Warplanes: Vietnam Veteran Adopts Smart Bombs

Archives

April 10, 2012: The Philippines has equipped at least one of its OV-10 aircraft to use American made JDAM (GPS guided bombs). Two months ago OV-10s used these smart bombs to attack an Abu Sayyaf (Islamic terrorist) camp on Jolo Island. American UAVs provided reconnaissance, using heat sensors to spot the terrorist camp and night cameras to confirm who was there and provide the Filipino OV-10 with GPS coordinates. The attack was made before dawn and the American UAVs recorded video of the survivors dragging off the dead and wounded before Filipino ground troops showed up. The Philippines Air Force later denied they had used smart bombs but hitting a target like that, at night, is nearly impossible with unguided bombs. In any event, the aircraft delivering the 227 kg (500 pound) bombs was definitely an OV-10. Accepting American technical advice, including high tech weapons, is a touchy political subject in the Philippines, which may explain the denials.

Since the 1990s, the Philippines have received 32 used OV-10s from the U.S. and Thailand. Only about ten of them are currently flyable. The OV-10 is a 6.5 ton, twin prop aircraft that could carry over two tons of weapons and stay in the air for three hours per sortie. Wingspan is 40 feet (12.2 meters) and length is 41.6 feet (12.7 meters).

The first OV-10 was delivered to the U.S. Air Force, for use in Vietnam, in 1968. The last one was produced (for export to Indonesia) in 1976. The U.S. Air Force and Marines were the primary users of OV-10s and the last of these was retired, by the marines, in 1994. Over a hundred were exported to Germany, Thailand, Colombia, Venezuela, Philippines, and Indonesia. Several dozen of these are still in use out of over 300 manufactured. In Vietnam the OV-10 was used more for reconnaissance and directing air and artillery strikes than in using its own firepower.

 

Article Archive

Warplanes: Current 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

wreath  

Christmas is around the corner. StrategyPage needs your help to make it a merry one for our content elves. Because of falling ad revenues and the owners of the site wanting you to have a good experience, the content elves may recieve no gifts from Santa Dunnigan.

What can you do to help the content elves have a merry Christmas? There are three possibilities:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..

Drake appreciates any help you can give him.

Subscribe   Contribute   Close