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A-10s Upgraded to Stay 'viable' for 'a Couple more Decades.'

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posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 10:26 AM
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‘Warthog’ squad revamped with digital upgrades

Stripes.com
(some really nice pictures at the link)


The “Warthog” — or Thunderbolt II as it is officially called — sat in a Belgian factory in the process of being upgraded to the A-10C model.

There are new computer systems, including a multifunctional display with a color map, and the planes can now carry satellite-guided bombs and other smart weapons.


..in a BELGIAN factory....because they apparently need the work more than Amricans.


The new communication systems and satellite-guided weaponry will allow A-10 pilots to be more precise when targeting the enemy, according to Lt. Col. Ron Stuewe, commander of the 81st Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.

This has taken on new urgency since Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, issued a directive to avoid civilian casualties at all costs.


Definitely a good thing to only hit what you're aiming at.


According to Warthog News, a Web site that compiles “Airpower Summaries” released on the Air Force’s Web site, the A-10 Thunderbolt IIs were used at least 26 days in Afghanistan during the month of July.

“The A-10s have always proved their merit, and nothing can fill that void,” Stuewe said. “If we’re going to stay around for another few decades, the planes needed to be upgraded to stay viable.”


Another FEW DECADES? As in THIRTY YEARS? Am I misinterpreting this statement?



All 24 A-10s in the 81st Fighter Squadron have been approved for the upgrade, which will cost an estimated $286 million and is part of an Air Force-wide program.

The last of the squadron’s seven planes are now at the factory, and all will be ready to fly before this spring, which is the earliest the squadron could deploy.


Well...sounds like they are just about done and will be ready to roll come springtime. To the tune of a third of a TRILLION dollars. Yay America! We can sure blow stuff up nice. Warms the cockles of my heart.

Edit to change the title. Sounds like it was probably misleading.

[edit on 2-9-2009 by KSPigpen]




posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 10:40 AM
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According to Warthog News, a Web site that compiles “Airpower Summaries” released on the Air Force’s Web site, the A-10 Thunderbolt IIs were used at least 26 days in Afghanistan during the month of July.

“The A-10s have always proved their merit, and nothing can fill that void,” Stuewe said. “If we’re going to stay around for another few decades, the planes needed to be upgraded to stay viable.”



Another FEW DECADES? As in THIRTY YEARS? Am I misinterpreting this statement?


Yes, you are. He was talking about the A-10 fleet in general, not the A-10 fleet in Afghanistan.



posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 11:38 AM
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reply to post by rogerstigers
 


Well...that makes me feel a little better, I suppose, not that my feelings matter in any of this...I suppose I just read things like this and thought this was just another confirmation of an almost never ending quagmire.

Gates: It's A "Mystery" How Long US Forces Will Be In Afghanistan

"None of the civilian officials or military officers interviewed in Afghanistan and elsewhere expected substantial progress in the short term. They talked in terms of years two, five and 10," the report noted.

The varying timelines, in part, may reflect politics.

Capitol Hill has grown wary of approving annual war chests after years of ever-increasing costs for Iraq. Obama has asked Congress for $68 billion next year to fund defense spending in Afghanistan. The U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, recently asked for another $2.5 billion in nonmilitary spending, The Washington Post reported this week.

Military officials believe the Afghanistan mission can only succeed if troops are there far longer – anywhere from five years to 12 years.


Despite election, U.S. troops in Afghanistan for long haul


Earlier this month, Gates said it would take "a few years" to defeat the Taliban and al Qaeda, the terror network behind the 9/11 attacks that was given haven under Taliban rule. Gates further said it was a "mystery" how long U.S. troops would remain in Afghanistan.
Officials have told U.S. Senate investigators that any progress in Afghanistan will be "incremental" and could take between two and 10 years.


It seems to me that nobody really knows how long we'll be there. It's apparently a 'MYSTERY.'




posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 12:24 PM
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Prior to the first gulf war the USAF was going to get rid of all the A-10 Warthogs.

I find it more than a little strange that 20 years later they are spending almost a 1/3 a trillion dollars to upgrade them.

But then again they are excellent people killing machines and we always need more of them.



posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 12:28 PM
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Thank God.

I was fearing that they were going to retire the A-10's and pull another A-16 stunt with the F-35's.

Nothing works like an A-10!

When it's gotta be delivered day, night, down low and on-time, the A-10 can get down in the dirt with the boys.

Excellent.

A very good investment.

[edit on 2-9-2009 by dooper]



posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 12:32 PM
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who in their right mind would want to get rid of a weapon like this ?


[edit on 2-9-2009 by VitalOverdose]



posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 12:43 PM
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reply to post by KSPigpen
 


This is not unheard of. When you have something that works you keep it.

Case in point.

B-52H


Future of the B-52

Even while the Air Force works on new bombers scheduled for 2018 and 2037 it intends to keep the B-52H in service until at least 2040, nearly 80 years after production ended. This is an unprecedented length of service for a military aircraft.[4][73] B-52s are periodically refurbished at the USAF maintenance depots such as Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma.



posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 01:04 PM
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The A-10 has always been my favorite. I'm still not sure how I feel about spent uranium, but hell, you can't hug them to death, I suppose.


My main concern was that I interpreted the article to be claiming a 'few decades' of continued presence in Afghanistan, as the paragraph right above that statement was about how the a-10 had been used 26 of the days in July.

If it protects our troops, and I know it does, if it rains down hell on our enemies and I know it does, I'm a big fan of the system. I'm not a fan, at ALL of our continued presence in Afghanistan, but I'm sure I just don't understand it all.



posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 01:06 PM
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Well - I'd rather see American works get the jobs of upgrading them as well. But, the article did say the squad commander (and from that I'm assuming the planes) are based out of Germany. Maybe that is why they did the upgrade there instead of shipping the planes back to the states?

As for sticking with what works - an excellent point. The first version of the .50 machine gun went into service in 1921. The Colt .45 was standard issue from 1911 to 1985.



posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 01:14 PM
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Originally posted by Frogs
As for sticking with what works - an excellent point. The first version of the .50 machine gun went into service in 1921. The Colt .45 was standard issue from 1911 to 1985.



The only reason we stopped issuing the .45 was becuase of being apart of NATO. Those pesky little 9mm. Had we stuck with the .45 we would be using the newer more powerful .45 Super cartridges. The 45 Super cartridge is dimensionally identical with the older .45 round, but offers 300 foot per second improvement in muzzle velocity.


That's not just stopping power.
That's knocking them on their Arse power.



posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 02:04 PM
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The A-10 is all about the ground troops. I would go so far as to say it's the most remarkable, most effective, most versatile aircraft we've had since WWII.

This is the closest thing to a flying tank I can imagine.

I love depleted uranium, and I know many other soldiers who love depleted uranium as well. And napalm. And willie pete.

Did I mention napalm?

We really had no choice. Either design a new airframe, or update a most effective, proven platform.

The day they do away with the A-10, they will have to have a specially designed A-10 successor that will have the identical or possibly better capabilities.

I see this plane as one hard to top.



posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 02:33 PM
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There is nothing really comparable to replace it with, and it's proven extremely effective in combat.

The USAF has been trying to get rid of it for years (it's not making anybody's golf buddies rich like the gold-plated birds the Pentagon brass prefer), but the DoD has wisely kept it around and is upgrading it.

Don't mess with success



posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 05:03 PM
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Did I read that right? 10 million dollars PER plane to upgrade? At any rate they are damn fine ground support craft just like the P47's back in WW. We had the A10 flying low over our house everyday when we lived in SC, they were just awesome. Yeah why cant they upgrade them back in the states?




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