USAF retiring 5 squadrons of A-10s for F-35s

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hotrampphotography

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Unread post03 Feb 2012, 02:54

firstimpulse wrote:I don't buy the "hit the bad guy from five miles up" that easily. Sure, the tech is good, but could it really target something the size of a person from 25,000ft? I don't know the specs on the EOTS, but that seems like a bit of a stretch. Of course, being proven wrong about this wouldn't bother me a bit... XD


Without delving close to OPSEC rules - yes, it is that good.
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munny

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Unread post03 Feb 2012, 03:28

firstimpulse wrote:I don't buy the "hit the bad guy from five miles up" that easily. Sure, the tech is good, but could it really target something the size of a person from 25,000ft? I don't know the specs on the EOTS, but that seems like a bit of a stretch. Of course, being proven wrong about this wouldn't bother me a bit... XD


A video on BBC showing some of EOTS' range capabilities. If it can make out hotel windows out at 50 miles, and car tyres quite clearly from 20 miles .... 25,000ft directly overhead is not an issue.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-10652020
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Unread post03 Feb 2012, 04:56

A quick look at lunch and it turns out the ANG is changing mission. The 5 A-10 squadrons to be retired are the 5 ANG squadrons. The AF and AFRES are keeping their A-10 planes. I haven't checked to see if any ANG units were flying C's. The new A-10 wings (242 sets) were progressing retrofit and would be the balance of AF A-10s, once the ANG a/c are retired. The last A-10C upgrade was to complete in 2011. The ANG is being tasked to UAVs, similar to the existing 147th Fighter Wing of the Texas ANG .
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Unread post03 Feb 2012, 05:15

IMO the other thing about doing CAS from 25,000ft and/or 20 miles away apart from the excellent points made by twintwinsingle is that it's nowhere near as personal for the bad guy.

Seeing an A-10 turn in on his position is going to encourage the bad guy to think very hard about being either under cover or somewhere else. That means he won't be thinking about shooting your guys, he’ll be thinking about saving his own neck. Having a couple of 250 pound bombs go off somewhere in his vicinity will scare/blow the crap out of him to be sure but the more unpredictable the arrival of the ordinance the more likely it is that the bad guy will simply press his attack right up to point where it does.

It isn't just about killing the bad guys; it's also about putting him off enough that he loses any initiative he’s gained and is unable to press his attack. That’s why anticipation is a big deal in this sort of thing, you want the bad guy to see this coming, to give his imagination enough time to work out what’s about to happen. It's why the Germans put sirens on the Stukas - so they'd make that distinctive sound when they made their dives and everyone below would know what was coming and behave accordingly.

:2c:
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Prinz_Eugn

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Unread post03 Feb 2012, 07:17

Flight time is the major problem from altitude... targeting pods are essentially telescopes strapped to an airplane. Weather would be an issue if we were in a different environment, too.

Retiring a third of the A-10 force is a pretty reasonable idea, especially since I doubt we're going to get involved in war that would require what we have now any time soon. The F-35 will be perfectly adequate for take up the slack if it needs to. Plus, the 25mm GAU-22 will be much better than the M61.
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Unread post03 Feb 2012, 13:49

Congress seems to have major issues with this thing, from what I've read. It's unsurprising, really.
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Unread post03 Feb 2012, 14:27

The Air Force is cutting One Active, One AFRC and 3 ANG A-10 units.

Plus these.

More than 280 aircraft have been identified in the current budget submission for elimination across all Air Force components over the next five years. This includes 123 fighters (102 A-10s and 21 older F-16s), 133 mobility aircraft (27 C-5As, 65 C-130s, 20 KC-135s, and 21 C-27s), and 30 select ISR systems (18 RQ-4 Block 30s, 11 RC-26s, and one E-8 damaged beyond repair).

http://www.af.mil/shared/media/document ... 01-027.pdf
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Unread post03 Feb 2012, 14:28

Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said the service plans to send proposals to Capitol Hill that would cause the Reserve and Guard components to take measures similar to those used in the active-duty force over the past few years. The breakdown for fiscal 2013 totals 5,100 guardsmen and 900 reservists, Donley said.

http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2012/ ... s-020212w/
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Unread post03 Feb 2012, 16:26

hb_pencil wrote:That's a really really bad suggestion and a waste of resources. In Afghanistan most encounters are decided by one or two bombs. Flying around a B-1 sized aircraft is overkill. In a non-permissive environment like vs China, a large B-1 is a sitting duck for a IADS. In both situations the A-10 is sufficient as is its replacement, the F-35.


B-1Bs have been doing CAS in Afghanistan though, as odd as that sounds.
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Unread post03 Feb 2012, 16:33

jeffb wrote:IMO the other thing about doing CAS from 25,000ft and/or 20 miles away apart from the excellent points made by twintwinsingle is that it's nowhere near as personal for the bad guy.

Seeing an A-10 turn in on his position is going to encourage the bad guy to think very hard about being either under cover or somewhere else. That means he won't be thinking about shooting your guys, he’ll be thinking about saving his own neck. Having a couple of 250 pound bombs go off somewhere in his vicinity will scare/blow the crap out of him to be sure but the more unpredictable the arrival of the ordinance the more likely it is that the bad guy will simply press his attack right up to point where it does.

It isn't just about killing the bad guys; it's also about putting him off enough that he loses any initiative he’s gained and is unable to press his attack. That’s why anticipation is a big deal in this sort of thing, you want the bad guy to see this coming, to give his imagination enough time to work out what’s about to happen. It's why the Germans put sirens on the Stukas - so they'd make that distinctive sound when they made their dives and everyone below would know what was coming and behave accordingly.

:2c:


Bones have been known to get low and make a lot of noise, with much the same effect.
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Unread post03 Feb 2012, 16:47

Prinz_Eugn wrote:Flight time is the major problem from altitude... targeting pods are essentially telescopes strapped to an airplane. Weather would be an issue if we were in a different environment, too.

Retiring a third of the A-10 force is a pretty reasonable idea, especially since I doubt we're going to get involved in war that would require what we have now any time soon. The F-35 will be perfectly adequate for take up the slack if it needs to. Plus, the 25mm GAU-22 will be much better than the M61.


The question is will F-35 conduct CAS in the dirt like the A-10, or from medium altitudes like current F-series tactical jets and the B-1B? It's more likely it will continue the practice of staying relatively high and using its sensors to ID and attack targets, rather than risking a very expensive jet in a low altitude gun run.

If the USAF retires enough A-10s, the the Marines should seriously think about acquiring them. A FOB runway is plenty long enough to operate them, and the Marines would put them to good use.
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Unread post03 Feb 2012, 17:01

Given the recent successful test of a laser-guided small-caliber cannon shell, I see even cannon-based CAS moving to higher altitude AND getting more accurate & effective.
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Unread post03 Feb 2012, 19:28

maus92 wrote:
Prinz_Eugn wrote:...


The question is will F-35 conduct CAS in the dirt like the A-10, or from medium altitudes like current F-series tactical jets and the B-1B? It's more likely it will continue the practice of staying relatively high and using its sensors to ID and attack targets, rather than risking a very expensive jet in a low altitude gun run.

If the USAF retires enough A-10s, the the Marines should seriously think about acquiring them. A FOB runway is plenty long enough to operate them, and the Marines would put them to good use.


Probably both. They have fast jets do gun runs all the time, I believe. Risk is relative- as pointed out earlier, CAS missions often happen where you have air superiority anyway. Even then, the F-35's stealth and advanced countermeasures might even make it more survivable than an A-10 in some circumstances because it will be harder to target.

@Spudman: That would be awesome, but GAO would have a heart attack.
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Unread post03 Feb 2012, 19:42

The A-10...so ugly it's beautiful. Takes a lickin and keeps on tickin! Lets see the F-35 take a hit like than and still bring you back.

Long live the WARTHOG! TSFG
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Unread post03 Feb 2012, 21:27

jeffb wrote:IMO the other thing about doing CAS from 25,000ft and/or 20 miles away apart from the excellent points made by twintwinsingle is that it's nowhere near as personal for the bad guy.

Seeing an A-10 turn in on his position is going to encourage the bad guy to think very hard about being either under cover or somewhere else. That means he won't be thinking about shooting your guys, he’ll be thinking about saving his own neck. Having a couple of 250 pound bombs go off somewhere in his vicinity will scare/blow the crap out of him to be sure but the more unpredictable the arrival of the ordinance the more likely it is that the bad guy will simply press his attack right up to point where it does.

It isn't just about killing the bad guys; it's also about putting him off enough that he loses any initiative he’s gained and is unable to press his attack. That’s why anticipation is a big deal in this sort of thing, you want the bad guy to see this coming, to give his imagination enough time to work out what’s about to happen. It's why the Germans put sirens on the Stukas - so they'd make that distinctive sound when they made their dives and everyone below would know what was coming and behave accordingly.

:2c:


Thats what drones are for. No point in risking a pilot low and slow just to get the bad guy duck and cover. F35s will always be flying along side drones.
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