The photo, from April 28, shows an A-10 ready for take-off at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia as part of an air-ground training operation. What’s noteworthy is not that those refueling booms can cause damage to an aircraft; check out thisimage of stripped paint on another A-10 during refueling while conducting anti-ISIS operations in the Middle East last month. You can see just how many dings are on the nose of the A-10 from the boom. Clearly this is something that happens all the time.
A U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II receives fuel from a 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker during a flight in support of Operation Inherent Resolve April 19, 2017.U.S. Air Force photo
The bullet-sized dent in the nose of the A-10 is noteworthy because it shows the kind of damage that can occur to the airframe on an A-10, and the reaction from pilots and maintenance crews alike are a shrug and a “we’ll fix it later.”As the Aviationist notes, “Usually, such dents don’t affect the aircraft’s ability to fly hence they are left there until the next major maintenance work.”
The durability of the A-10 is not a new revelation. In April 2003, an A-10 Thunderbolt endured terrible damage from anti-aircraft fire flying a close-air support mission near Baghdad in the early days of the Iraq War. That pilot, Air Force Capt. Kim Campbell, safely flew and landed her A-10 despite significant damage to the aircraft’s hydraulics systems, including a “football sized hole” in the aircraft,according to an Air Force report.
It’s pretty difficult to imagine one of the next-generation American aircraft, an F-22 Raptor or F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, conducting routine operations with that kind of airframe damage.
Islamic state members walk in the last besieged neighborhood in the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province, Syria February 18, 2019. (Reuters/Rodi Said)
NEAR BAGHOUZ, Syria (Reuters) - The Islamic State appeared closer to defeat in its last enclave in eastern Syria on Wednesday, as a civilian convoy left the besieged area where U.S.-backed forces estimate a few hundred jihadists are still holed up.
U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 317th Airlift Wing walk to waiting family members and friends after stepping off of a C-130J Super Hercules at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Sept. 17, 2018 (U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Mercedes Porter)
The U.S. Air Force has issued new guidelines for active-duty, reserve and National Guard airmen who are considered non-deployable, and officials will immediately begin flagging those who have been unable to deploy for 12 consecutive months for separation consideration.
A small unmanned aerial vehicle built by service academy cadets is shown here flying above ground. This type of small UAV was used by cadets and midshipmen from the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy, during a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency-sponsored competition at Camp Roberts, California, April 23-25, 2017. During the competition, cadets and midshipmen controlled small UAVs in "swarm" formations to guard territory on the ground at Camp Roberts. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Drones have been used in conflicts across the globe and will play an even more important role in the future of warfare. But, the future of drones in combat will be different than what we have seen before.
The U.S. military can set itself apart from others by embracing autonomous drone warfare through swarming — attacking an enemy from multiple directions through dispersed and pulsing attacks. There is already work being done in this area: The U.S. military tested its own drone swarm in 2017, and the UK announced this week it would fund research into drone swarms that could potentially overwhelm enemy air defenses.
I propose we look to the amoeba, a single-celled organism, as a model for autonomous drones in swarm warfare. If we were to use the amoeba as this model, then we could mimic how the organism propels itself by changing the structure of its body with the purpose of swarming and destroying an enemy.