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

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maus92

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Unread post30 Jan 2012, 22:33

"While the A-10 is very good at providing close-air support, the Air Force needs aircraft that can do more than one mission, Adm. James Winnefeld, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Jan. 26 in an interview with Military Times reporters and editors.

Is the F-35 going to be as good a close-air support platform as an A-10? I don’t think anybody believes that,” he said, “But is the A-10 going to be the air-to-air platform that the F-35 is going to be? So again, the Air Force is trying to get as much multimission capability into the limited number of platforms it’s going to have.”"

http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2012/ ... ut-013012/
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tacf-x

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Unread post30 Jan 2012, 23:09

JAGM is the solution. Multi-shot launch and leave missile with a good standoff range is all you need to replace the GAU-8.
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discofishing

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Unread post31 Jan 2012, 01:49

That's a bunch of crap. the USAF just upgraded it's A-10 to C standard, right? These aircraft might do well in Army hands. I heard that almost happened too.
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Unread post31 Jan 2012, 02:28

True, but the future lies in high-capacity datalinks and standoff weapons. The F-35 offers both and if only JAGM wasn't on the verge of being terminated then I'd say we'd have nothing to worry about regarding the future of CAS.
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hb_pencil

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Unread post31 Jan 2012, 02:33

I think you'll see more small bombs and "dial a munitions" enter the battlefield. SDB is only the start... some of the developments for UAVs will likely cross over into the manned world.

Obviously its not going to replace the excellent loiter abilities of the A-10, but F-35s with more smart munitions and better targeting it might provide more options to undertake CAS than currently envisaged.
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tacf-x

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Unread post31 Jan 2012, 02:40

For "smart munitions" I have the perfect solution for the F-35's cannon rounds!

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/01 ... ded-bulle/

Beat that A-10!
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arkadyrenko

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Unread post31 Jan 2012, 03:08

Uhhhhh, tacf-x, the A-10 has better loitering time and a gun that shoots cheap rounds. Nothing the F-35 does can beat that.

The fact of the matter is that the USAF never liked the A-10, it doesn't like supporting the Army (see the C-27 and the whole UAV debacle around 2007 - 2008), and the service will sacrifice anything that isn't nailed down right for the F-35. CAS and the A-10's abilities will just be allowed to lapse.

Plus, do you think the USAF will let its new, premier stealth fighter waste time practicing CAS?
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tacf-x

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Unread post31 Jan 2012, 03:54

I'm aware that the USAF hates CAS, but since the F-35A is eventually going to replace the A-10 anyway I felt I might as well inject some optimism into the situation. B-1B bombers have been doing CAS, and I can only imagine the disdain for using the F-35 for CAS, but it'll help consolidate one more role into what the F-35 can do. It's true that the F-35 can't do what an A-10 can, but why would it need to? Like hb pencil said the types of micro-scale standoff weapons that should be available to the F-35 coupled with more sophisticated sensors, datalinks, targeting abilities, etc. should give the services some more options to the point that CAS will no longer carry the same definition as it does now!
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Code3

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Unread post31 Jan 2012, 03:58

discofishing wrote:That's a bunch of crap. the USAF just upgraded it's A-10 to C standard, right? These aircraft might do well in Army hands. I heard that almost happened too.


The National Security Act of 1947, which created the Air Force, specifically forbids fixed-wing aircraft with forward firing ordnance from being in the Army, thus no A-10s for them.

However, I do agree the A-10s aren't going anywhere anytime soon. The latest figures I saw had them in service until 2020, and possibly up to 2025.
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cywolf32

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Unread post31 Jan 2012, 04:23

I think UAV's are making the case here for the A-10's demise sadly. Loiter times and as said datalinks make them better choices these days. A Predator can loiter and wait until a FAC Gives guidance to target. Something to ponder of course.
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hb_pencil

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Unread post31 Jan 2012, 04:44

cywolf32 wrote:I think UAV's are making the case here for the A-10's demise sadly. Loiter times and as said datalinks make them better choices these days. A Predator can loiter and wait until a FAC Gives guidance to target. Something to ponder of course.



I disagree based on what I've heard from pilots and ground pounders. Nobody wants UAV's to undertake CAS (type 1 and 2)... they want it to remain a manned mission for as long as possible
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delvo

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Unread post31 Jan 2012, 04:51

A plane with longer-ranged weapons flying at a higher altitude can do "AS" without needing to be "C", especially if it's stealthy. And having a larger zone within which you can engage the targets extends your time on the scene even at a higher air speed.
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tacf-x

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Unread post31 Jan 2012, 05:07

@ delvo

My point exactly! There's no need to get down and dirty at low altitude and speed when you can stay up at 25,000 ft. where the drag is low and you are safe from AAA and launch JAGMs to eliminate targets. Therefore each F-35 doesn't need to waste time loitering around in a small radius to strafe tanks with a cannon or fire a single shot Maverick.
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cywolf32

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Unread post31 Jan 2012, 05:59

Based on what exactly Tac?? There are limits to CAS unfortunately. Being in the right place at the right time begets a wonderful scenario. I am all for man(pilot) in the loop, but a UAV that doesn't need speed but time or opportunity to engage a target at will is what counts. Read the headlines. Who is annoying these days to the war?? It's not the A-10...
Last edited by cywolf32 on 31 Jan 2012, 06:14, edited 1 time in total.
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cywolf32

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Unread post31 Jan 2012, 06:02

Your post above proves the point. "no need to get down an dirty".
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