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

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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kimjongnumbaun

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Unread post04 May 2019, 08:54

That has been my biggest gripe about the A-10 vs F-35 debate. A plane is a plane. If they are really concerned about CAS, then stand up F-35 squadrons that are dedicated CAS platforms who train on CAS as their main mission and everything else is secondary. You retain tribal knowledge and can develop TTPs to evolve the mission beyond the current tactics.
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mixelflick

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Unread post04 May 2019, 12:51

charlielima223 wrote:


A-10 was good in a permissive while the F-35 excelled in a non-permissive environment... who would have thought.

It good to see that they are learning and developing new tactics to have better effects. At this point the phasing out of the A-10 is inevitable. I'll be sad to see the end of a era but so long as we keep the pilots and their experience to train the next generation, I would not be worried that the close air support mission will be exceedingly more effective and capable.

Of course when the report does come out and made public, I'll be thoroughly entertained by the circus of stupidity.


The debate will never end. Will live on long after the "Russian Collusion" fiction is settled IMO..
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spazsinbad

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Unread post21 Mar 2020, 02:12

On page 210 of this thread: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=24483&p=406888&hilit=Norden#p406888 there was discussion of de NORDEN bomb sight with a very nice photo of one. I'll add a pdf page from latest AIR & Space Magazine May 2020 below about this 'not so good' bomb sight. [thanks 'lbk000' PROPA LINK inserted now]
Norden Bombsight
May 2020 CHRIS KLIMEK

"IT TESTED MORE IMPRESSIVELY THAN IT FOUGHT, BUT ITS MARKETING HIT THE BULLSEYE.

CARL L. NORDEN’S bombsight calculated a bomb’s drop point based on the delivery aircraft’s speed, range to target, wind, and other variables, causing it to be touted during World War II (among those with the security clearance to know of it) as a miracle device that would destroy targets with pickel-barrel accuracy from 20,000 feet. The U.S. military spent $1.1 billion in 1940s dollars to build 90,000 Nordens, each one a 50-pound analog computer comprising 2,000 intricately joined parts including gyros, motors, gears, mirrors, and levers. If their aircraft were fatally hit, bombardiers were under orders to destroy the secret machine rather than allow it to be captured.

While showing great promise in daylight testing, in combat, it failed to produce notably better results than similar devices fielded by other air forces. By the time the United States entered the war, the Germans had copied Norden’s synchronous- release, gyroscopically-stabilized design thanks to a spy at Norden’s factory named Hermann Lang.”

FORGOT PHOTO CAPTION: "This Norden M-9 is installed in the B-17G Shoo Shoo Baby, assigned in 1944 to the 91st Bomb Group based in England. All Nordens had a rubberized eyepiece, which often created a black circle around the bombardier’s eye."


Source: AIR & SPACE Magazine May 2020
Attachments
NORDEN Bombsight Air and Space Smithsonian May 2020 ED.pdf
(360.53 KiB) Downloaded 341 times
NORDENbombsightA&Smay2020.jpg
Last edited by spazsinbad on 21 Mar 2020, 04:26, edited 3 times in total.
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
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lbk000

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Unread post21 Mar 2020, 02:28

Think you kept the wrong link on your clipboard there spaz?
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Gums

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Unread post21 Mar 2020, 04:19

Salute!

TNX, Mixel.

Got my letter of reprimand in 1974 from "on high" after my Aviation Week op-ed letter published about the Hog versus Sluf.

No question the Hog could turn better at low altitude and get the nose pointed where you wanted to hit. Had great staying power as the Sluf, and had a good loadout for CAS or CSAR. Then there was the gun.

But the difference was in accuracy other than the gun. Ask any Sluf jock from the 356th TFS that was the first operational Hawg outfit. Only the A-37 in 'nam compared with the Sluf, and the Corona documents at Air University bear this out. We were talking about 50 or 60 foot CEP for dumb bombs and were requested by name by the FAC's until late 1972.

My views about the Warthog acquisition and all its shortcomings and the politics have been posted here many times. Only later Block Vipers than I flew came close to the Sluf avionics and such.

The F-35 is the closest analogy to the Sluf versus the Double Ugly or Hawg discussion.

I was initially suspect of all the high tech crapola, and my concerns seemed credible for a few years. Then the program managers and company attacked the nits and bits and have produced a really capable weapon system.

Gums sends...

RE: Norden.... The Sluf nav/ radar bomb mode would have saved hundreds of Forts and Libs that didn't have to go back again and again. Our ex-Thud folks that flew the first Sluf missions told us that they would have had many less POW's and losses with our system. [ most of the Sluf cadre at the Beach were F-100 and F-105 folks. They added a few Double Ugly guys and then the low and slow folks like me and A-1 drivers.]
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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post21 Mar 2020, 06:59

Always love hearing from you Gums.
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Unread post21 Mar 2020, 14:21

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:Always love hearing from you Gums.


Me too :)
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Unread post21 Mar 2020, 17:42

Salute!

NO KISSING UP!!

As some know, I have a bright target painted on me due to my bad habits as a clueless yute and getting older. And believe me, you get older quicker than you think, he heh

I enjoy the discourse and would hope folks like BP, Outlaw, TEG, Spaz, Okie, John Boy of GD, et al would keep posting. Worst thing would be to become a site for sim players, wannabes and critics. We need more folks here with combat experience, and it is obvious that the environment of the last twenty years or so is vastly different than what I experienced. Except that there still ain't no points for second place.

Dreamers? Need more that wish to pursue aviation careers and actually fly. We must strive to put out good poop for them to ingest and digest.

Gums sends...
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johnwill

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Unread post21 Mar 2020, 21:21

Agree all around, Gums. As most of the subject matter is focused on operations now (of which I am clueless), I don't post as much now. But I am with you every day, still learning stuff and keeping up with online friends, people I greatly admire and respect.
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count_to_10

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Unread post21 Mar 2020, 22:23

Gums wrote:Salute!

NO KISSING UP!!

As some know, I have a bright target painted on me due to my bad habits as a clueless yute and getting older. And believe me, you get older quicker than you think, he heh

I enjoy the discourse and would hope folks like BP, Outlaw, TEG, Spaz, Okie, John Boy of GD, et al would keep posting. Worst thing would be to become a site for sim players, wannabes and critics. We need more folks here with combat experience, and it is obvious that the environment of the last twenty years or so is vastly different than what I experienced. Except that there still ain't no points for second place.

Dreamers? Need more that wish to pursue aviation careers and actually fly. We must strive to put out good poop for them to ingest and digest.

Gums sends...

Frankly, it’s all you “been there done that” guys that make this site.
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jtcreate

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Unread post13 Jun 2020, 10:03

Huh? Last year we were extending the life of the A-10 to 2030? Now we're extending the A-10 to 2040?



https://www.popularmechanics.com/milita ... k%20killer


https://www.airforcemag.com/a-10-will-r ... nned-cuts/
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weasel1962

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Unread post14 Jun 2020, 03:35

The new wings have ~10,000 hour structural life (without going into depot) which meant that the original 173 that got the new wings by 2018 would go into the late 2030s. The only question was whether the remaining 100+ would follow. Its been funded for the past 2 FYs and looks to continue in FY 21 by the latest SASC summary.

The real competition is now whether some of us live long enough to see the A-10s retire.
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jtcreate

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Unread post14 Jun 2020, 08:07

The question that was hitting me was why refit the remaining fleet if the USAF needs to get rid of them? They've been trying to show Congress that the F-35 was capable of take over the A-10s responsibilities for that purpose. The original excuse the USAF used was that it was too expensive to keep such a limited aircraft around. Now you got officials claiming that:

The A-10 remains “a very cost-effective way to get at close air support,” and USAF figures into the service’s “long-term” plans, said Lt. Gen. David Nahom, deputy chief of staff for plans and programs, during an AFA Mitchell Institute telecon.

“There is no more efficient platform in the low-end fight” than the A-10, “and that includes propeller-driven light-attack type platforms,” Nahom said. However, the A-10 is not equipped to survive in highly defended airspace, where the F-35 and other aircraft will handle the CAS mission, he noted.


Granted, these are cherry picked out of a statement and may not reflect the proper context. The question I am trying to figure out is why? Why is the A-10 suddenly more affordable than a prop? It can't entirely be because the new administration sent them more money, because they are also cutting the numbers of platforms from other programs. Also,from what I am reading here, it looks like the USAF is practically neutering the A-10 fleet, slimming down the numbers and relegating the program to a very very slim set of missions (and of course airshows). One thing is for certain, the USAF is not going to always be able to guarantee a passive enough environment for the A-10. It might not always know when that threat emerges.
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Unread post14 Jun 2020, 10:21

If the USAF wants to get to 386 sqns under the “air force we need” and it can’t afford to procure sufficient new builds whilst recapitalizing the remaining fleet, the only logical thing it can do is to keep as many of the older planes flying as it can.

Its that or find more money.
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Unread post14 Jun 2020, 18:07

Salute!

The issue with the Hawg is the mission. Period.

So some first person history and philosophy and even offical national policy follows.

To define the mission one must define a need, an operational requirement. To do that you must define a national security/military need to use, if necessary, severe force versus diplomacy or embargos or tariffs or..... In short, you must be willing to hurt people and destroy things.

The NATO situation in the late 60's and early 70's required a massive conventional capability to thwart the PACT from even considering military action, much less being successful. The A-10 was one notion developed near the end of the Vietnam debacle.

We, the U.S., decided way back in my time that a limited U.S. military capability in SEA could stop the "dominos" from falling and preserve a certain country from being overcome by a political party of another country that shared ethnic and cultural heritage reaching back over a thousand years. We picked the wrong fight, and we even screwed up how we fought.

Our mission focus there became more and more upon CAS and some high tech interdiction of the Trail ( AC-130, as nothing else came close to its effectiveness except boots on the ground and a wall). Biggie back then on the other side of the world was PACT armor, so we had the Fulda Gap scenario.

The original Hawg requirement was something to replace the A-1 in 'nam or other low intensity scenarios. But it soon became a tank killer. National interest? Long term national security considerations? I can't find any, and I was there at the time. The A-7D was in its prime, and could do well in a fairly high threat environment while delivering dumb bombs better than anything we had in the inventory. But the 'nam experience demanded a special plane that focused upon CAS and was cheap. The A-37 was outstanding in S. Vietnam and Cambodia, but not what USAF really needed to build and equip a dozen wings with other mission requirements looming besides bombing small units attacking a special forces camp in the jungle.
==============================
Back to the thread topic.

The F-35 will never replace the Hawg. Even my beloved Sluf would not completely replace the Hawg but do about 70% or more of its missions and be far better at another few that would be suicidal for the Hawg.

The issue is allocation of resources to meet the operational requirements needed to support national political policy.

OP ED: We need to go back to our initial approach with the A-37 and F-5 in Vietnam. Build the things and train the indigenous folks to employ them. Hell, even give them the planes if they cannot pay. Then sit back.

Gums sends...
Gums
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