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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Weapons of War > Air Power

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Air Power A place to discuss the implements of War in the Air!

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  #1  
Old 21 Jul 15, 22:56
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Best modern low altitude aircraft?

So I saw someone post on FB that the RAF Tornado always flies the deadliest missions at the lowest altitudes. Are they correct? I'm thinking of a few others that are just as good if not better than the Tornado. Luckily for the Tornado, the ISIS campaign has probably saved it from the scrap heap.
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  #2  
Old 22 Jul 15, 00:12
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  #3  
Old 22 Jul 15, 00:59
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A-10 hands down
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Old 22 Jul 15, 05:15
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A10 of course.
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  #5  
Old 22 Jul 15, 07:15
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A10 and Tornado according to me.
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  #6  
Old 22 Jul 15, 07:55
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Not A10. Sure it is a great Close Air support aircraft. But it could not do most of the low level mission that SAAF did during the boarder war. The tornado could. But could it do it better than a mirrage, Canberra, Bucener or a current day gripen. Many of the times the missions took place where hostile fighters ruled and in poor weather or at night. All so the A10 is just to slow to pull of some of the missions.

So I would say tornado. Good weapon load out, good low level speed and its able to do more than ground attack.
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Old 22 Jul 15, 07:57
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Probably F16 or Predator/Reaper.
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Old 22 Jul 15, 08:52
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Drones don't have the speed or payload to even be considered.
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  #9  
Old 22 Jul 15, 11:38
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Well I'm also thinking that after the retirement of the F-111 and F-8, there was a shortage of dedicated attack aircraft (excluding the A-10). Seems the role went to multi-role fighters like the F-15, F-16 and F/A-18. Can't forget the Su-25 either.
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Old 22 Jul 15, 22:19
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A-10 and the old reliable AV-8B Harriers.
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Old 23 Jul 15, 00:14
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The problem is "modern". Many attack planes in the past were Fighters that were being replaced by new designs. Damn few "modern" attack planes fly low and slow. There are some that fly low and fast, but how accurate are they? Until I see evidence of a better performer I would have to go A-10. A close competitor would probably be an Su-25.

Many modern computers can drop bombs on a fast sprint along an airstrip. You just really need the correct bomb dropping apparatus. The Tornado had such an apparatus.

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Old 23 Jul 15, 00:37
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If you are asking which aircraft can fly real low and real fast, then the A-10 is not your pick.
But if you are asking which aircraft (winged) can best preform low altitude attacks, remain on target, primarily engaging hardened targets such as tanks and well built entrenchments, then the A-10 wins.
I have watched a B-52 fly ground hugging tree top approach on a pop up type tank target, as well as single seated fast attack aircraft at a large training center, they were extremely impressive.
But having watched a coordinated attack on these same targets by A-10s I have to say there is nothing like it, low, slow approach at ground level, climbing just to drop bombs dead on a target, rotate, pitch up turn and re engage the same target within seconds with its canon, and repeat again and again on multiple targets. Attacking with rockets, bombs and its massive cannon.
There is nothing, not even a helicopter that can suppress a group of armour.
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Old 23 Jul 15, 11:30
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Its not just the aircraft guys, its the people flying them.....The RAF pride themselves on low level flying unlike some airforces that have restrictions about flying below 500 ft.......Our guys in the RCAF train a lot with the Brits....
I remember well ,sitting in the back seat of a CF104D screaming down the bomb range at 50ft.....quite a rush....doing a "bomb toss" was almost as good...

Near Toulon France...
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Old 23 Jul 15, 11:51
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Old 23 Jul 15, 12:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bow View Post
Its not just the aircraft guys, its the people flying them.....The RAF pride themselves on low level flying unlike some airforces that have restrictions about flying below 500 ft.......Our guys in the RCAF train a lot with the Brits....
I remember well ,sitting in the back seat of a CF104D screaming down the bomb range at 50ft.....quite a rush....doing a "bomb toss" was almost as good...

Near Toulon France...

This is a very good point. You could have the best low level aircraft but with out the training it is useless.
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