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

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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lbk000

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Unread post22 Nov 2018, 20:15

hythelday wrote:There must be someone who knows the story/good source of the story behind GAU-8 and its main purpose. It wasn't for CAS, it was meant to pulverize armor, wasn't it?

Good at pulverizing WW2 armor, sure.
GAU-8 really not great at killing hard armor. It'll kill BMPs and trucks fine but MBTs required Mavericks to safely prosecute. That T-62 coloring book guide advised lucky ricochets into the bottom or to come about from behind, over Shilkas and Strelas...

As I see it, the A-10's a product of a fantastical WW2 era vision, and the fact that it's had to completely change the way it operates just goes to show how unsuitable it is for reality. The A-10 is not a specialist in anything that exists these days.
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marsavian

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Unread post22 Nov 2018, 20:44

The A-10 may be a design whose time has passed but in reality has it not brought a lot of concentrated aerial firepower to bear in relative benign insurgent environments like Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan ? Even against Iraq in the Gulf Wars it proved quite devastating against their armor and motorized vehicles. Isn't there some utility in keeping a few squadrons around to add a
backstop of heavy duty CAS until they finally wear out when F-35 can then be risked instead if low level support is really needed ?
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michaelemouse

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Unread post22 Nov 2018, 21:08

marsavian wrote:The A-10 may be a design whose time has passed but in reality has it not brought a lot of concentrated aerial firepower to bear in relative benign insurgent environments like Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan ? Even against Iraq in the Gulf Wars it proved quite devastating against their armor and motorized vehicles. Isn't there some utility in keeping a few squadrons around to add a
backstop of heavy duty CAS until they finally wear out when F-35 can then be risked instead if low level support is really needed ?


Heavy duty CAS does seem like it might indeed be a good asset to have. But I'm still wondering how helicopter gunships or AC-130s couldn't do that about as well. A helicopter has the advantage of being able to only expose its sensor mast if it has one, pop up from cover and hug the terrain closer than any plane. An AC-130 has heavier weapons, better sensors and more crew. The former can hover and the latter can do pylon turns to keep the fun going.

If a 70s Soviet armored corps ever time-travels to the present, the A-10s will be great though.
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marsavian

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Unread post22 Nov 2018, 22:24

The A-10 can take return fire better than helicopters and AC-130s. It's basically a flying armored light tank that can do 400 knots and 20 deg/sec turns.
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Gums

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Unread post22 Nov 2018, 23:53

Salute!

Not sure what T-62 you looked at, LB , but the T-62 I saw at the "sandbox" enemy equipment yard when at Nellis had big holes all the way thru about 3 or 4 inches of solid steel on the turret of that beast. Whoever was inside had a rough day ya think? The ones here at Eglin have similar holes.

If USAF is not gonna use the "really heavy metal" rounds anymore, maybe they could keep a few rounds around for armor that use tungsten or other hard metal. For CAS and light armor, the basic HE rounds do just fine, even better than those AP rounds. And the GAU-8 round packs a lot more explosive in the projectile than the 20mm I flew with.

I am not sure about the seeker coding process, but seems a Hawg with latest SMD eggs could do real well using ground designated enemy. That will lso be the loadout of choice for the Stubbies when they are on a CAS mission.

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weasel1962

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Unread post23 Nov 2018, 01:09

Not sure what the record is but below highlights 23 tanks in 1 day. At least 4 with the GAU-8. With 987 tanks destroyed by A-10s during the desert storm, there may be some days where the totals are higher.

https://theaviationist.com/2012/12/20/w ... in-action/

Rand's take on the subject. Good read.

https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/p ... RR1233.pdf
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garrya

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Unread post23 Nov 2018, 03:40

marsavian wrote:The A-10 can take return fire better than helicopters and AC-130s. It's basically a flying armored light tank that can do 400 knots and 20 deg/sec turns.

The only armoured part of an A-10 is the titanium bathtub
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popcorn

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Unread post23 Nov 2018, 04:23

That Titanium bathtub makes a nice catcher's mitt with the pilot in the pocket for incoming small arms fire as the A-10 banks and maneuvers at low altitudes.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post23 Nov 2018, 04:39

popcorn wrote:That Titanium bathtub makes a nice catcher's mitt with the pilot in the pocket [WAITING FOR THE RICHOCHET] for incoming small arms fire as the A-10 banks and maneuvers at low altitudes.
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
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wrightwing

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Unread post23 Nov 2018, 05:10

weasel1962 wrote:Not sure what the record is but below highlights 23 tanks in 1 day. At least 4 with the GAU-8. With 987 tanks destroyed by A-10s during the desert storm, there may be some days where the totals are higher.

https://theaviationist.com/2012/12/20/w ... in-action/

Rand's take on the subject. Good read.

https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/p ... RR1233.pdf

The overwhelming majority of tanks killed by A-10s, were killed by Maverick missiles, or some other PGM. Of course the most lethal tank killer in Desert Storm was the F-111.
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eloise

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Unread post23 Nov 2018, 09:54

[quote="wrightwing"]
The overwhelming majority of tanks killed by A-10s, were killed by Maverick missiles, or some other PGM.
A-10 can carry 6 Maverick + 8 GBU-12 + 4 CBU-87 all at the same time
A-10 load out 1.PNG

A-10 load out 2.PNG

A-10 load out 3.PNG


F-35 can only match that number with SDB
kMpexUw.png
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ricnunes

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Unread post23 Nov 2018, 11:20

eloise wrote:A-10 can carry 6 Maverick + 8 GBU-12 + 4 CBU-87 all at the same time


You have to realize that's a more of "theoretical" (while still possible) loadout but it's far from what the A-10 will actually carry over actual/real battlefields.
That's due to the fact that such loadout will make a huge impact on the aircraft's performance which while clean is already quite slow and not that agile than imagine what it would be with the loadout that you just described?
With such a loadout the A-10 would be even more of a sitting duck (than it already is while clean or with a light loadout) and as such it would take quite longer for the A-10 to be able to engage and re-engage the enemy.

Resuming, you'll never see an A-10 carrying that loadout over a real battlefield.

More realistic (modern) loadouts would be like in the picture that I previous shared (page 202), which is:
- 2 Mavericks + 2 GBU-12 + 2 Sidewinders (the picture shows only one) + 1 TGP (likely LITENING II)

Other loadout, this over Desert Storm described by the following article posted by weasel:
https://theaviationist.com/2012/12/20/w ... in-action/
Seems to be:
- 6 Mavericks (apparently no other external weapon was carried).

Another loadout used during Desert Storm was this:
Image
Which seems to be:
- 2 Mavericks (1 is visible) + 4 Cluster Bombs (2 are visible) --> It's a fact that other (outboard) pylons cannot be seen but its IMO doubtful that A-10 would carry any more or more significant loadout in that configuration.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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ricnunes

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Unread post23 Nov 2018, 11:42

wrightwing wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:Not sure what the record is but below highlights 23 tanks in 1 day. At least 4 with the GAU-8. With 987 tanks destroyed by A-10s during the desert storm, there may be some days where the totals are higher.

https://theaviationist.com/2012/12/20/w ... in-action/

Rand's take on the subject. Good read.

https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/p ... RR1233.pdf

The overwhelming majority of tanks killed by A-10s, were killed by Maverick missiles, or some other PGM.


You're right about the Maverick (or PGM) part.
Moreover in the article above (first one posted by weasel), it seems likely that the Iraqi column wasn't well protected in terms of air defense systems (in that case there was probably none around) and that seems to be the usual situation regarding most Iraqi tanks columns that were attacked by coalition CAS aircraft. Nevertheless more A-10's were shot down than any other US aircraft (including USAF, USN and USMC) and all of them apparently shot down by short range SAMs (MANPADS and other short range systems such as the SA-13).
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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aussiebloke

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Unread post23 Nov 2018, 15:01

ricnunes wrote: Nevertheless more A-10's were shot down than any other US aircraft (including USAF, USN and USMC)


True especially if you combine the A-10 and OA-10 losses - six lost in total. If you just look at the A-10 then the four A-10 losses are exceeded by the five USMC AV-8B losses.

I would argue that attrition rates more accurately reflect an aircraft's vulnerability.

The A-10 had an attrition rate of 0.5 aircraft lost per 1000 sorties. [4 A-10 lost]
The USN F/A-18 had an attrition rate of 0.5 aircraft lost per 1000 sorties. [2 F?A-18 lost]
The USN A-6E had an attrition rate of 0.6 aircraft lost per 1000 sorties. [3 A-6E lost]
The F-15E had an attrition rate of 0.9 aircraft lost per 1000 sorties. [2 F-15E lost]
The USMC AV-8B had an attrition rate of 1.5 aircraft lost per 1000 sorties. [5 AV-8B lost]
The OA-10 had an attrition rate of 3.0 aircraft lost per 1000 sorties. [2 OA-10 lost]
The USMC OV-10 had an attrition rate of 4.1 aircraft lost per 1000 sorties. [2 OV-10 lost]

From page 651 of volume V of the Gulf War Air Power Survey
https://web.archive.org/web/20110609005 ... y-vol5.pdf
Last edited by aussiebloke on 23 Nov 2018, 17:04, edited 1 time in total.
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eloise

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Unread post23 Nov 2018, 15:31

ricnunes wrote:
You have to realize that's a more of "theoretical" (while still possible) loadout but it's far from what the A-10 will actually carry over actual/real battlefields.
That's due to the fact that such loadout will make a huge impact on the aircraft's performance which while clean is already quite slow and not that agile than imagine what it would be with the loadout that you just described?
With such a loadout the A-10 would be even more of a sitting duck (than it already is while clean or with a light loadout) and as such it would take quite longer for the A-10 to be able to engage and re-engage the enemy.

Yes the load out will slow down the A-10 and make it less agile, but it not like A-10 is intended to dogfight with any fighter.


Resuming, you'll never see an A-10 carrying that loadout over a real battlefield.
ricnunes wrote:More realistic (modern) loadouts would be like in the picture that I previous shared (page 202), which is:
- 2 Mavericks + 2 GBU-12 + 2 Sidewinders (the picture shows only one) + 1 TGP (likely LITENING II)

Iam pretty sure A-10 commonly carry more than that, both pilots and infantry commented that A-10 have many more shot than MQ-9 drone with a few Hellfire
A-10-departing-tanker.jpg

061129-F-5167G-003.JPG
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