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Air Force begins A-10 replacement study

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posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 07:55 PM
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The Air Force has begun looking into possible replacements for the A-10 when they retire them in the coming years. Like the A-10 it will be a Close Air Support platform, designed for a permissive environment conflict. They are looking at everything from the AT-6, or AT-29, to the Textron Scorpion, or possibly a clean sheet design. They've finally admitted that while the F-35 would be superb in the role, it would be far too expensive to operate in a permissive environment.

Any new CAS platform program won't be until after the T-X is settled, and IOC for that program isn't until 2024.


The US Air Force has begun studying future close air support (CAS) aircraft to succeed the Fairchild Republic A-10 as the Pentagon evaluates the weaponry it needs for “prolonged operations” of one year or more.

The flying branch is looking at tactical air support platform alternatives for low-intensity “permissive conflict” like counterterrorism and regional stability operations, similar to the types of missions being conducted Iraq and Afghanistan today, where air superiority has been achieved and coalition aircraft can roam relatively freely in support of ground troops.

USAF officials say a portion of a "combat air force study” is dedicated to considering alternative CAS aircraft: everything from the Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine, Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 Super Tucano, and the Textron AirLand Scorpion on the “low end” of the capability spectrum to more sophisticated clean-sheet attack aircraft or AT-X derivatives of the planned T-X next-generation trainer.

www.flightglobal.com...




posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 08:18 PM
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I know its unpopular opinion but it needs to be replaced sooner. It should have been replaced 25 years ago after Operation desert storm.

Most of the WHOLE DAMN AIR FORCE needs replaced. We didn't build enough F-22s and B-2s. Hopefully we don't make that mistake with the KC-46, F-35, B-21 and what ever comes next.



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 08:24 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
They've finally admitted that while the F-35 would be superb in the role, it would be far too expensive to operate in a permissive environment.


What happened to the people who originally suggested that solution? People who suggest wasting defense dollars need to go.



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 08:26 PM
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Wait til you get T-X finalized. Then you can just adapt that airframe towards a CAS/ISR role. It won't be ideal, but it doesn't create unique supply lines and training requirements.



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 08:29 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Sounds like a roll tailor made for the Scorpion.



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 08:45 PM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

That's probably what will end up happening. Most of the development will be done for the basic airframe, like you said, supply lines will be in place, lots of parts commonality...



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 09:17 PM
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Will they continue with the Gau8 Avenger though or upgrade to a newer platform?Wonder how many of the Avengers could you fit on a C130?



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 09:23 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

hrmph. I posted this under the T-X thread.



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 09:24 PM
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a reply to: anzha

Yep. Think of it as housekeeping, to keep it from getting lost.



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 09:34 PM
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No GAU, no A-10 replacement.



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 10:03 PM
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a reply to: drwire

Even the A-10 doesn't use that monster often. And with a move to smaller, more accurate precision weapons, it probably isn't needed even if we had to defend the Fulda Gap again. There are much less risky cards to play.



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 10:08 PM
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The A-10 has proven itself to be such a superior combination of aerodynamics and firepower, one wonders why you would want to significantly change such a success story. It can go slow when it needs too, fast when it has too and is essentially a armored super gun with a cockpit on it.

The problems are most likely in aging air frame and the adaptability of new weaponry. So... Keep what works well, as ugly as it is, beef up the engines, beef up the guns, air frame, armor and avionics. So many know how to fly this thing effectively and so much time and effort in tactics and mission critical performance.... why would they want to throw the b out with the b water and radically change what has been shown to be such an effective weapon? Any enemy seeing that warthog bearing down on them has no choice but to kiss their butt goodbye before they are atomized.

I am sure there are lots of reasons, but are they really that good?, or is the change really mandated by the industry needing to get big contract money. (waiting for the guru assaults).
edit on 10-3-2016 by charlyv because: spelling , where caught



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 10:09 PM
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OT post removed by staff
edit on Thu Mar 10 2016 by Jbird because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 10:19 PM
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a reply to: charlyv

The A-10 is a non-survivable airframe in a high threat environment. Yes, it takes a pounding, but in a non-permissive environment, they'd drop like flies.



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 10:30 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: charlyv

The A-10 is a non-survivable airframe in a high threat environment. Yes, it takes a pounding, but in a non-permissive environment, they'd drop like flies.


Ok, but is not the mission in troop support?, where once an area is contained (evaluated), they are called in to do the surgery? Do we not already have what we need for non-permissive environments? Just askin.



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 11:10 PM
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a reply to: charlyv

But in those cases you can use UAVs or Helicopters to similar or better effect at cheaper cost.

The biggest problem with the A-10 is not its abilities but the cost of keeping the airframe in good repair. The newest aircraft is from 1984 so they are atleast 31 years old.



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 11:14 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Which beggars the question why not a remote control platform you still need forward observers but the pilot can be anywhere these days



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 11:29 PM
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a reply to: Pyle




The biggest problem with the A-10 is not its abilities but the cost of keeping the airframe in good repair. The newest aircraft is from 1984 so they are atleast 31 years old.


Therein my concerns about radically changing a design that works. Not to dwell too long on a point, but keep the basic air-frame design but re-build it from the ground up to perform to today's performance and longevity specifications. To me, when a proven design performs like this, you really have to think how you could have your cake and eat it too.

So many aircraft designs start out great and get replaced because they can not stand the test of time. Like you said, this formidable plane has 31 years of success.... hard to get that in anything except P3's (replaced) and Hercules today.... The Herc is still one of the best aircraft ever made. Musings from an old aircrew guy anyway, I am sure being in the game today is a totally different experience, and wish I could get a flight in some of this new stuff.



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 11:31 PM
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a reply to: charlyv

Because for the cost to do that, you can build another cheaper aircraft, such as the A-29, freeing up budget for other uses that are required.



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 11:39 PM
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a reply to: charlyv
The C-130 has been in production for along time and unlike the A-10 it is still in production. Being still in production means new airframes to replace old ones and more parts. We can only refurbish the A-10 at great cost. If the A-10 production line had not shutdown I would agree with keeping them going but sadly that is not the case.



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