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Thread: Future Light Attack - Textron Scorpion

  1. #91
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    Yeah.. DefenseNews has issues with the URL of the page changing as you scroll down past the comments section. This is probably what happened to you.
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  2. #92
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    My personal preference is the OV-10X and not a jet... But that's just me.
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpudmanWP View Post
    Yeah.. DefenseNews has issues with the URL of the page changing as you scroll down past the comments section. This is probably what happened to you.
    if that help, yes that was the case.

    The OV-10X is great but the update at minima lacks some imagination. Plus notice the 12500ft single engine ceiling: if you are hit away from any alternate airfield (think that in many COIN scenario, the distances are huge) you'll need to crawl back vulnerable to any Manpad unit...

    German did use a roof mounted turbojet to increase performances for example.

    Name:  ov10bz_spinnler_fastov10b(z).jpg
Views: 1301
Size:  67.0 KB

    Let's imagine a Jet augmented Bronco, you can fast cruise with the turbofan only at higher or similar alt and use one or two prop free spinning (at very low pitch) to keep an electrostatic charge high enough to use a HEL multiple time in ripple.
    Both turboprop are used for short takeoff and high climb rate.
    etc...

    Last edited by TomcatViP; 19th January 2017 at 02:28.

  4. #94
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    Any twin you pick is going to lose altitude on only one engine so I don't think that's a problem. The OV-10G+ that SOCOM evaluated uses teh same turboprop as teh -D but uses a new 4 bladed prop (teh OV-10X had the old 3-bladed prop).

    My main plus for the Bronco in general is its versatility. With all that room in the back it can be used for resupply, extra fuel, extra people, drone operator & drones, etc. The other plus of the Bronco is the gun. No other light attack aircraft can field a turreted gun (either a 20mm gatling or the 30mm from the Apache).
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  5. #95
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    and it can be carrier based, which makes it more flexibel then all other candidates.

    Last edited by Gerard; 19th January 2017 at 11:36.

  6. #96
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    How did Me-262 ?
    If it looks good, it will fly good !
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  7. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freehand View Post
    It's plastic... I wonder how well it will handle hits from AAA.
    ....well missiles are a threat ?!
    If it looks good, it will fly good !
    -Bill Lear & Marcel Dassault


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  8. #98
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    First flight of production representative aircraft (old):


  9. #99
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    Exactly in what the Scorpion concept is something different from our AMX, a plane having been operatively used in the Cas/OA role from almost two decades?
    Beside having two engines instead of one I mean.
    Not to criticize this new plane, just to suggest you that a very similar plane fitting in the same niche already exist and is combat proven (and had specifically operated in team with the A-10 over Kosovo), so maybe a look to its records can be useful.

  10. #100
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    Oh I do like the scorpion. It has a special blend of modern design cues and early cold war utilitarianism.

    Will that win it a competition I wonder? For me the ability to operate a variety of EO and radar sensors in a plug and play layout is a standout feature. Plus its got a big, comfortable cockpit (for hours tooling around looking for targets), range and short take off traits.

  11. #101
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    Precisely, it is simple, designed around low cost of purchase and operation and is modern enough to include open architectures and easy integration of new sensors and weaponry. Out of the few options this does appear to offer the most flexibility and is the most future proof given its payload bay affords some room to grow in terms of mission system payloads in other roles such as ISR.

    Exactly in what the Scorpion concept is something different from our AMX, a plane having been operatively used in the Cas/OA role from almost two decades?
    Beside having two engines instead of one I mean.
    Scorpion takes the extreme CAS mission and survivability out to save weight and cost. So unlike the AMX or A-10 it isn't going to be going at low altitudes and using a cannon either internal or external. That alone probably shaves out quite a bit of cost from the platform as can be seen in the weight, thrust and other design parameters compared to the AMX. The idea is to look at a low to no threat environment CAS and strike mission and have a high availability, low cost of ownership platform that still has the chops to do a vast majority of missions currently being performed by the fast jet fleets which is mainly the F-16, F-15 and some by the A-10s.

    The payload bay allows for growth into other mission areas such as manned ISR and targeting but other than that Textron has not really tried to reinvent the wheel here. They built it around a swing ISR and Light Strike mission and not specifically for CAS and given that the major CAS and light strike providers in the USAF is still the fast jet fleet they have positioned themselves quite nicely to cover that mission. If it were purely an A-10 replacement it would have looked a little if not a lot different.

    To the rest of your point, are you suggesting the USAF buy the AMX? I mean this is supposed to be a low cost of acquisition program with a significantly lower cost of ownership compared to the the aircraft who's missions it would be replacing. Scorpion is targeting a fly away cost of $20-$25 Million with a < $3000 CPFH. If the USAF does find and commits money for such a project this is likely to be their limit if not the upper limit given some of the other platforms in play.
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 28th February 2017 at 10:06.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  12. #102
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    Low-cost CAS you say?

    One word.

    ARES.

  13. #103
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    Nice little aircraft this along with the yak 130 they look like very stable platforms for the wide ranges of tasks that you would normally expect for this type of jet. Though its fair to say that the drive toward drones make me think that their place in history could be short.

  14. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by andys View Post
    Low-cost CAS you say?

    One word.

    ARES.
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  15. #105
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    ARES is designed to fly low. A concept that is not even envisioned here

  16. #106
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    Textron sees Asia-Pacific opportunities for Scorpion

    Textron believes that Canberra could be on the verge of issuing a request for proposals for an electronic warfare training jet, says Tom Webster, who heads sales for the US company in the Asia-Pacific.

    The requirement would be small, for about three aircraft, and would likely see Textron team with a local partner. Textron also believes that Canberra would not obtain the aircraft itself, but rather outsource the work to industry partners, possibly on a “pay by the hour” basis.
    Source:
    FlightGlobal.com

  17. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by bring_it_on View Post
    Precisely, it is simple, designed around low cost of purchase and operation and is modern enough to include open architectures and easy integration of new sensors and weaponry. Out of the few options this does appear to offer the most flexibility and is the most future proof given its payload bay affords some room to grow in terms of mission system payloads in other roles such as ISR.



    Scorpion takes the extreme CAS mission and survivability out to save weight and cost. So unlike the AMX or A-10 it isn't going to be going at low altitudes and using a cannon either internal or external. That alone probably shaves out quite a bit of cost from the platform as can be seen in the weight, thrust and other design parameters compared to the AMX. The idea is to look at a low to no threat environment CAS and strike mission and have a high availability, low cost of ownership platform that still has the chops to do a vast majority of missions currently being performed by the fast jet fleets which is mainly the F-16, F-15 and some by the A-10s.

    The payload bay allows for growth into other mission areas such as manned ISR and targeting but other than that Textron has not really tried to reinvent the wheel here. They built it around a swing ISR and Light Strike mission and not specifically for CAS and given that the major CAS and light strike providers in the USAF is still the fast jet fleet they have positioned themselves quite nicely to cover that mission. If it were purely an A-10 replacement it would have looked a little if not a lot different.

    To the rest of your point, are you suggesting the USAF buy the AMX? I mean this is supposed to be a low cost of acquisition program with a significantly lower cost of ownership compared to the the aircraft who's missions it would be replacing. Scorpion is targeting a fly away cost of $20-$25 Million with a < $3000 CPFH. If the USAF does find and commits money for such a project this is likely to be their limit if not the upper limit given some of the other platforms in play.
    Not at all, just suggesting that an airplane designed the more, the less along the guidelines the Scorpion is supposed to operate already exist, is in service and has often been used in the way you suggest, also partnering with A-10 over Kosovo, so the best thing that your country can do is make a call to us and get the combat records of it so to get itself an idea of what to expect by the Scorpion or another plane designed along the same operative concepts .
    Your description of the Scorpion instead of setting the two apart you describes instead almost exactly how the AMX has operated in all those years i.e. as a real aerial support plane for the ground troops, capable of using both the quite capable ISR assets and real time links it got than, less often, the more conventional means it have into fulfilling such a role, without having the heavy armor or the big guns of others planes used on the same mission.

  18. #108
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    Or the USAF could simply look at the hundreds if not thousands of sorties it has performed in support of combat operation with their fast jet fleet and see how many of those the Scorpions could pick up at a lower cost once they are done formally evaluating the platform (they have already had a chance to look at some of its capabilities since it has participated in exercises and demonstrations). They have actually looked at this problem long and hard but we're hearing more of it now only because there appears to be an opportunity of attaching funding to it given the processes started by the previous CSAF.

    The key driver here is cost..both to acquire and sustain. Amongst the various platforms on offer, the Scorpion could very likely be the most expensive but probably also the most flexible. The internal payload bay is of a fairly decent size and opens up a heck of a lot of possibilities when it comes to ISR and networking especially given that payloads are being optimized for space weight, power, cooling and cost with the UAV's in mind which would work perfectly for it as well given swing missions.

    I think what the USAF will be well advised to look at is the integration cost and future growth opportunities on the platform. The low threat mission is not going to go away so from a purely 'business case' perspective that will look attractive for quite a while. Practically all three services are looking at, developing or fielding some UAV centric CSWAP optimized ISR, and Electronic Warfare payloads that this could piggy back on, something that this platform could probably do a lot lot better than either Bronco or the A-29, two of its likely competitors on this program.

    The biggest competition may actually come from the RPA community since as recent as last week the ACC boss said that unmanned aircraft will be a part of the competition. The Avenger could well be modified for such a mission.

    Last edited by bring_it_on; 1st March 2017 at 12:13.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  19. #109
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    Yes, so do it, if your country would share your self -sufficent attitude and wouldn't accept neither a pro bono advice from old time allies, you just deserve to end up in the same way it ended up with the LCS and the Zumwalt (ok, maybe this time without wasting so many money).

    Just doesn't bother us with this sad joke of Animo in consulendo liber anymore in such a case.
    Last edited by Marcellogo; 1st March 2017 at 15:47.

  20. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcellogo View Post
    Yes, so do it, if your country wouldn't accept neither a pro bono advice from old time allies, you just deserve to end up in the same way it ended up with the LCS and the Zumwalt (ok, maybe this time without wasting so many money).

    Just doesn't bother us with this sad joke of Animo in consulendo liber anymore in this case.
    Pro Bono advise? Are you associating your forum post with an Italian offer to advise the USAF on how to select a platform for a mission need that it is currently meeting for the COCOM? As explained a few times already, this is about moving a currently met mission need of the COCOM's towards a more mission and cost optimized platform. They know what the demand looks like..As the force provider the USAF seeks the council of its combat commands for direction on current and future needs. It does not go to its close allies and asks them to ifnorm them of what the US COCOM demand is going to shape up to be in the future. The model they follow is that of a force-seeker and force-provider. This applies to both strike, ISR and CAS. COCOMs demand each of these three missions, and the quantity demanded and projected determine or rather influences the USAF investment in each of these mission areas. Track the ISR investment and funding over the last 15 or so years. This is directly related to the COCOM demand (driven by CENTCOM but also of late by PACOM) for ISR orbits.

    They also know what the supply side looks like given the three potential manned entrants and the various UAV configurations that could also compete. They do not want to reinvent the wheel and will only consider platforms and concepts that are either off the shelf or require minimal development. What they need to decide through the next several months is how to package this demand into an acquisition program of record i.e. what capability they can actually afford to buy and in what quantity. Essentially reconciling " Like to Have" attributes with "Need to have attributes".

    So one one side you have a growing need for these three mission sets primarily coming from the CENTCOM AOR. On the other end you have a projected budget and resource constraint when it comes to the cost of meeting that mission need. A new platform will ideally allow them to both meet the growing demand while also supporting other COCOM needs and investments for the USAF. How would asking for "Free" advise from allies help them better understand their own dynamics of operational need and resource allocation?
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 1st March 2017 at 16:09.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  21. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcellogo View Post
    Yes, so do it, if your country would share your self -sufficent attitude and wouldn't accept neither a pro bono advice from old time allies, you just deserve to end up in the same way it ended up with the LCS and the Zumwalt (ok, maybe this time without wasting so many money).

    Just doesn't bother us with this sad joke of Animo in consulendo liber anymore in such a case.
    The Scorpion is a completely different aircraft built around a completely different operational concept. If you don't see that then your advice really isn't worth much, regardless of cost.

    The AMX is a more or less traditional CAS/interdiction aircraft. I won't waste time defining what it is, but will instead focus on how the Scorpion differs...

    The Scorpion is designed as an armed ISR platform with an emphasis on loitering at altitude and employing precision guided weapons, again from altitude. Freed from any requirement to operate at low altitude, and with the benefit of the roughly 30 years of technological progress that separates it from the AMX, the Scorpion will be far cheaper and more capable in its intended role than the AMX could hope to be.

    The Scorpion uses highly efficient commercial engines along with many other commercial components, modern composites, etc. It is designed with a 20,000hr airframe life...

    Basically if the USAF is looking for a more or less traditional aircraft then it already has the A-10, F-15, F-16. If it is looking for a non-traditional aircraft along the lines of the Scorpion then the AMX really can't come close to what it offers.

  22. #112
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    The Scorpion might be a good choice considering where the progress of LG Cannon rounds is going. That bay looks to be a good spot to put the 30mm from the Apache or some other med-caliber & low-recoil cannon.

    Keep in mind that even a "cheap" APKWS is $30k and a Hellfire $115k.
    Last edited by SpudmanWP; 2nd March 2017 at 00:16.
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  23. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpudmanWP View Post
    The Scorpion might be a good choice considering where the progress of LG Cannon rounds is going. That bay looks to be a good spot to put the 30mm from the Apache or some other med-caliber & low-recoil cannon.

    Keep in mind that even a "cheap" APKWS is $30k and a Hellfire $115k.
    Two words:

    Laser

  24. #114
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    Hmmmmmm

    I have a cynic in me that says if the USAF gets two or three hundred Scorpion´s... someday, those aircrafts will be the replacement for the A-10 by default and then someone will slash the number of F-35A´s by the same amount.
    Get the Bronco, or the Tucano, or the IOMAX Archangel, if the "light attack role" transforms itself into a six ton, twin seater jet...

  25. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpudmanWP View Post
    The Scorpion might be a good choice considering where the progress of LG Cannon rounds is going. That bay looks to be a good spot to put the 30mm from the Apache or some other med-caliber & low-recoil cannon.

    Keep in mind that even a "cheap" APKWS is $30k and a Hellfire $115k.
    In all seriousness I don't see a need for a cannon and any cannon fired from a turret at 15k ft+ isn't going to be worth anything.

    On a longer timeline I don't see any reason to think a laser couldn't be put on the Scorpion. Here is an article on an effort to integrate one into the Predator-C, which also has a bay with a 3,000lb capacity.

    http://www.defenseone.com/technology...e-2017/121583/

    Certainly this isn't to say that what fits in a Predator C would fit in a Scorpion, but it suggests the size of the bay is in the right ballpark.

    A laser would drop the cost per engagement down to practically zero and would be the ultimate low collateral damage weapon... even more so than a cannon.

  26. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sintra View Post
    Hmmmmmm

    I have a cynic in me that says if the USAF gets two or three hundred Scorpion´s... someday, those aircrafts will be the replacement for the A-10 by default and then someone will slash the number of F-35A´s by the same amount.
    Get the Bronco, or the Tucano, or the IOMAX Archangel, if the "light attack role" transforms itself into a six ton, twin seater jet...
    If any of those aircraft were purchased they would end up replacing the A-10 in most cases. At this point the A-10 isn't useful against a high-end threat. Its residual value lies in its utility in exactly the sort of environments where the various light attack aircraft are designed to operate.

    The Scorpion would likely cost more than a turboprop powered light attack aircraft, but it would also be quite a bit faster and offer a lot of additional capability. The question for the USAF is where the sweet spot is...

  27. #117
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    20000ft orbit at 130kt ISR is dead

    Light attack is more something budget centered here*. How to perform the mission at low cost ? I think that this is the very aim of such program. It is clear that some aspects the mission are seemingly in opposition and a mix of airframe might then be seen as the right choice. Facts are that, budget wise, you can't stick 300 planes in this and be budgetary efficient.

    What happens if a technology surface and change the name of the game (MANPAD able to engage at higher alt - swarming bots that put advanced basing at constant risk...)? You are left with 300 planes sitting on AMARG far away from the grunts on the ground...

    The choices made by Textron fits most of the aspects today. The new increased swept wing even better the plane characteristic in dive and the high G high Alpha mission** has been taken in consideration, perhaps motivated by potential synergies with the T-X program.
    It is true that the Scorpion is not in appearance capable to assume the austere basing mission and that some of the SOCOM needs won't be fulfilled this way. But this is here an aspect of the mission that is counter-intuitive with the low budget aspect of such program. SOF mission does not come cheap and are backed by a fairly descent budget. Per def, even with the present over-utilization of SOF, the economy of scale does not exist. IMOHO, there is room with the austere basing/sof requirement for a more capable airframe such as a derivative from the Army Vertical lift program. You'll have speed, VTOL, payload, troop insertion etc.. available from such that will fulfill all the 21st needs of a Bronco descendant, itself an helicopter with wings...

    In most situation, it is in my opinion that austere basing won't be relevant and speed, range, altitude and loiter time are now more valuable in a COIN scenario.

    @Hopsalot and Spudman: Laser will do great... And leave the plane at a safer alt




    *As it has been before
    **aquiring a new target
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 2nd March 2017 at 01:17.

  28. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomcatViP View Post
    20000ft orbit at 130kt ISR is dead

    Light attack is more something budget centered here*. How to perform the mission at low cost and still perform? I think that this is the very aim of such program. It is clear that some aspects the mission are seemingly in opposition and a mix of airframe might then be seen as the right choice. Facts are that, budget wise, you can't stick 300 planes in this and be budgetary efficient.

    What happens if a technology surface and change the name of the game (MANPAD able to engage at higher alt - swarming bots that put advanced basing at constant risk...)? You are left with 300 planes sitting on AMARG far away from the grunts on the ground...

    The choices made by Textron fits most of the aspects today. The new increased swept wing even better the plane characteristic in dive and the high G high Alpha mission** has been taken in consideration, perhaps motivated by potential synergies with the T-X program.
    It is true that the Scorpion is not in appearance capable to assume the austere basing mission and that some of the SOCOM needs won't be fulfilled this way. But this is here an aspect of the mission that is counter-intuitive with the low budget aspect of such program. SOF mission does not come cheap and are backed by a fairly descent budget. Per def, even with the present over-utilization of SOF, the economy of scale does not exist. IMOHO, there is room with the austere basing/sof requirement for a more capable airframe such as a derivative from the Army Vertical lift program. You'll have speed, VTOL, payload, troop insertion etc.. available from such that will fulfill all the 21st needs of a Bronco descendant, itself an helicopter with wings...

    In most situation, it is in my opinion that austere basing won't be relevant and speed and range are now more valuable in a COIN scenario.

    @Hopsalot and Spudman: Laser will do great... And leave the plane at a safer alt




    *As it has been before
    **aquiring a new target
    A laser might also solve your new MANPAD problem. (plus, any such new MANPAD would be a huge pain for any aircraft without a DIRCM/laser defense system)

  29. #119
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    VTOL, speed, altitude and ... Lasers...


    While we are at it, might has well throw in stealth and have a development program for a decade and a half and 20 billions of development budget. And i want sixteen MK41 VLS on the wings, that new 130 mm gun from Rheinmetal and Choban armour!

    Capability creep at Key Publishing?

    I´ll get me coat...

  30. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sintra View Post
    VTOL, speed, altitude and ... Lasers...


    While we are at it, might has well throw in stealth and have a development program for a decade and a half and 20 billions of development budget. And i want sixteen MK41 VLS on the wings, that new 130 mm gun from Rheinmetal and Choban armour!

    Capability creep at Key Publishing?

    I´ll get me coat...
    You forgot, "...and the loser(s) will challenge the decision and delay the whole thing for at least 5 years."

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