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

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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popcorn

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Unread post29 Sep 2013, 10:37

huggy wrote:
popcorn wrote:[i"]By all accounts, General Welsh is a highly-respected leader and a fine man. But he has been on the job only a year and is facing so many issues, some strategic and immediate, that he has not had time to conduct due diligence regarding the A-10."
[/i]

So, Gen. Welsh has no clue about the value and capabilities of the A-10, the very front-line aircraft he trained on and flew? Patronizing idiot. :roll:

popcorn,... I'm not sure I understand your point. Are you being facetious... or are you serious?


Just to be clear.. Coram is incredibly stupid to think that the good General does not have a grasp on the A-10 issue, specially given the latter's background. That, and he would make us believe that Welsh was thrust into the highest AF leadersip position from some apparent vacuum, insulated from key issues and decision-making on his rise to the top.
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lookieloo

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Unread post03 Oct 2013, 00:22

smsgtmac wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:POGO weighs in...

Air Force Brass Ignores War's Lessons to Wipe Out A-10s 26 Sep 2013 Robert Coram

http://www.pogo.org/our-work/straus-mil ... ssons.html

Coram spins tales. He's under the mistaken impression that he knows what he is talking about. He is under an even greater mistaken impression that people will believe whatever cr*p he puts to paper.

As to Gen Welsh. He knows something about fast movers as well as slow movers and hitting targets:
(http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArch ... couts.aspx)
Day of the Killer Scouts
By Lt. Col. Mark A. Welsh, USAF
"It was a reprise of the old "Fast FAC" concept--but they marked their targets with 500-pound bombs."
Anyone mind if an actual infantryman weighs in on the issue?

Personally, I think much of the hoopla is based on sentimentality and poor understanding of the bigger picture of airpower, of which some have come to have a skewed view after so many decades of bushfire wars. From a ground-pounder's perspective, allow me to list the USAF's priorities in order:

1. Make damned sure that I don't have to worry about enemy CAS.

2. Hinder the enemy's weapons/personnel from getting to me in the first place.

3. Make sure I can get myself and my *stuff* in and out of the battlespace.

4. CAS. Why so low on the list? If the USAF takes care of the first three items, I shouldn't need it that much (got plenty of my own). This isn't to say that I don't want CAS from the A-10; but when it comes to making the hard choices, I'd rather see the A-10s go away than lose core-capable aircraft that better support the overall mission.

As for COIN-specific aircraft (which the A-10 isn't), I've already made my opinions clear elsewhere on the board.
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count_to_10

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Unread post03 Oct 2013, 00:26

So, Air Superiority, Strike/Interdiction, ???, CAS.
What do you call your #3, Lookieloo?
Einstein got it backward: one cannot prevent a war without preparing for it.

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lookieloo

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Unread post03 Oct 2013, 01:04

count_to_10 wrote:So, Air Superiority, Strike/Interdiction, ???, CAS.
What do you call your #3, Lookieloo?
Uh, you know, those fat planes with the big door in the back... uuuuuh, what's the thing they do called again?
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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post03 Oct 2013, 17:31

Tac Airlift?
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Prinz_Eugn

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Unread post03 Oct 2013, 22:06

U-Haul. Wait, that can't be right.
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XanderCrews

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Unread post03 Oct 2013, 22:18

AirTruck?
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vilters

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Unread post03 Oct 2013, 22:18

For CAS you absolutely need something slower, and with a bigger wing.
Even the F-16's wing is too small to do good CAS.

It can be done, but it's not the optimal solution.

But?
Build the 30mm gun in a upgrated F-35's belly and enlarge the wing?
This also puts more fuel in the wings.
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XanderCrews

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Unread post03 Oct 2013, 22:23

Build the 30mm gun in a upgrated F-35's belly and enlarge the wing?


You need the 30MM gun to strafe all the Soviet T-72s pouring through the Fulda Gap.
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post03 Oct 2013, 22:38

The 30mm was because they did not have a cheap precision attack munition. The only thing they had was Mavericks and they were God-awful expensive.

They now have SDB2, LSDB, Brimstone, JAGM, L-Zuni, Paveway, LJDAM, and DAGR for laser-based attack in addition to SDB & JDAM for GPS-based attack.
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count_to_10

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Unread post04 Oct 2013, 00:01

lookieloo wrote:
count_to_10 wrote:So, Air Superiority, Strike/Interdiction, ???, CAS.
What do you call your #3, Lookieloo?
Uh, you know, those fat planes with the big door in the back... uuuuuh, what's the thing they do called again?

Oh, you meant actual airlifting. You phrased it as if you wanted them to counter enemy interdiction -- which I don't know any term for.
Einstein got it backward: one cannot prevent a war without preparing for it.

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neptune

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Unread post04 Oct 2013, 00:47

vilters wrote:For CAS you absolutely need something slower, and with a bigger wing.
Even the F-16's wing is too small to do good CAS.

It can be done, but it's not the optimal solution.

But?
Build the 30mm gun in a upgrated F-35's belly and enlarge the wing?
This also puts more fuel in the wings.


F-35C with 25mm gun pod. :)
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XanderCrews

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Unread post04 Oct 2013, 01:16

neptune wrote:
vilters wrote:For CAS you absolutely need something slower, and with a bigger wing.
Even the F-16's wing is too small to do good CAS.

It can be done, but it's not the optimal solution.

But?
Build the 30mm gun in a upgrated F-35's belly and enlarge the wing?
This also puts more fuel in the wings.


F-35C with 25mm gun pod. :)


This is the part where I tell you thats not even close to the same thing, (even though the 25MM is better than the 20MM M61 All the Teen Fighters use, and is used in the Spectre gunship)

And that it will never be an A-10s gun (which is true, but only the A-10 has ever had the A-10s gun, --one aircraft, used by one service, in one country-- so being second to the A-10 with the majority of legacy fighters a distant 3rd or 4th aint bad at all, in fact some might even call that an improvement overall for everyone who didn't have A-10s)

And that the A-10's gun is critical to COIN (killing such "hardened targets" like foot soldiers who aren't even wearing a hint of Kevlar, and can be killed by a 5.56 round)

Did I leave anything out?
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Conan

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Unread post04 Oct 2013, 03:17

vilters wrote:For CAS you absolutely need something slower, and with a bigger wing.
Even the F-16's wing is too small to do good CAS.


That's not what my local JTAC tells me. He tells me anything with an air to ground capability on-board can do CAS, including but not limited to, F-15, F-16, F/A-18 (of all variants), F-22A, F-35, Predator drones, AC-130, KC-130J Harvest Hawk, AV-8B Harrier II, B-1B, B-52, B-2A, the AH-64 Apache, an AH-1Z Cobra, UH-1Y Iroquois...

It can be done, but it's not the optimal solution.


Considering something like 98% of the US's CAS capability is invested in aircraft OTHER than the A-10 well again, methinks you're wrong.

Considering the rest of the world has invested 100% of their CAS capability in other than the A-10, is not good news for your point of view either.

But?
Build the 30mm gun in a upgrated F-35's belly and enlarge the wing?
This also puts more fuel in the wings.


Sure, let's just redesign every variant of the F-35 at this point. That should fly without issue...

Maybe we could put 2 engines in it as well, cause you know, the A-10 has 2 engines...
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southernphantom

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Unread post04 Oct 2013, 03:24

Make it fly out of SAF/MANPADS range (i.e. make the datalinks work properly), or start bolting on hillbilly armor. One or both is the solution :D :D

Though, frankly, a lot of the loitering CAS missions go to AC-130s, heavy bombers, and helo gunships. I'm not sure it's the right role for new-build fighters.

Strike that. It ain't the right role at all.
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