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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 306
    More: Sad, warthogs, Operation Desert Storm, boots on the ground, iraqi freedom, Raul Grijalva  
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10139 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Aug 2013 at 10:00 AM (46 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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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 10:35:48 AM
My guess is they are looking to replace them with drones for CAS
 
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.
 
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