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Originally Posted by Dillonbuck
Maybe the ugliest aircraft.

Nancy Pelosi has got to be the ugliest THING flying.

I was just about to type that.

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The UCAV is absolutely a useful item in the specwar tool chest. And I'm a civilian drone fan, user, and youtuber.

But... And I have friends (well, children of friends) in that role and from their experiences I can tell you that the UCAV costs way more to operate than what the AT 802U is predicted to cost.

The UCAVs are remotely operated and there is a time lag in communications and control function. And they focus on what they're told to focus on. They can miss things that are useful to ground elements.
The focus thing can be overcome with layered overflights, but this adds great cost and complexity. And will never be as quick to recognize and respond to changing conditions as eyes over the action

The commonly utilized UCAVs are not nearly the weapons platform that the SkyWarden aircraft is. There are some heavy duty UAV weapons platforms out there. They are not commonly used because they are not commonly considered useful.

You want the duty operator out of Creech? Who was partying in Vegas (my apologies Matt) til 8 hours before he reported for duty?
Or do you want Rod and Tony, who are circling a couple of miles out, with their eyes, ears, and equipment all working for you?


"Chances Will Be Taken"


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The only problem is Rob and Tony are now missile magnets with the proliferation of relatively inexpensive MPAD systems. Just how many Rob and Tony's are we willing to lose in order to collect signal and/or photograph intelligence? And also consider that Rob and Tony are expensive and time consuming to produce.


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Originally Posted by STRSWilson
The only problem is Rob and Tony are now missile magnets with the proliferation of relatively inexpensive MPAD systems. Just how many Rob and Tony's are we willing to lose in order to collect signal and/or photograph intelligence? And also consider that Rob and Tony are expensive and time consuming to produce.

And ranger teams are cheap and expendable?

The threat of the stinger missile is real, and serious. But there are defenses against it, and distance is the primary and surest defense.
I'm pretty certain that a stinger in Ukraine can't shoot down an aircraft operating in Angola.
I'm also relatively confident that as long as hostilities endure in Ukraine that they are keeping hold of the stingers they have.
Near as I can tell, the US actually sent 2000 stingers to Ukraine. Which, due to the nature of the weapon is quite a lot. But they are not everywhere. and not everyone has access to them.

Germany was also reported to have sent stingers, but a detailed report stated that the missiles sent were the Strela M.
Less reliable. Less dangerous. Older technology. Still significant...

The worldwide threat of the manpad is overstated in this context. There are a lot of them, but we have a pretty good idea who has them and who doesn't.
It's a really big planet with a lot of empty spaces. I don't yet foresee a day in which every would be troublemaker walks the desert with a shoulder fired SA guided missile.


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Interesting that you mention Angola as an example. It wouldn't be too much of a surprise to find lots of Gadhafi's weapons circulating throughout the African continent. Team Hillary didn't buy them all after all.

Anyhow, moving A/C, pilots, weapons, and support crews around the map isn't a snap of a finger either.


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They also require rigorous training. There are many reports of manpad failures simply due to poor firing practices.

The one time I had one fired at me is an example. The NVA guy fired his Strella when I was considerably less than 100 yards from him. With no time to even arm up, much less acquire my heat signature, the missile just zoomed past my cockpit and went on its way. (Had he waited until I was half a mile away, I would not be here, probably.)


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Originally Posted by STRSWilson
Interesting that you mention Angola as an example. It wouldn't be too much of a surprise to find lots of Gadhafi's weapons circulating throughout the African continent. Team Hillary didn't buy them all after all.

Anyhow, moving A/C, pilots, weapons, and support crews around the map isn't a snap of a finger either.

The most dangerous American weapon Libya ever had ahold of was Ed Wilson.


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Missiles this, auto-cannons that. You just gotta love the Fire's armchair quarterbacks who don't know jack-$chit about Spec Ops warfare dissing an aircraft that they (Spec Ops) requested and spec'd out the requirements for. Effing posers.

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Originally Posted by STRSWilson
Originally Posted by Hudge
We could have saved a lot of money and just taken all of the A-29 Super Tacanos we left in Afghanistan since this was their primary use there.


Yep, Biden left 20 over there at $30 million a copy.

I contracted in Kabul in 18-19 and we still had US contractors as the front seaters on the them back then and the Afghans in the rear seats from the ones I talked with. I honestly don’t know if the Afghans fully flew them or not.

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Thought I was gonna see a California Condor when I opened this thread!


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Originally Posted by johnw
Originally Posted by STRSWilson
Interesting that you mention Angola as an example. It wouldn't be too much of a surprise to find lots of Gadhafi's weapons circulating throughout the African continent. Team Hillary didn't buy them all after all.

Anyhow, moving A/C, pilots, weapons, and support crews around the map isn't a snap of a finger either.

The most dangerous American weapon Libya ever had ahold of was Ed Wilson.


I wonder how many Ed Wilson's are running around today training and arming the next anti-American terror group...


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