Persistent Close Air Support

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Persistent Close Air Support (PCAS)
A-10 firing AGM-65.JPEG
Program utilizes the A-10 as a demonstration platform.
Type Close Air Support
Place of origin  United States

Persistent Close Air Support (PCAS) is a DARPA program that seeks to demonstrate dramatic capability improvements in close air support (CAS) capabilities by developing a system to allow continuous CAS availability and lethality to Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs).[1]

The program will give JTACs the ability to visualize, select, and employ munitions at the time of their choosing from optionally manned/unmanned aerial attack platforms.[2]

PCAS was to demonstrate using an A-10 Thunderbolt II modified for optionally manned operation, however the program did not seek to remove pilots from the cockpit of A-10s or other manned military aircraft.[3] Technologies developed under the program were to transition to both current manned aircraft and the MQ-X next-generation unmanned aircraft.[4] With the cancellation of the MQ-X program, the PCAS program dropped the idea of using an optionally manned A-10, and refocused the effort to allow the JTAC controller to interface with "smart rail" electronics on a manned A-10. Live-fire demonstrations will take place in 2015.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Persistent Close Air Support (PCAS)". DARPA. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Persistent Close Air Support (PCAS) Proposer's Day Workshop Announcement". Federal Business Opportunities. August 2, 2010. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  3. ^ Scott Fontaine (August 1, 2010). "Air support could come from unmanned A-10s". AirForceTimes. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  4. ^ Graham Warwick (August 4, 2010). "Closing the Loop on Close Air Support". Aviation Week. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  5. ^ Darpa Refocuses Precision Close Air Support Effort On Manned Aircraft -, 10 September 2013

External links[edit]