Why is the F-35 replacing the A-10?

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Gums

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Unread post06 May 2016, 19:54

Salute!

JTACS/FACS/Ground FACS or liasons/ et al.

I can not prove that the USAF and USA and USMC had little joint designated slots for folks in the Korean scenario. But we sure as hell had them in 'nam. The 3 Corps TACC was right across the street from my bunk at Bien Hoa. The "operators" were out there attached to various USA and Vee units. The FAC's were usually assigned to specific USA or ARVN divisions/brigades, but worked closely with the TACC.

That was first tour in 67-68.

In 72-73, we had more centralized control, and the local TACC setup seemed to go away. Hell. One day we had the FAC in Cambodia getting direction from 'Blue Chip", which was the 7th/13th AF control outfit. SHEESH. Talk about ROE and micromanaging the tactical situation?

The good thing about our ground FAC's was they had fighter experience per the rules at the time. The other neat thing was they were flesh and blood USAF/USMC dudes enduring the crapola along with the grunts. That really builds bonds, trust me.

++++++++++

The modern target designation equipment and procedures are way better than WW2, Korea, 'nam, Storm, etc. Last time I flew CAS the good guys would throw out flares of a certain color and designate the tgt by direction and meters.

I have a good feeling bout the CAS the USAF/USMC/USN/IAF/etc can provide with Stubby.

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count_to_10

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Unread post06 May 2016, 23:30

spazsinbad wrote:
F-35 vs. A-10: Air Force Test Pilot Weighs In
05 May 2016 Lara Seligman

"So which platform is better for protecting soldiers in a firefight: the A-10 or the F-35? Lt. Col. Raja Chari, who started out flying F-15 Strike Eagles and is now director of the F-35 integrated test force and commander of the 461st flight test squadron, weighed in during an interview here with Defense News.

“You need to really define: What exactly are you talking about when you say [close-air support]? The way you define the question will dramatically affect the answer that you come up with,” Chari said Tuesday, fresh off his latest F-35 test flight. “Are you talking about CAS in a low-threat environment, or CAS in a high-threat environment? Basically, contested or uncontested?”

If US forces are fighting in a high-threat environment, the A-10 “isn’t really in the conversation,” Chari said. While the Warthog performs well in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the skies are uncontested, it is not suited for operating against more sophisticated air defenses.

Commanders can send an A-10 into a high-threat battlefield, “but you can only do it once,” Chari said.

Critics of the Air Force’s plan to retire the A-10 and replace it with the F-35 often claim that the Warthog can loiter over the target for 90 minutes, while the F-35A can only stay on station for 20 to 30 minutes. But Chari said in an uncontested environment, where tankers would be available, the F-35 can easily loiter above the battlefield for an hour and a half.

“If you are talking a non-contested environment, which would be the only place you could make that comparison with the A-10, you are going to have tankers, so it’s kind of moot,” Chari said. “You could easily get to 90 minutes if you are 15 minutes from where you are going to loiter.”

In current operations against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, commanders use a variety of platforms to perform CAS: the A-10, the F-15, the B-1 bomber and unmanned MQ-9 Reapers. The F-35 will have the same advantages of the F-15 — that it can get to a target faster than the A-10, and it also has a bigger gun, Chari noted.

“I’m not downplaying the A-10, it’s an awesome platform, but it’s also — you have to know the role it can fit in,” Chari said."

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/story/defens ... /83961964/

Have you seen the comment section on that article? :shock:
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Unread post06 May 2016, 23:49

No - I'm not really concerned about ridiculous internet comment sections. Why bother if no good? Don't waste your time.
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Unread post07 May 2016, 06:33

Gums wrote:Salute!

Last time I flew CAS the good guys would throw out flares of a certain color and designate the tgt by direction and meters.

Gums sends...


We were still doing that when I started in the Hog, when NVGs weren't widespread yet. Night FAC would carry the SUU-25 pod with 8 x LUU-1, -5, or -6 "logs", and drop a pair to form his direction to talk off of as well as his unit of measure. Would burn a good 30 mins.

Different logs, different colors.
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Unread post07 May 2016, 06:43

I knew a guy who knew GUY WHO worked in guard tower near Indian springs NV. He would watch hogs pound a lake bed all day BZZZZT. On there final run back towards Nellis the trailing A-10 flew a complete 360 around the tower. He was so close you could almost wave at the guy. about a football fields length out. Or shot at him with a mini-14. Its a very impressive bird up close. :D
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Unread post07 May 2016, 18:02

Salute!

Logs??!!! Oh yeah, logs. Log markers.

TNX, MD, as I also saw them way long ago, ( we Dragonflies used the SUU-25 for basic parachute flares when the moon was not out, but not the logs). The Covey FAC's on the Trail used the logs. Dunno how they carried the logs, but the things were a very sneaky way to get the truck convoy position. Sometimes Covey would drop ahaead of the trucks and we would wait until they were right next to the suckers. Believe it or not, when the moon was anything above half we did not use parachute flares, but just eyeballs. The night missions were "special" and we did everything to not be outside in bright sun, even with dark shades. True night owls.

The big boys like Blindbat used a half dozen of those huge parachute flares, but we didn't really like that as they lit us up. Better to stay dark, ya think? OTOH, I had my best BDA one night when that C-130 used a gob of flares and I actually could see the trucks all lined up on the road and shazzam!!! Linear CBU at its best did the job.
+++++

We saw an example of bad targeting in the sandbox a few years back when the laser doofer used present position and not the offset for a JDAM. A poor Canadian outfit took the short round. Bad, bad. Back in '72 the grunts in Laos would not let us use the A-7 radar beacon with an offset for the same reason. However, they let the 'vaarks do it, and maybe they used a "test" bomb before we got there. So we would drop on their wing like we did with the F-4 LORAN birds. Of course they had their own infamous drop on the DaNang TACAN!!! Yep. Did not set the offset and rippled a gob of MK-82's across the nav site that they had the super coordinates for.

Gotta go.

Gums sends...
Gums
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Unread post08 May 2016, 06:36

Combat Aircraft magazine had a good article about the F-35 and its role in CSAR and CAS (and on other things). It starts in earnest near the end of page 2/5:

Green Bats.pdf
422nd TES and the F-35A, from Combat Aircraft magazine May 2016
(2.48 MiB) Downloaded 272 times


I had to compress that PDF file to upload it, but there's also a non-compressed image album version here: http://imgur.com/a/VLbKU
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Unread post08 May 2016, 06:41

OOoops - is this the same article with PDF posted earlier here? viewtopic.php?f=22&t=24483&p=319497&hilit=Green+Bats#p319497 download same same PDF: download/file.php?id=22817

Jump here: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=24483&p=319455&hilit=Green#p319455 AND YES it is confusing because at the time attachments could NOT be uploaded (since corrected) but there it is.
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Unread post10 May 2016, 08:13

LtCol Wood -- "with no political agenda or axe to grind" -- sounds parochial, whiney and stuck in a worms-eye view of what he's involved in. Seems the author was bound and determined to take him 'there', but it sure didnt seem to take much of a shove.

HMD, range scale PVI, canopy bow, "wasted potential"...really, bro?
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Unread post11 May 2016, 01:39

quicksilver wrote:LtCol Wood -- "with no political agenda or axe to grind" -- sounds parochial, whiney and stuck in a worms-eye view of what he's involved in. Seems the author was bound and determined to take him 'there', but it sure didnt seem to take much of a shove.

HMD, range scale PVI, canopy bow, "wasted potential"...really, bro?

Agreed. If he was accurately quoted or quoted within the right context, he was talking about things he really didn't know the background on, and if we are to believe these were his heartfelt opinions, then it seems he might be one of those guys that should recognize the jet wasn't made for past generations but the next one. The radar range selection beef for example: I guarantee more patch wearers have been over the PVI design in sims and cockpits with more combat hours than a hundred Lt Col Woods. That it got this far without being bi****ed about indicates maybe people were thinking about how the F-35 will be flown going forward more than how the last gen jets did it. OK, the change is in the works to make it like the past. Later it can be changed to work like the next crop of pilots will want it.

Honestly I thought the article was horribly mangled junk that you had to pick over to extract some real gems.
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Unread post11 May 2016, 01:56

I enjoyed the gems
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Unread post11 May 2016, 03:05

In defense of LtCol Woods, some reporters will not accept good news for an answer. They eventually get around to, 'there's gotta be some things you don't like...what are they?' And in the main, that's the theme that's reported.

USAF PAO's gotta be smarter about this stuff. Theyve also gotta understand that 'general interest' editors dont give a crap about the contextual nuance of acquisition, programmatics, and developmental test. They're about feeding the established narrative; controversy sells.
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Unread post11 May 2016, 04:12

I've read it twice, and I'm still digesting it. I did find it interesting that the author had to qualify quotes with interpretations of the emotions... "just an observation" crews typed seemingly angered
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Unread post11 May 2016, 07:45

quicksilver wrote:LtCol Wood -- "with no political agenda or axe to grind" -- sounds parochial, whiney and stuck in a worms-eye view of what he's involved in. Seems the author was bound and determined to take him 'there', but it sure didnt seem to take much of a shove.

HMD, range scale PVI, canopy bow, "wasted potential"...really, bro?


I agree that those kind of things are something that you will find in every single aircraft. I'm sure if you asked any pilot about their aircraft, you can find similar things in every single aircraft ever produced. There will never be perfect aircraft as there is always ways to improve everything. I'm also sure that if you asked these questions from every single F-35 pilot, you'd get a lot of different answers. I'm sure some really like having no fixed HUD and some would like having fixed HUD. HMI systems are always never going to satisfy everyone as everyone has different preferences. I'm also sure pilots are going to make them work.

I think the problem is also that we have no way of knowing the exact context and meaning in which those things were said. The journalists always create their own context and might well make it something else than what was actually said and meant. Of course it could also be that those things were "complained" about and some things might well be real complaints. It also seems like pilot opinions are really listened to and changes are being made accordingly. I think that's really what the IOT&E is really about. It's impossible to know exactly how the thing is going to be used in real life before it's taken out by pilots and mechs and used every day.

I really wondered about the ejection seat issue. Even if F-35A (or C) is not going to hover at 70ft, wouldn't both still require zero-zero ejection seats. How is that different to having enough zoom to eject from hover? Also how is having enough zoom a bad thing in the case of emergency that needs ejection. I understand that might induce more wear and tear to body, but I also think getting out of the thing alive might be more important... Besides, the specs for F-35 ejection seat look very much the same as ejection seat used for other modern high performance fighter jets.
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Unread post11 May 2016, 15:24

hornetfinn wrote:I really wondered about the ejection seat issue. Even if F-35A (or C) is not going to hover at 70ft, wouldn't both still require zero-zero ejection seats. How is that different to having enough zoom to eject from hover? Also how is having enough zoom a bad thing in the case of emergency that needs ejection. I understand that might induce more wear and tear to body, but I also think getting out of the thing alive might be more important... Besides, the specs for F-35 ejection seat look very much the same as ejection seat used for other modern high performance fighter jets.


I would think theoretically, it would help in a flat spin. Harrier bang seats have different features because the aircraft may be falling straight down so the seat has a little more to overcome (its almost beyond zero-zero, as its zero airspeed falling decent), though I forget exactly what the features are.

I think in this case its not the seat itself he is really complaining about, but the additional design testing and certification for a feature that he sees as unnecessary for the USAF version, and in the meantime he sees other more important problems that need to be solved. All of it takes time. I can see from his perspective how something isn't working, but the seat must be perfected for a version he doesn't fly.

That's just my two cents. I could be wrong.
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