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NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:22 pm

A former U.S. Air Force Colonel and A-10 squadron commander urges Federal government not to retire the venerable A-10 in the face of budget cuts, citing the humble aircraft's unique capabilities and role in saving the lives of ground troops:

http://nyti.ms/1E2VQwb


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kc135topboom
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:36 pm

Col./Congresswoman McSally is absolutely right. There is nothing flying or on the drawing boards that can do what the A-10 can do.

The F-16 has been used in the CAS mission, it is not nearly as effective as the A-10 is. The A-10 is effective in the very close CAS down to 5 meters, because it can do that at 125-130 knots. You cannot do that with a 250 knot F-16.

The A-10C 30mm gun carries up to 1350 rounds. The F-16C (Block 50) 20mm gun carries up to 525 rounds. The F-35A 25mm gun will only carry 180 rounds. If we throw the F-15E into the CAS mission, its 20mm gun carries up to 525 rounds.

The F-15E carries the heaviest weapons load at 23,000 lbs. on 11 hard points. The F-35A is suppose to carry up to 18,000 lbs. on 6 external and 2 internal hard points. The F-16C carries up to 17,000 lbs. on 9 hard points, not counting the wingtip A2A missile rails. The A-10C carries 16,000 lbs. on 11 hard points.

But the F-35A, F-15E, nor the F-16C can carry a full load of weapons if flying low level on the CAS mission. The A-10C, OTOH can carry its full weapons load out on each CAS mission.

Finally, no USAF General is going to order a $150M F-35A to fly low and slow just to save a couple of grunts.

The F-35 program is all junk and should have been canceled years ago.

I often wonder that if the Boeing X-32 was selected (would have been called the F-32) if we would have a better, operational Gen. 5 fighter/attack airplane for the USAF, USMC, USN, RN, and all the other international customers?

Then again, Boeing was set up to fail and LM set up to win back in the 1990s. Boeing built two X-32 prototypes, both with delta wings, but as these planes were being completed The USAF and USN changed the spec's that wanted more conventional wings and twin cantered tails.
 
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:34 pm

The part that gets the biggest rise out of me is "we just spent $1 billion on improvements to the A-10 fleet". It's almost the sure sign that a fleet is soon to be retired is a big investment in upgrades. The defense contractors make a killing then the USAF decides it's time to park it in the desert and move on to the next massive budget overrun. It makes me fear for the C-5.
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:44 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 2):
Revelation

You are right. It happened after the B-52D, F-4, F-106, B-52G, C-141, and many others.
 
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:20 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 3):
many others

Not to get people too animated, but on the USN side the F-14 finally got reliable engines and then got the 'Bombcat' upgrades and it was time to send them out to pasture.
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ThePointblank
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:57 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 1):
Col./Congresswoman McSally is absolutely right. There is nothing flying or on the drawing boards that can do what the A-10 can do.

The F-16 has been used in the CAS mission, it is not nearly as effective as the A-10 is. The A-10 is effective in the very close CAS down to 5 meters, because it can do that at 125-130 knots. You cannot do that with a 250 knot F-16.

Do we need to perform CAS like we do currently, or has technology and tactics changed how we fight wars? It's like arguing that we still have a need to send thousands of bombers out to destroy a factory even though technology has marched on.

With technology such as PCAS, which is being tested right now by DARPA, we can dramatically speed up a CAS engagement; what would have taken half an hour for a pilot and JTAC to confirm and verify a target before a weapon is released will in the future take just a few minutes. Faster attacks, more accuracy, and more consistency means more lethality to the enemy.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 1):
The A-10C 30mm gun carries up to 1350 rounds. The F-16C (Block 50) 20mm gun carries up to 525 rounds. The F-35A 25mm gun will only carry 180 rounds. If we throw the F-15E into the CAS mission, its 20mm gun carries up to 525 rounds.

*Cough*

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.
Quoting Revelation (Reply 2):
The part that gets the biggest rise out of me is "we just spent $1 billion on improvements to the A-10 fleet".

Yeah, AFTER they got around to fitting the A-10 with avionics that allowed it go from World War II era technology to Gulf War I technology... and now that technology is slowly becoming obsolete. Technology marches on.

In short, with all it's upgrades in the past 10 years, the A-10 is little more than a 300 knot F-16 technology-wise.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 4):
Not to get people too animated,

And therein lies the problem; the A-10 is an emotional issue:

http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.o...blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=1792

Quote:
When it comes to divesting the A-10 Warthog — a close-air support aircraft — the decision must be based on modernizing the fleet for the future and not on emotion, said the Air Force’s chief of staff April 8.

“As emotional as we want this argument to get, we clearly can do the close-air support mission in a low threat environment with other airplanes,” said Gen. Mark A. Welsh during a meeting with defense reporters in Washington, D.C.

Air Force leaders have pushed to retire the service’s fleet of A-10 Thunderbolt II attack planes but has faced a backlash from passionate service members and lawmakers.

The Air Force is seeking to divest all 164 A-10s by 2019. The service wants to shift money from the 40-year-old planes and put the funding toward new platforms such as its next-generation joint strike fighter, which has become known for its increasingly expensive price tag.

The service will need to divest the planes in order to modernize for future conflicts, Welsh said.

“I’m worried about close-air support as a mission 10 years, 20 years, 50 years from now because we are going to be doing it, and the A-10 is not going to be what’s going in,” Welsh said. “How do we transition to the future? How do we modernize for the future threat? What’s going to do our close-air support in a high threat environment, because that’s not the A-10.”
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 1):
Then again, Boeing was set up to fail and LM set up to win back in the 1990s. Boeing built two X-32 prototypes, both with delta wings, but as these planes were being completed The USAF and USN changed the spec's that wanted more conventional wings and twin cantered tails.

Nope, it was the USN that had the specs changed to refine maneuverability and payload targets, which resulted in the delta wing being deemed insufficient in performance by Boeing.

Furthermore, the X-35 won because of the method of achieving STOVL flight. Lockheed Martin's solution to vertical take-offs offered higher performance and increased safety. Furthermore, the X-32 was overweight; it could not go from vertical takeoffs to supersonic as built (Boeing promised that the final design would be able to achieve it), while the X-35 did it from the start.
 
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:25 am

Using the gun is so oldstyle. Modern CAS can be performed by any armed platform from UAV to B-2. therefore the A-10 is no longer needed and it adds nothing to the force.
 
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:47 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 1):
I often wonder that if the Boeing X-32 was selected (would have been called the F-32) if we would have a better, operational Gen. 5 fighter/attack airplane for the USAF, USMC, USN, RN, and all the other international customers?

Then again, Boeing was set up to fail and LM set up to win back in the 1990s. Boeing built two X-32 prototypes, both with delta wings, but as these planes were being completed The USAF and USN changed the spec's that wanted more conventional wings and twin cantered tails.

As PointBlank said, that is incorrect. I had a friend who worked at Boeing during the JSF competition, and they sat around a conference table the day the Lockheed X-35 was to be unveiled.

When it showed up on the monitor, my friend immediately heard a coworker say "Yep. We lost. Theirs is better."

The Boeing entry required too many changes and like PointBlank said, the Lockheed version did VTOL right out the box, without the need to delete parts from the plane. The better plane won.
 
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:26 pm

Quoting NeutronStar73 (Reply 7):
"Yep. We lost. Theirs is better."

Yep I felt the same way. We all know that the Air Force would buy the better looking airplane.

Performance shortfall or not, I was sure the F-32 would fared better cost wise. We had technology in that wing that would have made the plane cheaper, lighter and tougher.

Would have made a great strike aircraft. Aerial dog fighting? Probably not as good.

bt
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:15 pm

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 8):

Both the YF-23 and X-32 make for incredibly compelling 'what ifs'.

Cheers
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:58 pm

Tales of the F and X planes merit their own dedicated thread, I think.

I've posted enough first hand analysis by the people who actually call in the strikes, up to and including the President of the TAC-P Association. These people endorse the A-10C.

That a vendetta against the plane and its very specific and demanding mission is being actively pursued by elements in the USAF has been made clear again lately with a planted article, and the disciplinary measures taken against James Post. See below:

Stars and Stripes
Published: April 10, 2015

The Air Force general who told airmen that speaking to Congress about plans to retire the A-10 Thunderbolt amounts to treason has left his command position and been reprimanded, the Air Combat Command said Friday.

...

http://www.stripes.com/news/af-gener...treason-removed-from-post-1.339480

It's very unsavory, and I'm not one to jump on every finger-pointing bandwagon. But enough of that - the plane must also be able to take friendly fire.


quote=seahawk,reply=6]
Using the gun is so oldstyle. Modern CAS can be performed by any armed platform from UAV to B-2. therefore the A-10 is no longer needed and it adds nothing to the force. [/quote]

Again, you benefit from listening attentively to the actual "users". I too thought the gun was a vestigial appendage.


The A-10C is a specialized plane, and a lot is happening in the CAS arena that will make it a little less vital in the future, though anything but useless, as it still provides a highly adaptable and well suited platform to the mission.

And when the mission requirements are taken seriously it becomes clear how well suited it is to the task. CAS sometimes involves a lot of expert back-and-forth communication, where awareness and excellent teamwork are key to survival.

Flying fast and high supplement flying lower and slower, but do not obviate the need. I'm off to Berlin tomorrow, so enough for today.
 
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:40 am

Quoting seahawk (Reply 6):
Using the gun is so oldstyle.

Not quite. It's an intimidation weapon. Between the A-10 and the F-35, the reason why the A-10 needs and has so much rounds in the gun because the gun is employed without any fire control system; its basically a WWII era gun sight. Basically, its spray and pray; the volume of fire will mean that at least some of the rounds will hit the target.

The F-35's gun is employed differently as the cannon is designed for computer aided aiming and firing, basically only firing when the rounds have a very high likelihood of striking the designated target. The amount of rounds the F-35 carries is about the same as most other fighters will carry.

Yes, while having close to a thousand rounds of cannon ammunition is nice, but realistically, if you need to cover a large area, you're probably better off dropping a bomb.

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 10):
That a vendetta against the plane and its very specific and demanding mission is being actively pursued by elements in the USAF has been made clear again lately with a planted article, and the disciplinary measures taken against James Post.

No it isn't. It's a realization based upon what is the core of the USAF, USN, and USMC's mission for their fixed wing combat aircraft; to prevent the enemy from performing CAS with their aircraft against our forces. That is the premier air combat mission of our combat jet force. There's a very good reason why there hasn't been a single US serviceman killed in action by enemy aircraft since the Korean War. Its only after that we can use the capabilities of our own fighters to help troops on the ground. If the enemy has an air force and air defence capabilities, it must be dealt with immediately before you can do anything else in the air or on the ground. If the USAF doesn't secure it, nobody else gets to do anything without worrying about whats happening over head. The sky does not have USA printed on it. That was bought and paid for by USAF investment in air dominance. The fact that we've been so good at it that nobody has been able contest our dominance in the past couple of decades does not mean that air dominance is our right. It's something that we must continuously work hard for.

Are you willing to bet the future that there will never be an adversary that will challenge the US in the air? I sure as hell do not.

Beyond that, we simply cannot have a strategy that depends upon fixed wing air power to come to the rescue of ground forces on a regular basis. Ground forces need to be properly supported by a host of other assets, such as artillery, rotary wing aircraft, UAV's, etc so they have the organic capabilities to provide the necessary fire support required. Otherwise, you will run into a situation when we are fighting a peer or near peer opponent where friendly forces need support, but there is no air power available to provide support because they are all tasked elsewhere or it is too risky to send aircraft in to provide support.

Furthermore, to imply some nefarious evil plot to "get rid" of the A-10 on the part of the USAF is totally ignorant of the reality of how these things play out.

Remember that there are hundreds, if not thousands of officers in the USAF involved in the decision making process. They all bring in their biases and knowledge to the table in a well thought out deliberative process that brings all the options available for senior leaders to evaluate.

All the communities then had their chance to debate the deliverable and provide data, with each community fighting hard over the analysis. They will look at every single option, from just removing a single type from the inventory, to across the board cuts to every platform to make the budget work. Each option is then assessed for their impact on the potential harm to combat capabilities.

That's why the USAF is lobbying so hard to be allowed to divest themselves from the A-10; it's because through painstaking analysis, they have determined that removing the A-10 from service does the least amount of damage to combat capabilities. Across the board cuts are very draconian in nature because you can never eliminate background programmatic costs behind each option.

That's why when I'm in budget meetings and there is discussion regarding budget cuts, I roll my eyes every time someone says to just cut everyone's budget back equally until the numbers can align with the budget. It never works because if everyone has to bear the cuts equally, the amount of cuts to meet the same numbers is just way too deep and harmful to be effective and meaningful.

To imply some willy-nilly process by anti-A-10 people within the USAF is both stupid, ignorant, and insane. For one, there's a ton of A-10 pilots and commanders within Air Combat Command and the Headquarters Air Staff. The current Chief of Staff of the USAF was an A-10 pilot and commander. And through the careful analysis by the senior leaders of the USAF, they've determined that retiring the A-10 was the least bad option of all the options available. Where in the world does that get translated to "intransigence" and a "vendetta"?

Long story short: it's easy to say one would love to have lots of platforms that are specifically tailored to each unique combat situation. A full-spectrum force. Use only what you need for the job at hand. The budget and planning environments preclude that, even at the best of times. In the end, that is the debate.

It isn't the A-10 versus the F-35. It is the A-10 versus the F-16, F-15E, F-22, and finally, the F-35. Platforms that can help secure air dominance, and fight their way in through air defenses, if required, to try to do their best at whatever mission they are given.

With the exception of some very specific scenarios, the A-10 can't do any of those things. Can I do CAS with an F-16, F-15E, F-22, and the F-35? Yes, I can.

Can I do air dominance with the A-10, or any other deep interdiction mission? No.

That's the debate, pure and simple.
 
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:16 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 11):

Not quite. It's an intimidation weapon.

That can only be used in very low threat scenarios. Any UAV with cheap and small guided rockets (say those nifty laser guided FFARs) is more effective and puts no pilot at risk.

The A-10 is so "last war". It might have been of use (or just available) in the recent conflicts, but it is a flying coffin in any medium threat or higher scenario. Even in Desert Storm F-16s took over much of its missions, as the A-10 was not seen as capable of flying into serious air defences.
 
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:24 pm

Quoting seahawk (Reply 12):
but it is a flying coffin in any medium threat or higher scenario.

How many of those missions do we fly? Are we talking about attacking Russia or China? Not really. Attacking some drug cartels, or improvised groups in Yemen, "last war" may be a good kind of technology.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 12):
as the A-10 was not seen as capable of flying into serious air defences.

Of course not. That is not its role.
 
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:02 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 1):
Col./Congresswoman McSally is absolutely right. There is nothing flying or on the drawing boards that can do what the A-10 can do.

  

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 1):
The F-35 program is all junk and should have been canceled years ago.

  

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 11):
Between the A-10 and the F-35, the reason why the A-10 needs and has so much rounds in the gun because the gun is employed without any fire control system; its basically a WWII era gun sight. Basically, its spray and pray; the volume of fire will mean that at least some of the rounds will hit the target.

The F-35's gun is employed differently as the cannon is designed for computer aided aiming and firing, basically only firing when the rounds have a very high likelihood of striking the designated target. The amount of rounds the F-35 carries is about the same as most other fighters will carry.

The F-35 mounted with the GAU-22 cannon exists only on paper and will not be available at earliest in 2019.

At the 3,300 rate of the GAU-22, the F-35(182rounds) will be out of ammunition in about four seconds, or one or two bursts of fire.

In the other hand the A-10 can hold as many as 1,174 rounds.


The A-10C has also computer aided aiming and is certified to hit a 2m diameter circle at the weapon's design range of 1,200 m or in other terms the A-10 is rated at 5 mil radiant, 80 percent.

How exactly is the GAU-22/A better or is such a leap forward?
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:02 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 5):
Faster attacks, more accuracy, and more consistency means more lethality to the enemy.

So to deal with the loiter time on station to provide CAS, we will have drones monitoring the situation and as targets of opportunity present themselves a fast mover is called in to perform a precision strike?
 
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:23 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 13):
How many of those missions do we fly? Are we talking about attacking Russia or China? Not really. Attacking some drug cartels, or improvised groups in Yemen, "last war" may be a good kind of technology.

Being from a social sciences background (I have a joint major in History and Political Science before I moved into the world of procurement), this is what I have to say.

If we accept your argument that we need to prepare our military to fight people based upon the last war, then the corollary would be that since we won the Indian Wars, we would have had an all cavalry horse-mounted Army going into WWI.

Had we paid attention to the Phillipines uprising prior to WWII we would have known that we needed an army for low intensity insurgent uprisings versus what we needed to fight Germany and Japan.

I guess we had the entirely wrong Air Force to fight Iraq in 1991 as well, based upon your argument.

If anything, history teaches us nothing but that we cannot predict the future, and the end result is often, we get it wrong. Whether we pontificate for a military entirely geared towards low intensity conflict or high end fight. Within fiscal constraints, the USAF is trying their best to position themselves for any potentiality precisely because we cannot predict the future.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 13):
Of course not. That is not its role.

Life expectancy of the A-10 had the Cold War gone hot was 2.5 sorties. There was no chance for the pilots to be rescued, as helicopter gunships were expected to have a difficult enough time surviving, much less transport/rescue helicopters. The whole war was expected to go tactical nuke not long after it started, as most NATO forces were expected to be merely speedbumps on the way to the Atlantic Ocean.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 14):
The F-35 mounted with the GAU-22 cannon exists only on paper and will not be available at earliest in 2019.

Funny, we already covered this argument.

F-35: Ditch The 25mm Cannon? (by KarelXWB Dec 31 2014 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)

There is information on employment, timeframes, etc, but basically, the gun will be ready by 2017 with Block 3F, after all of the testing is complete. But some of the information bears repeating.

If there was an operational need NOW for a gun, you can bet your rear end that they will have the software and all of testing and validation done ASAP, and they will reallocate and pull resources to make it happen. Currently, there isn't an immediate operational need for the gun.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 14):
At the 3,300 rate of the GAU-22, the F-35(182rounds) will be out of ammunition in about four seconds, or one or two bursts of fire.

The F-35 is required to be capable of performing three operationally effective passes with the cannon.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 14):

In the other hand the A-10 can hold as many as 1,174 rounds.

Minor point, but while 1174 is advertised, no more than 1150 is ever carried. Can't remember why that was.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 14):
The A-10C has also computer aided aiming and is certified to hit a 2m diameter circle at the weapon's design range of 1,200 m or in other terms the A-10 is rated at 5 mil radiant, 80 percent.

How exactly is the GAU-22/A better or is such a leap forward?

You mean that WWII era tech gun sight?

And F-35 is specced to a even higher accuracy rate; less than 3.1 mrad. The gun itself contributes about 1.4 mrad.

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. The pilot just pulls the trigger when he sees the cues; the aircraft will fly itself and adjust everything based upon conditions.

With your very same scenario, 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 as a total system.

Quoting par13del (Reply 15):
So to deal with the loiter time on station to provide CAS, we will have drones monitoring the situation and as targets of opportunity present themselves a fast mover is called in to perform a precision strike?

A couple of things working together; drones can provide consistent over watch, and either has the ability to employ weapons against a target of opportunity, or can alert someone else that's capable to do the job.

Also, with technology such as PCAS, an aircraft enroute can be fed targeting data from the JTAC before the aircraft arrives on station. The JTAC would have picked out the weapons, designated the coordinates, and gave the authorization to release weapons well before the pilot arrives on station. When the pilot arrives on station, they don't have to loiter above for half an hour to coordinate with the JTAC, so the first sign for the enemy that you have CAS is when the first bombs hit their positions.


Any arguments regarding how big is the gun, flying low and slow, etc, completely miss the point. The USAF does not want to retire the A-10 but feels it must in order to meet national security requirements within the budget that exists. The debate surrounding the A-10’s retirement or otherwise should not hinge on the capabilities of the platform and its possible replacements per se, but instead on the opportunity cost of keeping the A-10 fleet.

The most fundamental task for the USAF is to defend US airspace and enable American power projection around the world. That means, in practice, the ability to establish and maintain air superiority over conflict zones, and to project precise and survivable firepower on heavily defended targets at range. Providing CAS and interdiction support to US and allied forces in existing and future warzones is a critical mission, but is impossible if US control of the air cannot be established first.

The leadership of the Air Force are faced with having to maintain and modernise increasingly expensive legacy fleets in order to maintain the combat mass to sustain national defence-planning assumptions. Almost all major acquisition programmes have been cut already apart from those regarded as absolutely essential. Given that the USAF has already been cut to a level where they are struggling to meet global demands and its GPS and global communications network responsibilities have been deemed too essential to cut, the USAF has few options left for meeting budget-reduction targets. Divesting themselves of a single fleet is regarded as the only way to deliver the Air Force’s mission requirements within projected budgets.

Yes, the A-10 is an aircraft that the USAF leadership wants to keep around. However, preventing the USAF from doing so means the USAF has to make cuts into readiness training and legacy-fleet modernisation, as well as essential training enablers, such as dedicated aggressor squadrons. Those types of cuts do FAR more damage to the US military's power projection capabilities than just loosing the A-10.
 
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:59 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 16):
There is information on employment, timeframes, etc, but basically, the gun will be ready by 2017 with Block 3F, after all of the testing is complete. But some of the information bears repeating.

This is irrelevant when it will be ready, as we speak the F-35 with cannon still exists only on paper, while the A-10 is combat proven and does daily strikes against Isis, Taliban etc..

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 16):
The F-35 is required to be capable of performing three operationally effective passes with the cannon.

I really don't really believe this. Even if it is true, tell that to the ground troops when the F-35 pilots say's: sorry guys you will die, have to reload ammunition after two shots.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 16):
Minor point, but while 1174 is advertised, no more than 1150 is ever carried.

This is silly, even with 24 rounds less the A-10C has still 968 more rounds then the F-35. This is more then a minor point it can make the diffrence between life and death.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 16):

You mean that WWII era tech gun sight?

I think you have to do some research on the A-10C. The A-10C features besides your WWII era tech guns sight CCIP gun sights and wind-corrected slant range solution.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 16):
With your very same scenario, 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 as a total system

Which is not better then the 2m certified for the Hog with the difference that it fires in the same time 600 rounds more????
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Thu Apr 23, 2015 8:10 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 13):

How many of those missions do we fly? Are we talking about attacking Russia or China? Not really. Attacking some drug cartels, or improvised groups in Yemen, "last war" may be a good kind of technology.

But it makes it a waste of resources. A F-35 can do the job in a low threat scenario just as well. The USAF needs to modernize quickly and the A-10 is the most outdated plane in the inventory.
 
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Thu Apr 23, 2015 8:42 am

Quoting seahawk (Reply 18):
But it makes it a waste of resources. A F-35 can do the job in a low threat scenario just as well. The USAF needs to modernize quickly and the A-10 is the most outdated plane in the inventory.

The A-10 is the most cheap US plane to operate. If there is a waste of resources look at the F-22, which has consumed billions and that with a pathetic readiness rate and many issues.

You are wrong the F-35 cannot do the job just as well. Just because it has fancy electronics, does not mean it will do a job it was not solely designed for. Some few rounds of a high caliber weapon would bring a F-35 down. The F-35 is the most overrated plane in history. The A-10C is actually quite modern, but i guess F-35 fanboys don't like to do some research about it.
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Thu Apr 23, 2015 8:45 am

Quoting autothrust (Reply 17):
This is irrelevant when it will be ready, as we speak the F-35 with cannon still exists only on paper, while the A-10 is combat proven and does daily strikes against Isis, Taliban etc..

Mainly because the gun isn't needed, right now... think about it. So why expend extra resources to make a system that isn't immediately needed now when you can allocate your resources to getting equipment you need more often and frequently ready?

Gun runs are not a frequent occurrence anyways, and the A-10 has only done less than 20% of the CAS missions since 2001.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 17):
I really don't really believe this. Even if it is true, tell that to the ground troops when the F-35 pilots say's: sorry guys you will die, have to reload ammunition after two shots.

1. That's per the operational specifications of the system.
2. So how much ammunition should a fighter jet carry?

Rafale - 1× 30 mm GIAT 30/M791 autocannon with 125 rounds
Gripen - 1× 27 mm Mauser BK-27 Revolver cannon with 120 rounds (single-seat models only)
Eurofighter - 1 × 27 mm Mauser BK-27 revolver cannon with 150 rounds
Su-27/30/35 - 1 × 30 mm GSh-30-1 cannon with 150 rounds
Su-25 - 1 × 30 mm GSh-30-2 cannon with 250 rounds
MiG-27 - 1 × 30 mm GSh-6-30 cannon with 260–300 rounds
Tornado IDS - 2 × 27 mm Mauser BK-27 revolver cannons with 180 rounds each
JH-7 - 1 × 23mm twin-barrel GSh-23L cannon with 300 rounds
Sea Harrier FA2 - 2 × 30 mm ADEN cannons with 130 rounds each
AV-8B Harrier II - 1 × 25mm GAU-12 Equalizer cannon with 300 rounds

So it seems like even other nations are perfectly comfortable having their aircraft carry limited amounts of ammunition. Even the Russian analogue to the A-10, the Su-25 doesn't carry a lot of cannon ammunition, and the Russians know their CAS aircraft very well, especially one that developed aircraft like the IL-2 Sturmovik.

And the USMC also seems perfectly content with the amount of cannon rounds as well, and they know CAS extremely well.

So, in reality, is having a large cannon ammunition capacity all that important when practically every other attack aircraft that can do CAS regularly has anywhere from 1/3 to 1/5 the ammunition capacity? It seems like everyone else is partial to using rockets and bombs for CAS, not the gun.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 17):
Which is not better then the 2m certified for the Hog with the difference that it fires in the same time 600 rounds more????

Incorrect, two different ways:

First, you don't know how the calculation works.

A circle with a radius of 1,000m has a circumference that can be measured in milliradians (mrad) which is precisely 2 x pi x 1,000 (or 6283.185 mrad in a circle).

This is easily converted to an approximation with angular mils of 6,400 per circle. This is a very common measure used in the military in place of circular degrees to calculate angles because it enables you to easily calculate the deviation over range. As an angular deviation of 1 mrad over 1,000m equates to a point 1m away from the boresight.

So a 5 mrad deviation 1.2 km away is 6m. Apply this to a circle 1.2 km away and it has a radius of 6m, or diameter of 12m.

Secondly, the GAU-12 itself does 1.4 mrad, which at 1.2km away, has a radius of 1.68m which is a 3.36m diameter circle. As installed (remember, aircraft cannons become less accurate installed on an aircraft because the cannon isn't bolted to a solid test bench that's bolted to the ground), the system should do 3.1 mrad, which is 3.72m radius circle or a 7.44m diameter circle.

In either case, using the CORRECT mathematics, the GAU-12 is considerably more accurate.

And besides, why strafe, when you have weapons like APKWS, Laser Zuni's, Brimestone, SDB-II, or the future JAGM?

Quoting autothrust (Reply 19):
The A-10 is the most cheap US plane to operate.

Not by much; it's only a few thousand dollars difference between an A-10, and an F-16. And the F-16 is considerably more capable in every other aspect. For example I can do air superiority, interdiction, and deep strike with an F-16. You can't do those things in an A-10.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 19):
If there is a waste of resources look at the F-22, which has consumed billions and that with a pathetic readiness rate and many issues.

The F-22 is the premier air superiority fighter of the USAF. It fulfills a extremely critical role in the maintenance of air dominance.

[Edited 2015-04-23 01:49:01]
 
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:08 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 20):
So it seems like even other nations are perfectly comfortable having their aircraft carry limited amounts of ammunition. Even the Russian analogue to the A-10, the Su-25 doesn't carry a lot of cannon ammunition,

Easy, first other nations have not the money for a designated CAS platform, nor do they need it as much as the USAF.

Second, as the Su-25 lacks the space for more cannon ammunition it has gun pods SPPU 687 &SPPU 22-01 to cover this
defficiency.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 20):
And besides, why strafe, when you have weapons like APKWS, Laser Zuni's, Brimestone, SDB-II, or the future JAGM?

How much does costs one of those weapons compared to GAU-8 ammunition?

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 20):
In either case, using the CORRECT mathematics, the GAU-12 is considerably more accurate.

While it might be even more accurate, the price of the F-35 doesn't not justify this. And again with much less ammo at much lower firing rate.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 20):
Not by much; it's only a few thousand dollars difference between an A-10, and an F-16. And the F-16 is considerably more capable in every other aspect.

Still it is more cheaper to operate, of couse it is more capable in every other aspect then CAS it was designed to do this.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 20):
The F-22 is the premier air superiority fighter of the USAF. It fulfills a extremely critical role in the maintenance of air dominance.

Nonetheless it is prohibitive costly with a really patethic readyness rate. It has seen combat 9 YEARS after entry into service.

[Edited 2015-04-23 02:34:32]
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:18 am

The F-22 is a force enabler, by opening hostile airspace to lesser fighters. It is valuable. The A-10 is not. It is a plane searching for a role.
 
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:36 am

Quoting seahawk (Reply 22):
It is valuable. The A-10 is not. It is a plane searching for a role.

This is crap. The A-10 has since 20 years a role and does not need to seach for a role. Until now it is the F-22 which has not done the job it's meant to do.
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:44 am

Quoting autothrust (Reply 21):
Easy, first other nations have not the money for a designated CAS platform, nor do they need it as much as the USAF.

Or, more correctly, no one really wants a dedicated CAS platform. Only two countries have one, the US and the Russians.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 21):
Second, as the Su-25 lacks the space for more cannon ammunition it has gun pods SPPU 687 &SPPU 22-01 to cover this
defficiency.

And do they carry them all that often? Nope. The Russians prefer to carry bombs, rockets and missiles over gun pods.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 21):
How much does costs one of those weapons against GAU-8 ammunition?

All of those are more effective and more deadly than GAU-8 ammunition.

And besides, if I need to cover a large area with firepower, bombs and rockets are more effective, and I can do it from stand off range, meaning I'm out of range of ground fire.

Besides, the gun hasn't been the primary weapon on the A-10. For the longest time, it was the AGM-65 Maverick.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 21):
While it might be even more accurate, the price of the F-35 doesn't not justify this. And again with much less ammo at much lower firing rate.

A F-35 isn't that much more expensive than you think. Any modern, multirole fighter is expensive.

Rafale: The French government says $88.8 million excluding VAT, but if the the recent contract activity with India is any indicatation, it is as high as $120 million dollars USD.

F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet: The per-unit reoccurring flyaway cost (basically the aircraft with no ancillary equipment or spares), comes to $82.88 million per the last SAR. This of course excludes things are are GFE.

F-16 Block 60: When the UAE bought their Block 60's it was roughly $80 million dollars in year 2000 dollars. Adjusted for inflation, a brand new Block 60 would cost $108.23 million dollars today.

Eurofighter Typhoon: $120 million USD per some very reliable numbers out of the British National Accounting Office

Even at current prices, a F-35 is within the same ball park of any modern day fighter jet. You also get low observability features, an excellent set of sensors, and good all around performance.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 21):
Still it is more cheaper to operate, of couse it is more capable in every other aspect then CAS it was designed to do this.

Just $5000 difference, and I get air superiority, interdiction, and deep strike capabilities.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 21):
Nonetheless it is prohibitive costly with a really patethic readyness rate. It has seen combat 9 YEARS after entry into service.

Nothing can beat a F-22 in air superiority. That's a small price to pay for air dominance.

Remember, if you don't have air dominance over your enemy, you can't do diddly squat against them. With the A-10, I got an aircraft that is only usable in a low threat environment, with no air defence capabilities. I think it is time to let it go...

The fact that we've been so good air dominance to the point where no body has contested our dominance lately does not mean it is our right. We must continue to invest in it, considering that our adversaries are investing in countering that dominance as we see a shift from investment in developing double digit SAMs to trying to develop the capability to challenge the US in the air.
 
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Fri Apr 24, 2015 9:35 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 24):
All of those are more effective and more deadly than GAU-8 ammunition

It has been deadly enough in the Gulf Wars blowing tanks and later killing Talibans. A missile could kill own troops in a congested battlespace.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 24):
A F-35 isn't that much more expensive than you think. Any modern, multirole fighter is expensive.

Oh please keep on dreaming, amazing how naive some people can be..       

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 24):
Just $5000 difference, and I get air superiority, interdiction, and deep strike capabilities.

But it cannot loiter, it has crappy endurance, it cannot withstand a single bullet. We have discussed this ad nauseam, no matter how you ignore it: the A-10 has capabilities other planes don't.

Ask Pierre Sprey which made the F-16 and has experience and knowledge beyond yours, what he thinks about the F-35 as A-10 replacement.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 24):
Nothing can beat a F-22 in air superiority. That's a small price to pay for air dominance.

The F-22 is a godweapon.      
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:16 am

Quoting autothrust (Reply 25):
The F-22 is a godweapon.

It is a force enabler. Without air superiority legacy fighters can not operate. Especially not the A-10 if it would be kept. The A-10 is not a force enabler for the USAF and not needed to perform the core missions of the Force.
 
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:37 am

Quoting autothrust (Reply 25):
It has been deadly enough in the Gulf Wars blowing tanks and later killing Talibans. A missile could kill own troops in a congested battlespace.

Problem is, is it worth paying $17,000 per flight hour to keep A-10's around when the USAF is hurting for money for basic upkeep, at a time when the USAF needs to replace their existing combat aircraft due to age and obsolesce issues?

Quoting autothrust (Reply 25):
A missile could kill own troops in a congested battlespace.

A cannon will also kill friendlies if the pilot doesn't aim properly. At least with something like APKWS or Laser Zuni, the weapon will hit its target, 99% of the time.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 25):
Oh please keep on dreaming, amazing how naive some people can be..

It's amazing how naive people are to the realities of procurement and budgeting.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 25):
But it cannot loiter

Counter point: The A-10 can't get to a call faster than an F-16 can. So, an F-16 doing the same mission doesn't need to loiter as much because it can get a call faster.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 25):
it has crappy endurance

Actually, a F-16 flies further; maximum radius for an A-10 in an anti armour mission is 252 nmi (290 mi, 467 km) with 40 nmi (45 mi, 75 km)) sea-level penetration and exit, with 30 min loiter.

A F-16 Block 50/52 has a tactical radius of 321 nmi (360 miles or 567km) in a high-low-high mission with 6 500lb JDAM's with internal fuel.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 25):
it cannot withstand a single bullet.

Ahem:



This F-16 (s/n 88-0488) took a SA-3 in Desert Storm. It recovered back to base. Was repaired, and served for another two years before a mishap occurred that wrote the aircraft off.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 25):
Ask Pierre Sprey which made the F-16 and has experience and knowledge beyond yours, what he thinks about the F-35 as A-10 replacement.

        

Let's get things VERY clear off the bat: Pierre Sprey has NEVER designed the F-16 or the A-10.

The closest he's ever been around aircraft design was when he worked for Grumman Aircraft Corporation for space and commercial transportation projects as a researcher.

He was then pulled into the Office of Secretary of Defense for Systems Analysis in 1966, where he declared himself an expert on military fighter aircraft, despite his lack of experience. For all his time spent at the Pentagon, all he did was parroting whatever John Boyd or Everest Riccione were saying that day.

Pierre Sprey openly admits to being a gadfly, a nuisance, and an automatic opponent of any program he was not a part of during his time at OSD/SA.

To anyone with any REAL credentials or knowledge, everyone is aware that he's a total hack. A 12 year old can see that Sprey bends stories, cherry picks facts, exaggerates threats as well as over-exaggerates his credentials and experience.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 25):
The F-22 is a godweapon.

A F-22 in the hands of a good pilot will kill practically every other fighter out there without the other guy seeing him. Pretty hard to challenge that today.
 
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:18 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 27):
This F-16 (s/n 88-0488) took a SA-3 in Desert Storm. It recovered back to base. Was repaired, and served for another two years before a mishap occurred that wrote the aircraft off.

Oh please this damages are nothing compared to what the A-10 had to sustain. Whole hydraulics destroyed also part of the horizontal stabilizer, wing and tail.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 27):
The closest he's ever been around aircraft design was when he worked for Grumman Aircraft Corporation for space and commercial transportation projects as a researcher.

The Washington Post disagrees with you.

Quote:
Sprey became heavily involved in the design of two key Air Force warplanes -- the F-16 fighter and the A-10 ground
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...le/2006/05/15/AR2006051501518.html

Quoting seahawk (Reply 26):
t is a force enabler. Without air superiority legacy fighters can not operate.

Until now it hasn't enabled anything just costing billions. There are other much cheaper planes that can and already are doing the job.
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:41 pm

Quoting autothrust (Reply 28):
The Washington Post disagrees with you.

Jacob Neufeld, who interviewed Pierre Sprey in 1971 makes the biggest case for what I have said. The following are passages from the book, "The Revolt of the Majors: How the Air Force Changed after Vietnam" by Marshall L. Michel.

Quote:
While working on the F-X, Boyd met Pierre Sprey, a weapons system analyst on the OASD/SA staff, whose background was similar to Enthoven's but much less distinguished. By his own account, Sprey was a dilettante with an engineering degree but no military experience. After graduation from Yale, Sprey became a research analyst at the Grumman Aircraft Corporation for space and commercial transportation projects. He came to OSD/SA in 1966, where he declared himself an expert on military fighter aircraft, despite his lack of experience. Sprey admitted being a gadfly, a nuisance, and an automatic opponent of any program he was not a part of. He was opposed to many Navy and Air Force tactical air systems, especially the Navy's Grumman F-14, because of its size and complexity.

Somehow, Sprey concluded that numbers were critically important in air combat, and he and Boyd- both glib, iconoclastic, ambitious, self-aggrandizing, and excluded from the decision-making process -- found a common cause in opposing larger, complex fighters.
Quote:
Pierre Sprey was difficult to portray as an expert in any military area because he had never served in the military, had no visible expertise in military history, and was now working on environmental water cleaning systems. On the plus side, Sprey was highly colorful, a perfect "character." He had a knack for promoting himself as an "insider's outsider" and was relentlessly self-aggrandizing, claiming to have written the test program for the A-X [by this time the A-10] at the Air Force test center at Edwards Air Force Base, and to have worked on the F-15 with NASA, both untrue. Best of all, he could be counted on to say outrageous things and to make wild accusations, such as, "TAC headquarters [personnel] are none too technically competent and can't define what high performance means... in almost every program they have even been involved in they have some disastrous requirements that were gong to ruin the airplane"; "the Air Force has no clear concept of what a fighter is"; and "the Air Force Systems Command at Wright Patterson is extraordinarily technically incompetent." Sprey had also developed what he claimed were the four "measures for success in air-to-air combat," based on "historical data."

The four measures of success -- numbers, maneuverability, firepower, and simplicity -- showed that large numbers of small, simple aircraft would be more effective than a few larger, more sophisticated aircraft. But even Boyd thought Sprey was "weird," so to make Sprey an "expert", Fallows had to fall back on journalistic word games, defining Sprey as an expert because he was "renowned in defense circles for support of simple weapons," implying that "simple was good" was a given, when in fact that was the argument.

Another good book on Pierre Sprey is “Military Reform: the high-tech debate in tactical air forces” by Walter Kross.
 
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Fri Apr 24, 2015 9:42 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 16):
Any arguments regarding how big is the gun, flying low and slow, etc, completely miss the point. The USAF does not want to retire the A-10 but feels it must in order to meet national security requirements within the budget that exists.

.....the same line they used for the continued purchase of the F-22 which affected the F-117 and the initial retirement of the A-10, unfortunately / fortunately it did not work for the F-22, the other issue they have this time is that since all eggs were thrown into the F-35 basket the feeling is that it is too big to fail regardless of cost.......time will tell.
 
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:23 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 11):
Between the A-10 and the F-35, the reason why the A-10 needs and has so much rounds in the gun because the gun is employed without any fire control system; its basically a WWII era gun sight. Basically, its spray and pray; the volume of fire will mean that at least some of the rounds will hit the target.

That is completely inaccurate. The A-10 has, even in the older A-model version, a CCIP gun pipper/cross that computes an accurate solution out to several miles slant range. The firing solution is extremely accurate: it corrects for winds/pressure/elevation/airspeed/dive angle, etc. Pulling the gun trigger to the first of two "detents" engages the PAC system (think of it as an autopilot of sorts)...it dampens control stick inputs and helps hold the aimpoint on the target. Pulling the trigger to the second detent then fires the gun. The A-10 carries approximately 1170 rounds because the airplane is and always has been optimized for CAS. The paltry 140 rounds (give or take 10 or 15 rounds) that will be carried by the F-35 (but apparently can't be used because the software won't allow it yet...cough cough) will be about as effective as using a 9-mm pistol from across a football field.
 
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:47 pm

Quoting seahawk (Reply 6):
Using the gun is so oldstyle.

You darn right it is! It's "old school" because it works.
If the gun is so obsolete, why has every modern fighter aircraft developed since Vietnam, including the F-35, been designed with one? For looks? For weight and balance?
The F-4 was originally designed without a gun because in the late 50's/early 60's they thought the gun was "obsolete"...that air-to-air missiles could do the job. And yet in their ultimate versions, the F-4E and F-4F had, wait for it...a gun again! The late Robin Olds (legendary F-4 fighter pilot, Vietnam ace) has been quoted as saying that had the earlier versions of the F-4 been equipped with a gun, he could have shot down over 100 MiG's. Granted, some of that is fighter pilot bravado (God love him), but it's safe to say he was a subject matter expert.



Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 27):
This F-16 (s/n 88-0488) took a SA-3 in Desert Storm.

Not even close to being a direct hit. That was all luck.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 27):
Counter point: The A-10 can't get to a call faster than an F-16 can. So, an F-16 doing the same mission doesn't need to loiter as much because it can get a call faster.

With respect, I think you may misunderstand the importance of loiter time. CAS is NOT interdiction/strike: aircraft don't just show up on station, drop a weapon, and immediately return to base. Getting the fight first is a strength, you are absolutely correct. But that is only part of the equation. A strength of the A-10 is it's ability to loiter for longer periods of time between in-flight refuelings over other fighters. Staying on station allows the pilots to build and maintain the "corporate knowledge" of the ground situation and therefore be able to respond very quickly.
 
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Sat Apr 25, 2015 3:17 am

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 32):
You darn right it is! It's "old school" because it works.
If the gun is so obsolete, why has every modern fighter aircraft developed since Vietnam, including the F-35, been designed with one? For looks? For weight and balance?

Identify the ratio of how many kills have been achieved by any Western fighter since Vietnam with a gun verses a missile.

Hint: the overwhelming majority of kills was with missiles, not guns.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 32):
The F-4 was originally designed without a gun because in the late 50's/early 60's they thought the gun was "obsolete"...that air-to-air missiles could do the job.

Realistically, the issues in Vietnam were due to lack of training, proper weapons maintenance, ROE, and the fact that the technology was still not ready for prime time.

But otherwise, once training issues were properly sorted, maintainers got better maintaining the weapons, ROE was adjust and technology became more mature, the pk rates drastically improved.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 32):
A strength of the A-10 is it's ability to loiter for longer periods of time between in-flight refuelings over other fighters.

Unfortunately, other fighters have almost equal endurance as the A-10, and they are much faster. In a comparable ground attack mission, a F-16 has more range than an A-10.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 32):
Staying on station allows the pilots to build and maintain the "corporate knowledge" of the ground situation and therefore be able to respond very quickly.

Being able to respond to a fluid situation quickly is just as important. A-10's are no good if they are in the wrong place at the wrong time, and can't get to where they need to be quickly.

CAS is about closing the situational awareness loop between ground forces and the pilots in the air. Basically, know who's where, what they are doing, when, and what do you need out of the platform.

There's a difference between if we take hours to pass this information back and forth via radios, or if that information can be passed along in mere minutes with technology such as GPS, laser spot trackers, and data links. Even better if we have advanced precision weapons that will hit targets 99% of the time.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 31):
The paltry 140 rounds (give or take 10 or 15 rounds) that will be carried by the F-35 (but apparently can't be used because the software won't allow it yet...cough cough) will be about as effective as using a 9-mm pistol from across a football field.

The F-35 uses a more advanced fire control system that can allow the pilot to pin point a target, and then automatically provide course corrections via the flight control system to adjust for windage, bullet drop, and range. The FCS will pretty much steer the aircraft to provide the necessary accuracy required, and all the pilot has to do is pull the trigger when the FCS gives cues to fire.

In short, while you have a submachine gun in a football field, I have a high powered sniper rifle, equipped with a laser range finder and wind meter.
 
Cross757
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Sat Apr 25, 2015 3:47 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 33):
Identify the ratio of how many kills have been achieved by any Western fighter since Vietnam with a gun verses a missile.

Hint: the overwhelming majority of kills was with missiles, not guns.

Doesn't change the fact they still have a gun.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 33):
There's a difference between if we take hours to pass this information back and forth via radios, or if that information can be passed along in mere minutes with technology such as GPS, laser spot trackers, and data links. Even better if we have advanced precision weapons that will hit targets 99% of the time.

Hours? The A-10C has had datalink and the capability to perform digital CAS since it became operational. An even in the A-10A, an experienced pilot could still plot coordinates on a map and employ ordnance within a few minutes or less. The A-10A could carry TGP's. The F-15E/F-16, etc aren't special. In fact, the datalink capability of the A-10C was actually better than the F-16/F-15E because the architecture of the system allowed more data to be shared.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 33):
The F-35 uses a more advanced fire control system that can allow the pilot to pin point a target, and then automatically provide course corrections via the flight control system to adjust for windage, bullet drop, and range.

The EXACT same thing the CCIP gun solution has been providing for the A-10 for years. The F-35 is not pioneering that technology, it's been around a LONG time.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 33):
and all the pilot has to do is pull the trigger when the FCS gives cues to fire.

The CCIP gun cross does exactly the same thing: it provides a digital readout of slant range to the target. Based on target type, the pilot pulls the trigger at the appropriate slant range. Again, the F-35 isn't special.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 33):
and the fact that the technology was still not ready for prime time.

That I agree with, still quite shortsighted to remove the gun in that instance. But even though the technology has improved, all the modern fighters STILL have guns. They are simple, effective, and almost never fail. It's always good to have a back-up.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 33):
Identify the ratio of how many kills have been achieved by any Western fighter since Vietnam with a gun verses a missile.

Hint: the overwhelming majority of kills was with missiles, not guns.

Um, yes, I know...because they had no choice for the most part. Although a few F-105D's scored air-to-air kills with the gun, the F-4C/D didn't have a gun, so missiles were the only option. But as Robin Olds said, had they had guns, the kill ratio would have been higher still.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 33):
I have a high powered sniper rifle, equipped with a laser range finder and wind meter.

High powered...meh. The 25-mm projectile of the F-35 doesn't match the 30-mm GAU-8 for kinetic energy and range. The effective range of the GAU-8 can be measured in miles...

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 33):
Unfortunately, other fighters have almost equal endurance as the A-10

Not true. More range, yes, just by matter of flying a faster airspeed. Endurance over a CAS battlefield? No. F-16's and F-15E's had to cycle to the tanker more frequently due to higher fuel burn rates.
 
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:30 am

Pointblank, if you were surrounded by ISIS 'combatants' closing in on your position and could only call up one CAS aircraft (your life depends on it) which would you choose, the A10 or the F35 ?


Be honest !


The F35 is an unmitigated disaster, the A10 is the B52 of CAS, irreplacable and it shouldn't be allowed to leave.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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seahawk
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:25 am

F-35 it can deliver ordnance under all conditions and has a higher situational awareness.
 
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:39 am

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 34):
Hours? The A-10C has had datalink and the capability to perform digital CAS since it became operational. An even in the A-10A, an experienced pilot could still plot coordinates on a map and employ ordnance within a few minutes or less. The A-10A could carry TGP's. The F-15E/F-16, etc aren't special. In fact, the datalink capability of the A-10C was actually better than the F-16/F-15E because the architecture of the system allowed more data to be shared.

What another pilot has said on the topic:

Quote:
I was flying a night training mission with some A-10s in 2001 at Al Jabber before they had TGP and Laser marker. I had a Litening II. They were working each other (a flight of four) while I held single ship at the IP. I took the nine line they gave to each other and punched in the coords and started looking while I was orbiting. They spent about a half hour talking to each other about the targets which were a row of hulks they were calling a convoy. When they finished they left one behind to FAC for me. He essentially gave me the same target. I pushed from the IP and asked him which truck in the convoy he wanted me to hit, E or W. He said E. I put the TGP on the E most target, squeezed the trigger to fire the laser marker, and said, "That one?" still ~10 miles away. The A-10s had never seen the LMK in the Litening before and he almost jumped out of his cockpit. All he did was yell "Yes, yes....cleared hot". I said "bombs on the way" about 4 miles out.... I guarantee my GBU-12 was more effective than the weapons the other A-10s employed at that time, including the gun. I was at ~20K feet. If I had wingmen we could have cleaned up...me lead truck, wingie trail truck, rest clean up the middle. All on the first push inbound. No MANPADS, AAA could touch us. MIGs we could deal with, SAMS would have to work hard as we weren't hanging around long and we were going fast. But wait...A-10s are better....

We had SADL and could pass tgts between us and mark for each other. You could roll in and CCIP a dumb bomb on the flashing green dot created by the marker in your NVGs more accurately than you could daytime. We could spot track another laser to quickly ID the TGT although I would caution about all the enthusiasm for ground lasing as the spot skips and you need to be careful you don't ring in on a skip just like an LGB might. I do not endorse ground laser LGBs for that reason. You get a graphic demo when you use NVGs to see a ground IR laser used to mark a TGT. It is a series of dashes across the ground...not a nice little dot.

So this leads me to a discussion of how technology can help close that loop. Starting with why the A-10s wanted all that stuff after they saw us using it (TGP, LMK, SADL or other datalink, LGBs, etc.) which led to the PE mod. Then we got Rover and other links with the ground folks. Although I will caution on the quality of shared video. If you have ever been a fighter pilot who goes to be a range officer you know how different things look from the air and on the ground. First time I went to be a range officer I did not recognize anything. So some dialogue is required, and lots of training for the TACP, to insure the close-the-loop occurs looking at DL video. Nothing better than the marker... "is that what you want me to hit?". Obviously that only works at night but I have wondered why we can't have goggles that see normal laser spot since we have cameras that can film it...just another wavelength. Datelining what we call SOI helps. If the FAC knows where you are looking with your system they have more confidence where you are going to hit. Danger close is still troublesome, but I challenge all the A-10 guys who insists they are the only ones that can do it. And the gun isn't always the best weapons for that either.

All this in a round about way to say the problem of CAS close-the-loop does not have to be done with two hours of talk on (ever been to the NTC and worked with Army ETACs?). Data links, GPS, Laser (both IR and normal wavelength), and precision weapons are the key. LJDAM closes the loop between LGB and JDAM and hits moving TGTs.
Quoting Cross757 (Reply 34):
That I agree with, still quite shortsighted to remove the gun in that instance. But even though the technology has improved, all the modern fighters STILL have guns. They are simple, effective, and almost never fail. It's always good to have a back-up.

It was a design decision based upon the fact that they were envisioning the F-4 Phantom to be more of a fleet interceptor, not a fighter.

And it should be noted that only the USAF's F-4E got an internal cannon. US Navy and USMC variants never got an internal cannon.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 34):
High powered...meh. The 25-mm projectile of the F-35 doesn't match the 30-mm GAU-8 for kinetic energy and range. The effective range of the GAU-8 can be measured in miles...

The GAU-22 will be qualified with Nammo's APEX ammunition, which is a combination AP/HEI multi purpose round. It's quite unique in capabilities; equally effective against soft and armoured targets.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 35):
Pointblank, if you were surrounded by ISIS 'combatants' closing in on your position and could only call up one CAS aircraft (your life depends on it) which would you choose, the A10 or the F35 ?

Whatever can get to me first assuming both were the same distance away from me... which is more likely, a F-35.
 
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Sat Apr 25, 2015 3:30 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 15):
So to deal with the loiter time on station to provide CAS, we will have drones monitoring the situation and as targets of opportunity present themselves a fast mover is called in to perform a precision strike?

Exactly. The US armed forces just defined that their ground forces will never ever be in contact with the enemy when a) it's never cloudy above the battlefield and b) there is no EW. Never.
So you'd always be just peachy with drones, which are basically practice targets with camera, and fast movers that will be lucky to survive a 7.62*39 impact....

Best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
Cross757
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Sat Apr 25, 2015 4:31 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 37):
What another pilot has said on the topic:

One pilot with a slight axe to grind and intent on "selling" that his platform is a CAS master. I've heard it before. I've also heard an F-15E WSO in the air asking the ASOC to send A-10's in to handle the situation because "...this is just too confusing, that's why I recommend A-10's for this...". I would upload the HUD video up it's about 40 MB...

2001 was also 8 years before the A-10C, so yes, we didn't have SADL back then. So what? His discussion is a moot point now, as the A-10C is fully integrated with SADL/JDAM/IAM's, etc. Using an argument about what A-10 capabilities may or may not have been 14 years ago is pointless.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 37):
The GAU-22 will be qualified with Nammo's APEX ammunition,

I'm still waiting for a lot of claims about what the F-35 will be qualified to do to come to fruition...

Quoting seahawk (Reply 36):
F-35 it can deliver ordnance under all conditions

So can the A-10...and the F-16, F-15E, etc...the F-35 is not special.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 36):
and has a higher situational awareness

The airplane doesn't have situational awareness, the pilot does. It's up to the pilot to make sense of it and apply it.
 
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:09 pm

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 39):
So can the A-10...and the F-16, F-15E, etc...the F-35 is not special.

.. plus how long would there even be JDAM and Paveway kits available in a real war? And how good can you do CAS from 20k+ feet trough cloud cover with dumb bombs?

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 39):
I would upload the HUD video up it's about 40 MB...

youtube private video?

Best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:49 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 20):
Quoting autothrust (Reply 17):This is irrelevant when it will be ready, as we speak the F-35 with cannon still exists only on paper, while the A-10 is combat proven and does daily strikes against Isis, Taliban etc..
Mainly because the gun isn't needed, right now... think about it. So why expend extra resources to make a system that isn't immediately needed now when you can allocate your resources to getting equipment you need more often and frequently ready?

Gun runs are not a frequent occurrence anyways, and the A-10 has only done less than 20% of the CAS missions since 2001.

That's one mission out of five. The measure of the CAS mission isn't how many bullets or bombs you used, it is did the good guys survive and the bad guys die?

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 20):
Rafale - 1× 30 mm GIAT 30/M791 autocannon with 125 rounds
Gripen - 1× 27 mm Mauser BK-27 Revolver cannon with 120 rounds (single-seat models only)
Eurofighter - 1 × 27 mm Mauser BK-27 revolver cannon with 150 rounds
Su-27/30/35 - 1 × 30 mm GSh-30-1 cannon with 150 rounds
Su-25 - 1 × 30 mm GSh-30-2 cannon with 250 rounds
MiG-27 - 1 × 30 mm GSh-6-30 cannon with 260–300 rounds
Tornado IDS - 2 × 27 mm Mauser BK-27 revolver cannons with 180 rounds each
JH-7 - 1 × 23mm twin-barrel GSh-23L cannon with 300 rounds
Sea Harrier FA2 - 2 × 30 mm ADEN cannons with 130 rounds each
AV-8B Harrier II - 1 × 25mm GAU-12 Equalizer cannon with 300 rounds

I guess the US likes to carry more bullets.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 1):
The A-10C 30mm gun carries up to 1350 rounds. The F-16C (Block 50) 20mm gun carries up to 525 rounds. The F-35A 25mm gun will only carry 180 rounds. If we throw the F-15E into the CAS mission, its 20mm gun carries up to 525 rounds.

F/A-18C/D/E/F carries 578 rounds of 20mm.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 24):
Quoting autothrust (Reply 21):Easy, first other nations have not the money for a designated CAS platform, nor do they need it as much as the USAF.
Or, more correctly, no one really wants a dedicated CAS platform. Only two countries have one, the US and the Russians.
Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 24):
more deadly than GAU-8 ammunition.

What difference does it make, dead has only one level.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 24):
Quoting autothrust (Reply 21):Still it is more cheaper to operate, of couse it is more capable in every other aspect then CAS it was designed to do this.
Just $5000 difference

$5K per flying hour really adds up fast.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 27):
Quoting autothrust (Reply 25):But it cannot loiterCounter point: The A-10 can't get to a call faster than an F-16 can. So, an F-16 doing the same mission doesn't need to loiter as much because it can get a call faster.

Loiter time is dictated by the enemy, not the good guys or the CAS airplane. If the bad guys keep putting people (targets) into the fight (which they do at times), then time in the area is longer.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 27):
Quoting autothrust (Reply 25):it has crappy enduranceActually, a F-16 flies further; maximum radius for an A-10 in an anti armour mission is 252 nmi (290 mi, 467 km) with 40 nmi (45 mi, 75 km)) sea-level penetration and exit, with 30 min loiter.

Both the A-10 and F-16 would air refuel before they are able to go fight anywhere. The tankers will stay close to offer more gas if needed.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 37):
Quoting Max Q (Reply 35):Pointblank, if you were surrounded by ISIS 'combatants' closing in on your position and could only call up one CAS aircraft (your life depends on it) which would you choose, the A10 or the F35 ?Whatever can get to me first assuming both were the same distance away from me... which is more likely, a F-35.

The F-35 would stay out of danger range, and provide initial support, other aircraft will follow, including A-10s.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 39):
Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 37):The GAU-22 will be qualified with Nammo's APEX ammunition,I'm still waiting for a lot of claims about what the F-35 will be qualified to do to come to fruition...

The USMC expects IOC for the F-35B in a few months. What will they do if grunts need full CAS support between IOC and the GAU-22 qualification? I know, I know, they will call up USMC AV-8Bs, F/A-18C/Ds, and USAF A-10Cs.
 
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Sun Apr 26, 2015 4:54 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 41):
That's one mission out of five. The measure of the CAS mission isn't how many bullets or bombs you used, it is did the good guys survive and the bad guys die?

I think that's the key. Can CAS be done with other platforms effectively? The answer appears to be yes.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 41):
guess the US likes to carry more bullets.

For the longest time, the US has held onto small caliber 20mm cannons as their primary aircraft cannon weapon, while both European and the Russians moved quickly to larger caliber weapons. It's only very recently that the US has followed that trend.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 41):
$5K per flying hour really adds up fast.

$5K for additional mission capability isn't much. You can still do CAS, but you gain a whole lot of additional capabilities. That's value.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 41):
The USMC expects IOC for the F-35B in a few months. What will they do if grunts need full CAS support between IOC and the GAU-22 qualification? I know, I know, they will call up USMC AV-8Bs, F/A-18C/Ds, and USAF A-10Cs.

If the USMC needed CAS after IOC but before the gun is ready with the F-35, they have the option of JDAM's... which has been the primary PGM of choice since 2001.

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 39):
One pilot with a slight axe to grind and intent on "selling" that his platform is a CAS master. I've heard it before. I've also heard an F-15E WSO in the air asking the ASOC to send A-10's in to handle the situation because "...this is just too confusing, that's why I recommend A-10's for this...". I would upload the HUD video up it's about 40 MB...

The guy, FYI, is a retired A-10 pilot.

What's more critical, going back to the original topic, is that if the USAF isn't allowed to retire the A-10, more painful cuts will be implemented instead, all thanks to the upcoming automatic budget cuts called Sequestration. If the USAF doesn't get its way, it will be major cuts in the F-16 force, the F-15 force, elimination of the KC-10, and half of the EC-130H Compass Call's gone, major reduction in readiness levels, and then some.

That's real bad news unless Sequestration is reversed.
 
Max Q
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Sun Apr 26, 2015 6:31 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 37):

Quoting Max Q (Reply 35):
Pointblank, if you were surrounded by ISIS 'combatants' closing in on your position and could only call up one CAS aircraft (your life depends on it) which would you choose, the A10 or the F35 ?

Whatever can get to me first assuming both were the same distance away from me... which is more likely, a F-35.

Well, more likely the F35 program would bankrupt the country before it could be built, and if it was it probably wouldn't be serviceable when needed anyway.


But that's a typical LM Employee response PB, I wouldn't expect any different !
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
L-188
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Sun Apr 26, 2015 7:03 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 33):
Realistically, the issues in Vietnam were due to lack of training, proper weapons maintenance, ROE, and the fact that the technology was still not ready for prime time.

Plus the fact that per Robin Old's book the Air Force for the longest time refused to hang sidewinders on the aircraft, opting instead for Falcon Missiles.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 37):
It was a design decision based upon the fact that they were envisioning the F-4 Phantom to be more of a fleet interceptor, not a fighter.
And it should be noted that only the USAF's F-4E got an internal cannon. US Navy and USMC variants never got an internal cannon.

A very overlooked point. But it was a excellent bomb truck.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 41):
The USMC expects IOC for the F-35B in a few months

Undoubtedly they will get a crash rate that will make the Luftwaffe introduction of the F-104 seem uneventful by comparison.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 42):

What's more critical, going back to the original topic, is that if the USAF isn't allowed to retire the A-10, more painful cuts will be implemented instead, all thanks to the upcoming automatic budget cuts called Sequestration. If the USAF doesn't get its way, it will be major cuts in the F-16 force, the F-15 force, elimination of the KC-10, and half of the EC-130H Compass Call's gone, major reduction in readiness levels, and then some.

Please about all of those cancelations are for political reason. No Air Force general is going to give up their golf course to actually increase their wartime competence

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 42):
That's real bad news unless Sequestration is reversed.

Blame the democrats, they are the ones that want to take defense spending and spend it on the lazy and indigent.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:18 am

Quoting L-188 (Reply 44):
Undoubtedly they will get a crash rate that will make the Luftwaffe introduction of the F-104 seem uneventful by comparison.

Unlikely; the F-35B's flight avionics makes the aircraft a much more safer aircraft to fly than the Harriers. For one, the computers control all aspects of flight, including the vertical takeoff and landing, while in a Harrier, controlling throttle, the vectored thrust, and flight controls all have to be done manually. The pilot just has to point his flight controls to wherever he wants to go.

FYI, as a side note, the issues the Luftwaffe faced were primarily due to training and employment; the Luftwaffe's F-104 fighters all trained primarily at Luke AFB in Arizona, which was nothing like Western Europe in almost every aspect. Furthermore, the Luftwaffe employed the F-104 as a low level fighter-bomber, not as an interceptor like how it was designed to be used.

Also, much like other second generation jet fighters, the F-104 was a handful to fly due to the significantly higher performance compared to previous jet fighters; crash rates for other similar fighters of the same vintage were likewise, extremely high.

Quoting L-188 (Reply 44):
Please about all of those cancelations are for political reason. No Air Force general is going to give up their golf course to actually increase their wartime competence

They are cuts being forced upon the USAF because of Sequestration; as a reminder, 50% of the USAF's budget is personnel costs; i.e. paying and training the everyday airmen and women.

As a reminder, Sequestration forces cuts to each separate item in the budget. While the USAF might have the money to avoid making such drastic cuts from other areas of the budget, they can't shift the funding from one line item to another.

In short, what happens is that you're stuck with one part of your budget in deficit, another in surplus (or more likely break even and deficit, the sequester is a deep cut). That's why you have Congress trying to add one time injections of money like patchwork to various areas of the defence budget, such as to the overseas defense fund, which isn't subject to the sequester, but can't be relied on for long term multi-year contracts for things like procurement of equipment. It's like your ship is leaking badly, but all Congress is willing to do is to allow you to run out and buy duct tape to tape over the leaks. It's not a long term solution by any standards.

It should be noted that the biggest costs for each weapons system is the background costs; there are sizable manpower and support accounts, along with depot, spare parts, training structure, software and hardware updates, DMSMS, and government maintained equipment that create a sizable hidden background that the USAF needs to maintain to have an aircraft in its inventory.

Basically, what the USAF brass had determined was that due to breadth and depth of the cuts, entire weapon systems need to be cut to keep other platforms operational and up to date. Eliminate an entire weapons system, you eliminate that background cost, and the USAF can reallocate that money to other areas of the defence budget in the same budget line. Otherwise, in order to achieve the same amount of cost savings, you need to cut a disproportionate numbers of aircraft across the fleet because you maintained all that background even if you only had a few of the aircraft. Cutting 50% of an entire fleet does not equal 50% cost savings; it's probably closer to 15-20%, or less. It's why the USAF keeps saying "its not about reducing airframes because we learned that doesn't save much, you have to retire an entire type."

The Bottom Line is that if the USAF had sufficient funds, we would not even be having this conversation (and the many threads this has hijacked) and the A-10 would live for decades more.

Quoting L-188 (Reply 44):

Blame the democrats, they are the ones that want to take defense spending and spend it on the lazy and indigent.

Partially correct; blame both the Republicans and Democrats for this. What was the cynical poem that someone wrote on the topic? Republicans are Red, Democrats are Blue, Neither one of them gives a rats ass about you?

It was something like that, but more vulgar.
 
diverted
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Mon Apr 27, 2015 12:26 am

Haven't gone through all of this thread, so apologize if it's been mentioned, but back in Desert Storm the Air Force tried using F-16's for CAS instead of A-10s. Results were....less then stellar.

"The results were less than desirable. In fact, they were horrible. Within the first 48 hours of continuous combat operations the GEPOD30s were proven to be totally unable to satisfy their intended mission. Precision fire was almost impossible with the setup as the F-16s software had not been adequately modified for aiming, and the vibration was so bad when the gun was fired that software tweaks probably would have made little difference anyway and it wreaked havoc on the F-16's sensitive electronics and mechanical components.

The reality is that the system was so ill-suited to the aircraft that just firing the gun multiple times would tweak the pylon it is attached to and thus it would become skewed far off zero. Not to mention that in comparison to the low and slower flying A-10, in actual combat the F-16's high speed made it hard to get a proper sight picture to aim during long strafing runs. Apparently maintainers and pilots had warned that the gun was ill-suited for the light fighter long before the deployment, but their mission was to try and make it work."

A few very interesting articles on the subject, the first of which is where I got that quote.

http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/the...hoot-down-the-a-10-wart-1597577525

http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/the...-the-a-10-warthog-is-bu-1562789528


I think in this day and age it's a pretty prudent idea to keep the Warthog around. It probably would have been more prudent to forget the F-35 instead of trying to build a jack of all trades but master of none.

If anything, it just goes to show the dysfunction in the government. But then again, what else is new. Reminds me of the Army brass going to congress telling them to stop buying them tanks, only for Congress to authorize another $120M they spent on tanks in 2014 on top of the $183M they spent on tanks in 2012 that the army also said they didn't want.

But, hey, gotta keep the voters happy so they re-elect you...jobs and whatnot... again another topic.

Source http://www.military.com/daily-news/2...ms-tanks-the-army-doesnt-want.html
 
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ssteve
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RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:00 am

Quoting diverted (Reply 46):
It probably would have been more prudent to forget the F-35 instead of trying to build a jack of all trades but master of none.

I also think if it in those terms, but I also try not to think of it as a single model other than for obfuscation of the fact that the services ordered three new planes under the guise of one, albeit with shared systems. It's similar to the Super Hornet not really being to same plane as the F/A-18. So it's more like 3 multirole thigamajiggers, not 1.
 
ThePointblank
Posts: 3387
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:11 am

Quoting diverted (Reply 46):
Haven't gone through all of this thread, so apologize if it's been mentioned, but back in Desert Storm the Air Force tried using F-16's for CAS instead of A-10s. Results were....less then stellar.

Technology has moved on, significantly.

Quoting diverted (Reply 46):

http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/the...89528

Let's discuss this article:

Quote:
The Warthog was designed around the massive GAU-8 Avenger cannon. This 30mm mammoth was originally designed to chew through soviet armor but has since been adapted towards anti-personnel duties to great effect.

Where does he get the idea that the GAU-8 was the primary anti-armour weapon on the A-10? For the longest time, it was the AGM-65 Maverick missile that was the primary anti-armour weapon on the A-10, followed by either dumb bombs or the gun.

The problem with strafe in general, especially against armor, is the need to be a stable platform in order to concentrate rounds onto target, commonly known as track-shoot-track. If the Cold War went hot, and A-10's had to fly in the Fulda Gap against Soviet armour divisions, maneuvering during a strafing run was not only limited, but tactically unfeasible for killing because of the need for stability while on the gun run, meaning that the A-10 becomes a very easy target for Pact AAA and SAM's, which are organically attached to Soviet armour divisions per their force plans.

Quote:
Yet the cannon's ability to work as a surgical attack tool or a highly accurate "area suppression" weapon cannot be matched by anything we currently know of in the weapons development pipeline.

And yet, area suppression is the only thing the GAU-8 would be good at in CAS... however, a bomb exploding nearby or a rocket also does the same thing.

Quote:
So, the powers that be say that the A-10 is vulnerable over the modern battlefield. They speak as if this plane was designed to fight a counterinsurgency in permissible airspace in the first place. This is total, unequivocal nonsense. The A-10 was designed to fight in the ultimate of hostile air combat situations, over the forests and valleys surrounding the Fulda Gap, against a the crushing force of a westward advancing Soviet military. Basically, the A-10 was designed to fight World War Three and survive long enough to have an impact on what would be the world's most deadly battlefield.

Not exactly. The A-10 was designed to allow the pilot to hopefully survive and bail out if possible close to friendly forces if hit. Average life expectancy of the A-10 in such a Fulda Gap scenario is 2.5 missions, and the USAF fully expected that there would be no A-10's left after two weeks.

Quote:
Additionally, the Warthog was designed to operate at extremely low attitudes, even in dismal conditions under a low hanging cloud deck, which is in its own right a form of radar avoidance still highly relevant to air arms around the world today.

He seems to forget the experiences of Desert Storm. In Desert Storm, A-10s came to the fight with low altitude tactics that they'd trained for the Fulda Gap scenario. At the time, A-10s didn't do medium altitude nor did they do night.

Showing up to Desert Storm with low level tactics resulted in A-10s being shot up and shot down in short order. The A-10's were quickly pulled off the flight line, and a quick redevelopment of tactics pushed the A-10 up to the medium altitude fight occurred simply in order to survive, and medium altitude has been the primary operating area of A-10s since then, with low-altitude tactics still being retained and trained to, however.

Quote:
n other words, the A-10 may have a better chance of surviving the threat of infrared guided short-range surface to air missiles while flying low over enemy territory than the F-35 has flying stealthily at altitude in hopes of sneaking past long-range radar guided missiles that are being supported by a "data-fused" network of various radars operating at different bandwidths.

No, stealth doesn't really matter in a CAS environment, and I don't believe anyone is claiming that the F-35 would need to maintain stealth ability while doing CAS. Stealth comes into play for other missions the F-35 is expected to perform; deep strike, interdiction, and SEAD. So the whole stealth while doing CAS argument, is a straw man.

Quote:
Considering that the F-35's low observability is already being questioned, and flying wing drones are much better suited for broadband stealth, is such a long-term investment into this vehicle logical in any way?

Because you still need the man in the loop. And again, stealth/CAS have nothing to do with one another.

Quote:
Looking at the retirement of the A-10 as an almost corporate decision is unnerving to some due the aircraft's close ties to soldiers' well being on the ground. I would like to ask those in charge who think retiring the A-10 is a logical way out of their fiscal mess what they are going to tell the mothers and fathers of the kids that come home in black bags due to the USAF providing "not as elegant" close air support. What would this dialogue even sound like? Maybe something like "we are sorry, we just could not risk sending the F-35 program further into a death spiral by making up the cost of keeping the A-10 in our inventory via cancelling a couple F-35s." $3.7B equates to just 2% of the USAF's total F-35A buy. Kill 30 F-35As to save close to 300 A-10s

Has Tyler NOT read about the fatigue issues with the existing F-16 and F-15 fleets? Aircraft need to be replaced, F-35 is the aircraft that is planned on doing so. Can't keep patching aircraft up over and over again as it becomes very expensive to do so.

Quote:
Yet the US Army has no budget capacity available for the A-10 today and the Air Force, being the bratty service that it can be, would never allow the Army to have a fixed wing close air support jet, especially not one that the USAF has operated under the "fighter" moniker.

Correction; the US Army doesn't even want the A-10, even if they had the budget for it. Ditto the USMC.

Quote:
What I am getting at here is that the current force size of the USAF has already been shaved down over and over and over again to what is now a skeletonized force considering the missions demanded of it. Cutting readiness and training is very dangerous both militarily and geopolitically. Last year, about one third of the entire Air Combat Command was grounded due to the sharp axe of sequestration, poor planning by the DoD, and totally screwed up budgetary priorities within the USAF.

See my comments earlier. Sequestration forced the cuts. You also can't reallocate budget from one line item to another line item. For example, if you have a surplus in your personnel budget, you can't move that surplus to the maintenance budget.

Quote:
The A-10 is the best CAS platform mankind has ever designed,

I've heard arguments that the AC-130's are the best platform for CAS because they can lay down extremely accurate fire for long periods.

Quoting diverted (Reply 46):

I think in this day and age it's a pretty prudent idea to keep the Warthog around. It probably would have been more prudent to forget the F-35 instead of trying to build a jack of all trades but master of none.

Umm.. the F-16 is an excellent multirole fighter. Problem is, no one can afford large fleets of single mission aircraft, unless that mission is critical for combat capability. Air superiority is a critical mission; without it, you can't do CAS, resupply, or practically anything else.

It should be noted that development is iterative. It takes time, people, skill to get it right. Errors and flaws will happen along the way. They will get fixed. Problems will occur through testing. They will get fixed.

It definitely doesn't help when we have the ignorant public and idiotic Congressmen wasting time and threatening budget cuts.

Quoting diverted (Reply 46):
If anything, it just goes to show the dysfunction in the government. But then again, what else is new. Reminds me of the Army brass going to congress telling them to stop buying them tanks, only for Congress to authorize another $120M they spent on tanks in 2014 on top of the $183M they spent on tanks in 2012 that the army also said they didn't want

     

Someone's got it.

Just like the A-10 is supposed to be "for the troops" and all this false "nothing is too good for the troops" crap. It's not about the troops. There are a dozen things you could issue a soldier today in Afghanistan that are more helpful than the handful of A-10's on station somewhere in a country the size of Texas. Things like reliable and new magazines for their rifles and pistols. Improved rucksacks. Working radios. New optical sights. Reliable and properly serviced machine guns. Stuff like that. I would argue that is much more important than having A-10's flying around.
 
Cross757
Posts: 233
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:32 pm

RE: NY Times Article - Plea To Save The A-10

Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:22 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 48):
Where does he get the idea that the GAU-8 was the primary anti-armour weapon on the A-10?

From the beginning. The kill mechanics of the API round (the famous "depleted uranium") was designed specifically for armor.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 48):
ollowed by either dumb bombs

Bombs are very low pK against a tank, or any moving vehicle for that matter.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 48):
maneuvering during a strafing run was not only limited, but tactically unfeasible for killing because of the need for stability while on the gun run, meaning that the A-10 becomes a very easy target for Pact AAA and SAM's

The time required to roll-in (or perform a pop up maneuver) and acquire the target, and execute a strafe pass is actually about the same to even less than that required for a bomb run. An F-16 or F-15E performing a dive bomb or even a level pass would be wings level and therefore unable to maneuver for just as long if not longer than an A-10. Plus, low altitude strafe tactics allow the A-10 pilot to employ the gun and then, following the safe escape maneuver, "re-mask" by using terrain to avoid threats. The A-10 is also extremely effective (and extremely accurate) performing a dive gun pass as well.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 48):
So the whole stealth while doing CAS argument, is a straw man.

Making arguments that the A-10 is not stealthy and therefore more vulnerable in a CAS fight equally as useless.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 48):
Has Tyler NOT read about the fatigue issues with the existing F-16 and F-15 fleets? Aircraft need to be replaced

Which is why, IMHO, the entire F-15C fleet and a good chunk of the F-16 fleet can be retired now. The F-15C is the definition of a single-mission aircraft and is completely redundant. There is no mission the F-15C can perform that is not more than adequately covered by the F-22 or even the F-15E (since being able to do multi-role missions is such an argument for retiring "single mission" aircraft. The E-3 is also redundant. The existence of modern data links and ability to share real-time information between fighters makes the AWACS not that useful.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 48):
It definitely doesn't help when we have the ignorant public and idiotic Congressmen wasting time and threatening budget cuts.

Or perhaps they are sick of seeing untold billions of dollars of taxpayer money being poured into a weapon system (the F-35) that is already significantly over budget and behind the timeline. Not to mention all of the issues that keep popping up (problems with the paint that recently had the aircraft restricted to day-only, VFR flight) that the only solution is to pour yet more millions of dollars into to fix.
The F-35 program, not just sequestration, is what is helping to put the DoD into the budget crisis it is in. The program so far has cost significantly more than originally planned. But, I suppose it's too big to fail now, right? The only solution is to keep pumping money into it.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 48):
Correction; the US Army doesn't even want the A-10, even if they had the budget for it

The issue is that by law, the US Army is prohibited from operating fixed wing combat aircraft.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 48):
There are a dozen things you could issue a soldier today in Afghanistan that are more helpful than the handful of A-10's on station somewhere in a country the size of Texas. Things like reliable and new magazines for their rifles and pistols. Improved rucksacks. Working radios. New optical sights. Reliable and properly serviced machine guns. Stuff like that. I would argue that is much more important than having A-10's flying around.

Then you quite obviously have never been in the skies above or on the ground in Afghanistan. Are you serious??
What good is a new rucksack or improved magazine for an M-4/M-16 going to do when our troops are taking RPG/mortar/heavy machine gun fire?
Please tell me you are kidding.

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