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Air Force begins A-10 replacement study

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posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 11:50 PM
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And then there is the other thing, when a UAV pilot in an office building can assess, evaluate and react to the battlefield like an A-10 pilot immersed in it. That day is not now, and may not be for many years to come.




posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 11:56 PM
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a reply to: Pyle

And economy of scale on top of that. There are probably 2000 C-130 variants still in active service worldwide. There are 238 active A-10's.
Basing a new CAS program off T-X simplifies things. You're right, charly, in that it wouldn't be quite as good maybe as a "pure" platform like the A-10 was, but the belts are tightening, and a pure CAS platform is going to tie up a lot of money. You could probably get a T-X variant with better speed, maybe better loiter, with nearly as many strikes on target for cheaper and less risk to the pilot. For a much smaller footprint. Everybody is looking to maximize efficiency and dollars at the moment.



posted on Mar, 11 2016 @ 12:15 AM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

Yes, but the logistics involved and the $billions of bucks for a non-battle proven design .vs. perhaps the same for something you know you can rely on... In this day and age, with the historical record of this industry, and the threats we face... Gimme the Hostess cup cake.



posted on Mar, 11 2016 @ 12:36 AM
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originally posted by: charlyv
a reply to: RadioRobert

Yes, but the logistics involved and the $billions of bucks for a non-battle proven design .vs. perhaps the same for something you know you can rely on... In this day and age, with the historical record of this industry, and the threats we face... Gimme the Hostess cup cake.


But the logistics wouldn't be equal at all. The T-X is going to get a minimum of 300 aircraft. Let's say 350-600. Maybe there will be a few export sales. That would drop the cost even more. Let's say I buy 300 attack versions. That's atleast 600 in service aircraft of high commonality. With an A-10 replacement, you get 300 (maybe less, because it's going to be more expensive per unit) aircraft in service and a completely unique supply train and maintenance training. If they choose (just as an example) the TA-50 from LockMart, then the engine is going to be a f404 or variant. That saves even more money.



posted on Mar, 11 2016 @ 01:14 AM
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The hog is gone, the fact it remained after GW1 was the upgrade to -C but it's still a med to low altitude lump.

I don't think the T-x will cut it, too light. similar with the scorpion.

Clean sheet design, large payload, med to highish altitude, fast (capable super cruise and high speed low altitude show of power), long loiter air to ground radar and other integrated sensors. Rugged, engines inside and above the aircraft to hide heat, perhaps STOL.

You could make a beast for this if stealth was just a consideration!



posted on Mar, 11 2016 @ 04:05 AM
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originally posted by: Pyle
a reply to: charlyv

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



UAVs do not give the first hand situational awareness of a manned aircraft, have limited payloads and are a sparse resource unless you are SF. As for helicopters - it takes an average of 80hrs of ground work for each hour in the air for an Apache, and a single 4 airframe unit has a footprint of over 120 ground crew to keep it functioning. Attack helicopters also take a long time to get into the air (about 30 minutes from start up to lift off) and have limited time on target. Attack helicopters are great but they suck up huge resources.



posted on Mar, 11 2016 @ 04:12 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

So here is the thing. The basic idea of the A-10 is a tank that flies. When they can build something that does the same job, as well or better, and has no other potential use in warfare other than carving holes in ground targets from low altitude, then they should be thinking about ways to keep the A-10 airborne, or even better, knock together a few more of them from modern materials and equipment.

Whining about its necessitating dedicated supplies and material, as some might, or about how old it is, only matters a god damn if the thing does not perform. It does. It's a bit like when your lead guitarist refuses to enter his dressing room unless the place is covered in mourning veils, has nothing but black vodka in its minibar, and smells like the inside of a funeral urn. You give him what he wants for as long as he performs on stage. Until he messes up, you keep making the allowances, and you SHOULD because he is an artist at his craft, much like the A-10 is.

Put another way, if nothing better had come along between the forties and now, we would never have stopped flying Spitfires as our main fighter aircraft here in Britain. Nothing has appeared that equals the toughness, and unrestrained violence of the A-10, and until something does, they should not even be thinking about replacing it.



posted on Mar, 11 2016 @ 04:50 AM
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Sukhoi Su25 but with a moveable chain gun under her?



posted on Mar, 11 2016 @ 05:21 AM
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a reply to: TrueBrit

This isn't how Defence works and it's absolutely not how it should work either.

Defence usually works with a top-down approach. Aircraft are merely tools (like a wrench) to provide capabilities that are needed. Aircraft cost money to develop, procure, maintain, upgrade, and retire.

- If an aircraft provides specific capabilities that are no longer required, then perhaps it should be retired.
- If an aircraft costs large sums of money to sustain, at the expense of more important capabilities, then it should be retired.
- If the capabilities required change over time, then perhaps a new aircraft is needed.


Put another way, if nothing better had come along between the forties and now, we would never have stopped flying Spitfires as our main fighter aircraft here in Britain. Nothing has appeared that equals the toughness, and unrestrained violence of the A-10, and until something does, they should not even be thinking about replacing it.

This is entirely the wrong approach to any engineering problem.

Aircraft today are simply not better versions of the Spitfire. The F-22 Raptor is not a Spitfire with a turboprop engine and more cannons. Instead it is a 5th generation fighter jet - needs and technologies change over time. Further, aircraft do not pop up out on thin air - they cost a huge amount of money to develop, and are usually developed for a specific set of requirements in mind.

The US DOD did not wait until something better than the F-15 came along. Instead, they did the analysis and came up with the ATF program, from which the F-22 was developed. You don't wait until something better comes along, you evaluate what capabilities are actually required, figure out the best way to provide it, then evaluate the options from there. Options might include developing new aircraft, buying existing aircraft, or keeping the A-10.

Until such an analysis is complete, then for all we know the future of CAS could be something like this:


edit on 11/3/16 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 11 2016 @ 05:31 AM
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a reply to: C0bzz

All I am saying is, that they had better not retire the A-10 until they develop an aircraft which can perform the same job, the same way, or better, something with all of the advantages and none of the disadvantages. No compromises.



posted on Mar, 11 2016 @ 08:43 AM
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Dust off the OV-10 design. Build new airframes, taking advantage of new materials. Update the avionics to the new standard data bus. Sell them to both the Air Force and the Marines. Lightly loaded OV-10's can take off from the Marines helicopter carriers and can operate from short rough fields.
Problem solved.



posted on Mar, 11 2016 @ 09:25 AM
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originally posted by: JIMC5499
Dust off the OV-10 design. Build new airframes, taking advantage of new materials. Update the avionics to the new standard data bus. Sell them to both the Air Force and the Marines. Lightly loaded OV-10's can take off from the Marines helicopter carriers and can operate from short rough fields.
Problem solved.


Just as an aside, did you know a couple of Broncos were still being used by SOF until very recently? Maybe when they finish the eval, you'll get your wish



posted on Mar, 11 2016 @ 09:35 AM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

Very recently eh, coincidental timing I guess



posted on Mar, 11 2016 @ 10:06 AM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

There's still a few in mothballs at Davis-Monthan AFB.



posted on Mar, 11 2016 @ 10:12 AM
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a reply to: Bfirez

There was talk of it being used as an insertion platform for a small team for years. Tight as hell, but workable.



posted on Mar, 11 2016 @ 11:27 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Wasn't carrying a couple paratroopers one of its original design objectives?

I remember looking at a cutaway and thinking that it made the troop compartment on a Hind look like the inside of a Chinook.

Now what about building one set up like an attack helicopter, with the pilot in the rear seat and the weapons officer in front with a helmet-mounted targeting system for a belly turret in the 20mm range. That troop space would probably store as much ammo as a Phalanx has...

It might not be able to stand up to the fulda gap onslaught, but it would be a hell of a "mini-spooky" to help troops caught in tight spots on the ground, especially in urban areas, while avoiding the cost/vulnerabilities of using an Apache or another rotorwing platform instead.
edit on 11-3-2016 by Barnalby because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 11 2016 @ 12:14 PM
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a reply to: Barnalby

Load it up with some of those laser guided Hydra rockets and see what you get. OV-10s were able to carry Sidewinder missiles so they wouldn't be totally helpless in the air-to-air role.



posted on Mar, 11 2016 @ 01:14 PM
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a reply to: JIMC5499

Especially if the gunner has a helmet-mounted cueing system with high off-boresight missiles.



posted on Mar, 11 2016 @ 04:20 PM
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I thought I would look at a couple of images of CAS aircraft that are being evaluated as replacements for the A-10. At the top is the venerable Warthog itself.

For me one of the major features of the replacement CAS aircraft should be a kick-ass PSYOP factor. In other words what induces the highest pucker factor in the enemy.

Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II (Warthog)


Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano (A-29)


Scaled Composites ARES (Mudfighter)

I vote for the Mudfighter. It kind of reminds me of an alien craft. Unfortunately the image doesn't do it justice. I'd suggest viewing the video provided by C0bzz in a previous post to get a feel for what this little beast looks like coming over the hill.

-dex



posted on Mar, 11 2016 @ 04:49 PM
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If people are saying they will miss the sound of the gun of the A-10 then I think I've found a replacement. I hate to admit I've watched this a few times




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