Indranil wrote:Sorry Haridasji for that mumbled post. In my head, I had written a cogent one. Obviously not!
We can't say that a A-10 like aircraft should be relegated to history because it's survivability is low against modern ground to air munition while inducting hundreds of attack helicopters. Wherever the role is for the pilot to survey, acquire and deliver A2G munition, slow and stable launch platforms will be desirable.
The real question is cost. Countries don't want to invest inn expensive and special purpose aircraft. Instead, they are repurposing their AJTs and large surveillance UAVs with a secondary light attack role.
Sorry I was away from BRF and social media for few days, so a late response.
Few observations to share that might be of help :
1. All recent (say last 20 years or even 30 years) close air support
(against ground targets) has ONLY happened when the attacker had complete air superiority AND the defenders had no SAM/MANPAD. How likely will Indian aggression be in similar situation on against TSP/China?
2. A10 based attack in second US-Iraq war was against gun shooting ground-force/resistance. IIRC not once was A10 hit by MANPAD/SAM, because defenders had none.
3. Converting the Kiran into an armoured A10 will make it so heavy that its range and 'payload to battle field' will be unusable. Attack helicopters OTOH are scaled to be in balance wrt engine power, armour protection and fire power. IMHO a morphed Kiran into min A10 will be so unbalanced to be a failure in range, protection & firepower.
4. IIRC all countries that are re-purposing AJT with secondary attack capability have a target that are insurgent/militia armed with AK/LMG/MMG/HMG & RPG. Most such nations are third world countries. USA is considering one (trexton based prop trainer) only because economies of time-on station in Afghanistan is horrendously expensive and demand for close ground support is high. (Once the targeted malitia gets a MANPAD even an A10 like craft is history)
5. Now consider Pakees (what to speak of resource laden PLA) they have at least 4000 MANPADs and vehicle mounted Short range SAM and Medium range SAMs with 3-10 km range against sub-sonic aircraft. What is the imagined probability/role for Armoured Kiran where a Packee army formation devoid of MANPAD needs to be taken care of? I say none.
attack helicopters and close air support (meaning low altitude) attack planes are way past their expiry date. On Packee front all air support will be provided by air platform precision weapon that operate out of the MANPAD and SAM envelop that enemy may be carrying. IAF has learnt from Kargil loss of the Mi-8 and Mig-21. Balakot was long range stand off.
New weapons are seeker based and slow moving UAV are doing the job of spotter and forward air controller.
7. In another 5 year 100% of global MANPADs will be made with dual/multispectral seeker and computing engine to make chaffs & flairs useless. In another 7-9 years most Manpads will have mmW based end game seeker to overcome current countermeasures.