to the F-35. At this point the Pentagon isn't entertaining any notions about reducing the total F-35 buy, however problematic it turns out trying to retain the force structure.

      Currently the Corps has 19 fighter squadrons (7 AV-8B) and plans on keeping all 19 with the F-35B/C (340/80). I'd suggest that's unrealistic and also ridiculous. The F-35 offers enough significant capability upgrade that replacing the AV-8B and F/A-18 one for one is illogical on myriad levels, even the Corps could afford it which is a matter of debate. I'd suggest given some real thought on the subject the Corps could have cut at least 3 squadrons and dropped to 16 and in that universe maybe having 3 Observation squadrons with light attack aircraft might make sense in terms of force structure and the budget.

  6. All it need is this:

  7. Nuno
    The idea that troops wont operate under S300 protection pretty much invalidates its existance....
    The problems in Libya were simply responding to threats, with no close basing and little refueling we couldnt keep aircraft in the air.

    What does this offer that a predator drone doesnt?
    For the cost of operating one these you could keep a drone above a battalion 24/7 providing constant fire support and ISTAR

  8. The Corps doesn't operate the MQ-1/9. If a USAF MQ-9 can get the job done fine, does the Corps really have to buy them? If the job can be done by an aircraft at 20,000+ ft, like a cheap to operate MALE, what would be a less cost effective substitute than a strike fighter?

    This aside not every single CAS or ISR mission can be filled by an aircraft, drone or manned, flying at 20K and dropping a JDAM. Take a look at the specific requirements of Imminent Fury. Furthermore, consider another aspect of aircraft operations- weather. Sometimes you have to fly under the cloud base.

  9. People ,get this:DRONES DONT SHOOT AT MOVING TARGETS...they only attack fixed targets because of the delay between pressing the trigger and firing...there is a delay in the image that the operator sees...drones dont do CAS or chase moving targets...not for now
    And even the super duper S-500 uses a radar to search and track targets...and as far as i know RADARs dont see whats behind building,hills,montains,valleys,trees...ANY aircraft flying low is invisible to ground all smugglers/drug dealers know...and continue to invade american,chinese,russian and european airspace every day with extreme impunity...

  10. I will go further than this and claim that strike aircraft from the 1960/70s can chanllege these so called «double-digit SAMs»:
    -Blackburn Buccaneer

  11. The Army should have them too. Its nothing but bullshit that the Army doesn't have its own fixed wing close support planes and (tactical transport too while we are on the subject). Apaches are cool but I've only ever seen them operate from concrete bases. If they aren't to be deployed far forward in a VTOL field then there is no other reason to use them over a Bronco. Hovering doesn't seem to me to be an advantage for a gun platform on the battlefield. On the Apache training missions I was involved with (as OPFOR) they were instructed to make strafing rather than hovering runs because sitting still is bad. The Kiowas supporting us when I was overseas did the same. Helos are great for troop transport but for close support airplanes are better in every way. They are faster carry more and are somewhat less prone to tumble from the sky when hit. And since the close air support should naturally be an Army mission the Army should have its own Broncos and A-10s. Hell the airforce doesn't even want the mission! They would have mothballed the A-10 a long time ago if they hadn't kicked so much butt in Desert Storm. They want to replace them with f-35s doing standoff shots. Hell for some of those jerks 5 miles up in the air is to close to the enemy, they'd rather be on another continent flying drones and complaining that they don't get combat awards! Sorry, as a grunt and a pilot, I'm a big fan of the Bronco and this is a pet gripe of mine.

  12. The Marine Corps is involved in CDII to some extent. A few of the backseaters in the eval det are Marine F/A-18D WSOs. Not sure if this is indicative of deeper Marine Corps interest in the program or simply the Navy wanting to include the closest analog for an OV-10D backseater, but the Marines are definitely involved.

    Also, while it's true that Broncos can operate off LHDs, they can't get back aboard them. Furthermore, limited deck and hangar space and the OV-10's inability to fold its wings are other factors to consider when discussing OV-10s for shipboard operations.

    Last nit to pick: "fast-FAC" refers to Forward Air Control missions flown by jets like A-10s and F/A-18Ds (or, back in the day, TF-9Js, TA-4Fs, F-100s, and F-4s). The OV-10 was never considered a "fast-FAC."


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.