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Uploaded on Jan 20, 2009
Legendary aircraft designer Burt Rutan reveals the secrets of his Model 151 ARES turbofan "Mudfighter" developed for U.S. Army Close Air Support (CAS) that should be ground-mobile in its own BATTLEBOX towed by a high-technology M113 Gavin light tank to provide maneuver air support (MAS) now lacking with the centralized, pampered USAF air base & bloated fighter-bombers-need-runways mentality.
In 1981, the U.S. Army requested a design study for a Low Cost Battlefield Attack Aircraft (LCBAA). Scaled Composites created the ARES testbed aircraft which used a single Pratt and Whitney Canada JT15D-5 turbofan engine (same as in the Beechjet / T-1A Jayhawk trainer), and a GAU-12/U 25mm Gatling gun.
The ARES Mudfighter is cleverly designed so its 25mm GAU-12U 25mm autocannon is on one side of the aircraft fuselage while the turbofan engine intake is on the other--this also puts the nose of the plane forward to prevent birds from going into the engine! Burt Rutan is a genius!
The ARES can also carry 2.75" Hydra 70mm rocket pods, small unguided and guided bombs and guided missiles on 4 underwing hardpoints--this could be air-to-air missiles like AIM-9 Sidewinders and conceivable beyond-visual range (BVR) AMRAM AIM-120s to sweep the low-level skies of enemy aircraft for a new U.S. Army Air Corps owned and operated by ground maneuver elements using the FINAB ground mobility system. Let the USAF own the skies above 10K and do the Douhetesque missions it wants to try to do.
This brilliant, "clean sheet" is what an unmanned/manned combat air vehicle (U/MCAV) that would be the Army's Fighter-In-A-Box (FINAB) for ground support with some air-to-air combat capabilities to overlap from low altitudes up to 10, 000 feet U.S. air supremacy in an expeditionary, nation-state war environment. Targets for the ARES Mudfighters would come from Army ground maneuver elements and USAF ground forward air controllers as well as STOL "Grasshopper" observation/attack planes with Airborne FACs--both Army and Air Force for maximum synergy.