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Speaking of obsolescence and redundancy...

And we were, as Denizenne Bad Cat Robot (AKA the AUTHOR Sabrina Chase (see sidebar) was teasing Our Bill mercilessly in email... by linking to this Strategy Page article on robocopters in Afghanistan...  because, as BCR noted: "Sorry, Bill. Carborundum* made this a rush order for BCR Labs, and his check cleared before yours did."  
[This pic enlargifys]
AH-1Z Super Cobras with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268 (Reinforced) land aboard USS Makin Island here Dec. 29. The squadron is the aviation combat element for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The Camp Pendleton, Calif., unit deployed from San Diego Nov. 14 as part of a regularly scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific and Middle East regions. Photo by Sgt. Elyssa Quesada (and we at Castle Argghhh! should note they're about as old as Bill, too.)
 

Bill gave a derisive snort and observed...

Can it suppress an ambush at the resupply site?

Noooooooooo.

Can it be an impromptu casevac to haul out wounded from that ambush?

Noooooooooo.

Will the operator know where the thing is or what it's doing when the static from a dust storm (or if it encounters icing at high altitude and the antennae get ice-coated) FUBARs the uplink and the GPS?

Noooooooooo.

Can it do an accurate resupply if the troops are at the bottom of a canyon?

Noooooooooo.

Will the operators chomp on see-gars at the end of a mission and demand an Air Medal?

More than likely...

But, indicative of the tough audience this crowd is... the only response that drew was from a redundant  Canadian Tanker named Heinrichs...

So, basically a pilot would completely redundant, and unnecessary?

Which led Bill to this rip-snortin' riposte...

Pretty much -- about the same way a main gun is redundant on a tank...

Can't ya just feel the love?



 *Don't know who Carborundum is?  Click here!

16 Comments

(and we at Castle Argghhh! should note they're about as old as Bill, too.)

Are not.

And those Zulu-mods have been refubished at least twice, not including the complete rebuild Bell put them through so they'd carry all the toys the Marines wanted to hang on them -- I'm factory-original, except for the sheet of Kevlar® holding my insides inside...

 
Perhaps BillT could splain why the jar-heads want AIM-9L/Ms on the end of the stub-wings. Is it for chopper to chopper engagements?  Do the operators expect to get a heater shot on a jet fighter, since that implies being somewhere between 3 to 9 o'clock relative to the target?
 
Chopper to chopper works, and since you can mount the AIM-9 series on a VW minivan and make it work, why not?
 
I tried to mount a Sidewinder to my Bassett, but the duct tape kept sliding around.
 
Pogue & USMC - For those delivery systems, you all would be better served with the  MIM-72 Chaparral, which is the SAM version of the Sidewinder...
 
Actually, the -9L/M have all aspect attack capability, so the helo could fire from in front of the fast-mover as well...although in front of a fast mover is generally not a high survivability place for a helo.
 
I have an Army friend who likes them because they fly with hardly any notice ... when the request(paperwork) for Army Apache support apparently had a problem with the way it was filled out ... and therefore denied.

The Marine choppers were eager to go at a minute's notice because they just plain wanted to kill something .... and did.

And for a reward, all they had to do is to tell them how good they did and give them a few cigars.

Yes I keep him well supplied with cigars.
 
In April '02 I watched a pair of USMC Cobras rotate in and out of Bagram, about every 30 minutes one came in, fueled and re-armed.  This went on for about 6 hours.  Every time they came in, the smoke trail on the fuselage and boom was longer and darker... I've got a sneaking suspicion that the crew's grin was similar!
 
Actually, the -9L/M have all aspect attack capability, so the helo could fire from in front of the fast-mover as well...although in front of a fast mover is generally not a high survivability place for a helo.
 
That's what I've always heard, but in practice the USAF fighter jocks (for some reason) never seemed comfortable with trusting the AIM-9L/M to shoot in the face.  Maybe Dusty or somebody could enlighten us on that.  All I know is, we always had to have AIM-7s or later, AIM-120s for Zulu alert and we were told for the "shoot in the face" capability. Of course, if the AH-1Zs have a radar that can support the "slave" function of the Sidewinder, that's a hourse of another color, as well.
 
 Why y'all pickin' on poor Bill? Here he is doing his bit to defend the country from the Jihadis and y'all just show him no respect.
 
QM, Bill loves attention ;-)  Even if it's snarky attention.  And I am required by the Denizenne Charter (section 3, paragraph 12, subsection ii) to yank his chain at least once per month.  For his health!
 
Unka Bill,
How you doing? Staying warm, dry, full, and getting flight hours? Wishing you and yours a very happy New Year!
Hugs(platonic) from an old Cobra wrench!
 
So now even the helo guys are feeling the sting of the "UAVs can replace everything that flies" drivel.

Bah. I'm with Bill (not that he consideres that an advantage, but still...)

As far as heater face shots go, the Mike's pretty good (I'd try it if I couldn't get a good LASTE-aided shot with the GAU). When aggresors learned we were carrying Limas or Mikes (especially Mikes) they went looking for easier meat.

Frankly though, we're talking a close-in knife fight where the fast(er) mover has gotten WAY too close to me for his own good. Most F-15/22 guys are either smarter than that or leverage their systems to put me at a severe air-to-air disadvantage (usually both, since that goes hand-in-hand)...which is to say, they do their job fairly well.

Bottom line? I take a heater face shot when I must due to the situation, not "just because I can." But if I do, I have a fair chance of adjusting the recipient's attitude in a fairly profound way. Rather not go into any  more detail.
 
Perhaps BillT could splain why the jar-heads want AIM-9L/Ms on the end of the stub-wings.

We used to practice Air-to-Air with Cobras (against A-7s at Drum and A-10s 'n' F-16s at Warren Grove) and my buds in the Utah Guard used to go against various fighter types at Red Flag. As long as we stay below 50 feet, we're pretty safe, and if we can sucker the FW guys down to our altitude, or if we get a nose shot on them with flechettes, they're dead. In helicopter vs. helicopter, the guy who gets the first shot off usually wins.

That said, the Army put a stop to ATA training back in the mid-'90s. Something about not wanting us to be too aggressive...
   
BillT, you talk of 1 Warren Grove,  it would be interesting  for some of the characters around here to spend a week there,  day and night, ALONE. Only then, would you begin to understand what the word “spooky” means. By the way, all firearms of any size or type are left at home.