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

Program progress, politics, orders, and speculation
  • Author
  • Message
Offline

twintwinsingle

Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 127
  • Joined: 30 Nov 2010, 01:52
  • Location: USA

Unread post03 Feb 2012, 23:05

handyman wrote: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.


This is why aircraft and pilots that aren't good at CAS shouldn't do CAS. "just getting the bad guy to duck and cover" saves lives, handy. If it works, it works. Now, make no mistake, blowing-up the truck that the bad guys buddy is in also has a remarkable impact on his will to fight, but sometimes you can't do that. Sometimes the situation is so screwed up that you can't determine who's who. You can't very well shoot into there, now can you? Especially not with an F-35 at 30K, 30 miles a way, ripping off a JAGM (someday, maybe). All you can do in that situation is wait and try to figure things out, while people die, or go in there and "risk a pilot" so you can save 20, 40, 100 friendly lives. This is why I say we must stop thinking about CAS as an air war. It is a ground war and the jet is merely a support asset. If you're going in to drop a power plant or crater a runway, you have the luxury of saying "I can't see risking a pilot or a plane to do X or Y". You can't do that in CAS. I can tell you, friend, that there comes a day in a CAS pilots life that the guy on the other end of the radio and a lot of his buddies are going to DIE if you don't do something and do it right now. How can you, in that situation say "I can't justify risking a plane and pilot" when dozens of our own boys are down there getting KILLED. CAS is real, guys, not Falcon 4.0, and if you or your plane can't perform all aspects of CAS, then you should get the F out.
Offline

mc5wes

Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 160
  • Joined: 29 Dec 2010, 20:18

Unread post04 Feb 2012, 03:47

The A-10 units being cut are

AFRC Barksdale AFB, LA
ANG Selfridge ANGB, MI
ANG Ft Smith, AR
ANG Ft Wayne, IN
AD Spangdahlem

F-15 unit is

AD/AFRC Nellis Agressors

F-16 unit is

Des Moines, IA
Offline

handyman

Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 104
  • Joined: 04 Mar 2011, 05:41
  • Location: SFO

Unread post04 Feb 2012, 04:24

twintwinsingle wrote:
handyman wrote: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.


This is why aircraft and pilots that aren't good at CAS shouldn't do CAS. "just getting the bad guy to duck and cover" saves lives, handy. If it works, it works. Now, make no mistake, blowing-up the truck that the bad guys buddy is in also has a remarkable impact on his will to fight, but sometimes you can't do that. Sometimes the situation is so screwed up that you can't determine who's who. You can't very well shoot into there, now can you? Especially not with an F-35 at 30K, 30 miles a way, ripping off a JAGM (someday, maybe). All you can do in that situation is wait and try to figure things out, while people die, or go in there and "risk a pilot" so you can save 20, 40, 100 friendly lives. This is why I say we must stop thinking about CAS as an air war. It is a ground war and the jet is merely a support asset. If you're going in to drop a power plant or crater a runway, you have the luxury of saying "I can't see risking a pilot or a plane to do X or Y". You can't do that in CAS. I can tell you, friend, that there comes a day in a CAS pilots life that the guy on the other end of the radio and a lot of his buddies are going to DIE if you don't do something and do it right now. How can you, in that situation say "I can't justify risking a plane and pilot" when dozens of our own boys are down there getting KILLED. CAS is real, guys, not Falcon 4.0, and if you or your plane can't perform all aspects of CAS, then you should get the F out.

You're forgetting that the drone can fly lower, slower, loiter longer and provide more eyes on the ground than an A10 ever will. It can also provide this information to the F35 no matter how high and fast its flying.
Last edited by handyman on 04 Feb 2012, 04:30, edited 2 times in total.
Offline

handyman

Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 104
  • Joined: 04 Mar 2011, 05:41
  • Location: SFO

Unread post04 Feb 2012, 04:26

damn double post. can't delete
Offline

geogen

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2940
  • Joined: 11 Mar 2008, 15:28
  • Location: 45 km offshore, New England

Unread post04 Feb 2012, 05:35

hotrampphotography wrote:
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.


There is no OPSEC violation on this point.

It's publicly available info that Any platform, regardless of the platform, as long as it is equipped with a modern ground mode AESA radar and/or modern E/O targeting pod such as data-linked Sniper pod or latest Litening model, can target and engage a small zone target with the appropriate munition.

the Future block III F-35, operational by 2018 or so, will of course not have some kind of monopoly in this aspect of capabilities.
The Super-Viper has not yet begun to concede.
Offline

Prinz_Eugn

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 927
  • Joined: 03 Aug 2008, 03:35

Unread post04 Feb 2012, 10:47

handyman wrote: You're forgetting that the drone can fly lower, slower, loiter longer and provide more eyes on the ground than an A10 ever will. It can also provide this information to the F35 no matter how high and fast its flying.


Drones are ways off... currently they're too slow to get to the target if they're not already there, and their SA isn't very good. It's the "Soda Straw" problem- they can see a small area in enormous detail, but not a large area. There's also lag and bandwidth issues even if you do cover one in cameras. Plus, they lack payload compared to manned aircraft.

Someday, maybe. But not soon.
"A visitor from Mars could easily pick out the civilized nations. They have the best implements of war."
Offline

hotrampphotography

Enthusiast

Enthusiast

  • Posts: 58
  • Joined: 10 Apr 2011, 15:26
  • Location: YYZ

Unread post04 Feb 2012, 13:53

geogen wrote:There is no OPSEC violation on this point.

It's publicly available info that Any platform, regardless of the platform, as long as it is equipped with a modern ground mode AESA radar and/or modern E/O targeting pod such as data-linked Sniper pod or latest Litening model, can target and engage a small zone target with the appropriate munition.


Geogen,

He was asking about certain particulars and distances - which we all know aren't permitted on this or any other board. Sure, the generic description you give above is fine but when it comes down to actual numbers and flight levels and zoom factors, the OPSEC does come into play.
A freelance journalist with a focus on the three branches of the Canadian Forces.
Offline

archeman

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 380
  • Joined: 28 Dec 2011, 05:37
  • Location: CA

Unread post04 Feb 2012, 18:12

Good input twintwin, love the personal insight. I think however, that it is unlikely that a 35 driver in the future is going to abandon troops in contact because he isn't in an A-10.
Each generation of warfighters figures out how to get the job done with the tools they are given.
This may in fact mean that he will be taking the bird down lower than doctrine prescribes if the situation requires it.
Offline

maus92

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1644
  • Joined: 21 May 2010, 17:50
  • Location: Annapolis, MD

Unread post04 Feb 2012, 18:36

"Historically, the Air Force hates supplying CAS and doesn't like buying or maintaining the planes that do it. But the white scarf boys wouldn't let the Army do the job either, since it involved fixed-wing aircraft and shooting and that's what the Air Force does.

So when the Air Force announced it was scrapping a large chunk of the current A-10 Warthog fleet and the pilots who go with it -- five squadrons worth -- the Pentagon's back channels quickly filled with disgusted comments about how "there goes the Air Force again." "

" "The bottom line is, as remarkable as the A-10 is, it isn't the only machine that does close air support," Schwartz told reporters at a briefing this afternoon. He mentioned the B-1 and B-52s as delivery platforms, which may seem weird to some ground huggers, but the fact is that precision guided munitions allow planes flying a great heights and great speeds to deliver highly precise and devastating attacks against ground forces. Of course, they often depend on ground-based tactical air controllers to deliver those munitions, but they are effective."



http://defense.aol.com/2012/02/03/preci ... plane-sch/
Offline

archeman

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 380
  • Joined: 28 Dec 2011, 05:37
  • Location: CA

Unread post04 Feb 2012, 22:08

CAS is going to see some changes in near future.
Historically the support problem much noted here described as the USAF has failing to provide CAS assets in adequate quantities is actually more complex than that. The problem has been a two way problem where ground forces played their own role in this by failing to develop comprehensive blue force identification and geo-location methods that can allow friendly air forces to solve situation recognition, ordinance selection and delivery problems in a timely manner. This problem has not ‘crept up’ on us. We are nearing the Century mark for the publicly discussed problem of avoiding friendly fire and effective use of air support in ground campaigns. Until the past few decades there was little progress better than large arrows painted on the ground, and burning barrels to solve the tricky problems of air to ground communication.
The use of embedded forward air controllers is obviously a band-aid bolt on solution. The better solution is that any ground troop should be able to provide target illumination and/or geo location data in a time of need. Following that theme, blue force & red force location data sharing and threat prioritization is what has always been required. One of the key problem’s that has been thrown into USAF’s lap is that the pilots arriving on location have to develop too much of this information on the fly.
If the problems I just described remain unsolved in the future, I believe that we should be very worried about the increased tempo of A-10 retirement. The A-10 provides a lot of solutions that assist the pilot arriving on station to put together an unclear situation and start having an impact.
I don’t believe that these problems have no solution. I also believe that the increasing speed, reliability and distributed use of data communication (even when the radio spectrum is contested) will provide small units with a dramatic improvement in situational awareness. This information will be available to the local commanders and shared with air assets as needed.
The humble mortar and good ole’ fashion artillery tube will see dramatic increases in accuracy akin to the development of aircraft bombing accuracy. As weird as it sounds, the perfect weapon that a CAS aircraft chooses to engage a target with, may be a call to field artillery for a precision round. Since these changes in ground forces are happening organically and not as a result of a jointness exercise or solely for CAS interoperability they stand a good chance of continuing unchecked. Going down low to solve all problems may still be needed at times but rarely.
Offline

southernphantom

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 825
  • Joined: 06 Aug 2011, 17:18
  • Location: Somewhere in Dixie

Unread post04 Feb 2012, 23:49

mc5wes wrote:The A-10 units being cut are

AFRC Barksdale AFB, LA
ANG Selfridge ANGB, MI
ANG Ft Smith, AR
ANG Ft Wayne, IN
AD Spangdahlem

F-15 unit is

AD/AFRC Nellis Agressors

F-16 unit is

Des Moines, IA


I'd have less of an issue chucking fighters than A-10s, to be perfectly honest. And in all honesty, I only expect Spangdahlem, the aggressors, and one or two of the ANG units to go. Legislative machinery should save the rest, or at least set them up for F-35s later. I wouldn't have nearly as much of an issue with these cuts if the units will get FSMs and tactical airlift for now, to be re-equipped with F-35s in a few years.
Offline

mc5wes

Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 160
  • Joined: 29 Dec 2010, 20:18

Unread post05 Feb 2012, 01:49

This is what the Air Force wants. There will be another BRAC. And then they will hash it out.

Just remember the Air Force owns the ANG iron. The state owns the people. Even if they keep the base open. The Air Force can just pull the aircraft.
Offline

southernphantom

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 825
  • Joined: 06 Aug 2011, 17:18
  • Location: Somewhere in Dixie

Unread post05 Feb 2012, 04:11

On the bright side, my state's ANG provides permanent non-rotational NORAD alert and was shortlisted for F-35s, so I don't think the 125th is going anywhere. Same with the 169th, which is actually my first choice of ANG unit to fly for :D
Offline

cywolf32

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 619
  • Joined: 21 Nov 2005, 12:04
  • Location: USA

Unread post05 Feb 2012, 07:19

Offline

medicdwpa

Enthusiast

Enthusiast

  • Posts: 48
  • Joined: 26 Oct 2009, 04:55
  • Location: georgia

Unread post16 Feb 2012, 23:25

I would like to point out that the F-35 can't carry half the weapons the A-10 can. Plus the A-10 fly in groups of two it would take 4 f-35 to carry anywhere close to the ordenence of two A-10's. Turn around time is turn around time, does not matter how high you can fly or how fast. Not to say anything of the gun after you drop all the bombs.
PreviousNext

Return to Program and politics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests