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(Arizona Daily Independent)   Talk of retiring the A-10 Warthog spurs effort to save it. Still say it looks like a Puma   (arizonadailyindependent.com) divider line 300
    More: Sad, warthogs, Operation Desert Storm, boots on the ground, iraqi freedom, Raul Grijalva  
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10155 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Aug 2013 at 10:00 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



300 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-08-20 09:46:56 AM  
In other news, the Air Force doesn't like the CAS mission and would just as soon not have it at all.
 
2013-08-20 09:54:43 AM  
Giving them to local police.
 
2013-08-20 10:02:31 AM  

vygramul: In other news, the Air Force doesn't like the CAS mission and would just as soon not have it at all.


I'm sure the Army would be happy to take them off their hands if the USAF doesn't want them anymore.  The Army loves the Warthogs.
 
2013-08-20 10:03:02 AM  
Retiring the bestest plane evar? What will replace it?
 
2013-08-20 10:03:02 AM  
This is ridiculous.

The Pentagon needs to figure out whatever stupid rule prevents the Army from possessing these and revoke it. It's a proven, reliable, and deadly CAS airframe, with plenty of life left to it.
 
2013-08-20 10:04:30 AM  

antidisestablishmentarianism: Retiring the bestest plane evar? What will replace it?


Lockheed Martin has assured me that the F-35 will be able to handle all responsibilities of the A-10, and will do it with an invisibility cloak and loiter time of 20+ hours.
 
2013-08-20 10:04:34 AM  
Chupathingy.
 
2013-08-20 10:05:02 AM  

slayer199: vygramul: In other news, the Air Force doesn't like the CAS mission and would just as soon not have it at all.

I'm sure the Army would be happy to take them off their hands if the USAF doesn't want them anymore.  The Army loves the Warthogs.


Seriously. Bring back the Army Air Corps and let them design and fly their own CAS planes.
 
2013-08-20 10:05:04 AM  
Retiring anything in favor of the F-35 is a pretty stupid idea.
 
2013-08-20 10:05:19 AM  

T-Servo: antidisestablishmentarianism: Retiring the bestest plane evar? What will replace it?

Lockheed Martin has assured me that the F-35 will be able to handle all responsibilities of the A-10, and will do it with an invisibility cloak and loiter time of 20+ hours.


With rainbows shooting out its ass, no doubt.
 
2013-08-20 10:06:10 AM  

T-Servo: antidisestablishmentarianism: Retiring the bestest plane evar? What will replace it?

Lockheed Martin has assured me that the F-35 will be able to handle all responsibilities of the A-10, and will do it with an invisibility cloak and loiter time of 20+ hours.


Heh.


Also: farked link?
 
2013-08-20 10:06:38 AM  
I remember driving between Phoenix and Tucson one sunny day, in my bright red Pontiac. Off in the distance, two specs flying and getting closer and closer. A couple of seconds later, two A-10s screamed nearly overhead.

Nothing like being target practice.

/cool plane
//I'm a confirmed kill
 
2013-08-20 10:07:58 AM  

vygramul: In other news, the Air Force doesn't like the CAS mission and would just as soon not have it at all.


...until the Army talks about having its own fixed-wing assets under direct control (again). Then, magically, CAS and Warthogs are an important component of Air Force forward projection.

>Flake responded that the A-10 would be retired but held out the promise of the F-35 as a viable substitute.

All those who believe that take one step forward.

>"Tell the Obama administration to reconsider the retirement of the A-10 attack aircraft. There is no available replacement currently in the Department of Defense. Lives will be lost overseas without this aircraft."

Why the hell would you direct a petition at the Obama Administration when it's the Senate and the DoD procurement that are making these determinations?
 
2013-08-20 10:08:41 AM  
Tried this before right before the Gulf War, saying the F-16 could handle the A-10s' duties. After the Gulf War, suddenly the USAF loved the A-10 again.
 
2013-08-20 10:08:43 AM  
It's a flying tank. that flies. HOW CAN YOU RETIRE THAT??
 
2013-08-20 10:09:15 AM  

pag1107: Retiring anything in favor of the F-35 is a pretty stupid idea.


This, and the other guy's comment above.

That thing is nothing but a money pit. Worse than the F-22, another wasted opportunity (that I wanted to succeed) that can't go for any measurable length of time without being grounded.
 
2013-08-20 10:10:25 AM  

vygramul: In other news, the Air Force doesn't like the CAS mission and would just as soon not have it at all.


That's really dangerous stuff. You could put your life at risk doing that.

If I was going to do it, I'd want to do it in a Warthog.

Hack Patooey: T-Servo: antidisestablishmentarianism: Retiring the bestest plane evar? What will replace it?

Lockheed Martin has assured me that the F-35 will be able to handle all responsibilities of the A-10, and will do it with an invisibility cloak and loiter time of 20+ hours.

With rainbows shooting out its ass, no doubt.


Don't forget Unicorn Fart Micro-Thermobarics.

Unless that thing has Star Wars repulsors or some other physics defying lift surfaces, it'll be lucky to be as good at CAS as the F-104.
 
2013-08-20 10:10:41 AM  
I remember hanging out on the Commons in Halifax and watching a pair loiter overhead and realizing that the people crowding the Commons were probably playing the role of ground-targets. My 'friends', not knowing the A-10, wondered why I kept glancing up at them.
 
2013-08-20 10:12:20 AM  

antidisestablishmentarianism: Retiring the bestest plane evar? What will replace it?


Nothing. Nothing can. The F35 is lightly armored, has low weapons load and is designed for combat at stand off ranges, and it's gun has a pidddling 1200 rounds.

During desert storm A-10's expended all their ordinance during missions. That's like 6 laser guided bombs, 4 2000 pound dumb bombs, and 3 maverick missiles. (in addition to being able to carry rockets, and cluster bombs).  And like 20,000 rounds of GAU-8 ammo. oh, and titanium armor for the pilot and critical systems.

The A-10 also has triple redundant flight system. dual hydraulic  systems, and cable controls.

The warthog brings home pilots in situations where there is really no logical reason why it would be capable of flying. A female A-10 pilot got hit over Iraq, lost almost all flight control and then proceeded to write the book on flying a wounded A-10 on differential thrust alone. She landed back at base safely.
 
2013-08-20 10:12:51 AM  
A waste, seeing as how it wasn't long ago the planes were upgraded to have a service life that was to last till 2028.


clkeagle: The Pentagon needs to figure out whatever stupid rule prevents the Army from possessing these and revoke it.


They didn't want it. Even the USAF was hesitant to take it at first, because both branches believed high speed and a slick-looking aircraft would be the most effective. Even still, there isn't a rule that says "only  one branch can have an aircraft of a certain design", so there is nothing to "revoke".


Also, subby, nice RvB reference.(skip to 1:30)
 
2013-08-20 10:13:27 AM  
Wonder Warthog to the rescue!
 
2013-08-20 10:14:42 AM  
I remember going through this back in '89 when they hadn't been "blooded" yet ... they were about gone.
(saves asses)  Oh, wait-they're totally great!
 
2013-08-20 10:14:45 AM  
They probably don't cost enough to maintain, the profit margin on them isn't high enough.
 
2013-08-20 10:15:32 AM  

slayer199: vygramul: In other news, the Air Force doesn't like the CAS mission and would just as soon not have it at all.

I'm sure the Army would be happy to take them off their hands if the USAF doesn't want them anymore.  The Army loves the Warthogs.


Yes - the Key West agreement should be scrapped and the services bid on missions rather than aircraft type.
 
2013-08-20 10:16:28 AM  

fluffy2097: The warthog brings home pilots in situations where there is really no logical reason why it would be capable of flying.


Unrelated, here's an F-15 that has no business flying.
 
2013-08-20 10:16:38 AM  

belhade: It's a flying tank. that flies. HOW CAN YOU RETIRE THAT??


It's a gun with wings. and an engine.

The same man who looked at the GAU-8 and said "Make this gun fly", is the same guy who was carrying a howitzer in a C-130 and said to himself "Let's shoot at targets on the ground with this howitzer, by aiming it out the farking window!"
 
2013-08-20 10:17:48 AM  

xxmedium: All those who believe that take one step forward.


The F-35 is a fine aircraft but it's not an A-10.
 
2013-08-20 10:18:05 AM  
I once took part in an Army training exercise, I was a "wounded soldier", complete with cinema-makeup broken arm, and got to hang out on the ground waiting for the Rangers to come rescue me.  A10s circled overhead providing coverage.

What impressed me most was the machine guns.  The rounds fire off so fast they don't go bang-bang-bang, they go VVVVVVVVRRRBBBBT.
 
2013-08-20 10:19:04 AM  
I'm not an Army guy, but isn't that what helicopters are supposed to be doing now?  Or is the role not quite the same?
 
2013-08-20 10:19:13 AM  

Hack Patooey: T-Servo: antidisestablishmentarianism: Retiring the bestest plane evar? What will replace it?

Lockheed Martin has assured me that the F-35 will be able to handle all responsibilities of the A-10, and will do it with an invisibility cloak and loiter time of 20+ hours.

With rainbows shooting out its ass, no doubt.


Its fueled by liquid schwartz.
 
2013-08-20 10:19:30 AM  
The problem with the A-10 is it's kinda like using a sledge hammer to smash things.

The F-35 is better suited because it's like using some kind of complex advanced technolicical thingy that doesn't work because it'd too valuable to use to smash things.
 
2013-08-20 10:19:35 AM  
I was at Road America for a race weekend, probably CART or ALMS and we camped off the track at a gun club.  One morning, probably about 6am, we got buzzed by two A-10s which must have been practicing a fly-over.  They really low and you could just feel the rumble as they approached and went over.

/csb
 
2013-08-20 10:19:36 AM  

error 303: Chupathingy.


So unless anybody has any more mythical creatures to suggest as a name for the new vehicle, we're gonna stick with: the Warthog. How about it, Grif?
 
2013-08-20 10:20:22 AM  
What's a Nato?
 
2013-08-20 10:21:06 AM  
I remember playing an A-10 Flight Simulator as a kid. If you tried to do too much dogfighting, the in-game narration would chide you "You aren't an F-15!"

I'm no military aviation expert, but it just seems intuitive to me that a purpose-built war machine will do better at that purpose than a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none like the F-35. Indeed, many of the F-35's problems, from my limited perspective, seem to stem from the design compromises required for it to be all things to all air missions.
 
2013-08-20 10:21:06 AM  

Earguy: I once took part in an Army training exercise, I was a "wounded soldier", complete with cinema-makeup broken arm, and got to hang out on the ground waiting for the Rangers to come rescue me.  A10s circled overhead providing coverage.

What impressed me most was the machine guns.  The rounds fire off so fast they don't go bang-bang-bang, they go VVVVVVVVRRRBBBBT.


They are also as big as a Volkswagon The ammo can ALONE for it is bigger then a Volkswagen.

upload.wikimedia.org
And the bullets are this big.

lh3.ggpht.com
 
2013-08-20 10:21:11 AM  
I must be missing something here the A-10 is a extremely effective aircraft and has proven it's worth about a thousand times over. The only possible drawback is the main gun is goddamned expensive to operate.  The thing is the only thing an F-35 can use in place of the A-10's main gun are JDAMs and JSOWs which cost a fortune. Each.
 
2013-08-20 10:21:26 AM  

schnee: I remember driving between Phoenix and Tucson one sunny day, in my bright red Pontiac. Off in the distance, two specs flying and getting closer and closer. A couple of seconds later, two A-10s screamed nearly overhead.

Nothing like being target practice.

/cool plane
//I'm a confirmed kill


Where I was growing up, we had giant power transmission lines running though our back fields. Local A-10s would use them for running target practice.
 
2013-08-20 10:21:26 AM  
yikes....

just another example of the power of planned obsolescence :(
 
2013-08-20 10:21:30 AM  

xxmedium: Why the hell would you direct a petition at the Obama Administration when it's the Senate and the DoD procurement that are making these determinations?


Because the Democrats hold the Senate, and the president can lean on the senators of his party.  That doesn't guarantee anything, of course, but it does carry at least some weight.

BTW, I don't see the A-10 being replaced by the F-35, or any other manned aircraft for that matter.  Seems to me the most likely replacement would be a drone.  Cheaper in terms of material, fuel, and personnel costs, and you can make a relatively fast moving drone, especially if it's controlled from nearby.

For example, you could control several "fast mover" CAS drones in real time relatively locally with a stand-off aircraft manned by drone pilots.  A Boeing airliner refitted could cruise at 40,000 feet and it would have 'line of sight' communications to the drones out to nearly 300 miles.   Put the control aircraft far back from the action, and send the drones in.  Alternatively, if you have ground control pods, you can just put up a relay aircraft, and have the pilots nearly 600 miles away.  The relay aircraft, which can be a drone itself, retransmits the drone and control information back and forth.  Because the distance is much, much shorter than the path it would take to a geosynchronous satellite and back, you can make "fast mover" drones that can maneuver radically, in real time.

If the drones lose a lock on the signal, they would go into a "safe mode"  where they increase height and head back towards base,  until they either regain airborne lock, back-up satellite lock, or local control at the base.
 
2013-08-20 10:21:42 AM  
stop making up animals
 
2013-08-20 10:22:10 AM  

T-Servo: antidisestablishmentarianism: Retiring the bestest plane evar? What will replace it?

Lockheed Martin has assured me that the F-35 will be able to handle all responsibilities of the A-10, and will do it with an invisibility cloak and loiter time of 20+ hours.


Compared to the A-10, the F-35 could get knocked out of a battlefield with a dirty look.
 
2013-08-20 10:22:47 AM  
Considering that there is pretty much no air force on this planet (that's not an ally already), can keep up with the US, I don't see why there is so much thought being put in to replacing old jets.
 
2013-08-20 10:25:11 AM  
I read a book about John Boyd and I guess the Air force HATED the A-10 from the very beginning. They didn't like the idea of having to report to the Army again, it was originally planned for retirement two decades ago but the Gulf War kinda made this plane indispensable.
 
2013-08-20 10:25:53 AM  

Egoy3k: I must be missing something here the A-10 is a extremely effective aircraft and has proven it's worth about a thousand times over. The only possible drawback is the main gun is goddamned expensive to operate.  The thing is the only thing an F-35 can use in place of the A-10's main gun are JDAMs and JSOWs which cost a fortune. Each.


Oh, I don't think you're missing a thing.
 
2013-08-20 10:26:01 AM  

fluffy2097: belhade: It's a flying tank. that flies. HOW CAN YOU RETIRE THAT??

It's a gun with wings. and an engine.

The same man who looked at the GAU-8 and said "Make this gun fly", is the same guy who was carrying a howitzer in a C-130 and said to himself "Let's shoot at targets on the ground with this howitzer, by aiming it out the farking window!"


Descriptions like this never fail to get me cackling madly.
 
2013-08-20 10:27:13 AM  

Plant Rights Activist: stop making up animals


No, no. It does look like a puma.

From the top of a crevice.
 
2013-08-20 10:28:06 AM  
I've always wondered how the warthog could be improved

/improve engine, tweak fuselage, update cockpit?
//unless those and more improvements have been done over the years?
 
2013-08-20 10:28:27 AM  
The chairforce tries to retire the A-10 every couple of years because it's not sexy enough, doesn't have enough wizbang gizmos and doesn't cost as much as a small nations GDP.  It's embarrassing to them that the most effective piece of equipment in their inventory is one of the cheapest and lowest tech.  It's hard to justify F-22s, B-2s and F-35s with the A-10 around.

The sad thing is, the A-10s days are truly numbered.  Yes, they replaced all the inner gizmos and upgraded the whole fleet to A-10C status, but wing cracks from low altitude high G flying are not going away.. and there's only so many A-10 wings out there.  It will have to be replaced eventually.  Hopefully the chairforce replaces it with something worthy instead of another high tech travesty.
 
2013-08-20 10:28:38 AM  

antidisestablishmentarianism: Retiring the bestest plane evar? What will replace it?


Pretty much a unicorn if they are seriously suggesting the F-35.
 
2013-08-20 10:29:18 AM  

durbnpoisn: Considering that there is pretty much no air force on this planet (that's not an ally already), can keep up with the US, I don't see why there is so much thought being put in to replacing old jets.


The jets are unimportant.  Military spending across various congressional districts is what matters.  Congress would be just as happy spending the money and not getting any jets whatsoever, but the taxpayers aren't quite stupid enough to fall for that.
 
2013-08-20 10:30:51 AM  
This thread is relevant to my interests.
 
2013-08-20 10:31:36 AM  
If you want to build more of 'em, please call the Mayor of Hagerstown MD.  The Farichild building is still out by the airport, and we'd love the jobs.
 
2013-08-20 10:32:16 AM  
Serious question,,
Annual cost of ownership and hourly costs on one of these beauts?
Finally put those P51 guys in place.
 
2013-08-20 10:32:33 AM  
I grew up on an Air Force base near the Air Force Museum. The A-10 Thunderbolt ("Warthog") was always one of our favorite planes as kids, and I'll be sad to see it go.

But seriously... what role does it play in a military that's increasingly relying on UAVs?
 
2013-08-20 10:32:38 AM  

No Time To Explain: //unless those and more improvements have been done over the years?


They have. Several times. Avionics mostly but they are old enough that structural components are starting to need replacing - pesky things that are seldom used... like wings, for example.
 
2013-08-20 10:34:30 AM  

secularsage: But seriously... what role does it play in a military that's increasingly relying on UAVs?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaSOMEIe1Bg

Try that with a UAV
 
2013-08-20 10:34:35 AM  
Nostalgia is great, and it's undeniably a teriffic aircraft. It's also a 30+ year-old airframe which will eventually start to disintegrate, hopefully not in mid-air. I noticed that none of the shiatkickers quoted in the article mentioned that. They seemed more interested in the economic benefits of forcing the Air Force to retain a system it no longer wants.
 
2013-08-20 10:34:41 AM  

snocone: Serious question,,
Annual cost of ownership and hourly costs on one of these beauts?
Finally put those P51 guys in place.


Yaeger felt the P-51 was a terrible plane for CAS. He said in his book the P-47 was a far better plane for the mission, and it's hard to argue with him about it.
 
2013-08-20 10:34:56 AM  

No Time To Explain: I've always wondered how the warthog could be improved

/improve engine, tweak fuselage, update cockpit?
//unless those and more improvements have been done over the years?


There have been an A-10A through A-10C

The latest improvements include a improved targeting pod for Laser and GPS guided munitions, Navigational improvements and such. I'm sure wikipedia can give you a full rundown on the differences between versions.
 
2013-08-20 10:35:43 AM  

RoxtarRyan: Even still, there isn't a rule that says "only  one branch can have an aircraft of a certain design", so there is nothing to "revoke".


Actually, yes there is:
 Key West Agreement.
Pace-Finletter MOU 1952
Johnson-McConnell agreement of 1966

Upshot of all that is that the US Army gets to keep rotary winged aircraft, and some minor fixed wing tactical reconnaissance aircraft (like the RU-21 by fellow SIGINT weenies used to ride in), but everything else fixed wing is the bailiwick of the Air Force.

They'd have to re-negotiate those agreements in order to change that.
 
2013-08-20 10:36:01 AM  

palelizard: error 303: Chupathingy.

So unless anybody has any more mythical creatures to suggest as a name for the new vehicle, we're gonna stick with: the Warthog. How about it, Grif?


Ron approves!
 
2013-08-20 10:36:06 AM  

fluffy2097: Earguy: I once took part in an Army training exercise, I was a "wounded soldier", complete with cinema-makeup broken arm, and got to hang out on the ground waiting for the Rangers to come rescue me.  A10s circled overhead providing coverage.

What impressed me most was the machine guns.  The rounds fire off so fast they don't go bang-bang-bang, they go VVVVVVVVRRRBBBBT.

They are also as big as a Volkswagon The ammo can ALONE for it is bigger then a Volkswagen.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 850x543]
And the bullets are this big.

[lh3.ggpht.com image 309x350]


Love the design concept for the A-10.  "Here, take this huge gun and wrap an airplane around it.  Ktksbye."
 
2013-08-20 10:36:11 AM  
A10 is the coolest plane ever. That is all.
 
2013-08-20 10:36:56 AM  

dittybopper: xxmedium: Why the hell would you direct a petition at the Obama Administration when it's the Senate and the DoD procurement that are making these determinations?

Because the Democrats hold the Senate, and the president can lean on the senators of his party.  That doesn't guarantee anything, of course, but it does carry at least some weight.

BTW, I don't see the A-10 being replaced by the F-35, or any other manned aircraft for that matter.  Seems to me the most likely replacement would be a drone.  Cheaper in terms of material, fuel, and personnel costs, and you can make a relatively fast moving drone, especially if it's controlled from nearby.

For example, you could control several "fast mover" CAS drones in real time relatively locally with a stand-off aircraft manned by drone pilots.  A Boeing airliner refitted could cruise at 40,000 feet and it would have 'line of sight' communications to the drones out to nearly 300 miles.   Put the control aircraft far back from the action, and send the drones in.  Alternatively, if you have ground control pods, you can just put up a relay aircraft, and have the pilots nearly 600 miles away.  The relay aircraft, which can be a drone itself, retransmits the drone and control information back and forth.  Because the distance is much, much shorter than the path it would take to a geosynchronous satellite and back, you can make "fast mover" drones that can maneuver radically, in real time.

If the drones lose a lock on the signal, they would go into a "safe mode"  where they increase height and head back towards base,  until they either regain airborne lock, back-up satellite lock, or local control at the base.


The drone argument applies to pretty much every mission (except dogfighting against first-world aircraft). They're cheaper and safer than manned aircraft, and they can operate for a much longer period of time.

That's what bothers me most about the F-35 contract. The flyaway cost to the Air Force for the F-35A is about $150 million per aircraft. They are designed to replace the F-16 and A-10... which means it will also cost the Air Force/Reserve/Guard untold millions to retrain all the pilots, mechanics, and other support personnel... not to mention establishing a new logistics chain and repair/replacement distribution system.

However, we could buy brand-new F-16E or F-16V aircraft for about $25-$30 million each and brand-new A-10 aircraft for around $20 million each. We already know how to fly and fix them. So why not scrap the F-35 contracts, buy twice as many new F-16s and A-10s, a crapload of MQ-9 drones, and have enough change leftover to upgrade/replace some tankers and transports? How the hell does the F-35 make sense compared to that? Plus,I'm sure the USN and USMC can make the same argument for their F-35 variants.
 
2013-08-20 10:37:08 AM  
Just wanted to agree with the majority opinion here that retiring the A-10 for the boondoggle F-35 is sheer lunacy (and a nice money grab for Lockheed) - but I also wanted to point out some serious derp dribbling from that "article"

"Davis Monthan Air Force Base became an economic stalwart for the community of Tucson ever since a progressive congressman called for a boycott of his own state in protest of the state's immigration laws. Tucson, now the sixth poorest metropolitan area in the country, has come to rely on the A-10 as desperately as the warriors on the ground. The base has come under attack by progressives who prefer the very low skill, low paying tourism jobs that Grijalva's boycott wiped out."

lol, wut?  Where is the initial reference to Grijalva?  What the hell does this have to do with federal funding of a military base?

/Arizona newspapers appear to be the equivalent of some poor-mans Breibart blog
 
2013-08-20 10:38:03 AM  

ArkPanda: I'm not an Army guy, but isn't that what helicopters are supposed to be doing now?  Or is the role not quite the same?


They can't move as much mud as the A-10, nor can they move anywhere near as fast.
 
2013-08-20 10:38:29 AM  

fluffy2097: Earguy: I once took part in an Army training exercise, I was a "wounded soldier", complete with cinema-makeup broken arm, and got to hang out on the ground waiting for the Rangers to come rescue me.  A10s circled overhead providing coverage.

What impressed me most was the machine guns.  The rounds fire off so fast they don't go bang-bang-bang, they go VVVVVVVVRRRBBBBT.

They are also as big as a Volkswagon The ammo can ALONE for it is bigger then a Volkswagen.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 850x543]
And the bullets are this big.

[lh3.ggpht.com image 309x350]


My friend, the former Ranger school instructor calls the sound of that gun, "God farting."
It sounds about like that, too.
For some amazing M-I porn, google up youtube and search for "A-10 attack."
 
2013-08-20 10:39:28 AM  

No Time To Explain: I've always wondered how the warthog could be improved

/improve engine, tweak fuselage, update cockpit?
//unless those and more improvements have been done over the years?


Electronics.  That's pretty much it.

If the stories are accurate, the engine fans alone operating on battery can keep it flying level for a while -- doesn't get much better than that.
 
2013-08-20 10:39:45 AM  

vygramul: snocone: Serious question,,
Annual cost of ownership and hourly costs on one of these beauts?
Finally put those P51 guys in place.

Yaeger felt the P-51 was a terrible plane for CAS. He said in his book the P-47 was a far better plane for the mission, and it's hard to argue with him about it.


The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was the largest, heaviest, and most expensive fighter aircraft in history to be powered by a single piston engine.[3][verification needed] It was heavily armed with eight .50-caliber machine guns, four per wing. When fully loaded, the P-47 weighed up to eight tons, and in the fighter-bomber ground-attack roles could carry five-inch rockets or a significant bomb load of 2,500 pounds; over half the weight the B-17 bomber could carry on long-range missions (although the B-17 had a far greater range). The P-47, based on the powerful Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engine, was to be very effective as a short-to-medium range escort fighter in high-altitude air-to-air combat and, when unleashed as a fighter-bomber, proved especially adept at ground attack in both the World War II European and Pacific Theaters.
The P-47 was one of the main United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) fighters of World War II, and served with other Allied air forces, notably those of France, Britain, and Russia. Mexican and Brazilian squadrons fighting alongside the U.S. were equipped with the P-47.
The armored cockpit was roomy inside, comfortable for the pilot, and offered good visibility. A modern-day U.S. ground-attack aircraft, the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, takes its name from the P-47.[N 1]

Not even close
 
2013-08-20 10:39:52 AM  
For the likely CAS role in the next 20 to 40 years, which is fighting men on the ground with tanks, small arms, and shoulder fired weaponry, the A-10 is the best possible thing we could field.  It is the cheapest way to destroy every hostile thing on the ground inside of a square mile. If you're fighting jihadis with AKs and RPGs, the A-10 is a good janitor.

If you believe we're likely to fight a first-world country with advanced weaponry, like maybe France or Japan, then you should want the F-35, as long as you're delusional enough to think we have a potential opponent who wouldn't just turn it into a nuclear exchange when they started to lose. Never mind, the whole idea of a war between first world powers in the 21st century is just insanity. If a country was so belligerent and bellicose that the USA attacked it, it would obviously use nukes. The USA is definitely warlike, but they do have this funny habit of never attacking reasonable peaceful countries whose governments don't put people in plastic shredder machines.

They use the CIA to attack friendly countries, duh.
 
2013-08-20 10:40:49 AM  

Headso: They probably don't cost enough to maintain, the profit margin on them isn't high enough.


Yeah, probably this.  I'd bet if the A-10 gets retired Senator Flake will find himself with a multimillion dollar "consulting" job with Lockheed should he lose reelection.
 
2013-08-20 10:41:07 AM  
I miss the F-14 Tomcat.
 
2013-08-20 10:42:03 AM  

vygramul: Yaeger felt the P-51 was a terrible plane for CAS. He said in his book the P-47 was a far better plane for the mission, and it's hard to argue with him about it.


Take away an A-10's mavericks and rockets, make it a guns on guns fight.

DCS:World has both the A-10 and the P-51d as flyable aircraft. The P-51's spank the A-10's every single time with competent pilots. Of course, the A-10 will rip a p-51 in half with it's gun and you have to plink at the A-10 forever with the P-51's 50 cals, but it's actually very easy to stay on an A-10's tail in a P-51.

The problem with this is that standard A-10 procedure would be to fire a sidewinder of maverick missile at the P-51 from standoff range. Poof.
 
2013-08-20 10:42:53 AM  

Warthog: This thread is relevant to my interests.


You better not f*cking retire!
 
2013-08-20 10:43:56 AM  
With all these GEDs in military procurement and logistics management, we can keep the Thunderbolt II flying for 30 years!  After all, all one has to do is waltz down to Fairchild Republic and pick up a few spare parts!  Maintaining an obsolete aircraft that has the RCS of a barn and the thermal signature of the sun worked really well for the Iranians, and that's why their F-14 fleet is the best in the world!  After all, we're still facing the dangers of columns of soviet T-72s about to push through the Fulda gap, and MANPADS are far too expensive for any potential enemy to afford.

/Nostalgia has no place in weapon systems.
 
2013-08-20 10:45:27 AM  
Also:

THIS:

upload.wikimedia.org

With two engines, 13 hard points carrying almost every weapon in the Air Force arsenal, and a 7 barrel Vulcan cannon spewing 1,174 rounds of depleted uranium, beats this:

upload.wikimedia.org

with one engine, only six hard points which can can carry a more limited number of air to ground weapons, and a wimpy internal four barrel gun with only 180 rounds (or the wimpy external gun pod with about 300 rounds shown).
 
2013-08-20 10:45:48 AM  

vygramul: snocone: Serious question,,
Annual cost of ownership and hourly costs on one of these beauts?
Finally put those P51 guys in place.

Yaeger felt the P-51 was a terrible plane for CAS. He said in his book the P-47 was a far better plane for the mission, and it's hard to argue with him about it.


Makes sense. The P-47 was more heavily armed and with its radial engine could withstand more damage from ground fire. Yeager never liked how the P-51 could be brought down by a single bullet to its cooling system.

I think Boeing should push for the next CAS aircraft to be a retrofitted 747 with a 100mm gatling gun in its nose.
 
2013-08-20 10:46:06 AM  

ceebeecates4: With all these GEDs in military procurement and logistics management, we can keep the Thunderbolt II flying for 30 years!  After all, all one has to do is waltz down to Fairchild Republic and pick up a few spare parts!  Maintaining an obsolete aircraft that has the RCS of a barn and the thermal signature of the sun worked really well for the Iranians, and that's why their F-14 fleet is the best in the world!  After all, we're still facing the dangers of columns of soviet T-72s about to push through the Fulda gap, and MANPADS are far too expensive for any potential enemy to afford.

/Nostalgia has no place in weapon systems.


Want to know how I know you're a know-nothing idiot posting from your mom's basement?
 
2013-08-20 10:46:08 AM  

clkeagle: However, we could buy brand-new F-16E or F-16V aircraft for about $25-$30 million each and brand-new A-10 aircraft for around $20 million each. We already know how to fly and fix them. So why not scrap the F-35 contracts, buy twice as many new F-16s and A-10s, a crapload of MQ-9 drones, and have enough change leftover to upgrade/replace some tankers and transports? How the hell does the F-35 make sense compared to that? Plus,I'm sure the USN and USMC can make the same argument for their F-35 variants.


Because there is a Congressmen somewhere who has a factory in his district and there is an election coming up.
 
2013-08-20 10:46:59 AM  

No Time To Explain: I've always wondered how the warthog could be improved

/improve engine, tweak fuselage, update cockpit?
//unless those and more improvements have been done over the years?


Gauss cannon, fusion engines, and a gaggle of little baby A-10 drones to follow it around.

That plane has the nicest lines of any aircraft, IMHO. It's not ugly, it's purpose built!
 
2013-08-20 10:47:25 AM  
The A-10 is the AK-47 of combat aviation.
 
2013-08-20 10:47:34 AM  

ceebeecates4: With all these GEDs in military procurement and logistics management, we can keep the Thunderbolt II flying for 30 years!


Most airliners I've ever flown in have been older then me. I see no problem.
 
2013-08-20 10:48:12 AM  

Clutch2013: fluffy2097: belhade: It's a flying tank. that flies. HOW CAN YOU RETIRE THAT??

It's a gun with wings. and an engine.

The same man who looked at the GAU-8 and said "Make this gun fly", is the same guy who was carrying a howitzer in a C-130 and said to himself "Let's shoot at targets on the ground with this howitzer, by aiming it out the farking window!"

Descriptions like this never fail to get me cackling madly.


THIS! ^

That was just beautiful, man.
 
2013-08-20 10:48:18 AM  

HotIgneous Intruder: ceebeecates4: With all these GEDs in military procurement and logistics management, we can keep the Thunderbolt II flying for 30 years!  After all, all one has to do is waltz down to Fairchild Republic and pick up a few spare parts!  Maintaining an obsolete aircraft that has the RCS of a barn and the thermal signature of the sun worked really well for the Iranians, and that's why their F-14 fleet is the best in the world!  After all, we're still facing the dangers of columns of soviet T-72s about to push through the Fulda gap, and MANPADS are far too expensive for any potential enemy to afford.

/Nostalgia has no place in weapon systems.

Want to know how I know you're a know-nothing idiot posting from your mom's basement?


Tell me later, honey,
 
2013-08-20 10:48:21 AM  

dittybopper: xxmedium: Why the hell would you direct a petition at the Obama Administration when it's the Senate and the DoD procurement that are making these determinations?

Because the Democrats hold the Senate, and the president can lean on the senators of his party.  That doesn't guarantee anything, of course, but it does carry at least some weight.



The President also has some weight with DoD procurement. Seeing as he's their boss. If the White House were to tell somebody at the DoD that the Commander in Chief wanted to keep dedicated ground support aircraft like the A-10, I would think they'd be inclined to listen.
 
2013-08-20 10:48:29 AM  
img18.imageshack.us

Sexist thing in the air
 
2013-08-20 10:50:23 AM  
i think its a pretty big mistake to put the F-35 into the warthog roll...  The warthog is specially suited to its task and can take a lot of damage and keep on going...  I don't think the F-35, with all its technological marvels, is nearly as damage resistant...
 
2013-08-20 10:51:49 AM  

Deep Contact: Giving them to local police.


Thread over.
 
2013-08-20 10:52:03 AM  

fluffy2097: Take away an A-10's mavericks and rockets, make it a guns on guns fight.

DCS:World has both the A-10 and the P-51d as flyable aircraft. The P-51's spank the A-10's every single time with competent pilots. Of course, the A-10 will rip a p-51 in half with it's gun and you have to plink at the A-10 forever with the P-51's 50 cals, but it's actually very easy to stay on an A-10's tail in a P-51.

The problem with this is that standard A-10 procedure would be to fire a sidewinder of maverick missile at the P-51 from standoff range. Poof.


That's a very nice video game summary, but not quite how it works in the real world.  The A-10s at Nellis have a very fierce reputation for mauling any pilots stupid enough to get low and slow with them.  The A-10 turns inside just about anything else with a jet engine.
 
2013-08-20 10:52:07 AM  

HotIgneous Intruder: The A-10 is the AK-47 of combat aviation.


I've never heard that comparison before, but I agree with it 100%.
 
2013-08-20 10:53:52 AM  

fluffy2097: ceebeecates4: With all these GEDs in military procurement and logistics management, we can keep the Thunderbolt II flying for 30 years!

Most airliners I've ever flown in have been older then me. I see no problem.


They don't expect to be retiring the B-52 fleet, built in the 50's, until 2040 or so- industrial machinery can last quite a while if maintained well. Most commercial aircraft could last just as long, it just stops being economical to fly them when there are more fuel efficient models out there. Of course, you still see the DC-9 flying around because it's easy and cheap to maintain, which makes up for the increase fuel costs.
 
2013-08-20 10:53:54 AM  
Click Click D'oh The A-10s at Nellis have a very fierce reputation for mauling any pilots stupid enough to get low and slow with them.  The A-10 turns inside just about anything else with a jet engine.

The P-51 mustang doesn't have a jet engine.
 
2013-08-20 10:54:42 AM  
ceebeecates4:  Maintaining an obsolete aircraft that has the RCS of a barn and the thermal signature of the sun worked really well for the Iranians, and that's why their F-14 fleet is the best in the world!  After all, we're still facing the dangers of columns of soviet T-72s about to push through the Fulda gap, and MANPADS are far too expensive for any potential enemy to afford.

You know, the A-10 has survived quite well in a couple wars with a high threat environment from MANPADS and AAA... And if you knew anything about the plane, you would know that it's design masks it's IR signature from the ground.
 
2013-08-20 10:55:14 AM  

Egoy3k: I must be missing something here the A-10 is a extremely effective aircraft and has proven it's worth about a thousand times over. The only possible drawback is the main gun is goddamned expensive to operate.  The thing is the only thing an F-35 can use in place of the A-10's main gun are JDAMs and JSOWs which cost a fortune. Each.


True, In Afghanistan, outside the cities all houses are built like fortresses with thick rammed earth walls.  The locals have been at war with each other since before Alexander the Great came through the area. The A-10's 30mm is the only gun that reliably can punch through these walls.  So the F-16 must use a JDAM, or Paveway (JSOWs are usually only used against heavily anti-air defended targets).  It also takes a HELL of a lot more money to support a F-16 in theater than an A-10. The A-10 just needs gas and ammo.  (I'm not even going to talk about the F-35 as it is still just vaporware)

Click Click D'oh: The sad thing is, the A-10s days are truly numbered. Yes, they replaced all the inner gizmos and upgraded the whole fleet to A-10C status, but wing cracks from low altitude high G flying are not going away.. and there's only so many A-10 wings out there. It will have to be replaced eventually.


As for it's age.  It isn't much older than the F-16 and is a lot easier to repair (my brother works on the F-16).  A few years ago, I was talking to an A-10 flight line mechanic and was told that they can replace every part of the A-10... Including the wing spar.  The TF34 engines are the same used by most small airlines, CF-34.  So parts are available and now days they have better versions that get better gas mileage.  A while back they were having problems getting replacement gun parts but that problem seems to have been solved.  When it is all said and done the DM bone yard monkeys can keep the A-10 flying as long as they can still buy 6061-T6 aluminum, pop rivets and bubble gum.
 
2013-08-20 10:56:07 AM  

Deep Contact: Giving them to local police.


This. Seems like the government's really into demilitarizing the military, and over-militarizing the police. It's almost as if it's threatened most by the very people it's supposed to be serving. Very indicative of its motivations.

I forget who said it, but Republics don't have anything to fear from their own citizens. Dictatorships do.
 
2013-08-20 10:56:09 AM  
T-Servo:

I think Boeing should push for the next CAS aircraft to be a retrofitted 747 with a 100mm gatling gun in its nose.

Will you take an AC-130 gunship with a 105 mm howitzer and several other Gatling guns stuck out the side?  This plane is a close second to the Warthog in sheer F.U.ness.

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2013-08-20 10:56:13 AM  

fluffy2097: The P-51 mustang doesn't have a jet engine.


Then I suggest you buy some for the airforce, because you might have accidentally found the best CAS bird and dogfighter ever.    Go back to your videogame.
 
2013-08-20 10:57:42 AM  
ts3.mm.bing.net

I see the resemblance.
 
2013-08-20 10:57:42 AM  

ArkPanda: I'm not an Army guy, but isn't that what helicopters are supposed to be doing now? Or is the role not quite the same?


I'm not an army guy, but a helicopter is delicate flower. An A-10 is built to carry a lot of fark you while being able to take a lot of damage. I think infantry likes them because they do a good job of rat farking whoever is giving you grief.
 
2013-08-20 10:57:48 AM  

Just_a_Bear: Love the design concept for the A-10.  "Here, take this huge gun and wrap an airplane around it.  Ktksbye."


A while back, some guy was building a roughly 55% scale flying version of the A-10, using two ducted fans instead of jet engines.  Don't think he ever finished it, but it would be an interesting airplane to fly around in.

You could, of course, build a predecessor of the A-10 if you were so inclined, it's WWII namesake, the P-47 Thunderbolt, but if you were going to do that, you'd probably get more pilot cred flying a scale Spitfire or Mustang.
 
2013-08-20 10:58:05 AM  
Here's a thought, you knuckle dragging farkwits in DC....

GIVE THEM BACK TO THE FARKING AIR GUARDS.

/good friend was an A-10 pilot for the CT AG
//THIS IS WHERE WE'D PUT OUR A-10S.... IF WE HAD ANY.i.imgur.com
/I have a lot of great stories, but I'm still bitter about them taking the screamin' hogs away.
 
2013-08-20 10:58:19 AM  
Are people really biatching that the A-10 is 30 years old throw it away? Do people not know how old the B-52 is?
 
2013-08-20 10:58:33 AM  

Warthog: Also:

THIS:

[upload.wikimedia.org image 800x525]

With two engines, 13 hard points carrying almost every weapon in the Air Force arsenal, and a 7 barrel Vulcan cannon spewing 1,174 rounds of depleted uranium, beats this:

[upload.wikimedia.org image 763x599]

with one engine, only six hard points which can can carry a more limited number of air to ground weapons, and a wimpy internal four barrel gun with only 180 rounds (or the wimpy external gun pod with about 300 rounds shown).


That...is one ugly assed F-35.  Nothing will ever top the Warthog, nothing.  And yes, it is, in fact, the AK of combat aviation.  It's the very best there is. When you absolutely, positively, got to kill every motherfarker in the target zone; accept no substitutes.
 
2013-08-20 10:58:37 AM  

MonoChango: As for it's age. It isn't much older than the F-16 and is a lot easier to repair (my brother works on the F-16).


Well yes, but the F-16s in service now aren't the original F-16s, and there are new ones being built every day.  An A-10 hasn't been built in a long time, and the ones in service aren't getting any younger.
 
2013-08-20 10:58:45 AM  

belhade: It's a flying tank. that flies. HOW CAN YOU RETIRE THAT??


There really is no better plane for CAS (though you could argue that helicopters can do the job).

Seriously, the A-10 is built around a ridiculous gun that can cut through tanks like butter....and has a great record for survivability.  I highly doubt that the F-35 or any other plan could survive as well as the A-10.
www.ww2aircraft.net
simhq.com
blogs.defensenews.com
 
2013-08-20 11:00:05 AM  

Kentucky Fried Children: Just wanted to agree with the majority opinion here that retiring the A-10 for the boondoggle F-35 is sheer lunacy (and a nice money grab for Lockheed) - but I also wanted to point out some serious derp dribbling from that "article"

"Davis Monthan Air Force Base became an economic stalwart for the community of Tucson ever since a progressive congressman called for a boycott of his own state in protest of the state's immigration laws. Tucson, now the sixth poorest metropolitan area in the country, has come to rely on the A-10 as desperately as the warriors on the ground. The base has come under attack by progressives who prefer the very low skill, low paying tourism jobs that Grijalva's boycott wiped out."

lol, wut?  Where is the initial reference to Grijalva?  What the hell does this have to do with federal funding of a military base?

/Arizona newspapers appear to be the equivalent of some poor-mans Breibart blog


That part got me too... as a liberal progressive who supports the A-10 remaining in the fleet, I was confused by the injection of politics into what should be a tactical/strategy discussion... then I was even more confused that the "conservative" guy is attacking "progressives" for NOT using big government to prop up the Tucson economy.
 
2013-08-20 11:00:49 AM  
CSB:

There's a particular sandbar I used to camp all the time that was close to a National Guard base.

I'd usually be woken up on Saturday mornings by A-10s screaming overhead at treetop level, practicing attack runs.

It always made camping there a totally awesome experience. Good times, good times.

/CSB
 
2013-08-20 11:01:32 AM  
The one time I saw an A-10 fly was north of Annapolis near the bay bridge. I was there for an event and I hear this jet flying from the south. I have seen plenty of fighters since Patuxent navel air sation is down south. But I got a great view of the A-10, it was flying low and slow made some tight turns. It was amazing to watch. Did get to see a harrier and an osprey land at the pentagon years later, but I was still more impressed with the A-10
 
2013-08-20 11:03:20 AM  

Click Click D'oh: ceebeecates4:  Maintaining an obsolete aircraft that has the RCS of a barn and the thermal signature of the sun worked really well for the Iranians, and that's why their F-14 fleet is the best in the world!  After all, we're still facing the dangers of columns of soviet T-72s about to push through the Fulda gap, and MANPADS are far too expensive for any potential enemy to afford.

You know, the A-10 has survived quite well in a couple wars with a high threat environment from MANPADS and AAA... And if you knew anything about the plane, you would know that it's design masks it's IR signature from the ground.


Only after vigorous suppression of enemy air defenses sorties from actually useful planes (F-16s et al).  The whole advantage of using a low observable plane is that you don't have to have such a huge support network to get a job done.  Additionally,  The A-10 is not theB-52.  The B-52 is highly unusual with its longevity; its not hard to simply a be a flying truck with 8 jet engines and a payload of 60,000lbs.  Everyone sees these videos of a-10s letting their big gun roar and b-52 dropping (or launching) a shiateton of ordinance.  Few people see (orappreciate) the actual work that is required when deploying indefensible aircraft.
 
2013-08-20 11:03:42 AM  

LemSkroob: Because there is a Congressmen somewhere who has a factory in his district and there is an election coming up.


Elections? Bah...

- F-35 Caucus Member Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX) owns between $350,000 and $750,000 in stock in the parent company of Pratt & Whitney.
- F-35 Caucus Member Congressman Kenny Marchant (R-TX) over $11,000 in stock with Northrop Grumman, over $5,000 in stock with Lockheed Martin, and over $5,000 in stock with the parent company of Pratt & Whitney.
- F-35 Caucus Member Congressman Richard Hanna (R-NY) owns up to $50,000 in stock with Lockheed Martin, and up to $15,000 in stock with the parent company of Pratt & Whitney.
- Congressman Norm Dicks (D-WA), whose campaign committee is a top recipient of F-35 contractor cash, is helping to lead the F-35 Caucus along with Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX).
 
2013-08-20 11:04:38 AM  
This guy flew one

media.scout.com

Because he got to big to fly a fighter.
 
2013-08-20 11:06:00 AM  

fluffy2097: antidisestablishmentarianism: Retiring the bestest plane evar? What will replace it?

Nothing. Nothing can. The F35 is lightly armored, has low weapons load and is designed for combat at stand off ranges, and it's gun has a pidddling 1200 rounds.

During desert storm A-10's expended all their ordinance during missions. That's like 6 laser guided bombs, 4 2000 pound dumb bombs, and 3 maverick missiles. (in addition to being able to carry rockets, and cluster bombs).  And like 20,000 rounds of GAU-8 ammo. oh, and titanium armor for the pilot and critical systems.

The A-10 also has triple redundant flight system. dual hydraulic  systems, and cable controls.

The warthog brings home pilots in situations where there is really no logical reason why it would be capable of flying. A female A-10 pilot got hit over Iraq, lost almost all flight control and then proceeded to write the book on flying a wounded A-10 on differential thrust alone. She landed back at base safely.


they must have figured a way to leave her brass ovaries at the bar for safe keeping. no way the plane could get in the air with them and a full load of ordnance.
 
2013-08-20 11:06:06 AM  
<blockquote>One woman posted, "My husband saved a few of our men while flying this plane.....KEEP OUR A-10!" Another wrote, "have not heard of anything we have in the air that can support our ground troops the way an A-10 Hog can. We are ran now by Dumb and DUMBER!" </blockquote>

oh dearie...
 
2013-08-20 11:07:06 AM  
clkeagle:  why not scrap the F-35 contracts, buy twice as many new F-16s and A-10s,

Man Power.
Twice as many F-16's means twice as many pilots.  Each officer in the military cost millions of dollars over their life, between: pay, housing, training, retirement, lifetime medical care.  Drones are great because they can use an enlisted kid that is trained for a few months and is out after a few years without incurring too much retirement costs.  But sometimes they need a aircraft on the scene with a smart dude behind the stick.  They would rather have as few of them as possible.  If they can also line Lockheed's pockets while they do this, this just secures their consulting job after they leave the Pentagon.
 
2013-08-20 11:08:25 AM  

Kentucky Fried Children: Just wanted to agree with the majority opinion here that retiring the A-10 for the boondoggle F-35 is sheer lunacy (and a nice money grab for Lockheed) - but I also wanted to point out some serious derp dribbling from that "article"

"Davis Monthan Air Force Base became an economic stalwart for the community of Tucson ever since a progressive congressman called for a boycott of his own state in protest of the state's immigration laws. Tucson, now the sixth poorest metropolitan area in the country, has come to rely on the A-10 as desperately as the warriors on the ground. The base has come under attack by progressives who prefer the very low skill, low paying tourism jobs that Grijalva's boycott wiped out."

lol, wut?  Where is the initial reference to Grijalva?  What the hell does this have to do with federal funding of a military base?

/Arizona newspapers appear to be the equivalent of some poor-mans Breibart blog


I saw that too... Had to check the url again. Yokels.
 
2013-08-20 11:10:01 AM  

Marcus Aurelius: T-Servo: antidisestablishmentarianism: Retiring the bestest plane evar? What will replace it?

Lockheed Martin has assured me that the F-35 will be able to handle all responsibilities of the A-10, and will do it with an invisibility cloak and loiter time of 20+ hours.

Compared to the A-10, the F-35 could get knocked out of a battlefield with a dirty look.


That is a bit unfair. You can't knock something out that can't get off the runway.
 
2013-08-20 11:10:42 AM  

Click Click D'oh: fluffy2097: The P-51 mustang doesn't have a jet engine.

Then I suggest you buy some for the airforce, because you might have accidentally found the best CAS bird and dogfighter ever.    Go back to your videogame.


I'm not sure why people are now comparing a WWII aircraft with the A-10 in air-air combat to begin with. You may as well point out the F-35 would wipe the floor with A-10s in air-air.
 
2013-08-20 11:13:18 AM  

duffblue: A10 is the coolest plane ever. That is all.


Hrm. Coolest modern attack plane? Yes.

Coolest plane ever?

iliketowastemytime.com
Here it is. Looking at you.
 
2013-08-20 11:14:16 AM  
May the ghost of John Boyd haunt them for the rest of their days.
 
2013-08-20 11:16:03 AM  

ceebeecates4: Click Click D'oh: ceebeecates4:  Maintaining an obsolete aircraft that has the RCS of a barn and the thermal signature of the sun worked really well for the Iranians, and that's why their F-14 fleet is the best in the world!  After all, we're still facing the dangers of columns of soviet T-72s about to push through the Fulda gap, and MANPADS are far too expensive for any potential enemy to afford.

You know, the A-10 has survived quite well in a couple wars with a high threat environment from MANPADS and AAA... And if you knew anything about the plane, you would know that it's design masks it's IR signature from the ground.

Only after vigorous suppression of enemy air defenses sorties from actually useful planes (F-16s et al).  The whole advantage of using a low observable plane is that you don't have to have such a huge support network to get a job done.  Additionally,  The A-10 is not theB-52.  The B-52 is highly unusual with its longevity; its not hard to simply a be a flying truck with 8 jet engines and a payload of 60,000lbs.  Everyone sees these videos of a-10s letting their big gun roar and b-52 dropping (or launching) a shiateton of ordinance.  Few people see (orappreciate) the actual work that is required when deploying indefensible aircraft.


The F-35 is not low observable if you hang a bunch of ordnance under the wings -- see the picture I posted up thread in its supposed CAS configuration.  If you configure it for low observability, you have exactly two internal hard points that can carry air to ground weapons, and two more for air to air.  At that point you may as well send in a drone -- it can't meaningfully loiter and engage multiple targets.  Saying the F-35 can do what the A-10 does AND do it in a low observable profile is simply a lie.
 
2013-08-20 11:16:49 AM  
The Air Force wants out of the flying business, completely.
It's run by bean counters that prefer to spend money on base beautification projects and such so they can win awards,
thereby getting promoted into senior, decision making slots.
It really is a disgrace to wear the uniform nowadays.
 
2013-08-20 11:17:13 AM  
I suspect, and I'm just speculating here, that the main advantage the F-35 has over the A-10 is the greater number of Congressional districts involved in its construction.
 
2013-08-20 11:19:16 AM  

Click Click D'oh: (f-16) new ones being built every day.


No they aren't...  well Lockheed did make a few block 60's a few years ago but I understand those all went to the UAE.  Oh and I think the Koreans are making a variant... but I'm not sure if that counts. The ones my brother works on were manufactured in the mid 80's.

The point is that the A-10 can be rebuilt or replaced part by part without any special jigs or manufacturing exotic materials.  A dozen dudes with a fairly nice machine shop can keep the old air frame flight worthy indefinitely.
 
2013-08-20 11:19:46 AM  
F-35 development:

lh6.googleusercontent.com
 
2013-08-20 11:20:06 AM  

AugieDoggyDaddy: The problem with the A-10 is it's kinda like using a sledge hammer to smash things.

The F-35 is better suited because it's like using some kind of complex advanced technolicical thingy that doesn't work because it'd too valuable to use to smash things.


In war, sometime some things need to smashed.

It's called the farking Tank Killer. How do you put something like that out to pasture? It'd be like taking
a Triple Crown winning horse and relegating it to taking tourists on carriage rides around Central Park.
 
2013-08-20 11:20:14 AM  

Click Click D'oh: fluffy2097: The P-51 mustang doesn't have a jet engine.

Then I suggest you buy some for the airforce, because you might have accidentally found the best CAS bird and dogfighter ever.    Go back to your videogame.


He never said they should buy the P-51 for anything, I believe it was merely an academic argument (related to someone wanting to buy a surplus Warthog and put Mustang pilots to shame).

For that matter he's right, the Mustang would cream the Warthog in a dogfight. Same level speed, lower wing loading, lower stall speed. Probably a better roll rate. It would take a lot of rounds to bring an A-10 down, but it's only a matter of time really.
 
2013-08-20 11:20:45 AM  

Shryke: duffblue: A10 is the coolest plane ever. That is all.
Hrm. Coolest modern attack plane? Yes.
Coolest plane ever?
[iliketowastemytime.com image 850x637]
Here it is. Looking at you.


No that is a HOT plane.  Literally.
 
2013-08-20 11:21:21 AM  
Several people upthread have already said this, but it bears repeating.  The A-10 just isn't "sexy" by flyboy standards.  It is low, slow, and serves only to support another service.  Frankly, I suspect that if the fighter and bomber boys had their wet dreams come true, the only aircraft in service would soon be the F-22, F-35, B-2, and maybe the F-15 and F-16.  Transport/ Cargo airframes, bomb trucks, and CAS just aren't "glamorous"enough.

It is kind of a shameful mindset, since the A-10 is a great airframe and a great design for a really useful mission.  The Army would probably love to operate something similar, but there are agreements that prevent them from operating most fixed wing aircraft (established to give the air force "turf" when it was established right after WWII).

/saw one unload the gun at a target APC at an airshow once..
//love that damn plane
 
2013-08-20 11:23:05 AM  

BlackCat23: Here's a thought, you knuckle dragging farkwits in DC....

GIVE THEM BACK TO THE FARKING AIR GUARDS.

/good friend was an A-10 pilot for the CT AG
//THIS IS WHERE WE'D PUT OUR A-10S.... IF WE HAD ANY.[i.imgur.com image 640x446]
/I have a lot of great stories, but I'm still bitter about them taking the screamin' hogs away.


Amen, I was in the Iowa Air National Guard during the roll over to F-16s. We just about cried.

/ Not for long though. I hurt my foot and got a honorable medical. In less then a year.
// But more then 6 months!
 
2013-08-20 11:24:51 AM  

LedZeppelinRule: Click Click D'oh: fluffy2097: The P-51 mustang doesn't have a jet engine.

Then I suggest you buy some for the airforce, because you might have accidentally found the best CAS bird and dogfighter ever.    Go back to your videogame.

He never said they should buy the P-51 for anything, I believe it was merely an academic argument (related to someone wanting to buy a surplus Warthog and put Mustang pilots to shame).

For that matter he's right, the Mustang would cream the Warthog in a dogfight. Same level speed, lower wing loading, lower stall speed. Probably a better roll rate. It would take a lot of rounds to bring an A-10 down, but it's only a matter of time really.


You're comparing apples to oranges. The P-51 primary use is as a fighter plane. The A-10, though a multi-purpose combat aircraft,
was designed primarily to take out tanks and armored installations on the ground.
 
2013-08-20 11:25:34 AM  
I served and of the opinion that this can be the best, cheapest tool to go into low tech areas like Iraq & Afghanistan for the boots on the ground.

/still remembers the 'burp & shaaiting my pants!
 
2013-08-20 11:25:39 AM  
There's a wing of A-10s stationed at Barksdale, and sometimes they use Chennault Field for what I'm assuming are touch-and-go practice or the like. My house is under the glide path for Chennault. It's pretty cool to see the Warthogs dropping down.

/ we see a lot of other stuff too. B52, the odd F16, there were a few Eagles around several years back, and I saw what I THINK might have been a T38 Talon the other day.
// USAF doesn't want the gopher-zapper role but doesn't want the Army flying fixed wing goodies. Pfeh.
 
2013-08-20 11:26:11 AM  

vygramul: In other news, the Air Force doesn't like the CAS mission and would just as soon not have it at all.


the chair force has never liked close ground support, they might get dirt on their shoes
 
2013-08-20 11:28:17 AM  

xxmedium: No Time To Explain: //unless those and more improvements have been done over the years?

They have. Several times. Avionics mostly but they are old enough that structural components are starting to need replacing - pesky things that are seldom used... like wings, for example.


What I came to say.  I love that plane, it's a perfect example of form following function.  They started with a gun and an armored cockpit and built the rest around it.  But the airframes are suffering from major fatigue and even though they have been reinforced the wings are literally ready to fall off some of them.  Over the next few years they need to be replaced, the question is what they are replaced with.  The A-10 was designed as a single purpose tank killer to stop a Soviet invasion of Western Europe.  The military doesn't see a major use for a tank killer in currently projected conflicts.

It's sad to see them go and the F-35 is no replacement for low altitude low speed air support but one way or another they will be replaced.
 
2013-08-20 11:29:06 AM  

SheltemDragon: BlackCat23: Here's a thought, you knuckle dragging farkwits in DC....

GIVE THEM BACK TO THE FARKING AIR GUARDS.

/good friend was an A-10 pilot for the CT AG
//THIS IS WHERE WE'D PUT OUR A-10S.... IF WE HAD ANY.[i.imgur.com image 640x446]
/I have a lot of great stories, but I'm still bitter about them taking the screamin' hogs away.

Amen, I was in the Iowa Air National Guard during the roll over to F-16s. We just about cried.

/ Not for long though. I hurt my foot and got a honorable medical. In less then a year.
// But more then 6 months!


Hey, at least you kept some sort of "attack" aircraft, originally, CT was supposed to go F-16, as well, but they turned our AG into little more than a diplomatic limo service  instead :\

/Never understood why they changed us to an "airlift" squad
//Westover is farking 15 miles away.
///I miss hearing them do MoE training. It was fun to wave to them when they flew next to the highway.
//or over the house
/very... very low.... doing loops. Showoffs.
 
2013-08-20 11:30:05 AM  
As someone who used to play Soldier in a previous life, the A-10 is one of 2 aircraft that always gave me a warm fuzzy when it was overhead.

Give me a Warthog over me if I was in open terrain, and an AH-64 Apache if I was in the city, and I'd be a happy camper.
 
2013-08-20 11:31:37 AM  

Maul555: i think its a pretty big mistake to put the F-35 into the warthog roll...  The warthog is specially suited to its task and can take a lot of damage and keep on going...  I don't think the F-35, with all its technological marvels, is nearly as damage resistant...


Warthog roll?

Is that like a Cleveland Steamer?
 
2013-08-20 11:32:01 AM  
The A-10 has always been my favorite, next to the B-17. Even during the Top Gun era in the
80s, when I would wear out our VHS tape of the movie rewinding it to the aerial combat scenes
(and Tom Cruise's farkfest with Kelly McGillis), I still loved the A-10.

My kids have love for the big lugs, too.
 
2013-08-20 11:34:20 AM  
CSB: i was hunting in southeastern arizona once, middle of nowhere (deer in the high desert), I'll venture to guess about anywhere from 50-100mi away from Tucson.  We were hiking a ridge and heard a low hum in the distance, getting slowly louder.

a squadron or whatever of 5-6 Warthogs in formation broke over us, maybe 500 yards (if that) away.  it wsa farking awesome.  we were waving and shiat but i don't think they saw us.
 
2013-08-20 11:34:39 AM  

Truther: Maul555: i think its a pretty big mistake to put the F-35 into the warthog roll...  The warthog is specially suited to its task and can take a lot of damage and keep on going...  I don't think the F-35, with all its technological marvels, is nearly as damage resistant...

Warthog roll?

Is that like a Cleveland Steamer?


With more depleted uranium, yes.
 
2013-08-20 11:36:09 AM  

HotIgneous Intruder: The A-10 is the AK-47 of combat aviation.


That's a damned good analogy, and I am going to steal it.
 
2013-08-20 11:36:17 AM  

Intrepid00: Are people really biatching that the A-10 is 30 years old throw it away? Do people not know how old the B-52 is?


Apples and oranges.  The B-52 doesn't fatigue its airframe with 8 G turns in "normal" operations.
 
2013-08-20 11:36:26 AM  

Warthog: HotIgneous Intruder: The A-10 is the AK-47 of combat aviation.

I've never heard that comparison before, but I agree with it 100%.


Disagree. Mig -21.

Freaking everywhere, simple, and tough as nails. But kind of crap in ways.

A-10 is more like Ma Deuce.
 
2013-08-20 11:36:59 AM  

digitalrain: LedZeppelinRule: Click Click D'oh: fluffy2097: The P-51 mustang doesn't have a jet engine.

Then I suggest you buy some for the airforce, because you might have accidentally found the best CAS bird and dogfighter ever.    Go back to your videogame.

He never said they should buy the P-51 for anything, I believe it was merely an academic argument (related to someone wanting to buy a surplus Warthog and put Mustang pilots to shame).

For that matter he's right, the Mustang would cream the Warthog in a dogfight. Same level speed, lower wing loading, lower stall speed. Probably a better roll rate. It would take a lot of rounds to bring an A-10 down, but it's only a matter of time really.

You're comparing apples to oranges. The P-51 primary use is as a fighter plane. The A-10, though a multi-purpose combat aircraft,
was designed primarily to take out tanks and armored installations on the ground.


Not to make things more complex but Did you know that during the original Sandy replacement competition (won by the A-10) they had a p-51 with a turbo prop.  http://www.crazyhorseap.be/Mustangs/History/CavalierEnforcer/Cavalier E nforcer_02.htm
 
2013-08-20 11:37:53 AM  

rickythepenguin: CSB: i was hunting in southeastern arizona once, middle of nowhere (deer in the high desert), I'll venture to guess about anywhere from 50-100mi away from Tucson.  We were hiking a ridge and heard a low hum in the distance, getting slowly louder.

a squadron or whatever of 5-6 Warthogs in formation broke over us, maybe 500 yards (if that) away.  it wsa farking awesome.  we were waving and shiat but i don't think they saw us.


Believe me. They saw you. And the timing of their break was probably to mess with you. Because they're like that.

/There's a highway here in CT, Rt8, that for much of it's travel is raised along the hillsides. Between 200-500' above the valley floors.
//More than once, we've seen them flying maybe 50' over, enough that you could wave, and they'd wave back
///MoE training was fun for everyone!
 
2013-08-20 11:40:05 AM  

BlackCat23: SheltemDragon: BlackCat23: Here's a thought, you knuckle dragging farkwits in DC....

GIVE THEM BACK TO THE FARKING AIR GUARDS.

/good friend was an A-10 pilot for the CT AG
//THIS IS WHERE WE'D PUT OUR A-10S.... IF WE HAD ANY.[i.imgur.com image 640x446]
/I have a lot of great stories, but I'm still bitter about them taking the screamin' hogs away.

Amen, I was in the Iowa Air National Guard during the roll over to F-16s. We just about cried.

/ Not for long though. I hurt my foot and got a honorable medical. In less then a year.
// But more then 6 months!

Hey, at least you kept some sort of "attack" aircraft, originally, CT was supposed to go F-16, as well, but they turned our AG into little more than a diplomatic limo service  instead :\

/Never understood why they changed us to an "airlift" squad
//Westover is farking 15 miles away.
///I miss hearing them do MoE training. It was fun to wave to them when they flew next to the highway.
//or over the house
/very... very low.... doing loops. Showoffs.


I used to remeber them doing low runs over my house. I loved it, but it scared the hell out of my mom. My appreciation grew for them when I had them at my back in Iraq. Retiring these would be one of the worst mistakes they could make.
 
2013-08-20 11:40:21 AM  

fluffy2097: That's like 6 laser guided bombs, 4 2000 pound dumb bombs, and 3 maverick missiles. (in addition to being able to carry rockets, and cluster bombs).  And like 20,000 rounds of GAU-8 ammo. oh, and titanium armor for the pilot and critical systems.

The A-10 also has triple redundant flight system. dual hydraulic  systems, and cable controls.

The warthog brings home pilots in situations where there is really no logical reason why it would be capable of flying. A female A-10 pilot got hit over Iraq, lost almost all flight control and then proceeded to write the book on flying a wounded A-10 on differential thrust alone. She landed back at base safely.


Excellent speech.
 
2013-08-20 11:41:49 AM  

LedZeppelinRule: For that matter he's right, the Mustang would cream the Warthog in a dogfight. Same level speed, lower wing loading, lower stall speed. Probably a better roll rate. It would take a lot of rounds to bring an A-10 down, but it's only a matter of time really.


The A-10 has an enormously better climb rate and a higher flight ceiling.  Running a ground attack aircraft up into the stratosphere would be a pretty weird thing to do normally, but it would let it dictate the engagement with the Mustang.  Also, it can take a lot of .50 cal rounds while it only needs to get a couple hits in before the game's over.
 
2013-08-20 11:43:46 AM  

HotIgneous Intruder: ceebeecates4: With all these GEDs in military procurement and logistics management, we can keep the Thunderbolt II flying for 30 years!  After all, all one has to do is waltz down to Fairchild Republic and pick up a few spare parts!  Maintaining an obsolete aircraft that has the RCS of a barn and the thermal signature of the sun worked really well for the Iranians, and that's why their F-14 fleet is the best in the world!  After all, we're still facing the dangers of columns of soviet T-72s about to push through the Fulda gap, and MANPADS are far too expensive for any potential enemy to afford.

/Nostalgia has no place in weapon systems.

Want to know how I know you're a know-nothing idiot posting from your mom's basement?


As much as I liked the F14 Tomcat and it's abilities I do believe, correct me if I am wrong, I recall it having a 10 hour maintenance to 1 hour flight time ratio. Ugh. For every hour IN the air it requires TEN hours of maintenance. It was an amazing platform but the absurdly high maintenance costs doomed it for us in the late 90's.

I believe someone has no clue as to how much it takes to maintain a fleet of F14's. No surprise there.
 
2013-08-20 11:45:03 AM  

you have pee hands: LedZeppelinRule: For that matter he's right, the Mustang would cream the Warthog in a dogfight. Same level speed, lower wing loading, lower stall speed. Probably a better roll rate. It would take a lot of rounds to bring an A-10 down, but it's only a matter of time really.

The A-10 has an enormously better climb rate and a higher flight ceiling.  Running a ground attack aircraft up into the stratosphere would be a pretty weird thing to do normally, but it would let it dictate the engagement with the Mustang.  Also, it can take a lot of .50 cal rounds while it only needs to get a couple hits in before the game's over.


You do know that the A-10 now carries Sidewinders?  In a theoretical  P-51 vs A-10 fight to the death... the P-51 would die quickly.
 
2013-08-20 11:45:21 AM  

I'm an Egyptian!: BlackCat23: SheltemDragon: BlackCat23: Here's a thought, you knuckle dragging farkwits in DC....

GIVE THEM BACK TO THE FARKING AIR GUARDS.

/good friend was an A-10 pilot for the CT AG
//THIS IS WHERE WE'D PUT OUR A-10S.... IF WE HAD ANY.[i.imgur.com image 640x446]
/I have a lot of great stories, but I'm still bitter about them taking the screamin' hogs away.

Amen, I was in the Iowa Air National Guard during the roll over to F-16s. We just about cried.

/ Not for long though. I hurt my foot and got a honorable medical. In less then a year.
// But more then 6 months!

Hey, at least you kept some sort of "attack" aircraft, originally, CT was supposed to go F-16, as well, but they turned our AG into little more than a diplomatic limo service  instead :\

/Never understood why they changed us to an "airlift" squad
//Westover is farking 15 miles away.
///I miss hearing them do MoE training. It was fun to wave to them when they flew next to the highway.
//or over the house
/very... very low.... doing loops. Showoffs.

I used to remeber them doing low runs over my house. I loved it, but it scared the hell out of my mom. My appreciation grew for them when I had them at my back in Iraq. Retiring these would be one of the worst mistakes they could make.


We used to joke about the insane amount of leeway the governor gave them in the name of "training". They also used to do parade/sports flyovers, where they got a chance to show off their loops, rolls, etc. Good times.They never got in trouble for any of the stunts they pulled, and eventually earned a reputation as being a bit of a show-off squad.

That said, I have a lot of friends that did time in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they mirror your sentiment. While it's my own fascination with the aircraft that makes me greedy and want it back in the state, the value of it to those on the ground is incalculable in the real world, yet the beancounters seem to think it's oddly about the same as the value of a few F35s, even when the rest of the world(troops, pilots, etc)disagree with that vehemently.
 
2013-08-20 11:46:55 AM  

NutWrench: slayer199: vygramul: In other news, the Air Force doesn't like the CAS mission and would just as soon not have it at all.

I'm sure the Army would be happy to take them off their hands if the USAF doesn't want them anymore.  The Army loves the Warthogs.

Seriously. Bring back the Army Air Corps and let them design and fly their own CAS planes.


We split it up so they wouldn't be pissing on each other's turf, generating unneeded duplication. This was more of a problem when they were just splitting the AF off the Army. The CAS mission is also why Helos are Army.

The valid reason being, if the Army had it's way, the Air Force would've been less a branch of service than the Marines.

While it is a great plane, it does need a replacement to deal with new threats. How many terrorists do you see with armies of tanks rolling across a battlefield?
 
2013-08-20 11:47:34 AM  

fluffy2097: The warthog brings home pilots in situations where there is really no logical reason why it would be capable of flying. A female A-10 pilot got hit over Iraq, lost almost all flight control and then proceeded to write the book on flying a wounded A-10 on differential thrust alone. She landed back at base safely.


Close, she put it into manual and used differential thrust in addition to the manual control entry

http://www.aircraftresourcecenter.com/Stories1/001-100/0016_A-10-bat tl e-damage/story0016.htm

Still a farking amazing story though, and she has brass ovaries because of it.
 
2013-08-20 11:47:38 AM  

BlackCat23: Believe me. They saw you. And the timing of their break was probably to mess with you. Because they're like that.


it was a long time ago but i remember it was broad daylight, like mid morning, and we were close enough that the sound was pretty farking loud.  well, not like marshall stack loud but, loud enough, that's how close we were.  cool shiat.

the other cool stroy i have is when i was in virginia, i remember seeing a stealth bomber coming, which was highly unusual.  we never really saw Air Force jets but yeah, he was coming in.  that night on the news, they were like, "a stealth bomber had to divert to Oceana NAS for a mechanical emergency, treating the Navy to one of the nation's most fearsome weapons...."

oh the other cool one, was i was driving home about, ehhhh, 15 or so miles away from SunDevil Stadium one sunday afternoon at about 2PM (hint), and I saw a little squadron of fighter jets, like F15s, F16s, who knows, Air Force, and they were zipping towards me at a good clip.  i realized they were in line to do a fly by of the Cardinal game that was about to kick off.  I don't know how fast they were going but i imagine they covered the 12-15mi in probably, i don't know, 30 seconds or so.  when i realized what they were about to do, i kicked over to the game and heard the announcers like, "wow, a flyby from the Air Force...."
 
2013-08-20 11:49:17 AM  

Shryke: duffblue: A10 is the coolest plane ever. That is all.

Hrm. Coolest modern attack plane? Yes.

Coolest plane ever?

[iliketowastemytime.com image 850x637]
Here it is. Looking at you.


FARKING THIS. NOTHING more badass. With NO weapons.
 
2013-08-20 11:49:38 AM  

clkeagle: dittybopper: xxmedium: Why the hell would you direct a petition at the Obama Administration when it's the Senate and the DoD procurement that are making these determinations?

Because the Democrats hold the Senate, and the president can lean on the senators of his party.  That doesn't guarantee anything, of course, but it does carry at least some weight.

BTW, I don't see the A-10 being replaced by the F-35, or any other manned aircraft for that matter.  Seems to me the most likely replacement would be a drone.  Cheaper in terms of material, fuel, and personnel costs, and you can make a relatively fast moving drone, especially if it's controlled from nearby.

For example, you could control several "fast mover" CAS drones in real time relatively locally with a stand-off aircraft manned by drone pilots.  A Boeing airliner refitted could cruise at 40,000 feet and it would have 'line of sight' communications to the drones out to nearly 300 miles.   Put the control aircraft far back from the action, and send the drones in.  Alternatively, if you have ground control pods, you can just put up a relay aircraft, and have the pilots nearly 600 miles away.  The relay aircraft, which can be a drone itself, retransmits the drone and control information back and forth.  Because the distance is much, much shorter than the path it would take to a geosynchronous satellite and back, you can make "fast mover" drones that can maneuver radically, in real time.

If the drones lose a lock on the signal, they would go into a "safe mode"  where they increase height and head back towards base,  until they either regain airborne lock, back-up satellite lock, or local control at the base.

The drone argument applies to pretty much every mission (except dogfighting against first-world aircraft). They're cheaper and safer than manned aircraft, and they can operate for a much longer period of time.

That's what bothers me most about the F-35 contract. The flyaway cost to the Air Force for the F-35A is about $150 million per aircraft. They are designed to replace the F-16 and A-10... which means it will also cost the Air Force/Reserve/Guard untold millions to retrain all the pilots, mechanics, and other support personnel... not to mention establishing a new logistics chain and repair/replacement distribution system.

However, we could buy brand-new F-16E or F-16V aircraft for about $25-$30 million each and brand-new A-10 aircraft for around $20 million each. We already know how to fly and fix them. So why not scrap the F-35 contracts, buy twice as many new F-16s and A-10s, a crapload of MQ-9 drones, and have enough change leftover to upgrade/replace some tankers and transports? How the hell does the F-35 make sense compared to that? Plus,I'm sure the USN and USMC can make the same argument for their F-35 variants.


I certainly agree that the F-35 isn't an appropriate replacement for the A-10. However, your numbers aren't right.

The F-35A has a LRIP flyaway cost that had just fallen below $100M. That number is projects (as of this year) to be in the $80-70M range when they hit full production and complete testing.

I actually can't find a flyaway cost(that I trust) for an F-16 Block 60. They are all over the place $110-50M. Another factor at play is the fact that most upgraded 4th Gen fighters don't come with much of the equipment that is standard on the F-35. Everyone looks at the fact that it is VLO and assume that is the primary cost driver. The F-35 has an APG-81 AESA radar, EOTS, DAS, and the multifunction data link all built in with the network infrastructure and software to make it manageable for the pilot. When you start bolting that onto an F-16 the cost becomes comparable.

By the way. The A-10C has a new wing. It should reset the clock slightly with the fatigue issue.
 
2013-08-20 11:50:16 AM  
The f35 program is a massive failure and needs to be shut down.
 
2013-08-20 11:54:28 AM  

MonoChango: You do know that the A-10 now carries Sidewinders? In a theoretical P-51 vs A-10 fight to the death... the P-51 would die quickly.


I think the original hypothetical said something like "guns only" because obviously the Sidewinder takes all the fun out of it.
 
2013-08-20 11:54:56 AM  

schnee: I remember driving between Phoenix and Tucson one sunny day, in my bright red Pontiac. Off in the distance, two specs flying and getting closer and closer. A couple of seconds later, two A-10s screamed nearly overhead.

Nothing like being target practice.

/cool plane
//I'm a confirmed kill


That's funny
 
2013-08-20 11:54:59 AM  

rickythepenguin: he other cool stroy i have is when i was in virginia, i remember seeing a stealth bomber coming, which was highly unusual.  we never really saw Air Force jets but yeah, he was coming in.  that night on the news, they were like, "a stealth bomber had to divert to Oceana NAS for a mechanical emergency, treating the Navy to one of the nation's most fearsome weapons...."


This happened once up here, as well. They were flying back from Eastern EU(Bosnia/Serbia conflict, iirc), and apparently had some engine trouble. We saw it flying low over my town, in an apparent attempt to burn off/dump fuel. I called my friend(A-10s were still here at the time, and he himself had just returned from that conflict), and was given some vague answers to my questions about what was going on. Basically giving me a lot of "maybe"'s. So we hopped in the car, and drove balls out to the airport. They had BDL completely blacked out, with only markers and night strobes lit. Terminals were dark, everything.

 Later, after it landed safely, and all had calmed down, he told me what was going on. They didn't know if the B2 would make it to Chicopee(Westover AFB), which had longer runways, and as such, they shut down BDL for an hour and a half "just in case". I never even got a really good look at the plane, only seeing it's vague black outline in the ink of night, but I knew damn well what it was. Fortunately, other than minor mechanical issues, and the incredibly paranoid measures taken(there was, in the end, no risk of the plane not getting to Chicopee. None. Zip. Nada.), everything turned out fine. It was farking eerie to see a main regional airport blacked out, with just the runway strobes going, though.
 
2013-08-20 11:56:35 AM  

Earguy: I once took part in an Army training exercise, I was a "wounded soldier", complete with cinema-makeup broken arm, and got to hang out on the ground waiting for the Rangers to come rescue me.  A10s circled overhead providing coverage.

What impressed me most was the machine guns.  The rounds fire off so fast they don't go bang-bang-bang, they go VVVVVVVVRRRBBBBT.


I've heard that ground units call the sound "freedom farts".

It's a badass bird. Big fan of the B1 too. And I the B2... I got to touch it once right after they unveiled it and flew it to DC for a dog and pony show for Congress Critters.
 
2013-08-20 11:57:34 AM  

Deep Contact: Giving them to local police.


I think I just shat myself.
 
2013-08-20 11:58:06 AM  

slayer199: belhade: It's a flying tank. that flies. HOW CAN YOU RETIRE THAT??

There really is no better plane for CAS (though you could argue that helicopters can do the job).

Seriously, the A-10 is built around a ridiculous gun that can cut through tanks like butter....and has a great record for survivability.  I highly doubt that the F-35 or any other plan could survive as well as the A-10.
[www.ww2aircraft.net image 400x300]
[simhq.com image 565x354]
[blogs.defensenews.com image 850x461]


Sort of the point. The A-10 is slow, easily spotted, and designed to take a pounding. The F-35 is fast, supposedly stealthy, and designed to avoid being hit. The thinking is the stealth and speed puts the F-35s survivability in the range of the A-10 while providing better electronic eyes in the sky. The reality is until tested in battle no one will ever know if the F-35 is as good, better, or worse then the A-10 in this role.

The biggest problem as others have pointed out is that it will take three or four F-35's to bring as much ordinance to the battlefield as one A-10.
 
2013-08-20 11:59:46 AM  

mizchief: clkeagle: dittybopper: xxmedium: Why the hell would you direct a petition at the Obama Administration when it's the Senate and the DoD procurement that are making these determinations?

Because the Democrats hold the Senate, and the president can lean on the senators of his party.  That doesn't guarantee anything, of course, but it does carry at least some weight.

BTW, I don't see the A-10 being replaced by the F-35, or any other manned aircraft for that matter.  Seems to me the most likely replacement would be a drone.  Cheaper in terms of material, fuel, and personnel costs, and you can make a relatively fast moving drone, especially if it's controlled from nearby.

For example, you could control several "fast mover" CAS drones in real time relatively locally with a stand-off aircraft manned by drone pilots.  A Boeing airliner refitted could cruise at 40,000 feet and it would have 'line of sight' communications to the drones out to nearly 300 miles.   Put the control aircraft far back from the action, and send the drones in.  Alternatively, if you have ground control pods, you can just put up a relay aircraft, and have the pilots nearly 600 miles away.  The relay aircraft, which can be a drone itself, retransmits the drone and control information back and forth.  Because the distance is much, much shorter than the path it would take to a geosynchronous satellite and back, you can make "fast mover" drones that can maneuver radically, in real time.

If the drones lose a lock on the signal, they would go into a "safe mode"  where they increase height and head back towards base,  until they either regain airborne lock, back-up satellite lock, or local control at the base.

The drone argument applies to pretty much every mission (except dogfighting against first-world aircraft). They're cheaper and safer than manned aircraft, and they can operate for a much longer period of time.

That's what bothers me most about the F-35 contract. The flyaway cost to the Air Force for the F-3 ...

The only thing the F-35 had going for it was to have a utility stealth aircraft, but who gives a shiat about stealth with you can use unmanned aircraft? It made sense when each branch was considering it's own specific new stealth aircraft, but not so much anymore.


Again, see my previous post. The least of what the F-35 has going for it is stealth.
 
2013-08-20 12:01:30 PM  

vygramul: Click Click D'oh: fluffy2097: The P-51 mustang doesn't have a jet engine.

Then I suggest you buy some for the airforce, because you might have accidentally found the best CAS bird and dogfighter ever.    Go back to your videogame.

I'm not sure why people are now comparing a WWII aircraft with the A-10 in air-air combat to begin with. You may as well point out the F-35 would wipe the floor with A-10s in air-air.




It shouldn't be a bad comparison.
WWII aircraft were built with low and slow CAS combat in mind, which is exactly where "old miscellaneous" sky raiders operated and what the A-10 excels at.
Prop fighters just don't have the lift to be fast and armored anti-armor platforms.

The F-35 won't be very happy in this role since its just too costly to operate and will be built in small numbers. The "one fighter to rule them all" plan has some serious shortcomings when it comes to replacing the grunt aircraft.

/what they should do is dig up the YA-10 plans, navalize it, and toss in some better electronics.
/or maybe convert f-16's to the xl version for more payload.
/what they probably will do is give up and hand these jobs over to drones.
 
2013-08-20 12:06:39 PM  

BlackCat23: This happened once up here, as well. They were flying back from Eastern EU(Bosnia/Serbia conflict, iirc), and apparently had some engine trouble. We saw it flying low over my town, in an apparent attempt to burn off/dump fuel. I called my friend(A-10s were still here at the time, and he himself had just returned from that conflict), and was given some vague answers to my questions about what was going on. Basically giving me a lot of "maybe"'s.


huh.  i didn't go to Oceana NAS so i don't know what security measures were put in place, but I remember seeing it fly overhead.  no idea how "protected" they made it but, this would have been the mid-90s so I imagine there was a pretty massive presence.

i guess my last CSB is a good friend of mine interned at the White House in the mid 90s (she didn't "know" monica, but they were there at the same time and my friend was aware of her, as there were stories of her doing stupid shiat like inviting the Joint Chiefs / Cabinet to her birthday party, so people knew Monica was a bit nutty).  she was invited to fly AF1 to arkansas for some fundraiser thing.  she has pictures of her iwth Hillary, Stephanapoulous, and a few other bigwigs taken on AF1.

she also has (getting off point here, iwth the jet theme, just saying) pictures of a south lawn BBQ for some longtime white house staffer.  Parzadent Clinton with a chef hat on, grilling burgers and dogs.  no media, just about 30-50 people, kids and toddlers.  hey, we all love cooking out, don't we?
 
2013-08-20 12:09:13 PM  
You guys obviously don't get it.  You see, the military already has a bunch of A-10s.  Maintaining and continuing to use those existing aircraft doesn't help Lockheed Martin meet its projected revenues.
 
2013-08-20 12:10:49 PM  

vygramul: In other news, the Air Force doesn't like the CAS mission and would just as soon not have it at all.


Pretty sure the Army and Marines don't like the Air-force doing CAS anyway.
 
2013-08-20 12:11:09 PM  

rickythepenguin: she also has (getting off point here, iwth the jet theme, just saying) pictures of a south lawn BBQ for some longtime white house staffer.  Parzadent Clinton with a chef hat on, grilling burgers and dogs.  no media, just about 30-50 people, kids and toddlers.  hey, we all love cooking out, don't we?


Damn, Clinton was a classy mofo.

Yeah, the security measures they took here was to basically black everything out, get the plane on the ground, and roll it into the large hanger on the AG base. But since it never got that far, it was just a practice in "How do we scare the shiat out of everyone in the terminal?"

/I'm all tapped out of stories for the time being, mainly because I need to run
//though I still have plenty!
 
2013-08-20 12:12:19 PM  

Shryke: duffblue: A10 is the coolest plane ever. That is all.

Hrm. Coolest modern attack plane? Yes.

Coolest plane ever?

[iliketowastemytime.com image 850x637]
Here it is. Looking at you.


Indeed. Although, I think I'd vote for this one, personally:
upload.wikimedia.org

How is this:
upload.wikimedia.org
Or this:
upload.wikimedia.org

Not the scariest silhouette of an aircraft ever?

/Always looked to me like a plane design from the future
 
2013-08-20 12:12:19 PM  

slayer199: vygramul: In other news, the Air Force doesn't like the CAS mission and would just as soon not have it at all.

I'm sure the Army would be happy to take them off their hands if the USAF doesn't want them anymore.  The Army loves the Warthogs.


Better yet, split up all their planes between the Army Navy and Marines and get rid of the Air Force.
 
2013-08-20 12:13:39 PM  
The A10 has performed admirably, but there is an elephant in the room. IF we ever get involved with an enemy that is well supplied with the latest generator of MANPADS, its going to have a big problem.
Seekers are greatly improved, and more importantly, warhead effectiveness has increased by a literal order of magnitude. If these kinds of weapons are fielded, particularly in numbers where multiple rockets can get fired against single targets, no airframe, not even the A10, can soak up that kind of damage and just keep flying.

The only effective defense, is not to get hit.

of course it will still be great against neolithic sheephearders armed with AK47s and RPGs
 
2013-08-20 12:14:20 PM  

dittybopper: xxmedium: Why the hell would you direct a petition at the Obama Administration when it's the Senate and the DoD procurement that are making these determinations?

Because the Democrats hold the Senate, and the president can lean on the senators of his party.  That doesn't guarantee anything, of course, but it does carry at least some weight.

BTW, I don't see the A-10 being replaced by the F-35, or any other manned aircraft for that matter.  Seems to me the most likely replacement would be a drone.  Cheaper in terms of material, fuel, and personnel costs, and you can make a relatively fast moving drone, especially if it's controlled from nearby.

For example, you could control several "fast mover" CAS drones in real time relatively locally with a stand-off aircraft manned by drone pilots.  A Boeing airliner refitted could cruise at 40,000 feet and it would have 'line of sight' communications to the drones out to nearly 300 miles.   Put the control aircraft far back from the action, and send the drones in.  Alternatively, if you have ground control pods, you can just put up a relay aircraft, and have the pilots nearly 600 miles away.  The relay aircraft, which can be a drone itself, retransmits the drone and control information back and forth.  Because the distance is much, much shorter than the path it would take to a geosynchronous satellite and back, you can make "fast mover" drones that can maneuver radically, in real time.

If the drones lose a lock on the signal, they would go into a "safe mode"  where they increase height and head back towards base,  until they either regain airborne lock, back-up satellite lock, or local control at the base.


Yeah, well, that's just like your opinion, man.

/good info :)
 
2013-08-20 12:14:28 PM  

Mithiwithi: I remember playing an A-10 Flight Simulator as a kid. If you tried to do too much dogfighting, the in-game narration would chide you "You aren't an F-15!"

I'm no military aviation expert, but it just seems intuitive to me that a purpose-built war machine will do better at that purpose than a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none like the F-35. Indeed, many of the F-35's problems, from my limited perspective, seem to stem from the design compromises required for it to be all things to all air missions.


The US can do jack of all trades aircraft well, such as the F-4 and (as much as I despise it) the F-16. The problem is, they know the F-35 is not going to do this well, and they are going full tilt anyway.
 
2013-08-20 12:14:59 PM  
With a Warthog you never have to ask "Will it blend?"
 
2013-08-20 12:20:23 PM  
Improve the Warthog by having the engines tilt up and down.  Oh man....sweet....
 
2013-08-20 12:20:41 PM  

mainsail: ArkPanda: I'm not an Army guy, but isn't that what helicopters are supposed to be doing now?  Or is the role not quite the same?

They can't move as much mud as the A-10, nor can they move anywhere near as fast.


Rotary craft also have the added disadvantage of having to close to within most enemy's AAA coberage to launch anything.
 
2013-08-20 12:24:03 PM  

slayer199: vygramul: In other news, the Air Force doesn't like the CAS mission and would just as soon not have it at all.

I'm sure the Army would be happy to take them off their hands if the USAF doesn't want them anymore.  The Army loves the Warthogs.


How many times do they need to be proven worthy? They wanted to retire them and then desert storm happened and everyone was like "ZOMG! Those are awesome!"
 Can a F-35 loiter at 5k feet, erase enemy armor from existance with cannon fire alone, take a shell directly to the cockpit without having any harm done to the pilot, and return home with no rudder, half a wing missing, 20% aileron control, 0 avionics, 200 individual bullet holes, landing gear that only works because of gravity, and with one engine out? I think not.

No other plane in the world terrifies enemy ground troops as much as the A-10.
 
2013-08-20 12:27:14 PM  
The Air Guard here use Potato Hill for A-10 target practice. Not for much longer.

I had to do some work out there a few years ago when an A-10 let go of a burst from on high. Sounded like a sewing machine. No telling how many rounds were let go in that one-second or so burst.

Supposedly the cannon alters flight characteristics and actually slows the plane by a few miles per hour.
 
2013-08-20 12:27:18 PM  
My fun A-10 story.

While working with my dad building a bridge in SC, we'd often get straffed by A-10's from the now closed Myrtle Beach AFB.  Usually between 9:30am - 10:30am, a pair of A-10's would sneak up on us flying a couple hundred feet above the marsh grass and if you were not paying attention, they'd scare the bejeebus out of you.

Knowing the A-10's were doing training using our bridge as target practice on their camera guns, I started anticipating and hiding behind stuff like "the crane" or "the bridge pilings" or "front end loader" and I'd see the planes approaching and a the last minute, raise a 2x4 or shovel to my shoulder and play like I was shooting at the planes.

All hell would break loose.  The pilots had themselves a live target and would bank, climb, swerve and do what ever they could to get a shot on me.

I'd love to have one of those camera photos locked away in the basement of the Pentagon of me getting shot to hell.

Good times.
 
2013-08-20 12:29:06 PM  

Shryke: duffblue: A10 is the coolest plane ever. That is all.

Hrm. Coolest modern attack plane? Yes.

Coolest plane ever?

[iliketowastemytime.com image 850x637]
Here it is. Looking at you.


This.  As an added bonus, the airframes are stronger now than when they were originally built.
 
2013-08-20 12:29:30 PM  
One of the cooler things about the A-10 is how its design came to be.  Its design team were required to read the biography of  Hans-Ulrich Rudel, a Stuka dive-bomber pilot during World War II. The most highly decorated German serviceman of the war.  Rudel flew 2,530 combat missions claiming a total of 2,000 targets destroyed; including 800 vehicles, 519 tanks, 150 artillery pieces, 70 landing craft, nine aircraft, 4 armored trains, several bridges, a destroyer, two cruisers, and the Soviet battleship Marat.

Though a determined Nazi, he was probably the most knowledgeable CAS expert who ever lived.  He was more than happy to give design pointers on the A-10, which is a good reason that it is one of the most effective weapons ever designed.
 
2013-08-20 12:29:52 PM  
i.imgur.com
 
2013-08-20 12:30:11 PM  

dittybopper: xxmedium: Why the hell would you direct a petition at the Obama Administration when it's the Senate and the DoD procurement that are making these determinations?

Because the Democrats hold the Senate, and the president can lean on the senators of his party.  That doesn't guarantee anything, of course, but it does carry at least some weight.

BTW, I don't see the A-10 being replaced by the F-35, or any other manned aircraft for that matter.  Seems to me the most likely replacement would be a drone.  Cheaper in terms of material, fuel, and personnel costs, and you can make a relatively fast moving drone, especially if it's controlled from nearby.

For example, you could control several "fast mover" CAS drones in real time relatively locally with a stand-off aircraft manned by drone pilots.  A Boeing airliner refitted could cruise at 40,000 feet and it would have 'line of sight' communications to the drones out to nearly 300 miles.   Put the control aircraft far back from the action, and send the drones in.  Alternatively, if you have ground control pods, you can just put up a relay aircraft, and have the pilots nearly 600 miles away.  The relay aircraft, which can be a drone itself, retransmits the drone and control information back and forth.  Because the distance is much, much shorter than the path it would take to a geosynchronous satellite and back, you can make "fast mover" drones that can maneuver radically, in real time.

If the drones lose a lock on the signal, they would go into a "safe mode"  where they increase height and head back towards base,  until they either regain airborne lock, back-up satellite lock, or local control at the base.


But lose your relay aircraft and you lose your whole fleet of drones. Best case scenario, they auto-pilot back to base. Meanwhile, the guys on the ground just lost all their air support. Sure, use drones, but don't depend on them entirely. Gotta have some manned aircraft providing support
 
2013-08-20 12:31:17 PM  
i42.tinypic.com
 
2013-08-20 12:31:51 PM  

slayer199: belhade: It's a flying tank. that flies. HOW CAN YOU RETIRE THAT??

There really is no better plane for CAS (though you could argue that helicopters can do the job).

Seriously, the A-10 is built around a ridiculous gun that can cut through tanks like butter....and has a great record for survivability.  I highly doubt that the F-35 or any other plan could survive as well as the A-10.
[www.ww2aircraft.net image 400x300]
[simhq.com image 565x354]
[blogs.defensenews.com image 850x461]


Great pictures.  I love to contrast of these photos with other platforms in operation, most other platforms would crash after being shot up that bad. Some of the tougher ones might be able to limp back over friendly territory so the pilot can safely eject without fear of being captured. The A-10 continues to expend ordinance and then lands at base.  As others have pointed out the whole plane is one giant middle finger to the enemy.

I mean come on the thing can get tank crews to abandon their vehicle just at the sight of it or sound of it's engines. These are tank crews that were willing to commit suicide by going against the M1-Abrams in open ground. A tank that between reactive plating and Chobham armor is almost impossible to damage in a gun fight and has a main gun that can penetrate the front (thickest) armor of most opposing vehicles.
 
2013-08-20 12:31:53 PM  
I like it in blue.

imageshack.com
 
2013-08-20 12:32:28 PM  

dryknife: Supposedly the cannon alters flight characteristics and actually slows the plane by a few miles per hour.


Cannon is the plane's reverse gear.

During early firing tests the gases produced by all the rounds being fired had a nasty habit of being sucked into the engine sand flaming them out. This was sorted out before they went into service.
 
2013-08-20 12:35:28 PM  
In my AF days, I participated in a condensed Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) exercise designed to equip me with a better understanding of the tactics I was charged with briefing pilots prior to their sorties.  During the training, I had the distinct privilege of vectoring in CAS of some local A-10s via direct radio communication.  I located them on the horizon, provided guidance, popped smoke, and called in a "strike" on a nearby vehicle.  It was the coolest live-action remote control experience ever.  Save the A-10.
 
2013-08-20 12:36:13 PM  

antidisestablishmentarianism: Retiring the bestest plane

 gun that happened to have wings and engines attached  evar? What will replace it?

FTFY

/Love the A-10
 
2013-08-20 12:42:14 PM  
USA! USA! USA!

/Got nothin'
 
2013-08-20 12:43:27 PM  
Sorry folks, the A-10 just does not have high enough marks in redistribution of wealth.
It has gotta go.
 
2013-08-20 12:43:37 PM  

HotIgneous Intruder: fluffy2097: Earguy: I once took part in an Army training exercise, I was a "wounded soldier", complete with cinema-makeup broken arm, and got to hang out on the ground waiting for the Rangers to come rescue me.  A10s circled overhead providing coverage.

What impressed me most was the machine guns.  The rounds fire off so fast they don't go bang-bang-bang, they go VVVVVVVVRRRBBBBT.

They are also as big as a Volkswagon The ammo can ALONE for it is bigger then a Volkswagen.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 850x543]
And the bullets are this big.

[lh3.ggpht.com image 309x350]

My friend, the former Ranger school instructor calls the sound of that gun, "God farting."
It sounds about like that, too.
For some amazing M-I porn, google up youtube and search for "A-10 attack."


you may even get to see the one where they blow the shiat out of some british guys
 
2013-08-20 12:44:46 PM  

dryknife: The Air Guard here use Potato Hill for A-10 target practice. Not for much longer.

I had to do some work out there a few years ago when an A-10 let go of a burst from on high. Sounded like a sewing machine. No telling how many rounds were let go in that one-second or so burst.

Supposedly the cannon alters flight characteristics and actually slows the plane by a few miles per hour.


The force generated from the recoil is equal to the force generated by the engines at max thrust.
 
2013-08-20 12:45:04 PM  

slayer199: belhade: It's a flying tank. that flies. HOW CAN YOU RETIRE THAT??

There really is no better plane for CAS (though you could argue that helicopters can do the job).

Seriously, the A-10 is built around a ridiculous gun that can cut through tanks like butter....and has a great record for survivability.  I highly doubt that the F-35 or any other plan could survive as well as the A-10.
[www.ww2aircraft.net image 400x300]
[simhq.com image 565x354]
[blogs.defensenews.com image 850x461]



You should see some of the damage I've come back home with in my fighter pilot days
www.emuviews.com
lparchive.org
 
2013-08-20 12:45:06 PM  
I wouldn't worry too much.  The US Army has repeatedly said that if the USAF no longer wants their A-10's they will happily take them over.  Though it's supposed to be a tank killer, and does a lovely job of that...it is also the best close infantry support/ demoralize the screaming hell out of your enemy weapon currently in the US military
 
2013-08-20 12:45:28 PM  

you have pee hands: I think the original hypothetical said something like "guns only" because obviously the Sidewinder takes all the fun out of it.


Consider that the Warthog only needs to get you in its sights, just once, and you've just had a Very Bad DayTM. It will turn the very air the P-51 is flying through into a hyper-velocity slurry of very finely spaced projectiles the size of soda bottles. The P-51's only chance is to be totally missed, which is really not much chance at all, since all the A-10 need do is nose up, get as much altitude as possible, (which is a lot more than the P-51 can,) turn its sights on its quarry below, and riddle the entire vicinity. at the rate it tosses ammo, it could cut the P-51 in half, in its first pass.
 
2013-08-20 12:45:35 PM  
Saved my butt a few times and it always felt good to know one was just hanging around up there ready to come to your aid.
 
2013-08-20 12:47:05 PM  
 
2013-08-20 12:47:14 PM  

bill4935: I like it in blue.

[imageshack.com image 658x552]


COBRA had some crappy tanks and planes, but the Rattler wasn't one of them.
 
2013-08-20 12:54:17 PM  

HAMMERTOE: Consider that the Warthog only needs to get you in its sights, just once, and you've just had a Very Bad DayTM. It will turn the very air the P-51 is flying through into a hyper-velocity slurry of very finely spaced projectiles the size of soda bottles. The P-51's only chance is to be totally missed, which is really not much chance at all, since all the A-10 need do is nose up, get as much altitude as possible, (which is a lot more than the P-51 can,) turn its sights on its quarry below, and riddle the entire vicinity. at the rate it tosses ammo, it could cut the P-51 in half, in its first pass.


It's also worth noting that the GAU-8's bullet time-to-target and minimal drop almost qualify as cheating compared to WWII era guns.
 
2013-08-20 12:56:16 PM  

Earguy: I once took part in an Army training exercise, I was a "wounded soldier", complete with cinema-makeup broken arm, and got to hang out on the ground waiting for the Rangers to come rescue me.  A10s circled overhead providing coverage.

What impressed me most was the machine guns.  The rounds fire off so fast they don't go bang-bang-bang, they go VVVVVVVVRRRBBBBT.


I was on annual training, where we are all setting up commo equipment. Of in the distance there were a couple of A-10s doing gun runs. I had gone into a tent later on and apparently they decided "Lets buzz the army guys". I hear vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVfarkINGRRROOOOOOM!

I look out the tent window in time to see an A-10 cockpit close enough to read the pilot's name. Out the window. Not out and up. This mother farker must have come in at 30 feet off the deck. I was thinking "Yeah it's real farking funny until you clip one of those antenna" But I suspect if an A-10 clipped my microwave rig, it would be the antenna who would suffer more.
 
2013-08-20 12:58:02 PM  

durbnpoisn: Considering that there is pretty much no air force on this planet (that's not an ally already), can keep up with the US, I don't see why there is so much thought being put in to replacing old jets.


While there is usefulness in talking about it (specifically how to properly meter development), the reasoning is that history demonstrates repeatedly that not advancing your weapons tech is a sure road to being successfully attacked and subjugated.

Read through a Short History of War - you can find it here (Air War College web site); you'll find it, I think, an interesting read.
 
2013-08-20 12:59:26 PM  

fluffy2097: belhade: It's a flying tank. that flies. HOW CAN YOU RETIRE THAT??

It's a gun with wings. and an engine.

The same man who looked at the GAU-8 and said "Make this gun fly", is the same guy who was carrying a howitzer in a C-130 and said to himself "Let's shoot at targets on the ground with this howitzer, by aiming it out the farking window!"


Your sir, win.
 
2013-08-20 12:59:42 PM  

MonoChango: Click Click D'oh: (f-16) new ones being built every day.

No they aren't...  well Lockheed did make a few block 60's a few years ago but I understand those all went to the UAE.  Oh and I think the Koreans are making a variant... but I'm not sure if that counts. The ones my brother works on were manufactured in the mid 80's.


Current F-16 backorders will keep the production line open until at lest 2017 if no further orders are received.  One of the great things about being an aviation enthusiast in Dallas is that I can go the Ft. Worth JRB and watch the new F-16s come off the line

.

LedZeppelinRule: For that matter he's right, the Mustang would cream the Warthog in a dogfight. Same level speed, lower wing loading, lower stall speed. Probably a better roll rate. It would take a lot of rounds to bring an A-10 down, but it's only a matter of time really.


Having seen both aircraft fly extensively, I doubt the P-51 would stand much of a chance.  People tend to glamorize the P-51 well beyond it's capabilities.   It was a very good aircraft, but not to the standards people portray it as.  What it had going for it was an amazing production rate and was flown by very well trained pilots at a time when enemy forces were running out of trained pilots.  In particular, the P-51s roll rate is abysmal.  Around 90 degrees per second.  The A-10 will roll at 130 degrees per second clean and up to 200 degrees per second with the boards cracked.  So yeah, go ahead Video Game guys and say that in DCS or whatever game you play the P-51 wins.  At Nellis, the A-10 turns inside F-16s stupid enough to play in their world and eats them alive.  Are you guys going to say F-16s would lose to P-51s?
 
2013-08-20 01:00:04 PM  

ChaosStar: fluffy2097: belhade: It's a flying tank. that flies. HOW CAN YOU RETIRE THAT??

It's a gun with wings. and an engine.

The same man who looked at the GAU-8 and said "Make this gun fly", is the same guy who was carrying a howitzer in a C-130 and said to himself "Let's shoot at targets on the ground with this howitzer, by aiming it out the farking window!"

your You sir, win.

ftfm
 
2013-08-20 01:03:44 PM  

ceebeecates4: With all these GEDs in military procurement and logistics management, we can keep the Thunderbolt II flying for 30 years!  After all, all one has to do is waltz down to Fairchild Republic and pick up a few spare parts!  Maintaining an obsolete aircraft that has the RCS of a barn and the thermal signature of the sun worked really well for the Iranians, and that's why their F-14 fleet is the best in the world!  After all, we're still facing the dangers of columns of soviet T-72s about to push through the Fulda gap, and MANPADS are far too expensive for any potential enemy to afford.

/Nostalgia has no place in weapon systems.

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2013-08-20 01:05:02 PM  

fluffy2097: dryknife: Supposedly the cannon alters flight characteristics and actually slows the plane by a few miles per hour.

Cannon is the plane's reverse gear.

During early firing tests the gases produced by all the rounds being fired had a nasty habit of being sucked into the engine sand flaming them out. This was sorted out before they went into service.


I've read somewhere that it also produces about 9000lbs of reverse thrust.
 
2013-08-20 01:06:01 PM  
I've got a buddy that is a USMA graduate and an infantry officer.

During his "vacation" in A-Stan, he told me there was no sweeter sound than a couple Hogs overhead bringing the noise on an insurgent position.

"I'd rather fight with my radio than my M4."
 
2013-08-20 01:07:13 PM  

HAMMERTOE: Consider that the Warthog only needs to get you in its sights, just once, and you've just had a Very Bad DayTM. It will turn the very air the P-51 is flying through into a hyper-velocity slurry of very finely spaced projectiles the size of soda bottles. The P-51's only chance is to be totally missed, which is really not much chance at all, since all the A-10 need do is nose up, get as much altitude as possible, (which is a lot more than the P-51 can,) turn its sights on its quarry below, and riddle the entire vicinity. at the rate it tosses ammo, it could cut the P-51 in half, in its first pass.


Well, yeah, that's basically what I said to the guy talking about the P-51 turn rate.  The P-51 needs to be pretty close to hit anything with the .50s, the A-10 can handle a lot of .50 cal rounds probably, and the A-10 climbs almost twice as fast so it can engage and disengage on its own schedule.  It's not much of a contest which I guess is basically true any time you look at 30 years of military development.
 
2013-08-20 01:09:38 PM  

lousyskater: [i.imgur.com image 850x540]


Damn you
 
2013-08-20 01:10:33 PM  

fluffy2097: antidisestablishmentarianism: Retiring the bestest plane evar? What will replace it?

Nothing. Nothing can. The F35 is lightly armored, has low weapons load and is designed for combat at stand off ranges, and it's gun has a pidddling 1200 rounds.

During desert storm A-10's expended all their ordinance during missions. That's like 6 laser guided bombs, 4 2000 pound dumb bombs, and 3 maverick missiles. (in addition to being able to carry rockets, and cluster bombs).  And like 20,000 rounds of GAU-8 ammo. oh, and titanium armor for the pilot and critical systems.

The A-10 also has triple redundant flight system. dual hydraulic  systems, and cable controls.

The warthog brings home pilots in situations where there is really no logical reason why it would be capable of flying. A female A-10 pilot got hit over Iraq, lost almost all flight control and then proceeded to write the book on flying a wounded A-10 on differential thrust alone. She landed back at base safely.


A-10s that have made it home safe:
cellar.orgwww.ww2aircraft.neti493.photobucket.comwww.online-utility.orgwww.ww2aircraft.net
 
2013-08-20 01:14:58 PM  
Would you P-51 vs. A-10 dogfight guys just stop?  The A-10 would simply ram the P-51 and fly through the other side.  Dogfight over.   The A-10 is, after all, the aircraft that has a titanium bathtub surrounding the pilot, to help ward off battle damage.  Back in the late 80's I swear I read an account of an A-10 flying through an apartment block in Germany, with the pilot surviving the crash without bailing out (can't find the story online now, though).  What other airplane not only flies through buildings but also lets the occupant (of the plane) survive?
 
2013-08-20 01:18:47 PM  

Click Click D'oh: Current F-16 backorders will keep the production line open until at lest 2017 if no further orders are received. One of the great things about being an aviation enthusiast in Dallas is that I can go the Ft. Worth JRB and watch the new F-16s come off the line


I stand corrected.  Thanks.  I was under the impression that they shut down production in the 90's under the first Bush military slow down.  I think they did shut it down but I guess Lockheed must have start it back up when they bought it from GD.
Personally I think we need to be producing more A-10's and giving them away to all our allies.  Hell of a lot cheaper to keep in the air than a F-16 AND would make the Russians think twice about rolling into Georgia again.  And it isn't like they could use it to challenge us at air superiority if they ever fell into the wrong hands.
Heck it wouldn't cost much more than about $5 million a pop, to make a A-10 like drone.   Remove the human and add more ammo.
 
2013-08-20 01:20:54 PM  
"Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; "
 
2013-08-20 01:22:13 PM  

Warthog: Would you P-51 vs. A-10 dogfight guys just stop?  The A-10 would simply ram the P-51 and fly through the other side.  Dogfight over.   The A-10 is, after all, the aircraft that has a titanium bathtub surrounding the pilot, to help ward off battle damage.  Back in the late 80's I swear I read an account of an A-10 flying through an apartment block in Germany, with the pilot surviving the crash without bailing out (can't find the story online now, though).  What other airplane not only flies through buildings but also lets the occupant (of the plane) survive?



Pfffft.  What would *you* know about the A-10?
 
2013-08-20 01:23:30 PM  

Warthog: With two engines, 13 hard points carrying almost every weapon in the Air Force arsenal, and a 7 barrel Vulcan cannon spewing 1,174 rounds of depleted uranium, beats this:


Although I don't disagree with your points of comparison.  The Vulcan is a 6 barrel 20mm gatling gun, found on many aircraft.  The A-10 uses the 7 barrel 30mm Gau-8 gatling gun, only the one plane carries it.

\\ yeah, that guy.
\ worked in engineering (intern) on the line that made the shells . . . fun stuff.
 
2013-08-20 01:23:59 PM  
we have drones and missiles for this now.
 
2013-08-20 01:24:09 PM  
No lobbying dollars behind the A-10. BIG lobbying dollars behind the F-35.

Businesses give money to politicians, who turn around and promote those businesses. Who then continue to funnel a portion of profits to favorable politicians. Rinse and repeat. It's a classic circle jerk. The less polite would call them kickbacks.
 
2013-08-20 01:24:10 PM  

Betacamman: bill4935: I like it in blue.

[imageshack.com image 658x552]

COBRA had some crappy tanks and planes, but the Rattler wasn't one of them.


And it could seat 2!!
 
2013-08-20 01:25:59 PM  
I always love seeing the videos that soilders take on the ground after calling in an A-10, like no other plane the US troops on the ground, and the enemy soilders SEE and HEAR that BMF coming and they know what that sound means to them.
 
2013-08-20 01:32:27 PM  

ThreadSinger: Not the scariest silhouette of an aircraft ever?


Not in an animal way. But that aircraft made every nuclear power on this planet (aside from the U.S.) shiat their collective pants. And still does, from what I know.
 
2013-08-20 01:33:41 PM  
Why in the FARK would you retire this plane? Between this and the Apache, you have ground support aircraft. Add in the Stealth Fighter, and you have almost then entire offensive air organization that you will ever need. This plane can be shot to shiat and still fly home. Add in a few Spectre Gunships, and you have the air...

It's time to think smart, not just as 'flashy' as you can. Sometimes medium to low tech is better than uber high tech.
 
2013-08-20 01:34:45 PM  

fluffy2097: Earguy: I once took part in an Army training exercise, I was a "wounded soldier", complete with cinema-makeup broken arm, and got to hang out on the ground waiting for the Rangers to come rescue me.  A10s circled overhead providing coverage.

What impressed me most was the machine guns.  The rounds fire off so fast they don't go bang-bang-bang, they go VVVVVVVVRRRBBBBT.

They are also as big as a Volkswagon The ammo can ALONE for it is bigger then a Volkswagen.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 850x543]
And the bullets are this big.

[lh3.ggpht.com image 309x350]


Jesus, I knew the guns were big, but have never seen one outside of the plane. I DID know how big the ammo was, though. It's like farking artillery, it's so damn big.
 
2013-08-20 01:37:08 PM  

schnee: I remember driving between Phoenix and Tucson one sunny day, in my bright red Pontiac. Off in the distance, two specs flying and getting closer and closer. A couple of seconds later, two A-10s screamed nearly overhead.

Nothing like being target practice.

/cool plane
//I'm a confirmed kill


Got buzzed byu an Apache on the Salt River one time... They had one hovering about 50 yards away, and when we were all distracted that one, another swooped up behind us and scared the fark out of us. Couldn't have been more than 50 feet above ground. Would have loved to see those A-10's though... It was the cool part about spring training games in Tucson, watching the Warthogs come in for landings at Davis Monthan.
 
2013-08-20 01:37:59 PM  

antidisestablishmentarianism: Retiring the bestest plane evar? What will replace it?


If we've learned anything from turning brown people into halal meat over the last 20 years, it's that subsonic gun platforms like the Harrier, the A-10 and the Apache helicopter are brutally effective means of disrupting weddings.

But I would imagine the 400% profit earned from A-10s is not sufficient when compared with the 600% profit from a purely unnecessary pile of F-35s, a plane that would make a really nice fighter in 1995, before we had the ability to make about 10,000 explosive drones to throw in front of them at one-tenth of the cost of a single F-35.
 
2013-08-20 01:38:45 PM  
OH yay, this again.  Never understood just exactly why the Chair Force doesn't like this plane, but honestly they aren't gonna get rid of it.  They aren't going to be allowed. It's like replacing the M2HB or the 7.62x51, it just does the job being asked of it well enough that there's no gain in replacing it.
 
2013-08-20 01:41:29 PM  

ArkPanda: I'm not an Army guy, but isn't that what helicopters are supposed to be doing now?  Or is the role not quite the same?


Apaches are great, but they aren't the tank killers that the A-10 is, and they can't be as shot up as an A-10 and still make it back to base. I think the Apaches have a role, but the A-10 has a bigger one. It's a ground attack aircraft that can be turned into swiss cheese. a helicopter is still a helicopter, slow and vulnerable.
 
2013-08-20 01:41:56 PM  

MythDragon: You should see some of the damage I've come back home with in my fighter pilot days


Rapier FTW.

/wc Origin -k
 
2013-08-20 01:44:06 PM  

fluffy2097: belhade: It's a flying tank. that flies. HOW CAN YOU RETIRE THAT??

It's a gun with wings. and an engine.

The same man who looked at the GAU-8 and said "Make this gun fly", is the same guy who was carrying a howitzer in a C-130 and said to himself "Let's shoot at targets on the ground with this howitzer, by aiming it out the farking window!"


It hasn't really been said yet, but Athena AND Ares blessed these men. Spooky and Co are the Angels of Death, and the Warthogs are Their swords.
 
2013-08-20 01:44:11 PM  
This is an impressive enough plane that I thought it was the perfect thing to steal for a militia when that guy disappeared with one in the late 90's. It would be the best aircraft for someone like that to get ahold of, it's next to invulnerable against ground targets, and can saturate them with ordnance as big as your farking car...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_D._Button
 
2013-08-20 01:45:00 PM  

snocone: Sorry folks, the A-10 just does not have high enough marks in redistribution of wealth.
It has gotta go.


JungleBoogie: No lobbying dollars behind the A-10. BIG lobbying dollars behind the F-35.
Businesses give money to politicians, who turn around and promote those businesses. Who then continue to funnel a portion of profits to favorable politicians. Rinse and repeat. It's a classic circle jerk. The less polite would call them kickbacks.


Therein lays the problem.  Every part on the A-10 is easily replaceable with parts that can be manufacture in any back woods machine/sheet metal shop.  There is no kickbacks, huge labor force or much profit in keeping them operational.
 
2013-08-20 01:54:17 PM  

Mikey1969: ArkPanda: I'm not an Army guy, but isn't that what helicopters are supposed to be doing now?  Or is the role not quite the same?

Apaches are great, but they aren't the tank killers that the A-10 is, and they can't be as shot up as an A-10 and still make it back to base. I think the Apaches have a role, but the A-10 has a bigger one. It's a ground attack aircraft that can be turned into swiss cheese. a helicopter is still a helicopter, slow and vulnerable.


The average altitude in Afghanistan is something like 6000 ft.  Helicopters are very limited in what they can carry at those altitudes.  Plus the GAU-8 is the only gun we have that can rip though the rammed earth fortifications that are so common in Afghanistan.  Like they say, the Apache is a great aircraft but it has it's limits.  The idea is to use the weapon system that supplements the other systems you have.  A pair of Apache with an A-10 is pretty much the best combo any ground pounded would love.
 
2013-08-20 01:59:37 PM  
www.productwiki.com
sell them to COOBBRRAAAA!!!
 
2013-08-20 02:01:53 PM  
I know it's hard to let go of great things however there comes a time when people need to just let go... otherwise we'll still be flying P-51s today. I mean it's a great airplane and all however would you fly one against a MiG 29?

NO! so why would you fly an A-10 in a modern/future battlefield when you have F-35 about to go into full scale production any moment now?

In the future where you have sophisticated C4ISR environement with 5th Gen fighters and advanced SAMs and AAAs, the F-35 has a good chance however the A-10 would've been blown to bits and the poor Marines on the ground waiting for an airstrike or napalm drop etc will be dead because they depended on the A-10s that never made it..
 
2013-08-20 02:04:10 PM  

MonoChango: Mikey1969: ArkPanda: I'm not an Army guy, but isn't that what helicopters are supposed to be doing now?  Or is the role not quite the same?

Apaches are great, but they aren't the tank killers that the A-10 is, and they can't be as shot up as an A-10 and still make it back to base. I think the Apaches have a role, but the A-10 has a bigger one. It's a ground attack aircraft that can be turned into swiss cheese. a helicopter is still a helicopter, slow and vulnerable.

The average altitude in Afghanistan is something like 6000 ft.  Helicopters are very limited in what they can carry at those altitudes.  Plus the GAU-8 is the only gun we have that can rip though the rammed earth fortifications that are so common in Afghanistan.  Like they say, the Apache is a great aircraft but it has it's limits.  The idea is to use the weapon system that supplements the other systems you have.  A pair of Apache with an A-10 is pretty much the best combo any ground pounded would love.



I heartily concur... This is a good combination, and I just don't understand why we are talking about getting rid of something that works together THIS well... I guess I must not love America, or something.
 
2013-08-20 02:12:38 PM  

Pumpernickel bread: But lose your relay aircraft and you lose your whole fleet of drones. Best case scenario, they auto-pilot back to base. Meanwhile, the guys on the ground just lost all their air support. Sure, use drones, but don't depend on them entirely. Gotta have some manned aircraft providing support


But those aircraft are 200+ miles away from the action.  If you're doing CAS, it's on the front lines in a conventional battle, or it's counter-insurgency.  For conventional battle, if you can't protect a high-value aircraft 200 miles behind the front lines, you've got some major problems.  And again, they don't have to be manned, they can also be drones, and you can have them even higher than pretty much any reasonable system that could target them.  You could design the relay drones to fly at 90,000 feet, or higher.  And if they are drones, it's likely that they are cheap enough that you can use multiple relay aircraft if you need the redundancy.

If it's for counter-insurgency operations, the chances that the opponent is going to be able to attack a relay aircraft that is 200+ miles away and at 40,000 feet altitude is unlikely.

The problem with using satellite control is that the round trip to geosynchronous orbit and back down is going to take a significant amount of time.  Best case, ignoring the delay in retransmission, is 1/4 of a second delay for a one-way message up to the satellite and back down (44,472 miles/186,000 miles a second = .24 seconds*)  That means you're essentially adding a 1/2 second delay to every single action you do, bare minimum.  That's OK for a high flying, slow-moving drone, but a fast mover is going to need significantly better response time:  At 400 miles per hour, the drone will have moved have moved about 300 feet during that half-second.

You could even, if you wanted to, have them revert to local control, though that is dicey.  Personally, I wouldn't go there.
 
2013-08-20 02:13:37 PM  

HAMMERTOE: get as much altitude as possible, (which is a lot more than the P-51 can,) turn its sights on its quarry below, and riddle the entire vicinity. at the rate it tosses ammo, it could cut the P-51 in half, in its first pass.


The only thing an A-10 has on a P-51 maneuverability wise is rate of climb. The P-51 is about as fast, and more maneuverable, but with half the climb rate of an A-10.

In a fair fight where nobody got the drop on each other, I'd bet on the P-51 if only guns were allowed.

If I were fighting a P-51 in an A10, I'd engage it a few miles away with a sidewinder or maverick. Preferably from behind and above.
 
2013-08-20 02:15:45 PM  

dittybopper: xxmedium: Why the hell would you direct a petition at the Obama Administration when it's the Senate and the DoD procurement that are making these determinations?

Because the Democrats hold the Senate, and the president can lean on the senators of his party.  That doesn't guarantee anything, of course, but it does carry at least some weight.

BTW, I don't see the A-10 being replaced by the F-35, or any other manned aircraft for that matter.  Seems to me the most likely replacement would be a drone.  Cheaper in terms of material, fuel, and personnel costs, and you can make a relatively fast moving drone, especially if it's controlled from nearby.

For example, you could control several "fast mover" CAS drones in real time relatively locally with a stand-off aircraft manned by drone pilots.  A Boeing airliner refitted could cruise at 40,000 feet and it would have 'line of sight' communications to the drones out to nearly 300 miles.   Put the control aircraft far back from the action, and send the drones in.  Alternatively, if you have ground control pods, you can just put up a relay aircraft, and have the pilots nearly 600 miles away.  The relay aircraft, which can be a drone itself, retransmits the drone and control information back and forth.  Because the distance is much, much shorter than the path it would take to a geosynchronous satellite and back, you can make "fast mover" drones that can maneuver radically, in real time.

If the drones lose a lock on the signal, they would go into a "safe mode"  where they increase height and head back towards base,  until they either regain airborne lock, back-up satellite lock, or local control at the base.


Maybe I'm just being dumb here, because I don't really get much into the specs of these war toys, but I thought the enormous farking machine gun that the A-10 sports was what accounted for much of its CAS utility?

How many enemy tanks and armored assault vehicles can a drone destroy? I mean, if you're talking about cutting a safe path through enemy lines for ground troops, wouldn't you need a huge number of drones to equal the destructive power of just one A-10?
 
2013-08-20 02:17:43 PM  

TheShavingofOccam123: Improve the Warthog by having the engines tilt up and down.  Oh man....sweet....


Destro, is that you?
 
2013-08-20 02:18:53 PM  

SuperNinjaToad: In the future where you have sophisticated C4ISR environement with 5th Gen fighters and advanced SAMs and AAAs, the F-35 has a good chance however the A-10 would've been blown to bits and the poor Marines on the ground waiting for an airstrike or napalm drop etc will be dead because they depended on the A-10s that never made it..


And once the initial strike is over and all the fancy radars and missile launchers have been taken out by stealth planes, some kind of aircraft is going to have to come in and cover the soldiers who are taking over the area. The perfect airplane for that? The A-10.

/The F35 is kinda like a football player that specializes in field goals, being a quarterback, an offensive lineman, a defensive linesman, and cheerleading.
//It's not a bad plane, they are trying to make it do to many things, and put it in roles it is ill suited for.
 
2013-08-20 02:22:52 PM  

Z-clipped: Maybe I'm just being dumb here, because I don't really get much into the specs of these war toys, but I thought the enormous farking machine gun that the A-10 sports was what accounted for much of its CAS utility?


It also can carry quite a lot of bombs missiles and rockets.

I think the idea behind drones is that you CAN have a swarm of them. Rather then one expensive meat filled plane. More targets for the enemy, more intimidating; if you've got enough drones you can even fly them in a loop to drop bombs then return to base for more weapons.
 
2013-08-20 02:23:42 PM  

clkeagle: dittybopper: xxmedium: Why the hell would you direct a petition at the Obama Administration when it's the Senate and the DoD procurement that are making these determinations?

Because the Democrats hold the Senate, and the president can lean on the senators of his party.  That doesn't guarantee anything, of course, but it does carry at least some weight.

BTW, I don't see the A-10 being replaced by the F-35, or any other manned aircraft for that matter.  Seems to me the most likely replacement would be a drone.  Cheaper in terms of material, fuel, and personnel costs, and you can make a relatively fast moving drone, especially if it's controlled from nearby.

For example, you could control several "fast mover" CAS drones in real time relatively locally with a stand-off aircraft manned by drone pilots.  A Boeing airliner refitted could cruise at 40,000 feet and it would have 'line of sight' communications to the drones out to nearly 300 miles.   Put the control aircraft far back from the action, and send the drones in.  Alternatively, if you have ground control pods, you can just put up a relay aircraft, and have the pilots nearly 600 miles away.  The relay aircraft, which can be a drone itself, retransmits the drone and control information back and forth.  Because the distance is much, much shorter than the path it would take to a geosynchronous satellite and back, you can make "fast mover" drones that can maneuver radically, in real time.

If the drones lose a lock on the signal, they would go into a "safe mode"  where they increase height and head back towards base,  until they either regain airborne lock, back-up satellite lock, or local control at the base.

The drone argument applies to pretty much every mission (except dogfighting against first-world aircraft). They're cheaper and safer than manned aircraft, and they can operate for a much longer period of time.

That's what bothers me most about the F-35 contract. The flyaway cost to the Air Force for the F-3 ...


Because Transformers.
 
2013-08-20 02:36:05 PM  

Mikey1969: ....Got buzzed byu an Apache on the Salt River one time... They had one hovering about 50 yards away, and when we were all distracted that one, another swooped up behind us and scared the fark out of us. ....


Clever girl....

4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-08-20 02:39:26 PM  

Mikey1969: I heartily concur... This is a good combination, and I just don't understand why we are talking about getting rid of something that works together THIS well... I guess I must not love America, or something.


The A-10 is too cheap to build and fly.  Congress needs to give your tax money to Lockheed and there just isn't enough profit margin on an A-10.  :-)  What were you thinking?  That they care about how well weapons work in combat?
 
2013-08-20 02:40:49 PM  

fluffy2097: Z-clipped: Maybe I'm just being dumb here, because I don't really get much into the specs of these war toys, but I thought the enormous farking machine gun that the A-10 sports was what accounted for much of its CAS utility?

It also can carry quite a lot of bombs missiles and rockets.

I think the idea behind drones is that you CAN have a swarm of them. Rather then one expensive meat filled plane. More targets for the enemy, more intimidating; if you've got enough drones you can even fly them in a loop to drop bombs then return to base for more weapons.


I suppose. It just seems like it would be orders of magnitude more difficult to coordinate 30 drone pilots than two A-10s. Plus, I still don't see what armament a drone can carry that can both bust a tank open, and sweep away a large body of entrenched infantry. So now you have to coordinate not only a bunch of drones in a small airspace, but a bunch of specialized units as well.

It just seems more expedient to concentrate power where is needed in this type of engagement.

A bunch of tiny robots can probably cut your entire lawn faster than a tractor, but if all you need is one narrow strip cut, and cut well...?
 
2013-08-20 02:47:53 PM  

Z-clipped: fluffy2097: Z-clipped: Maybe I'm just being dumb here, because I don't really get much into the specs of these war toys, but I thought the enormous farking machine gun that the A-10 sports was what accounted for much of its CAS utility?

It also can carry quite a lot of bombs missiles and rockets.

I think the idea behind drones is that you CAN have a swarm of them. Rather then one expensive meat filled plane. More targets for the enemy, more intimidating; if you've got enough drones you can even fly them in a loop to drop bombs then return to base for more weapons.

I suppose. It just seems like it would be orders of magnitude more difficult to coordinate 30 drone pilots than two A-10s. Plus, I still don't see what armament a drone can carry that can both bust a tank open, and sweep away a large body of entrenched infantry. So now you have to coordinate not only a bunch of drones in a small airspace, but a bunch of specialized units as well.

It just seems more expedient to concentrate power where is needed in this type of engagement.

A bunch of tiny robots can probably cut your entire lawn faster than a tractor, but if all you need is one narrow strip cut, and cut well...?


You should see some of the self organizing shiat college kids are doing with Quadrotors right now. They can take 4 of them, turn them on with the instructions "construct this building from blocks"  They fly up, map terrain in the room, fly around obstacles, then, autonomously construct the building, without any pre-programmed instructions on HOW to build it, (aside from how they fit together) The copters are capable of picking up the parts and self organizing to accomplish their mission.

I can only imagine what them military has....

/Imagine swarms of Boston Dynamics robots, with automated machine gun turrets on top patrolling areas....
 
2013-08-20 02:49:12 PM  

Z-clipped: Maybe I'm just being dumb here, because I don't really get much into the specs of these war toys, but I thought the enormous farking machine gun that the A-10 sports was what accounted for much of its CAS utility?

How many enemy tanks and armored assault vehicles can a drone destroy? I mean, if you're talking about cutting a safe path through enemy lines for ground troops, wouldn't you need a huge number of drones to equal the destructive power of just one A-10?


There is no reason why you can't built a drone around a GAU-8 (or something like it), and keep that same capability.
 
2013-08-20 02:50:14 PM  

fluffy2097: /The F35 is kinda like a football player that specializes in field goals, being a quarterback, an offensive lineman, a defensive linesman, and cheerleading.


Same argument was used when they wanted to replace the A-10 with F-16's back in the early 90's.  The multi-role fighter was all the rage. F-16 was the wave of the future. It could do anything, where as the A-10 was just a relic of the cold war that could only shoot tanks.  Then Dessert Storm happened... they used A-10's, for tactical recon and observation (O), battle assessment (R), Wild Weasel (G), air to air (F), and of course Close Air Support (A).  By the end of the war they jokenly called it the RFOA-10G.  All of that happened before they upgraded the avionics.
 
2013-08-20 02:51:22 PM  

Z-clipped: I suppose. It just seems like it would be orders of magnitude more difficult to coordinate 30 drone pilots than two A-10s.


You can build a drone that has the same ordinance load (or nearly so) as an A-10, but because you don't have to worry about providing for the safety of the pilot, you can make it significantly smaller and lighter, and quite probably, more maneuverable.
 
2013-08-20 02:53:05 PM  

dittybopper: Z-clipped: Maybe I'm just being dumb here, because I don't really get much into the specs of these war toys, but I thought the enormous farking machine gun that the A-10 sports was what accounted for much of its CAS utility?

How many enemy tanks and armored assault vehicles can a drone destroy? I mean, if you're talking about cutting a safe path through enemy lines for ground troops, wouldn't you need a huge number of drones to equal the destructive power of just one A-10?

There is no reason why you can't built a drone around a GAU-8 (or something like it), and keep that same capability.

Just remove the guy and all the crap to keep him alive, should save you at least 2000 lbs... that you can use to carry more ammo!
 
2013-08-20 02:53:13 PM  

Valiente: antidisestablishmentarianism: Retiring the bestest plane evar? What will replace it?

If we've learned anything from turning brown people into halal meat over the last 20 years, it's that subsonic gun platforms like the Harrier, the A-10 and the Apache helicopter are brutally effective means of disrupting weddings.

But I would imagine the 400% profit earned from A-10s is not sufficient when compared with the 600% profit from a purely unnecessary pile of F-35s, a plane that would make a really nice fighter in 1995, before we had the ability to make about 10,000 explosive drones to throw in front of them at one-tenth of the cost of a single F-35.


The profit margins on every military aircraft are largely set and roughly equal. If the military buys a $1B of A-10s or F-35s the suppliers will make roughly the same. The aircraft procurement process is a bit different than say the process for buying diesel fuel in Iraq.
 
2013-08-20 03:00:45 PM  

antidisestablishmentarianism: Retiring the bestest plane evar? What will replace it?


Hopefully an A-11, which would just be an A-10 with a railgun.
 
2013-08-20 03:04:34 PM  

dittybopper: Z-clipped: Maybe I'm just being dumb here, because I don't really get much into the specs of these war toys, but I thought the enormous farking machine gun that the A-10 sports was what accounted for much of its CAS utility?

How many enemy tanks and armored assault vehicles can a drone destroy? I mean, if you're talking about cutting a safe path through enemy lines for ground troops, wouldn't you need a huge number of drones to equal the destructive power of just one A-10?

There is no reason why you can't built a drone around a GAU-8 (or something like it), and keep that same capability.


Again, pardon my ignorance, but I thought that the main benefit of drones was that they were small and cheap. Isn't a GAU-8 + ammo the size of multiple Volkswagons and heavy as fark (and also the most expensive part of the A-10)?

This exercise just sounds to me like the same argument as replacing the A-10 with the F-35: Design and build a new, far more complicated and expensive unproven solution to a problem we already have a fantastically well-engineered and battle proven solution for.
 
2013-08-20 03:23:24 PM  
Just to play devil's advocate here:

1. The A-10 has very low survivability in a contested air environment. It's a Stuka. If there's effective CAP or even good SAM defenses on a target, the A-10 can't attack it.

2. Standoff weapons are WORLD's better than they were in 1991, the last time the A-10 really did anything. The F-35 can drop a satellite-guided cluster bomb with brilliant sub-munitions, and take out an entire tank formation without them realizing it's even there. The A-10 has to fly in close to use its cannon or short-range missiles. It's a flying tank because it's so limited otherwise as an airplane that it HAS to be a flying tank.

3. Any CAS missions that the F-35 can't handle are currently being done by the Apache helicopter.

4. The A-10 can't fly at night, it can't navigate its way to and from targets, and it can't talk to ground troops the way other aircraft can. It was inferior to the A-7, its Navy/Marine Corps contemporary, in almost every way, and the A-7 was retired 22 years ago.

5. What the Army really wants is Marine-Corps-style CAS, which the Marines do with F-18s and Harriers. No Warthog required.
 
2013-08-20 03:29:26 PM  

Z-clipped: dittybopper: Z-clipped: Maybe I'm just being dumb here, because I don't really get much into the specs of these war toys, but I thought the enormous farking machine gun that the A-10 sports was what accounted for much of its CAS utility?

How many enemy tanks and armored assault vehicles can a drone destroy? I mean, if you're talking about cutting a safe path through enemy lines for ground troops, wouldn't you need a huge number of drones to equal the destructive power of just one A-10?

There is no reason why you can't built a drone around a GAU-8 (or something like it), and keep that same capability.

Again, pardon my ignorance, but I thought that the main benefit of drones was that they were small and cheap. Isn't a GAU-8 + ammo the size of multiple Volkswagons and heavy as fark (and also the most expensive part of the A-10)?

This exercise just sounds to me like the same argument as replacing the A-10 with the F-35: Design and build a new, far more complicated and expensive unproven solution to a problem we already have a fantastically well-engineered and battle proven solution for.


When you remove all the things that are necessary for pilot survival, you can make a much smaller aircraft while still retaining much of the same ordnance load, or, failing that, you can cut the ordnance load in half, and just use 2 drones instead of 1 manned aircraft.

Think of all the things that are inherent in the design of the A-10 to make it survivable to the pilot.  If you got rid of most of that stuff as unnecessary because you no longer have to worry about the pilot, you could do one of two things:

1. Make a drone that has essentially the same ordnance load, but is significantly smaller, lighter, and cheaper, *OR*

2. Make a drone that is essentially the same size airframe, but carries more ordnance than an A-10 carries now.

A third option would be to make a drone that carries roughly half the load-out of an A-10.  It would be a *MUCH* smaller aircraft, and you could operate them in pairs or quads to get the same capability as a pair of A-10s.
 
2013-08-20 03:35:23 PM  

mbillips: Just to play devil's advocate here:

1. The A-10 has very low survivability in a contested air environment. It's a Stuka. If there's effective CAP or even good SAM defenses on a target, the A-10 can't attack it.

2. Standoff weapons are WORLD's better than they were in 1991, the last time the A-10 really did anything. The F-35 can drop a satellite-guided cluster bomb with brilliant sub-munitions, and take out an entire tank formation without them realizing it's even there. The A-10 has to fly in close to use its cannon or short-range missiles. It's a flying tank because it's so limited otherwise as an airplane that it HAS to be a flying tank.

3. Any CAS missions that the F-35 can't handle are currently being done by the Apache helicopter.

4. The A-10 can't fly at night, it can't navigate its way to and from targets, and it can't talk to ground troops the way other aircraft can. It was inferior to the A-7, its Navy/Marine Corps contemporary, in almost every way, and the A-7 was retired 22 years ago.

5. What the Army really wants is Marine-Corps-style CAS, which the Marines do with F-18s and Harriers. No Warthog required.


To your forth point, I believe the A-10C solves the problems you pointed out.

I want to say that the pilots were using the seakers on their Maverics as a crude form of night vision during the Gulf War.
 
2013-08-20 03:38:27 PM  
Why would you get rid of the A-10?
www.arcadequartermaster.com

It's the only plane that can shoot downwards at a 45 degree angle.
 
2013-08-20 03:45:15 PM  
Grandfather of the A-10
ravenrepublic.net

www.lohl.net
 
2013-08-20 03:49:50 PM  

mbillips: 1. The A-10 has very low survivability in a contested air environment. It's a Stuka. If there's effective CAP or even good SAM defenses on a target, the A-10 can't attack it.


That's always been true though. Was true of the Skyraider before it. Korea was probably the last time CAS aircraft could take on enemy fighters (mostly because they were fighters themselves, 5-6 years removed) without being totally suicidal. The advent of AAMs and SAMs ended those days.
 
2013-08-20 03:50:29 PM  

dittybopper: Z-clipped: dittybopper: Z-clipped: Maybe I'm just being dumb here, because I don't really get much into the specs of these war toys, but I thought the enormous farking machine gun that the A-10 sports was what accounted for much of its CAS utility?

How many enemy tanks and armored assault vehicles can a drone destroy? I mean, if you're talking about cutting a safe path through enemy lines for ground troops, wouldn't you need a huge number of drones to equal the destructive power of just one A-10?

There is no reason why you can't built a drone around a GAU-8 (or something like it), and keep that same capability.

Again, pardon my ignorance, but I thought that the main benefit of drones was that they were small and cheap. Isn't a GAU-8 + ammo the size of multiple Volkswagons and heavy as fark (and also the most expensive part of the A-10)?

This exercise just sounds to me like the same argument as replacing the A-10 with the F-35: Design and build a new, far more complicated and expensive unproven solution to a problem we already have a fantastically well-engineered and battle proven solution for.

When you remove all the things that are necessary for pilot survival, you can make a much smaller aircraft while still retaining much of the same ordnance load, or, failing that, you can cut the ordnance load in half, and just use 2 drones instead of 1 manned aircraft.

Think of all the things that are inherent in the design of the A-10 to make it survivable to the pilot.  If you got rid of most of that stuff as unnecessary because you no longer have to worry about the pilot, you could do one of two things:

1. Make a drone that has essentially the same ordnance load, but is significantly smaller, lighter, and cheaper, *OR*

2. Make a drone that is essentially the same size airframe, but carries more ordnance than an A-10 carries now.

A third option would be to make a drone that carries roughly half the load-out of an A-10.  It would be a *MUCH* smaller aircraft, and you could operate them in pairs or quads to get the same capability as a pair of A-10s.


The survivability of the A-10 is based upon its ability to keep flying after taking damage, right? So you could reduce the size of the cockpit, and some of the armor there (though you still need some to protect your drone electronics), but you still need to get the thing home, especially since now you're flying a drone that's several times larger and more expensive than anything else we've put up that I'm aware of.

Plus, replacing one plane with four means four times as much maintenance, no?

I'm not really looking for a fight here... just trying to learn something. I don't doubt the general utility of drones, or that we've only begun to use them to their full potential... I'm just not seeing the benefit of drones in this particular scenario from a cost/utility perspective.
 
2013-08-20 03:50:42 PM  

dittybopper: Z-clipped: dittybopper: Z-clipped: Maybe I'm just being dumb here, because I don't really get much into the specs of these war toys, but I thought the enormous farking machine gun that the A-10 sports was what accounted for much of its CAS utility?

How many enemy tanks and armored assault vehicles can a drone destroy? I mean, if you're talking about cutting a safe path through enemy lines for ground troops, wouldn't you need a huge number of drones to equal the destructive power of just one A-10?

There is no reason why you can't built a drone around a GAU-8 (or something like it), and keep that same capability.

Again, pardon my ignorance, but I thought that the main benefit of drones was that they were small and cheap. Isn't a GAU-8 + ammo the size of multiple Volkswagons and heavy as fark (and also the most expensive part of the A-10)?

This exercise just sounds to me like the same argument as replacing the A-10 with the F-35: Design and build a new, far more complicated and expensive unproven solution to a problem we already have a fantastically well-engineered and battle proven solution for.

When you remove all the things that are necessary for pilot survival, you can make a much smaller aircraft while still retaining much of the same ordnance load, or, failing that, you can cut the ordnance load in half, and just use 2 drones instead of 1 manned aircraft.

Think of all the things that are inherent in the design of the A-10 to make it survivable to the pilot.  If you got rid of most of that stuff as unnecessary because you no longer have to worry about the pilot, you could do one of two things:

1. Make a drone that has essentially the same ordnance load, but is significantly smaller, lighter, and cheaper, *OR*

2. Make a drone that is essentially the same size airframe, but carries more ordnance than an A-10 carries now.

A third option would be to make a drone that carries roughly half the load-out of an A-10.  It would be a *MUCH* smaller aircraft, and you ...


They're working on all that, but we're a couple decades away, minimum from remotely-piloted attack aircraft that are anywhere near manned aircraft when it comes to capability. The F-35 may very well be the last piloted attack plane, and the F-22 the last piloted fighter, but we won't have effective enough "drones" before 2030.
 
2013-08-20 03:59:13 PM  

mbillips: They're working on all that, but we're a couple decades away, minimum from remotely-piloted attack aircraft that are anywhere near manned aircraft when it comes to capability. The F-35 may very well be the last piloted attack plane, and the F-22 the last piloted fighter, but we won't have effective enough "drones" before 2030.


Lockheed has stated they should have a production capable autonomous drone capable of carrying 40k pounds of weapons by 2016
 
2013-08-20 03:59:19 PM  

costermonger: mbillips: 1. The A-10 has very low survivability in a contested air environment. It's a Stuka. If there's effective CAP or even good SAM defenses on a target, the A-10 can't attack it.

That's always been true though. Was true of the Skyraider before it. Korea was probably the last time CAS aircraft could take on enemy fighters (mostly because they were fighters themselves, 5-6 years removed) without being totally suicidal. The advent of AAMs and SAMs ended those days.


Not true. The A-7D replaced the Skyraiders in Vietnam, was just as capable, and the Air Force lost only 6 of them in 13,000 sorties, partly because the A-7 could handle MiG-19s and SAMs. The A-10 was a completely unnecessary program, in that it did nothing that the A-7 couldn't do; the Air Force just didn't want to use a "Navy" aircraft.
 
2013-08-20 04:00:09 PM  

fluffy2097: SuperNinjaToad: In the future where you have sophisticated C4ISR environement with 5th Gen fighters and advanced SAMs and AAAs, the F-35 has a good chance however the A-10 would've been blown to bits and the poor Marines on the ground waiting for an airstrike or napalm drop etc will be dead because they depended on the A-10s that never made it..

And once the initial strike is over and all the fancy radars and missile launchers have been taken out by stealth planes, some kind of aircraft is going to have to come in and cover the soldiers who are taking over the area. The perfect airplane for that? The A-10.

/The F35 is kinda like a football player that specializes in field goals, being a quarterback, an offensive lineman, a defensive linesman, and cheerleading.
//It's not a bad plane, they are trying to make it do to many things, and put it in roles it is ill suited for.


The reason is that it has to be a replacement for the F-18, which has to do all of those. If you just assume it's a navy jet (and a replacement for the Marines' Harriers) and not think of it as an Air Force multi-role fighter, it starts to make more sense.
 
2013-08-20 04:05:42 PM  

mbillips: Just to play devil's advocate here:

1. The A-10 has very low survivability in a contested air environment. It's a Stuka. If there's effective CAP or even good SAM defenses on a target, the A-10 can't attack it.

2. Standoff weapons are WORLD's better than they were in 1991, the last time the A-10 really did anything. The F-35 can drop a satellite-guided cluster bomb with brilliant sub-munitions, and take out an entire tank formation without them realizing it's even there. The A-10 has to fly in close to use its cannon or short-range missiles. It's a flying tank because it's so limited otherwise as an airplane that it HAS to be a flying tank.

3. Any CAS missions that the F-35 can't handle are currently being done by the Apache helicopter.

4. The A-10 can't fly at night, it can't navigate its way to and from targets, and it can't talk to ground troops the way other aircraft can. It was inferior to the A-7, its Navy/Marine Corps contemporary, in almost every way, and the A-7 was retired 22 years ago.

5. What the Army really wants is Marine-Corps-style CAS, which the Marines do with F-18s and Harriers. No Warthog required.



1. Yep. And the Apache has the same issue.  In a CAE, you need something to handle AA, and no the warthog doesn't fit the bill.  It isn't supposed to.

2. J-SOW's are amazing, don't get me wrong.  However they are also awfully goddamn expensive, and their true effectiveness is only present in large scale engagements.  Now when the U.S. goes head to head with an enemy that fields regiments/divisions/corps on the field, send in the JSOW's.  Until such a time, when you are dealing with company strength engagements at worst, the A-10 is a better solution.

3.  I love the Apache.  I do.  But it isn't nearly as heavily armored nor does it have the same capacity for ordinance.   That being said, I feel they are two great tastes that taste great together.

4.  You are incorrect.

5.  Soldiers on the ground want the Warthog.  Go ahead and ask them if they would prefer a Harrier or a Hog providing CAS.
 
2013-08-20 04:08:29 PM  

mbillips: costermonger: mbillips: 1. The A-10 has very low survivability in a contested air environment. It's a Stuka. If there's effective CAP or even good SAM defenses on a target, the A-10 can't attack it.

That's always been true though. Was true of the Skyraider before it. Korea was probably the last time CAS aircraft could take on enemy fighters (mostly because they were fighters themselves, 5-6 years removed) without being totally suicidal. The advent of AAMs and SAMs ended those days.

Not true. The A-7D replaced the Skyraiders in Vietnam, was just as capable, and the Air Force lost only 6 of them in 13,000 sorties, partly because the A-7 could handle MiG-19s and SAMs. The A-10 was a completely unnecessary program, in that it did nothing that the A-7 couldn't do; the Air Force just didn't want to use a "Navy" aircraft.


Yeah, but a Corsair has a mouth like a TFette getting ready to say 'thank you' to the guy who just gifted her a 12 month subscription.  Your argument is invalid.

i.imgur.com
 
2013-08-20 04:09:22 PM  

IdBeCrazyIf: mbillips: They're working on all that, but we're a couple decades away, minimum from remotely-piloted attack aircraft that are anywhere near manned aircraft when it comes to capability. The F-35 may very well be the last piloted attack plane, and the F-22 the last piloted fighter, but we won't have effective enough "drones" before 2030.

Lockheed has stated they should have a production capable autonomous drone capable of carrying 40k pounds of weapons by 2016


"Production-capable" prototype means operational in 10-15 years. And it's not autonomous; it's semi-autonomous. And you can't make clouds of them; they're nearly as big and just as expensive as manned aircraft. Why would you expect Lockheed to field and develop a UAV faster than they can a manned fighter?
 
2013-08-20 04:13:31 PM  

Warthog: Yeah, but a Corsair has a mouth like a TFette getting ready to say 'thank you' to the guy who just gifted her a 12 month subscription.  Your argument is invalid.


Yes, I hear it was quite the people eater.
 
2013-08-20 04:17:44 PM  

mbillips: Why would you expect Lockheed to field and develop a UAV faster than they can a manned fighter?


Their excellent recent track record with on time program delivery, clearly.
 
2013-08-20 04:17:50 PM  
All good points.
Also:
A-10 Tank Killer was a great game.
Ladder door art.

csb
At the local air show a few years back, the crew at the A-10 said (paraphrase): "The other crews don't want you to touch their planes. We'll let you punch this one!"
/csb
 
2013-08-20 04:19:13 PM  
The mission and the battle space this weapons system was designed for no longer exists.

And its hideous to boot. GIS Mig-29 if you want to see an attractive jet.
 
2013-08-20 04:41:02 PM  

fluffy2097: If I were fighting a P-51 in an A10, I'd engage it a few miles away with a sidewinder or maverick. Preferably from behind and above.


A Marverick?  Really?  Do you know how we know you don't know WTF you are talking about?
 
2013-08-20 04:44:27 PM  

Click Click D'oh: fluffy2097: If I were fighting a P-51 in an A10, I'd engage it a few miles away with a sidewinder or maverick. Preferably from behind and above.

A Marverick?  Really?  Do you know how we know you don't know WTF you are talking about?


He likes trick shots.
 
2013-08-20 04:49:42 PM  

mbillips: mbillips:1. The A-10 has very low survivability in a contested air environment. It's a Stuka. If there's effective CAP or even good SAM defenses on a target, the A-10 can't attack it.

That's what F-22s are for.

mbillips: 2. Standoff weapons are WORLD's better than they were in 1991, the last time the A-10 really did anything.


The A-10 also fought in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Irag '03

mbillips: The F-35 can drop a satellite-guided cluster bomb with brilliant sub-munitions, and take out an entire tank formation without them realizing it's even there. The A-10 has to fly in close to use its cannon or short-range missiles. It's a flying tank because it's so limited otherwise as an airplane that it HAS to be a flying tank.


The fancy weapons don't work so well when your guys and their guys are danger close.  Then you need a guy flying a big gun.

mbillips: 3. Any CAS missions that the F-35 can't handle are currently being done by the Apache helicopter.


Lol.  AH-64s are an important component of the hunter killer team, but they certainly do not do the job of an A-10, especially when the role requires traveling far behind enemy lines.

mbillips: 4. The A-10 can't fly at night, it can't navigate its way to and from targets, and it can't talk to ground troops the way other aircraft can.


Bullshiat, bullshiat and bullshiat.  A-10s have been flying at night for years, most certainly can self navigate and often work in the role as a FAC, which absolutely requires comms with boots and wings.
 
2013-08-20 04:54:02 PM  

MonoChango: snocone: Sorry folks, the A-10 just does not have high enough marks in redistribution of wealth.
It has gotta go.

JungleBoogie: No lobbying dollars behind the A-10. BIG lobbying dollars behind the F-35.
Businesses give money to politicians, who turn around and promote those businesses. Who then continue to funnel a portion of profits to favorable politicians. Rinse and repeat. It's a classic circle jerk. The less polite would call them kickbacks.

Therein lays the problem.  Every part on the A-10 is easily replaceable with parts that can be manufacture in any back woods machine/sheet metal shop.  There is no kickbacks, huge labor force or much profit in keeping them operational.


There just has to be some underworked, smartass lawyer out there that could prove this sort o chit is treason, not business as usual.
We are really farked.

/if only we could just throw it off when raped, like a good Republican
//back in the day, you used to at least get kissed first
 
2013-08-20 05:31:57 PM  
s3.roosterteeth.com

Cheers, Subby.
 
2013-08-20 05:40:18 PM  
I love this thread so much.  And since we're getting into old school jets now, I'll throw out two of my favorite early ones:

upload.wikimedia.org
F-105 Thunderchief, another flying "You're FARKED" sign from the Vietnam era.

upload.wikimedia.org
And a friend of the A-10, the F-4 Phantom II.  A personal favorite of mine, as my uncle-in-law was a tech for the Thunderbirds during the Phantom II and Talon eras.  (IIRC, he was either just about to retire from the Air Force or just had around the time of the Hill accident.)
 
2013-08-20 06:15:22 PM  

FriarReb98: I love this thread so much. And since we're getting into old school jets now, I'll throw out two of my favorite early ones:


Yeah, i always loved the Phantom.  It had those cool, low slung angles.

the Corsair was always a favorite (though obv not a jet).  like the gullwing look.

and the B29 was my favorite bomber.  i liked that huge glass canopy and the clean lines. the B17 looked like  a pickle with all those warts and bumps and shiat.
 
2013-08-20 06:17:37 PM  
b2theory:  certainly agree that the F-35 isn't an appropriate replacement for the A-10. However, your numbers aren't right.

The F-35A has a LRIP flyaway cost that had just fallen below $100M. That number is projects (as of this year) to be in the $80-70M range when they hit full production and complete testing.


That cost doesn't include engines, which adds $16 million for the F-35A and C, and $38 million for each F-35B (and the F-35C is also ~$15 million more than the F-35A due to having a different wing).

It also doesn't include rework costs for issues discovered during testing, which is expected to be around $7 million for LRIP 6 and 7 (more for earlier LRIP series).

But yeah, they still expect to eventually hit $80-$90 million for the F-35A (which likely translates to ~$100 million for the F-35C and ~$110 million for the F-35B; all of this excludes development costs, of course).

Not much information for comparison on the F-16 block 60, but then the UAE are the only ones to have ordered it and they aren't exactly known for government transparency.
 
2013-08-20 06:52:51 PM  

FriarReb98: the F-4 Phantom II.


That may be the single best-looking plane ever made.
 
2013-08-20 07:23:30 PM  
www.pilotenbunker.de

This guy knows more about CAS and ground attack aircraft then anyone, If his input helped design the A10, Its really going to be tough to find something that beats it. I say leave the damn plane alone.
 
2013-08-20 07:35:29 PM  

vygramul: FriarReb98: the F-4 Phantom II.

That may be the single best-looking plane ever made.


This. Especially the earlier, short-nosed versions.
 
2013-08-20 07:36:16 PM  
Here's an insane tank-buster. The thing probably came close to stalling when it engaged.

www.joewillis.co.uk
 
2013-08-20 07:43:51 PM  

demonbug: b2theory:  certainly agree that the F-35 isn't an appropriate replacement for the A-10. However, your numbers aren't right.

The F-35A has a LRIP flyaway cost that had just fallen below $100M. That number is projects (as of this year) to be in the $80-70M range when they hit full production and complete testing.

That cost doesn't include engines, which adds $16 million for the F-35A and C, and $38 million for each F-35B (and the F-35C is also ~$15 million more than the F-35A due to having a different wing).

It also doesn't include rework costs for issues discovered during testing, which is expected to be around $7 million for LRIP 6 and 7 (more for earlier LRIP series).

But yeah, they still expect to eventually hit $80-$90 million for the F-35A (which likely translates to ~$100 million for the F-35C and ~$110 million for the F-35B; all of this excludes development costs, of course).

Not much information for comparison on the F-16 block 60, but then the UAE are the only ones to have ordered it and they aren't exactly known for government transparency.


That price for the F135 engine is LRIP as well. It will most likely be closer to half that.
 
2013-08-20 08:06:01 PM  

HotIgneous Intruder: The A-10 is the AK-47 of combat aviation.


The very best there is.  When you absolutely, positively have to pacify all ground targets.  Accept no substitute.
 
2013-08-20 08:14:01 PM  

vygramul: Here's an insane tank-buster. The thing probably came close to stalling when it engaged.

[www.joewillis.co.uk image 850x613]


The B-25H laughs at your shenanigans.

www.aerospaceweb.org
 
2013-08-20 08:27:01 PM  

Warthog: vygramul: Here's an insane tank-buster. The thing probably came close to stalling when it engaged.

[www.joewillis.co.uk image 850x613]

The B-25H laughs at your shenanigans.

[www.aerospaceweb.org image 550x450]


The B-25H could handle that. This is more like the airborne equivalent of this:

2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-08-20 08:40:30 PM  

vygramul: Warthog: vygramul: Here's an insane tank-buster. The thing probably came close to stalling when it engaged.

[www.joewillis.co.uk image 850x613]

The B-25H laughs at your shenanigans.

[www.aerospaceweb.org image 550x450]

The B-25H could handle that. This is more like the airborne equivalent of this:

[2.bp.blogspot.com image 640x396]


But that wouldn't slow down the scooter, because it's a recoilless rifle.  So there is no, you know,  recoil to slow it down.
 
2013-08-20 08:52:54 PM  

BlackCat23: Believe me. They saw you. And the timing of their break was probably to mess with you. Because they're like that.


The other day I was crossing over the Arlington Memorial bridge into DC on my bike, wearing my USAF jersey. I shouldn't have been surprised when the Amy MH-60K buzzed me by 30ft, but I thought it was pretty funny.
 
2013-08-20 09:18:05 PM  

Warthog: vygramul: Here's an insane tank-buster. The thing probably came close to stalling when it engaged.

[www.joewillis.co.uk image 850x613]

The B-25H laughs at your shenanigans.

[www.aerospaceweb.org image 550x450]


I think the Hs 129B-3 takes the cake on this front. An automatic 75mm cannon on an 11,000lb plane. Heaviest forward firing gun prior to the A-10.
 
2013-08-20 09:20:48 PM  
upload.wikimedia.org
www.luft46.com
 
2013-08-20 09:23:25 PM  

pacified: we have drones and missiles for this now.




The problem with drones is their soda straw view of the battlefield.
The pilots aren't free to look around and get a good sense of their situation, often missing important things (like innocent bystanders standing just off camera).
Missiles are accurate but expensive and don't suit every situation. You can't adjust the level of boom and the smaller payloads mean you start out with fewer options.

We still need well made cas aircraft.
Some missions call for small things like the super tucano. Other jobs need bigger and more powerful hitters.
The F-35 really doesn't full the A-10 or A-7's niche and current drones are too limited.  Yes we could save alot of money by letting them do the job, but there's no point if they keep doing it halfassed.
 
2013-08-20 09:25:34 PM  

costermonger: Warthog: vygramul: Here's an insane tank-buster. The thing probably came close to stalling when it engaged.

[www.joewillis.co.uk image 850x613]

The B-25H laughs at your shenanigans.

[www.aerospaceweb.org image 550x450]

I think the Hs 129B-3 takes the cake on this front. An automatic 75mm cannon on an 11,000lb plane. Heaviest forward firing gun prior to the A-10.


Wasn't there some WWI plane with a mounted 75mm, facing downwards, the idea being using it in an anti-ship role?
 
2013-08-20 11:53:13 PM  

Magorn: fluffy2097: antidisestablishmentarianism: Retiring the bestest plane evar? What will replace it?

Nothing. Nothing can. The F35 is lightly armored, has low weapons load and is designed for combat at stand off ranges, and it's gun has a pidddling 1200 rounds.

During desert storm A-10's expended all their ordinance during missions. That's like 6 laser guided bombs, 4 2000 pound dumb bombs, and 3 maverick missiles. (in addition to being able to carry rockets, and cluster bombs).  And like 20,000 rounds of GAU-8 ammo. oh, and titanium armor for the pilot and critical systems.

The A-10 also has triple redundant flight system. dual hydraulic  systems, and cable controls.

The warthog brings home pilots in situations where there is really no logical reason why it would be capable of flying. A female A-10 pilot got hit over Iraq, lost almost all flight control and then proceeded to write the book on flying a wounded A-10 on differential thrust alone. She landed back at base safely.

A-10s that have made it home safe:
[cellar.org image 640x480][www.ww2aircraft.net image 400x300][i493.photobucket.com image 850x637][www.online-utility.org image 800x535][www.ww2aircraft.net image 400x283]


That middle picture, of the ripped-apart engine...I'd imagine the words no longer visible are "Up Shiat"
 
2013-08-21 05:07:35 AM  
Up your nose with a rubber hose, F-35.

/alternative headline
 
2013-08-21 07:55:40 AM  

way south: The problem with drones is their soda straw view of the battlefield.


Yeah, about that....
 
2013-08-21 09:44:54 AM  
A walrus.
 
2013-08-21 12:45:49 PM  

dittybopper: Z-clipped: Maybe I'm just being dumb here, because I don't really get much into the specs of these war toys, but I thought the enormous farking machine gun that the A-10 sports was what accounted for much of its CAS utility?

How many enemy tanks and armored assault vehicles can a drone destroy? I mean, if you're talking about cutting a safe path through enemy lines for ground troops, wouldn't you need a huge number of drones to equal the destructive power of just one A-10?

There is no reason why you can't built a drone around a GAU-8 (or something like it), and keep that same capability.


Yeah, but a drone pilot won't get a raging hard-on when he pulls the trigger.  (Or moistened panties in the case of the badass female pilots.)

/And really, that is half the beauty of the plane right?
 
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