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jabloomf1230

Farewell to the Warthog

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A little off topic, no? But since you brought it up, I really resent your opinion: I have been paying into Social Security as an "annuity" for almost 50 years, starting at age 12. If it were invested at a measly 4-percent it would be close to a million dollar nest-egg. To suggest that I am somehow "not worthy" of my annuity suggests that you are not really paying attention to or fully aware of what is going wrong in this country.

It is off topic.

 

Lets not go there.

As much as the A10 is wonderful, there are not many large armies today that mass tanks similar to Egypt in 1973 on the Suez Canal. And not even Israel has the A10.

 

I can see the A10 in the same stead as the F14, a Soviet era weapon.

The A10 is a beautiful weapon when used against masses of rolling tanks and troops, and vehicles. That is World War Two vintage.

 

Today's conflicts are UAVs, precision guided weapons to avoid civilian casualties.

 

Not even in the Balkans has the A10 been needed in the last twenty years.

 

The battlefield has changed and technology is changing.

 

In Afghanistan even the tunnels and caves are proving to be challenging so I doubt the A10 could be effective there.

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I thought it was required to sign your name here?

 

It is in some of the sub forums e.g. PMDG, but not in Hangar Chat.


Nick

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A little off topic, no? But since you brought it up, I really resent your opinion: I have been paying into Social Security as an "annuity" for almost 50 years, starting at age 12. If it were invested at a measly 4-percent it would be close to a million dollar nest-egg. To suggest that I am somehow "not worthy" of my annuity suggests that you are not really paying attention to or fully aware of what is going wrong in this country.

I've been paying into it for over twenty years myself, however you should understand that it is not an annuity and nobody actually has any kind of a 'savings' account there. Rather it is a program that funds current payees with monies from current, working payors. I hold no illusions or expectations about whether it will or how much money it will pay me when I retire. Do yourself a favor and save your own money instead of making a plan of or hold expectation that future generations will fund your retirement.

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We do great with our arm chair opinions. Ask the solider under fire from the most prevalent kind of enemy we fight now a days and over the last 30 years - which AC he wants for close support.

 

Lets see: He could have 1 F35 cost per = 200 million - packs a whooping 180 rounds

Or for 200 million he could have 14+ A10s each with approx 1,170 rounds

 

Or to save your tax money lets just send 2 A10s and pocket the other 170 million cost of one shotty F35.

 

Sure the gun is good for tanks...and last I checked terrorist are not driving ZSUs or tanks, however the gun for close air support against "soft targets" is still more than relevant.

 

Then there is the intimidation factor. Just like the AC 130 terrorist know the sound and shake in their boots then hide. Not really sure stealth has the same effect to win without firing a shot.

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Rob

"Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it"

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In defended airspace the A-10 is vulnerable, but in the CAS roll it has no equal - I doubt you would find a single combat soldier in Afghanistan who would prefer an F-15 or F-16 to an A-10 in a firefight, or would want to see it taken out of service. That's my point - if the land forces feel that other aircraft can fulfill the role of CAS support as effectively as the A-10, in particular in the type of environments in which they currently operate, then fine, wack it. Plus, I'm highly skeptical that the US is going to be especially enthused to use a 200 million dollar plane flying a low altitude CAS mission where its technological advantages are negated, in a high threat environment where it is not as capable of surviving a hit as the A-10. Kind of like how the Dutch always kept their Apaches at higher altitude to avoid the chances of being hit, and were thus far less effective.


Brian Johnson

 

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I dunno... it seems to me that the entire F-35 program is the 21st Century equivalent of the F-111; trying to adapt one aircraft for the different services, each with different mission requirements. The result of trying to force feed the F-111B down the Navy's throat was the F-14 Tomcat. Maintenance retired the Tomcat; not its 'obsolete, Cold War era' capabilities.

 

Eight years in development, and it still isn't in full scale production yet...  redcard.gif

 

Now, the Warthog... want a new mission for them? INTERDICTION. Give the Warthogs to the National Guard, and use them to patrol the Border. Use them to intercept and escort errant airplanes out of sensitive airspaces...

 

Whether it's a Cessna lollygagging in a TFR, or some kook in a Phenom 500 looking to lawn dart it into something... one look at that GAU-8 sticking out of the grill, and both of those pilots are going to need a pair of Depends like real, real quick.

 

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Ask the solider under fire from the most prevalent kind of enemy we fight now a days and over the last 30 years - which AC he wants for close support.

 

If you want to use the argument that you're only going to be fighting angry bearded men with old AK-47s then ditch the A-10s and get something like the AT-6. Considerably cheaper than the A-10 to operate and are still highly effective againt said angry bearded men with old AK-47s.

 

At the end of the day it doesn't matter what aircraft drops the bomb on the target, as long as the job gets done. Pretty much the entire western inventory has cycled through Afghanistan doing CAS in the last ten years - even the likes of B-52s and B-1s. They've all got the job done.

 

In fact when you consider the A-10 is considerably slower than just about all other modern combat jets you have to take into account the time it takes to get anywhere. If you're on the ground getting shot at would you take an F-15 or F-16 that can be there in five minutes, or an A-10 that can be there in ten?

 

 

In defended airspace the A-10 is vulnerable, but in the CAS roll it has no equal

 

 

I'm highly skeptical that the US is going to be especially enthused to use a 200 million dollar plane flying a low altitude CAS mission where its technological advantages are negated, in a high threat environment where it is not as capable of surviving a hit as the A-10

 

As I outlined above, the A-10 faced some serious problems in Desert Storm. When flown against the well trained and equipped Republican Guard formations the A-10 got a bloody nose and had to be re-assigned to the softer targets of regular Iraqi Army units. F-16 units had to be used to finish the Republican Guard off.

 

You can read about it in an interview with General Chuck Horner here:

 

http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArchive/Pages/1991/June%201991/0691horner.aspx

 

I quote in particular:

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Q: This conflict has shown that?

 

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

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

 

Q: At what point did you do that?

 

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

 

So we can perhaps conclude that the A-10 was not "all that" when it went up against well trained and equipped forces. An A-10 might be able to survive some smaller hits and get its pilot back to base, when and indeed if that A-10 ever flies again is another matter entirely.

 

Now let's take a quick look at what happened in 1999 during Operation Allied Force. At the end of the campaign only 22 JNA (Yugoslav Army) armoured vehicles and artillery pieces had been destroyed in Kosovo. It's estimated that the JNA withdrew from Kosovo with well over 90% of its armoured vehicles still intact. This was because the JNA made very effective use of camouflage and decoys, highlighting a real problem with contemporary Western air power, including the A-10 -  the abilty to effectively locate and destroy concealed ground forces from the air.

 

If you cast your mind back to Desert Storm you may remember the really big headache the Coalition had trying to find all those mobile Scud missile launchers in the western deserts of Iraq. This, combined with the poor performance in Kosovo convinced everyone that something needed to be done to improve the capability to detect and identify targets from the air.

 

This requirement was factored in to the F-35's design as one of the major design criteria. Probably the biggest advance the F-35 makes over contemporary types is in its avionics and sensor suite. In testing the F-35 has demonstrated the ability to automatically detect and identify ground targets from medium altitudes where those nasty modern short range battle field air defences are safely at arm's length. So you can see that the idea that the F-35 is going to be screaming across a battlefield at 100ft where everybody and their dog can take a shot at it is mistaken. It's going to sit up at medium altitude and use its very advanced sensors and datalinks to detect, identify and attack targets.

 

In fact, as I outlined above, if you look at exactly what changes were made from the A-10A to the new A-10C you'll see they were designed to give the A-10 the ability to use precision guided weapons from medium altitudes exactly because its survivability at low altitudes in the face of the modern types of battlefield air defences I listed above is in grave doubt. I really don't think there are many A-10 pilots who would relish the prospect of getting down low and slow to use their gun when there's the likes of SA-15, SA-19 or SA-22 hanging around.

 

Given the sheer number of aircraft and crews that have been through Afghanistan performing CAS over the last decade - we're talking F-15s, F-16s, F/A-18s, B-1s, B-52s, Tornadoes, Harriers, Mirages, Rafales, Super Etendards and indeed A-10s - a lot of time and effort has gone into improving the CAS capabilities. All of the aircraft I mentioned there have highly advanced targeting pods like Sniper XR, LITENING III, Damocles and with stuff like ROVER terminals (a laptop type terminal carried by the JTAC on the ground where he can see the same image from the targetting pod the pilot above sees and can mark the target on the screen which then appears on the pilot's screen in his cockpit and his navigation and targeting sensors are automatically cued to the target indicated by the JTAC on the ground) modern western aircraft have the kind of CAS capabilities far, far in advance of what was in service prior to Afghanistan.

 

I'll also relate a story that came out of Libya in 2011. You might have heard about the Matra/BAE Dynamics Brimstone missile. It's been the RAF's weapon of choice against ground forces ever since the UK signed the treaty banning cluster munitions. During Operation Ellamy over Libya in 2011 an RAF Tornado GR4 fired TWELVE Brimstone missiles against a column of enemy vehicles in one pass.

 

Twelve missiles.

 

Twelve hits.

 

Twelve Targets destroyed.

 

One pass.

 

I'd like to see an A-10 do that.

 

 

On perhaps another related note, there's still quite a lot of controversy over the effect of depleted uranium muntions - such as the PGU-14B round used by the GAU-8/A gun used on the A-10 - have on civilian populations living in the areas they have been used. I'd defy anyone here to read up on the subject and hand on heart say they would be happy for their kids to grow up living in such an environment.

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Nick

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That's a great write up, engineroom, but therr are some flaws in the points being made. Has CAS ever been performed on any environment other than a permissive one? From WWII to Korea to Vietnam to OEF and OIF, CAS is a mission performed only after control of the skies had been obtained. Sure it is not 100% safe, there will be the golden bb and the guy with the SA-7 here and there, but if our troops are on the ground and asking for support against close contact enemy ground combatants, then the major air and surface to air threats will have been eliminated by then. Your examples of A-10s being at risk during DS are not examples of CAS, but rather Battlefield Air Interdiction. BAI is not CAS. It is an entirely different mission and best performed by fast aircraft because it is a mission performed well behind enemy lines in airspace that they control.

 

If you want to discuss CAS, then more relevant aspects to consider when comparing platforms would be how well they can find targets or how much ordnance they can carry, which directly relates to how many sorties one aircraft requires versus another in order to provide the same level of suppprt.

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They tried making a fighter the F-4 a close air support plane in Vietnam and it failed which spawned the A-10 now they are going to replace it with a fighter it proves one thing my government can't learn from history. ###### tried using the 262 as a bomber as well and it failed. You'd think the government would learn from history but they are idiots


David Womacks CFI,CFII,MEI

Copilot: Captain have you ever flown a 777 before?

Captain:Nope,but we got a strong tail wind and the bar in Hong Kong stays open till 5am, so lets kick the tires, light the fires and, get the hell outta here.

 

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They tried making a fighter the F-4 a close air support plane in Vietnam and it failed which spawned the A-10 now they are going to replace it with a fighter it proves one thing my government can't learn from history. ###### tried using the 262 as a bomber as well and it failed. You'd think the government would learn from history but they are idiots

 

The problem with your argument, is you didn't have the precision weapons we have today, so accuracy was the issue, that's not the case today. A F-16 at altitude, can be just as accurate as a A-10 on the deck. The only issue I see is loiter time over the target. Since the A-10 is significantly slower, it may be able to engage more targets on one pass, where a faster fighter, may have to make 2 or more passes to engage, because their speed would take them out of range quicker.


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Tom

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Put a republican back in the White House, we will bring that A10 back.

Hell, will bring the A7 Corsair back.....

 

 

Kin M.

(Klax)

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Put a republican back in the White House, we will bring that A10 back.

Hell, will bring the A7 Corsair back.....

 

Kin M.

(Klax)

 

I trust you are sincere in which case I agree. Although I don't have much knowledge about the A7. I'll leave it at that.

 

Me,  . . . . . . a pilot in a combat situation; scary and ugly enough to make the enemy turn yellow, a bullet proof cockpit and able to fly with one engine missing, that was shot off and left somewhere in the desert, do my job and get me back to base - I'm in love. Unfortunately this is more about politics and shifting money to BS 'programs' than what is effective at doing the job at hand or foreseen.

 

Mel


Mel

Flight Sim Addict

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Has CAS ever been performed on any environment other than a permissive one? From WWII to Korea to Vietnam to OEF and OIF, CAS is a mission performed only after control of the skies had been obtained.

 

By "control of the skies" I presume you are talking about air superiority, and you'd be right.

 

However, please have a read of the Wikipedia links I posted above showing some of the more modern battlefield air defence systems the Russians are selling. These are self contained systems that can be embedded within ground units. Their very purpose is to counter against enemy aircraft operating at low altitudes. The A-10 has never been tested against these. As I said, I think you'd struggle to find an A-10 pilot who be happy about the idea of getting down in the weeds with air defence systems like these embedded in the units he's trying to attack.

 

Again, there's a very good reason why the A-10C was given the capability to carry an advanced targeting pod and precision weapons employed from medium altitude.

 

 

We had a very similar situation here in the UK in 2010 when it was announced the Harrier would be retired. The Harrier is to the British very much what the A-10 is to the Americans - a hugely popular, iconic aircraft that has seen decades of sterling service, was one of the heroes of the Falklands War and provided a unique capability. However, the decision was made to rationalise down to just two types of fast jet and the choice was between retiring the Harrier or the Tornado. It was decided the Tornado was the more important capability retain.

 

It looks like maybe defence spending in the US is starting to come a bit more under the spotlight, just as it has in the UK. Tough times, tough decisions.


Nick

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The A-10 doesn't have to go down in the weeds to target adequately. I've read plenty about what's out there to shoot down aircraft these days. An F-35 loitering over an area looking for ground targets will be shot down just as easily as an A-10 will be. And if an F-35 is shot down, ground troops can say goodbye to air support because they'll probably get pulled out since 1. They cost a lot. And 2. There aren't many of them because of 1.

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Like the US carrier fleet, we only have 11 compare to 15 ten years ago. Out of those eleven 6 are combat ready (3 in the PAC and 3 in the Atlantic) the five are training, in-port, upkeep and major extensive overhaul. We can't fight two regional conflicts like this and expect to win it.

Cut somewhere else not defense, like Reagan said...."Peace Through Strength".

 

Kin M.

(Klax)

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