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

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ricnunes

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Unread post29 Nov 2018, 22:13

XanderCrews wrote:
Fact. Atkinson, Crusade. Published 1996.

Its thousands of airplanes in 1991 vs a relative handful of post revolution Iranian birds.



Ok then (I stand corrected). Thanks for the info Xander :thumb:
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botsing

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Unread post29 Nov 2018, 22:38

ricnunes wrote:
XanderCrews wrote:
Fact. Atkinson, Crusade. Published 1996.

Its thousands of airplanes in 1991 vs a relative handful of post revolution Iranian birds.



Ok then (I stand corrected). Thanks for the info Xander :thumb:

Reading through many papers I actually think you are correct ricnunes, Iran made way more sorties in the Iraq-Iran war than the allies made in one day of GW1.

I read about several days were the Iranians made 150 sorties a day with their limited air force. And Iraq for example had more than 20.000 sorties in 1985 with about three times a many airplanes as Iran.

This leads me to conclude that in those 8 years Iran made way more than ~3k sorties.
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ricnunes

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Unread post29 Nov 2018, 23:31

botsing wrote:Reading through many papers I actually think you are correct ricnunes, Iran made way more sorties in the Iraq-Iran war than the allies made in one day of GW1.

I read about several days were the Iranians made 150 sorties a day with their limited air force. And Iraq for example had more than 20.000 sorties in 1985 with about three times a many airplanes as Iran.

This leads me to conclude that in those 8 years Iran made way more than ~3k sorties.


Ok, thanks botsing for confirming my initial suspicions. And it makes sense that Iran managed to generate more sorties during the entire Iran-Iraq war compared to the allies in the first day of Desert Storm since and afterall 8 years is a LOT more than a single day.
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Unread post30 Nov 2018, 01:20

Gums is also right because Iran never had the SEAD capabilities that US had in DS. No counter-SEAD experience = inexperience in handling. SEAD was a key factor imho that enabled the successful prosecution of IADS degradation in DS.
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Unread post30 Nov 2018, 13:03

botsing wrote:Horner's comments about the A-10's in GW1 gives away an important clue:

Horner wrote:We had a lot of A-10s take a lot of ground fire hits. Quite frankly, we pulled the A-10s back from going up around the Republican Guard and kept them on Iraq's [less formidable] front-line units. That's line if you have a force that allows you to do that. In this case, we had F-16s to go after the Republican Guard


http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArch ... orner.aspx

So the regular Iraqi forces were game for the A-10 but versus the better trained and equipped Republican Guard it quickly showed its weak side.

IIRC they were pulled from attacking the Republican Guard when two A-10's were shot down on the same day (February 15th 1991).


Thanks, that was interesting.

AFAIK, regular Iraqi forces had only ZSU-23-4 and SA-9s along with MANPADs and manual AAA systems. Republican Guard units had SA-13s and had or were supported with longer ranged systems like SA-8. So they had superior equipment and were likely more skilled in operating them.

Nowadays there are quite a lot of much better AD systems around the world. SA-15, Pantsir, Tunguska and even Buk are pretty widespread. Sosna-R is new system which could be exported to many countries and is pretty much modern version of SA-13. China has all kinds of pretty advanced SHORAD systems in use and could export them to many countries. All of those have far superior performance to ZSU-23-4 and SA-9/13 systems and can effectively operate even without using their radars (and are thus more difficult target for SEAD). Just to remind that there are a lot of countries that can create SHORAD threat which is far worse than what Iraq had to offer in 1991 or 2003.
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Unread post30 Nov 2018, 13:27

ricnunes wrote:So even in 1991 the A-10 was not much of a match for the Iraqi best equipped and trained units (Republican Guard) so the F-16s were sent after these best units.


It is worth noting that F-16s were not very effective against the Republican Guard. All in-theater Maverick missiles had been assigned to the A-10 squadrons due to their greater experience with the weapon.

"Unfortunately. the Maverick has never been the weapon of choice by the F-16 community; few of its pilots had trained with or used the weapon in peacetime training, while cockpit instrumentation was far from optimal for the utilization of the Maverick. Consequently, hardly any F-16 sorties against the Republican Guard or Iraqi Army units used the missile. During the war, some 8,700 F-16 sorties dropped dumb bombs; fewer than 130 expended Mavericks. F-16s did deliver large numbers of CBUs and Rockeyes- some 12,000 and 3,600 respectively. But the release altitudes used were typically so high-8,000-12,000 feet above the ground-that most of these munitions were not effective." From Vol. II, Part I of the Gulf War Air Power Survey, page 261. https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a279742.pdf

Tank plinking by F-111s had commenced on February 6 1991. The A-10 squadrons were retasked away from the Republican Guard on 15 February. "There was some considerable loss in daytime capabilities, since the F-16s were not capable of hitting Iraqi ground targets with the accuracy of A-10s and their Mavericks. But at this point in the war, with F-IIIFs attacking the Republican Guard, it no longer seemed worth the risk to expose A-10s and their aircrew to sophisticated enemy air defenses and missiles." From Vol. II, Part I of the Gulf War Air Power Survey, page 280.
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Unread post30 Nov 2018, 14:34

botsing wrote:So the regular Iraqi forces were game for the A-10 but versus the better trained and equipped Republican Guard it quickly showed its weak side.


The A-10, in performing these battlefield interdiction tasks against the Republican Guard, it was taking on a task it wasn't trained for. Yet the A-10 performed effectively in terms of high sortie rates, high availability and high damage to the Tawakalna Divsion of the Republican Guard. "Deep interdiction was seen by many as a mission unsuited for the A-10: slow, and heavily armored, the A-10 would be exposed to enemy ground fire for extended periods of time during ingress and egress. If attacked, it would lack the energy and maneuverability required to evade SAMs at high altitude. Close air support was viewed as the A-10 raison d’être, many pilots believed the proper use of their weapon system should entail low-altitude Maverick attacks on enemy positions 'while standing on the shoulders of the lead tankers.' " Page 43 of https://media.defense.gov/2017/Nov/21/2 ... T_ARMY.PDF
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Unread post30 Nov 2018, 15:39

Salute!

Thanks for the DTic reference, Aussie. i'll have to download it.

When I saw the release altitude way back on the TV series about 'raqi I, I was disappointed. The F-16 system is very accurate, but it is not a PGM that hits within 2 feet of the aimpoint!! Like the AGM-65. Or 6 - 7 feet like a LGB.

I don't have the latest JMEMs, but try Gums' swags to get an idea of how many bombs on a fairly tuff target:

A good rule of thumb is 3 mils accuracy if not jinking and maybe 5 - 6 mils for a 3 - 4 second steady flight path prior to release. Then plug in a 10 meter damage radius for MK-84 dumb bombs. With 2 x MK-84 on each Viper, you can run the Monte Carlo and see how many planes you assign for a 75 or 80% Pk.

I thot Gen Horner was too wimpy by putting a floor on the release altitude. I would have varied it according to the target, with the tanks being a very low altitude release unless they were dug in at a well-defended point.

I flew with a captive Maverick once, and only once in the Viper. It was not that hard to use, but you need to practice until it is second nature. The EO version I saw in the A-7 at the Beach was much harder to use due to target acquisition. The IR sucker was a piece of cake out in the desert at Hill and would have been much better hitting a tank up next to some trees in the forest compared to the EO version.

And BTW.......... so much for that monster gun, heh?

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Unread post01 Dec 2018, 01:04

aussiebloke wrote:
It is worth noting that F-16s were not very effective against the Republican Guard. All in-theater Maverick missiles had been assigned to the A-10 squadrons due to their greater experience with the weapon.

"Unfortunately. the Maverick has never been the weapon of choice by the F-16 community; few of its pilots had trained with or used the weapon in peacetime training, while cockpit instrumentation was far from optimal for the utilization of the Maverick. Consequently, hardly any F-16 sorties against the Republican Guard or Iraqi Army units used the missile. During the war, some 8,700 F-16 sorties dropped dumb bombs; fewer than 130 expended Mavericks. F-16s did deliver large numbers of CBUs and Rockeyes- some 12,000 and 3,600 respectively. But the release altitudes used were typically so high-8,000-12,000 feet above the ground-that most of these munitions were not effective." From Vol. II, Part I of the Gulf War Air Power Survey, page 261.



This is from Bill Andrews (RIP) paper that I see you have now linked to:


The problems of high-altitude tactics experienced by the F-16 units were quickly aggravated by CENTAF headquarters munitions decisions. A prewar weapons conference deprived F-16 units of guided anti-armor munitions and a wartime decision deprived them of their best unguided anti-armor weapon. Checkmate plans assumed all Maverick missile (AGM-65) qualified units would fire these guided anti-armor weapons against Iraqi tanks, but these tank killing weapons had been shifted to the A-10 wing during Desert Shield. The decision made at a wing weapons officer conference in Riyadh resulted in the transfer of the theater’s Mavericks to the A-10 wing, capitalizing on A-10 expertise with Mavericks. The F-16 squadrons, on the other hand, could capitalize on their system’s compatibility with a superior anti-armor cluster bomb, the CBU-87 Combined Effects Munition (CEM). Large lethal patterns of submunitions generated by these area weapons minimized high-altitude accuracy problems.
CBU-87’s radar (ground proximity) fuse allowed it to be used at all altitudes. High-consumption rates of CBU-87 during the first two weeks alarmed planners in Riyadh, and General Horner ordered CENTAF’s best
unguided anti-armor munition be saved for the ground war.
--
F-16 squadrons then began to prosecute their attacks against the Guards with sub-optimal munitions for tank-killing. MK-20 Rockeye, an older anti-armor cluster bomb, was not well suited for high-altitude attack because its timer fuse led to erratic, unpredictable trajectories, which was not a problem at low-altitude. Other cluster munitions, CBU-52, 58, and 72, armed with fragmentation munitions were ineffective against armor. “Iron” bombs, (Mk-82 500 pounders and Mk-84 2000 pounders) became the F-16’s primary weapon. These munitions required a direct hit to kill a revetted tank, which was highly improbable from high-altitude. The diminished accuracy of high-altitude tactics was aggravated by sub-optimal munitions. The detrimental impact of this decision was not apparent because there was very little feedback on the state of operations against the RGFC formations.



It also mentions how things were later changed to get around some of these enforced limitations....



Also useful piece on the switch to high altitude tactics in this time period:


Although high-altitude operations entailed lower risk, they caused a variety of unanticipated problems. The most serious problems stemmed from the lack of high-altitude weapons delivery experience. High-altitude attacks revealed procedural and hardware shortcomings. Fighter units used visual deliveries that might have been appropriate for low altitude attacks but held very poor prospects of success from high-altitude. Lack of familiarity with high-altitude weapons delivery characteristics led to misconceptions and mistakes. Hardware and software problems revealed poor high-altitude wind modeling. Wind modeling, critical to “dumb” bomb accuracy, attempts to predict winds at lower altitudes that will affect the weapons
impact point. Limitations of wind models resulted in impacts well short of the target during B-52 and F-16 attacks. Difficulties were encountered by the A-10. Its most fearsome weapon--the 30 mm cannon--had to be fired at more than double its normal slant range and suffered in accuracy and effectiveness.
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botsing

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Unread post01 Dec 2018, 01:39


Thank you for that information and link!
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Unread post01 Dec 2018, 03:02

Accurate wind strength & direction at various appropriate altitudes over target when dropping dumb weapons is essential.
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post01 Dec 2018, 15:34

Salute!

Well, Spaz and others who have not dropped dumb bombs from smart planes........ Wind ain't all it's cracked up to be.

90%, if not more, of the dumb, slick bomb CEP is allowing for wind at release altitude, not surface wind or even the wind on the way down. This is because you are moving thru the airmass, so your velocity vector ( and that of the bomb) with respect to the stationary Earth will be TAS plus wind. With manual systems such as Spaz flew and I flew in the A-37, this was very easy to see with 10 - 15 knot winds. So with slicks, the best bombers "flew their a$$ over the target" and the pipper would often be 40 ro 50 meters away from the tgt figuring release was 3,000 to 5,000 feet and 30 deg dive.

To make my point, just roll a MK-84 off of a skyscraper during a high wind event. How many feet do you think that sucker is gonna be "blown" on the way down? Ask your grunt buddies how much they allow for wind when using direct fire with fairly short ToF ( time of flight), So the main thing you have to allow for is wind at release altitude for most bumb bomb deliveries. If you want to release a really high drag bomb/CBU cannister from 15,000 or 20,000 feet, then you will finally see wind "blowing" the bomb if the wind is different than at release altitude. Only time I ever saw that was dropping the practice nuclear "LADD" doofers, and the drogue was like a hot air balloon, LOL.

The biggie when dropping high is the inherent accuracy of your computed system. So my 3 mil and 6 + mil assertion stands. Both the Sluf and Viper systems were so good at low altitude releases, like 3,000 to 4,000 feet, that you could see a "chicken foot" impact pattern when using TER's. One short, one left and one right.

I once went after an undefended bridge in Cambodia and I hit short, then adjusted but not enuf and hit long. But now I had the INS dift compensated for. Next bomb hit just to the right of that sucker in the gulley. So 4th pass the bomb hit just to the left, Hmmmmm. HELL! it was the shoulder-mounted MER/TER eggs. Next pass was whammo! Besides that bridge was pretty weak from the two adjacent eggs ( MK-83's).

If you can find Viper HUD film, you can see the wind correction when the bomb fall line is slanted. When I dropped manual for a few thousand bombs in the Dragonfly, I had a human BFL in my sight picture, heh heh. I'll bet Spaz also had the same technique in the Scooter.

Believe it or not, even the Hawg with the monster gun has a slight crosswind correction if firing way out there to allow for velocity vector at firing altitude.

Gums steps down from academic platform....
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Unread post01 Dec 2018, 20:23

I defer absolutely to 'Gums' knowledge / competence and vital wartime experience dropping dumb slick weapons. The A4G Skyhawk had a fixed gunsight of WWII vintage (elsewhere on this forum I have described with graphics what this was like so I'll go find it again) which could be depressed slightly for guns (either strafing or air to air on the banner - fun indeed) and depressed a lot for bombing. Yes drifting the sight when bombing was our technique to get to the release altitude and airspeed with a 'sight picture' prebriefed. This 'picture' took into account the forecast wind at release point.

Usually our missions were predicated on a single formation dive attack with slick bombs (in my day [during Vietnam War mostly] we had no retarded weapons or Zunis until said war finished then only later after my time did retards become available whilst Zuni stocks were limited [the USN gave all their stock to the VAL-4 Broncos]). We did not plan to go back like one might do dropping a single weapon for CAS although we did practice this with our ARMY on many occasions and even had a CBGLO Carrier Borne Ground Liason Officer onboard HMAS Melbourne or at NAS Nowra to facilitate this co-operation. In my long winded way I'm attempting to explain why the sight release picture (for us) was important. We had one shot at it (in a single dive in formation trail) so every thing was taken into account as much as possible.

When 'drifting' the sight in a dive there are lots of things that will affect the release of the weapon at that 'sight picture' - not only the wind. Not having the wings level was a biggie also along with any yaw or G - even slight amounts of these. DRIFTING was an art not easily learnt (my experience) although I was good on the banner because I had an 'eye' for it whilst some senior pilots NEVER got hits EVER but were excused because they were senior/instructors/COs. :-)

Why WINGS LEVEL? With the sight depressed a lot for bombing when wing rotated even slightly the pipper in the fixed sight would be WAY OFF. If wings left then pipper way right and in the 'swingy' A4G (with a 720 degree per second roll rate) it was easy to be a 'swinger'. :-) Hence 'drifting' with wings level was important as important as can be. <sigh>

SIGHT PICTURE IN AN A4G illustrated: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=27661&p=297648&hilit=BOMBING#p297648

download/file.php?id=21233 from: http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/docs/16v5.pdf (4.5Mb)

Image

'Pendulum Effect' it was called I think? I'll go look for the earlier material.... Some HITS follow from most recent first...,

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=27661&p=297692&hilit=sight+picture+fixed#p297692

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=27661&p=297692&hilit=sight+picture+fixed#p297692 (+ graphics below)

download/file.php?id=21241 [SCROLL UP DOWN ON THIS GRAPHIC PAGE for more]

Image
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post01 Dec 2018, 21:00

For me to talk about Air to Ground stuff is really a stretch. I'd rather talk about Naval Aviation specifically 'how to deck land' but even then it would be about OLDE SCHOOLE style not the computerized flapadoodle stuff of today. :-) However I've been researching NavAv over the years but not really the A/G stuff. In my time in the RAN FAA Royal Australian Navy Fleet Air Arm the emphasis was on being a fighter with the A4G - they were bought for that role with four underwing AIM-9B Sidewinders so having a fixed gunsight was considered OK even though the best efforts of senior aircrew of the day tried to get the gunsight upgraded to at least a gyro thingo. Ha. I missed out using one altogether with one exceptional sortie (explained elsewhere) even though just as I left the service the MACCHI MB326H was retrofitted with one. <sigh>

Scroll up down here for some funnies fixed: viewtopic.php?f=55&t=20700&p=236801&hilit=sight+picture+fixed#p236801
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post01 Dec 2018, 21:31

Salute all you wannabe gamers!

Spaz has posted the graphics for manual bombing, and they are the same ones we all drew on the chalkboards back when. i never saw a whiteboard until I showed up at Hill in 1979.

The pendulum effect is one I forgot to discuss, but that was because I used the "drift" or "crab" technique versus computed wind correction and then aim at a spot on the ground. So I would roll in and track my butt wings-level over the tgt using small left-right corrections. Same-o for the Viper CCIP with a slanted BFL. The A-7 didn't have the CCIP yet so you could use the "crab" technique and slew the aiming symbol down and pull up while holding the pickle button. If you used "point blank" by putting the flight path marker ( FPM) on the tgt, then pickle and pull you would have to correct left-right to track the BFL until release if there was a decent crosswind. Slew method didn't require much left-right, because you placed the FPM just past the tgt at 12 o'clock ( see "aimoff distance" in the manuals) and slewed and pickled/pulled.

The other thing Spaz and I forgot was to talk about trim for release speed. So OTW to the range we would dive down gently while maintining a loose formation and trim for our normal release speed. that really helped for RX passes and it also made the pipper depression agree with the ballistic tables we used.

As far as experience, I dropped many, many dumb bombs. Std loadout for the Dragonfly was 4 slicks plus 2 x nape or 6 slicks in combat. At the training range it was 8 or 12 for three bomb events : 30 deg dive, low angle dive and "skip" ( nape sumulation and a lotta fun). So I had a bit over 300 missions in the Dragonfly 1967-68 in-country and Laos. Then another 1,000 hours training the Vee, active duty and reservists. The average IP at England AFB had about a 50 foot CEA ( not CEP) for 30 deg dive, and the quarterly top gun had to be down in the 30 foot area to have a chance. I dropped manual in the A-7 and F-16 about every third or fourth misison. Not for all events, but a coupla in each, or maybe all in one event because we had HUD film to keep from cheating, heh heh.

Gums adds to Spaz....
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