Thursday, August 08, 2013

Return of an A-4 type fighter?




With the above trainers form follows function and it appears that at least two of them (still not going to credit China with anything except copying the Italians or the Russians) saw the same requirement and came up with similar designs.

But that really isn't the point.

The fighter market is producing aircraft that cost so much, are technologically so advanced that without contractor support some air forces will have difficulty operating them.

If that is real, then could we see the return of an A-4 type fighter?  In reality we haven't really seen the type since the BAE Hawk.

Small, lightweight fighters that could swing into multi-roles...not perfectly but effective enough to get the job done.  All the planes listed are supersonic, have been shown with a respectable weapons load and with a bit of cash can certainly be qualified to carry everything from anti-ship missiles to long range anti-air setups.

Is this the real future?  A return to an A-4 SkyHawk type fighter.  Fast, nimble and rugged.  Able to go where you don't want to send your expensive fighter but UAVs would prove inadequate?


  1. The M346 and the Yak-130 are very similar because they have been kind of copying each other.
    In a very non amusing way, they seem to also have copied severe issues in flight control systems, so much so that a disturbing number of M346 has already fallen off from the sky, something which is understandably holding back Alenia from achieving sales. Israel has an order for them, of course, but Italy is refunding them for that order by buying more or less the same amount of money in israeli equipment.
    Not that it is a bad thing, since that includes two lightweight AWACS which will finally give the italian air force a bit of kit they have been trying to get for literally decades.

    But getting back to your point, the M346, and probably the Yak-130, are very unlikely to be much of combat airplanes, despite the brochures. Alenia has more or less admitted that the fabled M346K is not really going to work.

    I wouldn't really hold my breath, sincerely.

  2. "With the above trainers form follows function and it appears that at least two of them...saw the same requirement and came up with similar designs."
    Well Yak-130 is a Russian design and Aermacchi got onboard later. M-346 is "just" an Italian version.
    PS: They fulfill most of the requirements for Mike Sparks concepts like FINAB, Swarm/Blitzfighter, Killerbees except eg. passive armour

  3. I can see the potential of the YAK-130 or the M346 being the next generation of the BAE hawk. If they fitted out right, they can fulfill the CAS role and point defense role.

  4. it would take something crazy bad happening for our DOD to go along with something that makes this much sense but it seems like there's a lot of room for a new "Scooter" like these planes in the inventory. Like and f-16 but cheaper and hopefully more plentiful. It doesn't have to be super special to be a light strike bomb truck, and how heavy and expensive does it need to be to carry an AAMRAM or 2? The F-5 and the alphajet are also good examples of the kind of light strike plane that would be useful. We could have some relative hotrods like f-22 and/or F-15 for air defense/superiority. These scooter things could supplement. We could have drones (in the role that makes the most sense for them) as defense suppression and A-10s for heavy CAS and interdiction again these things could supplement the specialized purpose built planes. For deep strike we have b-1, b-2 drones and Strike Eagles and maybe F-16s , I guess these things wouldn't help much with that, but over all they would let us bulk up the numbers and take some of the pressure off current and near future platforms.

  5. I can see something such as a M-346, T/A-50 or F/A-50 be used as a point defense multi Role Aircraft, when they are not training new pilots and can be used to protect CONUS.

  6. Estão esquecendo do HAL Tejas, indiano. Seria o "substituto nato" do A-4 Mcdonnell Douglas Skyhawk, inclusive a variante naval está sendo submetida a testes.

    Alberto - Brasil


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