flyf15
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How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Mon Dec 22, 2003 6:07 pm

Had a friend ask me how an A-10 would fare in a close-in dogfight, and I wasn't quite sure what the answer was. The opponent doesn't really matter...

Also, is it possible for the gun to be used air-to-air?
 
keesje
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RE: How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Mon Dec 22, 2003 7:10 pm

Agile but heavy, low power/weight ratio, & low speed ...

Some A10 surprised their oponents by "spreading" them frontal with the Gatling. But that works only once ...

"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
L-188
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RE: How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Mon Dec 22, 2003 8:44 pm

Seen them maneuver at Graf

They are only going to be packing sidewinders, due to the lack of radar.

For an A-10 to survive it will have to stay low and force the other aircraft to fight out of it's element.
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Spacepope
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RE: How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Mon Dec 22, 2003 9:37 pm

There was an A-10 kill on a Helicopter using the GAU-8 back in Desert Storm. A-10 advantages are: Low speed/high maouverability (makes it difficult to get a lock on), heavy armor and high damage tolerance. It was designed to take 23mm cannon fire, your average 20mmHE round won't do much to it, and even if you do get one or two shots in, it'll still be tough to bring down.

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LY744
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RE: How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Tue Dec 23, 2003 2:22 am

What kind of sustained turn rates could we expect from an A-10 at low altitude (with a relatively clean aerodynamic configuration and not too much fuel)?

LY744.
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jwenting
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RE: What Figher Planes Would Have Been Available?

Tue Dec 23, 2003 3:25 am

sustained? not too much. It would be able to hunt from ambush, which might work against helicopters.

A-10 can turn pretty tight, but can't maintain that because of the low P/W ratio.

b.t.w. there was also a kill (maybe more than one) in Iraq using laser guided bombs against helicopters.
Only works when the helicopter is hovering and unaware of your presence of course.
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AGM100
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RE: How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Tue Dec 23, 2003 3:41 am

Here in Tucson we get to see a lot of A-10 action over DM. Since it is a training base their seems to be a standard maneuver routine that gets performed often. It includes what appears to be attacking ground targets at low level with many hard turns and low level rolls to evade ground fire.

I am always amazed at how tight the aircraft can turn, and can not imagine and F-16 trying to get a gun shot on one. Obviously with look down missiles makes the fighter jet dangerous for the A10. But I can see how the A10 would be good at "getting away" at least. I am not a fighter pilot ,but I don't think they like operating @ 200-500 feet above the ground.
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jcxp15
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RE: How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Tue Dec 23, 2003 4:08 am

It's a slow tank... It can withstand a lot of fire, but can't move too fast... I'd rather be in an F-15 or 16 anyday over the A10.
 
LY744
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RE: How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Tue Dec 23, 2003 7:26 am

Forgot to mention some figures for comparison:

A late model A-4 can pull 16-18 deg/s (variation is due to speed) sustained, which is comparable to the MiG-17 and F-15. F-16, MiG-29 could do about 24-26 deg/s, Su-27 is up to 22-24 deg/s, but it has to be pretty tight on fuel, the Gripen is up there too. All assuming low altitude, no significant external aerodynamic interference (tanks, bombs, A-G missiles), and reasonably low fuel, of course.

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Spacepope
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RE: How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Tue Dec 23, 2003 11:38 am

You know, once the canopy is shot off, the 'Hog driver can just revert to WWI style combat and start waving his pistol around. Wonder if it would be possible to get a shot off with a Maverick. Going slow and turning tight, an attacker would be hard pressed not to overshoot and present the A-10 with a tasty IR signature. Meanwhile, the Warthog was designed so that the tail surfaces and high bypass engines obscured much of its own IR signature.
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USAFHummer
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RE: How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Tue Dec 23, 2003 12:33 pm

If I recall correctly, during Desert Storm an A-10 had one engine shot off and a lot of its tailplane on that side, and it still flew back to its base and landed safely....one tough puppy...

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JeffM
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RE: How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Tue Dec 23, 2003 12:54 pm

Back in the 80's, the Navy did a feasabilty study pitting the P-3 against an F-14. The P-3 did well by keeping the Tomcat low and slow and kept out turning it until the Turkey had to leave for gas. It could not get the angles..

Winner? Well, it lived another day...

Most likely the A-10 could do as well, if not better. It surely can turn tighter then the P-3.
 
airhead711
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RE: How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Tue Dec 23, 2003 1:07 pm

What about zoom and boom?Any fighter would be able to climb fast and dive back down on an A-10.I know that the bottom of an A-10 is heavily armored,but what about the top?

Scott
 
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JeffM
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RE: How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Tue Dec 23, 2003 1:48 pm

What is the booming fighter going to shoot? Guns? Heat? And he had better pick his exit route carefully if he misses.... or he will leave his ass un-covered..
 
IMissPiedmont
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RE: How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Tue Dec 23, 2003 2:09 pm

The A-10 is indeed one tough assed bird but in a "dogfight" it's worthless. That might just be why they are provided top cover when air opposition can be expected.
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flyf15
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RE: How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 5:59 pm

Say it is in this situation...

A-10 is down low doing its dirty work and an enemy fighter comes into the area (say, a MiG-29). Say an E-3 notifies the A-10 of the MiG-29. The MiG-29 is going to be targeting an aircraft which is well below it and most likely already doing evasive maneuvers, or at least flying quite erratically. The A-10 has a few AIM-9s onboard aswell as whatever other typical weapons. I'd assume that most likely the ensuing dogfight is going to be happening in the A-10's environment, not the MiG-29's. Does the A-10 have a chance?
 
LY744
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RE: How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Tue Jan 06, 2004 9:08 am

Generally speaking, all fighters are at their best (in terms of maneuverability) at low altitude, not just the A-10. The MiG-29 is particularly potent in that environment in terms of max sustained/instantaneous turn rates (as all LERX equipped fighters seem to be) which are almost certainly significantly better than those of the Warthog. Unless there is a huge difference in minimum speeds between the two aircraft, the classic dogfight advantage would be with the Fulcrum, without even taking into account its HMS-cued Archer AAM allowing for great off-boresight angle shots (and greater range than the AIM-9 AFAIK).

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Spacepope
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RE: How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Tue Jan 06, 2004 9:54 am

Even C-130 crews are trained in fighter avoidance techniques, and are fairly sucessful at it. All the A-10 has to do is keep the fighter turning at low level till the fighter runs out of gas, which in the case of the MiG 29, isn't that long. HMS or not, the A-10 has countermeasures, good ground clutter to hide in, IR supressed exhausts via bypass air and airframe structure, long loiter time, good manouverability, and high damage tolarence.

This is not even considering that the attacking fighter would have been identified by an E-3 and picked off by fighters flying CAP long before it could even detect the A-10 in the weeds. Plus the E-3 can vector the A-10 in tricky ways.. flying a 90 degree course to an aircraft using pulse-doppler radar makes you really hard to see....

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LY744
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RE: How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Wed Jan 07, 2004 7:02 am

"This is not even considering that the attacking fighter would have been identified by an E-3 and picked off by fighters flying CAP long before it could even detect the A-10 in the weeds."

Of course not, because if we did, than we might as well argue that the MiG-29 would never be anywhere near U.S./NATO aircraft because most would be destroyed on the ground by stealth bombers, cruise missiles and other offensive means. Those that won't would surely be destroyed in BVR conditions by AIM-120-equipped air superiority fighters.  Wink/being sarcastic

You mention the A-10's good manouverability, but I don't see that as being the case. The Warthog can sustain a turn at a max rate of about 12deg/sec, while the MiG-29 can do about 24, even if the A-10 is able to maintain a far smaller speed the MiG-29 will still have the tighter turning radius. As for speed, there is certainly a difference in minimum speed, in favour of the A-10, but this is where I believe the HMS/AA-11 really comes in handy. After all, the greatest rate of closure between a fast moving MiG-29 pursuing a slow moving A-10 would be when the Fulcrum is flying in the same direction as the Warthog, which doesn't have to be the case for a succesful Archer attack. I have no doubt that even a highly skilled MiG-29 pilot (which most current operators of the type lack in sufficient proportions) would take a long time and several attempts to get a good shot at an A-10 nevertheless, which is where the Fulcrum's awfully short legs come through as a distinct disadvantage. The -29's dark black engine exhaust is not very helpful in a close-in fight either.

Seeing as the A-10 has neither a maneuverability nor an energy advantage over the MiG-29 the Fulcrum pilot would have a significant moral advantage. After all, he can always make a safe retreat.
All of this is of course based on a very theoretical 1v1 dogfight scenario, seeing as a more realistic approach would be far too unfair and, well, boring.

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maiznblu_757
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RE: How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Sun Jan 11, 2004 6:30 pm

An S3 got its first ever air to air kill over the mid East somewhere within the last year... If it can do it, I am sure an A10 could do it... Probably have to be with the Maverick. Might get lucky.
 
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RE: How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Tue Jan 13, 2004 3:43 am

During OIF we had an A-10 lose an engine and make it back to Kuwait. There are some good pics of it on the internet now that it is declassified. Even the A-10 that went down over Baghdad was controllable for ejection.

I've worked A-10s at Red Flag, and in some DACT situations, and they do get toasted most of the time, but they do have tactics to deal with BVR aircraft in a fight. It is a very tough airframe and since it doesn't have a BVR cape, it likes to get in close. in a 2v2 of Strike Eagles versus A-10s, I actually had the A-10s get one kill on the 15E #2 in close.

Also without Radar the A-10s like close control, which is somewhat of a dying art form among weapons directors, but it is fun and useful in NORAD missions.

"Plus the E-3 can vector the A-10 in tricky ways.. flying a 90 degree course to an aircraft using pulse-doppler radar makes you really hard to see...."
-Spacepope also brings up a good point on the close control. A-10s want to doppler notch a BVR plane as far out as possible. This helps them come in and deal at low level, especially with FSU, (former Soviet Union aircraft) with bad look down shoot down capes.

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Boeing Nut
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RE: How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Tue Feb 17, 2004 9:24 pm

For combat survivability, I'll take the A-10 over the F-16 easily. I've seen the photos of the A-10 that was nearly blown in half and made it back. It took heavy damage in some cases and brought everybody home. F-16's are to fragile. F-16's are awesome, but fragile.
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MD-90
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RE: How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Wed Feb 18, 2004 4:12 am

Now, a P-38 versus an A-10 would be much more interesting. I think the P-38 might have the guns necessary to penetrate the armor?
 
LMP737
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RE: How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Thu Feb 19, 2004 10:58 am

While I was stationed at Miramar I watched two A-10's fly in on a cross country. When they did their break over the field I was amazed at how tight the turn radius was. They practically turned inside themselves. Incredible aircraft the A-10. Any fighter jockey who thinks the A-10 is an easy target will be in for a surprise. A 30mm surprise.
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maiznblu_757
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RE: How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Fri Feb 20, 2004 12:05 pm

During this last conflict, an S-3 actually scored its first air to air kill... If the S-3 can do it, I am sure the A10 would be able to do it.
 
Checkerboard
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RE: How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Sat Feb 21, 2004 10:17 pm

A S-3 got an air-to-air kill?????? Amazing!  Wow!
Any more details?
Thanks a lot!
 
Lt-AWACS
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RE: How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 3:52 am

yeah air to air kill on what? a helicopter? The Iraqis never launched one fixed wing aircraft during OIF.

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maiznblu_757
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RE: How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 8:50 am

It was an air to air kill... Albeit, a helocopter...
 
wing
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RE: How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Wed Feb 25, 2004 6:22 am

Against one of my F-16 buddies from Turkish AirForce ,if the A-10 guy is lucky will walk all the way back to his homebase.F-16 under the hands of a well trained and experienced pilot(which we have alot of them in TAF) is a very deadly weapon and no match for a A-10 in a dog fight.Remember folks its not the size that it matters, its how you use it  Smile
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cloudy
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RE: How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Tue Mar 30, 2004 3:08 pm

My guess would be that this depends on whether the opponent has look down/shoot down radar guided missiles. The A10 would be toast against these. All the opponent has to do is come in high and use them. The A10 could only win by a very rare lucky break.

If the opponent does not have such a weapons system, perhaps the A10 would have a bit more of a chance. But still, the A10 is not strong in air-to-air combat.

"The race does not always go to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet." - forgot who said this, but it seems to fit  Smile
 
bsergonomics
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RE: How Would An A-10 Fare In A Dogfight?

Wed Mar 31, 2004 8:27 am

I'd be interested to see how an A-10 would fare against a Harrier. As mentioned before, the 'classic' flighters have the problem that, although they have good max turn rates and sustained turn rates, they are flying significantly faster and so cover more ground during the turn. A Harrier, on the other hand, is flying at a more similar speed and has the advantage (in the hands of a skilled pilot) of VIFFing - Vectoring In Forward Flight. This is a highly complex manoeuvre when the pipes (normally used for VSTOL manoeuvres) are used to increase the turn rate of the aircraft during dogfight-like manoeuvres.

VIFFing has been shown to give a good advantage against 'conventional' flighters in dogfights, so I'm curious to see how it would affect a 'Knife Fight in a Phone Box' with an A-10.

Any thoughts?
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