Ant72LBA
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Afghanistan: Harriers V. A10s

Sat Sep 23, 2006 9:59 am

BBC carrying a story that the British Army prefer to call in air support from USAF A-10s rather than RAF Harriers. Somewhat worrying if this is actually true (not the professionality of the A-10 pilots) as we understood our pilots were the best.

Britain should be able to support such a mission herself and it seems worrying if we cant.
 
drewfly
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RE: Afghanistan: Harriers V. A10s

Sat Sep 23, 2006 10:43 am

Pilot skills might not have anything to do with it. The A-10 can absorb a whole lot more damage than a Harrier, can carry more, and has "the gun."
A-10 Thunderbolt II, ugly as hell, efficient as hell, would you like to meet my boomstick?
 
L-188
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RE: Afghanistan: Harriers V. A10s

Sat Sep 23, 2006 11:48 am

Quoting Drewfly (Reply 1):
Sep 23 2006 03:43:15 UTC+2 and read 9 times:


Pilot skills might not have anything to do with it.

I agree, the problem is the A-10 carries a much bigger payload, and can stay on station longer.

It is also less vulnurable.

I remember reading an article about the test facilitly that the US military uses to test aircraft and systems surviablity. Anyway one of the people interveiewed made mention of the Marines Harriers. He said that if the facility had been in existance at the time that aircraft had been procured, they would not have accepted it. It was found that during the 1st gulf war it was extremely vulnerable to heat seaking missles. This was because instead of the tailpipe being in the back of the aircraft, there are four of them right in the middle of the airplane, So a heat seakng missile would be a lot more likely to get closer to the vulnurable parts of the aircraft. And on a Harrier there are a bunch, such as the hydralics needed to rotate those exhausts from the pegasus engine.

I think the article was in an old Air and Space Smithsonian, but don't hold me to that.
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Spacepope
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RE: Afghanistan: Harriers V. A10s

Sat Sep 23, 2006 12:20 pm

Aren't the forward 2 engine exhausts on the Harrier cold air only?
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CTR
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RE: Afghanistan: Harriers V. A10s

Sat Sep 23, 2006 1:37 pm

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 3):
Aren't the forward 2 engine exhausts on the Harrier cold air only?

Cold is a relative term. After being compressed by the first turbine stages the air is considerably warmer than ambient, More than enough for heat seakers.

Have fun,

CTR
Aircraft design is just one big compromise,,,
 
GDB
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RE: Afghanistan: Harriers V. A10s

Sat Sep 23, 2006 6:58 pm

I feel very sorry for the officer who, in a highly stressful, almost non stop combat operation, vented after ONE CAS mission seems to have gone a bit tits up.
But the media, in naming the officer, have hung him out to dry.
Even if he should have been aware of the lack of security around e-mails.

Recently, the commander in charge of the RAF Harrier detachment there until recently, was commended for his unit's CAS work.

If they call for CAS, they get what is available first, be it a Harrier, US or Dutch F-16, A-10, or US, UK or Dutch Apache.

CAS is perhaps the most risky operation of all, to the aircraft, to friendly ground troops too.

Anyway, this site is populated by UK service people, understandably a RAF Chinook crew member, due soon to return to the area, was most offended, but most try to understand the officer concerned.
As for 'if we cannot support the troops get out', well then presumably the hard fighting Canadians should go-using UK, US, Dutch Chinook, US Blackhawks, being supported by the CAS types I mentioned before, witt your logic?

http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/Forums/viewtopic/t=47187.html
 
L-188
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RE: Afghanistan: Harriers V. A10s

Sun Sep 24, 2006 3:11 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 5):
If they call for CAS, they get what is available first, be it a Harrier, US or Dutch F-16, A-10, or US, UK or Dutch Apache

 checkmark   checkmark   checkmark   checkmark 

And the GI on the ground isn't going to care what is dropping the bomb on the guy firing the incoming.

But I stand by my earlier assertion, that the Harrier, while an awsome design had to trade survivabilty and weapons payload for it's special ablities.

The A-10 didn't have to make those sacrifices and is thus a more survivable and deadly aircraft.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
Ant72LBA
Topic Author
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RE: Afghanistan: Harriers V. A10s

Sun Sep 24, 2006 7:39 am

Perhaps my thread starter wasn't particularly well phrased; I'm not in favour of withdrawing from Afghanistan (or Iraq, or Bosnia, or wherever else British troops are based). I just think it's worrying that the Army (or at least one officer - guess that is a different thing) has so little faith in the RAF and we should ensure our troops have the means to carry out the missions we ask them to perform.
 
jwenting
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RE: Afghanistan: Harriers V. A10s

Sun Sep 24, 2006 5:21 pm

The problem was explained quite well by an RAF officer, and has everything to do with the Harrier having (d)evolved over the years from a dedicated ground attack aircraft perfectly suited for its role into a "multi-role" aircraft that's decent at everything yet very good at nothing.
As the pilots have similarly had to divide their training over many different missions they too are not as good at any single mission as their counterparts in the US who are so trained.

So the ground forces prefer the dedicated ground attack aircraft with dedicated ground attack crews over crews and aircraft that are highly flexible yet masters at none of their assigned duties (at least in comparison to the specialists, which is hardly surprising).

So the real message that ground commander tried to get across was not an attack on the professionality of the RAF but a complaint about the lack of dedicated ground attack capability within the RAF.
And he's quite right about that, that capability has been removed.
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GDB
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RE: Afghanistan: Harriers V. A10s

Mon Sep 25, 2006 3:20 am

Goodm point, Royal Ordanance, made a total balls of the planned ADEN 25, in similar pods to the 1st generation Harrier's 30mm ADEN set up.
It was abandoned, weight issues, spent cartridges striking the tail and other issues.

But of course there WAS an alternative, which frankly should have also been the 1st choice all along-the GAU-12 25mm as fitted to USMC Harriers.

Typical of the screwed up procurement process that spare ones in USMC stock have not been requested, this is an issue going back 15 years.

True also that Harrier, in RAF service, is as much a night attack type than a CAS asset-it is CAS by virtue of it's Afghan base being unsuitable for other fast jets.
That whole fast reaction, based nearer the operating area thing.

A feel sorry too the the press have identified the Harrier pilot by her gender, I doubt there is more than one female RAF Harrier pilot there right now.
(Extra brave too-any pilot having to eject and maybe fall into Taliban hands is bad enough-imagine if a 'mere' female one did, after striking some of their comrades-since they have a mad fit at their own women being more than covered, imprisoned at home, maternal production lines, lower in fact than cattle in their 'pure' society).
 
GDB
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RE: Afghanistan: Harriers V. A10s

Sun Oct 08, 2006 2:01 am

AVC David Walker, commanding RAF No.1 group, the offensive support arm, has made an announcement which I think has been influenced by recent events in Afghanistan.

Remember that idea, in 2000, by the MoD to delete the 27mm gun from RAF Typhoons?
The first 55 fitted with, but no ammo support and training, the rest deleted-thus the mods needed likely mopping up much of the £90 million they reckoned ditching the gun would save.

Well Walker has reversed this descision, RAF Typhoon's will have the guns, the ammo, the support and the training.
Clearly he would have had permission higher up to announce this however.
 
dl021
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RE: Afghanistan: Harriers V. A10s

Sun Oct 08, 2006 2:59 am

Look...the real reason that the A-10 is the most desired CAS aircraft amongst the groundpounders who are asked is that it carries the most ordnance and can stay on station flying lower and slower than anything else if need be.

The troopies on the ground are happy to see any friendly air when called for, but know that nothing compares to the hitting and staying power of the Hog.

The GAU-8 is a huge part of this equation. The devastation wrought by this weapon is huge, and when it's backed up by the droppable ordnance load carried on the wings it's huge. Harriers have shorter legs and carry less ordnance, as well as not being as well armed gun-wise. This has nothing to do with which pilots are better (I'd be willing to state that the RAF and the USAF both have excellent, motivated and well trained pilots....notwithstanding the previous posters statement that the RAF pilots are the best...but so do the Dutch and pretty much every other modern air force out there).

The Hog is the last of the A birds and the best.
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