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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
    More: Sad, warthogs, Operation Desert Storm, boots on the ground, iraqi freedom, Raul Grijalva  
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10171 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Aug 2013 at 10:00 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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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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