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

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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Unread post11 May 2016, 17:22

Salute!

I was surprised about the ejection seat when I had my close tour of the jet. So the hinge location and the "primacord" a few inchs above the canopy rail and the associated warnings got my attention. A Harrier implementation and you blast thru the canopy!!!

I cannot believe that a special canopy for the Bee would cost a lot, but maybe it would. OTOH, we would save $$$ for the A and Cee.

Funny, but I weighed 135 pounds dripping wet since I was 17 years old. Gained a few after quiting smoking two years ago, so I am now legal, heh heh. I do not understand why a pilot could not wear a weight belt like divers use.

So the seat is passe.

The misunderstanding about CAS is obvious in many posts. Good grief, listen to MD and others that have flown the real deal in a few different planes.

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Dragon029

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Unread post12 May 2016, 05:30

In regards to zero-zero seats; there's also the scenario where a pilot conducts a crash landing (perhaps they and those on the ground aren't aware of the full extent of the damage or an impending failure) and needs to eject from a burning, slowly moving or stationary jet on the runway.

Edit: like in this situation:

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Unread post12 May 2016, 09:30

XanderCrews wrote:
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.


That makes sense, hadn't thought about that- Thank you for pointing that out.

I think the reason for using one type of seat and one type of canopy windscreen design is to save money in every way where possible and reasonable enough. While the seat might have some unneeded functionality for CTOL and CV variants and thus be more expensive, I think the costs of two different seats would be higher. It would include costs of designing, manufacturing, testing and supporting two different seat types. IMO, the canopy and ejection seat affect each other. If USAF went to have bubble canopy, they would've needed also to have another seat type because the ejection system as a whole would have needed to be different (canopy jettison instead of canopy fracturing system). Same with different seat type, they'd have to have different canopy type with jettison system. Both would require quite a lot of additional work and require also money. I think USAF and Navy decided that the seat and canopy are good enough as they are. The canopy is probably quite expensive item overall due to stealth requirements.
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Unread post08 Jun 2016, 23:11

I just had a good "what if" moment.

What if... The US Army had a fully matured/realized and fielded Land Warrior Systems and started to field them in combat units? What ways would that enhance the capability of the F-35?

Off the top of my head it would definitely greatly reduce any chance of fratricide. The linking and sharing of information from ground personnel to F-35's would mean greater ISR capability.

I think we should bounce some ideas off each other. Some times its good to humor your imagination to think outside the box...
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Unread post15 Jun 2016, 22:17

USAF Has Big Plans, But Little Money, For 'Warthog' Replacement
15 Jun 2016 Valerie Insinna

"WASHINGTON — The US Air Force is still pondering if and when it can replace the A-10 Warthog, but outgoing Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh has his own vision for the next close-air-support platform, which he wants to dispense different kinds of munitions as easily as a soda machine dispenses beverage cans....

...Another issue, besides the upfront cost of developing and buying new jets, is the manpower needed to support them, he said. Manning levels hover around 85 to 90 percent, and the service is constantly being asked to provide more cyber and space capability on top of fielding new aircraft like the F-35 and operating legacy ones like the F-16 and F-15E, he said.

"I'd like to build a new CAS airplane right now while we still have the A-10, transition the A-10 community to the new CAS airplane, but we just don't have the money to do it, and we don't have the people to fly the A-10 and build a new airplane and bed it down,” he said.

Over the past two years, Congress has forced the Air Force to retain the Warthog despite the service’s attempts to divest it for budgetary reasons. The service in its fiscal 2017 budget request opted to keep the A-10 until at least 2022. “Keeping the A-10 has been a wonderful thing for us,” Welsh acknowledged, but “the world has changed” since the Air Force conducted the operational analysis that spurred the service to opt for its retirement."

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/story/defens ... /85937470/
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
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Unread post15 Jun 2016, 22:33

I know it's 175 pages into this thread.... so, forgiveness!

Is the premise wrong?
I'm right in saying that only a small fraction of CAS missions are performed by the A-10, the bulk being done by -16s & -15s & B-1s etc...
So, is it fair to suggest that the F-35 is not replacing the A-10, because it has already been replaced?

Also, if the Air force want a cheap alternative platform to perform the never-ending task of bombing brown people in dusty lands, something like the AT-6 or Super Tucano would be just fine.

If the A-10s raison d'etre was to suicidally hold off Ivan's armour pouring into Germany, and that mission is now unlikely perhaps there is no need for a replacement at all?
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Unread post15 Jun 2016, 23:11

As in his quote at the end ,
"Welsh said he believes that a newer aircraft would cost less to operate than the A-10, which currently eats up about $20,000 per flying hour. Let's find something that's $4,000 to $5,000 a flying hour that brings more firepower, ..."


I believe Welsh's vision at this point would be something like an AT-6B or FA-50 leveraging the trainer fleet support and keeping costs down. But none of these - ie. $4-5000 per flt hr would have "more firepower." So sounds like just dreaming to me. I do think if they piggy backed a decision to get T-50's(or similar options for other trainers) with some light attack versions the costs would fall in line. But 8,000 lbs of ordinance is not 16,000 lbs, and a 20mm cannon is not a 30mm gun.

But when you are counting dollars ..... you can redirect F-16s or F-35s if you need heavier firepower. It'll just cost $$/Flt Hr.

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Unread post15 Jun 2016, 23:15

bojack_horseman wrote:I know it's 175 pages into this thread.... so, forgiveness!

Is the premise wrong?
....


Yeah somewhere between page 85 and 105 or so this point kept being made.

Number one point for the F-35. It is NOT replacing anything. Its a new paradigm. Cell phones did not replace copper phone land lines. People just started dropping their land lines ... etc. Nor did it replace desk top PCs. People just stopped using the desk top as much. Nor did they replace Garmin GPS's. People just stopped buying Garmins. Same with the F-35.

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PS I'm posting this from a tablet connected with blue tooth and HDMI to a wireless keyboard and big screen TV on my desktop. I'm sure I have a PC around here somewhere, but I probably should dust it off before firing it up. Nah easier if I grab the laptop if I need more power than the tablet. Things change.
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Unread post15 Jun 2016, 23:33

blindpilot wrote:As in his quote at the end ,
"Welsh said he believes that a newer aircraft would cost less to operate than the A-10, which currently eats up about $20,000 per flying hour. Let's find something that's $4,000 to $5,000 a flying hour that brings more firepower, ..."


I believe Welsh's vision at this point would be something like an AT-6B or FA-50 leveraging the trainer fleet support and keeping costs down. But none of these - ie. $4-5000 per flt hr would have "more firepower." So sounds like just dreaming to me. I do think if they piggy backed a decision to get T-50's(or similar options for other trainers) with some light attack versions the costs would fall in line. But 8,000 lbs of ordinance is not 16,000 lbs, and a 20mm cannon is not a 30mm gun.

But when you are counting dollars ..... you can redirect F-16s or F-35s if you need heavier firepower. It'll just cost $$/Flt Hr.

BP


Personally, I think his vision is closer to a larger unmanned aircraft platform capable of carrying a variety of ordnance and loitering over the battlefield for extended periods. Seems to fit the "soda machine" conops in a low threat environment.
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Unread post15 Jun 2016, 23:37

durahawk wrote:
blindpilot wrote:As in his quote at the end ,
"Welsh said he believes that a newer aircraft would cost less to operate than the A-10, which currently eats up about $20,000 per flying hour. Let's find something that's $4,000 to $5,000 a flying hour that brings more firepower, ..."


I believe Welsh's vision at this point would be something like an AT-6B or FA-50 leveraging the trainer fleet support and keeping costs down. But none of these - ie. $4-5000 per flt hr would have "more firepower." So sounds like just dreaming to me. I do think if they piggy backed a decision to get T-50's(or similar options for other trainers) with some light attack versions the costs would fall in line. But 8,000 lbs of ordinance is not 16,000 lbs, and a 20mm cannon is not a 30mm gun.

But when you are counting dollars ..... you can redirect F-16s or F-35s if you need heavier firepower. It'll just cost $$/Flt Hr.

BP


Personally, I think his vision is closer to a larger unmanned aircraft platform capable of carrying a variety of ordnance and loitering over the battlefield for extended periods. Seems to fit the "soda machine" conops in a low threat environment.


x2
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Unread post15 Jun 2016, 23:41

durahawk wrote:
blindpilot wrote:...

I believe Welsh's vision at this point would be something like an AT-6B or FA-50 leveraging the trainer fleet support
BP


Personally, I think his vision is closer to a larger unmanned aircraft platform capable of carrying a variety of ordnance and loitering over the battlefield for extended periods. Seems to fit the "soda machine" conops in a low threat environment.


You're probably right but even a Reaper goes for almost $20M and R&D for a new model would be steep, plus unit costs by then, as much as Light Attack trainer version aircraft.

BP
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Unread post15 Jun 2016, 23:54

An A-10 replacement should be cheap, there's really nothing ground breaking in the a-10 from an avionics standpoint.
It's claim to fame is armor and a gun, that's not expensive either.
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Unread post16 Jun 2016, 00:19

quicksilver wrote:
durahawk wrote:Personally, I think his vision is closer to a larger unmanned aircraft platform capable of carrying a variety of ordnance and loitering over the battlefield for extended periods. Seems to fit the "soda machine" conops in a low threat environment.


x2

Or a C-130 that can kick ordinance out it's rear ramp?
Einstein got it backward: one cannot prevent a war without preparing for it.

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Unread post16 Jun 2016, 01:54

les_paul59 wrote:An A-10 replacement should be cheap, there's really nothing ground breaking in the a-10 from an avionics standpoint.
It's claim to fame is armor and a gun, that's not expensive either.


So, why replace it?
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Unread post16 Jun 2016, 01:55

count_to_10 wrote:
quicksilver wrote:
durahawk wrote:Personally, I think his vision is closer to a larger unmanned aircraft platform capable of carrying a variety of ordnance and loitering over the battlefield for extended periods. Seems to fit the "soda machine" conops in a low threat environment.


x2

Or a C-130 that can kick ordinance out it's rear ramp?


Even has some big guns for those who will concern themselves which such things.
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