Has the concept of the paratrooper been rendered obsolete by Air Assault?


I pretty much think so, noting that the para guy can do that the air assaulter can not with with greater accuracy, fewer training, and heavier equipment.

The only area where para still hold advantage over air assault is in speed and flying distance of the aircraft. If you have helicopter carrier though, that too can be render obsoleted. But then again I am not sure if the distance and speed advantage can offset the fact that your entire army will be scatter all over the place and many of the heavier equipment can’t be dropped altogether with the troops.

That is not to say they are ineffective, there are still country who conduct successful para operation today, the Turk, for example use it for greater effect during their invasion of Cyprus.

Turk para-invaders in Cyprus

Para dropping also come a long way, modern manoeuvrable parachute has a great potential to be very effective air insertion method. If you can train a size-able amount of troops to drop precisely and in formation, you can solve the high dispersion problem of mass parachuting (very much possible and widely practice among the civilian sector).

Compare, halo, para is far more stealthy, if say, 4 C-130 make low altitude flight until just about the maximum drop-able range, fly up and empty their load of paratrooper, you will got a battalion of stealthy air assault riflemen coming at your from all direction which can be a huge advantage.

I have read some discussion on other web that discuss just this and I think it’s a very interesting idea. However, until someone actually try that out, yes, para is pretty obsolete with air assault.

At least for me.

No, not really. The problem with airborne assaults is that they’re limited in an application sense. You’re limited in using them in poor terrain or urban areas which is where many of the world’s wars are fought today. Insurgents are not defending installations like airfields that would normally be assaulted by airborne units.

They’re not practical for use in most of Afghanistan when you can put that same assault force on helicopters.

In conventional wars, or the conventional stages of wars, they’re still very much useful. In the early days of the Afghan War, units from the 75th Ranger Regiment conducted an assault on an airfield near Khandahar.

During the opening days of Iraqi Freedom, the 173rd Airborne parachuted into Northern Iraq successfully.

But we’re not attacking fixed defenses like that now. They’re both more of an unconventional right now and airborne assaults just aren’t as applicable.

But with that being said, the 82nd Airborne can put a brigade on the ground anywhere in the world within 24hrs. Primarily by parachute.