Author Topic: F-16's Replaced with Crop Dusters? Wars are getting cheaper  (Read 105 times)

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Offline Ken Gigliotti

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F-16's Replaced by Crop Dusters? The Next Wars Will Be Cheaper. This is not good news. Aggregated Opinion by Ken Gigliotti

In the future war will be cheaper, dollar store versions of weapon systems are in the works. The most dangerous is cheaper than a clip of bullets.

The small, dependable Ayers Thrush crop duster is being transformed with the addition of six hard points for the latest in infrared targeting of laser guide munitions , flare and chaff dispensers ,guns and rockets  for the return of propeller driven close air support bombing missions. (Return of The Light Brigade by Tim Wright)The transformation is now the combat ready, light attack aircraft Iomax Archangel.

The most terrifying weapon ,comes in at an expected $10 per unit has it's creators trying to get a world wide ban.
War is just getting too expensive and a survey of air combat magazines has some interesting news.
Big expensive planes like the F-14 Tomcat and now F-15 Eagle are being retired. The smaller and cheaper F-16 an F-18 are taking over until the F-35's come into service , soon. 

Planes like these converted crop dusters can be seen fighting forest fires in BC. They seem small but they have support by America's private army. It could mean a lot of new small wars being fought in places like the Middle East , Africa and South America were no journalists are welcomed and not many people will notice.

Our own JTF could make good use of them as a three plane group on some uncharted dirt runway ,moved around the world easily by container ship or large transport planes, is ready to add rescue support or launch an assault with little backup. (Benghazi) If Blackwater thinks it's a good idea , it is a good idea for the JTF.

The idea of fighting wars with overwhelming force and the Doctrine of Air Power , is loosing support because it is war fighting in the most expensive way possible. Countries like the United States, United Arab Republic,Lebanon ,and coming soon to Saudi Arabia are buying light attack planes. They make pilot training easier, they are cheaper to operate ,they can stay over a hot combat zone for hours supporting ground troops by attacking the enemy relentlessly and more accurately than big jets.  These are big contracts in the Middle East for American workers .Fly-off competitions are being held , some competitor planes already in Afghanistan fighting. 

These types of wars will be fought against an enemy with no air force or ways to defend from the air.

The US Air Force's Strategic Study Group is recommending light attack aircraft instead of fast movers like jets. There are many planes in this category , the best is said to be Brazil's Super Tucano ( $13 million each , in service in Lebanon, Nigeria, and Mali) , others include Beechcrafts AT-6 with no sales yet,( AT-6 would generate American jobs if chosen)  or Textron Scorpion ($20 million each ,small jet like a trainer) and the Navy OV-10's in storage since the Vietnam war. Other OV's  loaned to NASA.

It is estimated 36 light attack aircraft would save the US Air Force $300 million per year in fuel alone. An F-35 has an estimated cost of $94 million each, a whole squadron of light attack aircraft comes in at 5x's less and lower costs to fly.

The contract will be in the order of 300 “off the shelf”planes for “low threat environments in the Middle East”. (Us Air Force Gen. David Goldein , in Combat Aircraft May 2017 Vol.18, no.5)

Big wars are on the outs, and jet bombing from mid altitudes have created an unintended side effect, it kills the enemy and civilian shields but the enemy and civilians have family , they turn into fighters for revenge. A war of terror, ideas, an insurgency, or holy war turns into a revenge war that never ends. It also brings out propaganda influenced lone wolf terror attacks with radicalized home grown terrorists.
 Strategic bombing has been studied since before WW2 by the British anticipating the heavy bombing of London , to the Vietnam War bombing of the north. Most bombing campaigns were considered failures because the survivors do not get discouraged , they got mad. Legendary Londoners never gave up.

Another story tells of re purposing of C-130's for ground attack ,like the CIA's Sandy's and Puff the Magic Dragons of Vietnam. The conversion of “vanilla” C-130's to AC-130 (A for attack) with believe it or not a 105mm Howitzer, 30mm cannons, and wing mounted bombs. (Secret Stingers by Ashley Walace) Canada has C-130's and special operations soldiers, the JTF. The single plane offers airborne artillery without a base , and all night tactical support. It literally rains shrapnel and  bullets. Canada has old C-130's  and an anonymous  small force fighting groups involved in fighting secretly far away from Canada.

In Popular Science Special Edition The Future of Military Tech on news stand now at a hefty $16.99 tells of a new terrifying weapon straight out science fiction , so terrible the scientists working on it want it banned. Atomic bomb scientists also wanted the A-Bomb banned.
This new weapon has already been tested with  a F-18 Hornet , the same aircraft Canada uses. Think of a swarm of bees, attacking a high rise building, flying into every room. It's can be programmed to kill anyone holding a gun or anyone of military age. Self directed AI.

Urban fighting is the most costly in time and casualties for soldiers and  civilians. These Lethal Autonomous Weapons  could cost as little as $10 each. This particular swarming drone is called  LOCUST.

In the same magazine , instead of driving big expensive Hummers and LAV's these new wars are using fuel efficient Toyota and Ford technicals ,small pickup trucks with armor and big machine guns. A Canadian soldier is pictured on one in some unknown desert local. Sudan sells them. The US Special Operations Command bought 350 of them for $300,000 each , built in Toledo. They are much cheaper than bomb resistant armored troop carriers.
Another story talks of drones growing in barrels , EXACTO bullets that fallow a moving target, the F-35and the next thing that flies, a B-21 bomber at a cost 5x's the F-35, a putty that can heal bone fractures , artificial universal blood. Who thinks up this S/t, DARPA does.

Mali ,Niger , and Chad during Operation Serval , Canadian C-17 heavy lift aircraft answered the call for help in Mali (Air Lift over Africa,story in  Air International Oct 2015) along with RAF, US Air force, bringing ammunition and supplies in response to a terror threat. French armed forces heavily armed helicopters have finished at 15 month tour of duty in in Chad and Niger using EH1/67 Puma helicopters in ground support roles (fighting), they are armed with 20mm cannons. Canada is said to be going to Mali to take part in this  anti terror campaign ,but Canada does not have anything like the French gunships. (Air International Nov.2015 story by Jim Kraak)

Australia is going with the F-35 in a total revamp of their air force  called Plan Jericho , (can be Goggled) “the largest technological upgrade in the air forces history” , including 72 F-35's, EA-18G (Super F-18 electronic countermeasures),P-8A, and E-7A with a new OneSky  air traffic management system. Canada will likely do  a similar system  as they are paying sizable yearly tributes ($35million)to the F-35 program. There will likely be no in-between  on Canada's ten year time line. Canada is expected to purchase about the same number of aircraft. Canada originally  had over 130 CF-18's , during the 1991 Gulf War and Kosovo conflict the Canadian CF-18's had out dated avionics and could only participate in a limited way. Next generation F-35's have to be a shoe in, even Holland and Norway have them because of integrated systems with the US inside the NATO umbrella.

Canada will likely be doing more fighting  no matter what the politicians call it, it will be economical though, Canada will have to ante up for sure with a small force in more groups and big combat roles. Canada is urged to buy attack helicopters of the modern variety. Opinion by Ken Gigliotti


« Last Edit: July 31, 2017, 06:47 AM by Ken Gigliotti »