The US Army Wants the F-35 for Close Air Support

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aussiebloke

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Unread post08 Apr 2019, 21:01

viper12 wrote:
Since flying at medium altitude basically puts the A-10 out of range of AAA and MANPADS, both of which have a destructive power making the A-10's armor potentially relevant over other aircraft, you'd now have an aircraft not optimized for that kind of flight regime and at a disadvantage against harder hitting SAMs, especially since the threat wasn't completely suppressed as there were SAM shots every night ;


Whatever "disadvantage" the A-10 accrued by the blanket restriction on all aircraft to stay above 15,000 feet in Kosovo it didn't result in A-10s being shot down nor did it prevent A-10s from using Maverick missiles to prosecute targets. I don't see how using A-10s in a situation they weren't originally designed for is evidence of anything beyond the adaptability of this plane and of the pilots flying it.
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Unread post08 Apr 2019, 21:45

aussiebloke wrote:
viper12 wrote:
Since flying at medium altitude basically puts the A-10 out of range of AAA and MANPADS, both of which have a destructive power making the A-10's armor potentially relevant over other aircraft, you'd now have an aircraft not optimized for that kind of flight regime and at a disadvantage against harder hitting SAMs, especially since the threat wasn't completely suppressed as there were SAM shots every night ;


Whatever "disadvantage" the A-10 accrued by the blanket restriction on all aircraft to stay above 15,000 feet in Kosovo it didn't result in A-10s being shot down nor did it prevent A-10s from using Maverick missiles to prosecute targets. I don't see how using A-10s in a situation they weren't originally designed for is evidence of anything beyond the adaptability of this plane and of the pilots flying it.


The "problem" isn't much about the ability or not for the A-10 being able to adapt to new tactics such as staying above 15,000 feet and prosecute targets that high but instead it's the fact that almost if not all modern combat aircraft such as F-16s, F-15Es, B-1s, B-2s, F-35s, etc... are much better and more survivable performing such tactics than the A-10, which makes the A-10, err... redundant.

I already mentioned this in the past and I know that I'm referring to a PC Flight Sim - albeit a very realistic one - which is DCS A-10C but when playing this sim I was forced to fly most of the times well above 13,000 feet, this on most missions and everytime I flew one of those missions all I could think was: "My kingdom for a F-16"!
Now imagine a F-35! :wink:
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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aussiebloke

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Unread post08 Apr 2019, 22:02

ricnunes wrote:The "problem" isn't much about the ability or not for the A-10 being able to adapt to new tactics such as staying above 15,000 feet and prosecute targets that high but instead it's the fact that almost if not all modern combat aircraft such as F-16s, F-15Es, B-1s, B-2s, F-35s, etc... are much better and more survivable performing such tactics than the A-10, which makes the A-10, err... redundant.


I don't have any problem with your argument except that it has nothing much to do with what I first raised in response to optimist's post. Namely:

There is no evidence that the A-10 was forced out of the battle space in Kosovo. viper12 has provided evidence of what he sees as a "problem" over Kosovo. I am merely indicating that the "problem" didn't amount to much at that time.
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Unread post08 Apr 2019, 22:39

aussiebloke wrote:
blindpilot wrote:
And you can think what you wish ... "driven out" apparently being a very subjective statement...



I assumed "driven out" was used to convey the common meaning of the phrase:

"to cause or force (someone or something) to leave".

If it was intended to have some special meaning that I am unaware of I would appreciate if optomist or blindpilot or someone else 'in the know" would explain it to me please.



We can split hairs about Kosovo, but for certain it was driven out of Iraq in 1991.



aussiebloke wrote:
viper12 wrote:
Since flying at medium altitude basically puts the A-10 out of range of AAA and MANPADS, both of which have a destructive power making the A-10's armor potentially relevant over other aircraft, you'd now have an aircraft not optimized for that kind of flight regime and at a disadvantage against harder hitting SAMs, especially since the threat wasn't completely suppressed as there were SAM shots every night ;


Whatever "disadvantage" the A-10 accrued by the blanket restriction on all aircraft to stay above 15,000 feet in Kosovo it didn't result in A-10s being shot down nor did it prevent A-10s from using Maverick missiles to prosecute targets. I don't see how using A-10s in a situation they weren't originally designed for is evidence of anything beyond the adaptability of this plane and of the pilots flying it.



Ricrunes is basically right here. why bother? What the point of having Fighter escorts, jammers, SEAD and other strike protectors just so the A-10 can pop off mavericks? Thats one of the big problems the A-10 can't answer especially going into the future. Why not just cut out the middle man? Why are we sending a 16 plane package in so the A-10s can BRRRT? can't we send 4 and just have them attack?


For as much as people say the USAF "Hates" the A-10 and CAS the USAF don't do a very good job of it.

The USAF could have left the A-10 as it was in 1991. Daylight only with no PGM capability while quoting its most fervent fanboys as reason why it was either being shot down or left out completely. That would be hating the A-10. Same with CAS. the USAF could invest zero dollars in making even B-1s capable of bringing heat in support of troops. They could forgo all ground side personnel as well, like JTACs, TACPs, etc.


In some more wild moments, people have even suggested the A-10 would be even more effective by removing that big old Cannon which is really saying something. The A-10 is both doomed and saved by that gun. Without it the airplane is useless. But the utility of that gun is extremely mixed.

A-10C was about bringing A-10 into the 1990s... :doh:
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Unread post08 Apr 2019, 23:43

usnvo wrote:
kimjongnumbaun wrote:The US Army is making a large push towards fires as being their main support for future combat operations. The general belief in all my field grade courses is now pushing this and working under the assumption that we can no longer count of air dominance within a quick time frame. In part it's due to emerging aerial threats, but also because IADS have become so lethal.


I get the same impression. Organic fires have always been preferred and are generally faster as well. COIN (well actually FID but I have largely given up trying to correct people on that) places a premium on CAS solely as an economy of force effort. What it really sounds to me is that the Army really wants Interdiction behind the Forward Edge of the Battlefield from the USAF as opposed to CAS. That and counter-battery of distant, fleeting targets like long range artillery and rocket launchers. That is something the F-35 will do infinitely better than the A-10.


I have heard about this organic fire preference myself. A family friend was in the Army during OIF and participated in Special Forces planning missions as an Army contributing team. They had a contingent of MGM-140 system but could never get clearance to use them from the Air Force leaders of their joint force. He told me that he would sit in on a strike planning mission where the Air Force guys would be creating their elaborate task planning and rounding up about 25 aircraft for various roles of the strike, the planning details were clearly going to go on into the wee hours of the night. He calmly pointed out that his Army MGM-140s could saturate that target with a similar Circular Error Probability to the F-16s that were being readied for the strike. AND once the airspace was cleared he could order that strike and it would be completed before the pilots even got their flights suits on, the enemy didn't have any means to resist his attack and no pilots need be put in harms way. This never seemed to appeal to the Air Force leadership and they would just go back to their own vision of Strike Planning. He said he spent most of the war just checking the oil on their systems and keeping up with PM tickets.

Hopefully the future holds more genuine Joint planning and execution and understanding of capabilities when air forces are combined with army forces.
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Unread post09 Apr 2019, 00:40

XanderCrews wrote:We can split hairs about Kosovo,


Splitting hairs?

I argued that "There is no evidence A-10s were 'driven out of the battlespace'. "

The absence of evidence is supported by these comments:
viper12: "Maybe not driven out"
blindpilot: "Maybe not published"

The other commentators, yourself included, have declined to provide any evidence that A-10s were driven from the Kosovo airspace. Perhaps optimist who made the original claim can provide some supporting evidence?
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Unread post09 Apr 2019, 02:27

usnvo wrote:
kimjongnumbaun wrote:The US Army is making a large push towards fires as being their main support for future combat operations. The general belief in all my field grade courses is now pushing this and working under the assumption that we can no longer count of air dominance within a quick time frame. In part it's due to emerging aerial threats, but also because IADS have become so lethal.


I get the same impression. Organic fires have always been preferred and are generally faster as well. COIN (well actually FID but I have largely given up trying to correct people on that) places a premium on CAS solely as an economy of force effort. What it really sounds to me is that the Army really wants Interdiction behind the Forward Edge of the Battlefield from the USAF as opposed to CAS. That and counter-battery of distant, fleeting targets like long range artillery and rocket launchers. That is something the F-35 will do infinitely better than the A-10.


We've been stuck doing COIN and most engagements are either near or far ambushes. In an actual force on force engagement that we would see going against Russia, China, and North Korea the Army would prefer to deal with them using interdiction instead of CAS. We can attrit the enemy to ineffective combat power long before they reach our guys.
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Unread post09 Apr 2019, 02:55

aussiebloke wrote:
Splitting hairs?

I argued that "There is no evidence A-10s were 'driven out of the battlespace'. "


They simply weren't allowed to enter the battlespace without SEAD assets being present which
meant practically, given the A-10's low allocation priority, they were driven out.
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Unread post09 Apr 2019, 07:10

aussiebloke wrote:
XanderCrews wrote:We can split hairs about Kosovo,


Splitting hairs?

I argued that "There is no evidence A-10s were 'driven out of the battlespace'. "

The absence of evidence is supported by these comments:
viper12: "Maybe not driven out"
blindpilot: "Maybe not published"

The other commentators, yourself included, have declined to provide any evidence that A-10s were driven from the Kosovo airspace. Perhaps optimist who made the original claim can provide some supporting evidence?


My apologies for trying to be tactful and diffuse the situation.

They were driven out before the first bomb fell. They were driven out because people still remember them getting beat down in 1991 and crews getting captured and killed and airplanes swiss cheesed for little effect against the godawful republican guard 5 weeks into the war. They were driven out because the Environment contained copious amounts of air defense from MANPADs to SAMS to Actual MIGS and they required all manner of help and protection before it was deemed "safe enough" for the mighty A-10 to fly around where everything else already was flying. The weather was awful, and A-10s at the time bless their hearts couldn't deal with it. They couldnt get below the clouds or drop their ordnance without having to make a dive first. The altitude restrictions especially early on hurt. they had poor censors and poor weapons.

There should never be an expectation that A-10s can fly
5,000-plus combat hours in a 360-degree threat without
a loss. To have flown an entire air campaign without a
combat loss is a miracle, unlikely to ever be repeated, and
should never be an expectation of war planners, senior
leaders, or politicians.


Its an environment were the enemy and the elements along with ROE and other mission parameters will drive out the platforms that can't accomplish the mission, or would suffer undue loss should they pursue it.

Again to the USAF's credit, theyve constantly upgraded the A-10 to make it more and more useful and less and less hamstrung by issues that don't affect other platforms.
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Unread post09 Apr 2019, 09:55

aussiebloke wrote:
XanderCrews wrote:We can split hairs about Kosovo,


Splitting hairs?

I argued that "There is no evidence A-10s were 'driven out of the battlespace'. "

The absence of evidence is supported by these comments:
viper12: "Maybe not driven out"
blindpilot: "Maybe not published"

The other commentators, yourself included, have declined to provide any evidence that A-10s were driven from the Kosovo airspace. Perhaps optimist who made the original claim can provide some supporting evidence?

It was something I read that stuck in my mind. My memory is that the A-10 and as I recall, also the f-16 sat it out on the runway, after their initial involvement. While the other platforms softened it up. I don't remember when they went back in.

I had a google but couldn't find it. I did find what others have said about A-10 needing a higher alt and changing it's CONOPS.
https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/p ... 65.ch3.pdf
It bears noting here that the highly effective GAU-8 30mm cannon carried by the
A-10 saw use only 156 times in Allied Force because of the extreme slant range that
was required by the 5,000-ft altitude restriction (comments on an earlier draft by Hq
USAFE/SA, April 6, 2001). At that range, the principal problem for today’s A-10 pilots
is not hitting the target; it is seeing the target. At a 30-degree dive angle from 5,000 ft,
the slant range to target is 10,000 ft
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Unread post09 Apr 2019, 11:47

[quote="XanderCrews"]

They were driven out before the first bomb fell. They were driven out because people still remember them getting beat down in 1991 and crews getting captured and killed and airplanes swiss cheesed for little effect against the godawful republican guard 5 weeks into the war.
[quote]

lol... so they were metaphorically "driven out"... "driven out" of people's heart's and minds" even before the battle cocmmenced? Luckily optimist has now replied and has made it unnecessary for you to have to resort to such mental gymnastics. He is making it clear that he meant that A-10s (and F-16s) were literally forced to sit it out on the runway and not in the "battlespace" because they were ineffective. Unsurprisingly to me he is unable to substantiate this claim.
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Unread post09 Apr 2019, 13:16

aussiebloke wrote:
XanderCrews wrote:
They were driven out before the first bomb fell. They were driven out because people still remember them getting beat down in 1991 and crews getting captured and killed and airplanes swiss cheesed for little effect against the godawful republican guard 5 weeks into the war.

lol... so they were metaphorically "driven out"... "driven out" of people's heart's and minds" even before the battle cocmmenced? Luckily optimist has now replied and has made it unnecessary for you to have to resort to such mental gymnastics. He is making it clear that he meant that A-10s (and F-16s) were literally forced to sit it out on the runway and not in the "battlespace" because they were ineffective. Unsurprisingly to me he is unable to substantiate this claim.

No, as I recall. It wasn't because they were ineffective, it was because they weren't considered survivable and at too great a risk and including the f-16 made it memorable. Some 20 years later, does make it hard to find stuff, that is the problem with the net, stuff goes dead. There is a lot of revisionist history and things polished. So most of the A-10 stuff from google now is singing their prase.
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XanderCrews

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Unread post09 Apr 2019, 14:06

aussiebloke wrote:

lol... so they were metaphorically "driven out"... "driven out" of people's heart's and minds" even before the battle cocmmenced? Luckily optimist has now replied and has made it unnecessary for you to have to resort to such mental gymnastics.


Nothing "metaphorical" about it, its a matter of institutional memory, the hearts and minds you mention? If you've ever played sports and had a very bad game and gotten benched, you might understand. which is why I mention Iraq and the republican guard:

A: It shows that the gun has a lot of utility, which we always knew, but it isn't the principal tank-killer on the A-IO. The [Imaging Infrared] Maverick is the big hero there. That was used by the A-10s and the F-16s very, very effectively in places like Khafji.

The other problem is that the A-10 is vulnerable to hits because its speed is limited. It's a function of thrust, it's not a function of anything else. 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.

Q: At what point did you do that?

A: I think I had fourteen airplanes sitting on the ramp having battle damage repaired, and I lost two A- 10s in one day [February 15], and I said, "I've had enough of this." It was when we really started to go after the Republican Guard.


3 TASS Nail FAC, 602 TACW, Davis Monthan AFB AZ
Shot down in combat
Feb 19, 1991 0622Z
Pilot Survived
Hit by Infra Red SAM (SA-9) 62 nm North West of Kuwait city. 23rd TASS/602nd TACW (NF).
Pilot Lt Col Jeffery Fox (40 from Fall River, Mass) call sign "NAIL53" injured as he ejected, captured as POW and released Mar 5, 1991.

OA-10A 77-0197
23 TASS Nail FAC, 602 TACW, Davis Monthan AFB AZ
Crashed on landing
Feb 27, 1991 0932Z
Pilot Killed
Hit by AAA small arms. Pilot Lt Patrick Olson attempted landing at King Khalid Military City (KKMC), Forward Operating Location (FOL) 1 while in Manual Reversion after loosing all its hydraulics and in extreme weather conditions. On landing the aircraft cart-wheeled wingtip over wingtip, flipped over onto its back killing Lt. Olson. There was nothing left of the aircraf. The remains of the aircraft were buried at the KKMC FOL.

A-10A 78-0722
353 TFS Panthers, 354 TFW, Myrtle Beach AFB SC
Shot down in combat
Feb 5, 1991 1500Z
Pilot Survivied
AAA ground fire 60 miles north west of Kuwait city while attacking Republican Guard targets. Thought to have been engaged by SA-13 'Gopher' SAM. Pilot Lt James Sweet ejected and made Prisoner of War.

A-10A 79-0130
353 TFS Panthers, 354 TFW, Myrtle Beach AFB SC
Shot down in combat
15 Feb 1991 1335Z
Pilot Killed
Hit by ground fire approx 60 miles North West of Kuwait city while attacking Republican Guard targets. Thought to have been engaged by SA-13 'Gopher' SAM. Pilot Capt Steven Phyllis killed in action.
Capt. Steve Phyllis died while protecting his downed wingman, 1st Lt. Robert James Sweet.

A-10A 79-0181
76 TFS Vanguards, 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing, England AFB LA
Crashed on landing
Feb 22, 1991 1500Z
Pilot Survived
Hit by SA-13 SAM. Capt Rich Biley made a successful wheels-up, hard stick landing in Manual Reversion at King Khalid Military City (KKMC), Forward Operating Location (FOL) 1. The CLSS team stripped the unrepairable aircraft of parts, some send down to King Fahd International Airport (KFIA), Main Operating Base (MOB) for use on other birds, and then buried 181 in the desert. Capt Biley was not hurt during this crash.

A-10A 80-0248
76 TFS Vanguards, 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing, England AFB LA
Shot down in combat
Feb 2, 1991 0925Z
Pilot Survived
Hit by either 'optical AAA' ground fire or SAM 20, unconfirmed which it was, NM SW of Kuwait City, Kuwait. Pilot Capt Richard Dale Storr successfully ejected, was captured, made a POW and released Mar 6, 1991.



With enough"mental Gymanatics" they aren't "metaphorical" losses I'm sure.

It as the continuation of previous operational cautions-- pull them back, other platforms instead. This is also even poignant for those of use who remember the 1990s and the extreme sensitivity to American casualties. Anyone who was in will tell you the same. The pressure was enormous.

The weather, however, was not going to cooperate. Because of
the weather and the day-one rules of engagement (ROE), we
were unable to engage any targets. Those ROEs attempted to
limit risk in an uncertain threat environment by restricting operations to not lower than 17,500 feet and a penetration of not
more than 10 miles into Kosovo. Now, 17,500 feet is fine for an
aircraft with plenty of thrust and precision-guided munitions
(PGM). Its pilot can acquire the aim point using its targeting
pod, fly a straight-and-level weapons-delivery pass, and then release its LGBs. A Hog driver, however, must enter a dive and
point its nose at the target to expend weapons. At that altitude,
a pilot has to enter a steep dive to acquire the target within release parameters. A jet engine’s ability to produce thrust de29
MISSION LEADERSHIP AT THE TACTICAL LEVEL
creases with an increase in altitude, and the thrust required to
sustain flight increases with extra weight and drag. It is, therefore, easy to understand why a Hog’s maximum employment altitude is reduced when it’s fully loaded. So our challenge was to
find targets from as high an altitude as possible, maneuver the
aircraft to put the nose on that target, get a weapons lock-on,
launch the missile, and recover without busting the 17,500-foot
“hard deck” (minimum altitude, period—not just the minimum
weapons-release altitude). Our choice was to operate within this
ROE or be slow-speed cheerleaders. On that first mission Biggles and I were working in western Kosovo, south of the town of
Pec. I found a hole in the clouds and, using my binoculars, identified a single convoy of four small, dark-green-painted armored
cars driving south with military spacing between them. Leaving
Biggles up at 22,000 feet, I gingerly pushed the stick forward,
lowered the nose, and attempted a Maverick missile lock-on,
but my altitude alert sounded just as I brought the armored
cars in my TV screen and before I could slew the missile to get
a lock. I had set the alert to 1,000 feet above the hard deck,
which reflected the amount of altitude I would lose during my
dive recovery. Getting a kill on the first sortie was not worth an
ROE violation—that sort of breach in air discipline would mean
an instant end to our mission leadership. As I cleared Biggles to
try a pass, the Serb convoy went under a cloud deck.
That was the best shot anyone had all morning, and the next
day, the weather was completely overcast. After surviving the
first several missions, we received permission from General
Short to lower the ROE hard deck—first down to 15,000 feet and
then to 10,000 feet. (One of the themes in chap. 5, ROE will be
discussed there by several people at greater length.)
The weather pattern continued to repeat itself and provided us
with six unexpected days to practice and perfect our mission
leadership. It was challenging for us to keep track of 40-odd aircraft as they flowed into and out of an engagement area protected by enemy air-defense systems and filled with cloud layers.
It was a task we learned to accomplish without incident.
The self-initiated pressure to get results was building. We
had drilled holes in cloudy skies for seven days without expending any ordnance or slowing down the Serb ground of

A-10s OVER KOSOVO
30
fensive. Finally on 6 April, we got our chance. The Serbs hadn’t
started hiding yet. We caught and destroyed several small convoys and other vehicles parked in the open.


"Metaphorically" unable to attack. "Metaphorically" unable to deploy ordnance "metaphorically" shot down and "metaphorically" pulled back before being "metaphorically" held back and used with deep caution from there on out

A-10s were also pulled back along with Spectres and Harriers over Libya in 2011. Theres this notion that "metaphorically" getting people killed unneccesarily is "bad." So one of the things that happens is the aircraft are employed with caution, this is sometimes so successful that people think the lack of losses was because of superb prowess and superiority, when in reality it was using assets in very cautious, smart, and limited ways. Moreover I cannot "prove a negative" I have no crystal ball that can show missions that were never flown.

Youre not the first person to play the "oh yeah stealthtard? how come we lost an F-117 and F-16 in Kosovo but no A-10s?!" game.
Last edited by XanderCrews on 09 Apr 2019, 14:29, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread post09 Apr 2019, 14:17

XanderCrews wrote:Nothing "metaphorical" about it, its a matter of the air force actually having a memory, which is why I mention Iraq and the republican guard:


You seem to have a problem grasping the intent of my comments. I will simplify things to try and help you.

Was the A-10 driven out of the battlespace during Kosovo? Yes or No?
If Yes please provide some direct evidence that this was the case.
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Unread post09 Apr 2019, 14:31

aussiebloke wrote:
XanderCrews wrote:Nothing "metaphorical" about it, its a matter of the air force actually having a memory, which is why I mention Iraq and the republican guard:


You seem to have a problem grasping the intent of my comments. I will simplify things to try and help you.

Was the A-10 driven out of the battlespace during Kosovo? Yes or No?
If Yes please provide some direct evidence that this was the case.



how do i prove a negative?

look at all these missions it was never assigned and never flew?

My point and I've seen it first hand is that past performance can and will get you scrubbed from a mission. We do it with people and platforms. We like to "drive out" problems before they get someone killed.
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