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

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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smsgtmac

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Unread post29 Aug 2013, 14:03

Ack! Missed this one...

aaam wrote:Something else to keep in mind:

AF never really wanted the A-10, tried to get rid of it until reality intruded in the form of Gulf War I, and hasn't been completely sure of what to do with it ever since.


A subset of one of the Great CAS Myths. Completely unfounded.
(See: http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/201 ... -part.html)

Weird. the link is correct, yet I get the same error as others. Oh well. Just search "Debunking the Close Air Support Myths" Start with Part 1
Last edited by smsgtmac on 30 Aug 2013, 03:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post29 Aug 2013, 14:26

uclass wrote:I agree that if I had to pick just one of the two it would be the F-35 but I'd rather have both and cut elsewhere.


Well considering that the USAF plans on keeping ~ 246 A-10s until 2040, we will have both, for 27 more years.
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Unread post29 Aug 2013, 14:38

uclass wrote:
lookieloo wrote:
aaam wrote:AF never really wanted the A-10, tried to get rid of it until reality intruded in the form of Gulf War I...
... and now reality is intruding on sentimentalists in the form of smaller, cheaper, more-advanced PGMs that don't need to be delivered via low-'n-slow flying tanks.

There's no question that PGMs can do the job but $100k for some fool on a camel with an AK has questionable cost effectiveness.

Anyway I guess we'll only know the answer to this after the next 15 years. Not trying to pick a fight, just exploring the answers.


I watched a video where TWO Hellfire missile were used to take out two people digging a hole. one anti tank missile per human target.
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XanderCrews

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Unread post29 Aug 2013, 16:29

uclass wrote:
lookieloo wrote:
aaam wrote:AF never really wanted the A-10, tried to get rid of it until reality intruded in the form of Gulf War I...
... and now reality is intruding on sentimentalists in the form of smaller, cheaper, more-advanced PGMs that don't need to be delivered via low-'n-slow flying tanks.

There's no question that PGMs can do the job but $100k for some fool on a camel with an AK has questionable cost effectiveness.

Anyway I guess we'll only know the answer to this after the next 15 years. Not trying to pick a fight, just exploring the answers.


for a "guy with an AK" an A-10 is expensive overkill in itself. We can use a helicopter for that. There is no need to keep a flying cannon/titanium bathtub attack aircraft to kill an AK toting riflemen.

The cost argument goes completely out the window when you start talking about the millions every year it takes to maintain a fleet of aircraft in order to "save money" to kill a guy on a camel. Especially when we have so many other assets to do it, and if you consider the US is trying to get out of the small wars business for the next couple decades anyway.
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Unread post29 Aug 2013, 18:20

smsgtmac wrote:Ack! Missed this one...

aaam wrote:Something else to keep in mind:

AF never really wanted the A-10, tried to get rid of it until reality intruded in the form of Gulf War I, and hasn't been completely sure of what to do with it ever since.


A subset of one of the Great CAS Myths. Completely unfounded.
(See: http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/201 ... -part.html)


I can't get the page to display in Firefox or IE, maybe it's temporarily having problems. So I can't comment. I'll just note that:

AF didn't strongly push the A-X/A-10 until Army said that they would be able to do CAS and dive bomb with their forthcoming AH-56. AF then repeatedly lobbied that the AH-56 should be canceled, the A-10 should get the money and besides, it's their role anyway so Army shouldn't get to play. When Army dumped AH-56 on its own, they were caught by surprise, and weren't really sure of the A-10's role (if you'll look back anti-tank wasn't originally one of the primary goals of A-X). There's lots of contemporaneous information on that. Even the late, great Jeff Ethell in a documentary highly supportive of the A-10 noted this.

By the mid- '80s, only a few years after its introduction, AF started a program and competition specifically to replace the A-10, called CAS-X. This kind of petered out when it became apparent that USAF wanted whatever aircraft was best for the job as long as it was the F-16 (the A-7F started out as part of the CAS-X operation).

Even when DoD was relatively fat with money in the '80s, the largesse didn't find its way down to the A-10 program very often. The higher thrust engine program was repeatedly blue pencilled. Don't forget that prior to Saddam's Kuwait sojurn, the A-10 was scheduled to be removed from service , except for those being kept as OA-10 (relatively) fast FACs. They were already sending them to the desert when the invasion changed everything. I personally know people who were involved in trying to bring some of those back. They were shocked at how much it would cost. Not because the A-10 was a poor design, but because when they were put out there they were stripped so much and preservation was lacking to the point that it wasn't affordable to do so.

As an aside, they tried to do the latter to the SR-71 but that didn't quite work, a tale for another topic.

Note that I'm not picking on the A-10 or those in the field who flew and maintained it
Last edited by aaam on 29 Aug 2013, 19:24, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread post29 Aug 2013, 19:04

uclass wrote:
lookieloo wrote:
aaam wrote:AF never really wanted the A-10, tried to get rid of it until reality intruded in the form of Gulf War I...
... and now reality is intruding on sentimentalists in the form of smaller, cheaper, more-advanced PGMs that don't need to be delivered via low-'n-slow flying tanks.

There's no question that PGMs can do the job but $100k for some fool on a camel with an AK has questionable cost effectiveness.

Anyway I guess we'll only know the answer to this after the next 15 years. Not trying to pick a fight, just exploring the answers.


JDAMs, SDBs, etc... don't cost anywhere near $100k, and how much value do you place on the forces being defended by those weapons? Do you risk a multi-million dollar aircraft, on flying within range of ground fire?
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Unread post29 Aug 2013, 20:41

Also the United States and other allies are developing an entirely new generation of very inexpensive PGMs for use on all aircraft... including bomblets and guided rockets. Two examples are the CVR-7PG and Laser Guided Zuni, which both utilize an inexpensive laser homing unit bolted onto the rocket, turning it into a highly accurate missile. I believe in both cases the cost is below $10,000 dollars per unit.
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Unread post29 Aug 2013, 21:13

wrightwing wrote:
uclass wrote:I agree that if I had to pick just one of the two it would be the F-35 but I'd rather have both and cut elsewhere.


Well considering that the USAF plans on keeping ~ 246 A-10s until 2040, we will have both, for 27 more years.

Oh, I'm happy then. :D
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Unread post29 Aug 2013, 21:13

fwew, now THAT is an anti light vehicle system
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Unread post29 Aug 2013, 21:14

XanderCrews wrote:
uclass wrote:
lookieloo wrote:
aaam wrote:AF never really wanted the A-10, tried to get rid of it until reality intruded in the form of Gulf War I...
... and now reality is intruding on sentimentalists in the form of smaller, cheaper, more-advanced PGMs that don't need to be delivered via low-'n-slow flying tanks.

There's no question that PGMs can do the job but $100k for some fool on a camel with an AK has questionable cost effectiveness.

Anyway I guess we'll only know the answer to this after the next 15 years. Not trying to pick a fight, just exploring the answers.


for a "guy with an AK" an A-10 is expensive overkill in itself. We can use a helicopter for that.

An AH-64 is more expensive surprisingly.
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Unread post29 Aug 2013, 21:56

uclass wrote:
XanderCrews wrote:
uclass wrote:
lookieloo wrote:
aaam wrote:AF never really wanted the A-10, tried to get rid of it until reality intruded in the form of Gulf War I...
... and now reality is intruding on sentimentalists in the form of smaller, cheaper, more-advanced PGMs that don't need to be delivered via low-'n-slow flying tanks.

There's no question that PGMs can do the job but $100k for some fool on a camel with an AK has questionable cost effectiveness.

Anyway I guess we'll only know the answer to this after the next 15 years. Not trying to pick a fight, just exploring the answers.


for a "guy with an AK" an A-10 is expensive overkill in itself. We can use a helicopter for that.

An AH-64 is more expensive surprisingly.


Who said anything about an AH-64?

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... or_gun.jpg

plus Blackhawks can do other useful things like carry people and cargo when they aren't camel hunting.
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Unread post30 Aug 2013, 01:59

and when only loaded with door guns they are faster than an Apache too.
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Unread post30 Aug 2013, 03:20

With the SDB II I'm pretty sure the F-35 should be able to handle CAS fairly well. The F-35 would just have to loiter at large slant ranges and altitudes compared to the A-10 and lob SDB IIs to eliminate targets.
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Unread post30 Aug 2013, 04:35

wrightwing wrote:
uclass wrote:I agree that if I had to pick just one of the two it would be the F-35 but I'd rather have both and cut elsewhere.


Well considering that the USAF plans on keeping ~ 246 A-10s until 2040, we will have both, for 27 more years.


I wouldn't bet on it.. the political winds sre fickle, and cost pressures unrelenting and plans are made to be broken.
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Unread post30 Aug 2013, 04:39

wrightwing wrote:
uclass wrote:I agree that if I had to pick just one of the two it would be the F-35 but I'd rather have both and cut elsewhere.


Well considering that the USAF plans on keeping ~ 246 A-10s until 2040, we will have both, for 27 more years.


I wouldn't bet on it.. the political winds sre fickle, and cost pressures unrelenting and plans are made to be broken.
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