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Highlights

In a possible European conflict, the effectiveness and survivability of aerial fire support weapons assisting ground forces could be seriously limited by adverse battlefield conditions. More than $8 billion is to be spent for these systems over the next several years. For close air support, the Air Force is producing the A-10 attack aircraft, equipped with the 30-millimeter GAU-8 cannon and the Maverick missile. For its aerial antiarmor role, the Army is producing the AH-15 Cobra attack helicopter, using the TOW missile. The Army also has under development the AH-64 advanced attack helicopter, with the laser-guided HELLFIRE missile. Major contributions are expected from all these aircraft in supporting ground combat operations, since they incorporate advanced technology and formidable firepower with good antitank potential.

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