GarryB wrote:That is not much of an issue due to todays joint command.
The Su-34 is not designed to operate over the front lines in any capacity... it is a medium range strike aircraft... not a combat air support aircraft.
Yes, i remember that well, Mig AT derivate, Yak131 and that Sukhoi two cockpit monster i forgot its designation. I recall A16 it had huge issues with cannon, they used them during Desert Storm but only as missile platforms since cannon wasnt very safe to be used
It was a failure because to get close enough to use the cannon meant ground fire became an issue and the A16 had no armour to speak of. Adding armour and it loses its flight performance.
they didn't use them anywhere AFAIK.
This is first time i hear about PAK SH-a to be honest, i assume it will be something based on Jak130? US might start using Textan Scoprion in CAS role, it seems to be quite cheap platform, extremly cheap actually, somewhat of the JF17 Thunder price.
There was the same talk in Russia about what could replace the Su-25 and the Yak-130 was considered with the pilot flying the aircraft and the second crewman operating remote UAVs to find targets that could be engaged with missiles from standoff distances... it was a failure too.
the decision seems to have been an upgrade of existing Su-25s followed by a brand new armoured stealth design manned aircraft.
Lots of funny pics were shown but nothing official.
Mmm... yeaah i guess Mig29SMT could do so but SU34s armed with someting like Brimstone with dual seekers or that Russian future Hermes would be insane platform, it has 12 hardpoints i belive, but lets say 10 would be able to hold triple Brimstone launcher..
The Russians don't really have anything like brimstone, Hermes will likely be carried 8 to a pylon but likely with only two pylons able to carry the weapon like the Su-25TM with Vikhr.
thats 30 missiles that wont just drop anywhere like 500kg bomb, but with 1m CEP, i am not saying it should be only CAS platfom, but it could be very good in this role in some bigger scale combat. Still some very cheap platform that would use unguded ammunition would be required. Well, there were talks about developing UCAV on the Jak130 platform, or if they ever finish Mig SKAT, those two could be used for CAS im
I think a dedicated HALE UCAV designed to support ground operations would be the ideal solution orbiting 10km above the front lines carrying guided FAB-50s in large numbers and the odd heavier bomb for use when needed would be the most cost effective solution... with large numbers of light bombs it could loiter for hours or days and be able to deliver HE rapidly and precisely... not the same as CAS butrapidly available on call support ready when needed and in COIN situations relatively invulnerable. the key would be powerful sensors that can find targets and friendlies in all weathers and being able to hit targets 24/7 in all weathers.
"In 1991, 24 F-16A/B Block 10 aircraft belonging to the 174th TFW, a New York Air National Guard unit that had transitioned from the A-10 in 1988, were armed with the 30 mm GAU-13/A four-barrel derivative of the seven-barrel GAU-8/A cannon used by the A-10A. This weapon was carried in a General Electric GPU-5/A Pave Claw gun pod on the centerline station, and was supplied with 353 rounds of ammunition. There were also plans to convert F-16Cs to this configuration and to incorporate the A-10s AN/AAS-35V Pave Penny laser spot tracker. The vibration from the gun when firing proved so severe as to make both aiming and flying the aircraft difficult, and trials were suspended after two days. Although the 174th's aircraft were employed for CAS during Operation Desert Storm, they did not use the gun pods in action, and the Block 10 F/A-16 was phased out after the war" Source: http://www.f-16.net/f-16_versions_article18.html
So they kinda did get used but... no guns just Mavericks i guess.
I personally find SU34 fine as CAS platform, its very agile, armored, has very high payload, good endurance and impressive range, if they didnt mean him to ever perform CAS they would not armor its cabin. Its replacing SU24 that spent most of its carrier actually just providing CAS with very rare actual long range strike missions.
"The basic configuration of the intended production Su-32MF/Su-34 aircraft is a multirole deep strike fighter, intended to perform the battlefield interdiction, close air support and deep strike roles now performed by the Su-24 in Russia, the F-15E in the US and the F-111 in Australia."
Now i cant remember or find, there was Sukhoi design for 2 cockpit CAS aircraft during 90s, i have to find it it was so unusual and weird.
Well UCAV you are talking about could be Altius for start when it gets developed, even tho i am not really sure about its payload and endurance that is needed for UCAV.[/quote]