A-10 Replacement - News & Discussions

Discussion in 'U.S. Air Force' started by Pathfinder, Mar 18, 2016.

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  1. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    As many of us may well know the A-10's are scheduled to retire within the next few years and by 2022 they are all expected to be gone. Air force officials argue that the F-35 can replace the A-10 and serve effectively in the Close Air Support Role (CAS). Opponents argue that the F-35 Multi Role Fighter can never be on par with the A-10 as a CAS fighter. The rugged design and durability of the A-10 is legendary argue F-35 critics. They also argue that the costs are much lower than that of the F-35 which costs significantly more to operate per flight hour. The A-10 costs roughly $11,000 per hour of operation whereas the F-35 costs roughly $32,000 per hour. So does retiring the A-10 and replacing it with the F-35 make sense? Should we acquire a new dedicated CAS plane?

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  2. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

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    Yes, eventually all must go. But the F-35 is the wrong aircraft for the job. The F-35 for CAS fills the same role the F-16 and F-15E currently do, but neither is really comparable to the A-10, they carry different weapons and have different attack profiles - I wouldn't want to fly either low and slow like the A-10.

    The A-10's problem is cost, that too will be a concern for the F-35, and with a replacement for the A-10 - a true replacement - still years away, if coming at all, a stopgap solution, preferably low cost, would work wonders.

    Leave the F-35 for high intensity conflicts, for low insensitive there's no reason for such a costly platform when aircraft like the Scorpion:

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    Or OV-10 - which are being used against ISIS in Syria and Iraq:

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    Or even the winner of the T-X program - which hasn't been announced yet, but would function like Russia's Yak-130:

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    Can do a good job at a lower cost against an adversary that doesn't warrant the use of an F-16, F-15 or F-35.

    I think that it'll need to be retied, it's getting older, it's getting more costly to keep in service. Ideally we'd all like to see it around longer, it's a one of a kind system, much like the AC-130, there's just nothing else like it flying. It's so ugly it's beautiful!!!

    A replacement will hopefully come, but until then there's a host of low-cost light attack aircraft that could fill the void in low intensity conflicts like Syria or Iraq.
     
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  3. Falcon

    Falcon Major Staff Member Social Media Team

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    When the A-10 came to the seen its primary weapons were its big brrrrrrt and unguided rockets to destroy hordes of Soviet Tanks flooding through the Fulda Gap, today we use guided missiles to do that so you don't need to have an air plane specifically designed to get shot. A trainer or something like the scorpion can be used to fill the A-10's role. The important thing is to have something that flies and drops bombs that doesn't cost a lot of money. Save the F-35 for conventional use and use drones to hunt down terrorists.

    I wil say yes to replacing the A-10 but I think it should be replace by whatever we choose in the T-X program that way we can keep costs down. A new dedicated CAS platform is not necessary due to developments in missile technologies.
     
  4. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    Today the A-10 is primarily being used for COIN, the A-10 was actually originally built as a tank hunter CAS plane. If we are keeping the A-10 for cost saving purposes in the war on terror then I think we are making a mistake. Something like the Scorpion would fit our needs better, it has very low operating costs and is specifically designed for COIN.

    Don't forget we are using Apaches to hunt tanks and AC-130's for extended air support. The A-10 is a great plane and is still effective today but eventually it will need to be phased out. The Russians are phasing out the old Su-25 Frog foot and are building a new dedicated CAS plane, they will not be going with the YAK-130 as a replacement. The question is whether or not we should develop a new CAS plane? How much will the bill from Lockheed, Boeing, or Northrup be?
     
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  5. Atilla

    Atilla Major

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    America should develop a CAS air craft, a propeller trainer can not provide good air support if it is being shot at by ZSU-23's on trucks. The jet trainers are too fast and do not have the right payload capacity.

    What will the future CAS jet look like? What will differentiate it from the A-10? What is wrong with the A-10? Will they build a stealth CAS jet? :D
     
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  6. Falcon

    Falcon Major Staff Member Social Media Team

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    THE FUTURE OF CLOSE AIR SUPPORT IS NOT WHAT THE AIR FORCE THINKS
    BENJAMIN FERNANDES
    JUNE 18, 2015

    "CAS is a mission, not a plane, and the emotions that plague the A-10 retirement debate fail to address substantive arguments against the decision. However, O’Malley and Hill use my article as evidence of criticism that exists “despite fiscal incentives” without ever addressing the fiscal analysis I provided (oriented on comparing A-10 operating costs to other current Air Force platforms). The debate remains emotional because most ground troops, like myself, fail to understand how the Air Force can claim to provide the same level of support with more expensive aircraft lacking similar capabilities. Ground troops generally believe only a purpose-built CAS aircraft with full-time CAS pilots cancorrect erroneous requests from troops under fire, identify changes to ground maneuver without notification, or carry sufficient ammunition to provide repeated “gun runs” when the enemy “hugs” friendly units in an effort to evade bombing. If Hill and O’Malley want to “weigh the evidence” and elevate the debate, they should evaluate alternative ways to save taxpayers billions by either using A-10s instead of more expensive planes or retiring any of the other four legacy Air Force fighters and bombers with overlapping capabilities. These other legacy aircraft cost more than A-10s and would suffer similar problems against a significant anti-air threat. Admittedly, using A-10s more will reduce taxpayer expenditures, not Air Force budgets, because overseas contingency operations funds combat operations."

    http://warontherocks.com/2015/06/the-future-of-close-air-support-is-not-what-the-air-force-thinks/
     
  7. Cybermat47

    Cybermat47 2nd Lieutenant

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    The F-35 is a nurse, the A-10 is a surgeon. Which do you think will be better on the operating table?

    The F-35's CAS capability is good for Australia, as multi-role combat aircraft are essential given the relatively small size of our Air Force. But for the USAF, the F-35 won't be as effective as the A-10 in the CAS role.
     
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  8. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    Why don't European Air Forces operate CAS planes?
     
  9. Falcon

    Falcon Major Staff Member Social Media Team

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    They are probably content using Fighter Jets and see no reason to design or acquire any dedicated CAS plane. We also had a large amount of A-10's stationed in Europe during the cold war, that could be a reason why they never saw the need to develop their own.
     
  10. AMDR

    AMDR Captain Staff Member Administrator

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    USAF seeks two new close-air support aircraft

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    Textron Scorpion
    In a recent briefing, air force officials laid out their plan for the light-attack OA-X and the A-X2, a short-term replacement for the A-10. The service is looking at an initial order of about 20 aircraft for the OA-X mission a early as next year, with serious procurement launching in Fiscal 2018, Dan Goure, an analyst at the Lexington Institute, tells FlightGlobal. To meet that rapid need, the service is examining two fully developed aircraft, Beechcraft’s AT-6 and Embraer’s A-29 Super Tucano, and are planning a “fly off” for this fall.

    The air force has excluded Textron AirLand’s Scorpion, a dual light attack fighter and trainer aircraft still in its development phase, as an option for OA-X.

    “They want them out the door as fast as possible,” Goure said. “They’ve got reasonable data on the cost of sustainment for A-29 and even AT-6, my understanding is they don’t have that kind of data when it comes to Scorpion.”

    More at: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/usaf-seeks-two-new-close-air-support-aircraft-427769/

     
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