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

Unread postPosted: 25 Oct 2018, 19:48
by spazsinbad
The US Army Wants the F-35 for Close Air Support
23 Oct 2018 Warrior Maven (Kris Osborn)

"...“When you are in a firefight, the first thing infantry wants to do it get on that radio to adjust fire for mortars and locate targets with close air support with planes or helicopters. You want fires. The F-35 has increased survivability and it will play a decisive role in the support of ground combat,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told reporters at the Association of the United States Army Annual Symposium.... The Army, Milley said, wants next-generation close-air-support for potential future warfare....

... as newer threats emerge and the high-tech F-35 matures into combat, many US military weapons developers and combatant commanders believe the JSF can bring an improved, new-generation of CAS support to ground troops. Thus - the ongoing Office of the Secretary of Defense comparison.

Accordingly, the Pentagon-led F-35/A-10 assessment is nearing its next phase of evaluation, following an initial “first wave” of tests in July of this year, Vice Adm. Mat Winter, Program Executive Officer, F-35 program, recently told a group of reporters. “Mission performance is under evaluation,” Winter said.

Pre- Initial Operational Test & Evaluation test phases, are currently underway at Edwards AFB and Naval Air Station China Lake, officials said. “Mission performance is being evaluated in the presence of a robust set of ground threats and, to ensure a fair and comparable evaluation of each system’s performance, both aircraft are allowed to configure their best weapons loadouts and employ their best tactics for the mission scenario” a statement from the Director, Operational Test & Evaluation said....

...When it comes to the Army and the F-35, one can clearly envision warfare scenarios wherein Army soldiers could be supported by the Marine Corps F-35B, Navy F-35C or Air Force F-35A. “We don’t fight as an Army - we fight as a joint force. What makes us different is the synergistic effect we get from combining various forces in time and space,” Milley said."

Source: https://defensemaven.io/warriormaven/ai ... QtsL2lrLA/

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

Unread postPosted: 26 Oct 2018, 00:01
by popcorn
But...but...but...BRRRRTTT....

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

Unread postPosted: 26 Oct 2018, 00:21
by sferrin
popcorn wrote:But...but...but...BRRRRTTT....


BRRRRRTTTTT this:




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

Unread postPosted: 26 Oct 2018, 01:32
by hythelday
Remember when A-10As were completely unaffected by Iraqi AAA during Gulf War? Me neither.

By the way: Su-25, which the Russians obviously claim to be superior to A-10 in every possible way has a remarkable achievemnt - it is an aircraft that has been shot down in every conflict where ground troops had a slightest chance to shoot back. Soviets lost Frogfoots in Afghanistan, Iraqis against Iran, Russians in both Chechnian Wars and as recently as last year in Syria (to ground fire, not accident mind you), Azerbaijan durind Karabakh conflict, both sides during 2008 Russo-Georgian War and Ukranians lost several during the short period they flew against "separatist" air defences. Ivory Coast inventory is no more, but that incident is quite uniqe. Internet tells me that Chad and Macedonia also used Su-25s in combat, but those must have been some one-way fights if they haven't lost any.

Low and slow is just not worth it.

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

Unread postPosted: 26 Oct 2018, 03:48
by marsavian
With SAR/EOTS pinpoint accuracy, DAS 360 degree awareness, AESA radar/jammer to jam any fire control radar that locks on it close and heavy 25mm cannon and potential supersonic entry/exit, it's not going to be bad at the CAS deal this F-35 thingy ;).

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

Unread postPosted: 26 Oct 2018, 07:10
by kimjongnumbaun
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.

Having the ability of an F-35 to be able to triangulate enemy fires for counter battery would be a massive game changer. Our recon strikers can already have rounds on target within 30 seconds of them getting a GPS coordinate, assuming all deconfliction is already done. War is quickly moving towards network vs network. The side who has more information and has it faster will kill the side without.

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

Unread postPosted: 26 Oct 2018, 15:11
by castlebravo
kimjongnumbaun wrote:War is quickly moving towards network vs network. The side who has more information and has it faster will kill the side without.


I agree, but I fear that it will also come down to red-tape vs red-tape.

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

Unread postPosted: 06 Apr 2019, 02:07
by cola
"The US Army Wants the F-35 for Close Air Support"
They sure do, which is why, "A-10 Warthog Squadron Receives Rare Award for Extraordinary Heroism in Syria"...
https://www.military.com/daily-news/201 ... o.facebook

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

Unread postPosted: 06 Apr 2019, 07:57
by boilermaker
Triangulating for fire is not close air support. If that was, then Joint Stars is an A10...

A better comparison would be the F35 triangulating mission to that of the OV-10.

There will always will be 3 methods of acquisition of a target, the three merged being the best assurance of accuracy and verification: visual, electronic, indirect/deadReckon inertial.

The F35cannot replace the A10for direct fire with , what, 100 rounds of ammo?

While waiting for a platform that can truly do all three, combined arms tactics using both the F35 and A10 together will remain du jour, and it would behove generals to not rewrite battle taskforce strategies to fit the marketing pretenses of Lockheed and DOD bean counters.

It would be more productive if people proposed to replace the A10 with a A-UAV alternative directed by a F-35 or ground forces, for instance.

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

Unread postPosted: 06 Apr 2019, 09:24
by kimjongnumbaun
cola wrote:"The US Army Wants the F-35 for Close Air Support"
They sure do, which is why, "A-10 Warthog Squadron Receives Rare Award for Extraordinary Heroism in Syria"...
https://www.military.com/daily-news/201 ... o.facebook


It's a good tagline but I would not be comfortable sending an A-10 into an IADS with a reasonable chance it would be shot down. If I have to write the letter to their family that the pilot died because I was willing to risk their life when we had better options, that's going to be a hard no from me unless this was an extremely critical mission where we couldn't source other assets. While some parts of Syria are permissive, in a full blown war the A-10 isn't survivable. I don't think human life is cheap. As a war planner, I take that into account when I evaluate the risk of the mission and what platform I want to send into the jaws of the enemy.

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

Unread postPosted: 06 Apr 2019, 09:30
by kimjongnumbaun
boilermaker wrote:Triangulating for fire is not close air support. If that was, then Joint Stars is an A10...

A better comparison would be the F35 triangulating mission to that of the OV-10.

There will always will be 3 methods of acquisition of a target, the three merged being the best assurance of accuracy and verification: visual, electronic, indirect/deadReckon inertial.

The F35cannot replace the A10for direct fire with , what, 100 rounds of ammo?

While waiting for a platform that can truly do all three, combined arms tactics using both the F35 and A10 together will remain du jour, and it would behove generals to not rewrite battle taskforce strategies to fit the marketing pretenses of Lockheed and DOD bean counters.

It would be more productive if people proposed to replace the A10 with a A-UAV alternative directed by a F-35 or ground forces, for instance.


We don't need to triangulate for fire. We have ESM. That is enough information to send a drone to geolocate a target. Either the drone finds the target and doesn't get shot down because the RCS is so small it never gets detected, or it gets shot down and we lost a drone. But in shooting down the drone, the enemy reveals the location of that SAM asset and then we get to pummel that grid square with an MLRS assuming nothing else is there. EOTS/Big Eye/JSTARS triangulates the launch point and we can use a GMLRS to ruin their day.

There is little reason for us to need a "direct fire" system like the A-10. The A-10 has a large beaten zone and I would prefer SDBs for more concentrated firepower in a smaller CEP and less collateral damage since our enemies don't care about civilian casualties. I care about collateral damage because I'm not eager to go to jail for war crimes. If I can put a SDB/GBU-12 into the radar dish of a SAM vs hoping that a 30mm strafing run does enough damage to the same target, I'm going for the guaranteed kill.

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

Unread postPosted: 06 Apr 2019, 12:30
by mixelflick
Back before we had better options, the A-10 was IT. It was designed for NATO for use in the Fulda Gap, and no doubt would have taken losses there. I don't think anyone was under the illusion about this - and heavy losses at that.

Today things are a lot different. We have Strike Eagles, B-1B's, B-52's etc that can deliver way bigger loads than the A-10. Is the gun effective? Sure is, but at what cost? These new SAM systems are far more capable than the ZSU-23 or like systems, and put low and slow fliers like the A-10 and AH-64 at extreme risk. The S-300/400 put everyone at high risk, so why risk it?

Let the F-35 sanitize the battlefield, and then once that's done you can deploy the A-10 if you really "have" to have it. Or the AH-64. The Chinese won't be fighting an urban warfare/Fulda Gap type war. De facto, we shouldn't be banking on an aircraft best suited to that scenario...

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

Unread postPosted: 06 Apr 2019, 14:47
by ricnunes
boilermaker wrote:Triangulating for fire is not close air support. If that was, then Joint Stars is an A10...

A better comparison would be the F35 triangulating mission to that of the OV-10.

There will always will be 3 methods of acquisition of a target, the three merged being the best assurance of accuracy and verification: visual, electronic, indirect/deadReckon inertial.


Well, the best thing about the F-35 is that its systems/sensors and sensor fusion can triangulate and shoot at targets at almost the same time.
Or using your analogy, the F-35 does combine the JSTARS and A-10 capabilities in a single airframe (and does way more than that).

Something like this:




boilermaker wrote:
The F35cannot replace the A10for direct fire with , what, 100 rounds of ammo?


As other have said, other weapons such as the SDB can provide much better Close Air Support than a gun.
And for those increasingly rarer situation where a gun would be preferred then a 25mm gun with 180 rounds (or 220 for the podded gun) will be more enough for the job.


boilermaker wrote:
While waiting for a platform that can truly do all three, combined arms tactics using both the F35 and A10 together will remain du jour, and it would behove generals to not rewrite battle taskforce strategies to fit the marketing pretenses of Lockheed and DOD bean counters.


Everything that I read and watched about the F-35 (including the video above) makes me to conclude that the F-35 "can truly do all three".


boilermaker wrote:
It would be more productive if people proposed to replace the A10 with a A-UAV alternative directed by a F-35 or ground forces, for instance.


While I agree with you above, I can stop to think that you're somehow contradicting yourself here. Let's see:
- First, you mention that the F-35 cannot replace the A-10 because it doesn't carry enough gun ammo.
- Then, you agree that a UAV (or UCAV) could replace the A-10 (which again, I agree) while the F-35 wouldn't. But are you aware that a UAV/UCAV wouldn't carry any gun at all?

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

Unread postPosted: 06 Apr 2019, 17:48
by viper12
kimjongnumbaun wrote:
cola wrote:"The US Army Wants the F-35 for Close Air Support"
They sure do, which is why, "A-10 Warthog Squadron Receives Rare Award for Extraordinary Heroism in Syria"...
https://www.military.com/daily-news/201 ... o.facebook


It's a good tagline but I would not be comfortable sending an A-10 into an IADS with a reasonable chance it would be shot down. If I have to write the letter to their family that the pilot died because I was willing to risk their life when we had better options, that's going to be a hard no from me unless this was an extremely critical mission where we couldn't source other assets. While some parts of Syria are permissive, in a full blown war the A-10 isn't survivable. I don't think human life is cheap. As a war planner, I take that into account when I evaluate the risk of the mission and what platform I want to send into the jaws of the enemy.


Especially when one takes a look at what's actually in the article...

But during this six-month operation, the pilots tried to strike snipers in "this dense, urban city" sometimes without eyes directly on the hidden fighters, said Lt. Col. Craig Morash, 74th EFS commander. That included fighters weaving through buildings and narrow roadways.


On his third combat run over enemy territory, Capt. Matthew Underwood, an A-10 pilot and team lead, said he and his wingman "ended up shooting a maverick [missile] into a building to get the sniper team that was firing" on the Syrian Democratic Forces below, allowing the pilots to witness just what the A-10 can do, even against larger structures. Taking out ISIS fighters' hiding spots became a way to protect friendly forces.


There's absolutely no hint in the article about the touted unique virtues of the A-10 (armor, low speed maneuvrability and BRRRRRTTTT) being used. Rather, it suggests using sensors and long(ish) range weapons to stay outside the threat bubble, and relying on the JTAC's requests rather than the pilot's eyes.

Also surprisingly, in the OP, Milley isn't pushing for OVERMATCH. :twisted:

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

Unread postPosted: 06 Apr 2019, 18:36
by XanderCrews
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.

Having the ability of an F-35 to be able to triangulate enemy fires for counter battery would be a massive game changer. Our recon strikers can already have rounds on target within 30 seconds of them getting a GPS coordinate, assuming all deconfliction is already done. War is quickly moving towards network vs network. The side who has more information and has it faster will kill the side without.



Yep. Same on, Marine side of the house. the HIMARS bubbas and F-35 are going to be joined at the hip. The Gun Bunnies had a huge symposium. and the stuff theyre going over and planning for sounds similiar.


cola wrote:"The US Army Wants the F-35 for Close Air Support"
They sure do, which is why, "A-10 Warthog Squadron Receives Rare Award for Extraordinary Heroism in Syria"...
https://www.military.com/daily-news/201 ... o.facebook


Imagine bumping this thread after 6 months because you were so clueless you thought this had any relevance at all.

The mere fact that you don't understand the air force giving itself a unit award to a unit, which is composed of individuals and not to the actual A-10 itself just goes to show how little you know. Not only did you take an air force unit citation and try to "shift" that as some kind of "proof" but there zero connection between an award given by the USAF and a statement made by the US Army. Even more so as the Army and Marines start shifting tactics. Unit cititations awards and medals and promotions follow deployments, and its hardly "proof" when the Air force pats its own back to mean the army's own statements and plan going forward is now contradicted.

As has been demonstrated before, You have absolutely no clue about the subject you're talking about, and its far from the first time you've made yourself look foolish, and not just in one area but in many. here you demonstrate a lack of knowledge of the services and their relationships, The USAF Award system, the ability to read the army's original and official statement, CAS, the A-10, and the Future of 21st century battlefield tactics coming into vogue. Youre "argument" is "but look shiny medals!! that means the army loves it!" If the army fell over itself everytime the USAF gave itself medals, no one would be able to walk from their car to the chowhall.

So no, the example your using is a complete and total failure to prove your point. Whether this was done intentionally or out of your own ignorance I have no idea, And I'll leave it up to the folks here to decide which is worse.

I can't even explain or articulate, how bad you struck out here.

Image

I have no idea on what planet, the Army straight out saying the F-35 is the future, and the air force giving a unit an award to an air force squadron suddenly means the army is contradicting its own statement.

This will be one of the stupidest things I will read this month and its only the 6th

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

Unread postPosted: 06 Apr 2019, 21:12
by usnvo
hythelday wrote:Remember when A-10As were completely unaffected by Iraqi AAA during Gulf War? Me neither.

By the way: Su-25, which the Russians obviously claim to be superior to A-10 in every possible way has a remarkable achievemnt - it is an aircraft that has been shot down in every conflict where ground troops had a slightest chance to shoot back. Soviets lost Frogfoots in Afghanistan, Iraqis against Iran, Russians in both Chechnian Wars and as recently as last year in Syria (to ground fire, not accident mind you), Azerbaijan durind Karabakh conflict, both sides during 2008 Russo-Georgian War and Ukranians lost several during the short period they flew against "separatist" air defences. Ivory Coast inventory is no more, but that incident is quite uniqe. Internet tells me that Chad and Macedonia also used Su-25s in combat, but those must have been some one-way fights if they haven't lost any.

Low and slow is just not worth it.


But the SU-25 is probably the only plane to have the distinction of attacking the factory where they were produced!

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

Unread postPosted: 06 Apr 2019, 21:17
by usnvo
mixelflick wrote:Back before we had better options, the A-10 was IT. It was designed for NATO for use in the Fulda Gap, and no doubt would have taken losses there. I don't think anyone was under the illusion about this - and heavy losses at that.


Everyone seems to forget that the Germans planned to fly the same close air missions as the A-10, into the same air defenses, but using Alpha Jets.

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

Unread postPosted: 06 Apr 2019, 21:28
by usnvo
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.

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

Unread postPosted: 07 Apr 2019, 02:01
by wrightwing
boilermaker wrote:Triangulating for fire is not close air support. If that was, then Joint Stars is an A10...

A better comparison would be the F35 triangulating mission to that of the OV-10.

There will always will be 3 methods of acquisition of a target, the three merged being the best assurance of accuracy and verification: visual, electronic, indirect/deadReckon inertial.

The F35cannot replace the A10for direct fire with , what, 100 rounds of ammo?

While waiting for a platform that can truly do all three, combined arms tactics using both the F35 and A10 together will remain du jour, and it would behove generals to not rewrite battle taskforce strategies to fit the marketing pretenses of Lockheed and DOD bean counters.

It would be more productive if people proposed to replace the A10 with a A-UAV alternative directed by a F-35 or ground forces, for instance.

Close air support is a mission, not a tactic. Neither the A-10 nor the F-35s primary CAS weapon system is the cannon. The F-35 has a larger payload for PGMs than A-10s, as well as the ability to 3rd party target enemy forces with MLRS/HIMARS, ATACMS/Deep Strike, tube artillery, etc....

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

Unread postPosted: 07 Apr 2019, 13:06
by mixelflick
usnvo wrote:
mixelflick wrote:Back before we had better options, the A-10 was IT. It was designed for NATO for use in the Fulda Gap, and no doubt would have taken losses there. I don't think anyone was under the illusion about this - and heavy losses at that.


Everyone seems to forget that the Germans planned to fly the same close air missions as the A-10, into the same air defenses, but using Alpha Jets.


Your point being?

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

Unread postPosted: 07 Apr 2019, 23:34
by usnvo
mixelflick wrote:
usnvo wrote:
mixelflick wrote:Back before we had better options, the A-10 was IT. It was designed for NATO for use in the Fulda Gap, and no doubt would have taken losses there. I don't think anyone was under the illusion about this - and heavy losses at that.


Everyone seems to forget that the Germans planned to fly the same close air missions as the A-10, into the same air defenses, but using Alpha Jets.


Your point being?


Well, given that the Alpha Jet was essentially an armed trainer, it pretty much shows that CAS is a mission, not a platform, and you don't need a heavily armored aircraft to do it. It also demonstrates the relative perceived danger nations expected between a CAS mission being conducted near the forward edge of the battlefield versus an Interdiction mission where you could expect much more robust air defenses. Finally, given that it could only carry a gun pod, and not one like the GPU-5 30mmx173 one but only a 27mm, it shows that guided missiles, specifically the Maverick, was expected to be the real tank killer. Something that has been proved over and over by the A-10.

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

Unread postPosted: 08 Apr 2019, 01:10
by optimist
In the Iraq war, as most will know. The F-111 was the tank killer. The A-10 was driven out of the battlespace during Kosovo. It really is political with good "shoot em up" videos that keep the A-10 in the air. It is not survivable in a modern battlespace.

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military ... 11-pgw.htm
The F-111F night "tank plinking" strikes using 500 lb. GBU-12 laser-guided bombs were particularly deadly. On February 9, for example, in one night of concentrated air attacks, forty F-111F's destroyed over 100 armored vehicles. Overall, the small 66-plane F-111F force was credited with 1,500 kills of Iraqi tanks and other mechanized vehicles.

144 A-10s 900 Iraqi tanks, 2,000 other military vehicles

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

Unread postPosted: 08 Apr 2019, 02:44
by usnvo
optimist wrote:In the Iraq war, as most will know. The F-111 was the tank killer. The A-10 was driven out of the battlespace during Kosovo. It really is political with good "shoot em up" videos that keep the A-10 in the air. It is not survivable in a modern battlespace.

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military ... 11-pgw.htm
The F-111F night "tank plinking" strikes using 500 lb. GBU-12 laser-guided bombs were particularly deadly. On February 9, for example, in one night of concentrated air attacks, forty F-111F's destroyed over 100 armored vehicles. Overall, the small 66-plane F-111F force was credited with 1,500 kills of Iraqi tanks and other mechanized vehicles.

144 A-10s 900 Iraqi tanks, 2,000 other military vehicles


Even then, the vast majority of tanks destroyed by A-10s during the war were done so with Maverick missiles. Even in the most celebrated action of the A-10 in Desert Storm, where 2 A-10s destroyed 23 tanks during three sorties in a day, all were located and virtually all were destroyed with Maverick.

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

Unread postPosted: 08 Apr 2019, 04:21
by viper12
usnvo wrote:Finally, given that it could only carry a gun pod, and not one like the GPU-5 30mmx173 one but only a 27mm, it shows that guided missiles, specifically the Maverick, was expected to be the real tank killer. Something that has been proved over and over by the A-10.


Indeed. There was a coloring book telling A-10 pilots where to aim with their gun against T-62's : https://imgur.com/gallery/fd4sK

It was only effective against the rear and the sides of the hull (and the gun's barrel should you be lucky enough to hit it). The top is probably vulnerable too, but that would necessitate a pretty steep dive. So already against the T-62, the GAU-8 wasn't effective from all angles, and you can honestly question whether the T-72's and T-80's got better armored sides able to shrug off the 30mm shells. Especially since this paper reports a higher-than-specified dispersion and an estimated penetration of 76mm at 300m : https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... rban_areas

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

Unread postPosted: 08 Apr 2019, 11:21
by mixelflick
optimist wrote:In the Iraq war, as most will know. The F-111 was the tank killer. The A-10 was driven out of the battlespace during Kosovo. It really is political with good "shoot em up" videos that keep the A-10 in the air. It is not survivable in a modern battlespace.

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military ... 11-pgw.htm
The F-111F night "tank plinking" strikes using 500 lb. GBU-12 laser-guided bombs were particularly deadly. On February 9, for example, in one night of concentrated air attacks, forty F-111F's destroyed over 100 armored vehicles. Overall, the small 66-plane F-111F force was credited with 1,500 kills of Iraqi tanks and other mechanized vehicles.

144 A-10s 900 Iraqi tanks, 2,000 other military vehicles


And the F-111 carried... no gun.

One of the most frustrating and ridiculous displays of ignorance was the late Senator John McCain discussing the A-10/CAS with USAF leadership. No matter how hard the USAF tried, McCain would hear nothing of other USAF platforms (with no gun, B-1B, B-52, Predator, Reaper etc) providing effective close air support. Didn't want to hear it. Said something to the effect of, "Don't insult my intelligence" when offered CONCRETE NUMBERS on how these gunless CAS PLATFORMS provided effective CAS. Absolutely refused to listen to cold, hard numbers refuting the fact something (anything) other than the A-10 could do the job.

He's John McCain dammit. Flew A-4 Skyhawks and was shot down over N. VIetnam 60 years ago and was held as a POW for years. So he knows better...

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

Unread postPosted: 08 Apr 2019, 12:14
by marsavian
When you become a powerful politician you can allow your beliefs and biases to become law regardless of facts.

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

Unread postPosted: 08 Apr 2019, 14:13
by aussiebloke
optimist wrote: The A-10 was driven out of the battlespace during Kosovo.


In combat over Kosovo there were two A-10s damaged and none lost (USAF losses were one F-117 and one F-16C piloted by the now General David Goldfein). There is no evidence A-10s were "driven out of the battlespace".

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

Unread postPosted: 08 Apr 2019, 16:08
by viper12
Maybe not driven out, but the raison d'être of the A-10, flying low and slow, was basically nonexistent. That's because there was a 15,000ft altitude restriction, later lowered to 5,000ft over Kosovo. And even at 5,000ft, visual identification with the Mk1 eyeball was problematic ; see note 97, p.49 (or p.33 of the PDF) : 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 HqUSAFE/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.


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 ; see note 98 :

Glenn Burkins, “Serbs Intensify Effort to Down Allied Warplanes,” Wall Street Journal, May 28, 1999. In the second instance, the ABCCC drew on instantly accessible satellite photos and maps maintained in a National Imagery and Mapping Agency computerized database to identify potential obstacles, such as power lines, in order to plot a safe course for the rescue helicopter that recovered the downed pilot. Bill Gertzand Rowan Scarborough, “Inside the Ring,” Washington Times, May 19, 2000. Although there was definitely a pronounced increase in enemy SAM activity during the night of May 27 in an apparent effort to down a NATO pilot at any cost, it bears stressing that there were no nights during Allied Force without at least a few SAM shots, approximately 35 nights with 10 or more shots, and at least 13 nights with 20 or more shots. The highest number of shots observed (significantly higher than the number observed on May 27) was on the night of the F-16 loss. Overall, enemy SAM activity levels tracked closely with allied air attack levels. Low-observable and cruise-missile-only strikes prompted little enemy IADS reaction, whereas trolling for SAMs with F-16CJs and CGs and large conventional attack packages always generated a proportionately large enemy reaction. This trend remained consistent throughout the air war from start to finish. Comments on an earlier draft by Hq USAFE/IN, May 18, 2001

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

Unread postPosted: 08 Apr 2019, 16:09
by blindpilot
aussiebloke wrote:
optimist wrote: The A-10 was driven out of the battlespace during Kosovo.
... There is no evidence A-10s were "driven out of the battlespace".


Maybe not published, but this applies ... unless ... an opinion is formed by one who was or knew those who actually managed the strike packages .... among which some posters here are included ...

But I already went down this path over - choosing A-7's over A-10's in Grenada, and that was without value ... so I'll pass...

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

MHO,
BP

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

Unread postPosted: 08 Apr 2019, 20:13
by aussiebloke
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.

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

Unread postPosted: 08 Apr 2019, 21:01
by aussiebloke
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.

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

Unread postPosted: 08 Apr 2019, 21:45
by ricnunes
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:

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

Unread postPosted: 08 Apr 2019, 22:02
by aussiebloke
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.

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

Unread postPosted: 08 Apr 2019, 22:39
by XanderCrews
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:

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

Unread postPosted: 08 Apr 2019, 23:43
by archeman
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.

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

Unread postPosted: 09 Apr 2019, 00:40
by aussiebloke
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?

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

Unread postPosted: 09 Apr 2019, 02:27
by kimjongnumbaun
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.

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

Unread postPosted: 09 Apr 2019, 02:55
by marauder2048
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.

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

Unread postPosted: 09 Apr 2019, 07:10
by XanderCrews
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.

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

Unread postPosted: 09 Apr 2019, 09:55
by optimist
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

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

Unread postPosted: 09 Apr 2019, 11:47
by aussiebloke
[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.

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

Unread postPosted: 09 Apr 2019, 13:16
by optimist
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.

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

Unread postPosted: 09 Apr 2019, 14:06
by XanderCrews
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.

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

Unread postPosted: 09 Apr 2019, 14:17
by aussiebloke
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.

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

Unread postPosted: 09 Apr 2019, 14:31
by XanderCrews
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.

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

Unread postPosted: 09 Apr 2019, 14:52
by optimist
There is stuff like this still around
https://csis-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs ... 5B1%5D.pdf
The problem with these damage assessments – as NATO fully admitted at the time – was
that Serbia continued to fire anti-aircraft guns, manportable surface-to-air missiles, and
optically-guided SA-6s against NATO aircraft. NATO briefings on April 29th made it clear that
NATO strike aircraft had scarcely achieved secure freedom of action, particularly for the more
vulnerable systems like the A-10 and AH-64.

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

Unread postPosted: 09 Apr 2019, 14:58
by optimist
XanderCrews wrote:
We can split hairs about Kosovo, but for certain it was driven out of Iraq in 1991.




I hope I haven't got the wars mixed up, was the f-16 also benched :?

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

Unread postPosted: 09 Apr 2019, 15:15
by aussiebloke
XanderCrews wrote:

how do i prove a negative?


:doh:

You aren't being asked to prove a negative. If that was the case I would be asking you to prove that A-10s weren't driven out of Kosovo battlespace. I am asking the exact opposite.

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

Unread postPosted: 09 Apr 2019, 15:24
by optimist
Well what has been proved beyond dispute. Is that the A-10 gun is obsolete and only good for plinking goat herders in the ME.

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

Unread postPosted: 09 Apr 2019, 15:56
by XanderCrews
aussiebloke wrote:
XanderCrews wrote:

how do i prove a negative?


:doh:

You aren't being asked to prove a negative. If that was the case I would be asking you to prove that A-10s weren't driven out of Kosovo battlespace. I am asking the exact opposite.



Right and you dismissed it already. Despite me saying they were driven from the battlefield in 1991 and providing testimony and aircraft losses, and that operational experience bled into Kosovo. Relegating A-10s in their operational capacity.

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

Unread postPosted: 11 Apr 2019, 00:28
by marauder2048
aussiebloke wrote:
XanderCrews wrote:

how do i prove a negative?


:doh:

You aren't being asked to prove a negative. If that was the case I would be asking you to prove that A-10s weren't driven out of Kosovo battlespace. I am asking the exact opposite.


In "A-10s Over Kosovo"

Lt Col Chris “Kimos” Haave indicates that Pristina, even with SEAD support,
was a no-go area for the A-10s due to the air defense threat.

The larger documentary problem is that Operation Allied Force is the most poorly
attested allied air campaign of the last 30 years.

See if you can find actual detailed breakdowns of sorties by specific aircraft type;
If I go by what I found in an F-16 history, the F-16s accounted for half of all "fighter" sorties.

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

Unread postPosted: 11 Apr 2019, 16:16
by aussiebloke
marauder2048 wrote:In "A-10s Over Kosovo" Lt Col Chris “Kimos” Haave indicates that Pristina, even with SEAD support, was a no-go area for the A-10s due to the air defense threat.


A-10s over Kosovo is available to be freely read online https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a421682.pdf

This is what the the Lt Col actually said - excerpts starting from page 111
"The ROEs would not allow any aircraft into Kosovo without the presence of SEAD. I waited just south of the border for nearly 30 minutes." [please note that these ROEs applied to all aircraft and not just the A-10]
"I turned north for the target area. The artillery revetments were 30 miles north of Pristina." [page 112]
"I was concerned about staying well clear of Pristina with its SAMs, particularly since Magic had just announced that I had no SEAD support." [page 113]
So just a single A-10 - not multiple A-10s or all A-10s - whose pilot chose to avoid a SAM laden city. Prestina, as these actual quotes show, wasn't the intended target area for performing his FAC task. It sounds like a sensible decision that any pilot under those circumstances would make.

Documentary sources for the Kosovo air campaign are thin. The open source online documents that do exist don't support any theory that A-10s were "driven out of the battlespace". In fact the few comments directly about the A-10 support the opposite conclusion:
JCS chairman, General Shelton, in discussing the Army's problems getting the Apache helicopter into action stated:
"by the time the deployment had reached the point where the Apaches were ready to engage in combat, VJ ground formations were no longer massed but had become dispersed and well hidden. Moreover, he went on to note, the weather had improved, enabling Air Force A-10s and other fixed-wing aircraft to hunt down dispersed and hidden enemy forces while incurring less risk from enemy infrared SAMs, AAA, and small-arms fire than the Apaches would have faced."
Quote taken from page 151 of https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/p ... 65.ch6.pdf This chapter is part of an excellent RAND research publication. Other chapters can be found at https://www.rand.org/pubs/monograph_reports/MR1365.html
Incidentally this same chapter (chapter 6) is entirely devoted to "Friction and operational problems". The chapter makes no mention of the A-10 being forced out of the battle space.

In an April 2015 article in Airpower journal it was stated that "On March 30, General Short launched the Combined Air Interdiction of Fielded Forces (CAIFF), a new stage of the air campaign designed specifically to cripple or destroy Milosevic’s ground troops in Kosovo, but it was initially limited to a ten-mile penetration of the province. Clouds and bad weather challenged the early missions, hindering NATO’s ability to destroy its relatively small targets effectively and mount a steadily increasing pressure on the enemy. A–10s served well for combat search and rescue, but after their first successful attack against a Serbian truck park on April 6, the armored attack aircraft proved especially useful against enemy ground forces in Kosovo."
The footnotes for this comment point to these sources:
HQ USAF The Air War Over Serbia Initial Report, Sep. 30, 1999 (AFHRA IRIS no. 01149318), pp. 24, 30;
Col. Christopher E. Haave, USAF, and Lt. Col. Phil M. Haun, USAF, editors, A–10s Over Kosovo (Maxwell AFB, Ala.: Air University Press, 2003), pp. xiii-xiv, xxiv, xxx;
Interview of Lt. Gen. Michael C. Short, by Public Broadcasting Service (AFHRA IRIS number 01129172, call number K570.051-24, 1998-1999), pp. 15-16.

In addition to these positive notes regarding the A-10s battlefield interdiction role several sources attest to the success of the A-10 in performing Combat Search And Rescue in Kosovo. The A-10s FAC performance was good in difficult circumstances. Eventually the 15,000 restriction was lifted. "once operations against dispersed and hidden VJ forces in Kosovo began in earnest in mid-April, FACs [my edit: including A-10 FACs!] were cleared down to 5,000 ft as necessary to make positive target identifications." Page 141 of https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/p ... 65.ch6.pdf

The charge that "A-10s were driven out of the battlespace" in Kosovo is unsustainable.

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

Unread postPosted: 11 Apr 2019, 21:17
by marauder2048
But the simple reality is that the A-10s stayed well clear of Pristina for the duration of the campaign;
this was not true of other fighters.

As a CAS bird the A-10 was a complete failure; the KLA offensive was pushed back practically to its
jumping off point.

And note: the documentary sources are extremely circumspect about real battle damage assessments.
Instead you get an anecdote here and there; the plural of 'anecdote', alas is not 'data.'


aussiebloke wrote:[
In addition to these positive notes regarding the A-10s battlefield interdiction role several sources attest to the success of the A-10 in performing Combat Search And Rescue in Kosovo.


What? The A-10 was a complete failure as a CSAR bird during the campaign; the A-10s ran out of
fuel (because it can't keep up with the tankers above 20,000 feet) trying to get to Goldfein so the CSAR
helicopters went in completely unaccompanied.

The A-10 FAC was useless in the F-117 downing because the cloud cover was down to 3,000 feet where
the A-10 could not operate and could not suppress. And the remaining A-10s were too distracted
by the SAM threat to do much of anything.

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

Unread postPosted: 12 Apr 2019, 13:22
by aussiebloke
“But the simple reality is that the A-10s stayed well clear of Pristina for the duration of the campaign;
this was not true of other fighters.”

Yet another bald assertion. A quick search for Pristina in the “A-10s over Kosovo” document shows multiple times A-10s operated in the vicinity of but not directly over Pristina.

The starting point for all this was optimist’s comment “The A-10 was driven out of the battlespace during Kosovo”
That battlespace has now, according to you, shrunk to just the city of Pristina. Pristina was never intended to be a battlespace for the A-10. It was a strategic target in a similar way to Belgrade. It was hit on the opening night of the air war by AGM-142 Have Nap released from B-52s. A few days later, for example, “on April 8, a NATO [Tomahawk] cruise missile destroyed the main telecommunications building in Pristina, …. which had been used to help coordinate Serbian ground operations in the province.” Page 13 of https://media.defense.gov/2016/Mar/17/2 ... R-2015.PDF

To suggest that the A-10 was driven out of the Pristina battlespace during Kosovo would be as meaningless as suggesting that the A-10 was driven out of the Baghdad battlespace in Desert Storm. It was never in, or intended to be in, that battlespace to begin with.

You claim that “as a CAS bird the A-10 was a complete failure; the KLA offensive was pushed back practically to its jumping off point”.

The failure of the KLA’s Mount Pastrik offensive can in no way be laid at the feet of the A-10.
“For good abundant good reasons, not least of which was a determination to avoid even a hint of appearing to legitimize the KLA’s independent actions, NATO had no interest in serving as the KLA’s de facto air force and repeatedly refused to provide it with the equipment it would have needed for its troops to have performed directly as ground forward air controllers (FACs).” From page 53 of https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/p ... 65.ch3.pdf

You claim “The A-10 was a complete failure as a CSAR bird during the campaign”

“A-10 pilots from the 81st FS, using Sandy call signs, were the mission commanders for the dramatic rescue of an F-117 pilot shot down near Belgrade on the fourth night of strikes. A-10s provided on-scene command, tracked the survivor’s location, coordinated the rescue effort, and provided cover for rescue helicopters during the ingress, survivor pickup, and egress of enemy territory.” Complete failure?
From page of 312
https://media.defense.gov/2017/Mar/31/2 ... KOSOVO.PDF

You claim regarding the F-16 shootdown: “the A-10s ran out of fuel (because it can't keep up with the tankers above 20,000 feet) trying to get to Goldfein so the CSAR helicopters went in completely unaccompanied.”

The reality: “However, the weather was good over Serbia and the PRCC [Personnel Recovery Coordination Cell] did not direct the pre-border crossing linkage of escort and helicopter. Subsequently, the helicopters lost the firepower of the escort A-10s and on ingress, the SOF helicopters took fire from surface-to-air missiles and AAA.” From page 52 of https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a425580.pdf The pilot was of course rescued. Can this failure to link up be laid at the feet of the A-10 CSAR aircraft and/or the helicopters or did the Coordination Cell simply fail to coordinate? There were a number of missteps with both the F-117 and the F-17 CSAR efforts. Very few of them can be slated home to the performance of the A-10. These rescues were, in reality, 100% successful in terms of accomplishing the mission and rescuing the pilots. It takes an extremely biased interpretation to draw the conclusion that this represented for the A-10 a “complete failure”.

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

Unread postPosted: 12 Apr 2019, 13:42
by ricnunes
marauder2048 wrote:But the simple reality is that the A-10s stayed well clear of Pristina for the duration of the campaign;
this was not true of other fighters.

As a CAS bird the A-10 was a complete failure; the KLA offensive was pushed back practically to its
jumping off point.


Fully agree marauder.

One can play with semantics all the way claiming that the "A-10 wasn't driven out of Kosovo battlespace" but while "semantically" this may be the case, the fact that the "A-10 wasn't driven out of Kosovo battlespace" was because and only because it wasn't decided to sent it over that same Kosovo battlespace or at least not to send them (A-10s) over non-permissive or threatening airspace over Kosovo which IMO equates to the "A-10 actually being driven out of Kosovo battlespace".

Wasn't the A-10 over Kosovo/Op. Allied Force being relegated mostly to FAC roles as the OA-10?

Resuming, if it decided to send the A-10s over non-permissive/threatening airspace then you can bet that the A-10 would actually be "driven out of Kosovo battlespace", this due to high loses!
Just look to what happened to drones there where something like 21 were shot down - this might give an indication that the A-10s would also have suffered heavy loses back then.



marauder2048 wrote:What? The A-10 was a complete failure as a CSAR bird during the campaign; the A-10s ran out of
fuel (because it can't keep up with the tankers above 20,000 feet) trying to get to Goldfein so the CSAR
helicopters went in completely unaccompanied.

The A-10 FAC was useless in the F-117 downing because the cloud cover was down to 3,000 feet where
the A-10 could not operate and could not suppress. And the remaining A-10s were too distracted
by the SAM threat to do much of anything.


Absolutely!

Wasn't one of those CSAR helos (after picking up the downed pilot) shot up pretty badly which luckily and fortunately managed to return safely?

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

Unread postPosted: 12 Apr 2019, 20:11
by marauder2048
aussiebloke wrote: A quick search for Pristina in the “A-10s over Kosovo” document shows multiple times A-10s operated in the vicinity of but not directly over Pristina.


That's called staying clear of Pristina.

aussiebloke wrote:The starting point for all this was optimist’s comment “The A-10 was driven out of the battlespace during Kosovo”
That battlespace has now, according to you, shrunk to just the city of Pristina. Pristina was never intended to be a battlespace for the A-10.


This is all complete revisionism; there's no evidence that Pristina was off-limits to tactical aircraft
as evidenced by the fact that tactical aircraft other than the A-10 attacked Pristina directly with
unpowered glide munitions.

There's no evidence that A-10 pilots avoided Pristina for a reason other than it was a no-go
area by virtue of the air defense threat. A-10 pilots felt they were tasked with a broad air
interdiction mission and that should have encompassed attacks on targets in Pristina.


aussiebloke wrote:You claim that “as a CAS bird the A-10 was a complete failure; the KLA offensive was pushed back practically to its jumping off point”.

The failure of the KLA’s Mount Pastrik offensive can in no way be laid at the feet of the A-10.
“For good abundant good reasons, not least of which was a determination to avoid even a hint of appearing to legitimize the KLA’s independent actions, NATO had no interest in serving as the KLA’s de facto air force and repeatedly refused to provide it with the equipment it would have needed for its troops to have performed directly as ground forward air controllers (FACs).”


Welcome to selective quoting.

And RAND goes on to say:

Although the Clinton administration denied helping the KLA directly,
U.S. officials did admit that NATO had responded to “urgent” KLA
requests for air support to turn back the VJ counterattack against its
embattled troops near Mount Pastrik. In addition to the support they attempted to provide at Mount Pastrik, NATO aircraft attacked VJ targets near the Kosovar villages of Bucane and Ljumbarda, enabling the rebels to capture those villages.
The KLA kept NATO informed of its positions in part so that its troops would not be inadvertently bombed, which had occurred two weeks earlier in an accidental NATO attack on a KLA barracks in Kosari KLA guerrillas
used cell phones to convey target coordinates to their base commanders, who, in turn, relayed that information to NATO military authorities.


aussiebloke wrote:You claim “The A-10 was a complete failure as a CSAR bird during the campaign”


The first role of a CSAR fixed-wing is suppression of surface threats to, from and at the objective.
That's the fixed-wing aircraft's big advantage over all other assets. The A-10 failed to do that in both cases.
In the first case: they ran out of fuel because:

a. the A-10 can't find tankers in inclement weather
b. the A-10, when heavily laden, needs a tanker orbit below 20,000 feet

These are intrinsic properties of the A-10 and only the A-10.

In the second case, the weather prevented a cold-nose fighter from doing anything aside from a glorified radio relay;
the A-10s couldn't see the helicopters and they couldn't see the pilot. And they couldn't see the Serbs.
So they couldn't suppress.

In both cases, the CSAR helicopters went in naked. That's a huge failure.

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

Unread postPosted: 12 Apr 2019, 22:10
by charlielima223
Didn't want to give it own forum but thought this place is the best place to put it. ENJOY!


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

Unread postPosted: 13 Apr 2019, 02:41
by optimist
As I said earlier. What I meant by "driven out of the battlespace' was that is was parked on the runway and didn't enter the battlespace.
Also I note" GAU-8 30mm cannon carried by the A-10 saw use only 156 times" so in effect, the gun was even obsolete back then.

This is really a F-35 vs A-10 thread. So the video is fine.
What is really missing from that video, is Pierre Sprey This A-10 video will fix that :mrgreen:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRYkLq5MupM