A.F. Eyes Small Gunship

26.09.07

Categorie: Air, COIN |

Spooky2 In a rare fit of good sense, the Air Force is considering adapting its forthcoming “Joint Cargo Aircraft” — basically a souped-up C-27 — into a gunship armed with a 30-millimeter cannon, the Air Force Association newsletter reports. “The aircraft might be just the right size for Air Force Special Operations Command, which might need to take a light gunship with it to austere combat zones.” It would presumably supplement the larger AC-130 Spectres armed with 105-millimeter guns.

Why this is a good idea: Because small, simple gunships have repeatedly proved their worth in counter-insurgency fights in Colombia (AC-47, pictured at work over Vietnam) and Thailand (AU-23A), among other places. Buying a COIN gunship would be a great first installment on a broader COIN air fleet including light attack planes and rugged transports.

Why it will never happen: Because the Air Force can’t even afford the airplanes it’s already designed, much less anything new. And in today’s A.F., slow, ugly planes like gunships always take a back seat to fast, pretty fighters.

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10 Responses to “A.F. Eyes Small Gunship”

  1. [...] Related: Air Force eyes small gunship Air Force “going out of business” Iraq has COIN planes; USAF doesn’t Air Force unveils COIN manual No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  2. SH says:

    This wouldn’t be procured under USAF funds, but under SOCOM funding…a much less bureaucratic mess than other DoD funding nightmares.

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