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Future of the A-10 Warthog

Discussion in 'AviatorChat.com' started by Tcar, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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  3. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    The Air Force needs a "heavy lifter" capable of carrying lots of ordnance; that is why the A-1 Skyraider remained in service for so long, and the A-10 was its replacement. The F-35 is supposedly the A-10's replacement, but cannot possibly carry an equivalent amount of ordnance.
     
  4. schwaggen

    schwaggen Karting

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    Had a pair of A-10s give us a fly-by strafing run while we were out fishing in the Florida Keys a couple of weeks ago. Came in from the north (Homestead AFB?) buzzed us at 200 ft or so, did a wide climbing U turn and went back north. Shut the fishing down, but it was cool.
     
  5. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    I still can't believe that they were shut down. They DO have a purpose.
     
  6. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Jim- When the threat is knocked down far enough, the F-35 can carry quite a bit of external ordnance. So when the threat is low enough for an A-10 to operate near the FLOT, an F-35 with external ordnance can carry an equivalent or heavier load. No 30 mm cannon, however, but there is a 20 mm. Both pretty useless in a high threat environment, but handy when the threat is low.

    Neither the A-10 nor the F-35 can carry anywhere near as much as the F-15E, however.

    USAF needs the $4-5B shutting down the A-10 will save for modernization. Congress has the attention span of a parakeet, so eventually they will tire of playing games they do not really understand and the A-10 fleet will be retired.

    Ask an A-10 pilot whether he would rather go to war in an A-10 or an F-35.
     
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  8. donv

    donv Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Taz-- all the current and former A-10 guys I know would rather fight in an A-10, at least for the close air support mission. None of them support it's retirement. But then maybe I know an unusual group or something...

     
  9. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Don- Sure sounds like it. But then the older you get, the fonder you remember something. Like me and the F-111, which just got too expensive to maintain. We have rewinged the A-10, too, to stretch its service life.
     
  10. MarkPDX

    MarkPDX F1 World Champ
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    For practical purposes I bet that the armored up crop dusters could do most of the close air support type stuff like in Syria and Iraq for a very small fraction of the cost of A-10s or F-35s.
     
  11. jcurry

    jcurry F1 World Champ
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    Strap on a couple M240's and that would fit right in with the up-armored Toyota's in use over there. But no thanks, I'd rather sit in a Ti bathtub installed in the cockpit of the Warthog spewing out depleted Ur tipped, saboted 30mm bullets.
     
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  13. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Jim- Having been shot at, I would prefer to stand off and shoot Mavericks at them in whichever aircraft. Trading bullets with folks is not very survivable, titanium bathtub or not. Plus if a round comes in through the top, it will ricochet around a bit. ManPADS are a lot more dangerous now, too, than they were when the A-10 was developed, too. The imaging ones ignore flares pretty well.
     
  14. jcurry

    jcurry F1 World Champ
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    Taz, even having never been shot at I will wholeheartedly agree with you. However the amount of steel plate you would have to bolt onto a Pawnee to match the protection afforded by an A-10 would not leave you with much payload capability. Regardless, stand-off is better.

    Did you ever get to use TV guided Mav's?
     
  15. MarkPDX

    MarkPDX F1 World Champ
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    #87 MarkPDX, Sep 26, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2014
    If you are gonna just stand off and shoot mavericks then maybe you just do it from an air condition unit at Indian Springs.

    There are a lot better pod guns than M240s, lots of other stuff on the table as well. Yes, we would all like to have a titanium bathtub and all that good stuff but it seems that the A-10 is finally going away and it doesn't seem like any money will magically appear to replace it with a full up equivalent. Some of these ISIS guys do have some fancy equipment but a fair number of them seem to be just cruising around in technicals and could be easy pickings.
     
  16. jcurry

    jcurry F1 World Champ
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    Who said anything about pod guns. I'm talking about strapping a couple M240 to the wing struts w/ a string tied to the trigger. Pure technical. lol
     
  17. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Jim- I used the TV Mavericks training for the OT&E on the AGM-65D IIR model. I fired four of those at night against running targets, one of which was moving. Three hits, one missile malfunction, problem fixed before continuing OT&E.

    The powers that be determined F-111Fs would never go against armor in combat, so the AGM-65D was never fielded for the Aardvark. Naturally, in Desert Storm, one of our primary targets was armor, and we killed 1300 pieces plinking with GBU-12s. Saved you taxpayers some money, though, since a GBU-12 was an order of magnitude cheaper (~$10K) than an AGM-65D.

    I believe I have more armor kills than 99% of the A-10 drivers.
     
  18. normv

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  19. MarkPDX

    MarkPDX F1 World Champ
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    I think people are a bit confused about the retirement timeline for the A-10. If my memory serves the A-10 is not supposed to go away until 2018 which means we can continue to see them in combat until pretty close to then.
     
  20. rdefabri

    rdefabri Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Love the avatar! :D
     
  21. BOKE

    BOKE Beaks' Gun Rabbi
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    I live in the flight path between Nellis AFB to the bombing range. I have an airshow every day.

    I will miss the A-10s flying over very much.

    In the last to weeks I saw more F-22 Raptors than any other aircraft flying overhead, and then there were none.

    I guess they have business elsewhere.

    Nellis Air Force Base is the home of the Red Flag air combat exercises.

    It was the home of the 64th and 65th Aggressor Squadrons, until they recently axed the 65th Squadron because new high end air supremacy planes like the F-22 are in small numbers compared to the F-15 and F-16. Less planes equals less need for pilots.

    One Nellis aggressor squadron being deactivated | Las Vegas Review-Journal

    Yesterday I had a treat though. The Red Bull air racers were practicing for a race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend.

    Red Bull Air Race
     
  22. norcal2

    norcal2 F1 Veteran
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    OV-10's would do a great job also..and are still being flown in some countries..
    I think just about every A-10 out there came through our re work facility at some time still a great plane!
    .
     
  23. dmaxx3500

    dmaxx3500 Formula 3

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    cant we just lay-out a grid pattern and use B52's ,then carpet bomb the whole country,then if needed send in B1's-B2's and just ''nuke em all''
     
  24. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    All the heavies now can drop JDAMs and other PGMs, so no need to carpet bomb anything. Each of the JDAMs can be individually targeted. Plus some are being fitted for the Small Diameter Bomb, and they can drop dozens of those. The BUFFs are going through hardware and software updates as we speak. The rest are already there.

    Nukes are a last resort and we are not there yet.
     
  25. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    Taz, You mention the BUFFS being outfitted for more up to date munitions and other new weaponry. Is this bird going to go into the next century? It is difficult for me to believe that I worked on this airplane in 1951 and saw its first flight in 1952. I'm nearing the end of my service life and this damn thing is still operational and being upgraded. I wonder if I can talk to some one to get the same upgrades done to me. I think that the B-52 and the KC-135 will go down in aviation history as being the epitome of operational aircraft longevity. I worked on both of them and have a lot of good memories about it.
     
  26. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Bob- As you know, the B-52 was built by engineers with sliderules and engineering rules of thumb and nobody wanted the piece he designed to break. Same with the KC-135 smaller version of the 707, still thinking about the Comet failures of the previous decade. So the aircraft are tough, especially considering the last B-52Hs were part of a 1962 order 53 years ago (Oct 1961).

    The B-2 was supposed to replace the B-52 and supplant the B-1B. When Congress cut the order to 22 or so from the 132 USAF wanted, though, that became untenable. Especially since the B-2 was a nuke only aircraft during its early service life and the B-52D, then B-52G, and finally the B-52H were modified for conventional bombs and then PGMs. Because the avionics were so ancient on the BUFF, it took a while to be updated to the mil std 1553 and then 1760 weapons interfaces to match up with newer and newer PGM protocols.

    We now have funding for the next bomber and the program is progressing. When fielded in the 2020s, this should replace all the current bombers. Assuming, of course, McCain, and the rest of the congressional idiots and administration know-nothings, do not prematurely kill the program like they did the B-2 and F-22. Left us in the lurch twice now, and they are fully capable of doing so again.
     
  27. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    I certainly appreciate the legacy of the B-52's but I still think that a couple of hundred A-10's would do wonders in Syria and Iraq. I'm pulling for the next bomber program too.
     
  28. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Bob- Personally, I think we are better off overflying and dropping a ton of PGMs on them. Just need somebody to pass coordinates, satellite, airborne or on the ground. Becoming a POW/war criminal of ISIS or ISIL, whichever is the faddish name today, does not strike me as a good deal. We even have guided versions of our cluster bombs now, and those should be real crowd pleasers. The submunitions self-destruct after a certain period of time to prevent kids playing with them.
     

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