OH-10 Bronco

Discussion in 'Military Aviation' started by W.G.Ewald, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Boeing: OV-10 Bronco

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. drkrn

    drkrn Senior Member Senior Member

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  4. balai_c

    balai_c Regular Member

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    That would be the roundell of Luftwaffe, also known as German air force.

    [​IMG]

    German Air Force
     
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  5. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Long walk Elite Member

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    It's an German Plane ..Served in US forces
     
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  6. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    From the article:

     
  7. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Combat Dragon II Demonstrates OV-10G+ Bronco Capabilities

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    In recent months, the U.S. special operations community has been quietly evaluating two North American OV-10G+ Bronco light combat aircraft at Naval Air Station Fallon, Nev., and at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.

    The Combat Dragon II program is aimed at demonstrating that a small, turboprop-powered warplane can be effective in “high end/special aviation” missions of the kind encountered in Afghanistan. The program is a follow-on to an earlier demonstration program called Imminent Fury, which used a leased A-29B Super Tucano. The current effort is also called Phase Two of Imminent Fury.

    The Combat Dragon requirement for a light armed warplane for use in Afghanistan originated with the combatant commander there – at the time, Gen. Stanley McChrystal – and has been through on-again, off-again incarnations. The program enjoyed strong support from Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis, who headed U.S. Central Command from 2010 to 2013. Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee in March 2010 that using a robust, complex aircraft like an F-15E Strike Eagle to support troops patrolling rural villages “amounts to overkill.” According to a source, the current Combat Dragon II effort is purposely kept low-profile, but basic facts about it are not classified.

    Congress tried to kill Combat Dragon II 18 months ago. The Navy’s special operations community – specifically, its Irregular Warfare Office headquartered in the Pentagon – was able to resurrect the effort with help from Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC).

    Combatant Commander Support


    The Combat Dragon requirement for a light armed warplane for use in Afghanistan originated with the combatant commander there – at the time, Gen. Stanley McChrystal – and has been through on-again, off-again incarnations. The program enjoyed strong support from Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis, who headed U.S. Central Command from 2010 to 2013. Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee in March 2010 that using a robust, complex aircraft like an F-15E Strike Eagle to support troops patrolling rural villages “amounts to overkill.” According to a source, the current Combat Dragon II effort is purposely kept low-profile, but basic facts about it are not classified.

    The key to the concept is an inexpensive, simple, nimble combat aircraft capable of long loiter and on-call reconnaissance and attack duty, able to deliver precision ordnance and employ state-of-the-art technology including electro-optical and infrared sensors, laser- and satellite-guided munitions, and encrypted radios and night-vision gear.

    [​IMG]
    This requirement may have its origins in the March 2002 Battle of Takur Ghar, also called the Battle of Roberts Ridge – a part of the larger Operation Anaconda – in which eight U.S. service members were killed and many wounded. Observers say that if an Air Force AC-130 Specter gunship on the scene had been able to stay on target and relay sensor intelligence and deliver precision munitions, the outcome of the battle might have been more favorable for the U.S. side.

    Phase One of Imminent Fury used an A-29B (now an official Pentagon designation for the Embraer EMB-314B Super Tucano) borrowed from the company then named Blackwater Worldwide. The same aircraft, now operated by Sierra Nevada Corp., has also been used as the demonstrator for the Air Force’s separate Light Air Support program, aimed at equipping the fledgling Afghan air force.

    Under the original scheme for Phase Two, also called Combat Dragon II as early as 2010, four airframes – presumably Tucanos, although the Air Tractor AT-802U modified agricultural aircraft and the Beechcraft AT-6 Texan II were also considered as possibilities – would have deployed to Afghanistan to demonstrate their capabilities in real-world operations supporting Navy SEALs with air strikes against al Qaeda and Taliban fighters.


    Congress killed the original scheme, in part because it appeared unlikely to favor the Wichita-built AT-6 Texan II supported by the Kansas legislative delegation and in part because lawmakers felt the Pentagon was attempting to slip the program past them without full notice or explanation.

    The key to the concept is an inexpensive, simple, nimble combat aircraft capable of long loiter and on-call reconnaissance and attack duty, able to deliver precision ordnance and employ state-of-the-art technology including electro-optical and infrared sensors, laser- and satellite-guided munitions, and encrypted radios and night-vision gear.


    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz), a naval aviator, summed up the view of critics on Dec. 16, 2011, when he referred to a spending bill then under consideration: ” Of the approximately 100 unrequested and unauthorized additions above the president’s budget request found in the Defense Appropriations bill,” said McCain, “one of the more concerning is a $20 million allocation for an obscure aircraft program called ‘Combat Dragon II.’ Although the name is interesting and sounds threatening enough, you won’t find it in the President’s Defense Budget request, nor did it appear in the Defense Authorization bill. So, again, I asked staff to pull the string on it and see what unraveled.”

    McCain continued: “The purpose of the program is to lease up to four crop-duster-type aircraft [an apparent reference to the AT-802U] and to outfit them with machine gun pods, laser-guided bombs, rockets and air-to-air missiles. So, I directed my staff to see if this alleged requirement was justified and properly vetted and approved within the Pentagon by a Joint Urgent Operational Needs Statement, since it was not in the administration[s budget request. Once again the answer was a resounding 'No' – there is NO urgent operational requirement for this type of aircraft." The capital letters appear in the transcript as provided by McCain's office.

    "After turning over the right rocks, we found that this aircraft lease will not be competitively awarded – shades of the infamous tanker lease program – and as such is effectively earmarked for a particular aircraft manufacturer who has the corner on this particularly obscure part of the aviation market." This could be a reference to either the A-29B or the AT-6.

    A different kind of criticism came in an interview for this article with former Pentagon analyst Pierre Sprey, widely credited as the force behind the A-10 Thunderbolt II.

    Sprey doesn't think a program aimed explicitly at Afghanistan will get funded when "we're leaving that country and getting out of that war." Sprey believes present-day technology would enable a vastly improved, cheaper A-10 type of aircraft that would be suitable for all intensities of warfare.

    "Piddling around with light attack is not the way to help out our troops," Sprey told Defense Media Network. "In any case, a 'light attack aircraft' isn't going to happen in part because we're leaving Afghanistan next year and mostly because the Air Force despises the mission. We could do much better today if we developed a smaller, hotter, more lethal and survivable version of the A-10 and put the emphasis on 'close support' rather than on 'light attack.' Our troops need and deserve a true close support aircraft more than ever."

    Revived and Re-funded

    After Congress deleted $17 million from the plan to send four aircraft to Afghanistan, Pentagon officials obtained permission to re-channel funds from other programs and revived Combat Dragon II – not in the combat zone but stateside, at Fallon and Nellis – with a pair of OV-10G+ Broncos. The effort is now dubbed a Limited Objective Evaluation (LOE) and the current funds apparently come from Air Force Special Operations Command, although the OV-10G+ aircraft are reportedly being flown by Navy aircrews.

    After Congress deleted $17 million from the plan to send four aircraft to Afghanistan, Pentagon officials obtained permission to re-channel funds from other programs and revived Combat Dragon II – not in the combat zone but stateside, at Fallon and Nellis – with a pair of OV-10G+ Broncos. The effort is now dubbed a Limited Objective Evaluation (LOE) and the current funds apparently come from Air Force Special Operations Command, although the OV-10G+ aircraft are reportedly being flown by Navy aircrews.

    The OV-10G+ represents the latest incarnation of a Vietnam-era aircraft design that was meant from the outset for forward air control and counter-insurgency.

    The two aircraft in the Combat Dragon II program (bureau numbers 155481 and 155492) are among about a dozen former Marine Corps OV-10D+ models that were previously operated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The author of this article flew in one of them and found the observers’ back-seat position to be quite noisy and to have poor visibility. When the ATF scaled down its plans for an air arm in the late 1990s, its OV-10D+ aircraft were turned over to the Department of State Air Wing, which uses them for counter-narcotics operations in Latin America. The unit is also known as the INL Air Wing, named for State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement. The two aircraft then went to NASA and eventually became part of the Combat Dragon II program.

    In recent years, this batch of about a dozen Broncos underwent various upgrades, with three modified to OV-10G+ standard (reprising a letter suffix that was used earlier for a very different OV-10G version intended for South Korean forces). The upgrade was accomplished by Marsh Aviation in at Falcon Field in Mesa, Ariz., and was done initially for the Colombian Air Force.

    The OV-10G+ version now being evaluated has the same Garrett T76G-420/421 turboprops used on the OV-10D, but with four-bladed Hartzell propellers. The OV-10G+ also has an off-the-shelf sensor turret.

    Closeted Combat Dragon II

    Apart from the basics, no details are available on how the Combat Dragon II program is proceeding or what officials expect when current, AFSOC-generated funding expires on September 30. The two Broncos were recently observed on the East Ramp, also called the Atlantic Aviation Ramp, at Reno/Tahoe International Airport, returning from participation in an exercise called Jaded Thunder at Pahrump, Nev. Jaded Thunder is a joint effort that simulates engaging an enemy in an urban environment. It has been held periodically using a variety of special-purpose military aircraft, including the Pilatus PC-12 and the AC-130.

    So why is the seemingly routine Combat Dragon II program kept so low-key? It’s easy to speculate that the program would encounter problems with the Kansas congressional delegation (On June 13, Kansas’s Beechcraft announced that it would exhibit the AT-6 and “defense, special mission and mission support capabilities” at this summer’s Paris Air Show). A source told Defense Media Network the low-key approach is happening because those on the Navy side of the joint effort feel it’s best to “keep a low profile, quietly go about doing good work, and keep the bosses informed.”

    Source : Combat Dragon II Demonstrates OV-10G+ Bronco Capabilities | Defense Media Network
     
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  8. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    Very nice program for CQB to gather intelligence and act as support from air. An inexpensive tool for an expensive operation. Sounds fine. All it lacks is a titanium bathtub in it.
     
  9. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    If such a platform can deploy precision munition such as JDAM and LGB and Hellfire & AGM-65 there is no need to go strafing ..
     
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