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Joint Fighter F-35 to replace all of USAF F-16 and A-10

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posted on Jun, 23 2005 @ 02:29 PM
The AIM-54 uses a very old design based off the old Falcon airto air missile used on the F-106 and such.

posted on Jun, 23 2005 @ 03:50 PM
The F-35 will not have to carry anything longer ranged than AMRAAM...the AIM-54 was designed for intercepts against Soviet nuclear bombers, that mission is pretty much over.

This aircraft will probably replace a couple of models in front line units, but the older planes will stay in place in reserve/ANG units. The F/A-18 would be replaced I'd guess, but that will be phased over 10+ years. The A-10 probably will not be completely replaced, becasue the per unit cost is so small and the A-10 will have much greater survivability in intense air defense areas for close air support.

The F-16 will probably be about half replaced in front-line units, but will not be fully replaced until the next gen aircraft after F-22/F-35 starts getting into production. The F-16 has just been too successful an aircraft, and the per unit cost is low at about $30 million.

Just a guess. A lot of this depends on the F-35's performance. With two engines (one dedicated to verical lift and useless once the plane is airborne), there is little room in the airframe for fuel and avionics. If the range on the F-35 is as short as I expect, any stealth benefits are mitigated by the need to cary big, radar-reflective external droptanks. This is turn affects how much ordinance it can carry, necessitating more sorties to accomplish any given mission.

It will be interesting to see what shakes out of this tree...

posted on Jun, 23 2005 @ 04:19 PM
F-35 replaces everything....blah, blah, blah. Tell me something new, is the sky truly blue?

As long as we are stuck with a structured military institution that exists ONLY to reinforce it's own budgetary 'cut' (of which airpower and thus pilot-voting rights is far and away the largest share) the notion of manned 'fighter air' will continue down the perilous path of 70% flown, 20%maneuvered and 10% used.

While we pay upwards of 8 BILLION dollars a year for flight training on what is more or less an airliner mission set of launch, fly to X, acquire and slant affirm location Y, drop and come home.

Within this 'cruise missile with landing gear' (and separable warhead) operational environment and _particularly_ given the rapid approach of weapons class DEWs (100KW to 2MW Lasers), the likelihood is supremely high that all the penalties we pay in WEIGHT (1,000lbs=1 million dollars is the standard benchmark) to justify the pilot's existence will be for NOTHING.

Because soon, a simple aerostat with a flex-extracted mylar mirror will be able to relay a surface based (THEL like) laser, multiple times the 20-30km distance that ground DEWs can reach up through muggy air.

And when that happens (which I would add will be LESS THAN three years after the JSF is first IOC'd in about 2012), it will all be over. Because pilots won't be nearly so proud to slaughter and assassinate for their nation when no amount of 'standoff' will keep them from equal eyeblink death.

THIS, along with the promises of a 35 million dollar fighter (in 1999, which the CBO and GAO both said was a lie), the 'really we mean it!' followup guarantee of a 48 million dollar fighter (in 2001) and the REAL PRICE of the JSF (77-80 million each, 100 million with R&D factored in) is what makes the whole morbid question of 'who will replace what' an exercise in reading two-weeks-hen obituaries.

Last I checked (1997), ACC had 4,774 pilots in it's 'core force' of tactical shooters. Last I checked (2005 budge documents) it pays even the lowest ranking O-1 _44,000 bucks a year_. Last I checked, the typical F-16 runs us 3,600 to 5,000 dollars an /hour/ in flight costs. And it takes a minimum 30hrs a month to keep you in shape to do the basic "Look at the MFD and let the targeting pod and modem do all the work while pretending you know squat all about the air situation 'from past training'".

That is something like 8 billion and change for a capability that is _technically_ obsolescent for 'man in the middle' need right now. And will be TOTALLY VULNERABLE, for threat, in the next 10 years.

WHY do we then argue about which jet does what best?

When clearly the manned service 'three air forces for one nation' approach exists solely to "Just one more generation, honest!" rob us of the funds 'left over' to make UCAVs really work?

It's moronic. It's criminal. And it proves beyond any reasonable doubt that those who have signed up to protect the Constitution are no longer acting in our best interests.

Because a UCAV will run 20 million apiece. And it will need all of maybe 10 airframes and 200hrs a year in 'training' before the OFP tape makes everyone a Rudel or a Jimmy Stewart.

And for bombing barbarians, hell bent on kicking the snot out 10 man teams wandering down a dark alley, it's 1,200 dollar per flight hour operating costs and _10-15 hour loiter_, at close range, vastly beats what even the best 'mudfighter' can do. Because it may well take an A-10 40 minutes to come up from Kandahar or Bagram to a team in trouble on the Pak border. And the AF doesn't even /try/ to keep a plane (let alone 10) over Baghdad, 24:7.

CAS is about Continuous Overhead Presence. So that you respond inside 30-40 seconds with fires.

INT(erdiction/Strike) is about hitting buildings. Something any IDIOT can do with a JDAM.

AAW ('Air Dominance' which also includes DEAD) is about letting those missions go through. For the 10% of the time it's actually required to be fought.

Unfortunately for the egoes of all the little wannabe fighter jocks here, robots fight all three of those missions better than man ever will.

And it's only the Armed Forces pathetic unwillingness to be block-obsolesced 'downsized' as indeed much of the civillian sector has been that leaves us with inferior manned airpower alternatives.

All the while men die on the ground because the Interceptor PBA is ineffective at short ranges and half the wheeled vehicles in Iraq STILL have only level 3 (the worst) armor.

It's just plain disgusting what we waste on the least useful, 'most sexy' of NASCAR military sport warring.


posted on Jun, 23 2005 @ 06:26 PM
The Pheonix missile has already been retired. They discovered that many of them were developing cracks in control surfaces and would probably be useless, so they stopped the program. The ONLY platform that could carry it, is the F-14. See next entry.

The F-14 is due to be retired in the next few years, to be replaced by the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet, which is still being produced in large numbers for the USN to replace the C/D Hornets. The E/F Super Hornets are only Block 2 aircraft. They have a long career ahead of them.

The F-16 will still be around as a SEAD platform, because the USAF retired all the dedicated jamming platforms after the Desert Storm. They only started the F/A-16 program just before Desert Storm, so there is still a mission there for the Falcons.

The USAF is paying huge amounts of money to upgrade the A-10 to the A-10C platform. The first of which just rolled out and made the first flight maybe 2-3 months ago. While admittedly not everything the AF does makes sense, why would they spend so much to upgrade the A-10 if it was going to be replaced in a couple years?

posted on Jun, 23 2005 @ 06:47 PM
Maybe the USAF is trying to lower number of the A-10 the old ones and replace them with the New and F-35A/B Stealth capable fighter jets with ground attack capability. And also to give A-10 series a chance of survival to introduce the A-10C which is un upgrade for the A-10, and not to abondon the A-10 aircrafts as they are incridible in ground attack and are I suppose essential to the USAF they can deliver very deadly attack on ground enemies. but the Fact remains that the A-10 do need either an upgrade or an entirly new replacement fighter jet (F-35A/B).
but the A-10 has already being upgraded and the new A-10C is being launched.

Pic A-10C

posted on Jun, 23 2005 @ 07:31 PM
Give the A-10 a chance to survive? The A-10 has a better chance to survive than anything else in the air today, or in the near future. How many other planes have you seen come back with over 200 holes in them, and still be perfectly flyable? If you want to see how surviveable the A-10 is try looking up pictures from Desert Storm and take a look at the A-10 that flew out of Iraq, and landed in Saudi with the back half of the wing missing, and taking a chunck of debris through the engine, which may I add, kept running. Out of all the damaged A-10s during Desert Storm I think only 2 were later destroyed due to the damage, the others were repaired and returned to service.

The ONLY problem with the A-10 is that fighter pilots are in charge of the command they fall under, and they aren't sexy enough for them. There's not another plane out there that I've seen capable of doing a 360 degree turn in the width of two runways like the A-10 can.

Take a look at these pics and see how surviveable the A-10 is.

posted on Jun, 23 2005 @ 07:47 PM
To Zaphod58

you miss understoud me I didnt say that they cant survive in war condition in fact i gave them an compliment and i admire the A-10 they are very cool looking aircrafts, my point was are the A-10 going to survive in the big changes taking place in the USAF. Then this also means that the some of the A-10 series will be taken out so that the F-35 and A-10C will replace them in the near future, these are the old ones A-10 which need eitther replacement or upgrade.

posted on Jun, 23 2005 @ 08:02 PM
Actually the A-10C IS the old A-10A, just upgraded. They modified the cockpit, put multifunction displays in so it's a semi-glass cockpit, and upgraded the electronics.

Here's a link that explains the chnages to take it from an A to a C and why it skips the B designation.

You're right, I did misunderstand you. I think the A-10 will survive any changes to the AF, strictly because the Army loves them, and the primary mission is Close Air Support for the Army.

[edit on 23-6-2005 by Zaphod58]

posted on Jun, 23 2005 @ 11:23 PM
maybe they should transfer the unit to army control? but i am not sure about that idea.

posted on Jun, 24 2005 @ 02:19 AM
To Zaphod58

Thanks for the link it has got great Info on what is to become of the A-10

well the F-35 not only be used by the USAF but at the momment it has Potential Buyers Of which are Turkey,Japan,Britain,France,Denmark,Netherlands,etc.

But is US going to let them buy Stealth Tech to be used? these counteries have either invested on the F-35 or contributed in developing the F-35.

May I remind every one that the U.S has not yet decided to Share the tech of F-35 with Israel after the lot of tech being shared with Indians and other potentail threat to U.S security, giving the Israelis stealth tech would be out of the question.

posted on Jun, 24 2005 @ 03:24 AM
They were planning to transfer the A-10 to the Army, however the only combat aircraft the Army is allowed to have are helicopters. They are allowed transport aircraft such as the C-12, but not fixed wing combat aircraft. That's my understanding of why they can't have the A-10s anyway.

posted on Jun, 24 2005 @ 06:47 AM
I know the super hornet replaces the F14 i just wondered how the one who posted this thread got the idea the jsf will replace the F14.

Im sure that we will see increased ranges of missles. I have the feeling that long range will change into 150 km+ and not just 100km+ because as missles are much more advanced now they are much more accurate at long ranges. For me its logical to increase the range of the missles.

posted on Jun, 24 2005 @ 07:06 AM
I work for the Dutch army and what i have been hearing is of Euro tech is the new but evolving tech is the electro magnetic weapons or puls beams they will be defenitly be comming in services in some distant future time, they will finish the need of Air to Air missiles and raplace them with the puls beam which will destroy any electrical equipment on board the aircraft and destroy what makes aircrafts fly also when fired there likely to explode in mid the enemy aircrafts.

on the aircraft electromagnetic force fields will make enemy missiles fail because the guidence system is cooked inside.

[edit on 24-6-2005 by Interseptor]

posted on Jun, 24 2005 @ 06:14 PM
Actually the A-10C IS the old A-10A, just upgraded. They modified the cockpit, put multifunction displays in so it's a semi-glass cockpit, and upgraded the electronics.

Here's a link that explains the chnages to take it from an A to a C and why it skips the B designation.

The A-10 is merely lampreying off the Falcon Up and CUPID programs (part of the CCIP plan) and is NOT worth the effort. Indeed, I wouldn't be surprised if those pathetic 5X5 MFDs (too small to be looking at digital maps and high rez targeting imagery) were not in fact the old 'green screen' systems pulled from F-16s as the Vipers get the color models.

Even the SADL/DSMS system upgrade has a bigger (longer) display area.

It should also be said that, no matter how 'virtual' the A-10 gets, it sucks and blows at high altitudes. The flat-rate on the TF34's is cooking the cores up real fast and even the 19,800lbst that is theoretically available up through the mid 20's now only provides less than a .5:1 T/Wr on a jet which weighs 40,000lbs on takeoff.

Ironically, this is about where you want to be lasing with the new 'high altitude sparkless' targeting pods and is in fact as much as 10-15 THOUSAND feet below optimum JDAM flyout altitudes.

Indeed, even /with/ the added power of the TF-34-GE-101a engine, the A-10 doesn't fly well above about 17,000ft because the thick, heavily cambered, wing starts to burble and detach supersonic flows so the jet is walking a tightrope of stall line somewhere between about 230 knots for power and VNe @ 270 knots.

All of which adds up to taking /forever/ to get anywhere at 'birdstrike from behind' airspeeds, even once your past the 10-15 minutes it takes to get up to 'transit altitude'.

Keeping in mind that 'transit altitude' has dirt above the canopy in parts of Afghanistan.

Which is not at all surprising when you consider that the A-10 was originally invented to defeat the AH-56 and supplant the A-1 for _Vietnam_ based CAS operations wherein a 5,000ft transit was above all but 1-2% of the trashfire and no target was more than about 60 miles from a FARP/FOL complex.

Even once the metric went from SEA to NATO, the need to fly high for any distance (Bentwaters to the German FOLs) was minimalist because the radar SAMs which were thicker than ticks on an Alabama coon hound, could kill you /well/ short of the FLOT.

For the modern mission, the A-10 is worthless. Even in Afghanistan, during OEF, the fast jets were preferred because they didn't try to do the 'overhead' method with wagonwheel intimidation leading to excessive yank and bank counter threat maneuvering on the aircraft. Which spoils SA and makes accuracy suffer.

Because the 300 knots is still 300 knots and the pilots frequently had little talk-on cue.

Big Engine aircraft with high altitude capable wings are better for CAS -if- they come with the targeting avionics (laser spot tracking, 3rd generation FLIR wells, imaging radar, digital map database and a DATALINK) to get the job done using a CAS-stack methodology to get into and off the target so the next man can shoot.

None of the above equipment is presently integrated on the A-10. ALL of which, if integrated, will reduce it's 'bare field' ability to operate.

The only thing the A-10 brings to the fight is a bunch of pylons and even that is deceptive because most of them are not PGM rated (assuming the AAQ-28 is even onboard to designate).

And it still takes upwards of 40 minutes to get to and from the fight if you are (say) playing Anaconda games out of Bagram or Kandahar. That means your ability to put iron on target is LESS THAN a 'both pylons today I tell'ya!' F-16.

The best weapons system for the CAS/OBAS/MAS mission is one which provides 'COP' or CONTINUOUS OVERHEAD PRESENCE. Because not even a Harrier, based at a FOL '15 minutes out' can match 300-4000 F-16's which are always in rotation (CAS-stack, formerly Cab Rank) to service targets on a 2 minute basis. Because they can throttle back and sip gas while riding the merry go round of a CAS-stack marshal for 2-3 /hours/ if need be, F-16/18 platforms are better.

And the BEST system is the A-45CN UCAV. Because it combines a bizjet engine core with a massive kite-wing which takes that loiter function up to about 10-15hrs, while preserving a 400 knot cruise option.

Combine this with the new generation of GBU-38 and 39 IAMs and you can even multi-rack challenge the A-10 for total carriage.

You're right, I did misunderstand you. I think the A-10 will survive any changes to the AF, strictly because the Army loves them, and the primary mission is Close Air Support for the Army.

'The Army' has no frickin' clue how to do CAS. And everytime someone brings a jet back with '200+ holes in it' (note she was actually clearing the approach lanes to her BIA at the time, not really supporting active ground ops against a well equipped enemy) they prove it.

Jet's which are CAT-A Write Offs do nothing for 'the mission' they are supposed to be executing except make it clear that it needs to be done better. Because we cannot build more A-10's (and if we could it would be for numbers closer to 20-30 million, not 7). And trading one for a squad of infantry is thus moronic.

In this, the A-10 is only marginally superior to the AH-64 and AH-58D which were nominally (JAAT) intended to make /it/ safer.

What you want to do CAS is something that can fly in the 10-16K range with the two crew and MMR/FLIR of a Longbow Indian. While maintaining a solid 300knots.

It must have MAWS and DIRCM and a decent (Towed Decoy) RFCM system besides. It doesn't need to have a lot of pylons, because the munitions it carrries are all small/multiracked to the extent that they don't require individual parent pylon carriage.

It _sure as hell_ doesn't need the GAU-8 cannon. Because the LCPK mod to the 70mm FFAR beats that monstrous waste of volume in both lethality, accuracy and multishot capabilities using LAU-131 or 3A pods.

What you WANT then, is something which the Army and Marines both can use to replace their choppers (which are nothing but targets now) while maintaining the same or slightly better STOL field performance as the AV-8B.

Something like this-

350 knots on the clock (enough to escort a V-22) and a range of micro CAS weapons on FOUR pylons. Plus a big delta wing for gas and an SDLF to help lower approach speeds to about 80-90knots, at which point reverser clamshells in the massive 'cool cowl' keep the landing run to under 400ft.


P.S. The notion that AMRAAM is useful and that LRAAM 'are only for bombers' is brainless. AMRAAM comes off the rail at around 14-17nm, max. Impacts are then as short as 8nm. At which point, almost every SRM heat shot out there is a valid pyrhhic threat.

Similarly we fired something like /10/ AMRAAM, Sparrow and Phoenix at TWO MiG-23/25 aircraft challenging our OSW/ONW containment of Iraqi air defenses. The jets, still probably the top high speed performers in the world, simply turned and extended out from under the threat (though the MiG-23 suffered a fuel kill). And we could do _nothing_ to continue the pursuit because of potential SAM traps.

This is _exactly_ where the 'bomber killer' LRAAM becomes an absolute necessity for fighter operations. Because a missile can violate a line on a map and nobody cares. Because a missile can /reach in/ to match contemporary radar's ability to _look in_, such that wheel in well kills are realistically possible without being engaged by anything from SA-2 to SA-8 base defenses in the flyout.

AMRAAM sucks as a missile. It does so because it was designed to be carried on F-16 tiprails so that LANTIRN interdictors could beat back MiG-23's with AWG-10 levels of 'shoot down' while themselves pinned like butterflies to TFR profile.

Unfortunately, a 7" diameter, 347lb, weapon just doesn't have the motor impulse or warhead kick to be useful on a jet like an F-15 to which the carriage of 8", 500lb, Sparrows is 'no big deal'. Because they have thrust and the low drag carriage modes.

But they also have a massive frontal RCS plus a Rodan wing which effectively keeps them outside the 20nm SAM ring. And the 8nm radar merge.

Yet guess who still gets the A2A mission because they also can't drop bombs? That's right. The ol' Albino.

At which point the F-16+AMRAAM combination is just another B-17 gun turret to the P-51 sweep force.

A missile that sustains Mach 3.5 to about 150km is /very much/ necessary for both today's and tomorrow's air combat. Because optics (OSF and PIRATE) plus DEWS will further extend the detection threshold to the 30-40nm rangepoint. Behind which RFLO jets must 'hide' their EO signatures.

While avoiding approach to terminal laser/maser/HPM target defense.

Unfortunately, thanks to the lightweight fighter mafia, we are stuck with not only a useless long range interdictor. But weapons sized for it that must be replaced lest they become the 'new SRM' in turn.

posted on Jun, 26 2005 @ 12:57 AM
The US Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force can all have fix winged aircraft but he US Army cant. I can understand the Navy having them but the Marine Corps? They fight on the ground just like the Army does.

posted on Jun, 26 2005 @ 01:03 AM
The Marines need them because they are the US military first strike capability, so they are transported in on ships, then go in from there. They need the Harriers and F/A-18s for CAS missions, and the KC-130s to refuel them. If you look at most of the conflicts the US has been involved in the Marines were one of the first services on the ground. They are tasked to go in to "hold the line" and then the Army is flown in by the USAF with the heavy weapons and take over.

And for the record, the FIRST A-10 ever flown back with 200+ holes was from a COMBAT MISSION in Desert Storm. And the one more recently was on a Combat Patrol over Bagdhad, when she was hit by small arms/SAM fire from insurgents.

[edit on 26-6-2005 by Zaphod58]

posted on Jun, 26 2005 @ 08:19 AM
I kinda guessed it would happen, I mean its a joint strike fighter. And it's meant to hit ground targets so its easy to deduct that it would replace the Army's CAS (close air support) aircraft.

posted on Jun, 26 2005 @ 09:29 AM
I doubt it's going to replace the A-10 for awhile. The 'Hog is too good at the mission. It may be used in that mission, but I think the 'Hogs will be around awhile still. Their slow speed lets them loiter for a long time waiting for pop-up targets, and that canon works great on tanks, and better on soft targets. I have a feeling that the F-35 will be used in high priority situations when there isn't a 'Hog around, but for missions where they are there, they'll call on the 'Hogs every time.

posted on Jun, 26 2005 @ 09:31 AM
and top of that its a stealth aircraft given its price its quite cheap you know normally you may end up paying $150 million thats nasty if you wanna develop a stealth air force.

I dont really know whats going to happen with Israel because there are sources saying Isereal isnt getting any share of the Tech of F-35 and also that Israel sort of its ennemy is getting some F-35 in the near future Turkey. Really the Israel and US tensions are growing they are showing some kind of progress on tech transfers to Israel.

I dont believe Israel is likely to be trusted any more at all, given the fact it is giving tech to couteries like india, north korea and what this tells me that those counteries are potensial threats to US.

[edit on 26-6-2005 by Interseptor]

posted on Jun, 26 2005 @ 10:09 AM
Not India, there our friends, also we helped train their naval special forces. And right know our naval special forces, and there's are probably working together.

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