It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Is the A-10 really replaceable? Should it even leave service?

page: 1
2
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on May, 1 2007 @ 04:56 PM
link   
In my opinon, the A-10 is the perfect ground attack aircraft. It was designed from the ground up that way. I say this for a few reasons:

1. The titanium bathtub around the pilot that can withstand 23mm shells easily.

2. The straight wings allow for exceptional agility at low altitude.

3. The engines are protected by the tailplanes

4. It flies slow enough so that it can effectively kill anything in its path but fast enough not to be shot down by AK-47s

5. The irreplaceable and unmatched GAU-8 Avenger 7 barreled 30mm 6,000rds/min most powerful gun ever mounted on an aircraft gattling gun which provides incredible power.


My question is can the F-35 really replace this wonderful machine? The F-35 is flimsy, no titanium, no GAU-8, less load, less aglile, and at low altitude stealth doesnt really matter.

I personally think that the A-10 should stay in service until we start seeing 6th generation planes. Agree or dissagree?



posted on May, 1 2007 @ 06:52 PM
link   
you bring to the fore front a question that I've touch on many times here on my time on ATS. Personally I think at first look the F-35 in any form does very little in make me think it can handle the role of the A-10. Afterwatching a Documentry on the A-10 and its development I think the air force of any country will no make a plane like it again until they realize what the US did in the cold war and in WWII that you need to have air support that does exactly what the A-10 does and how it does it minus the miscommunication and tech that the plane suffers from. My answer take the lessons the pilots have learned in the plane and apply them to another close air support plane other then the F-35 and build this plane in numbers the same has what the A-10 was operating at 5-10 years ago. Will this happen? 5% chance no more



posted on May, 1 2007 @ 06:53 PM
link   
I always figured the f-35 taking the place of the f-18's and harriers. Cant see it filling the role of the a-10. While i think it'll be good as close air support, it cant take the a-10's place. The a-10 is like the b-52,simple,rugged,and reliable.



posted on May, 1 2007 @ 06:59 PM
link   
The A-10, one of my favorite aircraft. I would be sorry to see it go but I suppose it would help eliminate depleted uranium pollution. I hear that it's a big problem.



posted on May, 1 2007 @ 07:48 PM
link   
I guess they tried to up gun it a little. It has a 25mm gun but its still nothing like the gun on the A-10.



posted on May, 1 2007 @ 08:26 PM
link   
Hi all,
The A-10 is going through a upgrade to become the A-10C.
The newly designated C-model A-10 Thunderbolt II, modified with precision engagement technology, was flown for the first time at Eglin AFB, FL. in January 2005. The A-10 Program Office at at Hill AFB has managed the precision engagement program since 2001. The office’s precision engagement program management team, made up of about 25 people, acts as a liaison between Air Combat Command and the project’s prime contractor, Lockheed Martin Systems Integration.

Calling the A-10C the “best friend to the boots on the ground,” Lt. Col. Mark Donahue, director of the A-10 Program Office, spoke during the rollout ceremony. “The Air Force always strives to enhance its combat capabilities,” said Lt. Col. Mark Donahue, director of the A-10 Program Office. “The A-10 Precision Engagement modification is the critical first step. Battlefield data-links and upgraded engines, plus expanded cockpit and weapon upgrades are next. These upgrades keep the A-10 viable on the 21st century battlefield until it retires in 2028.

Precision-engagement technology allows the Air Force’s premier close-air support aircraft to also use smart weapons such as Joint Direct Attack Munitions and wind-corrected munitions dispensers, incapable in the previous model. The Air Force has taken the world’s greatest close-air support platform and made it even better by adding a wide array of laser and Global Positioning System-aided munitions, the latest in targeting pods and the infrastructure to support data link. The increased capability also allows for the A-10C to accept more high-value target missions.

Link

And the HOG UP program,
The A-10 Hog Up program will inspect, repair, replace and overhaul many structural and mechanical systems; it is the first step to enable the aircraft to remain viable until the year 2028. The Hog Up configuration is the required baseline for the Aircraft Structural Integrity Program, which will allow the A-10 to reach a service life of 16,000 hours. The eight year Hog Up Program/Project will replace the outer wing panel on all existing A-10 aircraft (a total of 368 each) and the center wing panel on 65% of the existing A-10 aircraft (a total of 240 each). Initially, A-10 aircraft that are located at AMARC will have their center and outer wing panels removed to serve as an initial rotable pool.

Hog Up refurbishment is the first of a three-phase program and took until fiscal year 2002, at which time the team was ready to commence HOG-UP production in phase three. Refurbishment is a program to bring wings out of the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, bring the wings to Hill and have us bring them to current year configurations. The bulk of the work for the HOG-UP modification, in phase three, is adding a series of stainless steel straps into the center portion of the plane's wing, the internal structure of the wing. The way it works is an airplane would fly into LAO. They would take the wing off the A-10, get the refurbished wing from supply and hang the wing on the aircraft -- new and improved.

Concurrent with the Hog Up refurbishment phase, the team also built two HOG-UP prototype wings for testing by Northrop Grumman, the plane's manufacturer. The prototype wings are the second phase of the HOG-UP program. The test profile was scheduled for three years during which 10 years of wear and tear will be simulated. The majority of work in the HOG-UP program should be completed by fiscal year 2009. And because the work takes place during scheduled depot inputs, the impact to the A-10 fleet will be as minimal as possible.

link

The only thing left would be the engines,
Even new engines are in the works that would provide a dramatic performance and maintenance improvement. General Electric is marketing the 4,400kg thrust GE TF34-101 turbofan as a replacement engine for the existing 4,218kg thrust GE TF34-100 turbofans. The engines, for example, will be an engineering challenge. Any difference in weight between a new engine and the current engine will mean a change in the center of gravity and require a shift and/or addition of ballast. Likewise, because of the location of the engines, any additional thrust will add to the already significant nose-down moment. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to the operators to find that the new engines will likely be detuned to approximate the current thrust, but will last almost forever because they will never be operated at the high end of the operating temperature range.

A-10 main page



posted on May, 1 2007 @ 08:48 PM
link   

Originally posted by BlackWidow23
5. The irreplaceable and unmatched GAU-8 Avenger 7 barreled 30mm 6,000rds/min most powerful gun ever mounted on an aircraft gattling gun which provides incredible power.


3900 rounds per minute.

I agree the A-10 is not replaceable unless by an aircraft following the same design philosophy.

F-35 is a strike fighter, replacing the F-18 and others.
A-10 is a close air support (CAS) attack aircraft.

Nothing to worry about.



posted on May, 2 2007 @ 03:17 AM
link   
slightly oftopic:
I assume that you mean Gau-8 is the heaviest gun USA has placed in an aircraft, since germans used the BK 75mm AT-gun on Henschel Hs 129



Back to topic, i feel that the current situation is in favor of the A-10, since USA really needs a low level CAS. But well have to wait and see if politicians realise this too.



posted on May, 2 2007 @ 08:16 AM
link   
Not the heaviest, but the most powerful by far. Some might say that the 105mm howitzer on the AC-130 is the most powerful, but think...which one really spits out more power? 105mm at probably 8 rds/min vs 30mm at 50+ rds/second.

The A-10 cannot be replaced by the F-35. There needs to be a replacement project for a new CAS aircraft. The F-35 is simply too fast, not agile enough, not powerful enough and not armored enough.

We need a new aircraft designed specifically for CAS.



posted on May, 3 2007 @ 08:06 AM
link   
The A10 is basically a continuation on the A1 skydiver. The US AF realizes clearly that the A10 is a great aircraft for its role. Im quite sure that soon enough before it gets replaced in 2029 there will be a replacement aircraft doing something similair.

It will have the then top available armour for planes and such. Im quite sure it wont have a lazer as lazers dont fire shells which can explode which is imho essential for anti infantry.



posted on May, 3 2007 @ 02:12 PM
link   
I think that personally, the F-35 can not replace the A-10. Completely different design and the A-10 was specifically designed to carry out its mission. No way the F-35 can be as rugged, its not ugly enough to be. I think they need to go back to the drawing board, and design another aircraft specifically for the CAS role as they did with the Warthog. I wonder what kind of airframe would come out of the endeavour. It appears that the F-35 wont take over the CAS role until all the F-16's are out.

CAS

[edit on 5/3/2007 by ludaChris]



posted on May, 3 2007 @ 02:52 PM
link   
The only thing left would be the engines,
Even new engines are in the works that would provide a dramatic performance and maintenance improvement.



posted on May, 3 2007 @ 03:22 PM
link   
I worked with the USAF in the UK on maintaining A-10s and the A-10 is one of the most awesome aircraft. Up there with the SR-71.

The pilots raved about the aircraft, and it was always a sight to see a ground test on the main gun.

And the A-10 proved itself in the first Gulf War.

Far from replaceable



posted on May, 3 2007 @ 03:30 PM
link   
The F-35 is not replacing the A-10, forget what you read in websites that are being fed LM fantasies and political BS by people with factories on their area of influence. The A-10 will remain in service, as others have said, until ~2028 at which point a UCAV, or a 'system of systems' will replace it. By that time technology will have progressed to the point where the "swarm UCAV" concept and smart miniature munitions will be the defining feature of CAS. We will not see another dedicated manned CAS aircraft, too costly, vulnerable, inflexible, incapable and pointless...



posted on May, 3 2007 @ 05:03 PM
link   


posted by BlackWidow23

The Fairchild A-10 is the perfect ground attack aircraft. It was designed from the ground up that way. I say this for a few reasons:

Titanium surrounds the pilot . . the straight wing allows exceptional agility . . engines protected by the tailplanes . . flies slow to kill anything in its path but fast enough not to be shot down by AK-47s . . the GAU-8 Avenger 7 barreled Gatling gun fires 30mm rounds at 6,000 per min rate - most powerful gun ever mounted on an aircraft. [What about the 75 mm cannon on WW2 B25s?]

My question: can the F-35 replace this machine? The F-35 is flimsy, no titanium, no GAU-8, less pay load, less agile, and at low altitude stealth doesn’t really matter. I personally think that the A-10 should stay in service until we start seeing 6th generation planes. Agree or disagree? [Edited by Don W]



Agree! The F35 for all its schmazz is no ground support plane in any way, shape or form. Problem is, Fairchild is out of business. The A10 is an orphan. Unlike the B52 which may be immortal, the A10 will die when the last one wears out. Say goodby to an era.



posted by Jezza

Hi all, the A-10 is going through an upgrade to become the A-10C. The A-10C is the “best friend to the boots on the ground,” said LCol. Donahue, director of the A-10 Program Office . . The A-10C PE mods are battlefield data-links, upgraded engines, plus expanded cockpit and weapon upgrades next. [It is hoped] these upgrades [will] keep the A-10C viable until it retires in 2028.



Well, 2028 is a long way off. (21 years.) Actually, the A10C ought to be transferred to the US Army (as the USMC has its own close support air force) to better coordinate the air and ground war. Until we see that, it’s all smoke and mirrors to keep the Military Industrial Complex well oiled with US tax dollars.



The A-10 Hog Up program will inspect, repair, replace and overhaul many structural and mechanical systems; The eight year Program will [refurbish] all existing A-10 aircraft (a total of 368) . . Hog Up is a three-phase program modifying by adding stainless steel straps in the center portion of the plane's wing . . The majority of work in the program should be complete by FY 2009. Because the work takes place during scheduled depot inputs, the impact to the A-10 fleet will be as minimal . . new engines in the works would provide dramatic performance improvement. GE is marketing the 10,000 pound thrust GE TF34-101 turbofan as replacements for the existing dash 100 9,000 pound thrust turbofans.



The plane has a distinguished combat record. Unfortunately, in the USAF hierarchy of new pilots, flying the A10C is not a reward, but more a punishment for finishing second or third. Nobody joins the USAF to fly A10s. That is why the planes and mission ought to be moved to the US Army.

[edit on 5/3/2007 by donwhite]



posted on May, 9 2007 @ 02:24 AM
link   
There ain't a Falcon or Eagle Driver or soon to be Raptor driver that would want to fly in a low level dogfight with an A-10. The only air-to-air gun kills made in the last 30 years by a US combat aircraft were made by A-10's during Operation Desert Storm. It's has proven very difficult airplane to bring down in the air to air mode because it can quickly disappear into ground clutter in both radar and infrared detection modes. It can pull figure-8's inside of a football field. I know of several Air Force pilots who've flown both F-16 and A-10's. Most preferred flying the A-10 into combat over the F16 because once the F-16 is loaded full up with bombs it loses much of it's vaunted agility and becomes basically a straight flying fighter-bomber where as the A-10 can pull 7G+ plus turns with a full bomb and missile loads. The Avenger Gun system and LASTE target system can put 50 -100 rounds of 30mm combat mix into a tank sized target at over a mile. The A-10 pilots routinely win strafing contests with ease against all other fixed wing fighter bombers. IMHO Fixed wing CAS aircraft should always remain with the USAF. The Army has always placed funding for CAS weapons systems at a lower priorty than other weapons platforms. They cancelled the much needed Comanche Scout Helicopter program to fund other ground weapons platforms. I foresee that the Army may completely turn over the CAS role to the Air Force as a cost saving measure.



posted on May, 9 2007 @ 10:23 AM
link   
DW: “ . . in the USAF hierarchy of new pilots, flying the A10C is not a reward, but more a punishment for finishing second or third. Nobody joins the USAF to fly A10s. That is why the planes and mission ought to be moved to the US Army.”



posted by crgintx

IMHO Fixed wing CAS aircraft should always remain with the USAF. The Army has always placed funding for CAS weapons systems at a lower priority than other weapons platforms. [Edited by Don W]



This is a self-fulfilling prophecy. OTOH, at some level, probably the JCS level, missions are allotted to services. The USMC has had its own CAS since WW2. I don’t know and can’t say if it was always exclusive, but I feel sure it was when the equipment was available. New USMC pilots take some part of the MC Basic Training program to better familiarize them with the on-the-ground reality. There is no reason this close understanding could not work for the Army.



They cancelled the much needed Comanche Scout Helicopter program to fund other ground weapons platforms. I foresee that the Army may completely turn over the CAS role to the Air Force as a cost saving measure.



I predict when the WH changes hands in ‘09 the Osprey program will follow the Comanche Scout into the history books. But neither of those counter intuitive programs is directly related to the issue who can best deliver on the CAS? Air Force culture is not Army culture. CAS needs to have as close a relationship as is humanly possible. I say again, CAS is not a AF type mission. Pilots and ground pounders need to wear the same uniform. Sleep close to each other, and share the unpleasantries of war. Like sleeping in the mud. Eating wet food and crapping on the ground.

[edit on 5/9/2007 by donwhite]



posted on May, 9 2007 @ 05:18 PM
link   
I'll not disagree with you about the Marines CAS support program but the Army has always given it's aviation branch the short end of the funding stick. I don't see it changing any time soon. Things have gotten much better with CAS since even GW-1 with FAC coordination capability.

Despite the USAF's publicity campaign, the reality is that even the Raptor's e-systems are at a minumum 3-5 years behind the civilian world in computing capability. Such are the short coming of our acquisition system.
The IC chips used in smart weapons during GW-1 were from the early '70s and not all that fast. The A-10 is currently the most reliable and versatile platform for CAS the US military has available for the foreseeable future. When it comes to real world of down-in-the-dirt combat, the combo of low tech aircraft like the A-10 and newer tech precision guided weapons will probably prove far more effective than much newer platforms like the F-35 and its stealth. The USAF knows this and so does the rest of the military.

Until the Army actually ponies ups the funding for a viable and reliable UCAV CAS capability that can be controlled by the frontline combat troops, the USAF CAS role won't go away. However,giving the frontline combat troops control of such a weapons platform is contrary to current command and control policies of the DOD. The REMF's like the situation just like it is right now. Given the destructive capabilities of current CAS platforms, they are deathly afraid of the political fallout of what frontline troops would do such as system in the heat of battle if they were in control of CAS.



posted on May, 9 2007 @ 05:51 PM
link   


posted by crgintx

“ . . the reality is the Raptor's e-systems are at a minimum 3-5 years behind the civilian world in computing capability. Such are the short coming of our acquisition system. [Edited by Don W]



Not at all, Mr C. Military electronic equipment must resist abusive treatment no civilian equipment is ever expected to endure and still work. Dust, dirt, moisture, fungus and mold must be excluded in mil standard equipment. Despite the best efforts to generate a constant voltage and current supply it is just not always possible to achieve, so mil standard equipment must operate with power sources varying several percentage points.

While speed is necessary and maybe the more the better, reliability is far more important to the guy laying in the dirt (or up in the sky) whose life depends on his equipment functioning each time he needs it. To make this possible takes time and research and effort not needed in civilian life. Mil stuff has to be stored for years, then shipped 1000s of miles, opened and installed by people in a hurry.



The A-10 is currently the most reliable and versatile platform for CAS the US military has available for the foreseeable future . . the combo of low tech aircraft like the A-10 and newer tech precision guided weapons will probably prove far more effective than newer platforms like the F-35. The USAF knows this and so does the rest of the military.


I suspect Army spending priorities in the past (and currently, too) are set by the Sec of Def. Even if the Army C of S wanted a CAS vehicle, he’d have to get approval of the JCS and Sec Def before the Army could move. Why waste time arguing when the culture puts the AF into that job and you know they will resist giving up any job. Turf protection ranks ahead of equipment procurement or rationalizing missions. Although taxpayers think the military budget is unlimited, the fact is the budget is very much limited and closely monitored. Excepting VP Cheney’s Halliburton, of course,

[edit on 5/9/2007 by donwhite]



posted on May, 9 2007 @ 09:01 PM
link   

Originally posted by donwhite





Turf protection ranks ahead of equipment procurement or rationalizing missions. Although taxpayers think the military budget is unlimited, the fact is the budget is very much limited and closely monitored. Excepting VP Cheney’s Halliburton, of course,

[edit on 5/9/2007 by donwhite]



Tell me about it. Before I retired in Dec of '03, I was a procurement NCO and equipment custodian for the Munitions Flight(AF equivalent on the platoon) at Luke AFB,AZ. The Luke AFB Munitions Flight was also the largest, single-source recycler of aluminum, brass and plastic in the state of AZ. I remember a figure of something like $3 billion in jet fuel being spent at Luke in a single year and every drop being precious. The Wing usually ran out of money for consumables in July and fuel by mid Sept. We spent the last 2 weeks of the fiscal year in safety training mode until the start of the new fiscal year on 1 Oct.

IMHO Our current military philosophy is totally askew. Instead of spending money properly equipping and training our forces to properly defend our nation, we're spending our precious tax dollars on regime changes and nation building. Functions that the military is very ill-suited to perform. Ever hear of USMC Major General Smedley D. Butler? You should read his writings about his experiences as Marine Corps officer in the early 20th Century. Arguably the most frank assessment of what our so-called civilian military leadership has done with our military that rings even truer today.



new topics




 
2
<<   2 >>

log in

join