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Air Force considering A-10 replacement

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posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 12:53 AM
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To Zaphod, boomer135, and other fellow airmen, how does this thread not have you bashing your head against a desk?

All I see in this particular thread is people defending the A-10 based on emotion, with complete disregard for actual facts, all because of either what they read on Wikipedia about technical specs, lack of knowledge about real world tactics, or "cool" factor.

Yes, the A-10 is a great plane, but it has its flaws. It is no longer working its original mission, it occasionally stumbles at its current mission, and it has performed past its life span. Dumping money into maintaining an outdated weapons system that no longer has a production line of parts coming is foolish. What was once a simple cheap fix, now gets more and more expensive due to parts availabily (or lack thereof).

A new platform just makes sense.




posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 01:55 AM
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My gut feeling is that having the A-10 in the armed forces' quiver may prove to be worthwhile, it's precise role yet to be determined. It has a mission flexibility, and redundancy not present in other systems. MAINLY, it can operate within visual range with minimal electronic reliance. It can also sustain, pinning down an enemy.

Imagine it as a fall-back system after first and second wave assets are not available. A squad of A-10 would make an awesome assassination tool, for high brass or simply as a surprise mop-up after initial strikes. It's talents lay in the mission planner. We should have about 1000 of them. That would smelt the bones of our enemies.



posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 02:31 AM
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a reply to: FlyingFox

It doesn't quite work like that. I agree that the mission remains today but the requirements are entirely different. The A-10 cannot, for as much as I love her, fulfill these requirements today. They are sitting ducks. Ducks with copious armament but ducks nonetheless. In a modern age of warfare where our fighters are doing business well behind national borders and under enemy controlled airspace, we need a special aircraft that can support them.

It's got to be VLO. It's got to persist on the battlefield. And I think VTOL has to be included aswell. Quick rearmament/ refuel turnaround is key to this mission. VTOL/STOVL enables that. The F-35 has a nice big gun on it as well as two huge bombs, as well as the ability to escort itself and penetrate defended air space. How is this not a contender in peoples minds?

Until something else comes along, it's a great bridge to our next dedicated CAS platform. Once the -35 is certified to carry Hellfire on its external stores, we've got a mighty ground attack platform. And just to be clear I'm not saying settle for the -35 entirely but unfortunately at this point, the armed forces have little choice.

When the need for a new CAS platform arrives, we will build one. But right now that big war isn't coming. And for the little wars we are in our new toys can deliver just fine.



posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 02:58 AM
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a reply to: aholic

I also wanted to add, that for those of you who are in love with the GAU-8 for whatever reason. Some friends of mine have come across chatter of a workable General Dynamics 30mm pod for both naval variants of the -35 with 500+ ammo drum. It's going to be a topic at the upcoming joint close air support summits.

An earlier type has already been tested and flown on the F-16.




posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 03:17 AM
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originally posted by: aholic
a reply to: FlyingFox



It's got to be VLO. It's got to persist on the battlefield. And I think VTOL has to be included aswell. Quick rearmament/ refuel turnaround is key to this mission. VTOL/STOVL enables that. The F-35 has a nice big gun on it as well as two huge bombs, as well as the ability to escort itself and penetrate defended air space. How is this not a contender in peoples minds?



big bombs are not a plus if you have terrorist mixed with noncombatants.

the A10 can hit with pinpoint accuracy on small targets with there gun.
i have heard of some A10 pilots that can put all there rounds into a manhole cover.

Big bombs take out city blocks. a 500 pound MK82 is lethal out to 40 meters. a MK 84 about 60 meters
A 30 mm HEI round from the A10 is equal to a M67 hand grenade an has a effective casualty radius of about 5 meters.
edit on 19-2-2015 by ANNED because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 03:31 AM
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a reply to: ANNED

I meant to say that the -35 can pack a punch when it needs to. Of course it can carry smaller warheads. The GBU-39 should be tested later this year.
www.ausairpower.net...

A 30mm round from the A-10 versus a pod slung under an F-35 should be no different. And the -35 will have much more accurate targeting and ground attack convergence than the Hog given its SA radar.



posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 10:08 PM
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a reply to: aholic

Quick turn sortie generation and non-VTOL/STOVL aircraft aren't mutually exclusive unless I'm missing something. A-10s were quick turned during Desert Storm and were flying multiple sorties a day, with the pilots landing to rearm and refuel while not leaving the cockpit.


edit on 19-2-2015 by justwanttofly because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 11:47 PM
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a reply to: justwanttofly

You're totally correct, it's not a rule. It's just that in the minds of our war planners these air fields aren't going to be available in the future.



posted on Feb, 20 2015 @ 05:26 AM
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originally posted by: justwanttofly
a reply to: aholic

Quick turn sortie generation and non-VTOL/STOVL aircraft aren't mutually exclusive unless I'm missing something. A-10s were quick turned during Desert Storm and were flying multiple sorties a day, with the pilots landing to rearm and refuel while not leaving the cockpit.



No kidding ! When the F-35 can do the same thing then maybe they will have a winner. It will be interesting how many sorties the Marines get out of their new birds a day and the turnaround time.. ?

I would like our troops and airman to have the best possible chance of survival as no doubt everyone who took the time to comment in this thread. The only derision I have detected are those who think the F-35 can replace the A-10 in a Iraq war type theater. Us against China or Russia (first world military type conflict) then survivability of any airborne assets IMO becomes very problematic and I for one hope it never comes to a real test.

The pod mounted 500 round 30 mm reminds me of the pod mounted gun they finally used on the F-4 during the Vietnam war. The first one did not work very well due to it's power supply but the later ones seemed to get the job done if I remember correctly.

Wonder what any pod does to the much advertised stealth ? Stealth pod ? Stealth underwing stores, I don't think so ? I will believe it when it happens for I don't think that is part of the deal. So the F-35 is not even in a fight yet but is already giving up its' major asset 'stealth' in a serious CAS roll.. O.K.

Hopefully drones with hard hitting weapons and long loiter times will provide CAS sometime in the near future. Maybe the FAC on the ground will actually be able to take command of them for strikes ? Maybe the F-35 can remain high, stand offish, and stealthy but I really doubt that is the way the marines will use theirs. Again I hope the war planners got this right if they mothball the A-10 until a suitable replacement has been demonstrated.



posted on Feb, 20 2015 @ 12:12 PM
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a reply to: 727Sky



Maybe the FAC on the ground will actually be able to take command of them for strikes ?


Yes, I think that's in the cards.

And I agree, it's going to come down to how our boys and girls use this airplane in the field. I think the high turnaround is an built in capability of the -35 that should be taken advantage of. But that's up to the crews.

As for the gun. I remember that the pod has had some LO designed into it but it will obviously change the entire signature of the aircraft, and for the worse. It won't be used on "day one" operations. But even on day three, and F-35 with a pod is going to be way harder to see and thus shoot down than an A-10. Point being if the airplane can't get to the battlefront, it can't even begin to do its CAS.



posted on Feb, 20 2015 @ 12:41 PM
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a reply to: 727Sky

Hopefully the 30mm pod works better on the F-35 then the F-16. If I remember correctly the Air Force tried to create a new CAS version of the F-16 with a 30mm pod before Desert Storm and it was a disaster.



posted on Feb, 20 2015 @ 12:43 PM
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a reply to: justwanttofly

Gun pods have always been problematical. Having the gun slung under the centerline position makes targeting more difficult.



posted on Feb, 20 2015 @ 02:21 PM
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originally posted by: aholic
a reply to: FlyingFox

It doesn't quite work like that. I agree that the mission remains today but the requirements are entirely different. The A-10 cannot, for as much as I love her, fulfill these requirements today. They are sitting ducks. Ducks with copious armament but ducks nonetheless. In a modern age of warfare where our fighters are doing business well behind national borders and under enemy controlled airspace, we need a special aircraft that can support them.


For that scenario the one that should be retired is the F-15SE. If you're in heavily armed enemy airspace with modern air defense then you need something better than both A-10 and F-15SE, you need a heavily stealthy F-111 replacement.

This "We Must Prepare To Fight Russia in Europe" (the only major ground attack against modern air defense scenario) puts the target on F15SE more than A-10. Both won't work in that environment, but A-10 works better now in other wars.

There will be plenty of "modern warfare" just like the wars we are IN NOW for which the A-10 works. There's a 100% chance we'll face that kind of war and a 2% chance of facing Russian mechanised assault.

Tell me, why should the F-35 retire the A-10's mission more than the F-15SE's mission?



It's got to be VLO. It's got to persist on the battlefield. And I think VTOL has to be included aswell. Quick rearmament/ refuel turnaround is key to this mission. VTOL/STOVL enables that. The F-35 has a nice big gun on it as well as two huge bombs, as well as the ability to escort itself and penetrate defended air space. How is this not a contender in peoples minds?

Until something else comes along, it's a great bridge to our next dedicated CAS platform. Once the -35 is certified to carry Hellfire on its external stores, we've got a mighty ground attack platform. And just to be clear I'm not saying settle for the -35 entirely but unfortunately at this point, the armed forces have little choice.


If you're carrying Hellfire on external stores then you're vulnerable to the modern air defense which you presuppose is present. And it's not a mighty ground attack platform. It doesn't persist and the operation cost is high, and there's no evidence it can give precise close air support



When the need for a new CAS platform arrives, we will build one. But right now that big war isn't coming. And for the little wars we are in our new toys can deliver just fine.


The old toys deliver much finer.
edit on 20-2-2015 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)

edit on 20-2-2015 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)

edit on 20-2-2015 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2015 @ 02:32 PM
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originally posted by: mbkennel

And what happens when modern air defense systems proliferate to countries that we might fight in the future? Even if the US isn't fighting the Russians, the Russian SAM systems that have been sold to another country that we are fighting will make quick work of the US's 4th gen fleet.

I think you mean the F-15E, not SE. The Silent Eagle hasn't been purchased by anyone yet.
edit on 20-2-2015 by justwanttofly because: (no reason given)

edit on 20-2-2015 by justwanttofly because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2015 @ 02:34 PM
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a reply to: justwanttofly

Yep, and it's apparently a DOA project too from the evidence.



posted on Feb, 20 2015 @ 02:57 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Yeah I'd say that program is dunzo. 5th gen price tag for a less capable 4.5th gen airframe that is far behind in its testing and development stages? Someone would have to be stupid to take that deal.



posted on Feb, 20 2015 @ 03:02 PM
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a reply to: justwanttofly

Its only chance to go to production was the Korean F-XIII that the F-35 won.
edit on 2/20/2015 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2015 @ 03:36 PM
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Hey, long time lurker (and couldn't get the registration to work for a long time).

One of the other issues with the 30mm pod is that it had a tendency to twist the mount. Hard to stay accurate that way.



posted on Feb, 20 2015 @ 04:23 PM
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I've got a question here. Just how effective is the F35 going to be? I've heard a lot of bad press and not a lot that's good.



posted on Feb, 20 2015 @ 04:27 PM
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a reply to: sg1642

Because the best systems on board are either classified, or get mentioned on line 50 of a 75 line blurb, so it's buried where if you blink you miss it.



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