Chris Granville-White C.B.E., Defence Consultant and Chairman of Close Air Support 2009, Discusses CAS, Aircraft and Weapon Development

About this Podcast...

The 1960s was very active for RAF ground attack aircraft in the Middle and Far East. Although CAS practised exercises during Cold War period in 70s and 80s, it seemed to becoming an outdated type of warfare. But since the end of the Cold War a resurgence of importance of CAS with regional conflicts in Middle East and elsewhere. So today, CAS is very much centre stage.

Aircraft and Weapon Development

• Super Etendard developed from short-range aircraft to long-range CAS.
• Harrier GR5 to GR7 to GR9 to GR9a
• Weapons development for precision, and smaller to provide focussed discreet damage

Issues Looking Forward

• English language still an issue for some nations
• Need to use a higher percentage of ISR intel. gained
• Numbers of FACs/JTACs need to increase
• Night CAS 2-seat aircraft are better
• FAC(A) needs 2-seat aircraft
• Need FAC/JTAC career path. Must be full-time not part-time/occasional
• Simulator training for FACs/JTACs to save aircraft flying hours and aircrew time and costs, also available in any weather, day or night

Other Issues

• Lack of Harrier gun, but not considered an issue by OC 4 Sqn. CRV7 Rocket very useful
• USAF plan for turbo prop light COIN aircraft

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