Light close air support fighter proposal

Design

 

ALX

 

Length: 7,49 m

Wing span: 6,57 m

Height: 2,32 m

Wing area: 7,53 m2

 

Empty weight: 1.500 kg
Fuel capacity: 1.226 l (986 kg)

Fuel fraction: 0,4

 

Weight: (30 mm GIAT-30 round: 530 g)

With 100% fuel + 600×30 mm rounds: 2.804 kg

With 50% fuel + 600×30 mm rounds: 2.311 kg

 

Wing loading:

372 kg/m2 with 100% fuel + 600×30 mm rounds

307 kg/m2 with 50% fuel + 600×30 mm rounds

 

Engine: 1xCF700

Thrust: 2.041 kgf

Fuel consmption: 1367,5 kg/h

 

Thrust-to-weight ratio:

0,73 with 100% fuel + 600×30 mm rounds

0,88 with 50% fuel + 600×30 mm rounds

 

Speed:

Cruise: 550 kph

 

Time in the air:

43 minutes (0,72 hrs) on internal fuel

 

Combat radius:

198 km on internal fuel

 

Weapons:

1 GIAT-30 with 600 rounds (rate of fire of 2.500 rpm, 0,05s to full rate of fire = 15 1-second bursts)

3 hardpoints (2 wing, 1 centerline, holding rockets (15 70 mm or 5 127 mm rockets per pod), bombs (112 kg, 225 kg, 450 kg) or recoilless rifles (75/90/105 mm))

 

Sensors:

radar warner receivers

missile approach warners

 

Countermeasures:

chaff

flares

DIRCM

jamming pods (if terrain masking is judged insufficient)

 

Unit flyaway cost: 2.120.000 USD

Cost per flying hour: 500-750 USD

Sorties per day per aircraft: 3

Sorties per day per billion procurement: 1.413

 

Notes

Unit flyaway cost is calculated with assumption that ALXs cost per kg is same as that of the A-10 (1.413 USD per kg). This is overestimation, however, as ALX has only one engine.

Naval variant will cost 2,3 million USD.

 

Comparision with AX

While ALX will offer smaller target than AX, its single engine might still harm survivability in face of large amounts of anti-air cannon and machine gun fire. However, it is also cheaper and thus offers larger force for same cost. AX can carry larger amount of weapons and has longer loiter time, but ALXs larger numbers result in greater force presence.

 

Further reading

Close Air Support fighter proposal

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7 thoughts on “Light close air support fighter proposal

  1. It will work for on-demand type of attack but otherwise it would need to stay in the air for longer than this or else it risks coming back with its bomb load unused. Also it has a very light bomb load for naval use.

    Here is the argument: In many instances the Marines rely exclusively on helicopters. If the helicopter can survive that type of combat environment so could a bomb carrying propeller aircraft similar to the A-1. Below are the specifications of the A-1,

    Keep in mind that with surface, subsurface and air threats including shore based anti-ship missiles large amphibious ships can’t be risked close to shore. They need the safety of open waters and and there is no significant bombardment capability available from ship’s deck guns. The Marines are looking at Africa, the South China Sea’s inner and outer island chains, etc. as well as guerrilla type wars where they think they will be deployed with just six F-35 to do all the bombardment. This is one instance where the Marines used to have something, it was taken away and now they have something else that is not quite as good.

    General characteristics of the A-1

    Crew: One
    Length: 38 ft 10 in (11.84 m)
    Wingspan: 50 ft 0¼ in (15.25 m)
    Height: 15 ft 8¼ in (4.78 m)
    Wing area: 400.3 ft² (37.19 m²)
    Empty weight: 11,968 lb (5,429 kg)
    Loaded weight: 18,106 lb (8,213 kg)
    Max. takeoff weight: 25,000 lb (11,340 kg)
    Powerplant: 1 × Wright R-3350-26WA radial engine, 2,700 hp (2,000 kW)

    Performance

    Maximum speed: 322 mph (280 kn, 518 km/h) at 18,000 ft (5,500 m)
    Cruise speed: 198 mph (172 kn, 319 km/h)
    Range: 1,316 mi (1,144 nmi, 2,115 km)
    Service ceiling: 28,500 ft (8,685 m)
    Rate of climb: 2,850 ft/min (14.5 m/s)
    Wing loading: 45 lb/ft² (220 kg/m²)
    Power/mass: 0.15 hp/lb (250 W/kg)

    Armament

    Guns: 4 × 20 mm (0.79 in) M2 cannon
    Other: Up to 8,000 lb (3,600 kg) of ordnance on 15 external hardpoints including bombs, torpedoes, mine dispensers, unguided rockets, or gun pods

  2. Being transportable will help a lot.

    It seems that the modern armed forces are in chain. If they equip themselves for a an unlikely fight with a first tier military opponent then they are way overqualified and too expensive to fight the common conflicts that do take place periodically in the world. The Navy thinks that it needs a high/low end mix of military assets and I could not agree more but everything develops so slowly and in the mist of a hail storm of criticism.

  3. http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/light-attack-its-whats-for-breakfast-lunch-and-dinner

    This is an editorial that is interesting and the comments by the readers are just as good.

    I keep saying that there is a certain group of people clamoring for an A-1 in the Marines and it was interesting to see that mentioned again even thought in all fairness it was more in passing that anything else.

    The Super-Tucano seems to be the only game right now but it is a limited aircraft and we should be able to do better both payload wise as well as loiter time and of course it should be deployable from an amphib with out catapult. OV-10 mentioned too.

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