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

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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geforcerfx

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Unread post13 Aug 2015, 16:56

bigjku wrote:You would think the Army has been left high and dry many times the way they deal with this stuff. Of course they never really have. They really need to calm down.


Most of the quotes I have seen have been the Army saying they will work with the air force to keep improving CAS with the new platforms. They seem just happy they have the additional air support over the gun ships. It's like people forget the army and marines have over a thousand (between them) attack helo gunships they can use for down low, armored, big gunned CAS if need be.
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Unread post13 Aug 2015, 18:21

I wonder if they take the opinion of the Army when they plan for a new AF plane covering CAS !
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Unread post13 Aug 2015, 18:29

'oldiaf' you need to get up to speed. Here is some old news - likely replicated here at the time. SCORPION is one example of a possible low end CAS USAF aircraft: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=24483&p=286749&hilit=Carlisle#p286749
USAF To 'Re-Energize' Debate On Future Of CAS
25 Feb 2015 Amy Butler

"...Air Combat Command chief Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle is hosting a week-long, multiservice [I would guess the US Army is included] summit on CAS early in March. Among the topics to be discussed are conducting CAS in a “contested” environment, a term referring to airspace that is defended, though not with high-end integrated defenses seen in the anti-access area-denied (A2AD) situations. An example would be if the Islamic State posed a strong threat to allied jets in Iraq and Syria; although the A-10 has an armored cockpit, it would be susceptible to such a threat and CAS sorties would be forced to fly higher and to use different tactics.

The summit will address CAS as it stands today, as well in the future when the F-35 enters service, Carlisle told reporters at the annual symposium. Among the alternatives, already in use for years, are precision-guided munitions deployed from a host of aircraft—B-1s, B-52s, F-16s, F-16s, and others—to provide support for troops in the midst of a fight. The F-35, however, will bring stealth to the table. “We just have to get to the point where the services all understand what the future looks like in this arena because there is a thread of conversation going on that really has become a little ridiculous,” Welsh, an A-10 pilot himself, said. The F-35 “will be a good CAS platform. It will take us a while to get to the point we want it to be, like it has with every other airplane [with which] we’ve fought, including the A-10,” he argues.

Some observers suggest the Air Force should employ a low-cost system for CAS where possible. Doing so would require purchase of a new platform—a thorny path amid budget pressure. "A follow-on may be something we need to think about," Carlisle said, acknowledging that a new system may be considered. "Nothing is off the table."..."

Source: http://aviationweek.com/defense/usaf-re ... future-cas
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Unread post13 Aug 2015, 18:37

spazsinbad wrote:'oldiaf' you need to get up to speed. Here is some old news - likely replicated here at the time. SCORPION is one example of a possible low end CAS USAF aircraft: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=24483&p=286749&hilit=Carlisle#p286749
USAF To 'Re-Energize' Debate On Future Of CAS
25 Feb 2015 Amy Butler

"...Air Combat Command chief Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle is hosting a week-long, multiservice [I would guess the US Army is included] summit on CAS early in March. Among the topics to be discussed are conducting CAS in a “contested” environment, a term referring to airspace that is defended, though not with high-end integrated defenses seen in the anti-access area-denied (A2AD) situations. An example would be if the Islamic State posed a strong threat to allied jets in Iraq and Syria; although the A-10 has an armored cockpit, it would be susceptible to such a threat and CAS sorties would be forced to fly higher and to use different tactics.

The summit will address CAS as it stands today, as well in the future when the F-35 enters service, Carlisle told reporters at the annual symposium. Among the alternatives, already in use for years, are precision-guided munitions deployed from a host of aircraft—B-1s, B-52s, F-16s, F-16s, and others—to provide support for troops in the midst of a fight. The F-35, however, will bring stealth to the table. “We just have to get to the point where the services all understand what the future looks like in this arena because there is a thread of conversation going on that really has become a little ridiculous,” Welsh, an A-10 pilot himself, said. The F-35 “will be a good CAS platform. It will take us a while to get to the point we want it to be, like it has with every other airplane [with which] we’ve fought, including the A-10,” he argues.

Some observers suggest the Air Force should employ a low-cost system for CAS where possible. Doing so would require purchase of a new platform—a thorny path amid budget pressure. "A follow-on may be something we need to think about," Carlisle said, acknowledging that a new system may be considered. "Nothing is off the table."..."

Source: http://aviationweek.com/defense/usaf-re ... future-cas

Well I meant if they consider the opinion of the army at time of designing the plane ... Say the F-35 in 2001 ?!
As regarding this , I wonder what the AF or Navy or Marines opinion if they lost a F-35 to cheap old shoulder fired SA-7 or SA-14 MANPADS while conducting CAS !! Ok ok the plane has flares but what about newer MANPADS such as SA-16 or SA-18 ?!
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Unread post13 Aug 2015, 18:58

oldiaf wrote:Well I meant if they consider the opinion of the army at time of designing the plane ... Say the F-35 in 2001 ?!

As regarding this , I wonder what the AF or Navy or Marines opinion if they lost a F-35 to cheap old shoulder fired SA-7 or SA-14 MANPADS while conducting CAS !! Ok ok the plane has flares but what about newer MANPADS such as SA-16 or SA-18 ?!


It's a threat you accept when providing CAS and operating within the envelope of those weapons, as the situation dictates.

The F-15Es we've had shot down, have all been to 1960s-era SA-2 SAMs. So all SAMs are a threat, and if you need to operate within a MANPAD envelope to get the job done, then you do. But if you don't have to and can do it above their envelope, then you do that.

Regards the Army, I'm sure that anything having to do with them, they're kept in the loop on.

What gets me are these people saying "listen to what the Army troops want, when they request Hogs"

Well, the Army only requests effects when they need CAS. It's up to the JTAC/ALO or even CAS pilot, to determine the apprproiate weapons to deliver that effect they need, as these guys know their weapons systems and their capabilities, not some Army grunt on the ground. It's the same way as the Army isn't going to ask some Air Force guys opinion on which set of armor/tank tactics are best to use against a given enemy's armor forces.
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Unread post13 Aug 2015, 20:23

That's what PCAS delivers to the grunt, a responsive and timely CAS coverage fhat is platform-agnostic.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
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Unread post13 Aug 2015, 23:22

'oldiaf' said: "Well I meant if they consider the opinion of the army at time of designing the plane...." Well I reckon the SCORPION designers were listening. Will they be lucky? Dunno.
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Unread post14 Aug 2015, 02:14

MD wrote:
Regards the Army, I'm sure that anything having to do with them, they're kept in the loop on.

What gets me are these people saying "listen to what the Army troops want, when they request Hogs"

Well, the Army only requests effects when they need CAS. It's up to the JTAC/ALO or even CAS pilot, to determine the apprproiate weapons to deliver that effect they need, as these guys know their weapons systems and their capabilities, not some Army grunt on the ground. It's the same way as the Army isn't going to ask some Air Force guys opinion on which set of armor/tank tactics are best to use against a given enemy's armor forces.


popcorn wrote:That's what PCAS delivers to the grunt, a responsive and timely CAS coverage fhat is platform-agnostic.


As former Army... all true. Generally speaking soldiers and marines on the ground enjoy CAS no matter what platform is dropping it. The whole thing about the Warthog is that is majority of the time the only aircraft most if not all soldiers recognize.
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Unread post14 Aug 2015, 13:28

Boeing Exploring Enhanced Close-Air-Support Capabilities For B-1
Helmet demo slated for the fall

B-1 Lancer manufacturer Boeing is investing in research to support a slate of potential upgrades that would enhance the platform's ability to perform an increasing load of close-air-support missions.

The bomber has in recent years taken on a greater portion of CAS missions, particularly as part of ongoing operations in the Middle East. According to Boeing's director of B-1 advanced programs, Dan Ruder, the platform is due for a series of upgrades to help support that broadening mission set. In an Aug. 11 interview, Ruder said the company is investing in enhancements to the B-1's helmet and weapons carriage options.

B-1 pilots and crewmembers currently operate with a standard helmet that does not feature a heads-up display or cueing system. Ruder said that as he talks to pilots returning from forward operating locations, he consistently hears of the challenges associated with pilots and weapon system operators trying to visualize a common target.

"They've run into issues where it has taken hours to try to talk a weapon system operator onto a particular spot of interest," Ruder said. "In some cases they haven't been able to talk them on at all, and of course with time-sensitive targets, that's just not acceptable."

That communication is especially difficult in terrain that lacks man-made objects or reference points, Ruder said.

To help address this problem, Boeing is working to develop a helmet-mounted cueing system (HMCS) that would attach to a B-1 pilot's helmet and allow them to pass coordinates of a particular target on the ground -- simply by looking at it -- to the weapon system operator. The company, with cooperation from Air Force Global Strike Command, has demonstrated the capability in a laboratory environment and is planning a ground demonstration at Dyess Air Force Base, TX, in October or November.

"In the lab environment, we had to simulate a lot of that so this will be the first time we actually do a demonstration with the real aircraft and the real targeting pod," he said.

Ruder said along with enhancing the passage of targeting information, the HMCS brings added visualization to a platform that is starting to run out of room for displays. The company has experimented with adding a capability to the HMCS which would project a virtual display into the helmet. He said this capability would have benefits not just for the pilot but for the rest of the crew.

"If that's something the Air Force thinks is a capability that would be beneficial, they could put virtual displays up into their helmet-mounted cueing system to give them more information or give them the information they need at that particular time," he said. "So we're going to demonstrate that as well."

Ruder noted that the helmet could also have benefits for B-52 crewmembers as that platform also performs close-air-support missions. He said the company doesn't have plans to demonstrate HMCS on the B-52, but he noted that the Air Force's decision to move the B-1 to Global Strike Command creates more opportunities for B-1 capabilities to transfer to other platforms and vice versa.

Boeing is investing its own independent research and development dollars in the effort, but Ruder said the company has had discussions about transitioning the system to a program of record should the service decide to move forward following the ground demonstration. Should the Air Force choose not to invest in the system right away, Ruder said Boeing would likely continue with some low-level investment but not with the same emphasis it has now.

The program has seen some success with transitioning internal research and development (IRAD) efforts like this into formal programs, Ruder said, and he cited the B-1's targeting pod as an example. When the company first started investigating the possibility of adding a targeting pod to the B-1, the Air Force didn't view the aircraft as a close-air-support platform. Still, Boeing decided to invest, expecting that there would be a future need for the capability. When the Air Force did decide to pull the trigger, the technology was available off the shelf.

"The Air Force is focused on fighting the current battle and here in industry, what we can do is sometimes we can look out and look at what we think future capabilities are or future needs would be," he said.

Another area of investment aimed at enhancing the B-1's CAS mission is expanded weapons carriage -- both to increase the number of Joint Direct Attack Munitions the bomber can carry and to integrate the Small Diameter Bomb onto the platform. Right now, the B-1 can carry 24 2,000-pound JDAMS and 15 500-pound JDAMS, both weapons that are typically used for CAS missions. The company in 2010 demonstrated what it calls a two-position multiple ejector rack that would allow the B-1 to carry 48 500-pound JDAMs. The new rack would not increase the B-1's carriage capacity but it would allow the platform flexibility in which weapons it carries.

For now, the capability is on the shelf ready to be used should the Air Force recognize a need for it.

The B-1 does not currently carry the Small Diameter Bomb, but Boeing is exploring integration on the B-1, which could carry 96 SDBs.

"There's already a multiple ejector rack developed for the Small Diameter Bomb, which is used on the fighters," Ruder said. "All we would have to do is integrate that onto our rotary launcher and of course do the software to interface with it."

Ruder said there have been some studies looking at the complexity of SDB integration and that there is some interest from the Air Force, but cost is a constraint.

"With the fiscal environment that we're in, they have their hands full just fighting the current fight and keeping the airplane sustained," he said. -- Courtney Albon
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Unread post14 Aug 2015, 17:19

So, how hard would it be to more or less instal DAS in a B-1? There is certainly a lot of room to work with.
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Unread post14 Aug 2015, 17:56

What is a B-1 gonna do with DAS??
Dogfight????
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Unread post14 Aug 2015, 18:12

vilters wrote:What is a B-1 gonna do with DAS??
Dogfight????



DAS isn't just for dogfighting. :roll: :doh:
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Unread post14 Aug 2015, 19:53

Ever seen what a pixel looks like from 30.000 ft? Or 40.000 ft?

Camera's looking 360° around is nice and fine.

But pixel size versus distance/height?

Ok, Sensor fusion can help here, but do not overhype the capabilities.
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Unread post14 Aug 2015, 20:20

sferrin wrote:
vilters wrote:What is a B-1 gonna do with DAS??
Dogfight????



DAS isn't just for dogfighting. :roll: :doh:

Actually, I'm pretty sure dogfighting was just a "hey wait, you know what else we can do with this?" kind of thing. The original purpose was to scan for time sensitive moving targets (scud launchers) and incoming SAMs.
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Unread post14 Aug 2015, 21:01

I've got PPTs from the 2002 timeframe showing it's ability to track wvr objects and thereby guide missiles as a feature.

It's been there from the start.

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