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seahawk
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:25 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 99):

An aircraft like a Super Tucano has it's narrow uses on the low end against a threat that doesn't have much in the way of available air defences beyond rifles and machine guns.

And that makes it still a valid solution for many smaller conflicts. Faster than a AH-64, cheaper to operate than AH-64 and A-10, longer loiter time than the helo, better situational awareness than a drone, able to operate from basic infrastructure - the perfect COIN plane. Fact is it is even is good for air policing duties against slow movers when based in the US. (drug trafficking for example. And so cheap to buy and operate that it takes away very little budget from the first line forces. :
 
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SeJoWa
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:32 am

In the real world, when the ground forces will most need support, the F-35s won't be there - because it's not their mission. That's what mature individuals who live outside of think tanks understand. I hope it doesn't sound too confrontational, but I can't come up with another way than this blunt one to bring my message across.

I'll gladly repeat that the A-10s are built incomparably tough and survivable, but that it was always clear many wouldn't make it to DAY +1 of a Soviet armoured thrust through the Fulda gap. The courage and dedication of those long retired pilots deserves great respect indeed. Conversely, nothing but the A-10 gave us the least bit of a chance to contain all those very SAM heavy armoured divisions from breaking out. By the way, I was a kid back then - so only a medium-old fogey now.

Being able to dish it out makes people think twice. And that's what it must be all about in the end, fully cognizant of the fact that many pilots would not return from their missions - but wreck havoc on the ground like nothing else ever built.

Again, being slow is a feature. Hauling more than a B-17 of yore is another one. And the Hog is so simple - apart from the modern weapons and sensors - that it will continue flying for a long time. After the wing upgrades, the engines offer the greatest potential, also in order to power new systems ( and they are notorious for lacking thrust ).

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 96):
I expect the A-10 to come under increasing pressure and be a prime candidate for termination as it won't fit with the strategic direction the US is taking.

It should be clear by now that "the strategic direction" we are taking is informed chiefly by our own wishes and predilections. Enemies love that kind of self-deception. Let your thoughts travel to where you are most uncomfortable.
 
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SeJoWa
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:36 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 94):
And there in lies the problem. The F-15E, B-1, B-52, F-16, F-35 were never designed to do just CAS, but they do the job just fine, but in a different way. The A-10 can do CAS, and just that. It can't do interdiction, it can't do CAP, it can't do strategic attack, and it can't do SEAD very well. And if you want something that can loiter for extended periods without risking a pilot, send a UAV, and it can do both CAS and recon as well.

We can't afford single mission aircraft where the aircraft's mission can be done with other platforms. What mission can the A-10 do that other platforms can't do? The answer is none.


That's an artificial constraint meant to shield the F-35 at any cost. The F-35 is a limited plafform as is, completely incapable of delivering the kind of support heavily engaged ground forces require.

The A-10s with their efficiency, effectiveness, and extremely low cost, combined with a great flexibilty that future-proofs the platform, enhance the overall lethality of our air forces. Many will indeed be shot down if used to their full extent, and it seems to me that it's this concept of actually being hurt that seems to be unacceptable. But that's no way to go for the jugular. A very dangerous mental barrier that will be ruthlessly exploited by our enemies.

A UAV is not remotely comparable when it comes to survivability and situational awareness.

And one more time, it seems the very effecftive SAM countermeasures now being adopted on diverse aircraft can never be mentioned in this context. In my mind, they are a key part of the A-10's continuing relevance.

[Edited 2014-03-07 04:58:10]

[Edited 2014-03-07 04:59:22]
 
tommy1808
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:07 pm

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 101):
It should be clear by now that "the strategic direction" we are taking is informed chiefly by our own wishes and predilections. Enemies love that kind of self-deception. Let your thoughts travel to where you are most uncomfortable.

I still think the main advantage of the A-10 is that it has a chance in harms way where the F-35 has none. In a real conflict blue forces would very quickly run out of smart weapons and you are back to dropping cheap dumb ones.
Its very obvious why ThePointblank ignores every question regarding the F-35s ability to survive a hit, it has none.

best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
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autothrust
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:53 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 94):
And there in lies the problem. The F-15E, B-1, B-52, F-16, F-35 were never designed to do just CAS, but they do the job just fine, but in a different way.

That is just not true again:

Quote:

A B-1 long-range bomber attempted to provide support but was unable to. Shortly after, two A-10s arrived and prior even establishing radio contact, they were able to visually discern friendly from enemy forces and lay down effective cover fire, forcing the ambushers to withdraw
Quote:


Finally, “danger close” (the minimum distance one can employ the bomb from friendly troops) for the 500lb Mk82 bomb is 500m. The truth is troops in NEED of CAS often can’t withdraw to a safe distance because of enemy fire or are surrounded by an enemy who are much closer than 500m. This leads to the clear superiority of guns in that situation which can be fired as close as 50m to friendly troops. The A-10′s carries double the basic load of 30mm rounds than the F-16′s 20mm rounds.



Quoting Cross757 (Reply 78):
The A-10A was VERY effective at performing CAS...it carried a TGP. The CCIP bombing system of the A-10A (and C) is also very good.

Indeed but the A-10C can with CCRP also perform CAS from medium altitudes perfectly.
Flown on: DC-9, MD-80, Fokker 100, Bae 146 Avro, Boeing 737-300, 737-400, 747-200, 747-300,747-400, 787-9, Airbus A310, A319, A320, A321, A330-200,A330-300, A340-313, A380, Bombardier CSeries 100/300, CRJ700ER/CRJ900, Embraer 190.
 
cargotanker
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:25 pm

Quoting seahawk (Reply 95):
And imho since WW2 the US fought way more "bush wars" than conflicts with enemies of the same peer.

The stakes are much higher in a war over Taiwan or Korea than they are in any "bush war". That's why in a time of limited budgets we focus on the weapons that will be important in future high intensity conflict, not the weapons that are only good for uncontested COIN and CAS missions.

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 103):
I still think the main advantage of the A-10 is that it has a chance in harms way where the F-35 has none.

The F-35 has no chance in harms way? Says who? How is the survivability of an F-35 less than an F-16? The F-16 seems to have done pretty well in air combat all around the world for decades. And remember the point above: the A-10 was pulled from CAS missions in Desert Storm because too many were being shot up, but the F-16 was allowed to stay. Seems like its not as survivable as you might imagine.

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 101):
Conversely, nothing but the A-10 gave us the least bit of a chance to contain all those very SAM
heavy armoured divisions from breaking out.

Nothing but the A-10? Not M-1s, Bradleys, AH-64s, TOW missiles, HOT missiles, Challengers, Lyxes, M-109s, F-111Fs and I could go on and on.

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 101):
In the real world, when the ground forces will most need support, the F-35s won't be there - because it's not their mission. That's what mature individuals who live outside of think tanks understand

So you're a "mature individual" that lives outside of a think tank? Your statement is wrong. CAS is an F-35 mission. However, your views line up nicely with congressmen trying to defend bases in their district and A-10 fanboys, but not with any USAF strategists or people who understand how airpower really works and what can be eliminated in times of reduced defense budgets.

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 102):
Many will indeed be shot down if used to their full extent, and it seems to me that it's this concept of actually being hurt that seems to be unacceptable. But that's no way to go for the jugular. A very dangerous mental barrier that will be ruthlessly exploited by our enemies.

This doesn't even make sense. We need to keep a vulnerable airplane around so that we don't develop an aversion to risk that will be exploited by our enemies? In line with that logic we should be flying B-17s without parachutes, because we can't let the enemy know we have an aversion to risk.

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 93):
As an aside, I find it interesting that one of the Hog's key allies in the Senate is married to an erstwhile A-10 pilot.

Yeah, no conflict of interest there.
 
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:53 pm

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 105):
The F-35 has no chance in harms way? Says who?

I say that. Once you are back to dumb bombs and gun (aka have to get in close), because you either depleted stock or you can´t afford ordering new ones, the F35, like any non armored single engine fighter, has a problem. It is sort of difficult to hit an F35 without either killing the pilot or the engine if its not a rifle bullet. Something a little powerful, like a single 35mm FAPDS round, will very likely kill it every time as part of it will punch all the way trough the frame. The A10 has had a design priority to survive battle damage or at least protect the pilot, the F35 (or F16, or, or ,or, anything but a Su-25/39) had no such priority.

=> http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2005garm/tuesday/buckley.pdf

best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
cargotanker
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:54 pm

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 106):
I say that. Once you are back to dumb bombs and gun (aka have to get in close), because you either depleted stock or you can´t afford ordering new ones, the F35, like any non armored single engine fighter, has a problem. It is sort of difficult to hit an F35 without either killing the pilot or the engine if its not a rifle bullet.

Well the 25+ nations that have purchased 4500+ F-16s and the one nation that has purchased A-10s disagree with you. If your comment was anywhere close to correct, we would have lost a lot more F-16s in the 30+ years that they've been flying in combat. They've been dropping a lot of dumb bombs and performing a lot of CAS during that time as well. Seems like avoiding a hit is more important than armoring up and taking a hit, if you pay attention to what actually happens in combat.
 
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seahawk
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:58 pm

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 105):
The stakes are much higher in a war over Taiwan or Korea than they are in any "bush war". That's why in a time of limited budgets we focus on the weapons that will be important in future high intensity conflict, not the weapons that are only good for uncontested COIN and CAS missions.

Seriously you can probably but 10 AT-6 for 1 F-35. And if the cost per flight hour are any indication it is about the same. So one wing with 100 AT-6 would be as expensive as a 10 plane F-35 Sqn. I dare say that is an acceptable investment for Bush Wars.
 
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SeJoWa
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:57 pm

Quoting autothrust (Reply 104):
Indeed but the A-10C can with CCRP also perform CAS from medium altitudes perfectly.

And with the responsiveness and situational awareness that comes from lower speed loitering.

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 105):

The F-35 has no chance in harms way? Says who? How is the survivability of an F-35 less than an F-16?

This is precisely one of the things that made me sit up and take notice of how the program was being run.
IIRC a fuel system shutoff or pump was eliminated that is vital to the aircraft not burning up after a hit to the hydraulic lines of fuel system. That is a very short-sighted tradeoff to lose a little weight, but the thing that happens when too much rides on the development of one single plane.

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 105):
Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 101):
Conversely, nothing but the A-10 gave us the least bit of a chance to contain all those very SAM
heavy armoured divisions from breaking out.

Nothing but the A-10? Not M-1s, Bradleys, AH-64s, TOW missiles, HOT missiles, Challengers, Lyxes, M-109s, F-111Fs and I could go on and on.

The answer I was gunning for. Good for you, good for me.

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 105):
Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 101):
In the real world, when the ground forces will most need support, the F-35s won't be there - because it's not their mission. That's what mature individuals who live outside of think tanks understand

So you're a "mature individual" that lives outside of a think tank? Your statement is wrong. CAS is an F-35 mission. However, your views line up nicely with congressmen trying to defend bases in their district and A-10 fanboys, but not with any USAF strategists or people who understand how airpower really works and what can be eliminated in times of reduced defense budgets.

CAS may be an F-35 mission, but not it's sole specialty, nor that of its pilots. That is a crucial differentiator, and a vital one in my eyes. The A-10 and F-35 do nicely complement each other in the ground attack role when employed appropriately, which is why I can't stop making the point that keeping the A-10s strengthens our destructive capabilities overall.

To generalize, USAF "strategists" have needed to learn a lot of things the hard way. That does not discount the importance of their craft.

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 105):
Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 102):
Many will indeed be shot down if used to their full extent, and it seems to me that it's this concept of actually being hurt that seems to be unacceptable. But that's no way to go for the jugular. A very dangerous mental barrier that will be ruthlessly exploited by our enemies.

This doesn't even make sense. We need to keep a vulnerable airplane around so that we don't develop an aversion to risk that will be exploited by our enemies? In line with that logic we should be flying B-17s without parachutes, because we can't let the enemy know we have an aversion to risk.

It does. Do you think the F-35 is invulnerable? By the way, I've often wondered what a difference 1000 Thunderbolts in the skies of Iraq or Afghanistan - with modern sensors and weapons - might have made. When talking vulnerability, numbers also matter. And the A-10 is dirt cheap, actually. The numbers proffered to justify their dispatch underline it.
 
cargotanker
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:22 pm

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 106):
The A10 has had a design priority to survive battle damage or at least protect the pilot, the F35
(or F16, or, or ,or, anything but a Su-25/39) had no such priority.

Look at Desert Storm for as close as I can get to an apples to apples comparison:

13,450 sorties flown by flimsy, un-survivable single engine F-16s
3 shot down (all 3 pilots ejected and survived)
They were shot down by SA-3 (60 kg warhead), SA-6 (60 kg warhead) and AAA
7 total F-16 losses

8,100 sorties flown by invincible, armored A-10s that make it home despite getting damaged and protect the pilot
4 shot down (3 pilots ejected and survived, 1 pilot KIA)
Shot down by SA-13 (5 kg warhead), SA-9 (2.6 kg warhead), and SA-16 (dinky 1.5 kg warhead)
7 total A-10 losses
Plus, so many A-10s were damaged that the CFACC had to pull them off-line.

Next thing you're going to say is "The A-10 had more dangerous missions so its not a fair comparison!" Wrong, F-16s flew CAS over the same battlefields as the A-10 and didn't have any SA-16 or SA-9 losses.
 
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SeJoWa
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:31 pm

PRIMO: Theory versus Practise:
"keep it coming, keep it coming" http://youtu.be/5WtQqKrbmKc


SECUNDO: What I've been saying about specialist pilots
We spoke with the Army, the service with the most to lose should close air support diminish in effectiveness, and Air Force pilots who fly CAS missions to get both the official and off-the-record views. The official Army, in the form of Maj. Gen. Bill Hix, deputy director of the influential Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Army Capabilities Integration Center, was surprisingly understanding of the Air Force’s idea to shutter the fleet. But Hix also offered a nuanced critique of the current CAS capabilities, in particular the A-10′s ability to fly low and slow and deliver firepower in bad weather.

“If the [A-10] aircraft and the specifically trained pilots go away, this mission will become a distant requirement hastily met with pilots who have been brought up on OCA [Offensive Counter-Air] and DCA (Defensive Counter-Air operations], and CAS that is provided will consist primarily of fast air-dropping JDAMs and other smart bombs on targets designated from the ground and then transitioning out of the area due to limited loiter time,” Hix said in an email.


TERTIO
Desert Storm statistics, and "fair" is not applicable in war:

DoD sources credit A-10’s:
Destroying:
- more than 1,000 tanks
- 1,200 artillery pieces
- 2,000 other military vehicles
Confirmed kills include:
- 967 tanks
- 926 artillery pieces
- 1,306 trucks
- 501 armored personnel carriers
- 28 command posts
- Successfully hunted and destroyed SCUD missiles
- Suppressed enemy air defenses
- Attacked early warning radars

Losses / damages:
http://www.2951clss-gulfwar.com/abdr-home.htm
 
Cross757
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:42 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 94):
A single mission aircraft that has dubious value and survivability in a war with a peer opponent


Just like the B-52, B-1, AC-130, etc...

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 94):
Oh? Really? The USAF would like to contest that.


Please show me the data.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 94):
With the F-16, F/A-18, F-35, they can all protect themselves. I don't need to allocate other assets to protect a F-16 doing CAS. It can escort itself


B.S...they will need SEAD. And trust me, you can do CAS/air-to-air/SEAD at the same time.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 94):
The A-10 can do CAS, and just that


The A-10 excels at the FAC-A and CSAR roles as well. I've never seen a B-1 or B-52 do those missions.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 94):
We can't afford single mission aircraft where the aircraft's


"We"...you mean Canada?  
Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 94):
mission can be done with other platforms. What mission can the A-10 do that other platforms can't do? The answer is none.


Name one mission for EACH of the following platforms that they can do that others can't: F-16, F-15E, F-18, F-35, F-22, F-15C, B-1, B-52, AC-130 (insert Jeopardy music here)...

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 105):
However, your views line up nicely with congressmen trying to defend bases in their district and A-10 fanboys, but not with any USAF strategists or people who understand how airpower really works and what can be eliminated in times of reduced defense budgets


I have yet to meet one single non-fighter pilot "strategist" or heavy pilot that actually understands or even truly comprehends the applcation of lethal air power at the tactical level. Just sayin'.

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 110):
Look at Desert Storm for as close as I can get to an apples to apples comparison:


But it's NOT apples to apples...the A-10's were operating generally at much lower altitudes in those threat rings because per the ATO, that is where they were tasked to go. You must take into consideration the operating environment of the aircraft.
 
Cross757
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:45 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 94):
On the rare occasion we are back fighting brush wars again, we can either pull A-10's out of the boneyard when needed


You make it sound like it is so easy to just "pull a plane out of the boneyard"...shaking my head...
 
Cross757
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:47 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 99):
The F-35 is the answer to 95% of the missions being required today from the front line tactical fighter and attack aircraft


I'm starting to think you work for Lockheed-Martin with that sales pitch 
 
Cross757
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:52 pm

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 105):
And remember the point above: the A-10 was pulled from CAS missions in Desert Storm because too many were being shot up


The A-10's weren't doing CAS until that last four days of the war, because that's when our ground units (+/- a day or so) finally crossed into Iraq en masse to ulitmately push the Iraqi army out of Kuwait. By defintion, unless they were supporting ground troops, they weren't doing CAS. You may be thinking of the Interdiction missions (tank "plinking", etc) over the well defended Republican Guard that caused the losses to the A-10 in the beginning of the war.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:23 pm

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 109):
It does. Do you think the F-35 is invulnerable? By the way, I've often wondered what a difference 1000 Thunderbolts in the skies of Iraq or Afghanistan - with modern sensors and weapons - might have made. When talking vulnerability, numbers also matter. And the A-10 is dirt cheap, actually. The numbers proffered to justify their dispatch underline it.

The A-10 was cheap because they stripped out a lot of avionics systems out of the aircraft. The USAF had sold the A-10 to Congress as being super accurate and able to endure hits, all without an inertial or computed weapon delivery capability. Over a decade or so later, the Warthog got a jury-rigged weapon delivery system, and then some more stuff, when that capability and systems already existed in the USAF's A-7D's which had the CAS and the interdiction role. The F-16 also had a very good avionics package that allowed it to deliver dumb bombs with pinpoint accuracy.

During Desert Storm, the F-16 developed new tactics to enhance their interdiction and strike capabilities against the Republican Guard. Basically, F-16 Block 40's, piloted by pilots that had FAC experience, A-10 close air support experience, or both flew Fast FACs or 'Killer Scouts' missions coordinating and designating strikes. There is an article from AFM which describes the mission and how it came about in detail:

http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineA.../1993/April%201993/0493scouts.aspx

The Killer Scouts would validate targets in the Air Tasking Order (ATO) that had been assigned to the F-16s and then find other lucrative targets in the area. These Killer Scouts would provide indirect control, target area deconfliction, threat information, and updated target coordinates and descriptions to inbound fighters. If the ATO target was a good one, the Killer Scouts would clear the assigned fighters to attack under flight lead control. If it was not valid, the Killer Scouts would direct fighters to one of the backup targets. Furthermore, the Killer Scouts would conduct immediate bomb damage assessment after a strike was completed, and they were also carrying 500lb bombs on their wings so they could then conduct their own strikes to suppress threats or attack high value targets.

FYI, look at who wrote the article. It was Lt. Col. Mark A. Welsh, later General Mark A. Welsh, Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force. A former A-10 and F-16 pilot.
 
Powerslide
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:47 am

I'm just glad the people in charge are going away with old equipment. Slowly integrating state of the art fighters into the services and allies will make for formidable western air powers in the future. Keeping old-man crap like the A10 because of nostalgia reasons is foolish and pointless. Technology is advancing forward, just because your childhood favourite FXX is finally being scraped doesn't mean the replacement is less capable. If you think you know how to run a military and war, please forward your insightful suggestions to those in uniform. Thankfully, they probably won't care.
 
Cross757
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:23 am

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 117):
Keeping old-man crap like the A10 because of nostalgia reasons is foolish and pointless. Technology is advancing forward, just because your childhood favourite FXX is finally being scraped doesn't mean the replacement is less capable. If you think you know how to run a military and war, please forward your insightful suggestions to those in uniform. Thankfully, they probably won't care.


From my experience, comments like that often come from arm-chair quarterbacks that get all of their military information from books and magazines...
 
Powerslide
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:08 am

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 118):
From my experience, comments like that often come from arm-chair quarterbacks that get all of their military information from books and magazines...

Yes, because there is nothing of the sort in this entire section of the forum.   I'm just glad the comments from here don't actually reflect defence policies in the real world. Keep the A10 flying? Non sense.
 
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par13del
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:11 pm

Quoting checksixx (Reply 19):
And given to who? The Army? They cannot fly it by law...

It's a good thing laws were never meant to be changed  
Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 26):
Yeah, but do you know the reason why? All of those upgrades help give the A-10 a bunch of capabilities that other fighters have had for a long time, and bring it up to speed for the modern CAS battle.

One should also remember that prior to GW1 the US Air Force were doing all that they could to retire the A10 to get more F-15's, F-16's and the F-22, putting new targeting and self defense systems into the A10 would defeat the purpose.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 38):
You missed my point totally. First i know that simulated kills scored don’t prove a fighter plane is better than another one, Also in the BVR Area the F-22 wins. My point was to show that with right tactics and a good use of the Typhoon it's even possible to deafeat enemies which have even more capabilities.

But it does allow OEM to sell their product with better marketing, plus provide bragging rights, after all , who's at war?

Quoting Ozair (Reply 52):
Why would you give up the massive advantage your stealth, LPI radar and long range missiles provide to get in close where any adversary with a HOBS IR missile will end your day?

As above, if your competitor does not have that capability how exactly would you have a friendly contest, remember the restrictions placed on the German Mig-29's in contest against the F-18's, something to do with negating the advantage of the a/c's greater thrust to weight ratio.

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 61):
So, should we spend our scarce defense dollars on a plane that performs CAS against insurgents really well but can't survive in a modern threat environment or should we devote that money to aircraft that can operate against modern threats and can also perform low-threat CAS, just not quite as well as the A-10?

No, by all means send a F-35 at 15K to drop 500lb bombs on a squad of troops, better yet, launch a Predator with 4 Hellfires, or whatever tool you can afford to buy and use, one must remember that the tools you have available determine how you respond to threats.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 94):
More than one way to win a war. You can crush their ability to resist militarily or knock out their ability to run the country.

So you admit that the CAS method you were defending as the be all to end all did not work, and rather that retire all those a/c you decided to use them elsewhere and in a different fashion.
I guess that's why the A10, F-15, F-16 and F-18 have to go, they can only be deployed one way, no adaptability whatsoever.
 
Kiwirob
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:13 pm

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 119):

Yes, because there is nothing of the sort in this entire section of the forum. I'm just glad the comments from here don't actually reflect defence policies in the real world. Keep the A10 flying? Non sense.

Might as well can the Apaches and Cobras as well, if the A10 is a sitting duck these guys are even worse off, another job for the F-35  
 
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par13del
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:29 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 121):
Might as well can the Apaches and Cobras as well, if the A10 is a sitting duck these guys are even worse off, another job for the F-35

Unfortunately, no one is building a new combat helicopter so the primary reason for change - financial and jobs - does not exist, so they can be kept for the foreseeable future, battle plans will be designed around their strengths regardless of whether an enemy exist who will accept those tactics and agree to deploy them  
 
Powerslide
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:00 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 121):
Might as well can the Apaches and Cobras as well, if the A10 is a sitting duck these guys are even worse off, another job for the F-35  

Why do you bring up completely unrelated topics? How does a helicopter come into the mix of an A-10 or F35? The fact is, you can't keep A10's flying forever and now is time to cut that expense. Then again I'm Canadian so I don't give a crap about how the USAF fights wars. If the brass in the Air Force believe that future battlefields don't require A-10s then its their decision. If you know of a way to kill the enemy more efficiently please enlist, they'd love your 2 cents.
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:07 pm

Quoting seahawk (Reply 23):
And while the A-10 is probably not the aircraft to use on day one in a conflict with any sophisticated enemy, it still is great for lesser conflicts. It has a longer loiter time than the F-16, it is cheaper to operate, it has no problems with rough operating locations and it carries a huge load of weapons, when needed.

Its still a very good "day 1" aircraft. Gulf 1 had A-10 doing anti-Sam missions unsupported by other assets. Stupid, but effective. Better ideas were using them behind the first waves to start rendering the enemy armored units ineffective. Worried about a land counter attack during the intial air campaign, targeting the armor early keeps them on the defensive.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 116):
During Desert Storm, the F-16 developed new tactics to enhance their interdiction and strike capabilities against the Republican Guard. Basically, F-16 Block 40's, piloted by pilots that had FAC experience, A-10 close air support experience, or both flew Fast FACs or 'Killer Scouts' missions coordinating and designating strikes. There is an article from AFM which describes the mission and how it came about in detail:

Wow, F16 pilots trying to cover their ass that they were pretty @#[email protected]#$% useless in gulf 1. The A-10 got pulled off the deep missions against the republican guard because the A-10 pilots realised the F-16 cowboys were doing nothing, and doing it just over the border. A-10 was far more effective in ALL ground attack missions, while the F16 was stuck doing high speed, "high" altitude passes over the target. Safe, but not effective.

Pointblank seems to flat ignore that the A-10 ended up doing every mission possible outside of air to air refueling and air superiority because the USAF found that the A-10 and its pilots could DO every mission they were handing it. Working over sam sites without support or specialist weapons? DONE. Recon of targets with deep and heavy AA? DONE. Search and Destroy of SCUDS? DONE. SAR? DONE. CAS? DONE. A-10 did have more casualties than other planes, but it was also doing far more work, and dangerous work than other planes.

Getting into the details of the scud hunting, the F16 would arrive in the target zone with minutes of time remaining. The A-10 would arrive with two hours. More when they were allowed to drop the dumb bombs on arms depots on the way into the area instead of on the way out.

Lets not forget that the A-10 left gulf 1 with 2 air to air kills. The F-16 left with exactly 0. Worse one of those kills happened after a F-16 tried to kill the helicopter and couldnt. A-10 like the F-16 found none of the missiles would lock up, so quickly switched to 30mm of not caring about lock. F-16 gun passes were... ineffective.

Also overlooked is that the A-10 continued to operate when the oil fires reduced visibility to 0 over a couple hundred feet. A-10 went right down under that and worked. F-16 stayed home.

The F-35 is going to be even worse at the A-10's jobs. The A-10 works because it can fly at the stall speed of "better" jets without even trying. This gives the pilot plenty of time to find targets, evaluate them, and deal with them. I think we all know what a F-35 is going to be like at slow speeds. Heavy, heavy wing loading, and delta wing mean the fat pig is going to be a horrible fat pig outside of nice level fast passes over targets pre-selected for it. Which you know... we could use a F-16 or F-15 or even B-52 for. I'd love to see the F35 working targets at 200ft AGL. I'd love to see a F35 working ground targets in close proximity to our forces in afganistan. Well ok, I don't on that last one as I like our service men and they don't deserve the fat pig being completely inept at it.

In short, the army better figure out where its going to get a hell of alot of helicopters and effective drones to make up for the USAF abandoning them completely.
 
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:08 pm

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 123):

Why do you bring up completely unrelated topics? How does a helicopter come into the mix of an A-10 or F35?

Easy, they are related, they do much of the same job, you think the A10 should go because it's vulnerable on the modern battlefield then it should be a no-brainer that attack helicopters should also be removed, since they are even more vulnerable than an A10, in some conflicts (Kosovo) they haven't been used because they are sitting ducks.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:27 am

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 124):
Wow, F16 pilots trying to cover their ass that they were pretty @#[email protected]#$% useless in gulf 1. The A-10 got pulled off the deep missions against the republican guard because the A-10 pilots realised the F-16 cowboys were doing nothing, and doing it just over the border. A-10 was far more effective in ALL ground attack missions, while the F16 was stuck doing high speed, "high" altitude passes over the target. Safe, but not effective.

No, because General Chuck Homer, commander, USCENTAF who presided over all of the Coalition's air operations said this in an interview in 1991 immediately after Gulf War I:
http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineA...s/1991/June%201991/0691horner.aspx

Quote:
A-10s vs. F-16s

Q: Did the war have any effect on the Air Force's view of the A-10?

A: No. People misread that. People were saying that airplanes are too sophisticated and that they wouldn't work in the desert, that you didn't need all this high technology, that simple and reliable was better, and all that.

Well, first of all, complex does not mean unreliable. We're finding that out. For example, you have a watch that uses transistors rather than a spring. It's infinitely more reliable than the windup watch that you had years ago. That's what we're finding in the airplanes.

Those people . . . were always championing the A-10. As the A-10 reaches the end of its life cycle-- and it's approaching that now--it's time to replace it, just like we replace every airplane, including, right now, some early versions of the F-16.

Since the line was discontinued, [the A-10's champions] want to build another A-10 of some kind. The point we were making was that we have F-16s that do the same job.

Then you come to people who have their own reasons-good reasons to them, but they don't necessarily compute to me-who want to hang onto the A-10 because of the gun. Well, the gun's an excellent weapon, but you'll find that most of the tank kills by the A-10 were done with Mavericks and bombs. So the idea that the gun is the absolute wonder of the world is not true.


Q: This conflict has shown that?

A: It shows that the gun has a lot of utility, which we always knew, but it isn't the principal tank-killer on the A-IO. The [Imaging Infrared] Maverick is the big hero there. That was used by the A-10s and the F-16s very, very effectively in places like Khafji.

The other problem is that the A-10 is vulnerable to hits because its speed is limited. It's a function of thrust, it's not a function of anything else. We had a lot of A-10s take a lot of ground fire hits. Quite frankly, we pulled the A-10s back from going up around the Republican Guard and kept them on Iraq's [less formidable] front-line units. That's line if you have a force that allows you to do that. In this case, we had F-16s to go after the Republican Guard.

Q: At what point did you do that?

A: I think I had fourteen airplanes sitting on the ramp having battle damage repaired, and I lost two A- 10s in one day [February 15], and I said, "I've had enough of this." It was when we really started to go after the Republican Guard.


Initially, much of the air assets were devoted to strategic targets, to make sure we got those down, while we were also hitting the frontline forces. As we killed off the research and development stuff-storage, those kinds of targets-we brought more and more assets into the Kuwait Theater of Operation. We really started heating the battle up in the KTO.
 
checksixx
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:12 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 75):
Helicopter gunships are much smaller and harder to target than an A-10.

Disagree...helo's are far slower and MUCH easier to target and take down vs an A-10. Any day of the week.


The bottom line is that the A-10 is wonderful at what it does. Its lower speed is not a vice, but rather why it does its job so well. They just got new wings.
 
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autothrust
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:33 am

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 109):
And with the responsiveness and situational awareness that comes from lower speed loitering.

Exactly, that is a very important point.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 96):
This includes everything from controlled flight into terrain, crashes, AAA and SAM losses. Losses + damaged equaled 15% of A-10 fleet deployed. More A-10's were shot down or damaged as a proportion of the forces deployed than any other combat aircraft in theatre. And that was against an opponent that had an fairly decent air defence system.

Who's fault is that? The root for this maybe had to do with the outdated defence systems on the A-10? With decent defence package like F-16 the A.10 losses were far lower.

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 109):
The A-10 and F-35 do nicely complement each other in the ground attack role when employed appropriately

Agree, however none plane can replace the other.

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 110):
Next thing you're going to say is "The A-10 had more dangerous missions so its not a fair comparison!" Wrong, F-16s flew CAS over the same battlefields as the A-10 and didn't have any SA-16 or SA-9 losses.

Again the A-10A Pilots didn't have the luxury to relay on a modern defense system. It was nothing more then a RWR and manual Chaff and Flares release.

Something which has been adressed on the A-10C.
Flown on: DC-9, MD-80, Fokker 100, Bae 146 Avro, Boeing 737-300, 737-400, 747-200, 747-300,747-400, 787-9, Airbus A310, A319, A320, A321, A330-200,A330-300, A340-313, A380, Bombardier CSeries 100/300, CRJ700ER/CRJ900, Embraer 190.
 
tommy1808
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:13 am

Quoting autothrust (Reply 128):
Who's fault is that? The root for this maybe had to do with the outdated defence systems on the A-10? With decent defence package like F-16 the A.10 losses were far lower.

Or simply the missions they drew where kind of dangerous.

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 110):
They were shot down by SA-3 (60 kg warhead), SA-6 (60 kg warhead) and AAA
Quoting cargotanker (Reply 110):
Shot down by SA-13 (5 kg warhead), SA-9 (2.6 kg warhead), and SA-16 (dinky 1.5 kg warhead)

And that tells us what exactly about the survivability? Nothing! And of course times have changed, large SAMs being of the hit-to-kill type today (Bang, black cloud of smoke where the aircraft used to be) and Manpads have proximity fuses (peng, pling, inconvenience to the maintenance crew).

If you want to know about survivability you have to check what kind of damage they made it home with, not what brought them down. F16C SN 84-1390 was downed by an SA-16, iirc no F-16 ever survived an SA-16 hit, the A10 did. And that has only contact fuses.

F-15E, F-4G, AV-8B, A-6E, F16C and F-111F have been downed with AAA, A-10s haven´t despite taking massive poundings.... THAT tells you which aircraft can survive combat damage and which can´t.

best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
Powerslide
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:08 pm

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 129):
F-15E, F-4G, AV-8B, A-6E, F16C and F-111F have been downed with AAA, A-10s haven´t despite taking massive poundings.... THAT tells you which aircraft can survive combat damage and which can´t.

Or its just sheer luck.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sat Mar 15, 2014 7:42 pm

Details of the retirement plan for the A-10's has been mentioned:

http://breakingdefense.com/2014/03/w...may-let-air-force-retire-the-a-10/

FY2015:
190th Fighter Squadron of the Idaho ANG will get F-15E's that operate out of Mountain Home AFB
A unit of 23d Wing at Moody AFB will loose their A-10's (no mentioned replacement)
Nellis and Eglin AFB will loose their A-10's
A USAF unit at Davis-Monthan AFB will loose their A-10's
51st Fighter Wing at Osan, South Korea will loose their A-10's (no mentioned replacement)

FY2016:
Moody AFB and Davis-Monthan AFB will completely loose their USAF active force A-10's

FY2017:
107th Fighter Squadron of the Michigan ANG will switch to 8 KC-135 Stratotankers

FY2018:
442d Fighter Wing of the AFRC at Whiteman AFB will switch to 18 F-16 Block 40's (gained from Hill AFB as they are restructuring)
104th Fighter Squadron of the Maryland ANG will switch to 8 C-130J's

FY2019:
924th Fighter Wing of the AFRC at Davis-Monthan AFB will switch to 18 F-16 Block 40's
163d Fighter Squadron of the Indiana ANG will switch to 18 F-16 Block 40's

The 188th Fighter Wing of the Arkansas ANG is already converting to MQ-1 Reaper UAV's. They flew their last A-10 mission last month and will complete the transition by this summer.

The plan to retire the A-10's is per the USAF, least disruptive to the USAF's global operations of the options determined by war games. The options were: sending the entire B-1 bomber fleet to the boneyard; pushing 40 F-35A's to the far out years; and retiring 356 F-16s.

Otherwise, not many in Capital Hill have objected over the loss of the A-10. At the most recent House hearing, only one Representative, Vicky Hartzler, voiced any determined objections to the retirement of the A-10 (she's slated to loose the Reserve A-10's at Whiteman AFB and get F-16's instead). Other members appeared to have voiced objections for the sake of objections, but when General Welsh responded to their objections, they stayed silent and appeared to accept the responses.
 
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SeJoWa
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Mon May 05, 2014 1:59 pm

What I've been saying, based on common sense and experience:

...
In its quest of the F-22 and now the F-35,
the Air Force has traded away its dedicated electronic warfare (EW)
fighters, the training programs that supported them, and the EW-savvy
crews who manned them,
leaving fighter EW the purview of the Navy
and Marine Corps. In light of the A-10’s impending retirement, CAS is
primed to go the same way as EW
.
...
Source:
Col Michael W. Pietrucha, USAF
http://www.au.af.mil/au/afri/aspj/di...ay-Jun/F-Pietrucha.pdf?source=GovD




The markings indicate the number of Iraqi trucks, artillery pieces, tanks, armored vehicles and radar sites destroyed by the aircraft during Operation DESERT STORM.
http://www.defenseimagery.mil/imager...d76aef95882d30ce86aad5802a6f167fd4

And considering every shell costs around $30, those were cheap kills.

[Edited 2014-05-05 07:00:19]
 
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Aesma
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Mon May 05, 2014 2:30 pm

Didn't the F-15 bend its wings or something like that when competing for the Singaporean tender (it still won, that's politics for you) ?

As for the U-2, it's a manned aircraft. Would the US really risk an U-2 over contested territory (by that I mean a real threat like Russia or China) ?
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
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SeJoWa
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Mon May 05, 2014 2:47 pm

Aesma, I really don't follow.

I do not share Col Petrucha's opposition to the F-22 nor F-35, but find many basic propositions of his along my line of reasoning: the benefits of a heterogenous force, and the importance of not planning for only the current threat environment, as well as getting the very basics right.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 131):
The options were: sending the entire B-1 bomber fleet to the boneyard; pushing 40 F-35A's to the far out years; and retiring 356 F-16s.

If above is remotely correct... shudder.
 
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kanban
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Mon May 05, 2014 4:59 pm

The odd thing about some of the logic is wanting to go to a single platform for everything. The opposition would love that as they can concentrate on it's technology to find weaknesses. Having multiple strike force varieties and technologies, means the opposition must plan for all mixes which gets expensive, complicated, and riddled with holes. So we go with a high tech single platform and discover that a low tech, subsonic, signature dirty bird could just slip through, but we no longer have any.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Mon May 05, 2014 8:47 pm

Pietrucha's paper makes the key argument that the F-35 is an albatross and is similar to Comanche. There are a key few differences:

1. The author should be aware that they are still trying to replace the helicopter Comanche was supposed to replace, years later! And how much have they spent specifically not replacing those aircraft? What's ARH-70 and Armed Aerial Scout cost? $10 billion dollars already?

2. One thing about that article doesn't get is that if the USAF ceases the development of the F-35 today, it will still need an alternative program to replace its legacy fighter fleet as the legacy fighter fleet ages. An alternative program will need funding, new funding I might add; good luck with that in an austere budgetary environment and a broken political system! Can you predict that the new alternative program will not become a money pit too?

3. Here's the fun part. Does the author realize that the Army is going to retire the Kiowa's and have the Apache's fill that role as a scout? Guess what else can take up the slack of older, single-role types? The author has now inadvertently drawn attention that perhaps one airframe can replace multiple types of single mission aircraft. Hmm...

4. CAS is no longer being done the way some people think it is. Please review the JTAC manual which spells out the CAS doctrine that is being used today:
http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/dod/jp3_09_3.pdf

Basically, there is not a single scenario where ANY aircraft would drop to 250 and the pilot would try to identify and attack an individual house amongst many using visual only without clearance or confirmation from friendly forces, with friendly forces anywhere near, and that is before we even talk about the attempting to do so with MANPADs and AAA in the area. Nothing good can come from that.

In short, the pilot is not allowed to fire any weapon until the JTAC on the ground explicitly authorizes it. Read Ed Macy's excellent book, "Hellfire" as a good primer on how CAS is being done today. This is borne out of the experiences of Gulf War I, where pilots (predominantly A-10 pilots flying low and slow I might add), racked up a number of friendly fire kills against Coalition ground forces.

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 132):
And considering every shell costs around $30, those were cheap kills.

Nope. Much more, closer to $50 a round, and that's with a very large bulk purchase. And these shells have a life expectancy before they need to be re-manufactured.

Also, consider that CAS is predominantly being done with PGM's. There is a reason for this. PGM's offer considerable consistency, predictability, and accuracy. Instead of worrying about "will this shell/bomb land on me?" I can now think "when this shell/bomb lands on this specific target, how far away do I have to be to avoid casualties?" You take out a critical variable and make it a constant instead.

[Edited 2014-05-05 13:50:37]
 
Cross757
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Mon May 05, 2014 10:39 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 136):
4. CAS is no longer being done the way some people think it is. Please review the JTAC manual which spells out the CAS doctrine that is being used today

This document, although slightly revised, has been around for years. And for comparison, what ways do people think CAS is being done?

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 136):
Basically, there is not a single scenario where ANY aircraft would drop to 250 and the pilot would try to identify and attack an individual house amongst many using visual only without clearance or confirmation from friendly forces, with friendly forces anywhere near, and that is before we even talk about the attempting to do so with MANPADs and AAA in the area. Nothing good can come from that

Never say never in CAS. 250 feet? Perhaps not. But sometimes the target and/or environmental factors creates a need to conduct low-angle strafe, which will take the aircraft lower. There are tactics and risk-mitigation factors that are taken into account to minimize vulnerability to MANPADs and AAA.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 136):
In short, the pilot is not allowed to fire any weapon until the JTAC on the ground explicitly authorizes it

That would be the same regardless of what aircraft is providing the CAS.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 136):
where pilots (predominantly A-10 pilots flying low and slow I might add), racked up a number of friendly fire kills against Coalition ground forces

"Fratricide" is always a CAS pilots worst nightmare. It happens, regrettably. A-10's are not the only ones guilty of it. And some of those instances were the result of the friendly JTAC/or ground commander passing their own coordinates as the target coordinates. That does NOT mean I place the blame fully on those persons, but CAS is highly dynamic and confusing. Doesn't matter what aircraft is providing the CAS, anyone can make that error no matter how sophisticated the aircraft is.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 136):
Also, consider that CAS is predominantly being done with PGM's

Can you post the data or a link to it to support this?

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 136):
There is a reason for this. PGM's offer considerable consistency, predictability, and accuracy. Instead of worrying about "will this shell/bomb land on me?" I can now think "when this shell/bomb lands on this specific target, how far away do I have to be to avoid casualties?

That is all well and great, until the enemy is INSIDE the CEP of that weapon, i.e. danger close. What does the pilot of that CAS aircraft armed with only PGM's do then? Use harsh language?

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 136):
and make it a constant instead

The only constant in CAS is there are no constants. Weapons are not perfect.
 
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Mon May 05, 2014 11:35 pm

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 137):
This document, although slightly revised, has been around for years. And for comparison, what ways do people think CAS is being done?

You can listen to the internet arm chair generals explain how its done, and that unfortunately has clouded the argument.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 137):
Never say never in CAS. 250 feet? Perhaps not. But sometimes the target and/or environmental factors creates a need to conduct low-angle strafe, which will take the aircraft lower. There are tactics and risk-mitigation factors that are taken into account to minimize vulnerability to MANPADs and AAA.

Ah, but there are no reasonable scenarios where the pilot has to independently identify the target. JTAC will provide the coordinates and identify targets for the pilot.

In fact, the JTAC has the ability to see what the pilot sees through ROVER or any other similar ground terminal using streaming video link. Some F-16's and F-15E's had it during the 'Watch' ops in Iraq pre-Gulf War II. Marine Harriers used it during recovery of Jessica Lynch and others during Gulf War II. Just about everyone flying with Litening, Sniper or ATFLIR pod has now had it for some time.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 137):
Can you post the data or a link to it to support this?

Couple of books mentioned the increasing use of PGM's for CAS:
CAS%20JDAM&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false" target="_blank">http://books.google.ca/books?id=Oh9-...%20JDAM&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 137):
That is all well and great, until the enemy is INSIDE the CEP of that weapon, i.e. danger close. What does the pilot of that CAS aircraft armed with only PGM's do then? Use harsh language?

"Danger close" is a technical term and it varies by weapon. However "danger close" should not be confused with "calling it in on top of you" if you will. The danger close for an A-10 gun is 90m. So if you are within 50m of an A-10 strafing you are considered "danger close". It doesn't mean you will die, it is just you reminding the pilot he needs to be on target because there are friendlies close by. If you are 100m you don't need to call danger close, because the tolerances are not tight enough, and the pilot isn't expected to miss by that much.

For example the "danger close" for 155mm artillery, is 600m. As such, artillery support missions shoot "danger close" pretty much the majority of the time, especially considering that the max effective range of an M-16 is 550m. So if you are shooting at someone 500m away and calling in artillery on them you are "danger close". However the no-joke-you-will-die-here blast/frag radii for the 155mm is about 50m.

The main advantage of PGM's is the level of accuracy and consistency compared to conventional dumb weapons. For example, when providing support with artillery using the Excalibur round, because the round is so accurate that CEP doesn't even come into play and artillery gunners rely on "P sub I" that is the odds/percentage of friendlies that will be incapacitated by their proximity of the rounds. It's one less factor to worry about, at 450' from target, the odds of being incapacitated by an Excalibur are 1 in 1,000 so at 200m, the risk is relatively minimal.
 
Cross757
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Tue May 06, 2014 12:07 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 138):
You can listen to the internet arm chair generals explain how its done, and that unfortunately has clouded the argument.

But how do you think it is being done as compared to how it was done before? You made the statement.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 138):
Ah, but there are no reasonable scenarios where the pilot has to independently identify the target. JTAC will provide the coordinates and identify targets for the pilot.

Yes there is, it's called E-CAS, or Emergency CAS with no JTAC available or the JTAC has been injured/killed. And you conception of fidelity of information the JTAC can provide is a bit off, with all due respect. The pilot MUST ABSOLUTELY independently identify the target, primarily through visual means or electronic. While the JTAC has carries the authority to authorize weapons release, the PILOT has the ultimate authority over whether a weapon actually leaves the aircraft. That won't be done unless the pilot has made a positive identification of the target to be attacked.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 138):
In fact, the JTAC has the ability to see what the pilot sees through ROVER or any other similar ground terminal using streaming video link

Rover does not always work. Environmental factors or just plain line-of-sight obstacles can prevent it's use, for example, during Type II CAS when the JTAC might not even be present in the target area and is some miles away and blocked by terrain.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 138):
The danger close for an A-10 gun is 90m

That's approximate to the 0.01 Pi distance. The acceptable risk error of the GAU-8 is actually significantly less than that.. I know A-10 pilots who have effectively used the GAU-8 at 1/5 that distance without fratricide.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 138):
The main advantage of PGM's is the level of accuracy and consistency compared to conventional dumb weapons

No argument there, but keep in mind the PGM is only as good as the coordinates it receives. Garbage in, garbage out. Advantages of "dumb bombs" are they can still be delivered quite precisely and as long as a target elevation is known, the CCIP bombing system can take care of the rest and the weapon can be used "visually", meaning the pilot places the bomb fall line though the target and releases on cue.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 138):
For example, when providing support with artillery using the Excalibur round, because the round is so accurate that CEP doesn't even come into play and artillery gunners rely on "P sub I" that is the odds/percentage of friendlies that will be incapacitated by their proximity of the rounds. It's one less factor to worry about, at 450' from target, the odds of being incapacitated by an Excalibur are 1 in 1,000 so at 200m, the risk is relatively minimal.

Example noted, however, if support is being provided by artillery, then by definition, its not CAS.
 
andydtwnwa7
Topic Author
Posts: 42
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2008 3:59 pm

RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Tue May 06, 2014 5:44 pm

USAF Chief of Staff Gen. Welsh spoke at The National Press Club a few weeks ago, and discussed the A-10 cuts and how they arrived at that decision. He walked through every possible scenario they could conceive to cut other areas/save the A-10. He does a better job in the video explaining it than I could summing it up here, but it's worth a watch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqWvqaNdThg&feature=share&t=9m50s
(if the link doesn't work properly, he starts discussing all the possible cuts/A-10 decision at 9:50)
 
ThePointblank
Posts: 3387
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Wed May 07, 2014 7:55 am

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 139):
But how do you think it is being done as compared to how it was done before? You made the statement.

The problem is that many civilians and politicians believe CAS is done with the pilot flying an aircraft low and slow, dropping dumb bombs on targets that they see. This is not how it is being done today.

The main issue we've been dancing around is that the paradigm has changed in terms of required capabilities. The A-10 would have made a lot of sense in Vietnam. However, today, in the types of wars that the US sees itself, its a bit of an anachronism. What was done in one era (such as the GAU-8) is no longer the only or even the best way to do the job. People need to move on.

In this case, remember the A-10 as a great platform that did a good job, but its day has come and it needs to exit the stage and let newer, better platforms take on the role in new ways. We've already spent lots of money trying to make the A-10 fight more like an F-16, not the other way around. Mid/high altitude CAS is getting more accurate and safer for the guy on the ground.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 139):
YThe pilot MUST ABSOLUTELY independently identify the target, primarily through visual means or electronic. While the JTAC has carries the authority to authorize weapons release, the PILOT has the ultimate authority over whether a weapon actually leaves the aircraft.

Per the manual, JTAC's have the authority to coordinate 'Bomb on coordinates' support missions, which does not require the aircrew to identify the target. The relevant sections are quoted:

Quote:
Bomb on Coordinate:

If a BOC attack is planned based on the tactical scenario, then unnecessary exposure to the threat by CAS platforms is avoided; and time is not wasted conducting targeting confirmation. CAS aircraft are not required to be tally/capture the target when conducting BOC attacks. Great care must be taken to ensure that the target location with the requisite precision and accuracy determined in the commander’s tactical risk assessment is obtained and entered into the weapon/navigation system. Aircrew will not modify coordinates once read back. For a BOC attack, aircrew readback will be from the weapon or aircraft system steering point, waypoint, or target point after the coordinates have been entered from the CAS attack brief. Aircrew will provide the weapon/system readback as requested by the terminal attack controller if the CAS aircraft systems are capable of providing it.

A few bomb on coordinate attack examples include:

- Laser guided weapons employed into a laser basket with the intent to be guided by a
source outside the close air support (CAS) element, i.e., joint terminal attack controller
(JTAC)/forward air controller (air) (FAC[A])/another CAS element.

- Unguided ordnance dropped from medium to high altitude above an overcast with ability
to achieve the supported commander’s intent for CAS.

- Inertially aided munitions employed in an absolute mode on coordinates sufficient to
achieve the supported commander’s intent for CAS.

- Hybrid weapons employed on a Global Positioning System coordinate and then lased by
an off-board source/JTAC/FAC(A).

Again from the book:

Quote:


The following scenario provides an example of how “bomb on coordinate” (BOC) may be employed as part of a Type 2 attack.

- Weather is 500 feet above ground level, overcast, and joint terminal attack controller (JTAC) visually acquires an enemy formation in a trench line with camouflage overhead. The JTAC has a digital portable tactical targeting system but the trench line is not in the imagery and therefore the JTAC cannot generate an accurate location. JTAC is able to terrain associate using his 1:50K map and derive a 6 digit grid with a high degree of confidence. At the direction of the Chapter V V-30 JP 3-09.3 supported commander, the JTAC submits an immediate joint tactical air strike request (JTAR) requesting rotary-wing (RW) close air support (CAS) or aircraft with coordinate seeking weapons in order to bring CAS assets under the weather and engage the enemy formation. The ASOC routes 2 AV-8B with 2 GBU-32s with DSU-33s as the quickest response option airborne.
- Attack aircraft check in and pass that they are carrying “1,000 lbs JDAMs with an airburst fuze option”
- JTAC determines that he can create desired effects to the enemy personnel in the trench with the current target location and the combination of the airburst fuze on the JDAM and decides to employ the AV-8B Type 2 bomb on coordinate.
- AV-8B receive the CAS briefing

JTAC: “Latch 61, this is Broadsword 11, Type 2 in effect, bomb on coordinate advise when ready for 9-line.”
- The JTAC does not have to ever say the term ‘bomb on coordinate’ to the CAS aircraft. By passing BOC with the type of control just before the 9-line, the JTAC is telling the CAS S aircraft up front that they do not need to gain visual or sensor SA to the target or be concerned with getting under the weather. BOC could be passed in remarks as well or not at all as long as the requirement for CAS aircraft is clearly understood.

Attack Aircraft: “Broadsword 11, Latch 61 ready to copy”
JTAC:
“CHEVY
270
10.0
1650
Company of infantry in trenchline
NB234876
None
South 1100
Egress East CHEVY
Advise when ready for remarks”

Attack Aircraft: “Ready to copy remarks”

JTAC: “Final attack headings 250-290. Request 2 GBU-32s from each aircraft, simultaneous
employment, all set to airburst.”

- Attack aircraft validate target location by cross-checking that the position is coincident with the
expected target area using all appropriate means: map plot, digital map set, and radar through
the weather, etc. Additionally, attack aircraft complete entry of line 4 and 6 into both GBU-32s on
board and confirm fuzing is set to airburst.

Attack Aircraft read back: “Latch 61, from my weapon, 1650, NB234876, final attack headings
250-290.”
JTAC: “Latch 61 readback correct, time on target (TOT) 35.”
Attack Aircraft: “Latch 61, TOT 35.”
Quoting Cross757 (Reply 139):
That won't be done unless the pilot has made a positive identification of the target to be attacked.

You are thinking of 'bomb-on-target', which requires the pilot or aircrew to identify the target to be attacked. In this situation, JTAC aids the aircrew in capturing targets. When JTAC requests a 'bomb-on-coordinate' CAS mission, the aircrew are not required to identify the target.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 139):
Yes there is, it's called E-CAS, or Emergency CAS with no JTAC available or the JTAC has been injured/killed.

Also mentioned in the manual:

Quote:

CAS Execution with Non-JTAC Personnel
(1) In certain circumstances, the ground commander might require air support when a JTAC or FAC(A) is not available, but detailed integration with friendly forces fire and movement is still required. Aircrew executing CAS under these circumstances bear increased responsibility for the detailed integration required to minimize fratricide and collateral damage normally done by a JTAC/FAC(A). Non-JTAC personnel must clearly state to strike aircraft that they are not a JTAC. In these circumstances, CAS aircrew should assist these personnel/units to the greatest extent possible in order to bring fires to bear.
(2) Due to the complexity of air support, the commander must consider the increased risk of fratricide when using personnel who are not JTAC/FAC(A) qualified. The requester must notify/alert his command element when a JTAC or FAC(A) is unavailable to conduct Type 1, 2, or 3 control. If the maneuver commander accepts the risk, the request is forwarded to the CAS controlling agency. This information will alert the CAS controlling agency (ASOC, DASC, JAOC) that aircrew will be working with non-JTAC personnel.
(3) Ground personnel requiring air support will identify themselves as not JTAC qualified by stating “I am not a JTAC” on aircraft check-in, make every effort to involve a JTAC/FAC(A) in the situation, provide as much of the 9-line briefing as able, and as a minimum, pass target elevation, target location, friendly location, and restrictions.
(4) Aircrew in this situation will make every effort to involve a JTAC/FAC(A) in the situation and be prepared to “pull” information from the ground personnel to complete the briefing, and exercise vigilance with target identification, weapons effects, friendly locations, and execution of the final attack/abort procedures.
 
Cross757
Posts: 233
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:32 pm

RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Wed May 07, 2014 6:41 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 141):
We've already spent lots of money trying to make the A-10 fight more like an F-16

The F-16 began it's career as a simple, mostly day-only within visual range fighter armed with nothing more than a radar, a 20-mm gun, and a few IR-guided AIM-9 missiles. It has been the subject of just as much if not more modifcations and updates through its lifetime than the A-10 has ever seen. Modifications done to the A-10 have had NOTHING to do with making it more like the F-16. If nothing else, aircraft like the F-16 and F-15E have had to adopt their tactics to effectively perform CAS, a mission that A-10 has been doing since day 1. Those other platforms may have practiced CAS from time to time, but that was never their primary mission set. When F-15E's first arrived in OEF, they had to develop their CAS tactics as they went, such as high-angle strafe, etc. Did they develop a solid ability to do CAS? Absolutely. But that capability was not always there as it has been with the A-10. The corporate knowledge that A-10 pilots have developed over their careers has a significant advantage in a CAS fight. Hopefully a healthy number of A-10 pilots will be folded into the F-35 community to capitalize on that, instead of the F-35 becoming the hot new toy for F-16/F-15E drivers.
One thing to keep in mind, and something that is often overlooked (in my opinion) in this discussion, is the pilot factor. A-10 pilots spend 90% of their time, conservatively, practicing the CAS mission when not in combat, the balance being made up of FAC-A, CSAR, and some BFM for currency. No other platform devotes that much time to perfecting their CAS tactics as the A-10. What will F-35 pilots spend most of their time training for? Rest assured, it won't be CAS. They will be doing SAT, Interdiction, SEAD, BFM, DACT, ACT, etc. CAS is not like a pick-up game of basketball...you can't just jump in and suddenly be an expert at it. It's not about what assets CAN do CAS, it should be about what does it BEST.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 141):
When JTAC requests a 'bomb-on-coordinate' CAS mission, the aircrew are not required to identify the target.

Which is a tactic generally used when friendlies are not a factor with respect to the target locations. It's very high risk when the target is located just across a road or in the adjacent compound or building.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 141):
Also mentioned in the manual:

Yes, E-CAS was an example I gave in response to....

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 138):
Ah, but there are no reasonable scenarios where the pilot has to independently identify the target. JTAC will provide the coordinates and identify targets for the pilot.

Three of the 27 troops-in-contact situations in which I employed ordnance on my first deployment were emergency CAS. Positive target ID is absolutely critical. In the confusion, personnel on the ground relaying their position had their N-S-E-W reversed...was calling North as being South and vice versa. No amount of technology is going to solve that riddle....it has to be done with a calm voice (on the part of the CAS pilot) to make sense of the confusion and decide on the best course of action.
 
Buckeyetech
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:11 am

RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Fri May 09, 2014 3:04 pm

Go figure, congress throws a wrench in the air force's plan.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/defen...a-10-funding-through-2015-20140508
B-52H, C-141C, C-5A, C-17A
 
ThePointblank
Posts: 3387
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Fri May 09, 2014 4:48 pm

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 142):
The F-16 began it's career as a simple, mostly day-only within visual range fighter armed with nothing more than a radar, a 20-mm gun, and a few IR-guided AIM-9 missiles. It has been the subject of just as much if not more modifcations and updates through its lifetime than the A-10 has ever seen. Modifications done to the A-10 have had NOTHING to do with making it more like the F-16. If nothing else, aircraft like the F-16 and F-15E have had to adopt their tactics to effectively perform CAS, a mission that A-10 has been doing since day 1. Those other platforms may have practiced CAS from time to time, but that was never their primary mission set. When F-15E's first arrived in OEF, they had to develop their CAS tactics as they went, such as high-angle strafe, etc. Did they develop a solid ability to do CAS? Absolutely. But that capability was not always there as it has been with the A-10. The corporate knowledge that A-10 pilots have developed over their careers has a significant advantage in a CAS fight. Hopefully a healthy number of A-10 pilots will be folded into the F-35 community to capitalize on that, instead of the F-35 becoming the hot new toy for F-16/F-15E drivers.

The modifications done to the A-10 was meant to bring the A-10 to a technological level to be able to deliver CAS in a way similar to the later F-16 blocks. A lot was done to the A-10 to improve its connectivity, better network the aircraft into battlefield SA and C2 tools, carry much improved/modern targeting pods, and increase its ability to use smart and standoff munitions. In short, the C-model upgrades help give the A-10 a bunch of capabilities that other fighters have had for a long time, and bring it up to speed for the modern CAS battle.

Quoting buckeyetech (Reply 143):
Go figure, congress throws a wrench in the air force's plan.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/defen...a-10-funding-through-2015-20140508

In short:

Find a way to cut this amount of money... no, not that way!
 
Cross757
Posts: 233
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:32 pm

RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Fri May 09, 2014 5:57 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 144):
The modifications done to the A-10 was meant to bring the A-10 to a technological level to be able to deliver CAS in a way similar to the later F-16 blocks

The A-10C had little to do with bringing the A-10's CAS capabilities up to that of the F-16...in fact the A-10C's digital CAS capabilities in most ways were superior to that of the F-16. The primary advantage of was giving the A-10 the ability to deliver the more advanced inertial-guided munitions, improved integration with the TGP, and interoperability with the data-link. If the F-16's were so great at CAS compared to the A-10A, then why was the A-10 the sole USAF fixed-wing fighter type aircraft in OEF from roughly late spring/early summer 2003 until early 2007 when the first F-15E's, arrived in country? The first F-16's didn't arrive in country until sometime in 2009 if my memory is correct. The fact is the F-16 and F-15E were NOT superior CAS assets. Different capabilities? Absolutely. Ability to do CAS? Certainly. But your argument that those airframes have had better CAS capabilities prior to or after the A-10C is, with all due respect, incorrect.

Quoting buckeyetech (Reply 143):
Go figure, congress throws a wrench in the air force's plan.

Maybe because some of those in Congress (contrary to the norm) seem to care a bit more than the USAF about ensuring our troops on the ground have the best CAS support we can provide them until the hyper-expensive and much delayed F-35 is finally capable of joining the fight.
 
Ozair
Posts: 4944
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Fri May 09, 2014 11:09 pm

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 145):
If the F-16's were so great at CAS compared to the A-10A, then why was the A-10 the sole USAF fixed-wing fighter type aircraft in OEF from roughly late spring/early summer 2003 until early 2007 when the first F-15E's, arrived in country?

Easy to understand.

It was not until late 2007 that the insurgency in Afghanistan really gained momentum. This graph shows clearly how much of a change occurred from 2008 to 2012.

AF-data-Aug2012-page.jpg" target="_blank">http://www.longwarjournal.org/images...attacks-ISAF-data-Aug2012-page.jpg

In the same way that those aircraft were being pulled out of OIF due to a decrease in attacks there.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 145):
Maybe because some of those in Congress (contrary to the norm) seem to care a bit more than the USAF about ensuring our troops on the ground have the best CAS support we can provide them until the hyper-expensive and much delayed F-35 is finally capable of joining the fight.

Irrespective of the capabilities of the platform, congressional support for the A-10 is about state government and national guard units located in many states. I would make a bet that 80% of those advocating for this don't know the different between CAS delivered by the A-10 as opposed to an F-16, F-15E etc.
 
Cross757
Posts: 233
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:32 pm

RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Fri May 09, 2014 11:27 pm

Quoting Ozair (Reply 146):
Easy to understand.

It was not until late 2007 that the insurgency in Afghanistan really gained momentum. This graph shows clearly how much of a change occurred from 2008 to 2012.

That has zero to do with it and that wasn't the point that was made. The A-10 was labeled as "not having the same capabilities to do CAS as the F-16", etc. Which is absolutely not the case. Bringing F-16s to the CAS fight in OEF in 2009 had ZERO to do with the F-16 being able to perform CAS better, simply just brought extra CAS assets into theater. That graph does not speak to capabilities whatsoever.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 146):
Irrespective of the capabilities of the platform, congressional support for the A-10 is about state government and national guard units located in many states.

Even if you could prove that beyond a reasonable doubt, how about those senators pushing for the F-35 because it is built in their home state? Are they somehow not guilty of the same?
Or fans who just want to see a sky full of F-35's because they are fast and "look really cool"?  
 
Ozair
Posts: 4944
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sat May 10, 2014 12:37 am

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 147):

That has zero to do with it and that wasn't the point that was made.

It may not be the point you were trying to make but it is the reason that airpower deployed in country was increased post 2007.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 147):
Even if you could prove that beyond a reasonable doubt, how about those senators pushing for the F-35 because it is built in their home state? Are they somehow not guilty of the same?

Agree 100%, which is why the discussion of what capability the US military has should be left to serving personnel. Politicians should decide the end state and budget, military leaders devise the force structure to get there. In this case, given the assigned budget, the USAF has made a decision on what capability it wants for the future.

I have no doubt that 45 years from now this same discussion will be happening about F-35s being withdrawn from ANG units.
 
Cross757
Posts: 233
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:32 pm

RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sat May 10, 2014 1:12 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 148):
it is the reason that airpower deployed in country was increased post 2007

Agree.
There was a plan to remove all A-10's from OEF and replace them with F-15E's once a new runway was built in country. Indeed, from Dec 06, all of the A-10's were gone from OEF. I can't tell you for sure who made the decision or who requested it (I have my guesses), but A-10's promptly returned to OEF in Apr 07 once a squadron was able to "spin up" and be deployed, since it was originally not tasked to do so. That is a testament to the A-10's capabilities to perform CAS.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 148):
Politicians should decide the end state and budget, military leaders devise the force structure to get there

True...but don't discount the idea that some military leaders may be contemplating a career outside the military with a certain defense contractor when making such decisions. High-ranking retired individuals seem to earn a hefty paycheck as a "defense consultant" for various companies. I would hazard a guess that is the exception rather than the rule, but who can ever tell?

Quoting Ozair (Reply 148):
I have no doubt that 45 years from now this same discussion will be happening about F-35s being withdrawn from ANG units.

...while preserving money for B-52 upgrades...geez, how long with that thing be around?!   

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