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

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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knowan

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Unread post23 Nov 2018, 17:50

Combat loadout from 1991: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwnqLkiStCc

Looks like 6x Mk 20 Rockeye, 2x Maverick, 2x AIM-9 and ECM pod.
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kimjongnumbaun

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Unread post23 Nov 2018, 21:17

The titanium bathtub doesn't prevent the engines, hydraulics, fuel lines, or anything else critical (other than the pilot) from being shot out. I've also seen 12.7mm AP rounds slice through titanium rotor hubs in like a hot knife through butter. Those hubs are much thicker than the armor on the A-10. There's also no such thing as "bullet proof", just "resistant".
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ricnunes

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Unread post23 Nov 2018, 21:18

eloise wrote:Yes the load out will slow down the A-10 and make it less agile, but it not like A-10 is intended to dogfight with any fighter.


Speed and agility (or the lack of it) is not only useful for dogfights. It's also vital to dodge enemy ground fire (AAA or even SAMs) and independently of how armored/resistant a vehicle/aircraft may be, the "best armor" is always and by far not getting hit at all! Speed and agility, helps achieving this kinda of "armor". :wink:

Moreover and like I previously said, slowing down and reducing the already slow and low agile A-10 means that:
- It will take longer for the A-10 to reach and engage the target;
- Once the A-10 makes an attack run it will take longer to be able to clear and turn around in order to re-engage;
All of this with a heavy loadout.


eloise wrote:
ricnunes wrote:More realistic (modern) loadouts would be like in the picture that I previous shared (page 202), which is:
- 2 Mavericks + 2 GBU-12 + 2 Sidewinders (the picture shows only one) + 1 TGP (likely LITENING II)

Iam pretty sure A-10 commonly carry more than that, both pilots and infantry commented that A-10 have many more shot than MQ-9 drone with a few Hellfire
A-10-departing-tanker.jpg

061129-F-5167G-003.JPG



Well, the MQ-9 heaviest operational loadout seems to be 4 x Hellfires and 2 x 500lb Guided Bombs (such as the GBU-12). So it's not hard for the A-10 or most manned aircraft for that matter to surpass that in terms of number of weapons/shots (not to mention weight).
Yes, the pictures that you shared seem indeed to be (IMO) loadouts that the A-10 could use operationally as a sort of a "maximum effort" loadout. But note how they are still considerably less than what you previously stated which I re-quote below:
A-10 can carry 6 Maverick + 8 GBU-12 + 4 CBU-87 all at the same time


In the first example, we have:
5 x 500lb (4xJDAM and 1xGBU-12) + 1 x Maverick + 1 x 2000lb JDAM + 1 x Small Rocket pod (with 4-5 rockets). Plus a TGP.
This seems to be the heaviest example that you gave, nevertheless it's still quite less namely in terms of "number of shots" compared to your example that I quoted above.

In the second example, we have:
4 x Mavericks + 2 x 500lb bombs (IMO it seems to be, one GBU-12 plus one 500lb JDAM) + 2 x Cluster Bombs. Plus a TGP.
This one doesn't deviate much from the Desert Storm (and picture) example that I gave above. The diferences are that 2 Cluster Bombs were replaced by 2 x 500lb PGMs and 2 Mavericks were added.

Also note that the F-35 basically equals both loadout example above in terms of "number of shots" with an internal loadout only of 8 x SDBs. Now if we start adding external loadout to the the F-35 then...
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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ricnunes

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Unread post23 Nov 2018, 21:27

knowan wrote:Combat loadout from 1991: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwnqLkiStCc

Looks like 6x Mk 20 Rockeye, 2x Maverick, 2x AIM-9 and ECM pod.


Nice video knowan, thanks for sharing :thumb:

Basically 2 more Cluster Bombs compared to the loadout that I previously mentioned.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post23 Nov 2018, 21:43

marsavian wrote:The A-10 can take return fire better than helicopters and AC-130s. It's basically a flying armored light tank that can do 400 knots and 20 deg/sec turns.


I'll admit those are advantages although I wonder about how much difference it would actually make in likely scenarios. Unless I'm mistaken, it's designed to take small arms, HMG and especially 23mm fire pretty well and it succeeds at that. It still doesn't do very well against missiles with 10lbs warheads. Wikipedia says the Shilka's 23mm has an effective vertical range of 1.5km which a helicopter or AC-130 can easily stay above of.

If you're going up against Muslim rednecks like ISIS, you can fly at 2-3km altitude without great danger. If you're going up against better-equipped opponents, don't count on absorbing hits from their missiles. The lethality of missile warheads makes anything but the heaviest/most internally redundant units into glass cannons. You'll note that light armor doesn't expect to play Rocky Balboa against missiles either.

AFAICT, with missiles, survivability goes through this kill prevention chain: First and foremost, don't get spotted. If you get spotted, don't get IDed. If you get IDed, don't let them get a target lock. If they get a target lock, break it. If they maintain it, intercept the munition. If you don't intercept the munition, dodge or move behind cover. If you don't dodge or move behind cover, hope Jesus is in a prayer-answering mood today.
Last edited by michaelemouse on 23 Nov 2018, 22:32, edited 1 time in total.
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marsavian

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Unread post23 Nov 2018, 21:56

kimjongnumbaun wrote:The titanium bathtub doesn't prevent the engines, hydraulics, fuel lines, or anything else critical (other than the pilot) from being shot out. I've also seen 12.7mm AP rounds slice through titanium rotor hubs in like a hot knife through butter. Those hubs are much thicker than the armor on the A-10. There's also no such thing as "bullet proof", just "resistant".


Engines, hydraulics, fuel tanks, aerofoil surfaces have redundancy on A-10. A-10 is about the most battle resistant aircraft ever built.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairchi ... derbolt_II

Durability

The A-10 is exceptionally tough, being able to survive direct hits from armor-piercing and high-explosive projectiles up to 23 mm. It has double-redundant hydraulic flight systems, and a mechanical system as a back up if hydraulics are lost. Flight without hydraulic power uses the manual reversion control system; pitch and yaw control engages automatically, roll control is pilot-selected. In manual reversion mode, the A-10 is sufficiently controllable under favorable conditions to return to base, though control forces are greater than normal. The aircraft is designed to be able to fly with one engine, one half of the tail, one elevator, and half of a wing missing.[61]

The cockpit and parts of the flight-control system are protected by 1,200 lb (540 kg) of titanium aircraft armor, referred to as a "bathtub".[62][63] The armor has been tested to withstand strikes from 23 mm cannon fire and some strikes from 57 mm rounds.[58][62] It is made up of titanium plates with thicknesses from 0.5 to 1.5 inches (13 to 38 mm) determined by a study of likely trajectories and deflection angles. The armor makes up almost six percent of the aircraft's empty weight. Any interior surface of the tub directly exposed to the pilot is covered by a multi-layer nylon spall shield to protect against shell fragmentation.[64][65] The front windscreen and canopy are resistant to small arms fire.[66]

The A-10's durability was demonstrated on 7 April 2003 when Captain Kim Campbell, while flying over Baghdad during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, suffered extensive flak damage. Iraqi fire damaged one of her engines and crippled the hydraulic system, requiring the aircraft's stabilizer and flight controls to be operated via the 'manual reversion mode.' Despite this damage, Campbell flew the aircraft for nearly an hour and landed safely.[67][68]


Image

To reduce the likelihood of damage to the A-10's fuel system, all four fuel tanks are located near the aircraft's center and are separated from the fuselage; projectiles would need to penetrate the aircraft's skin before reaching a tank's outer skin.[64][65] Compromised fuel transfer lines self-seal; if damage exceeds a tank's self-sealing capabilities, check valves prevent fuel flowing into a compromised tank. Most fuel system components are inside the tanks so that fuel will not be lost due to component failure. The refueling system is also purged after use.[70] Reticulated polyurethane foam lines both the inner and outer sides of the fuel tanks, retaining debris and restricting fuel spillage in the event of damage. The engines are shielded from the rest of the airframe by firewalls and fire extinguishing equipment. In the event of all four main tanks being lost, two self-sealing sump tanks contain fuel for 230 miles (370 km) of flight.[64][65]

The A-10 was intended to fly from forward air bases and semi-prepared runways with high risk of foreign object damage to the engines. The unusual location of the General Electric TF34-GE-100 turbofan engines decreases ingestion risk, and allows the engines to run while the aircraft is serviced and rearmed by ground crews, reducing turn-around time. The wings are also mounted closer to the ground, simplifying servicing and rearming operations. The heavy engines require strong supports: four bolts connect the engine pylons to the airframe.[69] The engines' high 6:1 bypass ratio contributes to a relatively small infrared signature, and their position directs exhaust over the tailplanes further shielding it from detection by infrared homing surface-to-air missiles. The engines exhaust nozzles are angled nine degrees below horizontal to cancel out the nose-down pitching moment that would otherwise be generated from being mounted above the aircraft's center of gravity and avoid the need to trim the control surfaces to prevent pitching.[69]
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charlielima223

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Unread post24 Nov 2018, 02:39

marsavian wrote:
Image



small arms and AAA is one thing... a guided projectile traveling at speeds in excess of mach 1 with a 20lbs HE complex fragmenting warhead is another.
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Unread post24 Nov 2018, 03:26

ricnunes wrote:Speed and agility (or the lack of it) is not only useful for dogfights. It's also vital to dodge enemy ground fire (AAA or even SAMs) and independently of how armored/resistant a vehicle/aircraft may be, the "best armor" is always and by far not getting hit at all! Speed and agility, helps achieving this kinda of "armor". :wink:
- It will take longer for the A-10 to reach and engage the target
- Once the A-10 makes an attack run it will take longer to be able to clear and turn around in order to re-engage;


I recalled the pilot have explained that A-10 will only be used after SEAD is done, so what is left probably MANPARD and AA Flak which it can stay out of range with GBU-12/Maverick/APKWS, of course, there could be pop up threat but i think the added agility benefit of lightly loaded A-10 will be quite negligible against SAM. Nevertheless, a heavy loaded A-10 still faster and more agile than AC-130, AH-64, MQ-9





ricnunes wrote:More realistic (modern) loadouts would be like in the picture that I previous shared (page 202), which is:
- 2 Mavericks + 2 GBU-12 + 2 Sidewinders (the picture shows only one) + 1 TGP (likely LITENING II)
Well, the MQ-9 heaviest operational loadout seems to be 4 x Hellfires and 2 x 500lb Guided Bombs (such as the GBU-12). So it's not hard for the A-10 or most manned aircraft for that matter to surpass that in terms of number of weapons/shots (not to mention weight)

My point is, if A-10 commonly carry only 2 Maverick + 2 GBU-12 then it will have less shot than MQ-9


ricnunes wrote:Yes, the pictures that you shared seem indeed to be (IMO) loadouts that the A-10 could use operationally as a sort of a "maximum effort" loadout. But note how they are still considerably less than what you previously stated which I re-quote below:
A-10 can carry 6 Maverick + 8 GBU-12 + 4 CBU-87 all at the same time


In the first example, we have:
5 x 500lb (4xJDAM and 1xGBU-12) + 1 x Maverick + 1 x 2000lb JDAM + 1 x Small Rocket pod (with 4-5 rockets). Plus a TGP.
This seems to be the heaviest example that you gave, nevertheless it's still quite less namely in terms of "number of shots" compared to your example that I quoted above.


The small rocket pod is LAU-68 with max capacity of 7 rocket, when loaded with APKWS you got 7 PGM
So in total you have 14 shot for PGM + 5-6 gun run.

ricnunes wrote:Also note that the F-35 basically equals both loadout example above in terms of "number of shots" with an internal loadout only of 8 x SDBs. Now if we start adding external loadout to the the F-35 then...

Yes but miniature weapon like Brimstone , JAGM or SDB haven't been integrated to A-10. If A-10 continues to be in services, these weapons will be integrated eventually, and A-10 will have many available weapon stations, sorta like a Tornado
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Unread post24 Nov 2018, 03:28

marsavian wrote:
kimjongnumbaun wrote:The titanium bathtub doesn't prevent the engines, hydraulics, fuel lines, or anything else critical (other than the pilot) from being shot out. I've also seen 12.7mm AP rounds slice through titanium rotor hubs in like a hot knife through butter. Those hubs are much thicker than the armor on the A-10. There's also no such thing as "bullet proof", just "resistant".


Engines, hydraulics, fuel tanks, aerofoil surfaces have redundancy on A-10. A-10 is about the most battle resistant aircraft ever built.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairchi ... derbolt_II

Durability

The A-10 is exceptionally tough, being able to survive direct hits from armor-piercing and high-explosive projectiles up to 23 mm. It has double-redundant hydraulic flight systems, and a mechanical system as a back up if hydraulics are lost. Flight without hydraulic power uses the manual reversion control system; pitch and yaw control engages automatically, roll control is pilot-selected. In manual reversion mode, the A-10 is sufficiently controllable under favorable conditions to return to base, though control forces are greater than normal. The aircraft is designed to be able to fly with one engine, one half of the tail, one elevator, and half of a wing missing.[61]

The cockpit and parts of the flight-control system are protected by 1,200 lb (540 kg) of titanium aircraft armor, referred to as a "bathtub".[62][63] The armor has been tested to withstand strikes from 23 mm cannon fire and some strikes from 57 mm rounds.[58][62] It is made up of titanium plates with thicknesses from 0.5 to 1.5 inches (13 to 38 mm) determined by a study of likely trajectories and deflection angles. The armor makes up almost six percent of the aircraft's empty weight. Any interior surface of the tub directly exposed to the pilot is covered by a multi-layer nylon spall shield to protect against shell fragmentation.[64][65] The front windscreen and canopy are resistant to small arms fire.[66]

The A-10's durability was demonstrated on 7 April 2003 when Captain Kim Campbell, while flying over Baghdad during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, suffered extensive flak damage. Iraqi fire damaged one of her engines and crippled the hydraulic system, requiring the aircraft's stabilizer and flight controls to be operated via the 'manual reversion mode.' Despite this damage, Campbell flew the aircraft for nearly an hour and landed safely.[67][68]


Image

To reduce the likelihood of damage to the A-10's fuel system, all four fuel tanks are located near the aircraft's center and are separated from the fuselage; projectiles would need to penetrate the aircraft's skin before reaching a tank's outer skin.[64][65] Compromised fuel transfer lines self-seal; if damage exceeds a tank's self-sealing capabilities, check valves prevent fuel flowing into a compromised tank. Most fuel system components are inside the tanks so that fuel will not be lost due to component failure. The refueling system is also purged after use.[70] Reticulated polyurethane foam lines both the inner and outer sides of the fuel tanks, retaining debris and restricting fuel spillage in the event of damage. The engines are shielded from the rest of the airframe by firewalls and fire extinguishing equipment. In the event of all four main tanks being lost, two self-sealing sump tanks contain fuel for 230 miles (370 km) of flight.[64][65]

The A-10 was intended to fly from forward air bases and semi-prepared runways with high risk of foreign object damage to the engines. The unusual location of the General Electric TF34-GE-100 turbofan engines decreases ingestion risk, and allows the engines to run while the aircraft is serviced and rearmed by ground crews, reducing turn-around time. The wings are also mounted closer to the ground, simplifying servicing and rearming operations. The heavy engines require strong supports: four bolts connect the engine pylons to the airframe.[69] The engines' high 6:1 bypass ratio contributes to a relatively small infrared signature, and their position directs exhaust over the tailplanes further shielding it from detection by infrared homing surface-to-air missiles. The engines exhaust nozzles are angled nine degrees below horizontal to cancel out the nose-down pitching moment that would otherwise be generated from being mounted above the aircraft's center of gravity and avoid the need to trim the control surfaces to prevent pitching.[69]



I hate to break it to you, but none of what is written here is unique to the A-10. My UH-60 has 3 hydraulic pumps and the system will run on just one. It’s a smart system designed to automatically shutoff hydraulic lines in case of damage. We also have the equivalent of a manual mode in case of hydraulic failure. It’s actually one of our required emergency procedures that we are trained on. The truth is all combat aircraft are built to have multiple redundant systems. The A-10 isn’t some special case.

A lot of what is written is a sales brochure from Fairchild. Like the part where it says that rounds need to penetrate the aircraft skin and then the fuel tank...I guarantee you the A-10 skin is made of aluminum in order to save weight, and that provides zero protection. In fact, aircraft skin is purposely made that way so rounds pass through and just leave holes instead of ricocheting and possibly damaging something important. Our knowledge of engineering has only gotten better since the A-10 was designed. I’ll bet money that the F-35 is structurally engineered better than the A-10. Here’s a good example. The A-10 uses the same engines as the S-3 Viking, hardly a CAS plane. The newer F135 engine will eat birds and refueling baskets and keep going. How’s that for improvements in damage resistance?

At the end of the day you can armor the plane all you want. All it takes is a single 20mm HE round in the cockpit or igniting a fuel line and the aircraft is done for.
Last edited by kimjongnumbaun on 24 Nov 2018, 03:43, edited 1 time in total.
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wrightwing

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Unread post24 Nov 2018, 03:29

eloise wrote:
wrightwing wrote:The overwhelming majority of tanks killed by A-10s, were killed by Maverick missiles, or some other PGM.
A-10 can carry 6 Maverick + 8 GBU-12 + 4 CBU-87 all at the same time
A-10 load out 1.PNG

A-10 load out 2.PNG

A-10 load out 3.PNG


F-35 can only match that number with SDB
kMpexUw.png

Please tell me you're not comparing the A-10 load out versus Block 3F. In Block 4, the F-35 can carry 8 GBU-39/54, or 2 GBU-12/31/32/49, or 8 JAGM-F, internally, plus 16 GBU-39/54, or 4 GBU-12/31/32/49, or 16 JAGM-F, or 76 APKWS, or 16 laser Zuni, or variations of these loads (i.e. 8 SDB I/II internal, 8 JAGM-F + 36 APKWS/8 laser Zuni, etc....)
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Unread post24 Nov 2018, 03:33

wrightwing wrote:Please tell me you're not comparing the A-10 load out versus Block 3F. In Block 4, the F-35 can carry 8 GBU-39/54, or 2 GBU-12/31/32/49, or 8 JAGM-F, internally, plus 16 GBU-39/54, or 4 GBU-12/31/32/49, or 16 JAGM-F, or 76 APKWS, or 16 laser Zuni, or variations of these loads (i.e. 8 SDB I/II internal, 8 JAGM-F + 36 APKWS/8 laser Zuni, etc....)

Of course not, hence, i posted this earlier
Image
But the advantage of A-10 isn't in the number of weapons alone, but also in the diversity of weapons in can carry in a sorties because it has a huge number of pylon, similar to the Tornado i showed earlier.
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Unread post24 Nov 2018, 03:48

I'm guessing the quantity limits and variety will be dictated by the type of racks available, moreso than the hard points. The center wing pylons can carry 2500lbs of ordnance, and the inner wing pylons can carry 5000lbs of ordnance. They can always design dual/triple ejector racks, as needed.
Last edited by wrightwing on 24 Nov 2018, 05:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post24 Nov 2018, 03:54

The F-111 had more armor kills than the A-10 is Desert Storm and with less combat losses. Pretty good considering that it beat out the A-10 in the very role it was designed to perform and fewer F-111s were flying in theater.
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Unread post24 Nov 2018, 04:46

eloise wrote:I recalled the pilot have explained that A-10 will only be used after SEAD is done, so what is left probably MANPARD and AA Flak which it can stay out of range with GBU-12/Maverick/APKWS, of course, there could be pop up threat but i think the added agility benefit of lightly loaded A-10 will be quite negligible against SAM.


Let me get this right, the aircraft whose two main assets are supposed to be its 30mm gun for offense and resilience to damage for defense will rely PGMs for offense and on SEAD having been done + staying out of range for defense?


eloise wrote:Nevertheless, a heavy loaded A-10 still faster and more agile than AC-130, AH-64, MQ-9


If speed and agility are desired, use a fighter.
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Unread post24 Nov 2018, 05:25

michaelemouse wrote:Let me get this right, the aircraft whose two main assets are supposed to be its 30mm gun for offense and resilience to damage for defense will rely PGMs for offense and on SEAD having been done + staying out of range for defense?

Yes.

michaelemouse wrote:If speed and agility are desired, use a fighter.

Exactly
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