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ThePointblank
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A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Tue Jan 20, 2015 6:36 am

http://theaviationist.com/2015/01/19/a-10-strela-iraq/

Basically, an A-10 was spotted conducting 4 air strikes near Mosul very recently, and ISIL fighters fired at the A-10 with SA-7 Grail MANPAD's. All 4 missiles missed. While the A-10 wasn't hit, it does underscore that we are operating in a totally different air environment compared to Afghanistan against a more determined and better equipped foe. It is estimated that ISIL has thousands of MANPAD's at their disposal, captured from Syrian Army depots and from other Syrian opposition groups, ranging from the lower end and dated SA-7's to more modern SA-24 Grinch, SA-16 Gimlet, FN-6's, and Stingers.

And it will only be a matter of time before an aircraft is shot down and the pilot is captured by ISIL if this continues. It would be a major coup for ISIL to get their hands on an American pilot after shooting him down and a potential nightmare for the US. In short, this will probably prompt a review by US military commanders to reassess the risks and the missions aircraft are placed on, with appropriate adjustments to the employment.
 
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SeJoWa
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:15 am

U.S. Wild Boar aircraft inspires terror in ISIS ranks in Mosul

http://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/u-...-inspires-terror-isis-ranks-mosul/



Planes and people will be at risk while inflicting punishing damage on our enemies - if Generals can't take it, they should go. And yes, I am beginning to think the abuse our standout CAS plane is taking has its origin in Generals Without Balls - not to mention Honor. I'm looking at you and your ilk, James Post.

I quote:
A top U.S. Air Force general warned officers that praising the A-10 attack plane to lawmakers amounts to “treason,” according to a news report.

Maj. Gen. James Post, vice commander of Air Combat Command, was quoted as saying, “If anyone accuses me of saying this, I will deny it … anyone who is passing information to Congress about A-10 capabilities is committing treason,” in a report published Thursday on The Arizona Daily Independent.

http://www.dodbuzz.com/2015/01/16/ge...-the-a-10-to-lawmakers-is-treason/



Follow this link for a real assessment of what the A-10C is worth to us:
http://www.arizonadailyindependent.c...-air-force-ranks-a-10-panics-isis/
 
Kiwirob
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:07 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Thread starter):

And it will only be a matter of time before an aircraft is shot down and the pilot is captured by ISIL if this continues.

Big whoop, it's the job the pilots signed up to do, if they wanted to be safe they'd be flying commercial jets. People get killed in wars and not just the bad guys.
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:35 pm

Its ok, If we sent a F-35, it would be only a matter of time before it burns to the ground on the runway without working weapon systems... but atleast the pilot would be as safe as our enemies.
 
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seahawk
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Tue Jan 20, 2015 1:49 pm

That happens when you sent outdated planes to a war. F-35 could attack way outside the manpad reach with higher precision and better situational awareness.
 
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SeJoWa
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Tue Jan 20, 2015 2:01 pm

Quoting seahawk (Reply 4):
That happens when you sent outdated planes to a war. F-35 could attack way outside the manpad reach with higher precision and better situational awareness.

Incorrect. Situational awareness with the F-35 is the result of sensor fusion, with sensors optimized for everything but CAS. The "outdated planes" that are making the ISIS *astards quite literallt quake are optimized like no other platform for situational awareness of ground combat.

While it's logical, don't take it from me. Take it from the experts on the ground:

"...with the ground troops that I work with, when they think close air support, they think A-10s. If you tell em something else, you can always kind of hear em: 'soo, I don't care about that, tell me when A-10s are on station.' And I think the reason for that is they almost share the same mentality ... they know the ground picture."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaSUbmR_M3M#t=295
 
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moo
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Tue Jan 20, 2015 2:18 pm

Quoting seahawk (Reply 4):
F-35 could attack way outside the manpad reach with higher precision and better situational awareness.

Wasnt there a news article fairly recently which said the F-35s built in optical targeting system was already out of date compared to what can be slung on other aircraft externally?

http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...er-10-years-behind-older-jets.html
 
bennett123
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Tue Jan 20, 2015 2:39 pm

How many squadrons are operational with the F35.

If the A10 is a problem, how about some F15E's.
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Tue Jan 20, 2015 3:05 pm

Quoting seahawk (Reply 4):
That happens when you sent outdated planes to a war. F-35 could attack way outside the manpad reach with higher precision and better situational awareness.

F-35 is more outdated than the A-10 for the role.

The A-10 has plenty of standoff weapons it can use.

The F-35 however lacks the ability to take a missile through the wing, eat the debris with an engine, and fly home. It lacks the ability to take a clip of 57mm AA to the underside of the cockpit and fly home. While manpads are the best weapon against the A-10, they still lack the stoppiing power in many cases as the horizontal and vertical stabalizer shroud the engine, and protect critical systems. F-35 lacks any protection for any flight critical system. It has to stay high regardless of mission needs thanks to forgetting the lessons of vietnam where we lost jets to farmers with WWI weapons.

It lacks a gun with the utility of the GAU-8. The effective range of the GAU-8 is far longer than the GAU-12. The ammo load is far larger. In actual service the GAU-8 has been a defining factor in the A-10's ability to do missions that other platforms can't. Its not just CAS, Its quite well known what aircraft other pilots want helping in SAR situations, regardless what role they have in the mission. Do you think the helicopter pilots want a F-16 that can't loiter long, has limited weapons, and can only make very fast passes? Think the F-35 will change that at all?

Which gets to the most critical ability of the A-10. To fly low, and slow. 140mph is quite fast compared to ground vehicles, but a F-35 at 140mph is going to be finding the ground the hard way and quite quickly. Now they don't operate that slow in practice, but it remains thanks to huge straight wings, the A-10 lives in a low speed world, and "modern" highspeed jets die there.

Oh yah, when is the F-35 getting a model for observation, recon, and forward air control?
 
JohnM
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Tue Jan 20, 2015 3:28 pm

A simple engine failure with a twin engine aircraft over Iraq, lets say the A-10. Fly home, enter a red X. Not the worst of days. Engine failure with the uber high tech F-35 over Iraq. I would guess it has the glide ratio of an anvil, so the pilot is now on foot in Iraq. That would not give me lots of confidence as an aviator. In addition the F-35 will be operated in Naval service. Seems to be a bad idea to do lots of overwater ops in a single engine aircraft. I have done some over water ops in a single, I really didn't care for it. Combat would the same issue.
 
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seahawk
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:02 pm

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 8):
Which gets to the most critical ability of the A-10. To fly low, and slow. 140mph is quite fast compared to ground vehicles, but a F-35 at 140mph is going to be finding the ground the hard way and quite quickly. Now they don't operate that slow in practice, but it remains thanks to huge straight wings, the A-10 lives in a low speed world, and "modern" highspeed jets die there.

Oh yah, when is the F-35 getting a model for observation, recon, and forward air control?

Low and slow is dead against Manpads.

And the F-35 does not need a special model every F-35 can do all missions.
 
Acheron
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:29 pm

Quoting seahawk (Reply 10):
Low and slow is dead against Manpads.

If you know anything about CAS planes like the Su-25 or the A-10, not much...

Quoting seahawk (Reply 10):
And the F-35 does not need a special model every F-35 can do all missions.

Poorly, if at all.

I'd like to know how you can strafe without a gun...
 
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SeJoWa
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:37 pm

Quoting seahawk (Reply 10):
Low and slow is dead against Manpads.

And the F-35 does not need a special model every F-35 can do all missions.

Slow is exactly what's needed for CAS. Low is an option that increases the danger - pilots will judge what's appropriate. The A-10C is definitely not invulnerable, but then we haven't fallen prey to Wunderwaffen-Syndrome, right? [ Wrong - sigh. ] It's built for the mission, and better protected than anything else in the sky.

I'll refrain from commenting on the F-35.

A-10Cs have been in theater only since November, and have already racked up 11% of total CAS missions. One jet down - the Jordanian F-16.

And again, the simple truths:

"...with the ground troops that I work with, when they think close air support, they think A-10s. If you tell em something else, you can always kind of hear em: 'soo, I don't care about that, tell me when A-10s are on station.' And I think the reason for that is they almost share the same mentality ... they know the ground picture."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaSUbmR_M3M#t=295

I'll also bring up the TACP Association's letter of Nov. 12. to SecDef Chuck Hagel:

...
As President of the Tactical Air Control Party Association (TACPA), which represents 1,300 JTACs, I write to express our grave concern regarding the Air Force’s proposal to prematurely retire the A-10. We believe that F-15s, F-16s, and B-1s cannot replicate the CAS capabilities of the A-10, ...
...
For these reasons, when under enemy fire and about to be overrun, JTACs look over their shoulders and pray an A-10 is there—knowing that nothing reassures and protects friendly forces and scatters and destroys enemy forces like an A-10.
...
During our annual TACPA gathering in October, we posed the question to the JTACs in attendance and 100% of the responses were against the divestment of the A-10. The fact that A-10 divestment is even being considered has shaken the confidence of serving and retired JTACs and has fueled the belief that the Pentagon is out of touch with the warriors it sends into battle.
...


http://media.jrn.com/documents/TACP-A+Letter+to+Secretary+Hagel.pdf
 
Alfons
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Tue Jan 20, 2015 6:31 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Thread starter):

http://theaviationist.com/2015/01/19/a-10-strela-iraq/

Basically, an A-10 was spotted conducting 4 air strikes near Mosul very recently, and ISIL fighters fired at the A-10 with SA-7 Grail MANPAD's. All 4 missiles missed. While the A-10 wasn't hit, it does underscore that we are operating in a totally different air environment compared to Afghanistan against a more determined and better equipped foe. It is estimated that ISIL has thousands of MANPAD's at their disposal, captured from Syrian Army depots and from other Syrian opposition groups, ranging from the lower end and dated SA-7's to more modern SA-24 Grinch, SA-16 Gimlet, FN-6's, and Stingers.

And it will only be a matter of time before an aircraft is shot down and the pilot is captured by ISIL if this continues. It would be a major coup for ISIL to get their hands on an American pilot after shooting him down and a potential nightmare for the US. In short, this will probably prompt a review by US military commanders to reassess the risks and the missions aircraft are placed on, with appropriate adjustments to the employment.

If ISIL got thousands of Manpads from easely catched Syrian military stocks, so the Hisballah got as well that much. What a boiling soup down there... .
 
kl911
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:35 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Thread starter):
And it will only be a matter of time before an aircraft is shot down and the pilot is captured by ISIL if this continues. It would be a major coup for ISIL to get their hands on an American pilot after shooting him down and a potential nightmare for the US

There are many countries flying sorties above Iraq/Syria. USA is just one of them. Every captured pilot is one too many, nationality doesn't matter. Think about the Jordanian pilot being shot down and captured by IS.
 
bennett123
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:37 pm

What did happen to him?.
 
PC12Fan
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:24 am

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 15):

What did happen to him?

Was wondering that myself. Hopefully, no news is good news.
Just when I think you've said the stupidest thing ever, you keep talkin'!
 
ThePointblank
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:56 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 2):
Big whoop, it's the job the pilots signed up to do, if they wanted to be safe they'd be flying commercial jets. People get killed in wars and not just the bad guys.

Big difference between manageable risk, and sending pilots out in aircraft that might not be survivable in a contested air space.

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 12):
Slow is exactly what's needed for CAS. Low is an option that increases the danger - pilots will judge what's appropriate. The A-10C is definitely not invulnerable, but then we haven't fallen prey to Wunderwaffen-Syndrome, right? [ Wrong - sigh. ] It's built for the mission, and better protected than anything else in the sky.

Low and slow will get you killed. All it means it gives the enemy a better chance of shooting you down.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 8):
While manpads are the best weapon against the A-10, they still lack the stoppiing power in many cases as the horizontal and vertical stabalizer shroud the engine, and protect critical systems. F-35 lacks any protection for any flight critical system. It has to stay high regardless of mission needs thanks to forgetting the lessons of vietnam where we lost jets to farmers with WWI weapons.

MANPADs were responsible for a large percentage of A-10 combat losses, period. And I'll unfortunately will have to cite a reference to that remark from a reference that cited a classified reference: http://www.gao.gov/products/NSIAD-97-134 (page 94) cites GWAPS, vol. V, pt. I (Secret), pp. 670-81. Caveat is that there's no apparent distinction between person and vehicle-borne Strela kills in the GAO report.

Another thing to consider; has this incident caused a Mission Kill already. Was A-10 support pulled back on that mission in the face of the threat, or have subsequent missions been canceled while the threat was reassessed? We won't get that answer publicly of course due to operational security issues, but the mission planners will be re-assessing the situation.

Since we're talking hypothetical situations, I don't imagine anyone would be stupid enough to NOT see a MANPADS hit as "evidence" the USAF was right all along. Just as no one would be stupid enough to claim a "miss" engagement was evidence of the USAF being wrong.

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 12):
And again, the simple truths:

"...with the ground troops that I work with, when they think close air support, they think A-10s. If you tell em something else, you can always kind of hear em: 'soo, I don't care about that, tell me when A-10s are on station.' And I think the reason for that is they almost share the same mentality ... they know the ground picture."

Reminds me of what I saw someone posted on a political blog: to him, as a grunt, there was nothing so comforting as to here the voice of an AH-64 Apache pilot hovering overhead on the radio telling him that everything was going to be alright.

In reality, JTAC's and troops on the ground don't really care where their firepower is coming from, as long as it comes when they want it, and is accurate. If they can get support from a flight of F-16's in 5 minutes verses a flight of A-10's in half an hour, they'll take the F-16's.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 8):
Oh yah, when is the F-35 getting a model for observation, recon, and forward air control?

The USAF hasn't had an aircraft built specifically for that mission in years. The thing is, the USAF has embedded JTAC's on the ground with US Army forces to direct and coordinate CAS for years.

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 12):

A-10Cs have been in theater only since November, and have already racked up 11% of total CAS missions. One jet down - the Jordanian F-16.

USAF F-16's have been the most used aircraft, with 41% of sorties. That is followed by the F-15E at 37%.

Also, percentage of sorties is only one metric. Time on-station would be another, targets destroyed another, weapons released yet another.

Quoting moo (Reply 6):
Wasnt there a news article fairly recently which said the F-35s built in optical targeting system was already out of date compared to what can be slung on other aircraft externally?

So you assume that the F-35's targeting systems can't be upgraded because it's not Pod based?

Also, outside of any dedicated upgrade path, every-other block includes a "Tech Refresh" which will make hardware-specific changes to allow for the next two blocks of software. For example, TR2 will come with Block 3i and allow for planned Block 3/4 software changes.

Finally, adding pods (external or internal) to the mix is coming to UAI, but not for 10+ years (UAV and A2A comes first).

Here is what the EOTS LRU looks like:

http://i.imgur.com/jj2nlQX.jpg

The issue I'm seeing is that we have a decade plus of aviators and servicemen who grew up in a world of compelling "need" (wars) and a largely unrestrained DoD checkbook. Thus, the flash-to-bang from "we want" to "we get" has been extremely short.

That experience has skewed the expectations of many with respect to what gets delivered when as the compelling need falls into the rear view mirror and money gets tight. It is perfectly understandable that those who have been party to lots of new toys on very short timelines will have similar expectations for the capabilities of new systems.

Unfortunately, that's not how the acquisition system works; particularly in a world where there are no major wars and the budget outlook is relatively flat. And for those who have never worked in acquisition or through the output budgeting process, any attempt to explain said system often defies rational understanding.

This will not be the last article we see citing unnamed Iron Majors and LtCols who haven't yet come to terms with these realities. They are right - it sucks. But, it ain't gonna change much in the near term because of a lack of immediate need.

Another thing: Aircraft get upgraded all of the time; what capabilities are present at IOC will be enhanced and improved upon years later in service. Take the F-16. In 1979, the avionics of the F-16 didn't have things like a projected map, a radar altimeter, only three "marks" to store a flyover point, no TFR or Terrain Avoidance radar modes, no back up navigation, no aux UHF radio with direction finding capability, and so on. In fact, it had less systems and capabilities that were already present in the in service attack aircraft at the time.

Fast forward to today. Not only does the F-16 have all of those systems and capabilities, it has more. A lot more.

Also, what did someone say about the situation when he was serving when the A-10 was introduced?

Quote:
USAF has given up the supersonic F-100 for interdiction and CAS. The replacement is the A-7D and it will be supplemented by the F-4C/D/E. But the A-7D is not supersonic nor a good air-to-air machine - a basic mud-beater. It carries a huge load ( think the same as the B-17 of WW2) and does not need to be refueled every 40 minutes like the F-4 ( aka Double Ugly). It can drop within 30 meters or less on first pass, closer on next passes. Its navigation system will get you within a 100 meters of any place on Earth with no help from any nav aid, and you have a moving map to show you where you are and how to get to the selected destination. It has terrain following and terrain avoidance radar. It has served with distinction in the late years of the Vietnam fiasco.

But we need a new and dedicated close air support system. It won't do well on an interdiction mission fragged for a high threat target 300 miles away. It won't have a computed weapon delivery system, but use a WW2 TLBR (that looks 'bout right) gun-sight and have lots of armor to protect the pilot that has to get really low and close to the target (see the whites of their eyes). The highly trained pilots must rely on 1930's navigation techniques, but have the new TACAN and VOR systems to help when available near friendly territory. Oh yeah, it will have a huge cannon to plink at Pact tanks streaming thru the Fulda Gap while Weasels kill all the missile threats and ZSU-23 systems, with flares and chaff defeating the Strela's. Right.

So we get the "A-X", aka Warthog.

If Dave wants to whine about a system developed and fielded ten years after "legacy" systems, try the Warthog. Think 40 years behind legacy mud-beaters like the P-47 and F-4U and ...

And look at where the A-10 is today... much has changed.

Other key points from the article that needs discussion:
- video resolution:

Straight from Air International F-35 2014 Special page 26 - page 30:

Quote:
The resulting AN/AAQ-40 Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) leverages on the experience gained from producing the LANTIRN targeting system (‘the genesis of night, precision weapons employment’), the AN/AAQ-33 Sniper advanced targeting pod, and the AN/AAS-42 infrared search and track (IRST) system used on the F-14D Super Tomcat. “The EOTS is the first sensor to combine a targeting FLIR and IRST. Marrying the two capabilities into one sensor was the big technical challenge in developing the system,” said Don Bolling, Lockheed Martin’s Business Development Manager for EOTS.

Principally viewed as an air-to-ground targeting pod, the EOTS was initially destined for every third F-35 produced. But the US Navy successfully argued for EOTS to be fitted to every F-35 built citing the capability as an absolute indispensible part of the sensor suite used throughout the mission spectrum.

So the statement in the article that the EOTS was designed as an upgrade over the the LANTIRN 10 years ago and is inferior to the new pods is incorrect.
- lack of ability for ground forces to see the laser:

If the source truly is affiliated with the program or "familiar" with the program, he's either lying or seriously wrong. From the same article:

Quote:
The EOTS provides laser designation, laser spot tracker for cooperative engagements, air-to-air and air-to-ground tracking FLIR, digital zoom, wide area IRST and generation of geo-coordinate to support GPS-guided weapons. All three variants of the F-35 are fitted with the EOTS.

Did this "air force official" say the EOTS had no laser spot tracker? He's obviously incorrect.
Can Sniper and Litening SE pods do all of what the EOTS can do? Didn't think so.

- Space being a problem? Incorrect:

Quote:
Measuring (W x D x H) approximately 19.4 x 27.5 x 32.1 inches (493 x 698 x 815mm), the EOTS populates a box with a volume of less than 4cu ft and weighs 202lb (91kg). “There are DAS sensors on the left and the right of EOTS, and radar equipment
above, the space constraints are very tight,” said Bolling. By comparison a Sniper pod comprises a 7ft 6in (2.3m) long tube weighing about 440lb (200kg). One reason for the difference in size between the Sniper pod and the EOTS is the cooling method used.
Most conventional targeting pods such as Sniper are air-cooled requiring the necessary system to be carried on the back of the pod. The EOTS is a liquid-cooled system using PAO (polyalphaolefin) fed from the aircraft.

The EOTS is positioned within the F-35 lower forward fuselage between the radar and cockpit bulkheads. “When you think of the level of complexity in a targeting system, which are like telescopes with long straight optical paths, and see where the EOTS is positioned on the F-35, space is at a premium,” said the EOTS boss.

Space is limited to such an extent that a standard targeting system with a straight optical path is physically impossible to house in the space available. The EOTS optical path is therefore folded via mirrors and prisms to refract the light off several different surfaces to direct it on to the focal plane array and fit within the space. “The system is a compact optical device that uses multiple wavebands,” said Casey Contini, director of F-35 electro-optics and helmet systems at Lockheed Martin.

“We are effectively bending light at least four times from the point where it enters the window and is finally directed onto the focal plane array or the detector, which was a significant challenge,” Don Bolling extolled.

The EOTS panels are only a small portion of the whole EOTS. The article really reads like the source was a random blogger that they are labeling an Air Force official. Either that, or they didn't check the person's credentials or bothered to do any basic fact checking.

- No datalink capability with troops on the ground to provide video feed:

The USMC is planning on getting it done:

http://news.usni.org/2013/12/12/marines-bullish-f-35b

Quote:
“The key here is two fold. It’s the low observable capability, but really that capability is in my mind less of a value added proposition than the fact that the F-35 is a flying sensor.”

The USMC’s eventual goal is to be able transfer the reams of sensor data gathered by the F-35’s avionics suite and provide that information to other aircraft like the Bell-Boeing MV-22 Osprey, Bell AH-1Z Cobra or the tactical air command center and—eventually–even down to individual fire teams. “The dissemination of that information is not going to occur overnight,” Trautman said. It will take time to implement, “but it’s coming.”

The increased situational awareness generated by the F-35 should also help to reduce fratricide incidents during the CAS mission.

“It’s going to make our ability to operate safely in a close air support mode much better than it has been in the past,” Trautman said.

The USMC aviator, who has served several tours as a forward air controller agreed that situational awareness was the single most important factor for the CAS mission.

“Almost exclusively, it was the aviator’s situational awareness inside the cockpit much more so than the platform itself,” the pilot said.

Also,a bit of journalistic advice: Credible sources on acquisition programs don't use the word 'dude' in discussing acquisition topics. Also, you can't write fact-filled and verifiable articles at reputable publications and low-brow articles for the bottom-feeders without people who seek the reputable reporting also noticing the slumming.

Finally, with the experience of the A-10, F-111, F-14, A-7D/E and early F-15 as part of history, the acquisition folks had to insist upon "standards", such as mux bus protocols, video/audio formats with room for enhancements, reserve RAM and mass data storage by the plane, no dedicated black boxes unless part of the original missile or sensor box form factor, and so on. The reason why is that the above jets had unique avionics integration designs and many dedicated black boxes for their weapons, nav, comm and displays. No things like MIL-STD-1553!!! Even HARM and HARPOON had special boxes in the early F/A-18's, and the F/A-18 had a fairly flexible avionics architecture, as does the F-16, B-1, B-2, and F-15E.

So to any engineer, the F-35's avionics architecture already looks fairly easy to develop for and upgrade with new and improved sensors and systems.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 8):
It lacks a gun with the utility of the GAU-8. The effective range of the GAU-8 is far longer than the GAU-12. The ammo load is far larger. In actual service the GAU-8 has been a defining factor in the A-10's ability to do missions that other platforms can't. Its not just CAS, Its quite well known what aircraft other pilots want helping in SAR situations, regardless what role they have in the mission. Do you think the helicopter pilots want a F-16 that can't loiter long, has limited weapons, and can only make very fast passes? Think the F-35 will change that at all?

What was it that another reporter said?

http://aviationweek.com/awin/10-victim-difficult-choices

Quote:
You may argue that I'm missing something here. How do you know when your conversation with a Hog pilot is half over? “That's enough about me, let's talk about my gun.” But the A-10 gun, designed to decapitate T-62 tanks, is not ideal for CAS. The attack profile calls for the pilot to turn into a gun run at a considerable distance from the target, at an angle where a small difference in elevation means a big difference in where the bullets hit, and to finish firing before the aircraft busts a height limit. Today's CAS technology has many ways to deliver the precision that in the 1970s demanded a gun.

Also, the GAU-12 is considerably more accurate than the GAU-8; I've said this in another thread:
F-35: Ditch The 25mm Cannon? (by KarelXWB Dec 31 2014 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 60):
I've also head a bit about the CONOPS for the F-35A gun: it consist of a high angle strafe at 30 - 45 degrees at 9000 ft of slant range.

The minimum dispersion requirements for the F-35's gun system (cannon, round, fire control/avionics) are extremely exacting: less than 3.1 mrad (i.e. 80% of the rounds fall within a circle of 8.2m radius at slant range). The cannon itself contributes about 1.4 mrad.

There is also the requirement for three operationally effective passes with the cannon. Meeting that and the dispersion reqs and the Pk reqs (which necessitated a large round which in turn limits ammo capacity) requires an automatic employment mode where the pilot places the HMD boresight on the ground target (or slews the sensor suite there) and the avionics then provide wind and steering corrections along with "FIRE" cues.

In short, an EXTREMELY demanding set of requirements is at play here with the gun, far beyond what the current weapons are being required to achieve.

For example, the GAU-8 in the A-10 achieves a 5 mrad dispersion rate. At 1.2km away, you are looking at a dispersion of 6m, meaning 80% of rounds will fall within a 6m radius circle 1.2km away.

For the F-35, the requirement is asking that at 1.2km away, you should get a dispersion of less than 3.72m, meaning 80% of rounds will fall within a 3.72m radius circle 1.2km away.
 
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:15 am

Using the gun is crazy in any real threat scenario.

CAS can be done by anything from UAVs to B-52s. You do not need an ancient and obsolete plane like the A-10 for it. Most CAS is done by F-16s any way.
 
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:19 am

Quoting seahawk (Reply 18):
Using the gun is crazy in any real threat scenario.

and what are you going to use against infantry on foot? Which is all too often the problem. A missile just isn't as good of a message. Keeping infantry from the troops you are providing CAS for is kinda key. Its not about killing them. Its about making them go away regardless if its fleeing the engagement or sending them to the afterlife. An anti-tank missile is pretty useless at that. It does add to the danger, that is certain, but how important is it to you that you support your troops and downed pilots?

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 17):
Also, the GAU-12 is considerably more accurate than the GAU-8; I've said this in another thread:
F-35: Ditch The 25mm Cannon? (by KarelXWB Dec 31 2014 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)

Accuracy != ability.

The GAU-8 has a massive advantage in potential firing rate, and a quite solid in practice advantage in fire rate. The GAU-12 lacks the ability to get metal down range in the same manner making accuracy the only hope for it in attacking ground targets. I fail to see how the GAU-8 would gain from more accuracy since only a MBT can hope to even annoy the 30mm rounds. APCs, helicopers, and aircraft? Lol. If anything its relative inaccuracy is a good thing as it pretty much assures that a round will find something that will make the enemy's day go bad.

Tell you what, go sell the A-10 community on replacing the GAU-8 with a more accurate GAU-12 and see how that goes. Hell promise them the weight savings will go to extra armor for them and see how much traction you get.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 17):
The USAF hasn't had an aircraft built specifically for that mission in years. The thing is, the USAF has embedded JTAC's on the ground with US Army forces to direct and coordinate CAS for years.

and yet the USAF tasks A-10's with these tasks today. Its a little bit of making limeaid cause you got limes instead of the lemons you wanted... but remains that these are important tasks to the USAF. Again when is the F-35 going to cover these missions? Its going to be "funny" when they lose a $150M+ aircraft trying to do some Mk 1 eyeball recon of a target area because the photos are inconclusive. Which it won't do properly with that high stall speed meaning that your ability to put said eyeballs on target is quite limited.

Is the A-10 the best plane in the inventory? No, but no other plane in the inventory can come close to the missions its NEEDED for. So getting rid of the dirt cheap A-10s to buy a couple more F-35 is just flat stupid.
 
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:10 am

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 19):
Its not about killing them.

Umm... Yes it is! CAS is about placing ordinance on target to destroy the enemy at close proximity to friendlies!

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 19):
I fail to see how the GAU-8 would gain from more accuracy since only a MBT can hope to even annoy the 30mm rounds.

Less rounds needed, more effectiveness against targets? Sounds like something anyone would want.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 19):
If anything its relative inaccuracy is a good thing as it pretty much assures that a round will find something that will make the enemy's day go bad.

The more inaccurate your weapon, the larger the danger radius to friendly forces. That means you have to aim further away from friendlies in order to reduce the risk to them, which means the less effective your support is.

Why do you think attack helicopters provide extremely effective CAS? It's because they can provide it against targets that are mere metres away from friendlies, as their accuracy and consistency is extremely high.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 19):
Is the A-10 the best plane in the inventory? No, but no other plane in the inventory can come close to the missions its NEEDED for. So getting rid of the dirt cheap A-10s to buy a couple more F-35 is just flat stupid.

Once more you conveniently ignore the reality that sequestration has forced the choice upon the USAF. Where's the logic in spending on an outdated one-trick pony that is relegated to low-intensity threat environments and which is by no means cheap to operate (An A-10 costs almost as much as an F-16 to operate)?

A-10 will not contribute a "well-balanced force", rather it will have the opposite effect, sucking up precious resources to the detriment of the Service. It is relevant only in low-intensity threat scenarios, not the Peer/Near-peer scenarios professional AF Leadership is planning for. They see the stupidity in investing scarce capital on a platform that only addresses the lowest common denominator foe.
 
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:13 pm

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 19):
and what are you going to use against infantry on foot? Which is all too often the problem. A missile just isn't as good of a message. Keeping infantry from the troops you are providing CAS for is kinda key. Its not about killing them. Its about making them go away regardless if its fleeing the engagement or sending them to the afterlife. An anti-tank missile is pretty useless at that. It does add to the danger, that is certain, but how important is it to you that you support your troops and downed pilots?

Guided Hydra 70s preferably with Flechette warheads.
 
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:54 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 17):
So you assume that the F-35's targeting systems can't be upgraded because it's not Pod based?

Never said that.

But the fact that its already out of date, before the aircraft is in service, is rather stupid imho.
 
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SeJoWa
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:09 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 17):
In reality, JTAC's and troops on the ground don't really care where their firepower is coming from, as long as it comes when they want it, and is accurate. If they can get support from a flight of F-16's in 5 minutes verses a flight of A-10's in half an hour, they'll take the F-16's.

I'll take the word of TACP-A President Charlie Keebaugh:

While some other aircraft can conduct some CAS missions, we should be very clear that the A-10 is best equipped to address the CAS challenges associated with poor weather, unreliable target location, bad terrain, the “enemy vote”, insufficient battlefield intelligence, rapidly changing conditions, and a myriad of other factors that conspire to derail a mission. The A-10 is not merely a CAS aircraft but serves as an extension of the JTAC on the battlefield. The A-10’s
unique CAS capabilities, combined with the air to ground mission focus of A-10 pilots, has created unmatched JTAC confidence in the CAS performance of A-10 aircraft and crews.


Quoting seahawk (Reply 18):
Using the gun is crazy in any real threat scenario.

CAS can be done by anything from UAVs to B-52s. You do not need an ancient and obsolete plane like the A-10 for it. Most CAS is done by F-16s any way.

The A-10C is as ancient and obsolete as later Block F-16s. The fact that it's slower and loiters longer is by design. And that design gives the pilot unrivalled awareness of the situation on the ground. This is not abstract theory - JTACs say again and again that this is a vital part CAS when troops are in a bind. Ignore me - but maybe not the President of TACP-A:


For these reasons, when under enemy fire and about to be overrun, JTACs look over their shoulders and pray an A-10 is there—knowing that nothing reassures and protects friendly forces and scatters and destroys enemy forces like an A-10.


As an aside, I thought the GAU was obsolete too until reality made me change my assessment. And yes, Hog Drivers will sometimes do unorthodox, crazy dangerous things to save the lives of the troops they support. But noone can better judge the risk and the urgency.

As a further aside, guns ilke the GAU on the hog are designed for a precise amount of scatter. And in this world, in these times, danger close, it's been a winning and terror instilling combination. The F-35 is nothing of the sort right now, and never will be. Which is not saying we don't need it. But by 2040 it will be a sidelined relic. Something to keep in mind while talking War aka Defense Department Dollars.
 
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:50 pm

I personally think much of the love for the A-10 is not really for the airframe, but for the CAS focussed pilots flying it.

I think that given the same mission focus and training those pilots would excel at CAS in a F-16, F-15, F-35 or Super Tucano as well. This capability is worth saving and if you drop the A-10 I see a need to focus some F-16 units on CAS as their primary and only mission.

This however will most likely not happen. In fact I think Marine AV-8s enjoy a similar status with the JTACs.
 
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:10 am

F-35, the biggest boondoggle in US govt history since the Contra affair.

If any A-10 pilots were to be shot down, PJs and SEALs will be all over them before the top of the hour.
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:20 am

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 23):
I'll take the word of TACP-A President Charlie Keebaugh:

While some other aircraft can conduct some CAS missions, we should be very clear that the A-10 is best equipped to address the CAS challenges associated with poor weather, unreliable target location, bad terrain, the “enemy vote”, insufficient battlefield intelligence, rapidly changing conditions, and a myriad of other factors that conspire to derail a mission. The A-10 is not merely a CAS aircraft but serves as an extension of the JTAC on the battlefield. The A-10’s
unique CAS capabilities, combined with the air to ground mission focus of A-10 pilots, has created unmatched JTAC confidence in the CAS performance of A-10 aircraft and crews.

And we have reports from during the Iraq War, 2 flights of A-10's were sent away by the JTAC during the Battle of Najaf because they weren't capable of all weather operations in a blinding sandstorm. A B-1 Lancer was instead accepted and brought in to provide CAS.

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 23):
The A-10C is as ancient and obsolete as later Block F-16s. The fact that it's slower and loiters longer is by design. And that design gives the pilot unrivalled awareness of the situation on the ground.

If you really want an idea of how CAS is being done TODAY, Google "Operation ANACONDA: An Airpower Perspective," and go to the back to see all of the different platforms involved in providing CAS during that fight...lots of different jets were providing CAS.

And funny how the A-10 is involved in more blue on blue situations than any other fixed wing or rotary aircraft that have provided CAS, with pilot situational awareness being a primary factor in those incidents...

The F-16 has a number of technical capabilities A-10C's don't have... such as a terrain avoidance radar, allowing ultra-low altitude nap of earth flying in bad weather conditions, and a projected map display. Some A-10C's don't even have GPS or INS navigation capability... which the F-16's had for a while.

And remember: Flying low and slow is a compensation tactic that is used to compensate for A: a lack of situational awareness and/or B: a lack of accuracy. Roughly 20 years ago, flying low and slow was the only way to do CAS because you didn't have the sensors beyond the Mark 1 eyeball to find targets (and figure out where the friendlies are), and precision guided munitions didn't exist in the quantities or capabilities that exist today.

Now, the only CAS aircraft that we send are aircraft equipped with targeting pods (LITENING, Sniper, etc) armed with precision guided munitions, such as JDAM and Paveway. We also have unparallelled ability to communicate and share information as well through systems and datalinks like Link-16 and ROVER. We have things like blue force tracking as well.

And guess what? They are all performing CAS predominantly from the medium to high altitude. Even the A-10 is performing CAS like that. Just have to look at the statistics regarding munitions usage; over 60% of bombs dropped during Enduring Freedom from 2001 to 2002 were PGM's, with JDAM's making up the bulk of it.

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 23):
As an aside, I thought the GAU was obsolete too until reality made me change my assessment. And yes, Hog Drivers will sometimes do unorthodox, crazy dangerous things to save the lives of the troops they support. But noone can better judge the risk and the urgency.

As a further aside, guns ilke the GAU on the hog are designed for a precise amount of scatter. And in this world, in these times, danger close, it's been a winning and terror instilling combination.

And the F-35's gun is more accurate and is more optimized for a higher altitude engagement and steeper dive angles than the A-10's optimal 30 degrees attack profile. That means I can aim much more closer to friendlies in an F-35 than I can with an A-10. Not only that, the F-35 will correct for wind and bullet drop, which the A-10's pre-WWII era gun sight doesn't.

The thing is, you don't want inaccurate and inconsistent weapons employed super-close to friendly positions. For one, it significantly increases the risk of friendly fire, and secondly, the effectiveness of whatever you are employing is significantly reduced.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 24):
I think that given the same mission focus and training those pilots would excel at CAS in a F-16, F-15, F-35 or Super Tucano as well. This capability is worth saving and if you drop the A-10 I see a need to focus some F-16 units on CAS as their primary and only mission.

CAS is not going away. That's why you see continuation of CAS/COIN platforms all over the globe. The thing is,t he number of platforms that can do CAS has increased drastically the last 15 years, and A-10s are not the only aircraft that can do it in the US arsenal. With budget cuts forcing tough decisions, the A-10 should be getting the axe because it can only do basic missions in safer airspace.

The problem is that the A-10 in an austere budget environment takes away money from more valuable aircraft that can perform the core missions that's expected of the USAF in a conflict. Things like air superiority, interdiction, strategic bombing, and transport. The only way we can continue to keep the A-10 in service is if we retire or mothball more valuable aircraft, that are more functional and of more utility in all conflicts that go beyond simple insurgents wielding AK-47's.

And many of the important attributes the A-10 has (range, and payload) can be found in other aircraft, and even UAV's that the US military operates. I don't think it is much of a leap to possibly see UAV's providing CAS to friendly troops in the immediate future. For one thing, UAV's have incredible endurance and are being equipped with excellent sensors, and there's no pilot to put into harm's way if something happens.
 
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:30 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 26):
Things like air superiority, interdiction, strategic bombing, and transport.

If a F-16 wing has to do air superiority, interdiction + CAS, it will be doing roughly 1/3rd of the CAS centred training a A-10 unit would do. For modern fighter planes the airframe is rarely the limiting factor to which missions can be performed, it is pilot training. With just 1/3 of training going towards CAS; the pilots will be less trained than the A-10 pilots doing 100% CAS. CAS is not depending on the plane, it is depending on the right mindset within the fighter community.

When the A-10 is finally retired any replacement unit for that mission would need to focus as much on CAS as the A-10s did to achieve a similar quality. It would hardly matter if they fly B-1s, F-16s or UAVs.
 
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:07 am

Quoting seahawk (Reply 27):
If a F-16 wing has to do air superiority, interdiction + CAS, it will be doing roughly 1/3rd of the CAS centred training a A-10 unit would do. For modern fighter planes the airframe is rarely the limiting factor to which missions can be performed, it is pilot training. With just 1/3 of training going towards CAS; the pilots will be less trained than the A-10 pilots doing 100% CAS. CAS is not depending on the plane, it is depending on the right mindset within the fighter community.

And we already see this happening with certain wings specializing in certain missions; for example, the 55th Fighter Squadron specializes in attack, the 80th Fighter Squadron primarily focuses on air superiority, while the 480th Fighter Squadron's primary focus and specialty is SEAD.
 
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:57 pm

Quoting seahawk (Reply 21):
Guided Hydra 70s preferably with Flechette warheads.

Nah, guided Zunis, same warhead though.
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Pyrex
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:14 am

Not sure why all the bru-ha-ha about a problem with such an easy solution. Just transfer the A-10s to the Army, period. Yes, I know the U.S. Army cannot have fixed-wing armed aircraft (the Air Force's feelings would be hurt) but if this has nothing to do with fighter jock ego, as the Air Force claims, they should have no problem in transferring them to the Army. Similarly, if they are as effective as the Army claims, then they should have no problem paying for their upkeep.

If this doesn't work, I am sure the Marines wouldn't mind having the A-10s, and they can operate armed fixed-wing aircraft.
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:05 am

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 30):
Yes, I know the U.S. Army cannot have fixed-wing armed aircraft (the Air Force's feelings would be hurt) but if this has nothing to do with fighter jock ego, as the Air Force claims, they should have no problem in transferring them to the Army.

It's LAW...has nothing to do with the Air Force not wanting to transfer aircraft to the Army. They can't.
 
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:07 am

Quoting checksixx (Reply 31):
It's LAW...has nothing to do with the Air Force not wanting to transfer aircraft to the Army. They can't.

Laws can be changed. But I am sure if Congress tried, the Air Force would fight it tooth and nail.
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:03 am

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 30):
If this doesn't work, I am sure the Marines wouldn't mind having the A-10s, and they can operate armed fixed-wing aircraft.

The Marines don't want A-10's, they have AV-8B's.

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 32):
Laws can be changed. But I am sure if Congress tried, the Air Force would fight it tooth and nail.

The truth of the matter is that the US Army doesn't want A-10's either. They are happy getting support from whatever aircraft is available.
 
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:59 pm

Quoting seahawk (Reply 24):
I personally think much of the love for the A-10 is not really for the airframe, but for the CAS focussed pilots flying it.

I think that given the same mission focus and training those pilots would excel at CAS in a F-16, F-15, F-35 or Super Tucano as well. This capability is worth saving and if you drop the A-10 I see a need to focus some F-16 units on CAS as their primary and only mission.

This however will most likely not happen. In fact I think Marine AV-8s enjoy a similar status with the JTACs.

I quoted your entire post so the context is clear, and because it's brief and concise. That's a great analogy regarding Marine AV-8B pilots and A-10C drivers - something essential to the CAS fight when one listens to what JTACs say. A dedicated cadre of specialist pilots is one of the things that make the A-10C so precious and lethal.

You do not need to have served in the armed forces to know that good communication leading to a shared situational awareness is vital to a mission. But condensed into a brief sliver of time, inside the fog of war, amidst mayhem, angst, and agony, you need to rely on the soldierly virtues on call in the men around you.

The pilots who train like that become, as JTACs I've cited say, extensions of the team. That is priceless in combat.

Also interesting to me because it exposes my own biases regarding a platform - VTOL appeals to my inner aircraft geek, it adds flexibility in some situations, yet it's quirky and inefficient. Not to mention my reservations about sending Harriers into combat. No doubt the pilots will give it their all, but will be elated when the F-35B finally reaches IOP [op readiness].

Pointblank, I'm aware of how CAS is routinely done. And also that the A-10C alone is not going to cut it against a peer enemy. When I cite JTACs in this thread, it's not because of their flowery prose. Although "bwwwww" is always an emotional highlight deeply intertwined with the A-10C and our enemies' uncommanded bowel movements.
 
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:07 pm

The overall purpose of this post continues the author's main harping point. He wants the A-10 gone and the F-35 in. Fortunately, people in Congress have begun to understand the A-10s importance in CAS. The A-10s aren't going anywhere now. McCain is now in charge of a powerful chair in the Senate and is an ardent supporter of the platform.

I am thankful the A-10 was spared for another day. It is already doing tremendous work in Iraq. It has been forward based as close to the enemy as possible and as news articles have shown, is making its presence felt on the enemy.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:14 pm

Quoting CX747 (Reply 35):
Fortunately, people in Congress have begun to understand the A-10s importance in CAS

Yeah, amazing how they have grown a brain since the last election.

The F-35 is just some toy for a bunch of college-boy air force officers who don't care about the CAS mission because it might make their planes dirty and make them miss their tee times.
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:28 am

My overall mindset is not F-35 vs A-10. They are two very different platforms. The A-10 is a tremendous aircraft that has been proving its critics wrong since the Gulf War. It performs CAS in a superior fashion due to its overall design. Has anyone read in the past 10-15 years of a single platform being feared and known for raining death like the A-10?
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
mham001
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:15 am

Quoting CX747 (Reply 37):
Has anyone read in the past 10-15 years of a single platform being feared and known for raining death like the A-10?

I don't think the Taliban cared much for B-52's.
 
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:44 am

Quoting CX747 (Reply 35):
The overall purpose of this post continues the author's main harping point. He wants the A-10 gone and the F-35 in. Fortunately, people in Congress have begun to understand the A-10s importance in CAS. The A-10s aren't going anywhere now. McCain is now in charge of a powerful chair in the Senate and is an ardent supporter of the platform.

More like old geezers who want to keep jobs in their states. McCain stands to loose hundreds, if not thousands of jobs in his state if the A-10 got canned. Don't think he's doing it to support the military; far from it. But then again, that's maybe just me being cynical.

Quoting CX747 (Reply 37):
The A-10 is a tremendous aircraft that has been proving its critics wrong since the Gulf War.

Actually, the critics were proven right about the A-10. See General Chuck Horner's remarks regarding the A-10. And remember, he was the Commander of the Coalition Air Forces during Gulf War I. In short, he commanded anything that flew against Iraq in the first Gulf War. He actually pulled A-10's off the toughest targets, the Republican Guard, as they were being shot up too much and taking too many losses, and assigned them regular Iraqi Army units. He sent F-16's after the Republican Guard instead:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q: This conflict has shown that?

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

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

Q: At what point did you do that?

A: I think I had fourteen airplanes sitting on the ramp having battle damage repaired, and I lost two A- 10s in one day [February 15], and I said, "I've had enough of this."
Quoting mham001 (Reply 38):
I don't think the Taliban cared much for B-52's.

Nor do I think the Taliban and Al-Qaeda cared much for AH-64's as well. The Taliban referred to the AH-64 as the "Monster".


The bigger question that is not being asked is "Why should we invest in a platform that has significant mission overlap with the Army's attack helicopters on the lower end, and from the USAF's existing multi-role fighter jet force and bombers from the top end?" Once you back away from the hardware and look at just getting the missions done, I think you get a better perspective and more options make themselves known to you.

People have this idea that CAS is flown right over the grunts' heads, guns blazing, 100 feet above ground. It's isn't done like that any more. Most of it is done with precision munitions, because that reduces the chances of friendly fire because it reduces the chance a bomb or a shell goes in the wrong direction from where its intended to go. The planes typically stay higher up, so they're out of range of ground fire and/or being hoisted by one's own petard.

Don't get me wrong; the A-10 is a magnificent aircraft that's extremely capable. But it's capable in just one mission set under very permissive conditions where we own the sky and surface to air threats are very limited (restricted to the enemy having heavy machine guns). When the budget axe comes, single mission platforms that can't justify their own roles compared to the core missions when other platforms can do the same job as effectively (but not in the same way) should get the axe first.
 
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kanban
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:04 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 39):

So far you're vaunted replacement is incapable of performing these missions.. so do we just call "Time Out" until it's ready? or use the best we've got? The more I read the more I'm reminded of "if your only tool is a hammer, all problems look like nails.." as if future combats will be honorably scaled to fit a certain airplanes capabilities and all other conflicts will be considered "cheating"

can't wait to see your threads when we finally get a functioning F-35 performing these missions.. " F-35 is being shot at!!!"
 
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seahawk
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:25 am

The A-10 would jsut ta

Quoting CX747 (Reply 37):
Has anyone read in the past 10-15 years of a single platform being feared and known for raining death like the A-10?

BUFF and Bone were also feared a lot. Imho they would also fear the F-16, if it would be the airframe usually bombing them. The big problem for the F-16 unit though is not the plane it is the mission. They are multi-role. So they are not as good at CAS as the A-10, not as good at strike as F-15Es and not as good at A2A as the F-22. The beauty of a specialized platform is that it allows to focus training.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:39 am

Quoting kanban (Reply 40):
So far you're vaunted replacement is incapable of performing these missions.. so do we just call "Time Out" until it's ready? or use the best we've got? The more I read the more I'm reminded of "if your only tool is a hammer, all problems look like nails.." as if future combats will be honorably scaled to fit a certain airplanes capabilities and all other conflicts will be considered "cheating"

We have the ultra-close and persistent side of CAS supplied by AH-64's and AH-1Z's. We have ultra-long endurance covered by UAV's. Quick response time and ability to supply CAS under contested air threats with the multi-role fighter force. And we have long endurance and heavy weapons loads with the B-52 and B-1's. For specialist duties requiring lots of firepower and endurance, we got AC-130's. And for flying out of forward air bases and from amphibious assault ships, we currently have AV-8B's. We have lots of tools in the inventory that can do the job in different ways.

So where does the A-10 fit in? How does it fit within the expected force structure when the accountants come calling and you need to ax something?

And we've just started CAS testing with the F-35:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dqt_mLwGw8

http://defense-update.com/20150125_f...lose-air-support.html#.VMXfwC55hdw
http://intercepts.defensenews.com/20...e-air-support-tactics-development/
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:02 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 42):
So where does the A-10 fit in? How does it fit within the expected force structure when the accountants come calling and you need to ax something?

The A-10 fits in when you need a problem that isn't a fighter solved. UAVs are nice, but are currently quite limited. The A-10 can drag 8 tons of death around with it if so needed. UAVs are limited to a couple *small* ATGM missiles at present.

Against more formal forces, the A-10 has proven to be the only platform reliable in its ability to take down helicopters flying at extremely low level. Missiles don't work, laser guided bombs don't work if its moving... leaving you with either trying to do fast passes with a tiny gun, or an A-10 with big gun, big ammo, and plenty of time to apply it to target.

And F*** Horner. The A-10 did everything they asked of it in Gulf 1 and lost a tiny fraction of what they thought they would when they planned on ONLY using it for CAS and "safe" strike missions. I mean by God they sent them unsupported against SAM sites. You want to talk about a bad mis-match of plane and role... But in it went, and it got the job done.

To complain about A-10 losses when you send them in against the best defended places outside of Bagdad is.... spiteful. Course they sent them in because B-52 working the sites from high altitude have 0 feedback on effect, and all the recon was proving useless at showing actual effectiveness of the strikes. F-16s also were proving useless at effective strikes. So they sent A-10 in to provide Mk 1 eyeballs on the targets. Discovering that much of what the B-52 and F-16 were bombing was decoys and empty berms, the A-10 was then thrown in to take out the actual targets. Many of the losses were also due to needing to develop new tactics not then in the book. Most got nailed on a 2nd or 3rd pass. Which is what they were supposed to do against relatively defenseless armored columns on the move in a soviet invasion. The lessons of WWII and Vietnam were lost, where it became known the first guy in on a strike has the easiest time. Last guy in gets all the pissed off people who have had time to find a weapon and get it ready. Only this time making multiple passes makes you the last guy regardless of when you arrived.

Also it was viewed that the A-10 was disposable in a soviet invasion of Europe. That they would get shot down in droves, but the armored spearhead would be a broken ruin in that time. It took Gulf 1 to prove that theory wrong. That the Fighters could provide nearly universal coverage Day 1. That AA was far from effective against it. That it could in fact return home with "fatal" damage, it wasn't just buzzwords from a sales pitch.

Many people feel that the F-16s and other fast movers were playing it far too safe and did jack because of it. F-35 is going to double down on that with its focus on high subsonic and low supersonic speeds, insane pricetag, and minimal payload.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 42):
We have the ultra-close and persistent side of CAS supplied by AH-64's and AH-1Z's.

I don't think you would have a single complaint from the A-10s about the attack helicopters. I also think you won't hear a single complaint from the helicopter pilots about the A-10. If the US was sane about things, the two would work hand in hand all the time. They complement each other, not conflict. If we were sane, we would use the whole spectrum of speed and payload for missions. B-52 and B-1 for places needing mass. F-15E, F-16, and F-18 for rapid response and deep quick strikes. A-10s for area coverage from a loiter. Attack helicopters for focused strikes aimed at complete reduction of a single area. UAVs to cover the gaps and support of smaller ground elements that we just can't give helicopters and A-10s to on a full time basis. Unfortunately the Helicopter and Jet sides are broken up by office politics.
 
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bikerthai
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Mon Jan 26, 2015 8:10 pm

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 1):
U.S. Wild Boar aircraft inspires terror in ISIS ranks in Mosul

This video is from the vicinity of Mosul. Might just be the attack as noted in the story.

There is no sound, so you can't hear the BRRRRT.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-ts=1421914688&v=a0s4b9LZPyU&x-yt-cl=84503534

The video shows the A-10 attack then the Kurdish forces moves in to take the town . . .

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:34 am

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 43):
The A-10 fits in when you need a problem that isn't a fighter solved. UAVs are nice, but are currently quite limited. The A-10 can drag 8 tons of death around with it if so needed. UAVs are limited to a couple *small* ATGM missiles at present.

The A-10 is a solution in search of a problem.

Your argument that's part of the bandwagon is that fast jets are simply too fast to provide their pilots with sufficient situational awareness to provide effective and safe support to troops in contact.

With the advent of improving tactics, techniques and procedures, coupled with the new capabilities offered by the latest generation of targeting pods where the forward air controller can actively cue weapons or see the same information as the pilot, this argument simply disappears.

What was true 30-40 years ago is no longer true today. Technology and tactics march on.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 43):
Many people feel that the F-16s and other fast movers were playing it far too safe and did jack because of it. F-35 is going to double down on that with its focus on high subsonic and low supersonic speeds, insane pricetag, and minimal payload.

You fail to fail to recognize the advantages that speed brings. Certain warzones, such as Iraq and Afghanistan are large places and to respond to a ‘Troops in Contact’ request for close air support the aircraft either has to be near or step on the gas to get there quickly. While you may be able to be based closer to operational areas and this may offset this to some extent but will require operations, maintenance and logistics to be equally distributed, costing more.

Speed has its disadvantages but in addition to being able to respond quickly and cover a large area it also provides safety. Although the air threat in Afghanistan and Iraq is generally low that does not mean it is completely safe. Most of the fighters operating in theatre often carry air to air missiles, to counter the threat of an Iranian incursion.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 43):
Against more formal forces, the A-10 has proven to be the only platform reliable in its ability to take down helicopters flying at extremely low level. Missiles don't work, laser guided bombs don't work if its moving... leaving you with either trying to do fast passes with a tiny gun, or an A-10 with big gun, big ammo, and plenty of time to apply it to target.

What, 2 helicopters for the A-10, verses 1 for the F-15E (with a Paveway LGB no less), 3 for the F-15C (with AIM-7's), and 1 for the F-14 (with an AIM-9)? Basically a 5:2 ratio in favour of missile armed (and LGB bomb armed) fighters shooting down helicopters in Iraq War I?

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 43):
Also it was viewed that the A-10 was disposable in a soviet invasion of Europe. That they would get shot down in droves, but the armored spearhead would be a broken ruin in that time. It took Gulf 1 to prove that theory wrong. That the Fighters could provide nearly universal coverage Day 1. That AA was far from effective against it. That it could in fact return home with "fatal" damage, it wasn't just buzzwords from a sales pitch.

The Iraqi Army was not as effective as the Soviet Army is in terms of capabilities... suffice it to say, the Soviets took air defence capabilities much more seriously, and had integrated air defence capabilities in their armoured corps. The Soviets had more AAA, more MANPAD's, and more SAM's with higher quality and technological sophistication coupled to significantly better training than the Iraqi's had (remember that the Soviets exported downgraded versions of their weapons to other nations).

The Soviets were not to be taken lightly in terms of their capabilities.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 43):
A-10s for area coverage from a loiter.

That's not how CAS is done... review "Operation ANACONDA: An Airpower Perspective" which explains how CAS is done today, and the lessons learned.

And if we need persistent area coverage from a loiter with tons of sustained firepower, AC-130 or a Harvest HAWK will do nicely.
 
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bikerthai
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:10 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-ts...688&v=a0s4b9LZPyU&x-yt-cl=84503534

Re-post with link. A-10 supporting Kurdish Forces against Daesh.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
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spudh
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:00 am

I think having reviewed both sides of the argument the solution is obvious, bring back the F-14D's   perfect combination of speed , loiter, load carrying and all sorts of SA in the cockpit.

But seriously, the A-10 was an aircraft the USAF never wanted, tried to kill from its inception and tried to drop every chance it gets. The sequestration argument is moot as the funding comes from the same pot, they could just as easily singled out any other programme and pointed the finger at that, the A-10 is just their favorite target.

I think the A-10 proponents are underestimating the order of magnitude inrease in battlefield awareness the F-35 is going to bring and its ability to put ordnance exactly where it is desired will be unparalleled.

But the F-35 guys are missing the vital psychological aspect of CAS, the sniper on the hilltop 1000 yards away is as likely to kill you as the grunt with his M60 100yards away but which one is going to draw your attention, most of your fire and most likely to get you to turn around.
There is no more intimidating aircraft out there.
The other thing about the F-35 gun being more accurate is probably less of an issue, I would imagine that against foot soldiers its the shrapnel from the 30mm round do the damage, the low angle the A-10 does it gun run at is going to put put a lot of shrapnel over a big area.
 
angad84
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:17 am

Quoting spudh (Reply 47):
bring back the F-14D

You'll hear no complaints from me!

I'm on the side of the Hawg in this debate, but only out of an over abundance of caution. Retiring a proven, successful and beloved CAS asset before its replacement is in service is ridiculous. The F-35 may someday turn out to be the ultimate CAS machine, but until that day, it would be inexcusable to retire the A-10. Simple.

Cheers
A
 
CX747
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RE: A-10's Being Shot At In Iraq

Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:14 pm

I am all for bringing back the F-14D. The United States lost a heck of a platform when it shipped the last Turkey off to the boneyard. Speed, fuel, carrying capability, loiter time, situational awareness...it was the real deal.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower

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