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

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
  • Author
  • Message
Offline

eloise

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1937
  • Joined: 27 Mar 2015, 16:05

Unread post20 Nov 2018, 08:23

Corsair1963 wrote:I am sure in WWII the German Infantry would have preferred the Stuka (Ju-87) over the FW-190. Yet, we all know the answer to that....

actually, i don't know alot about WW II what happened?
also i don't think there stand is to get rid of F-35 but rather they prefer A-10 as CAS asset
https://forums.spacebattles.com/threads ... te.701020/
Offline

Corsair1963

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 7029
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2005, 04:14

Unread post20 Nov 2018, 08:45

eloise wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:I am sure in WWII the German Infantry would have preferred the Stuka (Ju-87) over the FW-190. Yet, we all know the answer to that....

actually, i don't know alot about WW II what happened?
also i don't think there stand is to get rid of F-35 but rather they prefer A-10 as CAS asset
https://forums.spacebattles.com/threads ... te.701020/


The USAF would prefer an endless budget. Yet, don't we all.... :wink:
Offline

eloise

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1937
  • Joined: 27 Mar 2015, 16:05

Unread post20 Nov 2018, 09:29

He is an USAF O-5 though, so load of experience. I am curious what our more experienced members think
Offline
User avatar

spazsinbad

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 25102
  • Joined: 05 May 2009, 21:31
  • Location: ɐıןɐɹʇsn∀¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Warnings: -2

Unread post20 Nov 2018, 10:08

eloise wrote:He is an USAF O-5 though, so load of experience. I am curious what our more experienced members think

Reading all 200+ pages of this thread you will glean a good idea. How goes A-10 without support in defended airspace?
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
Offline

hornetfinn

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 3312
  • Joined: 13 Mar 2013, 08:31
  • Location: Finland

Unread post20 Nov 2018, 10:36

eloise wrote:As much as i love the F-35, i can't deny that from i can see here:
https://forums.spacebattles.com/threads ... 020/page-7
Infantry prefer A-10 to all other aircraft in CAS.


First there is not many infantry soldiers in USA or elsewhere who have even seen F-35 and definitely not many who have seen them in combat or even training. So it's not really a good comparison.

Another thing is that there are not many infantry soldiers around who have been in combat with enemy who has any kind of AD systems, not to mention anywhere near modern. It must be nice feeling having A-10 fly around circles above you and kill anything they see. Problem is that against enemy with decent AD systems that A-10 would very likely go down in flames quickly. SEAD/DEAD is also not very reliable option as modern mobile systems are pretty hard to kill. Especially since many modern systems can work well without emitting or have advanced radars that are hard to kill. Of course many likely scenarios do not involve AD systems, but some definitely do.

A-10 has some good qualities, but I'm not sure any of them is really that relevant any more. Slow speed, armour and resiliency is nice if you fly low and engage targets with guns or dumb rockets. Nowadays even A-10 flies much higher and uses guided munitions to engage enemy. It can stay over the battlefield for long time, but it also takes a long time to reach the place where it's needed. F-35 can stay in the air for pretty long time too and can cover much wider area quickly. I'd also say that it can also acting much quicker due to having far superior sensors, sensor fusion and networking.

I think it's mostly psychological. A-10 is there with you close and for extended periods, because it needs to be in order to accomplish their missions. F-35 is mostly invisible to even friendlies as it doesn't need to be near and would be less useful if it did.
Offline

knowan

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 317
  • Joined: 24 Jul 2018, 10:39

Unread post20 Nov 2018, 10:53

hornetfinn wrote:I think it's mostly psychological. A-10 is there with you close and for extended periods, because it needs to be in order to accomplish their missions. F-35 is mostly invisible to even friendlies as it doesn't need to be near and would be less useful if it did.


It's like in WW2 with bomber crews and escort fighters; the bomber crews liked it when their escort fighters flew nearby, but those escorts were more effective when the bomber crews didn't see them, roaming ahead of the bomber formations and eliminating enemy aircraft before they ever approached the bombers.
Offline

eloise

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1937
  • Joined: 27 Mar 2015, 16:05

Unread post20 Nov 2018, 11:03

spazsinbad wrote:Reading all 200+ pages of this thread you will glean a good idea. How goes A-10 without support in defended airspace?

I know, letting A-10 into defended airspace is suicide but the argument from the A-10 is:
Charlie Alpha 11F3B wrote:You are absolutely correct that in a contested environment the F-35 will have to use its internal loadout. It also will NOT being doing the CAS mission. In a joint environment (which any Major Combat Operation is these days) the JFC - Joint Forces Commander - is going to work with the JFLCC (Joint Forces Land Component Commander), the JFACC (Joint Forces Air Component Commander) and the JFMCC (Joint Forces Maritime Component Commander) to come up with various COAs (Course Of Action). All of those commanders will have their best and brightest strategists working on what needs to happen, and likely they are dusting off an old contingency plan and working from there. Guess what the first order of business is? Air superiority, with air dominance at D+3 or D+5 or whatever time frame for that particular AOR and enemy. The JFLCC is NOT going to push off from the starting line without being able to have air support. There will never be enough F-35s to be able to handle ALL the AI strikes, DEAD, SCAR missions, etc., and then CAS on top of it all to allow the JFLCC to move the FLOT while the enemy still has the ability to contest legacy platforms like the EA-18G, F-15C & E, F-16, F-18, and yes...the A-10. Once the F-35 (with the exception of Marine F-35Bs, that will most likely support Marine assets while turning excess sorties over to the JFACC) is able to re-role on D+ whatever to CAS sorties, the battle space will have been shaped to the point where the A-10 will be able to operate as well. So then you are back to the choice of an A-10, or an F-35 as the supporting CAS asset. To your point where the F-35 is 'far more survivable' than the A-10 in a low or no-contest environment...perhaps. However, it will not be able to service the targets the way the A-10 can, and the A-10 doesn't necessarily HAVE to dip much below 10,000' to use the gun if there is a MANPAD threat. The A-10 also has excellent IRCM abilities. If employing with the same/similar types of ordnance as the F-35, it can stay well above 10,000' and still have more hanging on the underside than the F-35 will be carrying both internally and externally. BTW - I am well aware of the MEZ for an SA-18, but once again...there is maximum, and then there is reality.

Charlie Alpha 11F3B wrote:Yup. Every single one of those aircraft, except the A-10, carries external fuel tanks to bolster their already-large fuel loads.

You can find flow rates per minute or hour on the F-35, do the math, and tell me I'm wrong all day long but I'm here to tell you...what I said earlier about hitting the tanker every 45-50 minutes is no joke. The F-35 is fast, but that speed comes at a price with a very, very thirsty motor. The only asset that can come close to matching our loiter time is the F-15E with conformal fuel tanks AND external tanks; start adding up those numbers and see how much gas a 2-ship of family model Eagles is going to take every hour and a half.

Your argument might be that it takes us longer to get to the target area, but in reality, that's not how CAS works. A good JFLCC will ensure the JFACC gives him 24 hour CAS coverage during a Major Combat Operation. That means once ground operations are going to kick off, airspace will be set up for XCAS (on-call CAS) orbits. These orbits will be far enough behind the FEBA/FLOT but just close enough that an A-10 can respond to a TIC within a matter of minutes. A-10s will be in their airspace, while 10-20,000' above them will be OCA assets like F-15Cs or F-18s loaded out for air to air, or perhaps even swing loaded for both A-A and A-G. A bit farther back from there will be the HVA tracks for the JSTARS, AWACS, and tankers. There will be various routes weaving in, around, and past those airspaces for AI or deep strikers.

Nobody fights a major conflict alone, but the one asset with the best loiter time, lowest fuel consumption, and best weapons available for CAS will do more than its fair share to win the war. You do not win wars without boots on the ground, and no one supports those grunts better than the A-10.

To sum up,
_ They don't do CAS until air defense has been taken care of.
_ A-10 can loiter longer.

Seem reasonable?
Online
User avatar

ricnunes

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2865
  • Joined: 02 Mar 2017, 14:29

Unread post20 Nov 2018, 12:43

eloise wrote:I know, letting A-10 into defended airspace is suicide but the argument from the A-10 is:
Charlie Alpha 11F3B wrote:You are absolutely correct that in a contested environment the F-35 will have to use its internal loadout. It also will NOT being doing the CAS mission.


What I can say is that the guy that you're quoting above starts with what IMO is a HUGE misconception.
Why won't the F-35 perform CAS missions with internal weapons loadout only and over a contested environment?
An internal eight (8) Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) loadout, namely with the upcoming SDBII (plus the 2 AMRAAMs also internal, which helps a lot if the airspace is contested by enemy fighter/combat aircraft) is an impressive loadout for CAS in itself which usually surpasses the usual loadout that A-10s carry over real battlefields which is usually something like this:
Image

Moreover the upcoming SDBII will allow the F-35 to perform something that the A-10 probably will never be able to do (at least effectively) which is All Weather (and I mean all weather, like in the worse weather conditions possible) CAS missions, specially those which envolves defeating incoming/moving enemy ground vehicles, such as Technicals, APCs, IFVs, Tanks, you name it...



eloise wrote:To sum up,
_ They don't do CAS until air defense has been taken care of.


Again why?? Imagine if the enemy launches a "Battle of Khafji" (1991 Gulf War) style ground assault but this time the enemy is equipped with a reasonable or worse even, with advanced Air Defense Systems?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Khafji

Oh and by looking at the battle above, look at what happened to a slow moving/flying AC-130. Now imagine what would have happened to the A-10s if the enemy was better equipped in terms of Air Defenses.


eloise wrote:_ A-10 can loiter longer.


Sure, but like others have said, the F-35 can reach the battlefield faster and cover much more ground/area faster which is also (IMO) paramount for CAS missions. This IMO, could help to offset the loiter advantage on regarding the A-10.

Moreover, if you really want loiter time over non-contested airspace than nothing beats a UAV.
Last edited by ricnunes on 20 Nov 2018, 18:35, edited 1 time in total.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
Online
User avatar

ricnunes

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2865
  • Joined: 02 Mar 2017, 14:29

Unread post20 Nov 2018, 13:07

Corsair1963 wrote:I am sure in WWII the German Infantry would have preferred the Stuka (Ju-87) over the FW-190. Yet, we all know the answer to that....


I fully agree with Corsair's analogy here.

The Ju-87 Stuka was one of the most iconic aircraft of WWII and definitely the most iconic Dive Bomber of that war however the fact was that ground attack variants of the FW-190, namely the FW-190F series were far, far superior to the Stuka even if they are generally unknown to the general public.

Also regarding WWII the same can be said about the US Navy naval aviation in where the most famous Dive Bomber (or even regarding US Navy Bombers in general) was the Douglas Dauntless. However this one was later replaced by the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver which initially received harsh criticism from US Dive Bomber pilots (mostly because they "were used" to their old trusty Dauntless's) and also from other sectors but despite of this, the fact was that the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver was superior in basically every possible way (except for slow landing speed) compared to the Dauntless.
Later it was found that more advanced and dedicated fighter aircraft such as the F6F Hellcat and the F4U Corsair were better than dedicated dive bombers (even compared to the Helldiver) since they could carry pretty much the same air-to-ground weaponry (if not more in some cases), deliver it with similar levels of accuracy but being much more survivable since they were faster and more nimble which allowed them to better survive against enemy AAA and fighter aircraft.
And as such, the era of the Dive Bombers ended. Doesn't this give you a sort of a "deja vu" regarding the A-10 and the F-35? :wink:
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
Offline

marauder2048

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1487
  • Joined: 14 Mar 2012, 06:46

Unread post20 Nov 2018, 20:56

eloise wrote:To sum up,
_ They don't do CAS until air defense has been taken care of.
_ A-10 can loiter longer.

Seem reasonable?



How do you take care of MANPADS, AAA, and truck-mounted infrared SAMs (think AIM-9X and larger)?
Those air defenses were still hitting coalition aircraft up until and including the very last day of GW1
despite the presence of "boots on the ground" and the most extensive SEAD effort in world history.

And those defense have only improved in lethality and availability.

So the A-10 will be once again forced to medium altitudes as in GW1 where absent guided rounds its gun is of little utility.
So that leaves glide munitions which the B-1B can more of for longer and forward firing weaponry which given
the slant ranges at those altitudes, results in a time-of-flight that restricts their usage to the same target
set that is prosecuted by drones.
Offline
User avatar

steve2267

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2580
  • Joined: 12 Jun 2016, 17:36

Unread post20 Nov 2018, 21:16

What is the expression -- amateurs argue tactics, professional discuss logistics? If the A-10 is not usable until day N of the war... that is kind of an expensive aircraft to have in the inventory -- maintenance, fuel, transport / transit footprint, pilot training etc -- for it to basically sit on the tarmac for N-1 days until the airspace is "ready for it."

(Not that I am a professional air war planner or logistician by an stretch of the imagination.)
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
Offline

marauder2048

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1487
  • Joined: 14 Mar 2012, 06:46

Unread post20 Nov 2018, 22:38

steve2267 wrote:What is the expression -- amateurs argue tactics, professional discuss logistics?


The funny thing is that the A-10 community has been requesting a complete conversion over to OBOGS
because LOX has too much of a logistics tail!
Offline

kimjongnumbaun

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 394
  • Joined: 08 Dec 2016, 21:41

Unread post21 Nov 2018, 00:08

eloise wrote:To sum up,
_ They don't do CAS until air defense has been taken care of.
_ A-10 can loiter longer.

Seem reasonable?


Can't say I agree with him. The reason why CAS was only taken cared of until after ADA was dealt with was because they had no choice. It is suicide to try and perform CAS while ADA is shooting at you. The difference with 5th gen is now you can pick and choose your targets and where you are effective in the battlespace. I have to find the quote, but the Marines made a specific point about this. To paraphrase, before the F-35B they had to switch to SEAD once ADA was present and they no longer focused on CAS. The F-35B allows them to prosecute both at the same time.

The F-35 already has a longer loiter time than the F-15E, so by extension, comparable loiter time to an A-10.

https://youtu.be/BmPAUdVNmXE?t=3864
Offline
User avatar

Gums

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2430
  • Joined: 16 Dec 2003, 17:26

Unread post21 Nov 2018, 00:52

Salute!

Who says you don't provide CAS until the guns are gone?

Explain that to my maintenance chief as they assessed and filled 50 or 60 holes in my damaged jet. You know. The one I deadstickrd into the international airport because some of those rouinds hit my fuel lines.

Explain that to the families of the A-37 pilots we lost at An Loc in the spring of 1972. Being the last dedicated attack outfit in-country, and being only 50 or 60 miles away, we bore the brunt of the CAS, all TIC. That battle cost the A-37 more lost souls than the previous two or three years combined. ZSU-24 and 12.7 and a thousand AK's all hosing away. Oh yeah, some Strellas now and then to defeat.

When I say we need to lower the defenses, I mainly refer to the missiles and sophisticated guns with radar/ optical aiming computers. But if the grunts need help, we have no choice. We press on in there and see the elephant, maybe touch the beast. Of course, airborne threats must be taken care of, and no U.S. grunts have had to deal with enemy air since WW2.

+++++++++++++++++++++=

So the issue is whether to use the expensive and limited number of magic bullets or use another means of supporting the grunts. Arty is great for a thousand meters out, but when they are on the walls you have to be really accurate and timely. That's where the Hawg and A-37 and A-4 and the A-7 made their mark. Thirty years later, we can have a Viper with the EO pod drop a small bomb 50 meters from a friendly position and do just fine. With good coordination, a ground laser can designate a target and the delivery plane or drone can be a few miles away and maybe even above an overcast/low ceiling.

++++++++++++++++++++++++

Flyoff will go with whover wrote the rules for. Been there and have references from A-9/A-10, A-10/A-7 and F-16/F-17.

Gums opines...
Gums
Viper pilot '79
"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
Offline

lbk000

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 356
  • Joined: 04 May 2017, 16:19

Unread post21 Nov 2018, 01:07

Chewing the theoretical wad again...

Think about how wasteful camping an area with the A-10 is from an "actions per hour" standpoint. While you're waiting for the hit to be called in, the F-35 with its greater speed, could be similarly on standby, except it's 15, 20 miles away where it can also be prosecuting other targets. And when the call finally comes in, it can spur the flanks to come over and do its thing. The F-35's "loiter" has the potential to be a bigger, more efficient, more theater-relevant loiter than the A-10's.

A peer adversary with equivalent ISR and C2 capabilities will not be consigned to blindly committing in localized actions the way low tech guerillas do. They can see where your slow CAS are camping, and they'll have assets with the coordination needed to probe and tease your ability to respond. Their more lucid picture of the battlefield will allow them to poke you where you don't want them to poke. And they're not going to do what you want them to do by attacking right into your meatgrinder, not when there are other avenues they can push.

To be slow is to be static, and to be static is to beg to be bypassed. History time and again supports the value of mobility, because that is foundation upon which the advantages of initiative and economy are built upon.
Last edited by lbk000 on 21 Nov 2018, 01:17, edited 1 time in total.
PreviousNext

Return to General F-35 Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: zhangmdev and 10 guests