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"The OV-10 Bronco was a flying and fighting do-all sport utility vehicle. It could loiter for hours, direct fire onto the enemy, pack paratroopers and cargo, or attack with its own weapons. Many think it was retired right when it could have become most useful and that it would have been the perfect light air support aircraft for Afghanistan and Iraq.

 

The Bronco flew with three branches of the US Military, beginning service in Vietnam. It offered incredible maneuverability, a hardy airframe that could take fire, the ability to operate from tiny and rough airfields (including "Gator Navy" carrier decks and roadways), great visibility for its two-man crew, and most importantly, with its rear cargo hold it could be easily adapted to a crazy amount of missions."

 

[Great video at the link, won't embed here]

 

 

 

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Many think it was retired right when it could have become most useful and that it would have been the perfect light air support aircraft for Afghanistan and Iraq.

Apologies if this is off topic, but there's talk that due to recent world events, the A-10 Warthog might be kept in service for a few more years and not retired as planned. Another classic warplane like the Bronco.

 

 

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I can understand the bean counters making the decision to retire aircraft when they reach an age where it is not economically viable to keep them in the air, or there is no longer that type of role required. Unfortunately some are retired out when there is still a big need for that type of aircraft and no replacement is in sight.

 

There's some good examples of breathing life into old designs, like the F-15 Strike Eagle and proposed Silent Eagle, the MiG-21 Bison and the MiG-31/Su-27 family upgrades. I think the Bronco would still be very handy today.

 

Cheers, Willie.

 

 

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Watched a TV doco the other day about fighting the drug lords in Columbia. They now have stealth shaped submarines capable of carrying four and a half tons of cocaine. These are constructed up narrow mangrove swamp waterways. The army and police have to track them on foot or in small, outboard boats, which leaves them open to ambush. One of the sergeants in the program was killed, and one cameraman was shot and held captive. They had no cover to protect them. If they had aircraft like the Bronco, or even Tucano, they could call in for aerial support, you would think they would have a better chance.

 

 

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I think it was in the Three Amigos, after eating beans around a campfire, one of them made a sound that sounded like Earp and the others jumped around with guns drawn. I imagine the Colombian police would react the same way to FARC.

 

 

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