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Warplanes: Brazilian Wings Over Afghanistan
   Next Article → ATTRITION: Elderly Su-24s Fading Fast
January 6, 2012: The U.S. Air Force is buying twenty Brazilian A-29 Super Tucano aircraft for the Afghanistan Air Force. The Super Tucano is a single engine turbo-prop trainer/attack aircraft that is used by over a dozen nations. This aircraft carries two internal 12.7mm (.50 caliber) machine-guns and carries 1.5 tons of bombs and rockets. It can stay in the air for 6.5 hours at a time. It is rugged, easy to maintain, and cheap. The U.S. is paying $17.7 million for each Super Tucano, which includes training, spare parts, and support equipment.

Afghanistan already has hundreds of pilots who could quickly learn how to handle the Super Tucano. This aircraft can be equipped to carry over a half dozen of the 250 pound GPS smart bombs (or half a dozen dumb 500 pound bombs), giving it considerable firepower. The Super Tucano comes equipped with a GPS guidance system. Max altitude is 11,300 meters (35,000 feet) and cruising speed is 400 kilometers an hour. Naturally, this aircraft can move in lower and slower than any jet can. The Super Tucano is also equipped with armor for the pilot, a pressurized cockpit, and an ejection seat. Not bad for an aircraft with a max takeoff weight of 5.4 tons.

The Super Tucano is what the Afghans really need, a bunch of smaller, slower aircraft, that can double as trainers. It's easier to train pilots to use the Super Tucano, cheaper to buy them, and much cheaper to operate them. It costs less than a tenth as much per flying hour to operate a Super Tucano compared to a F-16.

These "trainer/light attack aircraft" can also operate from crude airports, or even a stretch of highway. Aircraft like this can carry systems to defeat portable surface to air missiles. They can carry smart bombs as well. But from the U.S. Air Force point of view, there were several problems to be overcome with these aircraft. First, Super Tucano was not made in the United States, so Congress was not happy about U.S. tax dollars buying non-American warplanes. Second, the U.S. Air Force had no experience with these aircraft. Finally, many in the air force didn't want something like this to succeed in Afghanistan and raise questions about U.S. Air Force tactics and buying decisions. All these obstacles were eventually overcome during the last eight years.

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heraldabc    Proof your copy!   1/6/2012 7:30:12 AM
Example:you just said that these planes were more expensive to
maintain; so that was one of the reasons that the USAF purchased
them.
 
H.
 
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Tucci78    Wanna guess why...?   1/6/2012 9:30:42 AM
...there are no comparable aircraft manufactured in these United States to compete against the Super Tucano despite the fact that there is worldwide demand for such planes?
 
Why, it's because the Congress -  which "was not happy about U.S. tax dollars buying non-American warplanes" - has courted organized labor money and votes by imposing upon U.S. businesses all sorts of strangling regulations which make it impossible for the aviation industry in this country to compete in the low-end aircraft market internationally.
 
Little though the neocon readers frequenting StrategyPage.com might like it, the salvation of the U.S. military production industries - in common with the rest of the U.S. economy - requires the election of Dr. Ron Paul to replace our Mombasa Messiah on January 20, 2013. 
 
An end to these crushing regulations - which do nothing more than to preserve oligopolies by suppressing competition and provide politically connected union cadres with rates of pay way to hellangone over their real market value - cannot come with anyone other than a POTUS explicitly committed to enforcing the U.S. Constitution as the law of the land. 
 
Like it or hate it, consider joining with the serving members of the U.S. military, who continue to financially support Dr. Paul's campaign to the tune of contributions exceeding the totals donated to all the other Republican Party contenders combined. 
 
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heraldabc    That tgrain has left the station.   1/6/2012 9:39:50 AM
Ron Paul is done.
 
 
 
Now back on topic. The problem is that of INSURANCE. The airplane manufacturers do not want the liability risks.
 
H.
 
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Chris       1/6/2012 10:24:11 AM
The American's did have an entry in this contest, the AT-6 (Beechcraft).  It was found in many respects lacking (it is a civilian plane that requires modification, where the Super Tucano is designed ground-up as a COIN platform than can be used for training).
 
http://defensetech.org/2011/12/31/embraer-wins-usafs-light-attack-contest/
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Note that the US is required by law to purchase some foreign hardware - but whats interesting is that its usually the USCG that gets stuck with it (sometimes, in all fairness, the stuff is better than what is available domestically).
http://www.strategypage.com/CuteSoft_Client/CuteEditor/Load.ashx?type=style&file=SyntaxHighlighter.css);" target="_blank">link
 
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JFKY    When you say "stuck with it"   1/6/2012 11:04:44 AM
Note that the US is required by law to purchase some foreign hardware - but whats interesting is that its usually the USCG that gets stuck with it
 
You mean like the BERETTA M-9, or the Sig Sauer pistols SOCom uses, or the H&K pistols (Mk 23??), or the M-249, or the M-240, or the M-252 8.1 cm mortar, or the M-120/121 12 cm mortar, or the AT-4, or the M3 Carl Gustaf, right?  That kind of "stuck with it?"  Those shoddy foreign products.....oh or the M-777 15cm howitzer...or the LAV/Stryker (MOWAG Piranha-based), or the AGM-142 Have Nap?   Please enlighten us as to the foreign kit the US has been "stuck" with.
 
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Tucci78    ''Presidential frontrunner Ron Paul...''   1/6/2012 12:19:08 PM
 
Because, of course, while Dr. Paul is confident in his campaign, he's not arrogant.
 
I note that this Brit newspaper effort to slag Ron Paul (dated 3 January 2012 but online early New Year's Day) had to be closed to comments after only 17 posts - at 10:41 that morning - because the responses even by that time were overwhelmingly supportive of Dr. Paul's campaign, critical of the lamestream media efforts at character assassination, and generally a kick in the teeth delivered against The Daily Mail's campaign to bash him.
 
heraldabc, when you're trying to push bullshit about how "Ron Paul is done," try finding something better than this lame blivet, okay?
 
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heraldabc    Niner million wrong people    1/6/2012 12:27:42 PM
do NOT obviate facts. his newsletter, the articles published under his name, his FAULT.
 
As for you, Kool-aide drinker, I would trust that you have enough presence on this site to know that I do not succumb to propaganda and to nonsense. 
 
I don't push batguano. I leave that chore to 'intellectuals' such as you.
 
In other words, get a clue. friend.  GROW UP. I don't suffer fools.
 
H
 

 

I note that this Brit newspaper effort to slag Ron Paul (dated 3 January 2012 but online early New Year's Day) had to be closed to comments after only 17 posts - at 10:41 that morning - because the responses even by that time were overwhelmingly supportive of Dr. Paul's campaign, critical of the lamestream media efforts at character assassination, and generally a kick in the teeth delivered against The Daily Mail's campaign to bash him.

 


heraldabc, when you're trying to push bullshit about how "Ron Paul is done," try finding something better than this lame blivet, okay?

 
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JFKY    Ron Paul   1/6/2012 12:30:07 PM
STARTED "done"...he represents a minority position (Rothbardian Libertarianism) in a minority position l/Libertarianism...he got fewer than 10% of the delegates in 2008?-actually he got a whopping 35 delegates!  Wow, the next lowest total was 200-plus to Huckabee!  Yessirree Bob, that luaP noR is going to go places...heck I bet he gets twice the number of delegates he got in 2008, he might even break the 100 delegate mark....
What he has is a bunch of loud-mouthed, spamming mind-numbed robot followers who make it SEEM as if he has support, when in reality, when you measure TRUE support (voters) he has very few. Most people see him as the crazy Uncle kook, he is...his Alex Jones-listening Storm Front Dope Smoker followers think he is a "Conservative" and a "Constitutionalist" and the "Savior of his country" the rest of us aren't drinking the Koolaid.
 
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Tucci78    Boy, Dr. Paul really freaks out you neocons, doesn't he?   1/6/2012 2:10:12 PM
We've got this bloated blivit of a heraldabc spouting crap about several articles... in Dr. Paul's newsletters over the period 1990 through 1994 - right about twenty years ago - "...during a time when Paul had relinquished responsibility for the newsletters' operation, retired from Congress and an exhausting presidential campaign, and consigned himself to working full-time as a medical doctor and public speaker, in addition to raising five children
 
" A few objectionable issues managed to leak out under Paul's nose, quite understandably. Paul did not then and does not now possess superhuman powers. Believe it or not, there were other things that were occupying him at the time. He didn't have the ease of mind, the way some people apparently do, to devote his days to scanning the newsletters for the occasional rant against gays. Blaming him for this is ultimately like blaming him for comments on his Facebook wall.

"The racist comments fly in the face of everything Paul has ever written and said, as many people who know him personally have attested. (Among whom include Rick Sincere, an openly gay libertarian whose run for Congress in 1993 Paul supported and helped collect funds for, at the same time the most hysterical of the newsletters were being churned out.)


"Paul was quite angry when he learned of the whole thing. He didn't issue a full denial in 1996 when it was first brought up only because of the extremely stupid advice of his campaign staff. He has in the past decade addressed the issue several times publicly, explicitly denying authorship, and there is every reason to believe it and move on." 
 
Now, this is the only thing remotely resembling a "point" we're getting from this heraldabc schmuck. Ain't that so typical of the reeking "batguano" pushed by people who have no ghaddam knowledge whatsoever of Dr. Paul's past record, articulated policy positions, and personal conduct?  Not to mention a flaming fool who's so spectacularly suckered by the lamestream media that he really ought to be considered an organ donor available for immediate harvest. 
 
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Tucci78    More freaking out the neocons   1/6/2012 2:12:16 PM
And then we've got the JFKY yutz, who's gone unjustifiedly juramentado over the late Dr. Murray Rothbard...'s libertarian political economics (actually, Murray was kinda branding himself as a "paleolibertarian..." during the years just before he passed away; I'll betcha that JFKY - just like our Mombasa Messiah - is a staunch Keynesian), and then unconnectedly whining that Dr. Paul "...got fewer than 10% of the delegates in 2008."
 
Of course, that was chiefly because "Crash Test Johnnie" McCain (the Red Faction establishment's "Bob Dole" designated loser) had locked down the nomination by 4 March that year, and constitutionalists had pretty much given up the Republican Party as a total RINO farm
 
Interestingly, if you gauge Dr. Paul's support not only as tabulated in polls rigged to make it appear that he's got no voter enthusiasm but also to assess his real monetary contributions from people like, oh, say, serving members of the U.S. armed forces and combat veterans... both in the 2007-2008... campaign and over the course of the 2011-2012... effort thus far, it's obvious that Dr. Paul receives far more than merely the lion's share of "money-where-your-mouth-is" backing from the men and women in uniform.
 
It's consistently reported that the majority of such contributions made on the Republican side have gone to Dr. Paul, more so than to all the rest of the Republican contestants combined.
 
That was the case in the 2008 election cycle, too.  Gotta figure that if serving and former U.S. military personnel back Dr. Paul in such overwhelming proportions, this JFKY jerk's noise about how Dr. Paul is supposed to be relying on "...a bunch of loud-mouthed, spamming mind-numbed robot followers who make it SEEM as if he has support" marks JFKY as remarkably scornful of the people who've been (and are) out there on the sharp end in the Global War on Terror, doesn't it?
 
Ah, well. Who expects patriotism from a Keynesian?
 
 
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