The Army Tried To Contract Its Own Close Air Support Effort.

by Daniel Russ on November 19, 2015

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In the 1960s the US Army tired of its dependence on USAF aircraft for the close support mission. Aircraft like the The Century Series – like the F-106, the F-100, the F-101, or the Republic F-105 Thunderchief could not linger over the battlefield and concentrate power. They were too fast and vulnerable to ground fire. Instead the US Army was searching for a VTOL platform that could linger and would be under the purview of Army authorities. Thusly was the Advanced Aerial Fire Support System or AAFSS introduced.

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This aircraft would be heavily armored to withstand ground fire and would have carried a 30-mm automatic cannon with 1,000 rounds or a rocket and two remotely-controlled gun turrets with 12,000 rounds of ammunition. The weapons package included grenade launchers, and the Shellelagh or BGM-71 TOW missile.

 

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