Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Marine Air Group-24 Spokesman says "the A-10 is the “preferred escort platform” for the MV-22...

Thanks to Bryan for the link!

Read the entire article.  To be honest I passed it by because it was titled that they were working on a drone that could be launched from the ramp of an MV-22.  Luckily I had a reader that was focused and grabbed this delicious and a bit disturbing tidbit...
“While the Corps’ Osprey has an escort gap, the Marine Corps at times has partnered with Air Force A-10 Warthogs to address the issue.”

“Lt. Colin B. Kennard, a spokesman for Marine Aircraft Group 24, previously told Marine Corps Times that the A-10 is the “preferred escort platform” and that the aircraft is “commonly paired” with the Osprey when conducting evacuations and extractions.”
Story here. 

I remember when the above pics were first posted.  I thought it was just a glamour shot.

Little did I know it was an exercise that was based on fixing a capabilities gap within the Marine Corps.

We just don't have an airplane that can properly escort the MV-22.

The AH-1Z can't.

The UH-1Y can't.

The Harrier is too fast.

The F-35 is too fast.

The OV-10 Bronco is long retired.

So what do we do?  We depend on USAF A-10's to do the job.  Pretty stunning isn't it.  Especially when we know that A-10s will not shadow MEUs (well I guess its possible...KC-130s do) and might not be available to perform this essential job.

What have they tried?

Arming the MV-22 is looking like a lost cause.  A ramp gun appears to be the best we can do.

For some reason the Marine Corps didn't take the OV-10s that were rebuilt for SOCOM.

We haven't acquired a few A-10s from the USAF even though it appears they'd love to unass them with a quickness.

Super Tucanos are sitting out there but we haven't heard a whiff for the USMC.

The solution the USMC is reaching for?

An unmanned tiltrotor or the Army's next gen utility/attack platform (the Marines would like it to be tilt rotor but no guarantees)!

We need an interim solution.  If the USAF can bring back a prehistoric B-52 from the boneyards then surely we can do something with some OV-10s in storage (or are they all flying for California fire now).

Regardless, it appears that this aviation centric Marine Corps is going to require more and more of the budget to accomplish what the planners want.

We're building a wing that we can't afford and can't support.  Either we adjust concepts to fit our reality or we pound the table in Congress and tell them that the "national bargain" that was the Marine Corps is no more and we need alot more money.

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