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

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optimist

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Unread post09 Apr 2019, 14:52

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.
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optimist

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Unread post09 Apr 2019, 14:58

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 :?
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aussiebloke

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Unread post09 Apr 2019, 15:15

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.
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Unread post09 Apr 2019, 15:24

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 Is that the A-10 gun is obsolete and only good for plinking goat herders in the ME.
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XanderCrews

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Unread post09 Apr 2019, 15:56

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.
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marauder2048

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Unread post11 Apr 2019, 00:28

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.
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Unread post11 Apr 2019, 16:16

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.
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Unread post11 Apr 2019, 21:17

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.
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Unread post12 Apr 2019, 13:22

“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”.
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Unread post12 Apr 2019, 13:42

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?
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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Unread post12 Apr 2019, 20:11

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.
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Unread post12 Apr 2019, 22:10

Didn't want to give it own forum but thought this place is the best place to put it. ENJOY!

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Unread post13 Apr 2019, 02:41

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
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