OV-10A Bronco
Date Updated: Thursday March 23, 2006


Technical Details | Service History |Current Status | Photos |Fleet Information | Write-Offs

 

Technical Details

Twin turbine engined aircraft (two 715 shp Garrett turboprops), primarily designed for COIN, light strike and observation missions. Can carry up to 3,600 lbs of stores on seven weapons stations.  Maximum endurance is 5.5 hours with a combat radius of 300 nautical miles. Carries a pilot and an observer in tandem on two zero-zero ejection seats (LW-3B).  The rear seat is removable though in practice this is rarely done.  Reflecting its ground support and surveillance role, it carries a high level of communication and navigation equipment including GPS, VOR, TACAN IFF, ADF and VHF-AM, VHF-FM, UHF, HF radios.  GPS was added in the Philippines.  The GPS units on PAF Broncos are installed on the cockpit coaming together with a power receptacle to connect it to an on-board power source. Cockpit lighting is also NVG compatible.

All were received from the US without armament and have been modified in Philippine service.  PAF OV-10s are normally armed with 4 7.62mm mgs with 500 rounds per gun) though a twin .50 cal installation has been tried on a few units.  Like the MG520s, the OV-10s also carries 2.75 inch rocket pods (either two or four pods) under the fuselage sponsoons or 5 inch Zuni rocket pods or a combination of both. In addition, they have also been known to carry the same .50 cal gun pods used by the MG-520.  The .50 cal armament is appreciated because of its longer range and the heavier throw weight of the .50 cal rounds which enables it to penetrate thicker vegetation.  Aside from the guns, PAF OV-10s have been know to carry 110lb, 260lb, 500lb and 750 lb bombs as well as 81mm clusters (locally manufactured cluster bombs) and locally developed 20mm gun pods.  Load out depends on weapons availability and mission requirements. 

A Service Life Extension Program has been started with all remaining serviceable OV-10s slated to go through the program.  With the assistance of Marsh Aviation, the PAF is currently overhauling and modernizing the airframe and its systems as well as replacing the increasingly difficult to maintain and service three bladed propeller with brand new units from Marsh Aviation and Hartzell.  The program includes the replacement of the difficult to maintain three bladed propeller, fitting of new gearboxes to improve maintainability, zero timing the airframes and overhauling of the aircrafts subsystems to extend the service life of the airframe, improve serviceability and make the fleet easier to maintain.  In place of the old three bladed propeller, a new 100 inch diameter propeller designed and manufactured by Hartzell has been fitted.  In addition, the fleet is due to receive enough locally build 20mm gun pods to equip all aircraft.

Service History

27 delivered from USAF stocks from 1991 to 92.  The type was ordered to replace AT-28Ds that had previously been used by the 15th Strike Wing based at Sangley Point (now called Atienza Air Base).  The type is heavily used in the light strike role in support of Philippine troops engaged in operations against various rebel groups operating in the North and South of the country.  In addition, they also have a limited maritime surveillance tasking over the Spratly islands, flying out of Bautista Air Base in Palawan.  On at least one recorded occasion, they have been fired upon by Vietnamese troops while engaged in this activity.  In addition, they have also encountered Malaysian Hawks engaged in similar tasks over the territory. 

At least two aircraft are know to have been hit and destroyed on the ground during an attack by NPA rebels against Cauayan Air Base in Isabela Province (Northern Luzon) in 1992 (see "Write-Offs").  One crashed (S/N 68-3792) outside of Clark Air Base killing one of the few combat qualified female pilots of the PAF in 2001 (see "Write-Offs" for this and details of other casualties).

In an effort to provide 24×7 air support and maximize the use of it’s existing aircraft, PAF OV-10 pilots have been receiving training from USMC aviators in night flying procedures and operations.  Training started with Balikatan 2000 and is acknowledged to be on-going.

Current Status

In 2001, the PAF CG declared that keeping the whole fleet fully operational was a priority for the PAF as well as acquiring more A and getting D model Broncos. 21 remain out of 27 delivered with a further eight received from Thailand.  Readiness is improving with an infusion of cash provided by AFP modernization funds.  However, the fleet is currently in the process of going through the SLEP program.  Six have completed the upgrades with the rest of the active fleet due to finish the upgrade by the end of the year (2006).  Despite this, there are still a lack of strike assets and the SF260TPs continue to shoulder part of the close air support mission.

8 Thai OV-10Cs were transferred to the Philippines this year (2005), down from the 15 originally slated for transfer.  The OV-10s were donated to the PAF by the Thais together with the existing stock of spares for the Thai OV-10s.  These OV-10s are also slated to go through the OV-10 modernization program.

Photos

Fleet Information

PAF Serial Number

USAF Serial Number

Construction Number

Last noted / fate

Remarks

15 ex USAF 1991-92

63555

66-13555

305-4

01.97, 05.98

USAF origin: 27 Tactical Air Support Squadron, George AFB, CA (c. 1987)

559

66-13559

305-8

91, 97

 USAF origin: 25 Tactical Air Support Squadron, Eielson AFB, AK (c. 1987)

74605

67-14605

305-13

92

 USAF origin: 549 Tactical Air Support Squadron, Patrick AFB, FL (c. 1987)

610

67-14610

305-18

01.97, 05.05

 USAF origin: 549 Tactical Air Support Squadron, Patrick AFB, FL (c. 1987)
One of the first two aircraft to modernized by the PAF with the assistance of Marsh Aviation of Arizona under the PAF’s Service Life Extension Program.

74611

67-14611

305-19

w/o 18.08.95

 USAF origin: 549 Tactical Air Support Squadron, Patrick AFB, FL (c. 1987)

14613

67-14613

305-21

w/o 31.05.93

 USAF origin: 549 Tactical Air Support Squadron, Patrick AFB, FL (c. 1987)

629

67-14629

305-37

03.97

USAF origin: 549 Tactical Air Support Squadron, Patrick AFB, FL (c. 1987)

630

67-14630

305-38

02.99

USAF origin: 27 Tactical Air Support Squadron, George AFB, CA (c. 1987)

74639

67-14639

305-47

01.97, 01.98

 USAF origin: 19 Tactical Air Support Squadron, Osan AB, ROK (c. 1987)

74641

67-14639

305-49

01.97, 01.98

USAF origin: 27 Tactical Air Support Squadron, George AFB, CA (c. 1987)

74666

67-14666

305-74

92

USAF origin: 27 Tactical Air Support Squadron, George AFB, CA (c. 1987)

74667

67-14667

305-75

 

Reported to have been written off with USAF 24.12.71 in Vietnam!

792

68-3792

321-118

w/o 19.03.01

USAF origin: 19 Tactical Air Support Squadron, Osan AB, ROK (c. 1987)

801

68-3801

321-127

05.98, 10.98

USAF origin: 27 Tactical Air Support Squadron, George AFB, CA (c. 1987)

83830

68-3830

321-156

01.97, 05.98, 05,05

USAF origin: 27 Tactical Air Support Squadron, George AFB, CA (c. 1987). 
One of the first two aircraft to modernized by the PAF with the assistance of Marsh Aviation of Arizona under the PAF’s Service Life Extension Program.

9 ex USAF 1992

601

67-14601

 

01.99, 02.99

USAF 67-14601 = A-7D Corsair II

603

67-14603

 

01.99, 02.99

USAF 67-14603 = U-17C

636

67-14636

305-44

05.98

Reported as preserved at Hickam AFB, HI!

647

67-14647

305-55

01.97

USAF origin: 22 Tactical Air Support Squadron, Wheeler AFB, HI (c. 1987)

669

67-14669

305-77

01.97

  USAF origin: 22 Tactical Air Support Squadron, Wheeler AFB, HI (c. 1987)

677

67-14677

305-85

06.96

 USAF origin: 22 Tactical Air Support Squadron, Wheeler AFB, HI (c. 1987)

679

67-14679

305-87

03.00, 09.00, 06.06

USAF origin: 19 Tactical Air Support Squadron, Osan AB, ROK (c. 1987). 
Upgraded with new 4 blade props from Marsh Aviation.

681

67-14681

305-89

w/o 26.01.98

USAF origin: 19 Tactical Air Support Squadron, Osan AB, ROK (c. 1987)
(active 01.97)

74727

67-14727

 

01.97, 01.98

USAF 67-14727 = C-130E Hercules
3 ex USAF (transfer date not known)

 

67-14684

305-92

 

USAF origin: 25 Tactical Air Support Squadron, Eielson AFB, AK (c. 1987)

 

67-14694

305-102

 

USAF origin: 27 Tactical Air Support Squadron, George AFB, CA (c. 1987)

 

68-3826

321-152

 

USAF origin: 22 Tactical Air Support Squadron, Wheeler AFB, HI (c. 1987)

OV-10 Write-Offs

date

s/n

fate of crew

location, remarks

05.11.92

 

 

Two aircraft were blasted in an NPA attack against Cauayan AB, Isabela (one reported damaged beyond repair, perhaps both later written off).

31.05.93

67-14613

Pilot survived.

Crashed shortly after take-off from Cauayan AB, Isabela.

18.08.95

67-14611

Note:  826 (ex 68-3826) is also reported as having crashed at Puerto Princesa (date?).

Pilot killed.

Crashed into mangrove swamp near Bautista AB, Palawan, after it entered an uncontrollable spin following participation in a fly-past over Puerto Princesa. The front section of the aircraft broke off on impact, killing the solo pilot.

Reported to have been the fourth write-off, but the first fatality.

31.03.97

01.04.97?

?

Both crew ejected safely, suffering only minor bruises.

Suffered engine problems during a post-maintenance test flight. When the aircraft crashed, however, burning debris landed on a house in the Toril district of Davao City, setting it on fire. A woman in the house suffered serious burns (resulting in her death) and her two young children suffered light burns.

26.01.98

67-14681

Pilot seriously injured.

Crash-landed in a banana plantation in Tagum, Davao City, Mindanao.

19.03.01

68-3792

Pilot 1st Lt. Mary Grace Baloyo killed, co-pilot Capt. Ben Nasayo injured.

Crashed at Fil-Homes subdivision, Barangay Mabiga, Mabalacat, Pampanga, when port engine failed at 1,000ft in driving rain on approach to Runway 20 at Clark Field. Co-pilot Captain Ben Nasayo ejected safely at 300ft, suffering only minor injuries. Female pilot First Lieutenant Mary Grace Baloyo remained with the aircraft, successfully guiding it into an open area of the village in order to prevent injury on the ground or damage to property before she was killed in the crash.

83830

68-3830?

Pilot Aniano Amatong killed, co-pilot James Acosta survived with no injuries

Crashed in Paumbong, Bulacan province on 24 January, 2006 en route to Clark AFB from Sangley Point in Cavite to participate in exercises with US forces known as "Balance Piston".  Initial reports state that there was a loss of power to the left engine. 

Aircraft was said to be one of the first to undergo the Marsh upgrade. 

Thai OV-10s Transferred to the PAF.

A total of 8 OV-10Cs were transferred to the PAF in two batches.  Transfers were done by ship from Thailand to Sangley Point
together with aircraft spares where overhauls were conducted.  They were later flown to Villamor where the formal transfers took
place.

Thai Serial

US Serials

Last noted / fate

Remarks

17/16/41117

159134

Transferred to PAF Sept 8 at Villamor AB Transferred September 8.  Were called J-5s in Thai use and served with RTAF 411 squadron. 

The first two numbers are the Thai Serials while the third set is the squadron code.

19/16/41119

159136

Transferred to PAF Sept 8 at Villamor AB  

22/16/41122

159139

Transferred to PAF Sept 8 at Villamor AB  

25/16/41125

159142

Transferred to PAF Sept 8 at Villamor AB  
    Transferred to the PAF May 2004 A further four OV-10Cs were transferred to the PAF in May 2004 bringing the total up to 8.