Used for decades, counter-insurgency aircraft have proved their worth, for example, during the Vietnam War by the USA, then during the Gulf War and finally against DAECH. The qualities of this type of aircraft are its great manoeuvrability, its range, and its ability to carry weapons.
A proven veteran:
After more than 50 years since its first flight, the US has embarked on a new concept with the OAX programme, which will replace the A-10 for close air support missions.
Characteristics of the counter-insurgency aircraft:
This new concept will be equipped with two engines, has an operational range of more than 2250km and has superior endurance if hit by fire.
In addition, this new aircraft (the OV-10 Bronco) is ultra-operational and can take off from a runway of less than 220m and fly at an altitude of 60m, carrying around 2,175kg of weaponry.
This type of aircraft was originally intended for observation missions and to ‘live’ with the troops on the ground. It was not until several years later that the US expressed the need for a ‘counter-guerrilla’ aircraft. An aircraft that could move in difficult weather conditions and that did not require expensive maintenance.
Easy to fly, this aircraft also has a canopy in the cockpit that provides an almost panoramic view of the ground.
An aircraft that meets the needs of today’s wars:
Canada has also taken a stand on this subject by creating their own counter-insurgency aircraft with the TAV. It is indeed with the Canadian company Icarus Aerospace, which has just unveiled its TAV (Tactical Air Vehicle) WASP which looks surprisingly like its colleague (the OV-10 Bronco). A tactical aircraft that can offer 90% of the missions of a fighter for only 15% of its purchase and employment costs. In the long term, this represents a great saving for the army and more affordable air power that is better able to carry out the combat missions of today’s wars.
It is an ultra-versatile aircraft that can be configured to meet any requirement. The WASP TAV will have a maximum take-off weight of 9500 kg and a wingspan of 15.5 metres and a length of 15.85 metres.
The Canadian aircraft will be powered by two 1700 hp turboprop engines, with a top speed of 666km/h. No date has been given for the test flights of these aircraft. The Canadian company is betting that these new types of aircraft will be the main fighter aircraft for future fleets in Southeast Asia and Africa.
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