Slide 16 of 17
SLIDE 14: Mission Area Deficiencies: On this slide are the sustainment principles and the deficiencies relating to them.
- Service life: Our HH-60G fleet begins reaching its service life expectancy starting in FY00. The first lot of helicopters hit their flying hour limits next year.
- While the HC-130s have a longer life expectancy, they are faced with obsolescence – subsystems that are no longer supportable as technology and battlefield demands have evolved.
- CSAR’s deficient responsiveness is directly relateable to poor situational awareness – the collection and dissemination of EEIs. Data links and sensor-to-operator concepts have the potential to revolutionize the CSAR concept of operation – driving reaction time from hours and minutes to minutes and seconds.
- Staging deficiencies include ship operations; USAF CSAR is neither organized, trained nor equipped to stage from Naval vessels. While future CSAR concepts to not envision CSAR forces operating from ships as a main operating base (MOB), they do include CSAR forces interfacing with ships to deliver survivors and to replenish from them as a forward staging base (FSB).
- Today’s CSAR forces are innately observable when operating – by both active and passive means. RCS, Infrared, visual, acoustic and RF emissions signatures permit hostile forces to detect and track responding CSAR forces at line-of-sight distances by active means and over the horizon by passive means. Coupled with our reaction times, this gives hostile forces ample time to set up flak traps over isolated personnel. They can bee seen.
- CSAR force electronic protection – countermeasures are primitive at best, and completely ineffective against later generation threats (AAA, SAMs and fighters). Once seen, they can be hit.
- HH-60G downings over northern Iraq and Mogadishu illustrate just how fragile rotorcraft are when struck by even modest warheads. Despite being designed to be the most survivable helicopter of its day, the HH-60G was conceived when concepts like fault tolerant architecture and adaptive control surfaces were still very immature. Once hit, they can be killed.
- MTW TPFDDs place CSAR forces in theater on D+15. Historical data and current simulations indicate flyers tend to get shot down mostly in the first 3 days. This puts CSAR forces into theater 15 days too late. CSAR coverage must be available the minute US forces and their allies go into harm’s way in defense of US national interests.
- Ideally, once in theater, CSAR coverage is available when forces are in harm’s way – around the clock. In reality, we have an all-weather tactical air force and a marginal weather CSAR force. We can fly in the weather; we can fly in hostile threat environments – but we can’t do both at the same time. This leaves gaps in CSAR coverage for the CINC.