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(Daily Mail)   U.S. Air Force shows they can park a 2,000lb bomb in a pirate's pocket from altitude without killing a single fish. (w/ amazing pics)   (dailymail.co.uk ) divider line
    More: Spiffy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. military, overkill, home runs, pirates  
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23665 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Sep 2013 at 3:40 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-19 02:47:29 PM  
mbillips:

The whole operation is PR to try to keep the Air Force relevant

Well stated!  That's exactly it's purpose.  Had this been a
real event the USAF would have proclaimed that they sunk
the entire Iranian navy with one shot and have awarded
medals to all officers even tangentally involved.

Note the line in the article:

   Proudly displaying the images on their media page,
   the Air Force Dyess Air Base explained this tactic
   would be useful if targeting real-life pirate ships.

Usual Air Farce statement structure:

  We could/should/would do [something]
        if [some other thing].

Always big, blue-sky promises with a condition attached.

   We could have killed every Taliban in Stanland
   if grits had offered with breakfast.
 
2013-09-19 04:59:56 PM  

ReverendR: SevenT: Personally, I think using a Warthog would be far more entertaining for the spectators. And a lot less expensive for the military.

You forgot the very important fact that the Air Force higher ups hate the A-10 due to it's slow speed, ugliness and incredible effectiveness at a reasonable price.


See, the whole "slow speed" thing is actually a serious damn limitation. It's great for accurate strafing, not so great for showing up in a timely manner.
 
2013-09-19 07:45:49 PM  

Cid_Highwind: ReverendR: SevenT: Personally, I think using a Warthog would be far more entertaining for the spectators. And a lot less expensive for the military.

You forgot the very important fact that the Air Force higher ups hate the A-10 due to it's slow speed, ugliness and incredible effectiveness at a reasonable price.

See, the whole "slow speed" thing is actually a serious damn limitation. It's great for accurate strafing, not so great for showing up in a timely manner.


And believe it or not, the ammo for the cannon actually costs more than the bomb did.  An 84 with a GBU-10 rig as in the pic costs about $30K.  A full load of 30mm rounds costs around $45K.  Go figure.
 
2013-09-19 08:39:58 PM  
I have mixed emotions regarding our advanced weapons technology.  It is impressive engineering.
I would feel better about it if we were more righteous in their use and we also put as much emphasis and effort into furthering humanity.

/the space program used to fill that void (for me)
 
Al!
2013-09-19 08:50:35 PM  

Bendal: I would have expected a 2000# bomb to have a larger explosion; it looked to me like that was a dummy bomb and just the impact destroyed the boat.


It was a dummy.  The blue ones are inert, mostly concrete.

AtlanticCoast63: Some things to keep in mind:

*If that's a Mk84 2000 pound bomb (I think it is based on the size of the bomb versus the boat) When it goes off, the LETHAL radius of that beast is about 300 meters.  So you drop one on an incoming swarm of, oh, let's make up a name and call them "Iranian" speedboats, you're going to whack a couple at a time.

*The SNIPER targeting pod on a B-1 can target and launch multiple weapons at a time.   Assuming we have properly armed and equipped birds on station, it's possible to smother a swarm attack.  That's a big assumption, but it gives those imaginary "Iranians" something to think about.

And BTW the pic is very, very possible.  There's one out there from the tests of the old Pershing II years ago showing the warhead about to strike an outhouse-sized shack built on the target bullseye.

/The More You Know


I was in the 77th BS from 97-01.  We were the test squadron for the JDAM upgrade.  We used to show off pics of all sorts of small objects in the desert with a Mk84+JDAM tailkit hovering above, then an "after" pic of a hole in the sand.  There was one pic where the target was a stovepipe on top of a shack.  Mind you, the bomb didn't "fit" down the stovepipe, but it made its own hole, so it was all good.
 
2013-09-19 09:25:23 PM  

Cid_Highwind: ReverendR: SevenT: Personally, I think using a Warthog would be far more entertaining for the spectators. And a lot less expensive for the military.

You forgot the very important fact that the Air Force higher ups hate the A-10 due to it's slow speed, ugliness and incredible effectiveness at a reasonable price.

See, the whole "slow speed" thing is actually a serious damn limitation. It's great for accurate strafing, not so great for showing up in a timely manner.


Still shows up three times faster than an Apache (438 MPH as opposed to 182 MPH), and it's meant more to loiter in the general area of a conflict and be called in as needed than be scrambled from an airbase on request.
 
2013-09-20 06:52:16 AM  

Silverstaff: Still shows up three times faster than an Apache (438 MPH as opposed to 182 MPH), and it's meant more to loiter in the general area of a conflict and be called in as needed than be scrambled from an airbase on request.


Oh, I know. But compared to other fixed-wing assets, the shine starts to wear off. If you have advance notice, A-10s and AC-130s are great. If you don't, you want an F-15E.
 
2013-09-20 07:47:16 AM  

AtlanticCoast63: Cid_Highwind: ReverendR: SevenT: Personally, I think using a Warthog would be far more entertaining for the spectators. And a lot less expensive for the military.

You forgot the very important fact that the Air Force higher ups hate the A-10 due to it's slow speed, ugliness and incredible effectiveness at a reasonable price.

See, the whole "slow speed" thing is actually a serious damn limitation. It's great for accurate strafing, not so great for showing up in a timely manner.

And believe it or not, the ammo for the cannon actually costs more than the bomb did.  An 84 with a GBU-10 rig as in the pic costs about $30K.  A full load of 30mm rounds costs around $45K.  Go figure.


Bogus comparison, unless you believe that the A-10 can only fire one single long burst.

Typical load-out is 1,150 rounds, according to Wikipedia.  Gun fires at a cyclic rate of 3,900 rounds per minute, which is 65 rounds per second.  Pilots are trained to use 1 or 2 second bursts.  For 1 second bursts, you'd get (1,150 / 65) = 17.7 bursts, and for 2 second bursts, (1,150 / 130) = 8.8 bursts.

So the actual cost per gun activation would be between (45,000/17.7) = $2,542 and (45,000/8.8) = $5,114.

Even if the pilots only actually hit the target once out of every 4 tries, the economics still come out ahead of the bomb, because the cost goes to something between $10,168 and $20,456 per "target destroyed", whereas the bomb, smart though it may well be, is a one-shot deal.  It's going to cost $30k no matter what.

/Math.  It's what's for dinner.
 
2013-09-20 07:58:51 AM  

Cid_Highwind: ReverendR: SevenT: Personally, I think using a Warthog would be far more entertaining for the spectators. And a lot less expensive for the military.

You forgot the very important fact that the Air Force higher ups hate the A-10 due to it's slow speed, ugliness and incredible effectiveness at a reasonable price.

See, the whole "slow speed" thing is actually a serious damn limitation. It's great for accurate strafing, not so great for showing up in a timely manner.


Timely manner is relative.

Say you need CAS in a hurry.  The air asset is 100 miles away.

An F-15 going balls to the wall is going to get there in in probably about 7 minutes or so.

An A-10 doing the same is going to get there in about 14 minutes.

That *COULD* make a big difference, provided the F-15 is as capable an aircraft as the A-10 at CAS, but it's never, ever going to be as capable.

The correct answer would be to come up with a replacement for the A-10 that is a capable slow-speed gun/missile/bomb platform, but that can sprint at higher speeds.
 
2013-09-20 03:58:18 PM  
dittybopper:

The correct answer would be to come up with a replacement for the A-10 that is a capable slow-speed gun/missile/bomb platform, but that can sprint at higher speeds.

Say, something with jet engines for a high-speed dash
and more conventional engines for loiter (propeller?).
Something like the B-36 maybe?  Yeah, that's the ticket,
let's start a campaign to bring back the B-36 for close
air support (a role the AF has never been good at).
 
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