Talk:Attack aircraft

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So, ground attack aircraft includes all "light" aircraft dedicated to taking out land-based targets...?

Those all count, right? I'm catagorizing planes for World War II and it'd help to have a hierarchy in mind. Oberiko 15:11, 20 Jun 2004 (UTC)

This page is messed up, and contains no link to naval aviation, which has needs of its own. Naval attack aircraft attempt to sink ships as well as destroy tactical ground targets. During WWII, these were called "Torpedo Bombers" and "Dive Bombers". The Japanese had long-ranged ground-based naval attack aircraft of their own, which the US did not, thinking that strategic (high-altitude, level) bombers such as the B-17 and B-24 could do the trick, but they failed at this, though B-24s could attack submarines at low level. Other aircraft used to destroy ships were the Observation aircraft, which would check to see the damage that battleship rounds were making on the target, and not attacking by themselves. In the US Army Air Corps, Attack Aircraft were not strategic (this was before nuclear weapons, though) and long-ranged, but tactical.

As for Oberiko's question, besides "dive bombers," there are "light bombers" (technically horizontal or level bombers, though they aren't called that), which are different ways of attacking a target. Eventually the Attack aircraft and the Light Bomber aircraft designs became practically indistinguishable. I think the distinction involves forward basing in rudimentary conditions (attack) as opposed to secure basing with lots of maintenance equipment (bomber), but that's just a guess.

"Fighter-bomber" derives from WWII, as the fuselage designs of fighter planes which weren't up to interception any longer, but which just happened to make good attack aircraft, using their powerful engines not for travelling fast, but for carrying a bomb. After WWII, purpose-built fighter-bombers were made by the USAF, because they didn't like the designation "Attack" aircraft any more -- the US Navy used it to take the place of the Torpedo and Dive Bombers once a design was made (Douglas Skyraider) which could do both. The USAF concentrated on fighter planes and long-range bombers.

"Strike fighter" is a late postwar British phrase for a plane which can do light bombing, and fight its way out. Currently neither the USAF and USN use this phrase; there's the ghastly term "F/A-18" instead. --Sobolewski 20:23, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

I have put a merge template on close air support and ground attack aircraft as ground attack redirects to "close air support".
Yes I know that Ground attack aircraft could be a "list of ground attack aircraft" and perhapse it should me moved to that name with a redirect of "ground attack aircraft" to "close air support".
The problem is that there are a number of conflicting articles and redirects which are not clearly deliniated and say similar things:
I am also putting this on to the Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Military history/Military aviation task force#Close air support - ground attack aircraft - strike fighter
--Philip Baird Shearer 10:18, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
It looks like we might be heading for a tank classification type article at this rate. I personally feel that close air suport is a particular (US?) topic and as such should cover what it is and how it works but any excess on ground attack belongs in ground attack aircraft. It would also be an appropiate see also for the ground attack article. There is a parallel with Naval gunfire support (ie shore bombardment) and Naval artillery. Each of the terms attack aircraft, fighter bomber, etc should be described in the ground attack aircraft article - where there is meat enough for a full article then this is easily indicated with Template:main. Thus this article remain general but comprehensive while subarticles can become specific.GraemeLeggett 10:52, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
I think that what started this mess is that people that created these articles oh so many moons ago truly did not understand the terms they were using. I will try to hit as many of these as possible in no particular order just as I see them. Ground attack is close air support and specific platforms that were dedicated for this are the A-10 Warthog and the AV-8B Hrrier II. That being said, both of these aircraft can be sent long of the FSCL to drop ordinance and then they would be doing Air Interdiction or stike as it is sometimes called. The latest generation of military aircraft do many task where once they only did one or maybe two. I don't even know if the term Fighter bomber is used anymore. I think that is one of those terms pulled out of thin air or from old articles. The Air & Aerial Interdictions should be merged. Airstrike does refer to both CAS and AI so both are correct. Might be better to make that a disamgiuation page??? Tactical bombing and tactical bomber should remain separate articles. The first refering to the doctrine, employment and tactics while the latter should speak of tactical bombers and their evolution from the Lancasters (or whatever the first was) to the B-2s of today skimming on the highlights with links to individual article pages. Cloase Air Support is US/CAN/AUS doctrine. The Brits do not use the term in their doctrine but their pilots are very familiar with it and the entire Joint Close Air Support publication (3-9) as they use the NATO 9 line format. These are just my initial thoughts I would need a bit of time to put together a map for a possible flow for these. I have been meaning to really delve into this part of Wikipedia but I wanted to finish my goal of a page for every USMC unit before I started delving heavily into doctrine. All I ask is that we take this slow and do it right before making any changes, merges, etc....--Looper5920 11:29, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

I am glad that someone who knows what ther are talking about would like to look into this. But I would like to pick up on a couple of points you raised:

--Philip Baird Shearer 12:25, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

    • Agree with the points you raise but you did kind of prove my original thesis right about those who don't know creating terms when you mention an article in the Guardian and use of the term fighter bomber. The term has not been used in western militaries for years but jounalists and the like bring it up because they are terms they remember from when they watched those old WWII newsreels (and the like) when they were younger. Anyway, give me a day or two and let em see if I can't sketch some coherent framework together.--Looper5920 12:48, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Same here! I agree with the guy above me. In fact, the term "Fighter/bomber" is not used. The "Fighter/bomber designation just melded in with the attack class in about 1950. Storywitter3000
"attack class" - is that strictly US term?

Close Air Support[edit]

Close Air Support is a doctrinal term describing a role or mission that can apply to Attack or Ground Attack Aircraft, but the opposite relationship isn't always automatic. Interdiction is also a doctrinal term that can describe a role that applies to the same aircraft. Are we also recommending that Interdiction and Close Air Support be merged?

I recommend the two not be merged. I also think that Ground Attack is really an outmoded term, since it is somewhat redundant. An Attack Aircraft is an aircraft that traditionally delivers air-to-ground munitions to targets that are on the ground.

So, I recommend:

Gotcha. Merge request already got killed on the CAS page for exactly the reasons you outlined. I'll take it off this one. I'm not sure if the renaming is apropos - generally the most accurate title is desired; I'd rather have "attack aircraft" redirect here than vice versa. You're welcome to put it up to discussion. I dont think that Ground attack should redirect to CAS over AI or vice versa; since it applies equally to both, why not a stub/disambig page?--Mmx1 00:46, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

The definition makes a distinction between "ground attack" and "attack." But then the link in "attack" redirects right back here. Perhaps the best thing to do for now is to clarify the distinction between the terms in the definition on this page and to remove the link that just comes back. Thanks to the knowledegable person who can do that.Phytism (talk) 11:48, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Rename to "attack aircraft"[edit]

See above from Born2flie. I'm not wholly sure; I'd like to hear what other people have to say.--Mmx1 00:46, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Famous Aircraft[edit]

I was surprised to read the a line in the World War II section comparing the Stuka with the Ilyushin Il-2, which claimed that the latter was a more famous example of a Ground attack aircraft. From my own experience, I knew quite a lot about the Stuka, but had only heard of the Il-2 because I saw the computer game of the same name in the bargain bin at my local games shop. Obviously, that's not a valid source of information, so I decided to do a quick google search, and found 1.26 million hits for the word "Stuka" and only 293,000 for "Il-2." I just added a {{Fact}} tag because I couldn't find anything concrete either way. Minion-for-hire (talk) 15:12, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Changed to "more notable". --Kubanczyk (talk) 02:07, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Wrong Photo[edit]

I may have missed something, but why is there a photo of a Tornado F.3 on this page? And to boot, it's linked to Panavia Tornado Davidelit (talk) 04:20, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Are you sure about that?[edit]

To quote the article, "Current US doctrine increasingly emphasizes the use of United States Army helicopters for close air support and anti-tank missions." Really? Since when? After the disastrous performance of the Apache in Iraq (I am specifically thinking of the incident where 33 Apaches engaged the Iraqi "Medina" armoured division resulting in 30 aircraft damaged or downed by an Iraqi "flak trap"), the Army has been shifting more towards aquiring fixed wing aircraft. They still haven't decided if they want something light (like the planes being considered for the Air Force's new OA-X program) or heavy (like the A-10), but they do want to get away from total reliance on the helicopter, and more towards fixed-wing aircraft. SpudHawg948 (talk) 01:03, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page not moved: no concensus after 29 days. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 09:26, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Ground-attack aircraftAttack aircraftRelisted. Vegaswikian (talk) 19:55, 28 January 2011 (UTC) Move over an existing redirect to the same page. There is no need for the article to focus only on "ground attack aircraft", if most contests are generally about "attack aircraft". Both terms are vague and generally the first one is often used where the latter would be more proper. Per earlier discussion on talk page. --Kubanczyk (talk) 00:48, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

  • Comment "attack aircraft" historically have also been light bombers... whereas these are close-air support attack aircraft... (talk) 05:40, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
This article is not about "close-air support attack aircraft" - whatever it means for you. It is not about A-10 (this is just a fancy photo). A-10s and such are an extremely specialized designs (a narrow subset) of ground attack aircraft. Let me just say that A-6 Intruder article also needs to link somewhere when it says "A-6 was an attack aircraft", and A-6 was not designed for battlefield operations and did not even have any cannon. --Kubanczyk (talk) 11:11, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose -- While recent military aircraft are often intended to have multiple uses, there are (or have been) other classes of offensive military aircraft, including fighters and bombers. The boundary between the classes may at times be vague, but they are different. The nom is asking us to broaden the article to include virtually all military aircraft, except unarmed trainers and transport aircraft. Peterkingiron (talk) 16:01, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
No I do not. As you can see, the first sentence of the article differentiates attack aircraft from a bomber. Then the second sentence of the article differentiates attack aircraft from a fighter. So it clearly tries to explain that this is something else - a third class. The name "attack aircraft" (as confusing as it is) is not merely a synonym of "combat aircraft" or "offensive aircraft". --Kubanczyk (talk) 19:31, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
I posted on User_talk:Peterkingiron, still waiting for the reply. --Kubanczyk (talk) 09:10, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment - a tricky question. And interestingly just found that fighter-bomber redirects to the (mostly empty section) article strike fighter. So I think there may be a general need to sort out what terms mean. GraemeLeggett (talk) 19:55, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
    • Concur with comment We need to consult reliable sources, and make sure we're not just compounding the current mess with more OR. The term "attack aircraft" is a broad term, and might be useful as a starting point, but it's not completely synomous with "ground-attack" or "close air support", depending on the era and user, nor with "fighter-bomber" and "strike fighter" which aren't completely synonymous either. - BilCat (talk) 21:58, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment "fighter bomber" should not redirect to "strike fighter". The first term has been used in many air forces since before WWII, while the second only in the US since the 1970s. walk victor falk talk 01:21, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment Please move the discussion about Strike aircraft and Fighter-bomber to their appropriate talk pages, otherwise interested editors have no chance to notice anything. --Kubanczyk (talk) 22:19, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
    • We're not actually "discussing" moving those pages yet, only that they're definitions overlap and are as much of a mess as this article. A notice that there is a releveant discussion here to garner more interest/input would be useful, however, provide we can establish some reliabl,e sources for such definitions. - BilCat (talk) 00:42, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support. Reviewing my comments above and the article in question, I don't feel or believe that renaming this article is going to hurt anything. I cannot find an official source that makes a delineation between ground-attack and attack in regards to aircraft. Many USAF internet sources (i.e. imply that ground-attack is a doctrinal description rather than a classification of aircraft, some even suggest that the term ground-attack is a bastardization of air-to-ground attack. As much as the article needs help, I think it would be incredibly difficult to suggest that a reader could possibly misunderstand, or else fail to equate ground-attack aircraft with attack aircraft, if the article was moved over the redirect. -- Born2flie (talk) 23:54, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. We need to distinguish aircraft that attack ground targets from aircraft that attack flying targets from aircraft that attack underwater targets. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 13:53, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Ground needs to be mentioned in name for clarity, imo. "Attack aircraft" seems to mainly be a shortened form. -Fnlayson (talk) 00:19, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
"Ground-attack" means that the aircraft is intended to attack ground targets as opposed to naval targets. If the decision here would be not to rename, I'll simply create Attack aircraft as a separate article and left this page to cover only specifically air-to-ground. No big deal, as both "ground-attack" and "attack" are fairly notable, fairly common terms, and certainly not synonyms. I'm just tired by this endless discussion. How can we speed things up to resolve either way? --Kubanczyk (talk) 17:51, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) :::I think a similar aircraft against ships would come under "naval strike" though I don't think we have an article for that yet.GraemeLeggett (talk) 18:40, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
As of now, there is no consensus to rename the article. You're welcome to propose a split, but doing so without achieving a consensus first would be considered a content fork, and not the best move to make. - BilCat (talk) 18:31, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
To have any consensus, I'd like to see counterarguments from the people that opposed the rename. Besides Fnlayson, it seems all of them left. So what, do we wait for another visitor to drop by, provide his opinion, and leave to never return again? This way I will wait for the consensus forever. This a simple yes/no decision, and although I strongly prefer yes, I can live with no. What I cannot stand is the let's wait forever approach. --Kubanczyk (talk) 22:41, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
  • I did not think about the ground/water aspect. I'm fine with "Surface-attack aircraft" as well. -Fnlayson (talk) 00:01, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
Problem with Surface-attack aircraft is that it fails WP:COMMONNAME hard. Military called it just "attack aircraft" and it is well-understood (understood among military, not among the general public) that it does not include air-to-air, but does include air-to-ground and air-to-water (this is not English-specific, exactly the same case is with Russian "shturmovik" and Polish "szturmowy", and the same potential misunderstanding). I think it is fair enough to use the specialized term and then explain it in the intro in layman's terms, instead of using a title that puts undue weight on the ground aspect (presently, there is no article about general "attack aircraft" and everything is redirected to "ground-attack aircraft"; this puts an editor in a strange position when he writes "Harrier is an attack aircraft" - he is right, but the link goes to a misleading page; immediately the second editor comes to helpfully correct it to "Harrier is a ground-attack aircraft" and ups... bad idea). --Kubanczyk (talk) 12:48, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
Move discussion are usually allowed to run 1-2 weeks, longer if necessary. Given the scant interest, this one has been allowed to run longer than usual. To move, there must be a consensus to move, but to remain where it is, a "No consenseus" works as well as a clear consensus not to move. As of now, there is no clear consensus to do anything, hence the page stays where it is. At this point, we might as well close the discussion as "no consensus to move", and work on sourcing the article properly. Once definitions have been added from reliable sources, then we'll have a clearer picture on what to do withthe article. - BilCat (talk) 12:57, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
I agree this discussion seems to have run its course. Time to close it and direct our attentions to the article itself. GraemeLeggett (talk) 13:15, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


Perhaps it should be noted that modern ground-attack aircraft are not more accurate than older ones. ie a Stuka was just as accurate in destroying tanks as A-10 Warthogs, and was equally efficient in theater.The Age of Airpower by Martin van Creveld — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:30, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

In clear weather, maybe. :) - BilCat (talk) 20:53, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

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Attack Helicopters[edit]

Saw that someone tried to delete this earlier, and I happen to agree with them. This page is referring to tactical (fixed wing) aircraft, and since attack helicopters have their own page I'm not sure what use they have here. (talk) 02:14, 29 March 2016 (UTC)

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