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

Sat May 10, 2014 1:24 am

Barring another sequestration, I'm curious as to what the overall affect will be on this decision to fund the A-10's a little while longer. Is it the required amount to keeping their current flying hours and maintenance, or will the Air Force have to make cuts else where to keep 'em flying?
B-52H, C-141C, C-5A, C-17A
 
Cross757
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sat May 10, 2014 1:48 am

Quoting buckeyetech (Reply 150):
Is it the required amount to keeping their current flying hours and maintenance,

That's my understanding, yes. The number floated is a savings of $3 billion over 5 years, by retiring the A-10 fleet. I have a hunch that would be the cost to operate one squadron of F-35's for the same time-frame  
 
ThePointblank
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sat May 10, 2014 4:59 am

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 147):
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.

The A-10 is responsible for the delivery of less than 20% of CAS in Afghanistan. The vast majority of the time, CAS is provided by another platform.

So what if we didn't have A-10's in theatre? We'll just have more F-16's, F/A-18's, F-15E's, B-1's, B-52's, AV-8B's in theatre providing CAS.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 151):
That's my understanding, yes. The number floated is a savings of $3 billion over 5 years, by retiring the A-10 fleet. I have a hunch that would be the cost to operate one squadron of F-35's for the same time-frame

The alternatives were:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 131):
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.
 
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seahawk
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sat May 10, 2014 8:39 am

The least needed airplane in the USAF. It is a one trick pony suitable for a mission which can be done by all other platforms in the USAF - from B-2 to AT-6. It is time to retire it.
 
Kiwirob
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sat May 10, 2014 4:25 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 152):
So what if we didn't have A-10's in theatre? We'll just have more F-16's, F/A-18's, F-15E's, B-1's, B-52's, AV-8B's in theatre providing CAS.

So you're not Canadian?
 
Scruffer
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sat May 10, 2014 4:37 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 131):
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.

So 350 odd A-10s costs as much to keep in service as 350 odd F-16s?

I guess I could see that being the case for the F-16s, since it would not just be aircraft you removed when you get rid of the A-10 fleet you would get rid of all the support programs related to it.....


Also it is strange that the USAF would consider sending the B-1 to the boneyard while they spend a bunch of money to make a new bomber....... Seems like a repeat of the past 20 or so years where they cut a large amount of their force with a promise that in the future they will get a replacement.
 
Cross757
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sat May 10, 2014 5:44 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 152):
The A-10 is responsible for the delivery of less than 20% of CAS in Afghanistan. The vast majority of the time, CAS is provided by another platform.

Yes, I know...but that does NOT mean that a single other aircraft is providing the other 80%.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 152):
So what if we didn't have A-10's in theatre? We'll just have more F-16's, F/A-18's, F-15E's, B-1's, B-52's, AV-8B's in theatre providing CAS.

Or with more A-10's, less of those. Yes, I so enjoy watching a B-1 or B-52 performing a high-angle strafe pass on a target...oh, wait...

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 152):
sending the entire B-1 bomber fleet to the boneyard

Why not? We don't need the B-1, we have the B-52 and B-2. The B-2 is stealthy, arguably making it much more survivable over a "modern" battlefield where critics say the A-10 also cannot go. Hmmmm...

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 152):
pushing 40 F-35A's to the far out years

A whole "40" F-35's? Out of a planned buy of what, 1,600 or so?! You just make an excellent point...clearly the cost tradeoff then is between being able to operate the ENTIRE A-10 fleet (around 350 aircraft now) or JUST 40 F-35's (about 2.3 squadrons worth). And people still wonder why the DoD is in the financial jam it is?!

Quoting seahawk (Reply 153):
The least needed airplane in the USAF

Prove it. Have some facts?

Quoting seahawk (Reply 153):
It is a one trick pony suitable for a mission which can be done by all other platforms in the USAF

The KC-10/KC-135/C-17/C-5/C-32/B-2/T-38/T-1/T-6/E-8/RC-135/E-3 can do CAS?!?!? Wow, where have been all these years!  
With all do respect, if you think that CAS is a square hole and that any aircraft that CAN do CAS is a square peg that fits perfectly 100% of the time, then you truly don't understand how dynamic CAS can be.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sat May 10, 2014 6:21 pm

Quoting Scruffer (Reply 155):
So 350 odd A-10s costs as much to keep in service as 350 odd F-16s?

Yes, per the USAF.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 156):

Yes, I know...but that does NOT mean that a single other aircraft is providing the other 80%.

It just means we can have other assets in theatre. More F-16's, more AV-8B's to cover the slack.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 156):
Or with more A-10's, less of those. Yes, I so enjoy watching a B-1 or B-52 performing a high-angle strafe pass on a target...oh, wait...

News alert: B-1's DO provide CAS:
http://breakingdefense.com/2014/05/sen-mccain-b-1s-really-do-cas/

Quote:
The idea of a B-1 flying close air support would not comport with Senator McCain’s honorable experience in the military. For the first 10 years of my 23-year career as a B-1 pilot, I would have agreed with the senator.

By then, the A-10 was the go-to aircraft for CAS, even though it was originally designed as a tank killer. Like the B-1, the A-10 was not originally designed for CAS. However, the tragedy of 9/11 blew away everyone’s paradigm of warfighting. Drastic times called for rapid innovation. So, to get the most airpower to protect our ground troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, almost every attack aircraft in the US inventory — the F-15E, F-16, F-18, AH-64, AC-130, RPAs, B-52s and even the B-1B — become close air support assets. Their aircrews received extensive training in the challenging tactics, techniques and procedures demanded by the role of bombing or shooting the enemy as they closed with American troops.

Advancements in technology; changes in training; and updates to CAS procedures were needed. Capabilities such as Global Positioning System (GPS), Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM), targeting pods (e.g., SNIPER and LANTIRN), and satellite communications gave these aircraft the precision to conduct CAS.

Pilot training at the Red Flag war-games and the Air Force’s Weapons School was changed to emphasize CAS TTPs. Traditional CAS procedures were updated to take into account each plane’s capabilities and the needs of those on the ground, the Joint Terminal Air Controllers (JTACs) who are embedded with ground troops. For many of the fixed-wing fighters, this was a relatively easy transition since many squadrons already trained for CAS as an additional mission. But for the B-1, training for CAS was a completely new ball game.

In 2001, the idea that B-1s could operate in a Close Air Support environment was more theory than practice. When B-52s and B-1s were deployed to Diego Garcia to kick off Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) bomber aircrews had to learn CAS procedures on the fly, working with Special Operations troops embedded with the Northern Alliance. As OEF progressed, the JTACs and bomber crews quickly built the trust both sides needed.

The B-1 and B-52 communities learned from A-10 pilots and met face-to-face with Army Special Forces units and Air Force Special Tactic squadrons. B-1s and B-52s were integrated into the Army’s Air Warrior exercises to improve their skills. By 2003, CAS training for bomber crews had become standard. In 2008, the B-1 was certified to fly with the SNIPER Targeting Pod…similar to the one used by the A-10. Thanks to funding from Congress, this pod greatly increased the B-1 aircrews’ ability to differentiate hostile targets from friendlies and to increase their weapons’ accuracy. B-1s and B-52s now drop laser-guided bombs (LGBs) with fighter-like precision and continue to operate in theater.

As I watched Senator McCain grill General Welsh about which platform would handle the A-10′s CAS mission, I imagined a stack of air power (B-1s, B-52s, F-15Es, F-16s, and F-18s) that was airborne providing Armed Over Watch of our ground troops, ready to answer their call for CAS.
Quoting Cross757 (Reply 156):
A whole "40" F-35's? Out of a planned buy of what, 1,600 or so?! You just make an excellent point...clearly the cost tradeoff then is between being able to operate the ENTIRE A-10 fleet (around 350 aircraft now) or JUST 40 F-35's (about 2.3 squadrons worth). And people still wonder why the DoD is in the financial jam it is?!

Do tell us why retiring an aging fleet of aircraft suitable for a narrow list of missions and only in permissive environments to free money for more advanced systems that are not bound by those limited mission sets is laughable or absurd.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 156):
Prove it. Have some facts?

Yes, we should retain an aircraft that costs just as much as an F-16 to operate, does only one small mission set, and can only do it in a permissive air environment otherwise OPFOR will shoot it to pieces. Did you forget what the Iraqi Republican Guard did to the A-10 during Desert Storm with weapons like MANPAD's and ZSU-23-4's? Lt Gen Chuck Horner sure was not impressed with the excessively ventilated A-10s (by enemy fire no less). The F-16s were subsequently committed against Republican Guard positions as the A10 was pulled out of that fight.
 
Cross757
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sat May 10, 2014 7:00 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 157):
News alert: B-1's DO provide CAS

Yes, I know that as well...I have said that myself...but they do not do strafe, period. A B-1 can't get down in the valley's in the Korengal Valley like an A-10 (or sometimes an F-15E and F-16). It can drop precision munitions with the aid of a TGP or IAM's assuming friendlies are not a factor and they have good coordinates. Talk about a narrow mission set.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 157):
But for the B-1, training for CAS was a completely new ball game

The answer is in the question. So slap a TGP on a B-1 and suddenly they are the experts at CAS? Please.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 157):
Do tell us why retiring an aging fleet of aircraft suitable for a narrow list of missions and only in permissive environments

That statement apples to every aircraft in the inventory with the exception of the F-22, B-2, and (if it ever becomes operational), the F-35. The F-15E is based on a design that was developed around the same time as the A-10. F-16? Same thing.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 157):
free money for more advanced systems that are not bound by those limited mission sets is laughable or absurd.

Equally as laughable and absurd to me are the extreme cost overruns, technical delays, and utter failure of the F-35 program to advance from anything more than an RFP to an aircraft that is STILL not operational after 12+ years. Remember the last airplane that was developed as a "one size fits all" solution, the F-111? How did that work out?
The B-1's mission set is just as narrow if not more so than the A-10. It was designed for strategic, nuclear attack. Slapping a TGP onto it was just a way of getting some use out of an airplane that up until now, was not being used for anything. Aside from strategic bombardment and CAS, what else does the B-1 do that can't be covered by the B-2? Same story for the B-52. The E-3/E-8 are single mission aircraft if there ever was one, but nobody seems to be in a rush to retire them. With the amazing situational awareness available to F-22 pilots, why do we need the E-3 anyway? Let's retire it instead.
The F-16 is limited for CAS because of it's relatively short endurance. The F-16 is not as stealthy or immune as you think. Remember that little thing about an F-16 being shot down over Bosnia in 1995, by an older generation SA-6?

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 157):
Yes, we should retain an aircraft that costs just as much as an F-16 to operate

Actually, the A-10 is cheaper to operate. See one of the replies above.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 157):
otherwise OPFOR will shoot it to pieces

There you go making your "the sky is falling" statements again about your perceived vulnerabilities of the A-10 in EVERY situation except an extremely permissive one. Do you have any idea how vulnerable the AC-130 is? Do you have hard and fast numbers to support your idea for how non-vulnerable the F-16/F-15E you think they are, or shall I assume the standard answer of "because they are faster!"?  
 
ThePointblank
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sun May 11, 2014 6:25 am

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 158):
Yes, I know that as well...I have said that myself...but they do not do strafe, period. A B-1 can't get down in the valley's in the Korengal Valley like an A-10 (or sometimes an F-15E and F-16). It can drop precision munitions with the aid of a TGP or IAM's assuming friendlies are not a factor and they have good coordinates. Talk about a narrow mission set.

And we don't strafe in an non-permissive environment. Put an A-10 in an environment where the enemy has MANPAD's and other low-level air defence systems, and an A-10 coming to strafe will be shot down. Remember the TASVAL operational evaluations of the A-10 in the late 1970's. A-10's that went in using the gun as their primary weapon against an organized opponent with organic air defence systems suffered badly at the hands of enemy air defences. A-10's that fought at stand-off range with the Maverick missile fared better.

Remember when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, the Soviets had many analogues to our aircraft, including the Su-25. When the Mujahadeen got Stinger missiles, practically anywhere from 500ft to 15,000ft was denied to Soviet attack aircraft and helicopters because of the MANPAD threat. Fixed wing aircraft were forced above 15,000ft while helicopters had to fly below 500ft to avoid being targeted.

CAS isn't going to be done by a pilot just flying around down low til they see something they think conforms to their internal description of "The Bad Guys" - unless a JTAC has eyes on the target, you're not releasing ordnance. If a JTAC or similar controlling authority *has* eyes on the target, the act of weapons release can occur from further away and at a safer altitude.

I don't get why this is so complicated for you to understand - right now, artillery support is handled in the exact same way - no-one's driving an M109 Paladin or a M777 howitzer up to the front door and cranking a round off into the house that's under consideration - they're yanking the lanyard on an GPS guided M982 Excalibur round from twenty miles back.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 158):
Remember the last airplane that was developed as a "one size fits all" solution, the F-111? How did that work out?

The F-111 had other problems that were at the program level which killed the effort. Namely, inter-service rivalry. The Navy didn't want to accept what they saw as an Air Force aircraft. The Navy didn't want F-111 to begin with, and made every effort to try to sabotage the program internally. To make sure that the F-111 was never purchased, the Navy even went so far to re-write the specifications so the F-111 could never meet the requirements.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 158):
The F-16 is limited for CAS because of it's relatively short endurance. The F-16 is not as stealthy or immune as you think. Remember that little thing about an F-16 being shot down over Bosnia in 1995, by an older generation SA-6?

Like I said much earlier:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 22):
22% of the Coalition's fixed-wing combat aircraft attrition resulting in either a loss or severe battle damage were all surrounding the A-10. This includes everything from controlled flight into terrain, crashes, AAA and SAM losses. Losses + damaged equaled 15% of A-10 fleet deployed. The A-10s operated below 12k ft because they didn't have the systems to effectively operate any higher. Desert Storm forced the rest of USAF to go medium altitude due to the very high MANPAD and AAA threat. That is despite a really effective SEAD USAF.
Quoting Cross757 (Reply 158):
Actually, the A-10 is cheaper to operate. See one of the replies above.

By around $5000 bucks per CPFH. And for that extra $5000, I get an aircraft that can do air superiority, interdiction, air reconnaissance, SEAD, and a host of other missions.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 158):
There you go making your "the sky is falling" statements again about your perceived vulnerabilities of the A-10 in EVERY situation except an extremely permissive one. Do you have any idea how vulnerable the AC-130 is? Do you have hard and fast numbers to support your idea for how non-vulnerable the F-16/F-15E you think they are, or shall I assume the standard answer of "because they are faster!"?

Keep in mind the highest intensity the A-10 has seen was in Desert Storm where it had the highest attrition rate of all allied aircraft, even though they were pulled off the tough targets when Gen Horner ‘had enough’. Why the heck should we keep the A-10 flying for some future politician to in effect campaign for office by advocating that future mothers’ sons should have to fly a marginal-at-best asset into an even a more dangerous future battlespace?

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 158):
Equally as laughable and absurd to me are the extreme cost overruns, technical delays, and utter failure of the F-35 program to advance from anything more than an RFP to an aircraft that is STILL not operational after 12+ years.

If you want a bigger laugh, read the reports on the Super Hornet. The radar is marginally operational on that aircraft, with the rest of the aircraft having numerous technical shortcomings, for an in-service aircraft today!
 
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seahawk
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sun May 11, 2014 8:22 am

All the data makes sense. Retire the A-10 and you remove the whole support structure from the USAF. Form spares to maintenance to training. Retire 350 F-16s you just have less F-16s.

Everything must focus on getting the needed numbers of F-35 and to get it fast, as all other types (F-22 aside) are growing obsolete in high intensity threat scenarios.
 
Cross757
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sun May 11, 2014 5:55 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 159):
Put an A-10 in an environment where the enemy has MANPAD's and other low-level air defence systems, and an A-10 coming to strafe will be shot down

Wow...don't know what to say to your "the A-10 will get shot down if the enemy has anything worse than a slingshot" routine...where are you getting this information that makes you think the A-10 is that vulnerable...shaking my head.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 159):
A-10's that went in using the gun as their primary weapon against an organized opponent with organic air defence systems suffered badly at the hands of enemy air defences

And do you honestly think the A-10 is the only aircraft that would suffer that way?

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 159):
A-10's that fought at stand-off range with the Maverick missile fared better.

Every aircraft that fights at "stand-off' range has better survivability.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 159):
unless a JTAC has eyes on the target, you're not releasing ordnance

Wrong. Under Type II control, the JTAC can have either the attacking aircraft OR the target in sight, does not require both. Type III control, he won't see either.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 159):
The F-111 had other problems

I could write an entire book about the problems the F-35 has had.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 159):
By around $5000 bucks per CPFH. And for that extra $5000, I get an aircraft that can do air superiority, interdiction, air reconnaissance, SEAD, and a host of other missions

And what you get is a "jack of all trades, master of none". Lol.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 159):
Why the heck should we keep the A-10 flying for some future politician to in effect campaign for office by advocating that future mothers’ sons should have to fly a marginal-at-best asset into an even a more dangerous future battlespace?

By that logic, why are we still then operating the B-52, AC-130, into combat? The F-35 is not designed just to replace the A-10, but also the F-16/F-15E...do you think that is coincidence? They are just as vulnerable in the "future battlespace" as the A-10. Don't kid yourself for a second if you think they aren't.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 159):
I don't get why this is so complicated for you to understand

It's not hard for me to understand. I have over 8 years of experience/1,400+ hours flying the A-10A/C so far and just shy of 2,900 hours of military flight time total. I understand the points you are making. I do my best to counter them. That's what has made this such a fun thread so far. Let's not stop now.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 159):
If you want a bigger laugh, read the reports on the Super Hornet

I can top that...Miley Cyrus said she was going to go to college and Kim Kardashian said she was going to get a real job.
 
Cross757
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sun May 11, 2014 6:18 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 159):
Remember the TASVAL operational evaluations of the A-10 in the late 1970's. A-10's that went in using the gun as their primary weapon against an organized opponent with organic air defence systems suffered badly at the hands of enemy air defences. A-10's that fought at stand-off range with the Maverick missile fared better

You can't use results from tests that are almost 40 years old to draw unequivocal conclusions about how the A-10 would survive today. It is a completely different aircraft now than it was when it first rolled out of the factory. The only navigation systems that A-10 had back then were a TACAN and an ADF. No ILS. No EGI. Not even an autopilot or radar altimeter. Just like the F-16 is not the same aircraft either. And often times, despite the threats, the mission has to get done. Was it Donald Rumsfeld that said, "you fight wars with what you have, not what you want", or something to that effect.
I do, I mean I really do, hope the F-35 delivers on the promises that have been made about it. But looking at how it's development has been nothing short of a disaster, it has a lot to make up for.
 
Ozair
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Mon May 12, 2014 3:37 am

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 162):
I do, I mean I really do, hope the F-35 delivers on the promises that have been made about it. But looking at how it's development has been nothing short of a disaster, it has a lot to make up for.

That is hardly a fair assessment of the F-35 program.

There are two main reasons for delay to the F-35
1. The JSF PO changing the specs of the F-35B from Mk83 to a Mk84 class weapon and then changing it back again after a couple of years. This decision alone probably added 4 years to the schedule.
2. Slow down of the test and LRIP phase by the US government. This has increased aircraft cost and increased test program time. I have already posted previously about modifications from concurrency being significantly less costly than the impact that reducing aircraft buys and pushing the test program out further has done.

As it stands, the F-35 will be the most extensively tested aircraft in aviation history. It will deliver an aircraft that is more capable at IOC than most achieve many years after full rate production has started and it hasn't crashed during testing, touch wood, unlike F-14, F-22, F-16, Gripen let alone the previous generations.
 
Ozair
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Tue May 13, 2014 12:26 am

A possible compromise?

http://intercepts.defensenews.com/20...ing-the-a-10-in-type-1000-storage/

Asked for a definition of what Type-1000 storage means, the Air Force offered the following statement: “Aircraft in Type-1000 storage are to be maintained until recalled to active service, should the need arise. Type 1000 aircraft are termed inviolate; meaning they have a high potential to return to flying status and no parts may be removed from them. These aircraft are “re-preserved” every four years.”

Also of note, it can take “30-120 days depending upon how long the aircraft has been in Type 1000 storage for it to become flyable again,” according to the service spokesperson.



Cost Expectations
the cost of storing the A-10 fleet in type-1000 storage for five years at $25.7 million. That’s not cheap, but it would still represent huge savings for the Air Force over keeping the fleet going for five years.

The above proposal was initially rejected by US Senators but I doubt it is the last we will hear about it.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Tue May 13, 2014 11:46 pm

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 161):
Wow...don't know what to say to your "the A-10 will get shot down if the enemy has anything worse than a slingshot" routine...where are you getting this information that makes you think the A-10 is that vulnerable...shaking my head.

Before the A-10 was even out of flight test, evidence that the battlefield was getting a lot nastier was seen in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. During the Yom Kippur War, the majority of the Israeli aircraft losses was due to airspace denial because of heavy CAS employment in the 1st 48 hours (50% of air losses came in this period) by SAM's/AAA. Egyptian SAMs (SA-2s, SA-3s, and SA-6s) along with 23-mm ZSU23-4 antiaircraft cannons mauled Israeli CAS aircraft flying low level.

If one looks at potential aggressors such as North Korea, Syria and Iran, most studied Yom Kippur and really boosted their low-level airspace denial capability with highly effective AAA, and low level SAM's. Nations that have more money to spend in preparing for a conflict against us (e.g. Russia and China) are adding lessons applied from Gulf War I and boosting their medium altitude airspace denial capabilities as well. Nations that have more money to spend in preparing for a conflict against us (e.g. Russia and China) are adding lessons applied from Gulf War I and boosting their medium altitude airspace denial capabilities as well.

Fast forward to today. Yes, the A-10 has gotten more advanced, but not that much more advanced. However, air defence systems have gotten considerably more advanced and lethal. Systems that took half a minute to engage a detected target during Yom Kippur will now do the same in 5 seconds, and do so with weapons that are far more lethal than they were during the 1970's. Coupled with users that actually know what they are doing with these systems, and at a greater concentration of superior missiles than those faced by the Israelis, the A-10 will fare very poorly against such threats.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 162):
You can't use results from tests that are almost 40 years old to draw unequivocal conclusions about how the A-10 would survive today. It is a completely different aircraft now than it was when it first rolled out of the factory. The only navigation systems that A-10 had back then were a TACAN and an ADF. No ILS. No EGI. Not even an autopilot or radar altimeter. Just like the F-16 is not the same aircraft either. And often times, despite the threats, the mission has to get done. Was it Donald Rumsfeld that said, "you fight wars with what you have, not what you want", or something to that effect.

Ah, but in the A-10's case, the decision to not have those systems was intentional. The A-7D's that the USAF had before the A-10's was a better CAS aircraft than the A-10. It had a CCIP, a very good ADF that was separate from basic UHF and FM radio, and a very good nav, full-axis auto pilot, and INS system.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 161):

And what you get is a "jack of all trades, master of none". Lol.

Air planners saw the world’s Integrated Air Defense Systems evolving at an alarming rate and anticipated that flying low-and-slow would soon be a poor survival strategy.

Other developments were also occurring that would influence AF attitudes and decisions concerning future CAS capabilities:

1. Israeli successes with the F-16 in the Osirak Reactor Strike (air-to-ground) and the Bekaa Valley (air-to-air) “reenergized proponents of fast multi-role fighters”.

2. The emergence of the Army’s Air-Land Battle doctrine which “envisioned a faster and freer-flowing battlespace without a traditional battle line”. This was a doctrine that clearly favored use of a faster aircraft and operations that were less reliant on air-ground coordination.

3. The discovery that the A-10’s structural design life was significantly less-than-specified, and that would require remedy either via an extensive and expensive modification program and/or replacement of much of the A-10’s structure or the development of a replacement aircraft far earlier than anticipated.
 
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Wed May 14, 2014 2:13 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 165):
The A-7D's that the USAF had before the A-10's was a better CAS aircraft than the A-10

Baloney. The A-10's CCIP is much more accurate than you may realize. In Korea, the A-10 squadron at Osan routinely won the air-to-ground bombing competitions between the F-16 squadron's on peninsula...and one year even one the air-to-air portion (2005). None of the reasons you mention make the A-7D a better CAS platform. Key design elements of the A-10 were adapted based on lessons learned from the weaknesses of then-current aircraft that performed CAS. The A-7D was never a dedicated CAS asset. If the A-7D was so great, why was it not modified to say, A-7F/G/H, etc, instead of being replaced?

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 165):
anticipated that flying low-and-slow would soon be a poor survival strategy

Sometimes that is the only strategy that can get you to the target. Direct/indirect terrain masking. A-10's practice it all the time.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 165):
The discovery that the A-10’s structural design life was significantly less-than-specified

Where did you get that statistic?
 
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Wed May 14, 2014 5:08 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 164):
A possible compromise?

http://intercepts.defensenews.com/20...ing-the-a-10-in-type-1000-storage/

Asked for a definition of what Type-1000 storage means, the Air Force offered the following statement: “Aircraft in Type-1000 storage are to be maintained until recalled to active service, should the need arise. Type 1000 aircraft are termed inviolate; meaning they have a high potential to return to flying status and no parts may be removed from them. These aircraft are “re-preserved” every four years.”

Also of note, it can take “30-120 days depending upon how long the aircraft has been in Type 1000 storage for it to become flyable again,” according to the service spokesperson.



Cost Expectations
the cost of storing the A-10 fleet in type-1000 storage for five years at $25.7 million. That’s not cheap, but it would still represent huge savings for the Air Force over keeping the fleet going for five years.

The above proposal was initially rejected by US Senators but I doubt it is the last we will hear about it.

Waste of money. You can not remove the A-10 personal, or you would have to retrain them after 5 years. You can not remove the support structure. Re-building the supply chain would be expensive after a 5 years brake. Many vendors will move on.
No, the only solution is to retire the whole A-10 fleet immediately and scrap it, if you want to save money..
 
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Wed May 14, 2014 6:54 am

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 166):
Baloney. The A-10's CCIP is much more accurate than you may realize. In Korea, the A-10 squadron at Osan routinely won the air-to-ground bombing competitions between the F-16 squadron's on peninsula...and one year even one the air-to-air portion (2005). None of the reasons you mention make the A-7D a better CAS platform. Key design elements of the A-10 were adapted based on lessons learned from the weaknesses of then-current aircraft that performed CAS. The A-7D was never a dedicated CAS asset. If the A-7D was so great, why was it not modified to say, A-7F/G/H, etc, instead of being replaced?

And when did the A-10 get CCIP? Very recently. The USAF sold Congress that the A-10 could do everything the A-7D could do with zero avionics back in the 1970's.

The announced plan was that the A-10 would operate in concert with the A-7D. Then once the program got really going, USAF announced they were dumping the A-7D. Congress directed that the two types be compared in exercises. The results came back that the A-7 could do everything the A-10 could do (except tote the gun), though for some missions not as well, whereas the A-10 could do certain things better than the A-7 could do them, but there were some parts of the A-7 mission it simply couldn't do. The recommendation was that both types be retained because the combination of the two was much greater than the sum of its parts. One of the things to note that the A-7, compared to the A-10 during these evaluations, the A-7 was just as accurate under visual conditions compared to the A-10 at low and slow, and still had the avionics to allow for all-weather operations. At "normal" attack speeds and even higher release altitudes the A-7 was actually much more accurate than the A-10 because of the A-7's systems. Also being 150-200 knots faster when the enemy starts shooting at you made the A-7 more survivable.

USAF noted that although Congress directed the two be evaluated and recommendations made, it didn't direct that USAF follow them. So, AF announced they were going to continue with plans to dump the A-7. Many people at the time considered the flyoff to be rigged in favour of the A-10. The A-10 never had to fly the scenarios that normally experienced especially in Vietnam, and never in a very high-threat environment. Red Flag was not in existence, and the threats there would have made a big difference in survivability.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 166):
Sometimes that is the only strategy that can get you to the target. Direct/indirect terrain masking. A-10's practice it all the time.

Depending on terrain, you might not have that option.

While ground clutter does provide some protection from being detected and tracked especially from older radar systems, technology has changed that. A-10's capability to fly low and slow and maneuverability might be enough to survive against older systems or systems with only manual control, but it would not be so against anything modern (designed during the last 30 years or so). Most modern radars and fire control systems don't have much trouble with low flying targets as they can pretty easily track targets flying below clutter. Of course there are number of elevated low altitude radar systems that would likely detect and track A-10 from 30-50 km, dependent on terrain. Fire control systems in older air defense systems are also so slow that they can require 20-30 seconds from target detection to engaging it, allowing a lot of time for aircraft to do their job. Modern systems require about 4-10 seconds and of course can engage targets at much further away, making successful evasion very much harder. Furthermore, some of the newer systems don't rely on command guidance or semi-active homing or required constant illumination; they had true fire and forget capability, and datalinks that allowed any offboard sensor to provide guidance even under the most intense jamming environment. Old systems could engage only 1 or 2 targets at the time and shoot only few missiles at a time. Some modern systems could theoretically fire at dozens of targets at the same time and guide very large number of missiles simultaneously without alerting the target aircraft.

Furthermore, many of the modern SAM's have missiles that considerably outperform the previous generation of systems. The old SA-8 had a maximum maneuverability of less than 20 G's. Modern missiles can maneuver at 30-60 G's and they don't lose speed nearly as fast as older missiles after the rocket motor has burned out, making them much more lethal at longer ranges.

Jinking and shooting chaff is still an effective way to try to break lock or preventing radar system to locking on in the first place depending on radar system and system operator skill. Of course if the air defense system also has optical and thermal sights with laser range finders connected to the fire control system and reasonably skilled operators, such tactic doesn't work so well any more. Pretty much all modern systems have them, so the tactics would really reliably work only against now obsolete equipment.

Against more modern systems A-10 could not rely on armour, gun or maneuverability as they would not be nearly enough. Armour would not stand against modern AAA or SAMs as they have way too much power. GAU-8, while awesome, would be at great disadvantage against modern AAA systems which have much longer range, faster targeting capability and shooting faster and bigger projectiles. Modern AAA or SAM systems have been designed to engage targets with way higher maneuverability and speed than A-10.

Imagine you are a commander of an A-10 squadron which is providing CAS to beleaguered ground forces in an environment where the opposing/enemy forces has effective SHORAD that has not been suppressed effectively/totally. Would you direct your pilots to fly "low" and "slow" (supposed strengths of the A-10) in such an environment? You can do that, but OPFOR will try and probably will, make sure that your squadron will pay very DEARLY for flying "low" and "slow". Even if all your A-10s managed to make it back to the airbase with significant battle damage, your squadron wouldn't providing anything CAS after the first few days due to relentless attrition from battle damage.

Ok, you will probably say the A-10s can engage from medium altitudes with PGMs; fair point, the A-10 can even be integrated with targeting pods and datalinks. However, there is the rub; most other fast jets in the USAF can do that too! Not to mention that the A-10s still require other "faster" multirole jets to sanitize the battlespace (air superiority/SEAD/DEAD). Your force commander probably would have left your squadron back at home state side instead of taking you along in the first place.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 166):
one the air-to-air portion (2005).

Air to air kills against what? Crop dusters? Helicopters?

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 166):
Where did you get that statistic?

Oh, something about a HOG UP wing that failed a structural fatigue test catastrophically back in 2004, after the outer wing panels and center wing panels were replaced. Thus triggering the demand for the manufacture of replacement wing sets for the entire A-10 fleet that the USAF was going to retain.
 
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Wed May 14, 2014 8:09 am

The A-10 is less capable in a high threat scnario than the F-16s or other jets, that is no question. The big question is if it is so much cheaper to operate that it is worth keeping it for lower threat scenarios. The USAF seems to say no, but ugly and slow was never loved by the USAF.
Imho if you look at it, the A-10 is no longer needed. It is not up for high threat scenarios and still too expensive for use in bush wars, there AT-6 could do most of the jobs for much less money. Imho they should retire the A-10 and give a wing of AT-6 to the Special Forces types for bush war use.
 
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Wed May 14, 2014 11:00 am

It's amusing seeing the Pointblank trying to argue against an actual A-10 pilot, Cross757 who has flown CAS missions in combat. Love it, Cross757 you own his ass!
 
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Wed May 14, 2014 11:57 am

A few points are not wrong though. The A-7D was not bad at CAS and better at interdiction and the "Navy Child" was not much loved in the USAF. However even in the basic A-10 version the pilots were outstanding and dropping dumb bombs, mainly because that is what they trained each and every day.

But in the ned today´s problem is not about the quality of the plane, it is about the budget. And the A-10 is a pretty obvious option to cut. It would remove a platform and the whole support organisation from the USAF. There are not many alternatives.

KC-10
U2
B-1
B-52
F-15C

I think bombers are safe and the "sexy" fighters too.
 
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Wed May 14, 2014 6:07 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 168):
And when did the A-10 get CCIP? Very recently.

Define "very recently".

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 168):
The recommendation was that both types be retained because the combination of the two was much greater than the sum of its parts.

Which is a recommendation that even now, should be followed. But the severe cost overruns of the F-35 is partly (if not mostly) to blame for the budget situation we are in now.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 167):
No, the only solution is to retire the whole A-10 fleet immediately and scrap it, if you want to save money.

No, the solution is to retire the entire F-15C fleet...it has even fewer mission sets than the A-10 (OCA and DCA).

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 168):
Furthermore, many of the modern SAM's have missiles that considerably outperform the previous generation of systems. The old SA-8 had a maximum maneuverability of less than 20 G's. Modern missiles can maneuver at 30-60 G's and they don't lose speed nearly as fast as older missiles after the rocket motor has burned out, making them much more lethal at longer ranges.

Which makes every other fighter (F-16/F-15/F-18, etc) just as vulnerable.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 168):
Armour would not stand against modern AAA or SAMs as they have way too much power. GAU-8, while awesome, would be at great disadvantage against modern AAA systems which have much longer range, faster targeting capability and shooting faster and bigger projectiles

Faster targeting capability? Those systems, even the modern ones, have limitations based on the firing solution calculated by the radar. It assumes a 1G level target. To be truly effective they have to switch to optical control most times. Shooting faster/bigger projectiles? What does that have to do with the GAU-8? Bigger projectiles when it comes to AAA actually means SLOWER muzzle velocities most of the time. As for SAM's, once again, every fighter is just as vulnerable to the "modern" threats that are out there.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 168):
Air to air kills against what? Crop dusters? Helicopters?

Haha, don't quit your day job. No, against the resident F-16 squadron. BFM.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 168):
Oh, something about a HOG UP wing that failed a structural fatigue test catastrophically back in 2004, after the outer wing panels and center wing panels were replaced. Thus triggering the demand for the manufacture of replacement wing sets for the entire A-10 fleet that the USAF was going to retain.

Post a link to the test results. What about the F-15C from the Missouri ANG that split in half in flight a few years ago? Ever noticed all the extra structural strengthening plates bolted on to a lot of F-16's along the spine? The simple fact is that fighter aircraft experience aerodynamic and G flight loads that far exceed civilian aircraft on a daily basis. Fatigue happens.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 168):
Your force commander probably would have left your squadron back at home state side instead of taking you along in the first place.

Really?!?! So that must be why A-10's flew in Desert Storm, Bosnia, OIF, OEF...wow we should get you a direct line to the Pentagon right now because clearly you know how to prosecute an air campaign better than them!  
Quoting seahawk (Reply 169):
Imho they should retire the A-10 and give a wing of AT-6 to the Special Forces types for bush war use

Actually, they did test the AT-6 and decided it couldn't do the job as well.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 171):
There are not many alternatives.

KC-10
U2
B-1
B-52
F-15C

I think bombers are safe and the "sexy" fighters too.

Good points, but I would argue that the F-15C should go. The OCA/DCA mission is well covered by the F-22. The B-1 has a full conventional capability now, why not drop the B-52? The U-2's mission can be covered by overhead intel systems and UAV's, IMO.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 169):
but ugly and slow was never loved by the USAF

The A-10 has always been the "ugly stepchild". That's a source of pride for Hawg drivers actually. For me, I just fall back on what the "customer" has always thought about the A-10...I've never met an Army guy who said they hated the A-10. Ever.
Most humbling point of my life was at the McChord AFB airshow in 2008. Was approached by a soldier stationed at nearby Ft. Lewis. We got to chatting, turns out I had provided CAS for his convoy that was ambushed the previous summer. Needless to say we both shared great enthusiasm for the fact that he was still "here".
 
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Wed May 14, 2014 10:05 pm

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 172):
Which is a recommendation that even now, should be followed. But the severe cost overruns of the F-35 is partly (if not mostly) to blame for the budget situation we are in now.

The costs overruns and delays of F-35 are mostly attributable to the government. They changed specifications after awarding the contract then changed them back, gave LM incorrect information, and cut order volumes. Delays, screw ups, etc have often taken 'two to tango' in many cases. The contractor isn't always solely at fault when a project goes south, but sometimes the customer is also at fault (more often, from my cynical point of view, always) as well.

Like I said before:

Quote:
The problem is that delay was due to issues with government oversight and customer requested design changes. There’s been ~5-6 years IOC delay as a result of this.

One year was from taking 3 instead of 2 to fully staff the program. I blame Lockheed Martin for thinking they could do it in 2 years when it’s always taken 3 years for a program this size and they knew it wouldn’t be done any differently than before, and I also blame the Program Office for believing it. The blame goes both ways here.

Then there was ~2 years for what is commonly referred to as the ‘weight reduction’ redesign which in reality was a recovery from an ill-conceived design requirements change between the technology demonstrator program and the award of the contract to Lockheed Martin.

Basically, very early on after the contract award, someone modified and approved the specs that specified that all three variants of the F-35 share the same weapons bay size, meaning that all three variants would have been capable of handling 2000lb class weapons internally. Originally, it was only the F-35C that was required to be able to handle a 2000lb class weapon while F-35A and F-35B only required 1000lb class weapons. It was few years later well into design and prototyping did everyone realized that as a result of the design change, F-35B was going to be overweight, so they changed the specs back to requiring internal carriage for a 1000lb class weapon in each weapons bay. But as a result of this late change, some components had to be extensively redesigned to accommodate the change and to save weight.

I presume this was a Customer idea, because if it had been a Contractor one, the Contractor would have been thrown under the bus by the Customer (e.g. A-12 Avenger II) by now. That's why I believe that no one was playing the blame game between the DoD and Lockheed Martin because if they did, the DoD probably knows full well they were the ones that caused the problem in the first place.

Now add about 2-3 years (so far) as a result of Congress and DoD choosing to stretch the program for dubious reasons (cough, *Concurrency!*, cough), and there’s your ‘dogging delays’, ‘cost’, and ‘redesign’s all rolled up in three events. Just about everything else that has happened on this program has been a mere side show in comparison.

Furthermore, the US is just exiting from 2 major overseas wars. It needs to rebalance its force structure, divest itself of unneeded equipment, and recapitalize with new hardware. Guess what, the A-10 is not going to be required with the planned force structure of the USAF to support Air-Sea-Land.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 172):

No, the solution is to retire the entire F-15C fleet...it has even fewer mission sets than the A-10 (OCA and DCA).

The F-15C shares a number of components and sub-systems with the F-15E, and thus a very high level of commonality. There isn't much in the way of cost savings retiring the F-15C compared to retiring another aircraft, as you will still need the supply chain to keep the F-15E's flying.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 172):
Which makes every other fighter (F-16/F-15/F-18, etc) just as vulnerable.

Which is why they are being replaced by the F-35.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 172):
Faster targeting capability? Those systems, even the modern ones, have limitations based on the firing solution calculated by the radar. It assumes a 1G level target. To be truly effective they have to switch to optical control most times. Shooting faster/bigger projectiles? What does that have to do with the GAU-8? Bigger projectiles when it comes to AAA actually means SLOWER muzzle velocities most of the time. As for SAM's, once again, every fighter is just as vulnerable to the "modern" threats that are out there.

1. These newer systems are much faster in their response times than older systems. Systems like the SA-8 took 26 seconds from acquisition to engagement. A modern system like Pantsir S1 or Crotale NG will take 5 seconds to do the same thing. Of course the missile time of flight is greatly reduced and modern SHORAD missiles can reach 8 km range within 10 seconds. So an incoming low level target detected at 10-12 km (depending on target speed) range can be shot down within 15 seconds at about 8 km range.

2. Other way around. AAA using the larger, 30+mm rounds have more muzzle velocity than the lighter 20mm or 23mm rounds.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 172):
Post a link to the test results. What about the F-15C from the Missouri ANG that split in half in flight a few years ago? Ever noticed all the extra structural strengthening plates bolted on to a lot of F-16's along the spine? The simple fact is that fighter aircraft experience aerodynamic and G flight loads that far exceed civilian aircraft on a daily basis. Fatigue happens.

See slides 10 and 15:
http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2008systems/7131jacques.pdf

The entire engineering case study is here:
http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a530838.pdf

Start at page 54 for everything regarding structural life.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 172):

Good points, but I would argue that the F-15C should go. The OCA/DCA mission is well covered by the F-22. The B-1 has a full conventional capability now, why not drop the B-52? The U-2's mission can be covered by overhead intel systems and UAV's, IMO.

A-10 is the only USAF aircraft in inventory in that list that requires a major structural overhaul and repair program, along with a major avionics upgrade. Cutting the A-10 means savings of $4.2 billion dollars. Cutting the F-15C and B-52 fleet won't save nearly as much as removing the A-10 from service, and would cause considerable disruption to the USAF's warfighting capabilities. Cutting the A-10 is the LEAST disruptive to the USAF's warfighting capabilities.
 
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Wed May 14, 2014 10:41 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 173):
Guess what, the A-10 is not going to be required with the planned force structure of the USAF to support Air-Sea-Land.

The A-10C upgrade was implemented to keep the A-10 viable until 2028...14 more years. What has the A-10 on the chopping block now has zero to do with it not being needed, and everything to do with the budget crisis we find ourselves in.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 173):
The F-15C shares a number of components and sub-systems with the F-15E, and thus a very high level of commonality.

That has nothing to do keeping the F-15C around. They look the same on the outside but inside are two completely different aircraft. The F-15C mission is not something that can't be covered by F-22...which is why we have the F-22 in the first place.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 173):
2. Other way around. AAA using the larger, 30+mm rounds have more muzzle velocity than the lighter 20mm or 23mm rounds.

...I still don't understand what this statement and this one...

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 168):
GAU-8, while awesome, would be at great disadvantage against modern AAA systems which have much longer range, faster targeting capability and shooting faster and bigger projectiles

...have anything to do with the GAU-8.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 173):
2. Other way around. AAA using the larger, 30+mm rounds have more muzzle velocity than the lighter 20mm or 23mm rounds.

They also have slower rates of fire the bigger they get. A-10 still has better armor protection against AAA systems than any other aircraft.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 173):
along with a major avionics upgrade.

We already got the major avionics upgrade...its called the Precision Engagement mod, a.k.a. A-10C...have been flying it since 2008.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 173):
Cutting the F-15C and B-52 fleet won't save nearly as much as removing the A-10 from service

Their costs per flying hour, especially the B-52, are much higher than the A-10, are you kidding?! You are saying that cutting the entire B-52 fleet would save LESS than the $3 billion over 5 years for the A-10? That doesn't add up at all. Plus for each B-52 you have to pay/clothe/house/feed 5 aircrew, those costs have to be included...just one for the A-10.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 173):
Cutting the F-15C and B-52 fleet won't save nearly as much as removing the A-10 from service, and would cause considerable disruption to the USAF's warfighting capabilities

What mission does the F-15 do right now that can't be covered by the F-22? I haven't seen many F-15C's flying around OEF oh, since, never. What mission(s) does the B-52 do that the B-1 and B-2 can't?
 
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Thu May 15, 2014 6:05 am

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 174):
The A-10C upgrade was implemented to keep the A-10 viable until 2028...14 more years. What has the A-10 on the chopping block now has zero to do with it not being needed, and everything to do with the budget crisis we find ourselves in.

And it is an aircraft that we haven't had a real dire need for in the past 20-30 years.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 174):
That has nothing to do keeping the F-15C around. They look the same on the outside but inside are two completely different aircraft. The F-15C mission is not something that can't be covered by F-22...which is why we have the F-22 in the first place.

Retiring the F-15C will drastically alter the force structure of the USAF. By having the F-15C, it allows F-22's to be more focused on the pointy end, instead of being spread around, diluting the USAF air superiority capabilities.

Retiring the A-10 does not drastically alter the force structure and capabilities of the USAF. There are many, many platforms that can provide ground support. A-10s are nice to have but not indispensable when the USAF needs to make hard decisions due to the sequestration...based on future threat environments, needs and requirements. The USAF is going to further restrict operations more and more every year with increasing threats. Now the USAF has a nice financial hole in their pocket while in need of those same funds to continue other much needed (and probably critical) modernization. How is all this viable? Something has to give, and the platform with the most limited applications that can't be effectively covered by other platforms will have to be eliminated.

It is not just a budget decision based on the whim of the USAF, strengths and weaknesses of every platform has been considered in the context of future conflicts the USAF may itself participating in. Frankly, you are barking up the wrong tree. The pending retirement of the U-2's are more significant than the "OMG" pending doom of the A-10 in my humble opinion. These are budget decisions; narrow mission, difficult to deploy aircraft get the axe first. Welcome to budget realities on the backside of a war.


The USAF basically sees the A-10 as an increasingly limited asset even in the narrow mission it occupies. It's less versatile in other roles and I don't care how many helicopters or F-16's in an BFM exercise it shoots down, that doesn't mean its suddenly a CAP fighter. Even if the A-10 is underestimated in certain missions a multi-role fighter is still going to do those other missions better. There are basically 3 options with A-10s in future combat in contested skies:

1. Accept the risk and send them in; this is bad because it will cost men and machines, is not sustainable, and hurts more than it helps;

2. Wait until conditions are safe enough to send the A-10s to operate;

3. Make the safe enough conditions happen by pulling other assets to help/escort A-10s

Times are a changing, folks. We can't plan for the last war, and worse, buy/maintain stuff developed for the last war.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 174):
They also have slower rates of fire the bigger they get. A-10 still has better armor protection against AAA systems than any other aircraft.

Yes, limited 23mm protection on some sections of the airframe. However, the A-10 was designed for a battlefield where the worst of threat is 14.5mm machine gun fire. Weapons like the ZPU-23-4 and MANPAD's were just in their infancy. Review the engineering case study I linked to which describes the initial specifications the A-10 was designed around.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 174):
...have anything to do with the GAU-8.

The capabilities posed by modern AAA dramatically out-ranges and out-performs the GAU-8. Having the GAU-8 is not very useful when the enemy has guns that will out-range you and is capable of killing you with a few shots.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 174):
We already got the major avionics upgrade...its called the Precision Engagement mod, a.k.a. A-10C...have been flying it since 2008.

Only 42 A-10's have gotten new wing sets. The rest still need re-winging, and the USAF can save a lot of money by retiring the A-10 and canceling the re-winging contract.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 174):
Their costs per flying hour, especially the B-52, are much higher than the A-10, are you kidding?! You are saying that cutting the entire B-52 fleet would save LESS than the $3 billion over 5 years for the A-10? That doesn't add up at all. Plus for each B-52 you have to pay/clothe/house/feed 5 aircrew, those costs have to be included...just one for the A-10.

The B-52 provides a lower cost platform capable of delivering extremely large payloads at extended range, and also carry large numbers of stand-off weapons. And it is able to do that at a higher availability rating.
 
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Thu May 15, 2014 6:29 am

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 172):
No, the solution is to retire the entire F-15C fleet...it has even fewer mission sets than the A-10 (OCA and DCA).

That is one of the options I do see, but with the US military now gearing up for a a high intensity conflict in Asia and considering the "fighter mafia" in the USAF, I think it is unlikely that the Golden Eagles will go, especially as air-to-air combat is way closer to the heart of the brass than CAS.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 172):
Actually, they did test the AT-6 and decided it couldn't do the job as well.

It can not replace the A-10, but experience from Super Tucano users show that those armed turboprops are very useful in counter insurgency type missions. And they have more fire power, faster reaction times and longer loiter times than the AH-6/OH-6 while also working quite well as a "manned" Predator. My basic point is that, with the A-10 gone, there is a need for something cheap and armed to use in bush wars. Just imagine you have to prepare an African airfield for F-35 ops. (much worse imagine they drop some mortars on the flight line)

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 172):
Good points, but I would argue that the F-15C should go. The OCA/DCA mission is well covered by the F-22. The B-1 has a full conventional capability now, why not drop the B-52? The U-2's mission can be covered by overhead intel systems and UAV's, IMO.

Well USAF says they do not have enough F-22 for that mission. With the next gen. bomber project just gaining momentum, I would say all bombers are secure, so that nobody can doubt the need for that project. But imho the main point is that all those systems have more support in the USAF than the A-10.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 172):
The A-10 has always been the "ugly stepchild". That's a source of pride for Hawg drivers actually. For me, I just fall back on what the "customer" has always thought about the A-10...I've never met an Army guy who said they hated the A-10. Ever.
Most humbling point of my life was at the McChord AFB airshow in 2008. Was approached by a soldier stationed at nearby Ft. Lewis. We got to chatting, turns out I had provided CAS for his convoy that was ambushed the previous summer. Needless to say we both shared great enthusiasm for the fact that he was still "here".

I would never deny the worth of the A-10. USAF command does. A-10 is the plane the grunts love most and for a good reason, because A-10 is the plane going to save their backsides when things go ugly. But I am not sure how much the USAF generals love the grunts.
 
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Fri May 16, 2014 6:53 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 175):
And it is an aircraft that we haven't had a real dire need for in the past 20-30 years.

LOL...now you're just being silly!

And when you say "we", I'm a little surprised because I didn't realize that Canada ever operated the A-10! Hmmm, learn something new every day!

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 175):
Retiring the F-15C will drastically alter the force structure of the USAF. By having the F-15C, it allows F-22's to be more focused on the pointy end, instead of being spread around, diluting the USAF air superiority capabilities.

What perceived threat are you referring to that has been "diluting" our F-22 force by spreading it around all over?!?! The Cold War ended in the early 90's, in case you missed that part. The F-15C's are not needed right now, and neither the F-15C or F-22 have actually seen combat in the last 10 years, save for a maybe a few CAP's flown during ODYSSEY DAWN.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 175):
difficult to deploy aircraft

It's actually pretty easy: climb into jet, start engines, take off.
The A-10 has an APU, meaning it requires very little in the way of ground support, essentially fuel and bombs. And has been proven, can operate from rough/unpaved strips in needed. The high-mounted engines are virtually immune to FOD, not so much the hoover-vacuum intake of the F-16...the runway sweepers at Bagram were operating continuously thanks to them. For several years A-10's operated off the old, original runway the Soviet Union build during their invasion in the 1980's...F-16/F-15 couldn't do that.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 175):
Yes, limited 23mm protection on some sections of the airframe.

Ah yes...must be that "limited protection" that has allowed several A-10's to fly back to base and land safely after losing most of a wing, complete hydraulic failure forcing the pilot to use manual reversion, loss of an engine to a MANPAD, etc. Yes, tell me again how well the F-16 can fly after losing an engine? I don't recall ever seeing an F-16/F-15/F-18 make it back to base with the same damage that an A-10 could sustain.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 175):
The capabilities posed by modern AAA dramatically out-ranges and out-performs the GAU-8.

I still have zero idea why you are comparing the GAU-8 to AAA pieces. Do you mean an A-10 using the GAU-8 to target a AAA piece? Well that is just stupid. It's low Pk anyway, because all it would do is maybe kill the personnel operating the gun, which is why the gun would not be used against such a target unless there was no other option such as using a stand-off weapon. A-10's have had AGM-65 capability from the beginning. But since you seem to know so much MORE about A-10 tactics then the rest of us, I'm sure you know best which weapon to use in each situation, right?!   

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 175):
The B-52 provides a lower cost platform capable of delivering extremely large payloads at extended range, and also carry large numbers of stand-off weapons. And it is able to do that at a higher availability rating.

All things that the B-1 and B-2 can do just as well, actually better, because they have the added benefit of some stealthy capabilities (B-1) all the way up to "full" stealth mode (B-2), which, using your own arguments, would be far more survivable in the imminent Cold War-style force-on-force war which you seem to feel is about to erupt any second now. Perfect argument to retire the B-52 fleet and save a boat-load of money (no offense to our Navy friends out there).

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 175):
And it is able to do that at a higher availability rating

You mean "mission capable rate"? The A-10's had a higher MC rate than the F-15E's, and much higher historically than the virtually brand new F-22. I don't think the B-52 rate is that much if at all higher than the A-10. Kudos to Boeing though for building a jet that has lasted this long, though. Don't make 'em now like they used to.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 176):
but with the US military now gearing up for a a high intensity conflict in Asia

I hope it's not a land war we are gearing up for, because that would be the most classic blunders of all time.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 176):
but experience from Super Tucano users show that those armed turboprops are very useful in counter insurgency type missions

Yes indeed, and the primary advantage that helped them be so effective? The ability to operate relatively low and slow directly over the "battlefield", just like another airplane I know quite well...

Quoting seahawk (Reply 176):
My basic point is that, with the A-10 gone, there is a need for something cheap and armed to use in bush wars. Just imagine you have to prepare an African airfield for F-35 ops. (much worse imagine they drop some mortars on the flight line)

IMO you just made a fantastic case to KEEP the A-10! The A-10 is here NOW. They are already paid for! They have the ability to operate from rough/unimproved/limited support airfields. They have outstanding loiter time (I've done 3.1 hours on internal fuel without in-flight refueling). It would cost more to field an entirely new system than to just keep the A-10.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 176):
But imho the main point is that all those systems have more support in the USAF than the A-10.

That seems to been the case since the A-10 first arrived.
 
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seahawk
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sat May 17, 2014 7:34 am

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 177):

IMO you just made a fantastic case to KEEP the A-10! The A-10 is here NOW. They are already paid for! They have the ability to operate from rough/unimproved/limited support airfields. They have outstanding loiter time (I've done 3.1 hours on internal fuel without in-flight refueling). It would cost more to field an entirely new system than to just keep the A-10.

There is more for the A-10:

1. it can refuel in the air and deploy more easily
2. 2 engine safety
3. armoured cockpit
4. faster than a prop
5. carries more ammo
6. in place support structure
7. highly qualified pilots and ground crews

I just meant that the AT-6 would be imho needed in case the A-10 goes. I would prefer the A-10 to stay.

If forced to remove a type from the USAF my first choice would probably be the KC-10. It is a small fleet, mission ready rates are not good, civil DC-10s are going to the scrapyard which will make spare parts even more expensive.

Second choice would be the F-15C/D.

Third the B-52.

The problem is that those system most likely to go make most sense to keep. The A-10 offers a unique skill set. The U-2 is cheaper than a Global Hawk and can operate everywhere, even in controlled airspace. Problem is, they are no fighter and no bomber.
 
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sat May 17, 2014 10:25 am

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 177):
What perceived threat are you referring to that has been "diluting" our F-22 force by spreading it around all over?!?! The Cold War ended in the early 90's, in case you missed that part. The F-15C's are not needed right now, and neither the F-15C or F-22 have actually seen combat in the last 10 years, save for a maybe a few CAP's flown during ODYSSEY DAWN.

How about our commitments to our Asian allies? South Korea? Japan? Taiwan? The Philippines? You do realize that the Asia-Pacific region is a potential power keg, and with the potential for American involvement due to mutual defence pacts the US has signed with.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 177):
It's actually pretty easy: climb into jet, start engines, take off.
The A-10 has an APU, meaning it requires very little in the way of ground support, essentially fuel and bombs. And has been proven, can operate from rough/unpaved strips in needed. The high-mounted engines are virtually immune to FOD, not so much the hoover-vacuum intake of the F-16...the runway sweepers at Bagram were operating continuously thanks to them. For several years A-10's operated off the old, original runway the Soviet Union build during their invasion in the 1980's...F-16/F-15 couldn't do that.

Except for the fact that the A-10 requires a lot of supporting assets to sanitize the battlefield if we are going against a peer or near peer opponent. You deploy A-10's against a near peer opponents, someone has to deploy a CAP to protect the A-10's, SEAD to prevent enemy SAM's from lighting you up, among other things. Aircraft like the F-16 can self-escort.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 177):
Ah yes...must be that "limited protection" that has allowed several A-10's to fly back to base and land safely after losing most of a wing, complete hydraulic failure forcing the pilot to use manual reversion, loss of an engine to a MANPAD, etc.

Hmm... wasn't the biggest cause of A-10's being shot down in Gulf War I was due to IR-SAM's?

The A-10 was designed in a time when a MANPAD was a very new technology, and the early ones weren't nearly the threat that they are now. Moreover the A-10 if it wants to kill airplanes, or suppress SAMs, isn't capable of carrying AMRAAMs, can't carry HARMs, has a fraction of the EW capability, and no jammer to fry or jam things. It has recently been equipped with targeting pods and smart weapons, to increase its stand off ability. A-10s only get low and slow for gun runs as a last resort, the ROEs typically set a high minimum too, I think in Kosovo it was 15,000 ft. You needed permission to go below that.

In Libya, rumours of SA-18 missiles put restrictions on A-10 operations (along with AC-130. and AV-8B's). F-15Es F-16s, F-18s were still unrestricted. The best CAS aircraft in the world doesn't mean much when you can't fly it where the action is. It's a limited aircraft, with a limited role, even in limited wars.

So how many aircraft are you donating to sanitize the area before we send in the mighty A-10? Is the A-10 a second-line aircraft? Honest question.

It's really hard to find a perfect middle ground of so dangerous it rates an armored flying cannon, while at the same not so dangerous that an A-10 can't do it. And the list of stuff an A-10 can't do overwhelms what it can do. The change in tactics has only solidified that.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 177):
I don't recall ever seeing an F-16/F-15/F-18 make it back to base with the same damage that an A-10 could sustain.

Ahem:

Missile hit:


Mid-air:
http://combatace.com/uploads/monthly_11_2013/post-3395-0-02521400-1383855076.jpg

Flak:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/47/A-6E_flak_damage_to_wing_dring_1991_Gulf_War.jpeg

And FYI, of the 66 fixed wing aircraft that were damaged or were losses during Gulf War I that weren't A-10's, half made it home. Sounds like a fairly good survival rate for the teen series fighters.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 177):
. A-10's have had AGM-65 capability from the beginning. But since you seem to know so much MORE about A-10 tactics then the rest of us, I'm sure you know best which weapon to use in each situation, right?!

The F-16 is also a frequent carrier of the Maverick missile. So what makes A-10's special if you want to shoot Maverick missiles?

Oh, and the F-16 has had PGM capability for a lot longer than the A-10 has, and PGM's such as JDAM and Paveway are one of the most frequently used weapons in CAS.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 177):
All things that the B-1 and B-2 can do just as well, actually better, because they have the added benefit of some stealthy capabilities (B-1) all the way up to "full" stealth mode (B-2), which, using your own arguments, would be far more survivable in the imminent Cold War-style force-on-force war which you seem to feel is about to erupt any second now. Perfect argument to retire the B-52 fleet and save a boat-load of money (no offense to our Navy friends out there).

The B-52 is the prime carrier for the USAF's arsenal of long range cruise missiles, including the nuclear tipped weapons. We can't fit these missiles to the B-1 or B-2's due to START treaty restrictions. You loose the B-52's, the USAF looses the ability to use long range cruise missiles.

And we need these cruise missiles, on as many platforms as we are allowed in a conventional war. The USN only has so many Tomahawk-capable platforms, and none can be reloaded at sea.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 177):
I hope it's not a land war we are gearing up for, because that would be the most classic blunders of all time.

The entire Korean peninsula could erupt into a land war if care isn't taken. But the most likelihood of the type of war would be naval and aerial. So we need B-52's, F-15C's, etc because these aircraft still have a major role to play for these types of wars. A-10's, not so.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 177):
IMO you just made a fantastic case to KEEP the A-10! The A-10 is here NOW. They are already paid for! They have the ability to operate from rough/unimproved/limited support airfields. They have outstanding loiter time (I've done 3.1 hours on internal fuel without in-flight refueling). It would cost more to field an entirely new system than to just keep the A-10.

Still need new wings, which will cost a few billion dollars.

And the USAF can really use the money that would have gone into A-10's into recapitalizing the USAF's tactical fighter force. As much as the USAF would like to keep the A-10 around, because the USAF doesn't have the budget necessary to keep the A-10 around while recapitalizing the rest of the tactical fighter force, the USAF feels that retiring the A-10 provides the biggest savings while preserving core capabilities. The USAF needs a replacement for their F-16's, and F-15's down the line, and the core missions that these two aircraft provide are essential to how the US fights its wars. The USAF has its replacement for these two aircraft with F-35. Keeping the A-10 around doesn't make sense when it is only capable of a very narrow range of missions under a very limited type of war.

And like I said before:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 75):
I think much of the controversy regarding retiring the A-10 is based on sentimentality and poor understanding of the bigger picture of air power, of which some have come to have a skewed view after so many decades of bushfire wars. From a big picture of the USAF's priorities in supporting ground forces, these are the priorities in order:

1- Air Superiority: Make damned sure that our ground forces don't have to worry about enemy CAS.

2- Interdiction: Hinder the enemy's weapons/personnel from getting to the front lines in the first place.

3- Air Transport: Make sure our forces can get themselves with their equipment and supplies in and out of the battlespace.

4- CAS: Why so low on the list? If the USAF takes care of the first three items, then ground forces shouldn't need it that much CAS to begin with, and they have all the localized support they need from organic assets such as attack helicopters, artillery, and occasional strike aircraft.

When it comes to making the hard choices, the USAF would and should rather see the A-10's go away than lose core-capable aircraft that better support the overall mission. If I had to choose between keeping the CAS-only A-10's against making sure I have enough F-16's and F-35's that can do CAS just fine, but can maintain air superiority for my ground forces and do the interdiction role extremely well, I would pick the F-16's and F-35's.
 
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sat May 17, 2014 12:03 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 179):
How about our commitments to our Asian allies? South Korea? Japan? Taiwan? The Philippines? You do realize that the Asia-Pacific region is a potential power keg, and with the potential for American involvement due to mutual defence pacts the US has signed with.

You're Canadian you don't any commitments to any of those countries, so why get your panties in a knot over an aircraft that Canada has never operated?
 
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sat May 17, 2014 2:32 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 179):
The B-52 is the prime carrier for the USAF's arsenal of long range cruise missiles, including the nuclear tipped weapons. We can't fit these missiles to the B-1 or B-2's due to START treaty restrictions. You loose the B-52's, the USAF looses the ability to use long range cruise missiles.

IIRC if we were to retire the B-52s then we could reclassify the same number of launch platforms to carry those weapons.

The issue with this is that for long range cruise missiles you don't need a B-1 or B-2, which are very expensive to maintain and more useful for other work.

Personally I don't think the USAF will be losing any platforms in the near future... what I think will happen is either some number of aircraft are sent to the boneyard (combination of A-10s/F-16s/ect), fewer F-35s are planned to be purchased, or congress will let the USAF spend a little more money.
 
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sat May 17, 2014 6:28 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 179):
How about our commitments to our Asian allies? South Korea? Japan? Taiwan? The Philippines?

South Korea has F-4's (for a short time longer), F-16's, F-15K, etc. Japan? F-15's, F-2's. Taiwan, F-16's. They can help take care of themselves too, you know.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 179):
You do realize that the Asia-Pacific region is a potential power keg, and with the potential for American involvement due to mutual defence pacts the US has signed with.

Yes. But then we thought that about the Soviet Union in the 1980's and what happened there? You need to let go of this "cold war, everyone is out to get us we need to be ready for WWIII" mentality. Our major threats over the next 10 years are going to come from rogue groups using guerilla/insurgency type tactics in countries that are just barely on our radar right now, IMO. Yes, we need to be prepared for war at all times, but you act like China (no disrespect meant to any fellow a-netters from there) is about to sail across the Pacific and invade Seattle...although they do have Costco and Tully's coffee there, so who could really fault them for that if they did.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 179):
Except for the fact that the A-10 requires a lot of supporting assets to sanitize the battlefield if we are going against a peer or near peer opponent. You deploy A-10's against a near peer opponents, someone has to deploy a CAP to protect the A-10's, SEAD to prevent enemy SAM's from lighting you up, among other things. Aircraft like the F-16 can self-escort.

Perhaps you don't get it: ALL of those support assets, i.e. SEAD, DCA/OCA, tankers, etc, will BE THERE ANYWAY regardless if A-10's are in the fight or not. You've been reading too many Tom Clancy novels!

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 179):
The F-16 is also a frequent carrier of the Maverick missile. So what makes A-10's special if you want to shoot Maverick missiles?

Nothing special at all. Just pointing out that you know little to nothing about A-10 tactics. And probably F-16 tactics for that matter.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 179):
And we need these cruise missiles

There you go using that "we" again! Why do we need air-launched cruise missiles when there are submarine and surface warfare launched versions? A sub can approach by near stealth under water, surface, launch a salvo, and retreat before the target country even knew they were there. A B-52 will be detected by radar an awful long way out.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 179):
Ahem:

Congrats. You found ONE picture of an F-18 that was damaged in combat. The second was a training accident, i.e. non-combat therefore it happened under extremely favorable conditions (i.e. didn't have to maneuver away from threats after sustaining the hit, had the luxury of a chase aircraft I'm sure to provide assistance, and if he had to eject, would probably have been picked up by the coast guard off the coast of Virginia instead of the Republican Guard), and the third pic is of an EA-6B Prowler...not an F-18.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 179):
Still need new wings, which will cost a few billion dollars.

The wings have already been paid for (they were budgeted for several years back), and, last I knew, already built. Just need to be installed on the rest of the fleet. Billions?! Um, I doubt it. But given the billions that have been spent on F-35 delays and problems, I would call it a bargain!

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 179):
The entire Korean peninsula could erupt into a land war if care isn't taken. But the most likelihood of the type of war would be naval and aerial.

You seem to have little idea what the North Korean Army has just north of the border. You can bet your afternoon tea and crumpets that a land war would be involved on the Korean peninsula.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 179):
Keeping the A-10 around doesn't make sense when it is only capable of a very narrow range of missions under a very limited type of war.

Except that the A-10 is the cheapest, most reliable, and most effective CAS asset the USAF currently has. Period. Oh, and CAS is going on right now, as we speak.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 179):
And like I said before:

Your arguments, while perhaps rooted in air power doctrine, and they are great general guidelines, they are just that...guidelines. They are very broad brush ideals on how a war would like to be managed. No plan ever survives first contact.
You are great at digging up articles and data and quoting sources, etc. And I respect and appreciate that. But you analysis, IMO, is very linear in nature. You do a line-by-line comparison of one aircraft against another, or one mission set against another, pick out one advantage, and declare that aircraft must be the best. "The F-16 is faster than the A-10, therefore it must be better at CAS than the A-10!" (I'm paraphrasing of course). Rest assured, even without A-10's in the fight in say, a large force on force war in Asia, there will still be a sky full of SEAD, OCA/DCA, tankers, etc. But slapping a TGP on a B-52 or B-1 does not suddenly make it the best choice for providing CAS any more than a Psychiatrist being the best choice to perform gall bladder surgery. Sure, a Psychiatrist went to medical school, but it ain't their specialty. IMO, you are focusing too much on what aircraft can provide CAS instead of what aircraft does it the best. In the interests of our troops on the ground right now, I care about what can do the job best right now, not 10 years down the line. And if we start sending troops to certain countries in central/east Africa to begin fighting what appears to be a growing insurgency there, what kind of a fight do you think that will be? Probably not one that needs cruise missiles and F-22's for OCA.
 
Cross757
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sat May 17, 2014 6:38 pm

Quoting seahawk (Reply 178):
I just meant that the AT-6 would be imho needed in case the A-10 goes. I would prefer the A-10 to stay.

I misunderstood you. Got it. And I agree.
 
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Mon May 19, 2014 6:26 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 175):
Retiring the F-15C will drastically alter the force structure of the USAF. By having the F-15C, it allows F-22's to be more focused on the pointy end, instead of being spread around, diluting the USAF air superiority capabilities.

Most of the F-15Cs are in the national guard or reserve. They do little more than fly around and intercept a lost Cessna every now and then. Besides, the F-15E can do everything the F-15C can. There really is no more need for the C/D Eagles anymore.
 
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Tue May 20, 2014 4:17 am

Quoting sovietjet (Reply 184):
Most of the F-15Cs are in the national guard or reserve. They do little more than fly around and intercept a lost Cessna every now and then. Besides, the F-15E can do everything the F-15C can. There really is no more need for the C/D Eagles anymore.

Air National Guard Units do more then hang out stateside. They frequently deploy just like active units.
 
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Tue May 20, 2014 5:50 am

The last thing the Mudhens need are more missions. But the fact is ture. The Golden Eagles are the only plattform except the A-10 that is limited to one mission. And in all fairness the A-10 mission has been needed more often in the past.
 
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Tue May 20, 2014 2:59 pm

Quoting seahawk (Reply 186):
The last thing the Mudhens need are more missions.

Yes, but isn't that counter intuitive to the direction the USAF is going? If they want this "do everything" jet (F-35) that means the crews will have more missions to do by default. The same can be implemented to the other surviving types, such as the F-15E in order to cut less essential types such as the F-15C. You can't have your cake and eat it too.
 
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Tue May 20, 2014 3:36 pm

Quoting sovietjet (Reply 187):
Yes, but isn't that counter intuitive to the direction the USAF is going? If they want this "do everything" jet (F-35) that means the crews will have more missions to do by default. The same can be implemented to the other surviving types, such as the F-15E in order to cut less essential types such as the F-15C. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

It is not the plane, it is the pilots who are the limiting factor. With a given budget of flight hours you can only train so much. And the Strike Eagles are having one of the most challenging mission set anyway, so they do not need yet another to handle.
It would make more sense to give the mission to the ANG F-16s, as they are already doing air policing duties, so air to air training is part of the schedule anyway. Let them drop air to ground work and keep the A-10 as a dedicated CAS asset. In the end this makes more sense to me, than keeping the F-15C and having the ANG F-16s do air policing and CAS.
 
Scruffer
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Fri May 23, 2014 6:28 pm

Quoting sovietjet (Reply 187):
Yes, but isn't that counter intuitive to the direction the USAF is going? If they want this "do everything" jet (F-35) that means the crews will have more missions to do by default. The same can be implemented to the other surviving types, such as the F-15E in order to cut less essential types such as the F-15C. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

The plane can perform a similar Air to Air mission set, but the number of planes required to do that mission is missing. Given the very vocal opposition to the limited number of F-22s in the USAF I don't think they can stand to lose any more Air-to-Air aircraft such as the F-15Cs.

Don't forget the F-35 is basically going to be a F-16 replacement. You will see it being treated like a F-16 in fighter wings. Some squadrons will be tasked with ground work and others with an air focus (I am not talking about capability but how it will be organized).

I doubt you will see very many manned combat planes going forward that only have one mission group. The only one I can even think of would be a large bomber, or some type of electronic support plane based off of a civilian airframe (AWAC Joint-STARS ect).

Quoting seahawk (Reply 188):
It would make more sense to give the mission to the ANG F-16s, as they are already doing air policing duties, so air to air training is part of the schedule anyway. Let them drop air to ground work and keep the A-10 as a dedicated CAS asset. In the end this makes more sense to me, than keeping the F-15C and having the ANG F-16s do air policing and CAS.

I think you would see a huge protest from the USAF command staff if that was put forwards. Losing the F-15 fleet and having ANG F-16s take over their jobs would not go over well at all. It would also not go over well with the various state ANG groups, more deployments and call ups would be a disaster.
 
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seahawk
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sat May 24, 2014 8:34 am

Quoting Scruffer (Reply 189):
I think you would see a huge protest from the USAF command staff if that was put forwards. Losing the F-15 fleet and having ANG F-16s take over their jobs would not go over well at all. It would also not go over well with the various state ANG groups, more deployments and call ups would be a disaster.

Well F-15C deployed way less often than A-10s. So if you look at the F-16 force, I think taking over the role of the F-15C would mean less deployments than taking over the role of the A-10.

No doubt though that the brass would not like the idea.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sun May 25, 2014 1:13 am

Quoting Scruffer (Reply 189):
The plane can perform a similar Air to Air mission set, but the number of planes required to do that mission is missing. Given the very vocal opposition to the limited number of F-22s in the USAF I don't think they can stand to lose any more Air-to-Air aircraft such as the F-15Cs.

I would also consider that counter air, and air superiority is one of the top missions of the USAF. CAS is way down there on the priority list.

I would argue the priority list that the USAF is as follows:

1. Air superiority: Make sure that our troops don't have to face enemy CAS;

2. Interdiction: Make sure the enemy doesn't have the ability to easily resupply and reinforce their front line troops;

3. Transportation: Make sure our troops and their equipment get to where they need to be, along with all of their supplies;

4. CAS. Why so low on the list? Because if the USAF takes care of items 1-3 effectively, the boots on the ground will need less CAS.
 
Cross757
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sun May 25, 2014 4:19 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 191):
I would argue the priority list that the USAF is as follows:

1. Air superiority: Make sure that our troops don't have to face enemy CAS;

2. Interdiction: Make sure the enemy doesn't have the ability to easily resupply and reinforce their front line troops;

3. Transportation: Make sure our troops and their equipment get to where they need to be, along with all of their supplies;

4. CAS. Why so low on the list? Because if the USAF takes care of items 1-3 effectively, the boots on the ground will need less CAS.

Wow.
All I can say to that is, thank goodness you are not in charge. You have a very, very linear way of looking at warfare: "well if we do steps 1, 2, and 3, then this and this and that will happen/not be needed, etc". Are you kidding?!
Last I checked, there was never a time when we DIDN'T have air superiority in OEF, and yet, the need for CAS is very high. Our troops will need CAS support whether the enemy has aircraft to attack or troops or not. It's about the boots they are facing on the ground.
Unbelievable.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sun May 25, 2014 6:31 am

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 192):
Wow.
All I can say to that is, thank goodness you are not in charge. You have a very, very linear way of looking at warfare: "well if we do steps 1, 2, and 3, then this and this and that will happen/not be needed, etc". Are you kidding?!

The way the US has fought since the Korean War backs this up. Since the Korean War, no American soldier has been killed by enemy air attack due to the air superiority provided by the USAF. It neatly captures the importance of both air superiority and the Air Force’s skill in dominating the skies.

It is an accomplishment that USAF officials have long believed speaks to the superiority of the American approach to air power - and the need to pay the price in money and effort to maintain that superiority.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 192):
Last I checked, there was never a time when we DIDN'T have air superiority in OEF, and yet, the need for CAS is very high. Our troops will need CAS support whether the enemy has aircraft to attack or troops or not. It's about the boots they are facing on the ground.

And yet other assets did fine, prior to the introduction of the A-10 in the Afghan theatre, and the A-10 provides a small proportion of the CAS provided by coalition aircraft; less than 20%.

Something tells me if we didn't have the A-10, CAS will still be provided; with other platforms.

And I bet that if you asked the troops, they would would list a dozen things they would rather have before listing an aircraft, let alone an A-10 specifically. But none of those things are sexy. One of the things that sequestration did was cut out operations money, so talk to a ground commander. I bet that the A-10 would not top or make it into his want list, it will probably be fuel and ammo for training, along with more spare parts to keep weapons operational.
 
Cross757
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sun May 25, 2014 7:49 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 193):
The way the US has fought since the Korean War backs this up.

No, the way we hope a war would go backs this up. How many days did U.S. and allied aircraft pound the Iraqi army and republican guard before the ground war started in Desert Storm? 38? And when the ground war did start, even though we had virtual complete air superiority over all of Kuwait and Iraq, was CAS still needed during the ground war? YES.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 193):
Since the Korean War, no American soldier has been killed by enemy air attack due to the air superiority provided by the USAF

This has nothing to do with our troops needing CAS. Nothing. Our troops need CAS when in contact with enemy GROUND forces.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 193):
It neatly captures the importance of both air superiority and the Air Force’s skill in dominating the skies

No one is arguing that air superiority is essential to winning a war. But having air superiority has in on way ever relived the need of our ground troops to require CAS support.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 193):
And yet other assets did fine, prior to the introduction of the A-10 in the Afghan theatre, and the A-10 provides a small proportion of the CAS provided by coalition aircraft; less than 20%.

1. I don't see anything in my line you reference that mentions the A-10. I just said "CAS".
2. But since you brought it up, the A-10 is still the best USAF asset at providing it. Boom!
3. Prior to their introduction? Um, A-10's were involved from the very start, flying missions out of a country close to Afghanistan until they could start operating from within Afghanistan.
4. I know you love quoting the "A-10's provide less than 20% of CAS in OEF" bit....got it. If you looked at why, it's because in general only one squadron of A-10's was deployed there at any one time. Doesn't mean the other platforms do it better, not by a long shot. But A-10's represent much less than 20% of assets but did almost 20% of the CAS work, tells me they were doing more than their share. Tracking?

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 193):
And I bet that if you asked the troops, they would would list a dozen things they would rather have before listing an aircraft, let alone an A-10 specifically.

What "question" are you referring to? If I was asked "who would you rather share a romantic evening on a beach with?", I wouldn't list an A-10 either.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 193):
so talk to a ground commander. I bet that the A-10 would not top or make it into his want list

Then I would say you lose a lot of money when you go to Vegas, if you make bets like that!   
 
ThePointblank
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sun May 25, 2014 8:38 am

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 194):
This has nothing to do with our troops needing CAS. Nothing. Our troops need CAS when in contact with enemy GROUND forces.

And if we have air superiority, able to interdict the enemy's forces, and provide enough transportation for our troops, we will need LESS CAS than if we didn't have air superiority, can't interdict their forces, and provide enough transportation for our forces.

Air superiority is KEY to our ability to fight wars. We can't fight wars WITHOUT air superiority. We can probably live without or with much less CAS, but we can't live without air superiority.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 194):
No one is arguing that air superiority is essential to winning a war. But having air superiority has in on way ever relived the need of our ground troops to require CAS support.

And guess what, we don't need the A-10 to provide CAS! Other platforms can do the job just fine.

And realistically, I would rather protect the capabilities of the first three missions (air superiority, interdiction of enemy forces, and transportation) than protect CAS because I can perform CAS with other platforms. I can't perform air superiority or interdiction with a platform that can only do CAS.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 194):
But since you brought it up, the A-10 is still the best USAF asset at providing it. Boom!

No it isn't. The best CAS platform is the platform that can get to where I need it in a reasonable amount of time, and provide the effect that I need from it at the right time. Full stop.   

And if that is an F-16, F-15E, A-10, B-1, B-52, Predator, AC-130, F/A-18, AV-8B, M777 howitzer, AH-64, whatever, then so be it. Dead is dead, whether it's from an A-10 strafe attack or a Hornet dropping a PGM, we want the effect NOT the airplane. The ground troops like the platform that will give them the most effect, and they don't CARE what platform it comes from.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 194):
3. Prior to their introduction? Um, A-10's were involved from the very start, flying missions out of a country close to Afghanistan until they could start operating from within Afghanistan.

And so were F-16's, F-15E's, etc. And even then, Harriers were in country well before then!
 
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seahawk
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sun May 25, 2014 11:06 am

and the AV-8 is also very much a CAS plane.
 
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kanban
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sun May 25, 2014 3:32 pm

Interesting, a Motley Fool article strongly implies that the Chinese have obtained some of the LM F-35 secret data.. It was just a one liner with no back-up data. However we know this stuff goes on, so denying it may set the plane up for real troubles when in use.
 
Cross757
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Sun May 25, 2014 8:53 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 195):
And if we have air superiority, able to interdict the enemy's forces, and provide enough transportation for our troops, we will need LESS CAS

That statement is not based on any sort of fact whatsoever. More "linear" war thinking.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 195):
And guess what, we don't need the A-10 to provide CAS!

There it is again, the "We" thing...you mean "Canada"?! You crack me up...seriously.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 195):
M777 howitzer

If fires are being provided by a howitzer, it's not CAS, by definition.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 195):
No it isn't. The best CAS platform is the platform that can get to where I need it in a reasonable amount of time, and provide the effect that I need from it at the right time. Full stop.

Says someone who has actually provided CAS or been the recipient of CAS support? Come on, at least start to lend SOME credibility to why you think you are the expert on CAS.
Simple fact: if you haven't been there, then you don't know what you are talking about. You can bang your head against that wall all day long and it won't change that.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 195):
Quoting Cross757 (Reply 194):3. Prior to their introduction? Um, A-10's were involved from the very start, flying missions out of a country close to Afghanistan until they could start operating from within Afghanistan.
And so were F-16's, F-15E's, etc. And even then, Harriers were in country well before then!

Oh come on, I called you out on your bluff and you know it! You tried to suggest that OEF was going on for a long time before A-10's arrived in theater when that is absolutely not the case, then try to back-pedal by saying, "...yeah, well so were the F-16's, F-15E's, etc." to cover your tracks. You make attempts to portray the A-10 as being just an "average" CAS platform, as if having them in theater makes no real difference, and yet deep down you are afraid to admit that is not the case. Again, you think that the need for CAS is just a square hole and that any platform that can provide CAS is the perfect fitting square peg to fill it. Too bad that isn't reality.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 195):
Other platforms can do the job just fine.

Please offer some personal experience as to why you think this accurate, and define "just fine". Always this cavalier when thinking about the lives of troops on the ground? Must be because you think a fighter loaded with air-to-air missiles and a big radar will win the war before anyone else even gets a chance to play, eh?
 
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seahawk
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RE: ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2

Mon May 26, 2014 5:58 am

The funny think is that after 1991 people were telling you that the AV-8 was no longer suitable for CAS, as the engine exhaust configuration showed to be a very inviting target for manpads.

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