oversight

Close Air Support: Principal Issues and Aircraft Choices

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-12-08.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                               “I.




           REPORT T
         $ A    OPRUTIONS
3
7s
 t         ARMED SERVICES            C
     I     CONGRESS OF




           Close Air
           Principal I                   ircr   ok
                                                B-173850

           Department of Defense




           BY THE CQMPTROLLER GENERAL
           OF THE UNITED STATES
                                 COMPTROLLER     GENERAL     OF      THE      UNITED       STATES
                                               WASHINGTON.    D.C.         20548




                 B-173850
                                                                                                    ,’ <!
                                                                                            .‘r-




                 To the Chairmen of the Appropriations                                      -' L-
                                                                                           ., _i
                   and Armed Services Committees
 4. I            Congress of the United States
     /
-1
                      This is our report on the close                              air      support         mission   of    .-
             I   the Department of Defense.                                                                                :
         ,
                        This review was made pursuant to the Budget and Ac-
                 counting Act, 1921 (31 U.S.C. 53), and the Accounting and
                 Auditing   Act of 1950 (31 U.S.C. 67).

                        It is our intent    to provide the authorization   and ap-
                 propriation    committees of the Senate and the House of Repre-
                 sentatives    with information    that may be useful in their
                 deliberations     on the Department of Defense budget requests
                 for close-air-support     weapon systems.

                      We have not obtained written    comments from the Depart-
                 ment of Defense, although we have considered,       in this report,
                 comments provided by various officials      concerned with close
                 air support in the Office    of the Secretary   of Defense and in
                 the military  services  during our work.

                        Copies of this report are being sent to the Director,
                 Office   of Management and Budget; the Secretary  of Defense; the
                 Secretaries   of the Army, Navy, and Air Force; and the Comman-
                 dant, United States Marine Corps.




                                                             Comptroller  General
                                                             of the United States




                                       50 TH ANNIVERSARY                   1921-         1971
    COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S                                         THE CLOSE AIR SUPPORT: PRINCIPAL                     ISSUES
    REPORTTO THE CHAIRMEN,                                        AND AIRCRAFT CHOICES
    APPROPRIATIONSAUD ARMED                                       Department  of Defense B-173850
    SERVICES COMMITTEES, CONGRESS
    OF THE UNITED STATES


    DIGEST
    _-----


    WHYTHE REVIEW WASMADE

         The Army, Navy, Marine Corps,          and Air Force all participate             in close air sup-
         port or reinforcement _ x-- of ground      troops  by close-in   delivery        of ordnance    from
         aircraft.  -The-services       -have differed     over,  among other      things,      the best equip-
         ment to employ,      the tactics     to use, and the priority       of this        type of mission.

         Congressional          committees     have reviewed       these service        differences        and related
I
I
         problems        from time to time,        but the issues         have been exceedingly            difficult       to
I
         resolve.          Congressional      concern   recently      has been expressed            that three        dif-
         ferent      aircraft      candidates     now under consideration            for the close-air?support
         mission--the         Army's     AH-56A Cheyenne      helicopter,      the Marine         Corps'     Harrier,      and
         the Air Force's           A-X--may    be duplicative        or substantially          overlapping         in ca-
         pabilities.

         The General   Accounting               Office  (GAO) undertook        this study due to congressional
         interest   in the subject               and due to the large         sums of money involved.

         Although      various      Department       of Defense      (DOD) officials      who read drafts of
         this   report      gave    GAO their       comments to      consider,     DOD did not comment formally
         on this    report.


    FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

         All three   proposed      aircraft     are designed         to defeat         tactical        targets,       such
         as battle   tanks,     armored     personnel      carriers,      field        fortifications,             and
         enemy troops;      but the aircraft        differ      markedly.

             --The Cheyenne is a "compound"                 aircraft     having,      in    addition  to rotary
                blades, wings for lift,   like              a fixed-wing       plane,       and a pusher-propeller
                in the tail.   (See ch. 2.)

             --The Harrier      is the first    vertical-takeoff          airplane     to become opera-
                tional,  after    nearly   25 years      of experimentation        with   this  aeronautical
                concept.     (See ch. 3.)                                                                                          \

             --The A-X is to be a conventional          fixed-wing     aircraft,  the first       fixed-
                wing aircraft     in more I-Jar A generation       to be designed    specifically
                for the close-air-support      mission.        (See ch. 4.)

         A cohesive    plan        covering       total   DOD requirements for             close   air       support     has not
         been prepared.            Ordinarily        such a plan would be the              basis   for       determining     the
                                                                                      DEC.          8lElTl
       Tear Sheet
                                                              1
total     number of aircraft           and the capabilities           they riced to carry        out the                        *        f
close-air-support            mission.        Instead      the sizes   and the tactical       concepts     of                             :
close-air-support            fleets    have been proposed by the individual                 services,                                    8
planning       independently,         without      taking     into account      (1) each other's      plans,                             i
(2) the quantities             and capabilfties           of existing    aircraft,     or (3) the re-                                    :
sources      of U.S. Allies.                                                                                                             I
                                                                                                                                         I
The case for a new close-air-support          aircraft                     could be argued more convinc-                                 i
ingly   if there were common agreement        among                   the services       about available     in-                         :
ventory    aircraft   (their   numbers, accuracy,                     payloads,     response   times,    and                             I
other   properties)     and if it could be shown                      that    there   was a gap between
these resources     and the combined    services'                     needs.

Some factors           hampering        effective   management           of the       close-air-support           mis-
sion and the           development          of an overall  plan          are:

   1. Constraints     on each             service     that restrict    the range of choice    among                                     :
      weapon-system       types           that each can develop.          The Army, for example,     is                                 :
      limited     to helicopters              through     an agreement    with the Air Force.     (See                                  :
                                                                                                                                        I
      p. 44.)                                                                                                                           I

   2.   Lack of joint     military     doctrine on how                   to conduct the mission                and on
        the right   equipment      for the job.

   3.   Lack of adequate        data on-how effectively         the weapons now under                            consider-              i
        afi6%%ill       perform    in their   ultimate   environtments    and on certain                           human                :
        abi litiesZ&ded         for operating      the weapons.                                                                         I
                                                                                                                                        I

   4.   Equipping,         staffing,    and       training      for support    missions       usually    are under-                 i
        financed       in peacetime       in      favor    of a service's      first-priority         mission.                      :
        The more complex support                  missions--      such as close air support--which               re-                :
        quire     close,      even deljcate,           coordination     between      air and ground        troops,                  ;
        therefore        are difficult          to gear up when hostilities                break out.                               I
                                                                                                                                    I

Selection        among     the three   aircraft       would be           difficult    to make with any con-                         !
fidence       at this      time.    it is not known, for                 example,    whether      they will      be                 ;
more effective           than existing      aircraft.       The          following    capabilities      of the                      :
three     aircraft       have not been proven through                    testing   in a combatlike          environ-                :
ment employing           the tactics     planned      for each           of them.                                                   I

   --Ability           to find and identify          enemy targets             in    time    to    launch    weapons      and       ,:
      before         the enemy can fire     at       the aircraft.                                                                  I
   --Survivability            against      a well-equipped          enemy.

   --Effectiveness            against      typical      close-air-support               targets.

   --Capability          for a high,        sustained        rate   of      attack      (sortie      surge    rate)      in         i
                                                                                                                                    i
      the battle          area.                                                                                                     I




                                                                2
            Data on proposed target-kill  capabilities       and survivability                                      are conflicting
            and incomplete.  (See p. 41.)   Cost-effectiveness         studies                                    on those aircraft
            (none have been made on the Harrier)       have been:

                   --Optimistic      in their  assumptions                about      environments,             tactics,         and the
                      severity     of enemy defenses.

                   --Incomplete       in     their     comparisons        with     similar       aircraft.

                   --Out    of date with current              cost    estimates,         which        have     risen       markedly       in
                      the   last year or two.

            Another         cost-effectiveness             study     on the       Cheyenne       is    under      way.

             DOD completed        an interim       study of the three      aircraft      in June 1971. (See
             pp. 40 to 42.)           The Deputy Secretary         of Defense,      in his summary of the study,
             concluded       that the proposed          aircraft  would be complementary             rather   than
             duplicative,        because       each was expected to have exclusive               capabilities      for
             certain      battle    situations       not possessed    by existing      aircraft.

             He recommended     that all three        aircraft     programs      be continued     until    opera-
             tional  testing    could be completed           to resolve     certain    specified     uncertainties
             about each. The list of uncertainties                 seems to apply to each aircraft                 alike,
             but the summary does not indicate               that each aircraft       will     be evaluated       against
             the list.    Although     further     testing      of the proposed*aircraft          is indicated,
             it is not clear      whether     they will      be compared with each other            and with exist-
             ing aircraft    when the operational            test data are available.

             Recently     a deputy  directorship           was established    in the Office      of Defense     Re-
             search   and Engineering        having      direct   access to the Deputy Secretary           of De-
             fense at certain      critical       milestones      in the weapon acquisition        process    of
             these aircraft.       The deputy        director     would do no actual     testing    but would
             advise   and monitor      in-service        testing    by the services  and would evaluate
             the results.
             GAO in this   study has not attempted            to determine     whether   the current     arrange-
             ment for operational     testing       and evaluation      will   provide   the necessary       in-
             dependence  to ensure that        there    is timely     and realistic    operational     testing
             of weapon systems    before     large-scale-production          commitments     are made.

             GAO agrees,   however,  that a powerful   operational     test and evaluation      authority
             is needed in the weapon acquisition      cycle to give the Congress        greater    assur-
             ance that only proven equipment     will  be passed on to the troops         and that fewer
             disappointing   weapons will  be in the arsenal       should hostilities     break out.


I iUTTERS FOR COiVSIDERATIONBY Tl?E COMVITTEES

             To manage close-air-support                     resources        more     effectively,            the        committees      may
             wish to require     DOD:
I
I                  1. To establish             the   total     DOD requirement      for close-air-support                         resources
I                     within    the        force     structure     allowed     by the budget.
I
I
I   Tear   Sheet
I                                                                     3
  2. To delineate        the single-     and joint-service       tasks  and subtasks             in
     conductina       close-air-support       missions     and to assign authority               and
     responsibjlity         for specific    tasks to the individual        services.

  3. To develop     and implement,         within        some realistic      deadlines,       joint  close-
     air-support      doctrine       to include         spelling    out how military       actions     are        I
     to be conducted         and coordinated            and prescribing       the operational       condi-
     tions    and joint      tactics    for the         employment      of weapons.

The committees,          at the time they are considering              budget    requests   for pro-
duction    units     of the aircraft,              may wish also to inquire      into the extent
of operational         testing        actually      performed.    A summary of major issues       con-
cerning    the three         aircraft        candidates     which the committees     may wish to pur-
sue further      with DOD are listed                on pages 20, 28 to 30, and 39.)




                                                                                                              I




                                                    4
                          Contents
                                                               'Page

DIGEST                                                           1

CHAPTER

  1       INTRODUCTION                                           5
              Purpose of this report                             5
              Objectives    and scope                            7
              Three aircraft    candidates for the
                mission                                          8
              Problems in comparing the three aircraft           8

  2           ARMY CANDIDATE: AH-56A CHEYENNE
          HELICOPTER                                            10
              Program history                                   10
              Physical and performance characteristics          12
              Armament                                          13
              Avionics:     communications,      navigation,
                 and fire control                               14
              Program schedule and funding                      14
              Combat effectiveness                              16
                   command and control                          16
                   Antiarmor     operations                     16
                   Maintainability       and logistical
                      support                                   18
                   Cost effectiveness                           19
              Air Force and Marine views on the
                 Cheyenne                                       19
              Summary of the major open issues                  20

   3      THE MARINE CORPS CANDIDATE: THE AV-8A
          HARRIER                                               21
              Program history                                   21
              Physical and performance characteristics          23
              Armament                                          25
              Avionics:      cormnunications, navigation,
                 and fire control                               25
              Program schedule and funding                      26
              Combat utility                                    26
              Air Force and Army views on the Harrier           27
              Summary of the major open issues                  28
CHAPTER                                                          Page

        4        AIR FORCE CANDIDATE: THE A-X AIRCRAFT            31
                 Aircraft     history                             31
                 Physical and performance characteristics         31
                 Armament                                         35
                 Avionics:       communication,  navigation,
                    and fire control                              35
                 Program schedule and funding                     36
                 Operational      concept and effectiveness       37
                       Vulnerability                              37
                       Prototype      flyoff                      38
                       Cost effectiveness                         38
                 Army and Marine Corps views on the A-X           38
                 Summary of major open issues                     39

        5   RECENT DOD STUDY ON CLOSE AIR SUPPORT                40
               Matter for consideration  by Committees           42
        6   CLOSE-AIR-SUPPORT PROBLEMS: AN OVERVIEW              43
                Lack of an overall       plan                    44
                     Constraints      on the services            44
                     Iack of joint military       doctrine       45
                     lack of adequate data on weapon
                        effectiveness                            46
                     Funding and training      for support
                        missions                                 49
                           Peacetime disfavor     of close air
                              support                            49
               Matters for consideration        by the Com-
                  mittees                                        50

APPENDIX

        I   A short   history   of close      air   support      53

   II       The war in Southeast       Asia                      57

 III        Conduct of close     air   support                   61
                                ABBREVIATIONS

DOD     Department        of Defense

GAO     General      Accounting           Office

NATO    North      Atlantic          Treaty      Organization

OT&E    operational           test     and evaluation

RAC     Research       Analysis          Corporation

RDT&E   research,       development,              test,     and evaluation

STOL    short      takeoff       and landing

TOW     tube launched,               optically       tracked,     wire   guided

VSTQL   vertical       and short          takeoff         and landing

VTOL    vertical       takeoff         and landing
COilPTROLLERGENERAL'S                                     THE CLOSEAIR SUPPORT:PRINCIPALISSUES
REPORTTO THE CHAIRMEN,                                    ANDAIRCRAFTCHOICES
APPROPRIATIONSAND ARMED                                   Department     of   Defense       B-173850
SERVICES COMMITTEES, CONGRESS
OF THE UNITED STATES


DIGEST
_-_---

WHYTHE REVIEW WASM4DE

    The Army, Navy, Marine       Corps, and Air Force all participate              in close air sup-
    port or reinforcement      of ground      troops  by close-in  delivery       of ordnance     from
    aircraft.    The services      have differed     over,  among other     things,      the best equip-
    ment to employ,     the tactics     to use, and the priority       of this       type of mission.

    Congressional         committees     have reviewed     these service         differences        and related
    problems       from time to time,        but the issues      have been exceedingly              difficult      to
    resolve.         Congressional      concern   recently     has been expressed            that three       dif-
    ferent      aircraft     candidates     now under consideration           for the close-air-support
    mission--the         Army's AH-56A Cheyenne helicopter,            the Marine          Corps'    Harrier,      and
    the Air Force's          A-X--may    be duplicative      or substantially           overlapping        in ca-
    pabilities.

    The General       Accounting           Office  (GAO) undertook      this study due to congressional
    interest   in     the subject           and due to the large       sums of money involved.

    Although      various      Department       of Defense (DOD) officials      who read drafts of
    this   report      gave    GAO their       comments to consider,     DOD did not comment formally
    on this    report.


FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

    All three proposed        aircraft     are designed         to defeat      tactical        targets,      such
    as battle   tanks,     armored     personnel      carriers,     field      fortifications,            and
    enemy troops;      but the aircraft        differ      markedly.
       --The Cheyenne is a “compound” aircraft         having , in addition to rotary
          blades,  wings for lift,   like a fixed-wing       plane, and a pusher-propeller
          in the tail.    (See ch. 2.)

       --The Harrier      is the first    vertical-takeoff          airplane          to become opera-
          tional,  after    nearly   25 years      of experimentation             with this    aeronautical
          concept.     (See ch. 3.)

       --The A-X is to be a conventional          fixed-wing aircraft,  the first fixed-
          wing aircraft     in more thar a generation      to be designed specifically
          for the close-air-support      mission.      (See ch. 4.)

    A cohesive    plan        covering       total   DOD requirements for       close      air    support     has not
    been prepared.            Ordinarily         such a plan would be the       basis      for    determining     the


                                                         1
total     number of aircraft           and the capabilities              they need to carry         out the
close-air-support           mission.         Instead      the sizes and the tactical             concepts      of
close-air-support            fleets    have been proposed             by the individual        services,
planning       independently,        without       taking    into     account       (1) each other's      plans,
(2) the quantities              and capabilities          of existing       aircraft,      or (3) the re-
sources      of U.S. Allies.

The case for a new close-air-support          aircraft      could be argued more convinc-
ingly   if there were common agreement        among the services about available          in-
ventory    aircraft   (their   numbers, accuracy,      payloads,     response times,  and
other   properties)     and if it could be shown that          there was a gap between
these resources     and the combined    services'      needs.

Some factors           hampering        effective   management           of the       close-air-support                mis-
sion and the           development          of an overall  plan          are:

   1. Constraints     on each             service      that restrict    the range of choice    among
      weapon-system       types           that each can develop.           The Army, for example,    is
      limited     to helicopters               through     an agreement    with the Air Force.    (See
      p. 44.)

   2.   Lack of joint     military     doctrine on how to conduct                            the    mission     and on
        the right   equipment      for the job.

   3. Lack of adequate        data on how effectively       the weapons now under consider-
      ation     will  perform    in their ultimate    environments    and on certain human
      abilities      needed for operating      the weapons.

   4.   Equipping,        staffing,    and        training      for support    missions        usually    are under-
        financed       in peacetime      in       favor    of a service's      first-priority          mission.
        The more complex support                  missions --such as close           air support--which           re-
        quire     close,     even delicate,            coordination     between      air and ground         troops,
        therefore        are difficult          to gear up when hostilities                break out.

Selection        among the three     aircraft       would be             difficult    to make with       any con-
fidence       at this time.       It is not known, for                   example,    whether      they will      be
more effective        than existing       aircraft.         The          following    capabilities       of the
three     aircraft    have not been proven            through            testing   in a combatlike          environ-
ment employing        the tactics      planned      for each             of them.

   --Ability          to   find and identify    enemy targets                  in    time    to    launch     weapons          and
      before        the    enemy can fire    at the aircraft.

  --Survivability             against      a well-equipped          enemy.

  --Effectiveness             against      typical      close-air-support               targets.

  --Capability             for a high,      sustained        rate   of      attack      (sortie      surge     rate)          in
     the battle            area.




                                                                2
    Data on proposed          target-kill  capabilities        and survivability                      are conflicting
    and incomplete.           (See p. 41.)    Cost-effectiveness         studies                    on those aircraft
    (none have been          made on the Harrier)       have been:

       --Optimistic         in their   assumptions          about      environments,             tactics,       and the
          severity     of     enemy defenses.

       --Incomplete in their             comparisons        with     similar       aircraft.

       --Out    of date with current            cost    estimates,         which        have     risen      markedly      in
          the   last year or two.

    Another     cost-effectiveness           study     on the       Cheyenne       is    under      way.

    DOD completed        an interim       study of the three      aircraft      in June 1971. (See
    pp. 40 to 42.)           The Deputy Secretary         of Defense,      in his summary of the study,
    concluded that the proposed                aircraft  would be complementary             rather   than
    duplicative,        because      each was expected      to have exclusive           capabilities      for
    certain      battle    situations       not possessed     by existing     aircraft.

    He recommended that all three aircraft                  programs      be continued     until    opera-
    tional    testing      could be completed         to resolve     certain    specified     uncertainties
    about each.         The list     of uncertainties       seems to apply to each aircraft                alike,
    but the summary does not indicate                 that each aircraft       will     be evaluated        against
    the list.        Although    further     testing     of the proposed      aircraft     is indicated,
    it is not clear         whether     they will     be compared with each other            and with exist-
    ing aircraft        when the operational          test data are available.

    Recently     a deputy  directorship           was established    in the Office      of Defense     Re-
    search   and Engineering        having      direct   access to the Deputy Secretary           of De-
    fense at certain      critical       milestones      in the weapon acquisition        process    of
    these aircraft.       The deputy director            would do no actual     testing    but would
    advise   and monitor      in-service        testing    by the services  and would evaluate
    the results.

    GAOin this study has not attempted                to determine     whether   the current     arrange-
    ment for operational      testing      and evaluation       will   provide   the necessary       in-
    dependence  to ensure     that there        is timely     and realistic    operational     testing
    of weapon systems    before      large-scale-production          commitments     are made.

    GAO agrees,   however,  that a powerful   operational       test and evaluation      authority
    is needed in the weapon acquisition      cycle    to give the Congress       greater    assur-
    ance that only proven equipment     will  be passed on to the troops           and that    fewer
    disappointing   weapons will  be in the arsenal       should    hostilities    break out.


MATTERSFOR CONSIDERATIONBY THE COMMITTEES

    To manage close-air-support                resources        more    effectively,             the     committees       may
    wish to require     DOD:

       1. To establish           the   total     DOD requirement      for close-air-support                       resources
          within    the      force     structure     allowed     by the budget.

                                                        3
  2. To delineate        the sinqle-     and joint-service       tasks  and subtasks         in '         ;
     conducting       close-air-support       missions     and to assign   authority         and
     responsibility         for specific    tasks to the individual        services.

  3. To develop     and implement,         within    some realistic      deadlines,     joint  close-
     air-support      doctrine       to include     spelling    out how military      actions    are
     to be conducted         and coordinated        and prescribing      the operational      condi-
     tions    and joint      tactics    for the     employment      of weapons.

The committees,          at the time they are considering              budget    requests    for pro-
duction    units     of the aircraft,              may wish also to inquire      into   the extent
of operational         testing        actually      performed.    A summary of major issues        con-
cerning    the three         aircraft        candidates     which the committees      may wish to pur-
sue further      with DOD are listed                on pages 20, 28 to 30, and 39.)
                                  CHAPTER1

                                INTRODUCTION

      The definition     of the close-air-support mission, as
promulgated by the Joint Chiefs of Staff (and concurred in
by our allies),      is:

       "Air attacks against hostile      targets which are
       in close proximity    to friendly    forces and which
       require detailed   integration    of each air mission
       with the fire and movement of those forces,"

         Close-air-support        strikes     are made against such enemy
targets      as tanks and other vehicles,              troops, bunkers, artil-
lery Y and other battlefield              objectives      in support of maneu-
vering ground forces.             Attacks may be preplanned;             they may
be in response to a ground commander's call;                      or the targets
may be discovered          during armed-escort           or armed-reconnaissance
flights.        The mission requires          well-trained      and well-
motivated       pilots,    sensitive      ground-to-air       coordination,    and
effective       weapon delivery        without unnecessarily          endangering
friendly      troops.      It is often a dangerous mission for the
aircraft.

PURPOSEOF THIS REPORT

      The proper conduct of the,mission,      the divergent  views
of the services,  and other related     problems have been re-
viewed from time to time by congressional        committees.   The
issues,  though, are extremely difficult      to resolve.

      Congressional   concern is exemplified  by the annual re-
ports of the committees concerned with the armed services
and with appropriations.      In its report on the fiscal year
1971 budget, the Senate Committee on Armed Services said:

      "Two questions    about close air support of ground
      troops have received increasing      attention    in the
      last several years:     Which services     should have
      the mission of close air support and also what
      types of aircraft    should be used?"
Later    in the report,    the Committee    observed:

        "The record is replete       with examples of parochi-
        alism among the Services,        unwarranted     duplication
        of weapons systems development,           and the non-
        productive    perpetuation     of research and develop-
        ment efforts     which finally     resulted    in major pro-
        gram terminations.        One example could prove to be
        the A-X-Cheyenne-Harrier        programs on which the
        Secretary    of Defense recently       reported   to the
        Congress.     Although this is his initial          report,
         it continues    the status quo and recommends the
        continued    development of the A-X and Cheyenne
        and procurement      of the Harrier."

The House Committee on Appropriations,           reporting    on the
same budget, remarked:

        "There is a serious question as to whether or
        not future   Defense budgets can support the devel-
        opment and/or procurement    of three separate air-
        craft  weapon systems designed to perform essen-
        tially   the same mission."

A special  subcommittee of the House Committee on Armed Ser-
vices was appointed in 1966 to look into the close-air-
support mission.    One observation was:

        "The Army has been hesitant        to demand better  sup-
        port than it has been getting.         Because of the
        desire on the part of both services        to avoid ir-
        ritating  service rivalries      and the roles and mis-
        sions issue, essential      questions   have gone un-
        answered, and essential      problems have been swept
        under the rug."

        In view of the current         congressional   concern that the
three candidate      aircraft    may be duplicative      or substantially
overlapping     in their     capabilities,      we have attempted  to
identify     in this report     the problems which handicap the
management of close-air-support             resources by the Department
of Defense.




                                      6
OBJECTIVES AND SCOPE

        Our study objectives      were to learn how the experts in
and out of DOD think this mission should be performed,              to
report the positions         and views of the services,    to identify
real or potential       problems in the current     DOD attempt to
satisfy    close-air-support      mission requirements,    to tell how
the mission evolved over the years, and to attempt to help
the Congress reexamine the principal          issues and weapon
choices.

      We interviewed         high-ranking    military     officers   in the
United States, Korea, Southeast Asia, and Europe to gather
their views on how the close-air-support                 mission ought to
be executed and what kinds of equipment were preferred.
Air and ground commanders, pilots,                forward air controllers,
air liaison      officers,      and experts detached from DOD were
also interviewed         personally     and by questionnaire,        Studies
of the cost effectiveness,            vulnerability,      and combat effec-
tiveness    of the proposed systems were reviewed.                 The con-
siderable    literature       on tactical     air warfare was researched
as well.




                                       7
THREE AIRCRAFT CANDIDATES
---                 II__. - FOR THE MISSION
                                     ---
       The Air Force's candidate is the fixed-wing            A-X, which
is currently      in advanced development;       the Army wants to pro-
cure the AH-5GA Cheyenne helicopter,           a gunship now under-
going test and evaluation;        the Marine Corps, which uses both
fixed-wing     airplanes   and helicopters     for close-air-support
tasks, is buying the AV-8A Harrier           which is a British-made
vertical    takeoff    and landing aircraft.        (See chs. 2, 3,
and 4.)

      All three close-air-support       candidates   are intended to
defeat tactical   targets     in a midintensity    conflict  such as
might occur in Europe, Korea, or the Middle East.            Effective-
ness in a permissive     (lightly   defended) environment,      such as
that of Vietnam, is considered secondary.

l'ROBLEMS IN CBMP'ARINGTHE THREE AIRCRAFT

      Each service has campaigned zealously   for its preferred
weapon system, which, it sincerely  believes,    is best for
close-air-support  tasks.

       The problem is to sort out the essential           differences
and similarities       among these aircraft.       Symmetrical    data
with which to compare them for net effectiveness               are hard to
come by. Comparison is made more difficult              by the comple-
mentarity    argument; that is, each aircraft         is said to have
exclusive    capabilities    in a certain    battle   environment and
therefore     the aircraft   are said to be complementary rather
than competitive.

      Thus the Marines assert that the Harrier         has an exclu-
sive niche to fill       in amphibious operations;    the Army alleges
that the Cheyenne can employ effective         weapon-delivery     tac-
tics unlike    those of any fixed-wing    airplanes;     the Air Force
contends that these other candidates are limited            to permis-
sive environments      and that only the A-X COULD "live"       through
a midintensity     conflict.

      There are other constraints,       too, which force the ser-
vices down different    paths.    For instance,     the Army air fleet
has been mostly limited     to rotary-wing    aircraft   by agreement
with the Air Force, so that the Army's close-air-support

                                    8
candidate has to be a helicopter.         The Marine Corps, among
other considerations,       has a space limitation       problem in an
expeditionary      force;  therefore it believes     that vertical-
takeoff   aircraft     best suit its needs.     Without these con-
straints    on their freedom of choice,      the services      might be
better   able to harmonize their requirements          in an aircraft
design for close air support.

        Pervading the issue are the finely               drawn differences       in
service     traditions,      legacies,     philosophies,      organizational
arrangements,        and  ways   of  doing    business.     Overshadowing
these are the tendency of each service                  to go its own way in
assessing the threat,           deciding    requirements,      and equipping
itself;     disagreement       of the services      on how to conduct the
mission;      absence    of useful     data   on  weapon-system     performance
generally;      and lack of a cohesive total DOD requirement                 for
close-air-support         resources.       (See ch. 6.)




                                          9
                                  CHAPTE=R2
                                 ----

       THE   ARMY   CANDIDATE:     AH-56A   CHEYENNE   HELICOPTER

       The Army is developing   the Cheyenne to increase its
combat effectiveness    in all types of conflicts.     Although
the Army already has a Cobra attack helicopter       and other
helicopter   gunships in inventory,   the Army believes    that the
Cheyenne is needed to counter the armor threat posed by the
Warsaw Pact nations.

       The primary mission of the Cheyenne will be to provide
close air support for land and airmobile         operations.     Al-
though it will perform other tasks, such as reconnaissance,
aerial   escort of troop and cargo helicopters,        and adjust-
ment of field    artillery gunfire,    the principal     mission for
the Cheyenne will be to kill      tanks and other armored vehi-
cles.

PROGRAM   HISTORY

       In the early 196Os, the Army was seeking ways to im-
prove conventional      helicopter  capabilities.      In 1963 the
Secretary    of the Army "disapproved     the concept of modifying
existing    aircraft  to provide only an interim       solution   to
the direct     fire support helicopter    requirement"     and directed
the Army to "lift     its sights"   and develop an optimized ae-
rial weapon system.       The APL56A Cheyenne helicopter        is the
result   of that directive.

        After several studies,     analyses,   and contractor   compe-
tition,     in March 1966 the Army awarded a fixed-price        incen-
tive contract      for engineering   development to the Lockheed
California      Company. The contract     included production     op-
tions for 375, 500, 1,000, and 1,500 aircraft.             The Army
exercised     the first  option in January 1968,

       There were several technical      problems, however--most
of them concerned with the main rotor control          system.   In
Nay 1969, after Lockheed failed       to convince the Army that
the problems could be corrected       within   a reasonable time,
the Army terminated    the production     part of the contract     for
contractor   default.    The development part of the contract


                                     10
11
remained in force, however, and certain               performance     specifi-
cations were subsequently  downgraded.

        Since %y 1969 development activity         has been centered
around integrating       subsystems and testing     an improved rotor
control    system,     Simultaneously     the Army and Lockheed were
negotiating     a restructured      development program (minus any
production     options),     and on August 17, 1971, they entered
into a new contract        to continue development.

PHYSICAL AND PERFORMANCE
                       CHARACTERISTICS

        The Cheyenne has one engine, an antitorque        rotor,     small
wings, a pusher-propeller,        and a rigid main rotor.        During
high-speed     forward flight,    the wings and pusher-propeller
provide most of the lift        and forward propulsion,    respec-
tively.     The rigid rotor system is not used to any great ex-
tent for lift        at high speeds but serves to provide flight-
control    stability     and maneuverability.

      The aircraft    has tandem cockpits,    (The copilot-gunner
is in front.)      It has some armor to protect    critical     compo-
nents against small projectiles,     has self-sealing       fuel tanks,
and redundant pilot     controls.  It is 60 feet long (55 feet
when main rotor blades are folded)       and 14 feet high and has
a wingspan of 27 feet and an empty weight of 12,215 pounds.

        Variations      in atmospheric     conditions    and the weight of
fuel and ordnance affect             the performance of any combat air-
craft.      Under standard day conditions            (59O F. at sea level),
the Army expects the Cheyenne to be capable of vertically
lifting     about 12,000 pounds of fuel,           ordnance, and weapon
pods.     If the Cheyenne is given a few hundred feet of run-
way for a short takeoff,             its payload can be expected to in-
crease slightly.            The aircraft's    maximum internal      fuel load
is 2,861 pounds.            The Cheyenne's maximum dash speed is ex-
pected to be about 245 miles an hour, and its maximum cruise
speed is expected to be about 225 miles an hour, although
these speeds will decrease with heavy payloads.                    The Chey-
enne is capable, as are more conventional                helicopters,       of
hovering and of sideward and rearward flight.                   These flight
characteristics,          coupled with its low speed, permit nap-of-
the-earth      flight     (just clearing     ground vegetation)       and allow
the aircraft        to operate in inclement weather with visibility
and ceilings        that are not negotiable        by fixed-wing      aircraft.

                                      12
ARMAMENT
      The Cheyenne has gun turrets in its nose and belly and
six hardpoint stations on its wings and belly to carry
rockets and missiles.   Its missile guidance equipment is
built in.
      In the nose turret is a 7.62 mmantipersonnel minigun
with a selectable rate of fire of 750 to 6,000 shots a min-
ute. Interchangeable with that is a 40 mmgrenade launcher
that fires 350 shots a minute against personnel and light
armor. Either weapon may be (1) traversed 120' to the right
or left of the aircraft's  nose, (2) lowered 60' or (3)
raised 18'.
     Mounted on the belly turret is a 30 mmautomatic cannon
that fires 405 shots a minute to an effective range of about
10,000 feet.  It will be used against personnel and light
armor and can be fired in any direction;   it can be lowered
70° and raised 18'.
      The wing stations will accommodateup to 152 rockets
(2.75 in.) or 36 tube-launched, optically    tracked, wire-
guided (TOW) missiles.   The rockets are  forward   firing and
are used for area fire suppression, and the TOWmissile is
to be used against heavy armor. Although only one missile
can be fired and guided at a time, the aircraft may take
evasive action once a missile is locked onto the target.
        An evaluation by U.S. Army, Europe, in the European
environment showed that a scout-aircraft     pilot needed an
observer to acquire a target, since the pilot could not si-
multaneously acquire a target and perform the many other
tasks required of him. This may indicate that the Cheyenne
pilot may be too involved in flying the aircraft      (maneuver-
ing, etc.) to provide effective suppressive fire while the
copilot is firing     the TOW. The CheyenneVs fire control
system and the pilot's     helmet sight, however, which were not
available during the European evaluation, may enhance the
pilot's    ability to deliver suppressive fire.




                              13
       ,




AVIONICS: COMMUNICATIONS, NAVIGATION,
AND FIRE CONTROL

       The Cheyenne has fully    integrated     and highly sophisti-
cated avionics.      Its communication equipment, for instance,
is designed to provide coordination         with supported ground
units,   communication with other aircraft,        and air traffic
control.    There are a self-contained       navigation   system and
other navigational      aids to help provide continuous       operation
in the forward combat area.

       The fire control     system permits the pilot          and copilot-
gunner to fire all weapons, but only the copilot                can fire
the TOW missile.      The pilot    and gunner, though, can fire
simultaneously    at different     targets.      The gunner has a di-
rect sight and a magnifying        periscopic     sight.      The two
sights and the gunner's seat are mounted together on a 360*
swiveling    gunner's station.       The lower sight assembly of the
station   extends out the bottom of the fuselage and contains
the telescopic    optics,    a laser range finder,          and the TOW
missile   guidance equipment.        By activating       the control    for
the swiveling    gunner's station,       the gunner may change his
view to any direction.

       The pilot  can use a direct  sight or his helmet sight
at will;   the turreted  weapons are slaved to the helmet
sight,   so that they turn automatically   as the pilot turns
his head.

        A computer manages the fire control          system:     as the
pilot    changes his sight direction        the computer automatically
transmits      corrective     commands to the turreted      weapons to
achieve accuracy.          The computer is expected to be capable
of storing      data about several target positions          for subse-
quent attack and of incorporating           a thermal-imaging      (heat
silhouette)      night-vision     system for fighting     in darkness
and poor visibility.           (The night vision    system enhances vis-
ibility     through smoke, haze, and fog.)

PROGRAMSCHEDULEAND FUNDING

      The Cheyenne is now in engineering    development being
readied for production,  and a new production     decision (for
budgetary purposes) is anticipated    early in 1972. A

                                   14
production    contract,   however, is not expected to be signed
before October 1972. The Army in September 1971 estimated
that the weapon system acquisition       cost will total     about
$2.1 billion,     or about $4.5 million   for each aircraft.




                                 15
COMBATEFFECTIVENESS

Command and control

       The Army plans to use the Cheyenne as a primary means
of blunting     enemy armor thrusts,     and for this purpose it
will assign the aircraft       predominately    to division-size
units.     The Army study of the Cheyenne in midintensity            con-
flict   indicates    that the aircraft    may be placed under the
operational     control   of committed brigades and battalions.
The Army believes that this decentralization           will    provide
ground commanders with the quick response needed for fire
support and continuity       of that fire support.

Antiarmor   operations

        According to the Army the most serious threat to close-
air-support      aircraft      in a European environment will be
radar-controlled         antiaircraft    artillery, such as the Soviet
Union's Quad 23 mm and Twin 57 mm guns-~~ In view of this
threat,     the Army plans to:

      1, Fly the Cheyenne in pairs,  thus         allowing     each air-
         craft protection by the other.,

      2‘S Avoid flying      over known enemy positions     by attack-
          ing targets     from behind the friendly     side of the
          battle  line.

      3. Fly the Cheyenne by nap-of-the-earth   flight to the
         target area to avoid its being detected by enemy
         air defenses.

      4. Use the pop-up technique to reacquire         the target
         (initially     located by scout aircraft,     friendly
         units,     or other means> and to fire the TOWmissile.
         (The pop-up technique is a tactic         in which the air-
         craft remains concealed close to the earth until
         ready to fire.       The aircraft   then ascends until
         clear of the terrain      and fires    on the target.)

      5. Suppress the target with an additional              weapon while
         firing  its main armament.


                                    16
        Several experiments have been made by the U.S. Army,
Europe, to evaluate different         helicopter       operations   and
tactics,    and other experiments       are continuing.         Reports on
the earlier     evaluations    were made by the Research Analysis
Corporation     (RAC) under contract        to the Army. One of the
studies (RAC-T-464) used the data from three experiments                   to
evaluate the effectiveness        of helicopters        popping up from
behind terrain      in simulated tactical         encounters with enemy
ground elements.        The report concluded that the pop-up
technique enabled helicopter         pilots     to fire first     in most
encounters of the types studied.              That conclusion     was based
on data from two experiments.           In the first      experiment the
helicopter     had a firing    advantage because it was popping up
from a concealed position        and the enemy vehicle was clearly
visible.      In the second experiment,         when the enemy vehicle
changed position      (it did not always change), the enemy on
the ground got off the first         shot almost as frequently          as
did the helicopter       crew.

       The report also concluded that popping up appeared to
enhance the acquisition            effectiveness       of pilots      flying    nap-
of-the-earth.       The report's         statistics      showed that helicop-
ters popping up were observed and fired upon fewer times
than during the nap-of-the-earth                 segment of the flight.
Ground targets,       for example, acquired four times as many
helicopters    flying     strictly       nap-of-the-earth        flight      as the
helicopters    acquired ground targets;              the ground targets
fired upon about 50 percent of the acquired helicopters.
But, in the pop-up maneuvers, the helicopter                     acquired twice
as many ground targets           as acquired them and the helicopter
was not fired upon during the pop-up.

       Another RAC study (RX-TP-189)          measured the ability     of
the helicopter's      antiarmor    teams to engage targets     located
by reconnaissance       elements.     The report concluded that
missile-firing     helicopter     crews had difficulty    in acquiring
enemy target vehicles,        especially    when those vehicles    were
stationary.      The report showed that the stationary         and cam-
ouflaged vehicle normally had a firing           advantage over the
helicopter.

     It should be noted at this               point that      the Army expects
the Cheyenne to offer increased               capabilities       over the


                                         17
UH-1B helicopter    which was used in the RAC studies.    The
survivability    of the Cheyenne, the Army believesawould   be
enhanced by the aircraft's:

       1. Greater      speed and maneuverability.

       2. Additional       protective         armor.

       3. 360' weapon-firing            capability.

       4. Greater weapon load and accuracy                   through   computer-
          ized fire control.

       5. Self-contained         navigation        system.
       6. Night-vision        system.

       7. Podded electronic          counter      measure devices.

       8. Improved       target-acquisition            equipment.

        During air cavalry troop evaluations        by U.S. Army,
Europe, for example, the command attributed           the limited
activity     and poor performance at night to the lack of night-
vision    equipment.    It concluded that the air cavalry troop                    I
needed an improved night-fighting       capability,      since a po-
tential     enemy could be expected to conduct large-scale        of-
fensive operations      at night.

       The TOW antitank      missile is a command-guided, line-of-                 ,
sight weapon. Itsuse will cause the Cheyenne and crew to
be exposed to the enemy target for about 20 seconds when
the missile       is to travel  about 10,000 feet.   Although sev-
eral seconds are needed for missile         aiming in the 20-second
interval,      the pilot may maneuver the Cheyenne during the
balance of the firing.         He may also deliver  suppressive
fires     with the 30 mm automatic cannon or other weapons,
during the engagement, to enhance survivability.

Maintainability        and logistical          support

      The Cheyenne will have built-in     test-equipment dis-
plays to identify  malfunctioning    units for the pilot  and
maintenance personnel.    Since the Cheyenne will have many
plug-in   replacement      components,      troubles    are expected     to be
corrected    rapidly.

       During the air cavalry troop evaluations    by U.S. Army,
Europe, a major weakness was found to be logistical        sup-
port.    Currently  the air cavalry troop relies   principally
on wheeled vehicles     for logistical support,  but the report
on the evaluation     concluded that an aerial resupply capa-
bility   was needed to augment these vehicles    because the
troop was expected to move frequently     and because the roads
were expected to be congested at the beginning of hostili-
ties and ground vehicles might find it difficult       keeping
up with the air cavalry troop.

Cost effectiveness

        The Army conducted several cost-effectiveness                    studies
early in the Cheyenne acquisition                 cycle to compare the
Cheyenne with certain          existing      aircraft.       The studies as-
sessed the Cheyenne in assumed combat environments                      where
the enemy's defenses were less severe than the Army's de-
scription    of the anticipated           threat,      they also assumed the
use of certain      optimistic       tactics,      and they considered an
initial    Cheyenne acquisition           cost which was substantially
less than recent estimates.               The Army, however, is cur-
rently    conducting a new cost-effectiveness                  study to compare
the Cheyenne with existing             and proposed helicopters           and
with the Air Force's close-air-support                    candidate,   the A-X.

AIR FORCE AND MARINE VIEWS ON THE CHEYENNE

       The Air   Force does not consider the Cheyenne effective
or survivable      against the wide array of close-air-support
targets   that   it, unlike the Army, may be required      to attack.

       The   Marines have not expressed a need for the Cheyenne
for close      air support since they view the use of helicopter
gunships     as escorts of transport     helicopters      and as attack
vehicles     in permissive   environments     only.   They believe
that true      close air support requires      a range of munitions
that are     at present limited    to fixed-wing     aircraft.




                                       19
S7.lMMARY
        OF THE MAJOR OPEN ISSUES

1. There does not appear to be a clearly    defined capability
   gap which would require   the Cheyenne helicopter,     This
   issue may be amplified  in view of the fact that the Army
   is expected to procure TOWmissile     modification kits for
   its current Cobra attack helicopters.

2. If the Army had to introduce           an attack helicopter      into
   a midintensity        war situation    against a well-equipped        en-
   emy ¶ it would be a first          for this kind of aircraft.
   Meanwhile there are sensitive            problems, such as aircraft
   survivability       and weapon systems effectiveness,         which
   require     intensive    study, testing,       and evaluation   before
   confident      estimates    can be made about its combat expec-
   tations,       To our knowledge, however, there are no plans
   to conduct extensive         realistic    testing   of the aircraft
   before a decision        is made to enter it into full-scale
   production.

3. The Cheyenne is expected to carry about three times the
   useful weapon load of the Army's current attack helicop-
   ter and the fuel requirements        of the Cheyenne will also
   be greater.    These   factors,    among  other things,     may re-
   quire additional    cargo helicopters       and/or ground vehi-
   cles to adequately resupply the Cheyenne in the forward
   combat area.     We found no evidence that these logistical
   support requirements,      including   their expected financial
   impact on the Army's budget, had been adequately deter-
   mined on the basis of the various battle           scenarios.

4. Without contesting     the concept of forward basing of the
   Cheyenne, there appears to be a need to assess the ex-
   pected requirements      for maintaining   forward-base  secrecy
   and security.     There may be a need to employ a substan-
   tial  ground force, including      air defense elements,   to
   forward-base   the aircraft.




                                    20
                                  CHAPTER3

        THE MARINE CORPS CANDIDATE:             THE AV-8A HARRIER

       The Marine Corps is buying the Harrier              to provide a
vertical    and short takeoff    and landing (VSTOL) light             jet-
attack capability      during amphibious assaults            and follow-on
land operations.       According to the Corps, the new aircraft
will    (1) increase responsiveness     to the ground forces re-
quirements,     (2) increase operational      flexibility,         (3) ex-
ploit    the potential    of VSTOL in air-to-ground           operations,
and (4) stimulate      interest  in VSTOL technology within              U.S.
industry.

        The Marine Corps states that the Harrier               is    to have in-
terdiction     and air-to-air       capabilities,      as well       as close
air support.      Although the Corps conducts close                 air support
with attack helicopters,         ground attack aircraft,             and fight-
ers, it claims that the additional             multimission         capability
of the Harrier     is necessary for its air-to-ground                  operations.
(The Navy also provides close air support to the                     mrine
Corps with fixed-wing        attack and fighter        aircraft.)

PROGRAMHISTORY

       The AV-8A Harrier     is manufactured  by Hawker-Siddeley
Aviation    of England, and it has been operational      in the
Royal Air Force since 1969. The U.S. Army, Navy, and Air
Force participated     in the development and evaluation      of a
Harrier   predecessor,   but at that time did not believe that
the aircraft    was suitable    for their purposes.   The British
proceeded with the program, however, and the Harrier          was
developed.

       A Paris air show demonstration         of the Harrier       in 1967
aroused the Marine Corps' interest.             It decided to buy the
plane in 1969, and the Congress authorized              the first      produc-
tion quantity      for fiscal    year 1970.    The Marine Corps flew
its first    Harrier    in October 1970 and introduced          it into the
fleet   in April 1971.        To date the only significant         testing
of the Harrier       by the Marine Corps has been the Board of
Inspection    and Survey trials      to which all new Department of
the Navy aircraft       are subjected.      These trials    for the
Harrier    consisted    of weapon clearance,      aircraft     stability,

                                       21
     c




22
in-air  refueling,    and high-altitude  SIDEWINDER firings.
Since the Board trials      the aircraft has been turned over to
a Marine Corps squadron which is now conducting       pilot  and
maintenance training.

       The Marine Corps plans to test the sortie     surge capa-
bility   (flights    to and from a battlefield) of the Harrier
in the spring of 1972, as requested by Deputy Secretary         of
Defense.      That test will be supervised by the Institute     for
Defense Analyses and the Weapon Systems Evaluation        Group
will participate.

PHYSICAL AND PERFORMANCE
                       CHARACTERISTICS

       The Harrier  is the world's        first    operational          vertical
takeoff   and landing (VIOL) fixed-wing            aircraft.          It has a
one-man crew and a single 21,500-pound jet-thrust                       engine,
whose thrust is vectored        (directed)      through four          rotatable
nozzles (two on each side of the aircraft),                  which      provides
vertical   takeoff  capability.        Thrust vectoring          is     also ex-
pected to provide increased maneuverability.

      The Harrier  is a relatively     small combat aircraft    and
has shoulder-mounted   swept wings and tailplane.        It is
about 46 feet long and 11 feet high and has a 25-foot wing-
span and a basic operating     weight of 12,490 pounds.       It is
expected to be about one and a half times faster         than the
A-X and three times faster      than the Cheyenne.

      No armor plate or self-sealing     fuel tanks have been in-
corporated  into the aircraft.     We are advised that redundant
or backup controls   are few, if any.

        Under conditions    of a standard day (59O F. at sea
level),    the Harrier   will fly at a maximum speed of over 650
miles an hour and will take off vertically          with a maximum
gross weight of 17,100 pounds.           A larger engine, the Pegasus-
11, will be installed        in the 11th and subsequent aircraft
purchased, which is expected to increase the maximum gross
weight to 17,800 pounds; it will not, however, provide a
substantial     increase in ordnance-carrying      capability.   The
Harrier    with the Pegasus-10 engine taking off vertically,
can fly a 50-mile-radius         mission with 1,800 pounds of ord-
nance, but the Harrier        with the Pegasus-11 engine in the


                                        23
same mission can fly with 200 additional      pounds of ordnance.
The Harrier's   maximum payload (fuel,   ordnance, and weapon
pods) under VIOL conditions    is either  4,610 pounds with
Pegasus-10 engine or about 5,000 pounds with the Pegasus-11
engine.    If the Harrier uses 1,700 feet of runway, its
maximum gross weight with the Pegasus-11 engine becomes
25,410 pounds, which allows 12,920 pounds of payload.        (The
Harrier  with the Pegasus-10 engine is expected to load
12,490 pounds.)




                                24
ARMPENT

       On the Harrier's     four wing stations      and one center-
line belly station,      a wide range of free-fall         weapons may
be carried.     These weapons include general-purpose,            re-
tarded, and laser-guided        bombs; Napalm, Rockeye, and fuel-
air explosives;     rockets    (2.75-inch   and 5-inch Zunis);         and
SIDEWINDER air-to-air       missiles.     The aircraft     may also be
wired to deliver     the BULLDOGair-to-ground          missile.     It
also has two detachable 30 mm guns located on its belly--
one on either    side of the center-line        station.

      A typical  harrier     close-air-support     weapon load will
consist of two Rockeye II cluster          bombs for use against
tanks; six 500-pound general-purpose           or retarded bombs for
other targets;   and the two guns for enemy vehicles,          person-
nel, and so forth.       This payload requires       several hundred
feet of runway for roll takeoff.

AVIONICS: COMMJNICATIONS, NAVIGATION,
AND FIRE CONTROL

        Although the Harrier     comes equipped with a full range
of avionics,      several items will   be replaced to suit the
particular      needs of the Marine Corps.     An on-board radio
used for coordination       with supported units,   for example,
will be replaced with two U.S.-manufactured         radios.,  The
aircraft     will retain   other items of radio equipment.

        The Harrier      has an inertial-navigation        attack system
and an air data computer for airspeed and altitude                 correc-
tions.      Three other items of on-board navigation             equipment
will be replaced with standard Marine Corps equipment:                    the
tactical     air navigation     system, artificial-horizon         gyro, and
identification-friend-or-foe            system.

     A heads-up display provides integrated     instrument dis-
plays of special symbology in the pilot*s    forward field   of
view9 so that he can navigate,  deliver   weapons, and land
with a less need to watch cockpit dials.




                                     25
                                                                                  .




PROGRAMSCHEDULEAND FUNDING

       Introduction  of the Harrier   into the Marine Corps has
begun, and it is scheduled to be completed by June 1973.
The selected acquisition      report dated August 4, 1971, in-
dicated that there had been no development funding attri-
buted to the Harrier     program.

      Marine Corps procurement expenditures         currently    are es-
timated to total      $490.5 million    for 114 Harriers,     or about
$4.3 million    each.    For fiscal    years 1970 and 1971, about
$150.8.million    is committed for 30 Harriers.          The remaining
procurement of 84 Harriers        will cost an estimated
$339.7 million,      The fiscal    year 1972 buy of 30 aircraft
is estimated    to cost $110.3 million.

CQMBATUTILITY

        Marine Corps officials      have informed us that VTOL cap-
abilities     and the maneuverability      gained through the use of
vectored thrust      could revolutionize       tactical   air warfare.
They analogized      the use of Barrier      to their    exploration    of
the helicopter      early in the 1950's.        An Army official      who
participated      in the initial    development of the Harrier         said
that the British       designed the Harrier       for air superiority
and interdiction.        The Marine Corps, however, is purchasing
the plane as a close-air-support          aircraft.

       During amphibious operations   the Marine force will ap-
proach by ship, conduct a landing,      and then move forward in
land battle.    The Corps believes that the VSTOL capability
of the Harrier   will allow continuous    close air support
without the need of extensive airfield       facilities.

         Although the Marine Corps says that it intends to use
the Harrier        primarily      in the short takeoff        and landing
(STOL) mode, the VTOL mode appears to be the most persuasive
feature of the Harrier             and also drives up the Harrier         cost.
The VTOL technology            gained through the purchase of the
Harrier,      although attractive           in the terms of great poten-
tials,      currently     offers    limited    additional     operational  cap-
ability,      because of the short operating              radius and the
small ordnance-carrying             capacity     in this use mode.


                                      26
AIR FORCEAND ARMY VIEWS ON THE HARRIER

        The Air Force believes that the Harrier    does not have
the characteristics    of a close-air-support   aircraft;    its
studies show the Harrier      to be a Yaw performanceI    inter-
diction    aircraft.

        The Army has said that it is not currently    interested
in the Harrier    because of its limited    endurance (time over
target)    and payload capacity.   The Army has also informed
us that the Harrier     in its most useful mode is a STOL air-
craft and that the Armyes interest       is in a VTOL aircraft.




                                27
SUMMARYOF THE MAJOR OPEN ISSUES

     Without contesting        the potential   of   VSTOE in tactical
air operations,      there are aspects of the       Harrier  which seem
to require   further     study and operational      test and evaluation
in a combatlike      environment   to determine     its usefulness.

        The following    items   are in need of further     considera-
tion.

        1. Payload-carrying      capability   of Harrier   during    verti-
           cal takeoff

           Data provided to us by the Marine Corps cast doubt
           on the combat utility of the Harrier in vertical
           takeoff  operations.

                                                            Pounds

           Aircraft   basic operating   weight              12,490
           Full internal-fuel    weight                      5,372

                Total   (including    the 30 mm guns
                          but with   no ordnance)           17,862

           Maximum vertical      takeoff  gross weight
             (on a standard      day) with Pegasus-11
             engine                                         17,800

           Under these conditions      the Harrier   could not be ca-
           pable of vertical    takeoff with a full fuel load.
           Fuel may be traded off for ordnance; however, it
           would allow only for about 5,000 pounds for fuel,
           ordnance, and weapon pods.       Vertical   takeoff re-
           quires substantially     more fuel than does conventional
           takeoff.

           At the time of our request for the above data, the
           Marine Corps informed us that, to suit its mission
           requirements,      most of its calculations     had been
           based on tropical-day      (90' F. at sea level)     condi-
           tions.     Tropical-day   conditions,    because of de-
           creased air density,      would tend to decrease the per-
           formance of combat aircraft        below the standard-day
           conditions     stated above.

                                      28
2.   Support    and forward     basing

     The susceptibility          of the Harrier        to foreign-object
     damage (rocks,       dust, and tree branches) and its ap-
     parent sensitivity          to operations       from rough terrain
     seem to present extra problems in an austere basing
     operation.      The sensitivity          of the engine performance
     to surrounding       air temperature         and the need for
     distilled-water        injection       to produce required        lift
     under warm-day,maximum-payload               conditions     somewhat
     hamper its combat utility.               These factors,      coupled
     with the ever-present            problems of forward-base            se-
     crecy, security,         logistics,      maintenance,      and air de-
     fense, indicate       a need for further            study of the use-
     fulness of this aircraft             in combat environments.
     We are informed that these factors                 will be considered
     when the Marine Corps complies with the Deputy Secre-
     tary of Defense's request for a demonstration                     of the
     Harrier's     sortie    surge-rate       performance--now       planned
     for the spring of 1972.

3. Vulnerability

     The Harrier    design was not oriented             to the close-air-
     support tasks, particularly            against armor or well-
     defended targets.         It has no armor and has few
     backup control       systems.     The Office      of the Secretary
     of Defense-Joint       Staff    Service Group's study of the
     three candidate aircraft          included a comparison of
     their  vulnerability        with that of existing         close-air-
     support aircraft.         Two, and sometimes three,            dif-
     ferent   sets of vulnerability           figures,    however, are
     presented on fixed-wing          aircraft,      but no preference
     is expressed for any set.

4. Cost effectiveness

     No cost-effectiveness      study on the Harrier     has been
     conducted.      The Marine Corps explained     that the
     Harrier   is an "off the shelf"    procurement     and that
     no other aircraft     could take off vertically      and be
     used for both close air support and interdiction.
     A study to determine the Harrier's       cost effective-
     ness compared with that of existing       and other


                                  29
   proposed aircraft   seems to be desirable   in substan-
   tiating  the merits of the Harrier's    VTOL capability.

5. Operational   test   and evaluation

   The Marine Corps flew its first        Harrier     in October
   1970, and at the completion of our review it had
   received about 12 of the 30 Harriers           it had ordered
   through fiscal     year 1971.    If the fiscal      year 1972
   request for $110.3 million       for 30 additional        air-
   craft   is approved by the Congress, about $260 million
   will have been authorized      for 60 Harriers.          These
   figures   represent    over one half of the total program
   cost and quantity.       To our knowledge the Marine Corps
   has not scheduled an operational        test and evaluation
   of the Harrier     under simulated-combat        conditions.




                             30
                              CHAPTER4

         THE AIR FORCE CANDIDATE:        THE A-X AIRCRAFT

      Although it traditionally        has performed the mission
with multipurpose     aircraft,     the Air Force has said that the
expected characteristics        of the A-X will specialize    it for
the close-air-support       requirements    of Army ground forces.

AIRCRAFT HISTORY

       A 1966 decision by the Air Force Chief of Staff di-
rected the development of a specialized,         new close-air-
support aircraft--    the first   in U.S. Air Force history.
During the concept formulation       period (September 1966 to
April 19701, cost-effectiveness       comparisons determined the
A-X concept to be superior      to the Air Force's existing      air-
craft.    A development concept paper was prepared,         was sub-
jected to scrutiny      by the other military    departments,   and
was approved by the Deputy Secretary         of Defense in April
1970 l




      After evaluations  of several industry      proposals,     the
Air Force awarded A-X prototype      development contracts        in
December 1970 to the Northrop and Fairchild-Hiller           Corpora-
tions to build two prototype    aircraft    each.    The aircraft
are currently   in an advanced development stage.

PKYSICAL AND PERFORMANCECHARACTERISTICS

       The A-X is to be a single-place,      subsonic aircraft
having twin turbofan engines.        Although the physical     and
performance characteristics      will vary with each contractorrs
version,   it is to be about 54 feet long and about 16 feet
high; it will have about a 55-foot wingspan and will weigh
about 19,000 pounds.      Armor plating    is to be provided for
protection    against 14.5 mm and smaller projectiles.         For
protection    against total  fuel drainage upon being hit,       sepa-
rate fuel tanks and redundant lines are to be included.
Other safety features     are to be included in its design to
minimize fire and explosives      hazards,




                                   31
32
       Unlike most of the Air Force's aircraft       assigned to
close air support,     the A-X is to have a STOL capability       to
operate from forward airstrips      of about %,OOO-foot lengths.
The development concept paper calls for the A-X to carry
6,500 pounds of payload (weapons and fuel) when operating
from such airstrips.       It calls for the A-X also to be ca-
pable of loitering     in the air for 2 hours while carrying
eighteen 500-pound bombs on a 250-nautical-wile-radius          mis-
sion,    The aircraft,    having an intended maximum gross weight
of about 38,000 pounds, is to be capable of carrying          16,000
pounds of ordnance and ordnance pods.        A cruise speed of
345 miles an hour and a maximum level flight         speed of 460
miles an hour are being sought.




                                 34
       According to the concept formulation      package, the A-X
will be capable of carrying      the full range of weapons suit-
able for close aLr support,      such as Rockeye antitank     muni-
tions,   500-pound general-purpose    and laser-guided     bombs,
Napalm, and so forth.      The development concept paper also
states that the aircraft     will carry the MAVERICK antitank
missile   and that SIBEWI&E%R air-to-air      missiles  are to give
it a degree of protection     against enemy fighters.       These
various weapons are to be carried       on the 10 wing stations
of the aircraft.

      A 3Omm, high-muzzle-velocity,        automatic        cannon is being
developed to give the A-X a specialized             "tank ki%lingss
weapon.     It is to be a forward,     fixed-firing         gun to be Io-
sated on the underbelly     of the aircraft.           Ammunition for
the gun is to be stored internally,          and different        types of
rounds are to be selectable       by the pilot,          Although the gun
is not scheduled to be ready when the A-X competitive                  proto-
type flI&zff   is conducted in lg972, the Air Force anticipates
that the aircraft    and gun will    interface        properly.

AVIONICS: COMMUNICA'EION,NAVIGATION,
AND FIRE CONTROL

        The A-X is to have a simple avionics              subsystem.      It will
include the necessary communications              equipment for eoordina-
tion with the supported ground forces,               tactical    air control,
friend-or-foe      identification,        and so forth,       Navigation     aids
will consist     of a tactical        air navbgation      systaS    a heading
and altitude     reference       system, and an automatic        direction
finder.      Some target acquisition         will be accomplished with
a laser seeker, and weapons delivery              will be accomplished
visuaKly.

       The Air Force has no programmed equipment for night and
adverse weather operations,     although the Air Force has said
that more sophisticated    avionics   may be added later at addi-
tional   cost.  Although the A-X is to carry the l4AVERICK and
the SIDEWIWER, the cost to provide ehe additional.       avionics
for these systems has not been estimated,



                                       35
PROGRAM SCHEDULEAND FUNDING

      The Air Force plans to select the better             of the proto-
type aircraft     for further      development and production,       The
competitive    flyoff   phase is scheduled to begin during June
1972 and to end 6 months later            in December 1972. The Air
Force plans to have both contractors             submit proposals and
cost estimates      for full-scale      development and production      of
a certain    quantity   of aircraft       4 months before completion
of the competitive      flyoff     phase.    Award of the contract    is
scheduled for February 1973.

        The prototype    contract  costs are estimated        to be
$28 million     for Northrop and $41.1 million       for Fairchild-
Hiller.     The DOD-selected acquisition      report for the A-X as
of June 30, 1971, estimated the competitive            flyoff    phase to
be $84.5 million.        The total  research,   development,      test,
and evaluation      costs are estimated to be $281.2 million.

      The Air Force's combined estimates                  for   both RDT&E and
production   as of September 1971 follow.

                 Air   Force Estimates         For The A-X
                  Fiscal
                   year   Fiscal           Fiscal        Remainder
                 1970 and year              year             to
  Funding          prior   1971             1972         completion      Total

                                           (millions\-

RDT&E                $2.0    $27.9         $47.0          $ 204.3      $ 281.2
Procurement                                                1376.8       1376,8

    Total            $Q      $27.9         $47.0          $1581.1      $1658.0a

Quantities:
    Developmental      prototype      4
    RDT&E aircraft                   10

aDoes not include      development        and procurement        of the 30 mm
 gUIl.



                                      36
      The A-X prototype    development program, the development
concept paper, and the selected acquisition        report indicate
that the Air Force plans to award a fixed-price-incentive-
type contract  to the winning contractor      to continue develop-
ment.   This contract   also will cover variable     production    lot
sizes shortly  after completion     of the flyoff.

OPERATIONALCONCEPTAND EFFECTIVENESS

       The development concept paper for the A-X states that
the Air Force envisions      three major types of operations          for
this aircraft,     One type of operation         is called airborne
loiter   alert,  in which the A-X will orbit over the battle-
field;   this operation   will be used where minimum aircraft-
response time is critical.         The second type of operation         is
called forward-operating       locations,     which will be within,
say, 25 miles of the forward edge of the battle              area and
which will be used in operations          involving    rapid ground
force movements.      The third type of operation          is called main-
base operations,    which are air bases within          150 miles of the
forward edge of the battle        area and which will be ,used for
preplanned (for example, the day before) strikes,               armed es-
cort, and reconnaissance       missions.

Vulnerability

       In a possible midintensity     conflict   with the Warsaw Pact
countries,     the most serious threat to close-air-support     air-
craft    is expected to be, as previously      mentioned, the Soviet
Union's radar-controlled      Quad 23 mm and Twin 57 mm antiair-
craft artillery.

       The A-X's critical    components are to be invulnerable
to projectiles    'up to 14.5 mm, but it is not clear how surviv-
able the A-X will be when it encounters the larger weapons.
The Office of the Secretary      of Defense-Joint     Staff Service
Group report dated June 22, 1971, presents three widely dif-
ferent sets of figures     about the size of the vulnerability
areas of the two A-X designs without       indicating     which set of
figures   it believes to be the most realistic,




                                   37
Prototype    flyoff

        The tank-killing       capability     of the aircraft      for the
most part appears to be dependent 'upon the yet-undeveloped
30 mm cannon.          The Deputy Secretary      of Defense, in his study
on close air support,          expressed reservations         about "our
ability    to develop an antitank           30 mm gun and round."        Al-
though it is not known whether either               of the prototype      air-
frames will withstand          the repeated recoil       shocks from the
high-muzzle-velocity         cannon, the cannon is not expected to
be on the prototypes         during    flyoff   competition.      Further
the Air Force does not plan to include any existing                    or other
proposed aircraft         in the A-X competitive       flyoff    phase.

Cost effectiveness

        The Air Force made a cost-effectiveness          comparison (in-
cluded in the concept formulation          package) of the A-X with
some of its existing       aircraft.     The A-X has not been com-
pared with such others as the A-4, A-6, Cheyenne, or Harrier.
The study is thus of limited         value in assessing the expected
effectiveness       of the A-X, because:     comparisons    were made
only with Air Force aircraft;         enemy defenses were composed
of only 14.5 mm antiaircraft         guns; sorties were accomplished
only during relatively        clear weather and daylight      hours; and
initial    acquisition    costs of the A-X were substantially        less
than recent estimates.

ARMY AND MARINE CORPS VIEWS ON THE A-X

      The Marine Corps believes that the A-X is not carrier
compatible and therefore     not relevant to the Marine Corps
because of its amphibious warfare responsibilities.        The
Marine Corps adds that the mission of the A-X can be per-
formed better by its present mix of capabilities      available
in the Harrier,    A-4, A-6, and F-4; the Marine Corps believes
that the close-air-support     mission is performed best by air-
craft with multipurpose     capabilities.

        Although the Army has officially         endorsed the A-X, it
believes that the aircraft       should have multipurpose       capabili-
ties to allow self-defense,        interdiction,     and night and bad-
weather close air s'upport.       The Air Force currently       has re-
stricted     the A-X to a close-air-support        mission without the
night    and bad-weather  capability,

                                      38
SUMMARYOF MAJOR OPEN ISSUES

1. Although the expected combat effectiveness      of the A-X
   aircraft   in close air support will depend largely     upon
   the tank-killing     30 mm cannon, it is not known by DOD
   whether the cannon and ammunition can be developed.
   Since the gun will not be ready in time, the Air Force
   will not know at the time of the prototype      flyoff  compe-
   tition   whether either    of the contractor's aircraft  can
   withstand     the cannon's recoil.

2. After the flyoff   the Air Force will   select the more suit-
   able of the two prototypes.     This may not ensure,however,
   that the one selected will have sufficiently       increased
   capabilities   over all of the existing   DOD aircraft    with-
   out a subsequent flyoff    competition.

3. The Air Force has stated that at times the A-X will              be
   operated from forward,    lOOO-foot airstrips,        When these
   small strips   are used, however, neither      of the other two
   Air Force aircraft    (F-4 and A-7) to be used for close
   air support can operate from them.        This type of basing,
   like that of the Cheyenne, will require        infantry      and air
   defense elements to protect     it.  Airfield     proliferation,
   logistical   support,  and redundant air defenses could be
   major problems.

4. Depending on the number of close-air-support             sorties re-
   quired from the forward air bases, new STOL cargo air-
   craft may be required         to supply these bases since cur-
   rent STOL aircraft      may not be capable.        In lieu of such
   STOL aircraft,     heavy-lift     helicopters    or substantial
   quantities     of ground vehicles       may be required,




                                  39
                                  CHAPTER 5

              RECENT DOD STUDY ON CLOSE AIR SUPPORT

      Interservice     rivalry,  the lack of coherent overall      re-
quirements,     and the scarcity    of hard data seems to be im-
plied in a recent study of the three aircraft          by the Office
of the Secretary      of Defense-Joint    Staff Service Group on
close air support.

       In October 1970 the House Committee               on Appropriations
directed   DOD to:
      9M-k*  reevaluate      the roles and missions and air-
     craft     available     relative       to close air support,
     including       the Air Force's A-X, the Army's AH-56A
     Cheyenne, and the brine                Corps' AV-8A Harrier
     aircraft       before recommending substantial              procure-
     ment of any close air support aircraft.                     The Com-
     mittee does not visualize                nor does it believe
     that a significant           study effort        is involved.        The
     close air support roles and missions problem has
     been studied and evaluated                for years,      Unfortu-
     nately,      it has bee-n beclouded with artificial                  is-
     sues, such as the fixed-wing                 versus rotary-wing,
     which are not germane, as well as too little                       at-
     tention      given to the large number of extraordi-
     narily     fine attack aircraft             in our military      in-
     ventory which can satisfy                a portion    of the close
     air support requirement.                What is needed now is a
     resolution        of the relevant         issues, with full con-
     sideration        of the need to provide our ground
     forces with the most effective                  and timely close
     air support possible,            followed       by a determination
     of the optimum aircraft              to meet this all impor-
     tant requirement,          whether it be fixed-wing,
     V/STOL, rotary-wing           or fixed-wing        STOL."

       The close air support         review group that was then formed
completed a report on June           22, 1971.    The Deputy Secretary
of Defense, in summarizing           the report,   recommended that all
three programs be continued,            because the unique capabilities
promised by these aircraft           should substantially   improve
close-air-support    strength.

                                      40
      "A-X, Cheyenne, and Harrier         offer sufficiently
      different   capabilities       for our future forces to
      justify   continuing     all three programs at the
      present time.      The Harrier     production   plan now
      before Congress should continue.            However, de-
      cisions   to produce A-X and Cheyenne and any sub-
      sequent procurement of the Harrier will depend
      on whether these aircraft         meet their cost and
      performance goals and whether the operational            re-
      quirement to justify        their production    is vali-
      dated."

       The Deputy Secretary stated in his        summary that the
roles and mission issue "is secondary'l;         that issue was not
treated further.

       Besides providing    that cost and performance goals be
achieved, the summary lists        a number (but not all) of the
uncertainties   surrounding     the three aircraft   that must be
resolved before decisions       on production   are made.

       These uncertainties      included,   for example, the capabil-
ity of the Cheyenne to acquire targets          from missile-
launching distances       and to get off the first      shot, the
sortie   surge rate of the Harrier,       the survivability     features
of the A-X, and the effectiveness         of the Cheyenne and A-X
tank weapons.

       In addition,  the Deputy Secretary said that a large
number of performance parameters must be subjected to op-
erational   test for all aircraft.

      It is not clear whether the three proposed aircraft
will be tested in such ways that measurements and evalua-
tions can be made of how well they stack up against one
another and against existing       aircraft    in effectiveness
against an array of typical      close-air-support        targets  and
of what their relative    survivability      is likely      to be in the
presence of a well-equipped      enemy,

       For example, the Harrier  will be tested next spring
for its sortie surge rate, but it is not planned that it will
be flying    against adversarily deployed targets  which can
"fire   backs' with gun cameras.  We have been advised by DOD

                                   41
officials that no tests have been planned for the Harrier
to measure target effestiveness and survivability.

        The Deputy Secretary     stated that the report covered
the initial      phase of the close-air-support    study, which in-
dicated that the study might not be complete.           Therefore
further    testing    may be planned for these aircraft      before
additional      requests are made for production    funding,

MATTE3 FOR CONSIDERATION BY COPIMITTEES

      At the time   the committees are considering    these
budget requests,    they may wish to ascertain   from DOD the
extent of testing     that actually has been performed.




                                 42
.




                                    CHAPTER 6

               CLOSE-AIR-SUPPORT PROBLEMS: AN OVERVIEW

           A cohesive plan covering total DOD requirements                 for
    close air support has not been prepared.                 Ordinarily    such
    a plan would be the basis for determining                the total number
    of aircraft     and the capabilities       they need to carry out the
    close-air-support     mission.      Instead the sizes and the tacti-
    cal concepts of close-air-support            fleets    have been proposed
    by the individual      services,   planning independently,           without
    taking into account (1) each other's              plans, (2) the quanti-
    ties and capabilities       of existing      aircraft,       or (3) the re-
    sources of our allies       for midintensity         conflicts.

         In addition,  the following    problems hamper the effective
    management of the close-air-support      mission and the develop-
    ment of an overall   plan.

          1. There are certain      constraints      on each service that
             restrict   the range of choice among weapon-system
             types that each may possess.            The Army, for example,
             is limited    to helicopters       through an agreement with
             the Air Force.

          2, There is a lack of joint    military        doctrine on how
             to conduct the close-air-support           mission and on the
             right equipment for the job.

          3. There is a lack of adequate data on how effectively
             the weapons now under consideration    will perform
             in their ultimate  environments   and on certain   human
             abilities needed for operating    the weapons.

          4. The equipping,   staffing,  and training         for support
             missions usually    have been underfinanced          in peace-
             time in favor of a service's      first-priority        mission.
             The more complex support missions--such             as close air
             support --which require close, even delicate,             coordi-
             nation between air and ground troops,            are then dif-
             ficult  to gear up when hostilities         break out.




                                         43
TLACKQF AN OVERALL PLAN_

        Each service    assesses the threat rather independently
and decides for itself         on the array of resources required
to cope with it.        The Cheyenne helicopter,       coupled with
the TOWmissile,       for instance,      is the Army's response to
the tank threat      in the midintensity       environment.    The Air
Force's proposed answer to the same threat is the A-X,
carrying    the MAVERICK missile        and a 30 mm gun having armor-
piercing    rounds.     Similarly    the Marines expect to counter
enemy tanks with the Harrier which will be armed with Rockeye
cluster    bombs, BULLDOG missiles,        and other munitions,

       The U.S. resources presently    assigned and proposed for
close air support no doubt could be totaled        up, but that
sum probably would be a compilation       of estimates  from many
sources, not a carefully      planned response to DODes total
requirements   for close-air-support     strength.

        The case for a new close-air-support        aircraft      could
be argued more convincingly      if there were common agreement
among the services    about available     inventory      aircraft     (their
numbers, accuracy,    payloads,    response times, and other prop-
erties)    and if it could be shown that there was a gap be-
tween these resources and the combined services1 needs.

      Some factors hampering effective           management and the
development of an overall   plan follow,

Constraints    on the services

      The 1966 Johnson-McConnell        agreement between the Army
and the Air Force (see p. 60) pretty         well limited     both ser-
vices to different    aircraft   technologies.         It was agreed,
in effect,   that fixed-wing   aircraft     would be the province
of the Air Force and that rotary-wing          aircraft    would be
that of the Arlrry.

       The Cheyenne is in accord with that agreement; it is
primarily    rotary wing, but it also has a small fixed wing
and a pusher-propeller         in the tail.  This hybrid aircraft
appears to straddle       the border between fixed-wing    and rotary-
wing aircraft.        Nevertheless,   under the agreement, the Army
cannot possess, even if it wants to, a straightforward            fixed-
wing aircraft      for close air support.

                                     44
       Although the Marines are not under the fixed-         and
rotary-wing    type of restraints     as the Air Force and Army
are, they have been limited       largely   to Navy-designed    air-
craft.     This is the first    opportunity   for the Marines to
purchase an aircraft     which they consider ideally       suited to
meet their particular      needs.

Lack of joint    military    doctrine

       The purpose of doctrine     is to spell out how commanders
want military     actions carried    out.    It prescribes,    among
other things,     the operational    conditions    and tactics   for
the employment of weapon systems.           The dissemination    of
doctrine   to the troops ensures that everyone concerned with
a particula r mission understands how it is to be performed
and their roles in that performance,            When the mission re-
quires coordination      of four separate services,        as does close
air support,    it is important    that each participant       under-
stands how the others will act, especially           in the employ-
ment of different      weapon systems.

       The lack of jointly    approved military     doctrine    for close
air support may be evidence of interservice          disagreement
about tactics     and weapon systems.     Although the services       are
coordinated    effectively   in Vietnam, this coordination         is an
ad hoc arrangement established       in a permissive      environment
among local commanders, as is usual in the heat of battle.
But such coordination      is not usually    present in the long-
term development and procurement of interservice             weapon
systems.

      Due to the lack of joint         doctrine,   major problems may
arise when close air support is considered               in a midintensity
or high-intensity      conflict,    such as a possible       NATO-Warsaw
Pact confrontation.        Command and control        of tactical    air
power becomes far more complex due to the added complica-
tions of air superiority,        interdiction,     and the presence of
enemy air power.       In the face of sophisticated          enemy de-
fenses expected in midintensity           warfare,    telecommunications,
for example, must be coordinated            far more intimately      than
when operating      in a permissive      environment.




                                        45
Lack of adequate      data
                       ---- on weapon effectiveness
       There is a lack of adequate data, generally,             on how
well the weapons presently         under consideration      actually    will
work and on certain       human abilities      in using the weapons.
In the development of weapon systems, there was little
 stress in the past on realistic          operational  testing--as      in
combatlfke     environments--from      which empirical    data can be
derived to make more confident          procurement decisions,       to
validate    requirements,      to help decide the size and composi-
tion of military      forces,    and to guide the designers of sim-
ilar systems.

      Simulated combat conditions,     including  user troops
rather than specialists,    can provide more useful measurement
of weapon accuracy and reliability,       for example, than are
achievable   on test ranges; e.g., weapon accuracy against a
camouflaged tank at the edge of a woods will provide more
useful numbers than when the weapon is fired at the prover-
bial black tank on a white desert.

        There are important human abilities,      too, needed for
effective    mission performance which have not been measured
adequately.      In our report on tactical   air-to-ground   mis-
siles (B-160212),     we found that:

      'I**    there was not sufficient      evidence that aver-
      age combat pilots      could detect live enemy tanks
      from the distances      required  to utilize    the ***
       [weapon].     There have been few systematic       tests
      and measurements of pilots       abilities    in combat-
      like situations     to detect and identify      mobile,
      hard targets     at various combinations      of range,
      altitude,     and speed."

       The intervisibility   between ground targets     and heli-
copters and between ground targets       and airplanes   is prob-
lematical    at present.   Many weapon systems in inventory       and
in development could benefit      substantially    from good data
on what average combat pilots      can see enroute to the target
at various ranges and speeds.

     Operational  testing in combatlike           environments  of weap-
ons, weapon systems (and modifications),            support systems,
and tactical     and organizational   arrangements    furnishes     the
important    input to the evaluation,      but such testing     should
be supplemented by component testing,         systems analysis,       op-
erations   research,    and other studies.     The important     thing
is to predict     how the system will perform in its ultimate
(combat) environment.       A December 31, 1970, GAO report
(B-160212) said:

      "As congressional       defensecommittees    well know,
      there are considerable        differences  between the
      technical    promises of new weapon systems and
      their later performance under both operational
      testing    and actual combat conditions.         This fact      -
      alone indicates      that one of the greatest      needs in
      the Department of Defense today is timely,           real-
      istic,    and independent operational      testing   in a
      combat-like     environment    before large-scale    produc-
      tion commitments are madeion new weapons."

      Operational  testing   prior to the production        go-ahead
often is resisted    by the parties    concerned with the program.
Advocates often see operational      testing    as disruptive;     the
contractor   may be overcommitted    in the development cycle and
may have a large staff on hand, and the service proponent
may regard the testing     as an expensive repetition        of test-
ing already done by the contractor,        which also could open
up a Pandora's box of expensive engineering         changes.

        Then too, early visibility    of uncertainties     could
arouse adverse attention       in the Congress, which might jeop-
ardize the program.       Thus zealous advocates may see little
to be gained.      It is the users of weapons who have had the
keenest interest     in operational   testing  for effectiveness,
reliability,     and maintainability.

      Since operational   testing    often takes place after a
system has gone into production,        test findings, which might
call for design alterations       or even cancellation  of the
equipment, become irrelevant.        According to the Blue Ribbon
Defense Panel's appendix F:

      "This question of timeliness   is extremely   impor-
      tant.   For this reason it is essential    to dispel
      the widely-held  belief  that useful OT&E must await

                                   47
     the completed product of R&D [research           and devel-
     opment] - that it is or should be limited           to the
     testing    and evaluation     of production   systems.    It
     is important     *Jc* to perform OT&E on operationally-
     configured    production    systems, but if the OT&E
     process only commences at that point it misses most
     of the opportunity       to influence    that product on be-
     half of the operational        forces - the ultimate
      'users'."

        The Deputy Secretary of Defense, in attempting       to
strengthen    the OT&E function,     has elevated the function  to
the position     of Deputy Director    of Defense Research and En-
gineering    (Test and Evaluation).      On the occasions of cer-
tain milestones     in the acquisition    cycle of a weapon sys-
tem, the Deputy Director       is to have direct  access to the
Deputy Secretary      of Defense and to the Defense System Ac-
quisition    Review Council.

        The Deputy Secretary also ordered the services to set
up their own OT&E authorities      to be independent of devel-
opment commands and to report directly       to the service
chiefs.     To date not all the services have complied.
9here are *** considerable      forces within   the Services
which resist    the independence of OT&E organizations,"     said
the Blue Ribbon Defense Panel's appendix F. The problem
surfaced in this year's hearings before the Senate Committee
on Armed Services.

     I'*-3ck representatives        of the Army and Air Force
     testified     that new emphasis is being placed on
     operational      testing      and evaluation  before produc-
     tion.      ** The Navy representative,          however, sup-
     ported the proposition           that the current Navy
     practice     of- 'suitability       testing' after production
     is suffIc.ient."




                                  48
Funding   and training       for    support   missions

      Each service is charged with providing           some kind of
support to the others.      The  Air   Force is  charged    with pro-
viding close air support to the Army, for example, and, as
was said earlier,     the Army is responsible       for defending Air
Force ground facilities.      The Navy furnishes        sea transport
to both.   No  service,   however,   is  completely     happy  with all
the support rendered by the others.

      A special subcommittee of the House Committee on Armed
Services was appointed in 1966 to look into close air sup-
port.   In its report the subcommittee remarked:

      'When funds are limited,      first   things must come
      first.    Unfortunately,   close air support did not
      have the urgency of airlift,        or interceptor raids,
      or strategic     bombing in Air Force planning."

       Here are the horns of the interservice           dilemma.    No ser-
vice has such great resources--except          perhaps in time of          .
war-- that it can fund its primary and support missions
equally well.      Instead the service must allocate          scarce re-
sources, and it naturally       will place higher priority         on its
primary missions.       It may be significant      that,    in the latter
days of the last three wars, when great resources were avail-
able to the Armed Forces, the execution of one support mis-
sion--close    air support--improved      considerably.

       In times of tight    budgets, as between wars, the alloca-
tions for support missions may be more token than meaningful,
because the high-priority       missions must get the lion's    share
of the smaller budgets.       This may be the taproot    to the ser-
vices'   continued dissatisfaction      with the quality   and quan-
tity of the support that they receive from others.

      Peacetime   disfavor         of close   air   support

      Appendix II discusses the complexity        of the mission and
the many factors       involved in making it effective.     The point
is made that air-ground        training ought to be continuous   be-
cause the system is too complex to gear up in a few weeks'
time.    When hostilities      erupt the services usually   submerge
their  rivalries    to get the job done on the battlefield,      but

                                         49
dedication    to joint     tasks in peacetime is often luke warm.
The trouble     is that it may take many months to equip and at-
tune the close-air-support         system, and the first few weeks
of midintensity     hostilities     can be crucial.

       One of the defects of support missions in the past has
been service unwillingness   to undertake joint   exercises which
involve testing   weaponry.  The Blue Ribbon Defense Panel
felt that joint OTSlEwas very important    and stated that:

     "The history   of joint OT&E in recent years pre-
     sents a dreary picture.    The large joint  tests
     and exercises   which have been conducted seem to
     have generated a maximum of disagreement    (in-
     cluding genuine ill feeling)   and a minimum of
     useful information."

      The Deputy Secretary of Defense is seeking to change
these attitudes,   In a memorandum to principal  DOD officials,
he said:

     "I want to encourage more joint     operational  test
     and evaluation,   not only with respect to items
     which have a natural    interface  with equipment of
     another Service,    but also to provide more two-
     sided testing.    Toward this end, I am asking
     [for]  8 joint  Cat. III [Air Force operational
     test phase] test of the Maverick and an Army
     combined arms unit."

MATTERSFOR CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEES

     To more effectively manage close-air-support           resources,
the committees may wish to require DOD:

     1. To establish   the total DOD requirement        for close-
        air-support  resources within   the force       structure
        allowed by budget limitations.

     2. To delineate   the single-   and joint-service       tasks
        and subtasks   in conducting close-air-support          mis-
        sions and to   assign authority    and responsibility
        for specific   tasks to the individual       services.


                                 50
3. To develop and implement, within             some realistic
   deadlines,    joint   close-air-support        doctrine     to in-
   clude spelling      out how military       actions are to be
   conducted and coordinated         and prescribing       the opera-
   tional   conditions     and joint    tactics    for the employ-
   ment of weapons.




                              51
                                                             AFPENDIX I


              A SHORT HISTORY OF CLOSE AIR SUPPORT

        Close air support has had an interesting          if uneven ca-
reer in military      aviation,    Although close air support is
very effective     in certain   situations,    it has not been
thought by some airmen to be as decisive            as other missions;
for this and other reasons, close air support has had to
take a back seat to strategic         bombing, air superiority,     and
interdiction     in the scheme of air (if not ground forces)
priorities.      In the last three wars, the Armed Forces were
relatively    unprepared to execute the mission when hostili-
ties began but became skillful          in executing air support as
the wars drew to a close.

THE LIGHTNING WAR, 1939-42

        No small part of the brilliant         success of the German
blitzkrieg,    or lightning    war, was the teaming up of the tank,
infantryman,    and Stuka dive bomber (in armed escort)              for the
panzer drives through Poland, the low countries,                France, the
Balkans, and Russia.        That airplane      was specifically      de-
signed for close air support.          Air-to-ground      communication
was effected    by an air liaison      officer    riding at the head of
the armored column and talking         with the air staff.         This
type of forward air control        was not adopted by the Allied
forces until    the last 2 years of the war.

THE UNITED STATES IN WORLDWAR II

      In the United States the Armed Forces were little      more
than a cadre when the war began in Europe.       The Army Air
Corps, in quest of autonomy during the 1930's, had stressed
the importance of long-range     strategic bombing in its scheme
of priorities   and tended to downgrade missions which re-
quired close coordination    with the ground armies.    Besides
the general lack of interest     in air support,  there was little
money available   in the 1930's for the development of tactics,
equipment, and training.

       Because of the scheme of priorities,      the lack of train-
ing, and the absence of effective     air-to-ground      communica-
tionso close-air-support     missions were not well executed
until    the last 2 years of the war,     Joint air-to-ground
training    was tried  early in the war, but it was ineffective

                                   53
APPENDIX I


for a number of reasons.             Forward air controllers      9 air
liaison    officers,      and air-to-ground      communication equipment
were not available         in quantity     until   late 1943 for the
Salerno campaign in the European theater                and the assault   on
Bougainville       in the Pacific.       After   the   Allied  invasion,
air-to-ground        coordination     became quite effective       in the
drives across France and the Rhineland,                 Lead tanks in the
armored columns were equipped with very high frequency ra-
dios so that forward air controllers               could talk directly
to the pilots        overhead,

        In the Pacific      close air support was more often used
than in other theaters;           the island hopping, the thick
jungles,     and the rough terrain          precluded much use of ground
vehicles.       The Marine Corps which emphasized the importance
of close air support after the 1920's fought in the Pacific
theater.      The effectiveness         of close air support there was
hampered, however3 by the heavy jungle foliage which made
targets    difficult     to find (and exploded contact fuzes above
ground),       The Japanese made extensive use of cave systems
which required       direct    hits by heavy ordnance (large bombs)
rather than by the light            close-air-support   ordnance of
those days.,

1945-50:     RETRENCHMENT,UNIFICATION,         AND RIVALRY

        Interservice    rivalry     revived after World War II because
of the deep budget cuts and the competition            for nuclear
capability.        The National     Security Act  of 1947 was not pre-
cise in its "division          of labor" among the services;     so, in
1948, the Secretary        of Defense held conferences      with the
Joint Chiefs of Staff to negotiate           mission assignments.
Out of these meetings came the Key West agreement which,
in the main, gave the Air Force primary charge of strategic
air and the Navy control          of the seas.    Each service was as-
signed support missions:            the Air Force, for example, was
to furnish      close air support to the Army, and the Army,
conversely,       was assigned the ground defense of the air
fields,

      In the tradition of the services2 however, these sup-
port missions continued to be funded in the budget of the
supporting   service.


                                     54
                                                              APPENDIX I


KOREA--1950-53

       There was little     close-air-support       capability      in the
Armed Forces when the North Korean invasion began in June
1950. The Air Force Tactical           Air Command had been dis-
mantled in 1948 and was not resurrected             until    December 1950,
6 months after the war began. Meanwhile there were criti-
cal deficiencies      in close-air-support      training,       equipment,
and manpower in the Army and Air Force.              Many Air Force
pilots   were untrained,      so that strafing      and rocket firing
had to be learned in actual combat.            Air-to-ground        communi-
cation was a major problem in coordinating               close-air-support
missions.

      In 1952, in the middle of the Korean War, Army Secre-
tary Pace and Air Force Secretary       Finletter      signed an
agreement which limited     Army fixed-wing      aircraft    to 5,000
pounds but which enlarged the Army's role in transport              and
medical evacuation     in and near the battle       zone.    There  was
one loophole:    no weight limitation      was placed on helicop-
ters.   It would be imposed later,      in 1957.       By December
1952 the Army had over 700 helicopters          in its inventory     of
nearly 2,600 aircraft.

       Marine Corps air support in Korea generally            was very
good.    The Corps had learned well its coordination             and com-
munications   lessons of the World War II Pacific            campaigns.
Marine air response was much quicker;     the strike          aircraft
 stayed over the battle   area longer,and   ordnance         was de-
livered   much closer to the front line.

        Opinions of high-level    officers    about close air sup-
port were divided after the Korean conflict.            But regardless,
the Armed Forces performed superbly in that conflict.              When
all is said and done, the North Korean PeopleFs Army was
effectively     destroyed within   4 months of its invasion;       the
Chinese Volunteer       People's Army was fought to a standstill
within     8 months of its crossing     of the Yalu River.

PRELUDETO VIETNAM

      After Korea, as after World War II, the Army and Air
Force close-air-support     system was dismantled and trained
personnel dispersed;    with the exception   of a short academic

                                    55
APPENDIX I


course and some joint      exercises, there     was little    or no
air-to-ground training      in the 1950's.

       During the latter    1950's the U.S. nuclear capability
and massive retaliation      policy made such missions as close
air support seem out of date.        The new administration   of
1960, on the other hand, desiring       options other than the
"all or nothing'! use of nuclear weapons, began to reintro-
duce conventional     equipment and tactics    for limited  war
contingencies.

       The Army air fleet was authorized         102 aircraft    for
each infantry    division   in 1962, when the Army"s Howze Board
was convened to study the possibility           of increasing    troop
mobility   by substituting     still  more helicopters       for ground
vehicles.     The Board's recommendations         supported the air-
mobility   concept and also called for a large number of at-
tack helicopters     to provide close-in       support with guns,
rockets,   and missiles,      DOD Directive     5160,22 issued in
March 1957, which forbade the Army from engaging in close
air support and which limited        helicopter     empty weight to
20,000 pounds, was waived (this directive            was canceled in
March 1971).

       Within the Air Force, the Strategic       Air Command con-
tinued to dominate.       When the Secretary    of Defense warned
the Air Force to concentrate       on developing    its close-air-
support capability      or lose it to the Army, a school was
set up at Eglin Air Force Base2 Florida.          Pilots were
trained     in the nearly lost arts of strafing,       low-level
navigation,      skip bombing, and other close-air-support         tac-
tics.
                      THE WAR IN SOUTHEASTASIA

        As hostilities      in Vietnam began to heat up, the Armed
Forces were not well prepared to carry out close-air-support
missions there.         One reason was that Vietnam proved to be a
different     type of war than that of World War II or Korea,
for which the United States and other Western forces are
effectively      geared.      It is war by stealth      and ambush; there
is no front or rear; there are nibbling              attacks,     and there
are few or no "human waveIs onslaughts             to be shattered      by
massive firepower         as in Korea.    For another thing airpower
is frustrated        in its fundamental     requirement;      that is, tar-
gets must be found first           before they can be effectively          de-
stroyed from the air.

      The guerrilla,     using few vehicles     or radios,   seeks to
provide no signature,      no track,   no trace; he shifts     positions
often, carrying      his austere supplies from one cave or tunnel
to another,     These storage places, like himself,        offer lit-
tle or no clue to firepower       observers.     Thus targets   not
only are few but also are very difficult          to find.

BATTLES WITH THE NORTH VIETNAMESE.REGULARS

      The North Vietnamese Army,           on the other hand, has at-
tempted some mass assaults      only       to be defeated by air-to-
ground opposition.      In quest of        another Dien Bien Phu, the
North Vietnamese,    together with         guerrilla  forces,  suffered
substantial   losses, for instance,          at Quang Tri City, Con
Thien, Khe Sanh, and Hue.

       At Khe Sanh in 1968, where some 6,000 marines and Re-
public of Vietnam rangers were surrounded by 20,000 North
Vietnamese,   the U.S. Air Arms unloaded 95,000 tons of bombs
in 73 days.     The Air Force, alone, expended three quarters
of a million    rounds of ammunition.     Air support was probably
decisive   in this conventional   battle,    which might have been
a Dien Bien Phu under other circumstances.         The enemy is
said to have lost 12,000 men, the defenders,        ZOO. In con-
current battles     at Quang Tri City and Hue, a full division
of North Vietnamese reportedly      lost half its strength,
5,000 men.




                                      57
APPENDIX II


ANTIGUERRILLA TACTICS

        But against those small fleeting      bands of jungle "phan-
toms" who refuse engagements that do not clearly             favor them,
it is very difficult      to deploy airpower.        Again, in order
that aerial     fire or, indeed, artillery      fire may be delivered
effectively,      targets must first   be identified      and located.

      To suppress this elusive but omnipresent enemy, bombing
and strafing   is done when enemy presence is strongly      indi-
cated, and, in some cases, free fire zones into which fixed-
wing and rotary-wing   aircraft  deliver  fires   are designated
after clearance with the native province chief and are mon-
itored by the forward air controller.       A ground commander,
too, may call for an area strike     under these provisions     if
enemy presence is suspected in a particular       location.

       Friendly   troops on patrol,     seeking to capture or de-
stroy the enemy, are likely        to be ambushed if the guerrillas
have a superior      position   or greater numbers; close air sup-
port may be quickly needed before the enemy closes in to
preclude the air strike        or before he fades away at the
sound of approaching aircraft.          These and other engagements
which the guerrilla        enemy accepts seldom last more than
minutes,    and he will break off "to live and fight another
day, I1 believing    that time is on his side.

     Troop-carrying    helicopters      escorted by gunships may be
used in a surprise    assault on a suspected enemy position           or
may be used to reinforce       a defense point.       First the landing
area is cleared by bombing, and then the gunships--helicop-
ters and fixed-wing    aircraft--    deliver    suppresive   fires  while
the assault    troops regroup on the ground.          But those tactics
can be frustrating,     too,since    the enemy will      seek to fade
away in the difficult      terrain   if the assault force is supe-
rior and if he sees no clear advantage to accepting the en-
gagement.

COMMAND, COMMUNICATION, AND CONTROL IN VIETNAM

       The present system sits Army and Air Force officers
together   at Army command levels,       Together they examine each
air strike    request, the Army officer     for suitability   of the
tactic   (as opposed to artillery    fire,    for example), the need

                                    58
                                                            APPENDIX II


of artillery-free       corridors    for aircraft  safety,     etc.,   and
the Air Force officer         for the availability     of pilots     and
the suitability       of planes and ordnance.      Only the Army offi-
cer can veto the request--if,           say, the available     air re-
sources are all presently         committed to more worthy targets.
Each higher liaison       group, by silence about the request,
signifies      approval for it, as it passes up to the next level
of command.

      Whether on preplanned or immediate missions,       the flight
or squadron leader, upon arrival       in the target area, comes
under the direction      of the forward air controller,    regard-
less of any difference       in rank,  The controllers,  like the
air liaison   officers,    are Air Force or Marine officers       who
are assigned to work with the ground commander,         No   strike
near friendly    troops may be attempted without coordination
with the officer      in charge of the ground forces.

CLOSE-AIR-SUPPORT AIRCRAFT

        As the need developed for aerial       support in Vietnam,
it was soon established       that, for the most part, the right
equipment was not available.        Most of the jets lacked effec-
tive guns and could not fly slow enough and could not stay
long enough for most missions over the terrain.             Because of
the lack of suitable      planes, all kinds of propeller-driven
aircraft--    such as the T-28 trainer,     the World War II C-47
transport,     and the B-26 bombers which have a reasonable
amount of staying     power and payload capability--were         pulled
out of mothballs.       The ancient A-l Skyraider      (probably   the
most effective     of the planes used for support in Vietnam)
was borrowed from the Navy, and the O-l Bird Dog was bor-
rowed from the Army for revival        of forward air controlling.

        The Air Force decided in 1966 that a specialized       close-
air-support     plane-- a follow-on to the A-l--was   needed to de-
fend in Europe as well as in permissive       environments.      That
proposed plane, now called the A-X, is presently         in the com-
petitive    prototype   stage.

      The UJL1 helicopter gunship was joined by the two-place
Cobra in 1967, and that gunship is doing an effective    job in
Vietnam.   The Cobra had been considered as an interim  vehi-
cle until  the larger and heavier Cheyenne compound helicopter

                                     59
APPENDIX II


was fielded,  but recent plans calling     for a reduced number
of Cheyennes include a requirement     for Cobras and for Cobras
with TOWmissiles.

        The Chiefs of Staff of the Army and Air Force in April
1966 signed the Johnson-McConnell            Agreement which sought to
clarify    some mission responsibilities.          In effect     the Army
turned over to the Air Force its intratheater              fixed-wing
transport    aircraft      and the Air Force relinquished        claims
for rotary-wing       aircraft    in intratheater    transport,     fire
support and supply of Army forces.

       The helicopter    has come into its own, in the permissive
environment     of Vietnam, at least.    In the last 10 years,
helicopters    have flown over 30 million     sorties there and
have logged more than 11 million      hours in the air.

        Marine aviation,     which was convinced as late as 1963
that helicopters       were ineffective   in aerial   fire support,
has reversed its position         and is now using both fixed-       and
rotary-wing    aircraft    for close air support.       No interservice
rivalry    encourages the Marine Corps employment of both
Cobra helicopter       gunships and fixed-wing    planes.     The use
of both types suggests a complementarity          between them, at
least in the way the Marine Corps uses them in the perrnis-
sive environment       of Vietnam.



       Close air support in the lightly    defended environment
of Vietnam is quite different     from what can be expected in
midintensity    engagements with a sophisticated,   well-equipped
enemy. The mission is a complicated      one, in any event, and
is discussed more fully     in the next appendix.




                                   60
                                                           APPENDIX III


                   CONDUCTOF CLOSE AIR SUPPORT

       The close-air-support       mission is to strafe and bomb en-
emy forces,    installations,      and equipment; to aid friendly
forces on the- offensive;        or to help repel enemy attack.
When friendly     forces are on the offensive,      the fire must be
delivered    quickly enough to deny the enemy time to recover
or dig in; when the enemy mounts an attack,           friendly  air
support should be so swiftly          responsive as to disorganize
him, catch his troops in the open, and prevent his closing.
Putting the right ordnanceon the right target at the right
time can be crucial        to thesuccess of the ground troops in a
particular    engagement.

        Close-air-support      fires are like that of artillery        ex-
cept that the range is extended.            The distinct    advantages
of close air support are its much greater mobility              and its
flexibility.        Close air support is needed when artillery
cannot do the job as well;          it may be essential     in amphibious
and airborne assaults when the ground guns are in transit                 or
are being set up;         and sometimes  the  ground    commander  needs
all the fire he can get in attacking           a target.

       Some air strikes    may be preplanned,     say on the previous
day; or the strikes      may respond to immediate call from a
ground commander who sees a tactical         opportunity   or is being
attacked.    Other important     tasks are (1) armed reconnaissance
to find the enemy and to report or attack targets           as they
present themselves,      (2) escort   of troops  moving  over   land,
in the air, and over beaches, and (3) suppression           of enemy
fire in airborne     landing operations,

       Normally close-air-support       ships--helicopter      and fixed
wing--work    in pairs or groups to protect         each other from the
enemy's fire,    to force him to defend in more than one direc-
tion,   to attack multiple     targets,   and to locate targets        for
each other and sometimes for ground artillery.               A monitoring
observer,   called a forward air controller,           on the ground or
in an observation     plane may also point out the targets.

      Fixed-wing  ships may dive at targets      or make fast low-
level runs to bomb, strafe,      or drop napalm.    Helicopter  gun-
ships seek to fly at treetop level or below; they try to take
advantage of terrain    features   to mask their approach from
APPENDIX I II


enemy eyes; then they pop up, fire,     and go down again.
Both types of aircraft    may use suppressive  devices,  such as
electronic  countermeasures,   to hide their approach.

        The singularity       of the close-air-support     mission is due
to the particular        battle     arena, the close coordination    that
must be sustained with          the    ground forces,  and the special
aircraft    characteristics.

        The close-air-support        mission may be coordinated      by a
forward air controller           who is above the battlefield     in an
observation      plane or is on the ground with the troops.             The
airborne     controller,      an Air Force or Marine officer,       directs
the strike     pilots    to the targets.      In a midintensity     con-
flict    where light     observation    planes may not be able to
"live,"    the strike      pilots   may be forced to direct     each other
in the absence of ground or airborne            forward air controllers.

CLOSELAIR-SUPPORT TARGETS

       Most major weapon systems of the last 25 years or so
have been designed to deter Warsaw Pact countries     from mak-
ing war, or to defend if those nations attack our allies.
If hostilities    should break out in Europe, most military
experts expect a high-intensity    or midintensity conflict  to
ensue in which both sides would fight with enormous amounts
of firepower.

       For the close-air-support     mission against a well-.
equipped enemy as might be encountered in European, Middle
East, or Korean hostilities,      the most formidable  ground
threat    to our troops is expected to be the battle    tank.
Tank-killing    capability   is considered a must for close-air-
support weapon systems.

       When not seeking mass engagement, troops and vehicles
are transitory    and evasive and seek to mask their move-
ments.    These targets-- along with other less mobile tactical
ones, such as command posts and field     fortifications--are
usually well camouflaged and take advantage of terrain        fea-
tures to hide their presence.      When in the open, tanks and
other vehicles    use smoke and dust to avoid detection.      Al-
most all tactical    targets,  except in mass movements, are
very difficult    to see from the air in most terrains.


                                   62
                                                           APPENDIX III


      Some test exercises  have shown that the enemy on the
ground can usually detect the aircraft      well before the pilots
and gunners see him and at a longer distance.             If the enemy
on the ground believes he is outgunned by the aircraft,               he
may simply remain motionless,    relying   on his camouflage to
blank him out, or he may retreat      into fortifications.          If
he decides to engage, he has the classic battle             advantage
of getting  off the first  salvo before the other side is
aware of his presence; using modern air defense weapons, he
can be deadly.

       The target detection       problem is compounded in jungle
areas.       Many jet pilots   have not seen a single enemy soldier
during their entire tours in Southeast Asia, and helicopter
pilots     report that they see targets        located for them only
about 10 percent of the time.           In the open terrains        of Ko-
rea, Western Europe, and the Sinai, though, camouflage and
concealment become more difficult,            particularly      in mobile
warfare.       Then the attacking     or retreating       troops must leave
their    foxholes and expose themselves,          often in great number.




                                    63
APPENDIX III

AIR-TO-GROUND COORDINATION

        It is probably evident from the discussion               above that
air-to-ground       actions must be carefully         synchronized.      On
a shifting,      transitory     battlefield    where friendly      and enemy
"fingers"     seek to interlace,         the delivery   of fire must be
very accurate,       target identification        must be positive,      and
friendly     positions      must be well marked.       The pilot    must know
the lethal     area of his ordnance and the system error of his
ship.     A 1965 Marine Corps study says:

      'I***   in the vicinity     of friendly    units,  weapons
      with    restricted     and well-defined    and controlled
      areas     of destruction    must be used; likewise,       at-
      tack     profiles    must be chosen which insure ade-
      quate     accuracy and control       of weapon effects."

       Witnessing   the devastating      firepower    delivered by ever-
present close-air-support       aircraft      boosts the morale of
friendly    troops and discourages the enemy. Sometimes, in
fact,    the mere sight of attack aircraft          has driven off enemy
troops.     On the other hand, too many wild shots and the
danger of friendly     casualties     can cause loss of confidence
in the air arm, and ground commanders are then reluctant             to
call in air strikes.

ATTACK AIRCRAFT CHARACTERISTICS

      All types of airplanes   have been used in close-air-
support missions.   Many have been indifferent   performers
because of their design.     Some are simply too vulnerable   to
ground fire to go down low enough to be accurate,     and others
are simply too fast over the targets.

      The ideal     characteristics             of a close-air-support         weapon
system are:

      1. Immediate responsiveness   to the ground commander's
         call, within  5 to 10 minutes.

      2. Capability       for    a high number of flights            to and from
         the target.

      3. Accurate      fire     without        danger to friendly        troops.


                                          64
                                                          APPENDIX III


     4. Delivery of sufficient    ordnance       preselected      for   the
        types of targets    to be attacked.

     5. Minimum vulnerability  to almost any counterfire                the
        enemy can put up in the close-air-support    area.

     6. Easy, quick maintenance        to sustain     a high ratio      of
        combat-ready aircraft.

     7, Ability   to operate   in poor weather       and at night.

A few words about these    aircraft     characteristics        may be
helpful here.




                                  65
APPENDIX III


mick        response   to calls

        Engagements between opposing ground forces in guerrilla
warfare are a matter of minutes;        on the other hand, engage-
ments between sophisticated       forces may last for hours, or
even days.      The enemy seeks to attack by surprise     or stealth,
so the strike     aircraft   must respond swiftly   and in strength
to help arrest     the enemy before engagement begins.      Or, the
friendly    ground commander may see a sudden opportunity       to
attack that requires       quick air support.

       Clearly,    having aircraft        staged at airfields   hundreds
of miles away precludes          swift    air response to fleeting    op-
portunities.       Prompt response may be obtained by airborne
alert    (air loiter)    over the battle        area; division  of air-
borne aircraft       from lesser priority        preplanned attack mis-
sions; or "cabstand"        alert     from forward air stations.

Adequate       ordnance

       If  other things are equal, the more ordnance an air-
craft   can carry,    the more lethal     it can be, and sometimes a
heavy load of a single kind of ordnance is just what is
needed.     Small payloads,     of course, mean frequent       returns
to base, thus either more aircraft           are required    to maintain
coverage or more gaps will         appear in the close air support
provided.      But total  load is not enough usually;         variety   and
accuracy are important,       too.     Generally  an aircraft     that can
carry diverse weapons to attack a variety            of opportune tar-
gets will be more effective         than the aircraft     that can de-
liver   only iron bombs.

Missiles       and guided   bombs

       These new weapons offer     some problems for close-air-
support missions.     The virtue    of guided missiles    is that the
launch aircraft    can fire   them from a distance,    standing off
from enemy weapons; some missile        designs also allow the air-
craft   to veer off as soon as the missile      is launched.     But
these advantages usually are not suited to close-air-support
missions because missiles       and guided bombs have certain
shortcomings.




                                    66
                                                                    APPENDIX III


           1. Except in dynamic situations,      it is very difficult
              to detect tactical   targets,    which are nearly always
              camouflaged,   from missile   launch distances.

           2. Guided missiles    are not yet so reliable   that friendly
              forces are unendangered by wild shots.      A homing
              air-to-ground    missile, once it lose;; its "lock"    on
              the target--  for any of a number of reasons,     includ-
              ing enemy countermeasures --may land almost anywhere.

           3. The launching of some air-to-ground   missiles  re-
              quires compromising attack profiles   and exposure
              times that endanger the aircraft.    Attrition  during
              missile  launching may be double that of dive bombing
              with such missiles.

           Although guided missiles      may be fine for deep air sup-
    port and interdiction      of stationary   targets,     presently
    available     designs do not seem very suitable       for the classic
    close-air-support     mission of delivering      ordnance close to
    friendly    troops.   There is guidance technology         on the hori-
    zon, however, which may improve missile          capabilities     for the
    mission.

    Accuracy     of fires

            Aircraft       accuracy is       one determinant   of the size and
    composition         of the military          forces.  The greater  the ac-
    curacy the more likely             it    is that a target   will be destroyed
    in the first         pass of the        aircraft.    Fewer passes imply less
    aircraft      attrition,      thus      a smaller but more efficient    force
    structure       is required      for     a given number of targets.

           The other dimension of accuracy in close air support is
    the proximity     of friendly    troops.    Inaccurate   aerial   fire,
    besides causing friendly        casualties,   may assist   the enemy by
    upsetting     the ground commander's plan, demoralizing         his
    troops,    or creating    openings for enemy forces.       This is why
    close-air-support      strikes   are not made without     prior  express
,   approval of the ground commander.




                                                67
APPENDIX III


Survivability        of the aircraft

        Close-air-support       aircraft,     by definition,     cannot
avoid a hostile         environment.      They suffer      more attrition
than fighters,        for example, which fly faster           and higher.
Survivability       is a function       of both hit avoidance (maneuver-
ability     and high speed) and built-in           aircraft    design.    High
speed, however, is usually            inimical   to accurate ordnance
delivery,     which is vital       in close air support.         A highly
maneuverable aircraft          can minimize both exposure time and
the number of hits during exposure.               A tough but agile air-
craft,    whether rotary       or fixed wing, appears to be best for
close air support.

Aircraft    basing

        Close-air-support      aircraft  should be based as far for-
ward as possible        to reduce en route time, yet far enough
back to prevent their destruction          on the ground by enemy
rockets     and artillery.       Forward basing is a trade-off     be-
tween responsiveness         on the one hand and aircraft     surviv-
ability     and maintenance and logistics       on the other.     Bases
deep in the rear are necessary for more complex maintenance
and overhaul.

       If air superiority   has not been attained    or if guerril-
las or partisans     are behind the lines,  the aircraft    must be
sheltered    or protected  by embankments (revetted)     as well as
defended.

      A large problem with satellite     airfields     (forward   bases)
is that they must be kept secret,     if that is possible,        to
foil  enemy air attack.    Since they will      be closer to enemy
forces and less heavily defended than main bases, secrecy
may best be sustained    by planning to shift      the aircraft
randomly among a number of deceptively        reserved forward ba-
ses.   In European exercises    the Army found it almost impos-
sible to conceal a troop unit of 26 helicopters           in a bivouac
area (about 75 acres> and impractical       to conceal them in a
woods where snow or mud makes it time consuming and diffi-
cult to extricate   them.

        There may be problems          here for   all   three   candidate
aircraft.


                                         68
                                                          APPENDIX III


Maintenance    and turnaround

       The current    design goal for a close-air-support           air-
craft,   whether rotary      or fixed wing, is for easy, quick
maintenance at austere airfields            to get the plane back in
the air or to restore        its combat readiness.       Ordnance re-
loading,    fuzing,    through-flight      maintenance,   and refueling
(turnaround)      should be quick too.        Simple maintenance and
fast turnaround      maximize time in the air, and combat readi-
ness provides a surge capability            so that many planes can
cycle into the battlefield            when heavy prolonged fire     is
needed in an emergency.




                                    69
APPEMDIX III


Might       and all-weather   oEations

       It is very desirable        to exceed potential   foes in the
capability     to fight   at night and in any kind of weather.
These capabilities       are not now attainable      on either   side due
to state-of-the-art       limitations    and the nature of most
close-air-support       missions.     There is technology     on the
horizon,    however, which holds some promise.

        Most critical   close-air-support      targets   are "point"
targets,     that is, relatively      small objectives    such as tanks,
armored personnel     carriers,     and command post entryways,       as
opposed to area targets        such as airport     runways and build-
ings.     It is possible    to attack most close-air-support         tar-
gets on clear nights,       and it is possible to locate them when
the nights are less clear with the aid of flare,             laser,    in-
frared,     and other systems.      But, as a senior RAF officer
said:

              no aircraft
        ’ ‘**Ji
                               is yet capable of carrying         out
        an accurate night attack against a small target
        in a high risk environment.         Infra-red,      laser
        and low-light      television  are bringing      the time
        nearer when this will be possible.             However9 for
        some years yet it is likely       to remain a universal
        gap in the armory of tactical         airpower.      Areas
        can be attacked with fair accuracy by night,               but
        not pinpoint     targets"

        On close-air-support    missions when friendly        forces are
nearby, the target must be identified           with certainty.      The
friendly    positions    must be verified    so that they will not
be endangered by the hit pattern          of the ordnance and the
area of destruction.

         There is no true all-weather     aircraft    in the strict
sense of the term.        There are days in Europe (as during the
first      few days of the Battle of the Bulge), Southeast Asia,
Korea, and elsewhere when all aircraft            are completely    socked
in and nothing can fly.        Normally helicopters      can fly when
visibility      is above three quarters    of a mile and the cloud
cover is above 300 feet.         In marginal weather conditions,
however, the helicopters       may fly inadvertently       into reach
of enemy air defense weapons.         Although the minimum weather

                                         70
                                                     APPENDIX III

conditions     are higher for fixed-wing    aircraft,  these planes
also may find themselves uncomfortably         close to enemy fire
in minimum or marginal weather.         Then too, the capability
to fly slowly and penetrate       weather involves risk of sudden
confrontations     at point-blank   range with enemy antiaircraft
artillery.




                               71
APPENDIX III


TRADE-OFFS IN AIRCRAFT DESIGN

       In actual practice      the aircraft      design ideals must be
compromised.      Instant   response would require many aircraft
in the immediate battle        area.      Too heavy loads of ordnance
would hinder aircraft       maneuver and evasion tactics.             The
great variety     of target types precludes the preselection              of
specific    ordnances.     Thus trade-offs       are necessary to get
the optimum close-air-support           aircraft   with adequate capac-
ity,   short takeoff,     good loiter      time in the battle      area,
maneuverability,      and  survivability.        The ultimate    in one
capability     cannot be achieved, of course, without degrading
the other capabilities;        for example, increasing        the armor
and payload while holding costs constant will ordinarily
decrease the range and loiter           time.

MULTIPURPOSEVERSUS SPECIALIZED AIRCRAFT

        The case for using a multipurpose        aircraft    rests
largely    on the flexibility     of its use.     Such an aircraft
might do air-to-air        combat, interdiction,      and close support,
depending on which mission becomes the most urgent at any
one time.     The compromises in design to achieve multipur-
pose capability,     however, make the aircraft          less than opti-
mal for any one of the missions.

       Advocates of multipurpose        aircraft   believe that,     if
war should erupt in Europe, all fighter            aircraft    should be
thrown into the air-superiority          battle  immediately     to inter-
dict enemy airfields,      protect    friendly   ones, and knock op-
posing fighters    out of the sky. A fleet          of low-flying,
slow-flying    support aircraft     could be more hindrance than
help in an air-superiority        contention,    in their opinion.

      Proponents of a specialized    support aircraft       would
argue, to the contrary,   that the quality     of the close-air-
support weapon system could be a crucial       factor    in the open-
ing days of such a war to help arrest massive armored
drives that might otherwise    overrun friendly      troops.

      Both the Soviet Union and Germany relied     heavily on
specialized   support aircraft   in World War II.   Germany lost,
the Soviet Union won; but the outcome was decided by a num-
ber of other factors.      The Western Allies also won against

                                     72
                                                         APPENDIX III

Germany and Japan even though close air support was used
rather crudely and, in priority,  well behind other air
missions;  but again, there were many factors contributing
to those victories.

       If most tactical     aircraft    are multimission  types, the
land forces fear that Air Force prime missions will be met
first,    before ground-support      tasks are attended to.     (The
same Army officials,       in fact, believe that there will be
little    or no Air Force fire support during the early phase
of a war in Europe.)        High-level    Army officers, however,
have expressed accord with the Air Force priority            of (1) air
superiority,     (2) interdiction,      and (3) close air support.




                                   73
APPENDIX III


CLOSE-AIR-SUPPORT TRAINING

       The sensitive coordination     required      in the mission,   de-
scribed above, and the history       of the mission,        discussed
in the preceding appendix, indicate         that a close-air-support
system should be maintained       in peacetime.        It is perhaps
also evident that training      of the mission participants
should take place before,     not after,     hostilities       begin.
Training,   in other words, ought to be continuous during
peacetime to maintain    the sharp edges of the air-to-ground
teams.

        The close-air-support     pilot, for example, has to know
a good deal more than just how to fly his plane and drop
bombs as in the routine       attacks on stationary    targets,      In
close air support, his targets are fleeting,         transitory,
and evasive; he should understand and recognize (1) ground
formations     and tactics,   (2) how enemy and friendly      forces
come in contact,       (3) enemy defense and countermeasure       be-
havior,    (4) the delivery    accuracy of his plane and its var-
ious weapons, and, of course (5) the air-to-ground            communi-
cations system.

       The ground commander, air liaison          officer,       and forward
air controller     must know these things too.             Close-air-support
actions are fast-moving      operations,      and one engagement is
seldom like another.       There are still      so many variables          and
subtleties     in the coordination     effort   that only long and
arduous training     together as a team will weld ground troops
and air troops into a truly        effective    tactical       force.

RESOURCELIMITATIONS ON THE MISSION

        To provide close air support sufficient      to meet any
contingency     would require    tens of thousands of aircraft     and
pilots,    and support facilities     in great numbers, and would
obviously     be beyond the Nation!s resources.      The assets to
be employed then are scarce resources.          As a North Atlantic
Treaty Organization      (NATO) commander puts it:

      'IIt is often asked why a certain      Army formation,
      say a battalion,    cannot have a parallel      air force
      formation,    say a squadron, directly    allotted    and
      in direct   communication ***.    The answer


                                     74
                                                           APPENDIX III


      unhappily    is that there will never be enough
      squadrons to go around ***.     This is nothing new.
      It is just the same with divisional    or corps
      artillery.s'

        With the small number of aircraft        available,      it fol-
lows that close-air-support        missions must be parceled out
to those commanders who need them most.            The judgment as to
the most pressing needs must be made at higher levels--
division,      corps, or army--to   the ultimate     dissatisfaction
of those front-line       commanders whose requests are vetoed
or delayed in favor of more urgent ones. A disappointed
close-air-support       customer may believe,     at the time, that
people at higher levels are too far away to really                 under-
stand his immediate tactical        situation,    and several such
disappointments       may convince him that the close-air-support
mission is poorly conducted in this particular              war.     As a
British     Air Marshal said:

      ',*** there is not just one soldier         asking for help
      and demanding attack on targets.           There will be
      dozens, probably hundreds of them; and there will
      never be enough aircraft         to allow engagement of
      all the targets nominated.           There will always be
      disappointed       customers,   so it is essential    that
      there is some form of adjudicatory          system to
      allot   priorities      as between the importance and
      urgency of the targets         submitted for attack."

       There are fewer complaints heard from Marine Corps
ground commanders about the quality        of the air support
given them. One reason is that traditionally             close air
support is very much a speciality       of the Marine Corps.          We
are not aware of any dissatisfaction         within   the Marine
Corps about the quality    of the air support provided or
within   the Army about its own helicopter         support,   but, if
there is, it remains submerged within         the services.       But,
when the support is interservice,       the grievances are likely
to surface,   loud and clear.     This public airing may well be
one of the benefits    of interservice     rivalry    whose manifesta-
tions often keep the rivals      "on the ball,"      as it were.




                                    75