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I'm in no way connected to the military's R&D dept., but I think the future is in pilotless drones. Build one around a 30mm canon or one that carries hellfires or any other weapon system that works.
 

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The Stukas' Achilles heel was survivability. They were pulled from the Battle of Britain very early. They could only be used effectively when they had air superiority. Our Dauntlesses were probably a better all around dive bomber. They too were purpose built and had better speed and survivability. It's a slippery slope when saying anything is the best. ;)
 

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1) In combat, when the enemy is shooting everything from 7.62mm to 57mm at you there is only one speed - as fast as the aircraft can manage, with the drag you have attached. So, which would you rather be doing with a radar directed 30mm shooting at you, 250 mph, or 550 mph? Then after the bombs are gone and your aircraft is cleaner, which would you rather be doing, 320 mph, or 650 mph.

2) In the 1980s the F-16C introduced the Continuously Computed Impact Point, or CCIP, this was a line with a dot on the end of it projected on the head-up-display. The CCIP not only continuously calculated the point the selected weapon type would impact the ground if pickled off at that instant, it calculated the track over the ground later bomb release would take. Israeli pilots called it by a different name, the 'Death Dot', as now all they had to do was align the target on the projected line and sweep the dot over the target hitting the pickle button as the dot crossed the target. The accuracy was phenomenal. Not only did it make the dumb bomb impact points easier to calculate, you could maneuver during the bomb run, something that was not previously possible, and made bombers far less vulnerable during the run-in. Now, with guided bombs, moving fast is not detrimental to accuracy. But fast is always been safer.

3) Can it carry the same amount of ordnance? Yes, and even a bit more.

4) Can remain on station as long? As stated earlier, on-station is usually governed by your war load, when you run out of bombs you go home. Endurance and range are comparable.

5) But, you forgot a few questions:

Which one can get to you faster? Well, the faster one, of course.

Which one will be more available, i.e., break less, or be able to be fixed faster, or be damaged by ground fire less? Those first two questions we'll have to see, the third, probably the faster one that is less easily seen by radar.


The one that can get there the quickest, and demonstrates the best accuracy.


I would say Air Supremacy.

So, why didn't the USAAF use the A-24 in the CAS role? It was certainly better at CAS bombing than a P-47 with no bombsight. And, we even had air supremacy.

If fact, why did the Navy not make more use the SBC-2 or TBF/TBM Avenger as ground support, but preferred to hang bombs on F4Us and F6Fs?

I'll give you a hint, it's one of the same reasons the USAF wants to get rid of the A-10, the one that doesn't involve maintenance money.
Don't know the answer to your questions. I was merely pointing out the weak points of the Stuka after you said it was the best, and sharing the advantages of the Dauntless.
 

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In an ideal world...

the Marines, Army, and Navy would be responsible for all of their own close air support, and the Air Force would be responsible for air superiority/combat air patrol, strategic bombing, tactical airlift, and nuclear operations.

I understand that it's not that clear-cut and simple... but it just seems like it should be.
I'd hate to be on a carrier waiting for the Air Force to arrive and or refuel to give air superiority with incoming bogies.
 
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