A-10 Warthog given 6 more years of flying duty

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A-10 Warthog given 6 more years of flying duty

Post by johndoe3 » Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:05 pm

http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/04/politics/ ... topstories

Good decision, since the A-10 has proven ground support capabilities.
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Re: A-10 Warthog given 6 more years of flying duty

Post by tsands974 » Thu Feb 04, 2016 6:42 pm

There's nothing quite like having a couple A10s for CAS, I love those things. They may be slow and loud, but they are beautiful when they're at work.

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Re: A-10 Warthog given 6 more years of flying duty

Post by BlogSarge » Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:37 pm

There is basically nothing that be found wrong with a huge flying gun. Unless you're the enemy!

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Re: A-10 Warthog given 6 more years of flying duty

Post by bakerjw » Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:42 am

It is amazing that they'd cancel such a potent air platform. It has a definite role that can't be met by anything else in our arsenal.
But... There aren't big contractor $$$$'s involved with something new and flashy if you keep an old workhorse around.
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Re: A-10 Warthog given 6 more years of flying duty

Post by jreinke » Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:22 am

According to my retired AF buddy, it's the 'fighter mafia' who wants the A-10 gone. I say F--k it, you don't want it, give it to the Army!
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Re: A-10 Warthog given 6 more years of flying duty

Post by D9M9TR9S » Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:45 am

The A-10 isn't going anywhere for a while. This thing is used so much in Afghanistan that it's crazy. I loved hearing that sound when they were doing test runs... quite sure that the enemy did not though.

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Re: A-10 Warthog given 6 more years of flying duty

Post by TROOPER » Sun Feb 07, 2016 4:08 pm

Spooky gunships can do the same basic role that the A-10 is being used for, and they can do it for less. Less headache, less cost, less proprietary parts.

The A-10 is good at what it was designed for, but it isn't being used for that. CAS can be met with a combination of other platforms.

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Re: A-10 Warthog given 6 more years of flying duty

Post by TROOPER » Sun Feb 07, 2016 4:18 pm

bakerjw wrote:It is amazing that they'd cancel such a potent air platform. It has a definite role that can't be met by anything else in our arsenal.
But... There aren't big contractor $$$$'s involved with something new and flashy if you keep an old workhorse around.
That role is anti-tank warfare.... and it isn't being used for that. It's role as CAS can be met with a number of other platforms. The loiter capabilities of a C-130, as well as the altitude benefits, and the lower cost of operation.... that's relevant. Also, high flying, prop-driven Reapers with their multi-hard points mean that their sigint collect on top of absurd loiters...

All I'm saying is that there are other options beside the A-10. The A-10 is being sub-optimally used. You guys are going to disagree, but they're not hitting armor. They're using a 300 Win Mag to kill a 100-pound white tail at 80 yards. Yeah, it works, but there's better options.

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Re: A-10 Warthog given 6 more years of flying duty

Post by johndoe3 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:54 pm

Trooper, I acknowledge your greater knowledge as a current serving Officer. However...

In mid-2015 AF Lt Gen Chris Bogdan, the F35 program executive officer testified to the Armed Services committee of Congress about the F-35 in its CAS role replacing the A-10...

http://www.airforcetimes.com/story/mili ... /25811203/
Service and program officers admit that the block 2B and 3I versions of the F-35 will be limited in their ability to do close air support. Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon's head of test and evaluation, testified that the difference between the block 2B's ability and that of the A-10 is dramatic:

An F-35B, assuming a 250-mile flight into a close air support mission, would have just 20 to 30 minutes time on station to provide close air support, and would only be able to employ two air-to-surface weapons while in a standoff position outside of an engagement zone. By comparison, an A-10 would have 90 minutes in an engagement zone and could employ four air-to-surface weapons, along with its internal gun.

Because the F-35's software is limited in its ability to identify targets, the pilot would have to be in constant voice contact with a forward air controller. An A-10 could autonomously acquire and identify targets, and pass along information digitally.

The F-35's ability to receive a "nine line" – the critical targeting information sent by a joint terminal attack controller to a pilot – has so far been inaccurate. The A-10, along with the AV-8B Harrier and F-16, receive digital nine line codes.

The F-35's fuel burn is about 180 percent faster than the A-10 and 60 percent higher than the F-16. This means mission planners would need more tanker support for an F-35 to stay on the target longer.

The A-10, the primary mission of which is close air support, does outperform the F-35 at the moment, Bogdan said.
Since the A-10 is in service right now (a bird in the hand versus promised future replacement capability), you can see why those who've been or are in combat zones benefiting from the A-10 in CAS might like its capabilities. Yes, you can lash together similar capabilities using multiple airborne platforms operating together, but a squadron of A-10's can do the job in multiple places right now with the fewest units in the air.

You're probably forward-looking at capabilities 5 years from now when the replacement capabilities for the A-10 will be much better, and that's a commendable view.
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Re: A-10 Warthog given 6 more years of flying duty

Post by TROOPER » Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:04 pm

I'm not an officer. I'm also in the Navy, not the Air Force or Army, so I don't have any inside information on the A-10. Point being, my 'knowledge' isn't from any sources not available to anyone else, nor is my opinion worth more.

That said, I wasn't referring to the F-35 as a replacement for the A-10. I was just pointing out that there are a few main benefits to the A-10: the GAU-8 avenger is fantastic against armor, and the fantastic number of hard-points allows for a great load-out. The aircraft also operates faster than rotary wings, so it can get to where it needs to go faster than an Apache.

BUT... that gun isn't being used on armor, so as a benefit, it doesn't really stand out. Also, the loiter time of an A-10 versus an MQ-9 Reaper or a C-130 Spectre... it just doesn't compare. Overall range and cost for operating a C-130 or an MQ-9 Reaper are also more favorable. The only thing these other two platforms lack is the ability to defend themselves in the air with AA missiles, and, of course, they lack that GAU-8. But these advantages don't really come into play against the Taliban or ISIS.

Hey, by no means am I saying to scrap the A-10, it's just that in the role it is currently being used for, other platforms can substitute, and arguably more effectively. And this is all disregarding the F-35, which really doesn't make much sense as a CAS given its speed and armaments.

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Re: A-10 Warthog given 6 more years of flying duty

Post by bakerjw » Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:24 am

TROOPER wrote:
bakerjw wrote:It is amazing that they'd cancel such a potent air platform. It has a definite role that can't be met by anything else in our arsenal.
But... There aren't big contractor $$$$'s involved with something new and flashy if you keep an old workhorse around.
That role is anti-tank warfare.... and it isn't being used for that. It's role as CAS can be met with a number of other platforms. The loiter capabilities of a C-130, as well as the altitude benefits, and the lower cost of operation.... that's relevant. Also, high flying, prop-driven Reapers with their multi-hard points mean that their sigint collect on top of absurd loiters...

All I'm saying is that there are other options beside the A-10. The A-10 is being sub-optimally used. You guys are going to disagree, but they're not hitting armor. They're using a 300 Win Mag to kill a 100-pound white tail at 80 yards. Yeah, it works, but there's better options.
You certainly have more insight than myself as I will admit that I am no expert other than being a aircraft buff, I just love the A-10. It is true that it was designed for an anti tank role and it is overkill for it's current role but the ground troops love em. And I'm sure that they strike fear in the hearts of the Taliban.
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Re: A-10 Warthog given 6 more years of flying duty

Post by whiterussian1974 » Sat Feb 13, 2016 12:47 pm

jreinke wrote:According to my retired AF buddy, it's the 'fighter mafia' who wants the A-10 gone. I say F--k it, you don't want it, give it to the Army!
That's actually a great point! They would act as improved AH-64 Apaches. Longer legs, faster speed, heavier armament, more bullets, great survivability.
Only problem becomes the need for runways. Though a temporary airstrip solution could probably be found.
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Re: A-10 Warthog given 6 more years of flying duty

Post by whiterussian1974 » Sat Feb 13, 2016 1:11 pm

TROOPER wrote:BUT... that gun isn't being used on armor, so as a benefit, it doesn't really stand out. Also, the loiter time of an A-10 versus an MQ-9 Reaper or a C-130 Spectre... it just doesn't compare. Overall range and cost for operating a C-130 or an MQ-9 Reaper are also more favorable. The only thing these other two platforms lack is the ability to defend themselves in the air with AA missiles, and, of course, they lack that GAU-8. But these advantages don't really come into play against the Taliban or ISIS.

Hey, by no means am I saying to scrap the A-10, it's just that in the role it is currently being used for, other platforms can substitute, and arguably more effectively. And this is all disregarding the F-35, which really doesn't make much sense as a CAS given its speed and armaments.
Agreed. I wonder why Pentagon doesn't recommission 8-12 1940-50s prop-driven CAS, like they did in Viet Nam. (4-6) .50 MGs firing API would tear up fuel tankers, trailers, "hardened" technicals just fine. We wouldn't have to worry about 'Bama running out of bullets to use against ISIS. Plus the Enviro-nuts should be glad that we are flying w low grade (100-130oct) AvGas instead of JP-8. And steel insert .50BMG instead of depleated Uraniam 20-30mm.

AA missiles really arent needed against an Enemy w.o an AF. 1 Armored Div would overrun any ISIS strongpoints. We don't need to leave Inf and CivAffairs behind to "Nation Build," just leave some leaflets and posters stating which direction the Red Cross and UN Tent Cities are for Refuge Health and Food handouts. Surely the Swedes and others will wet themselves w glee at being able to conduct "Humanitarian Ops."

Or we could drop leaflets saying that ISIS's new homeland is in Iran and N Korea. Once they invade and subdue these 2 areas, we'll send Hillary, John Kerry and Jeb Bush as Diplomats in an "Act of Love" to give ISIS diplomatic recognition. (And a side benefit is that the best way to herd cats is to throw a block of cheese and let them kill themselves trying to get it. 8) )
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We are using the A10 against ISIS simply b/c we have them. The strikes offer continued training to keep current in case we need them against N Korean or Iranian Tanks. I don';t know how many we have. But 48 seems a pretty good #. 36 forward deployed and 12 for Stateside training.

They and AH-64s were useful against the Fulda Gap. Now the other 2 enemies seem to be their best use. And if all 48 are destroyed, then they served their purpose in slowing the Armored Spearheads until we got our Ground Forces into position to resist further incursion. The C130s could still be useful AT weapons while flying under Fighter protection. But we need Air Supremacy b/f they can be safely used. So train them against ISIS so that they'll be ready when needed.
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Re: A-10 Warthog given 6 more years of flying duty

Post by TROOPER » Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:00 pm

https://www.airforcetimes.com/articles/ ... es-running

I feel vindicated.

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The brass believes that the current duties of the A-10 can be better carried out by other platforms, while also costing less.

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