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Thread: Air Force fires general over A-10 jets 'treason' remarks

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    Re: Air Force fires general over A-10 jets 'treason' remarks

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    It is political because the budget is political. Ever since the Clinton era, they have been trying to kill off the A-10 and other systems inorder to reroute funds to systems they want. This has resulted in the Air Force almost totally abandoning it's previous roles in close air support (CAS) of ground troops. The Air Force was run for many years by Fighter Pilots from the air superiority systems, the F-15 which was supposed to be replaced by the F-22. They have had some leadership from other areas for about a decade now, one being a Special Forces guy but not anyone from CAS.

    The F-15s air superiority fighter entered service around 1972 and were slated to be replaced with the F-22 but the service couldn't afford enough for total replacement. The Air Force F-16 multi-role aircraft entered service around 1976 with the Navy/Marines adopting the FA-18 for that role shortly afterwards. The Joint Strike Fighter, F-35 is a replacement for the multirole tasks and will be one of the few times that all branches have the same aircraft. The Navy currently uses a updated version of the FA-18, the Super Hornet, for fleet defence/Air Superiority.

    The A-10/OA-10 is a close air support air craft specifically designed to loiter in an area and kill tanks and convoys. Because it is neither fast nor stealthy, it is believed by some leadership to be obsolete. They much prefer aircraft that move fast and have stealth capabilities. Thus, they want to kill off these systems to move the money to the new fast and stealth aircraft. The problem is that the faster the air craft, the longer and further it takes to make a turn. The faster aircraft such as the F-16, F-15E, and FA-18 cannot turn ontop of the enemy the way an A-10 can. They make a strike using missiles/rockets go out, turn around then come back. The A-10 makes a pass using missiles rockets then turns almost in place and then strafe the enemy with further missiles/rockets and with a 30 MM gun that can chew up tanks.

    Again, the A-10 is an early 1970s aircraft. So it is also very old for an aircraft and it really should be replaced. My personal opinion is that it should be replaced by an aircraft designed specifically to do the same job. A purpose built aircraft will always do it's job much better than multi-role/multi-purpose aircraft.
    I think they should let the Army handle that role.
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    Re: Air Force fires general over A-10 jets 'treason' remarks

    As a grunt who was in service before the A-10 came online let me comment. the A-10 wasn't designed to loiter anywhere. It was cheap and somewhat expendable in the face of an envisioned Roosian/Warsaw Pact invasion of Germany. Designed to be a 'sight' hunter and not have a big electronic signature, the A-10 was to swoop in low and gun Roosian tanks trying to punch through the Fulda gap. Flying below Roosian missile systems they had to be built tuff enough to face light ADA, early attempts at updating slaved a missile's targeting system to the pilot so he could use the advances in attack systems. There were hundreds of updates to make 'my' era's A-10 capable of carrying 'smart' weapons.

    Very true the fighter jocks have owned our AF for generations, the F-16 was to take over ground support missions. Missions and munitions have changed since the M16A1 and it's 20 round mag was standard issue. Stand-off smart bombs, cluster bombs, stealth tech and a whole array of spoofer elec counters has changed the AF since the day of see and shoot. These days a multi purpose aircraft can drop a bomb from 30,000 feet and hit the window- third from the right. They can hit an suv going 60 mph. With tanker to refuel from an F-16 can loiter an insane length of time.

    Now Nap of the Earth missions are tough on airframes- there comes a point where rebuilding isn't cost effective. These days the Army's attack helos are far more 'mission capable' to fill CAS missions. It would be nice to have a dedicated AF airframe for CAS, but the AF (not politicians) figure a fast mover with a variety of enhanced munitions can do far more across the mission spectrum than the, older than the pilots, A-10.

    It's funny how at times some demand the 'professional' military make key decisions (when you agree) but they are spineless political wonks when they see the big picture differently than the armchair crowd. Put steel on target and I could give a hot damn what did it...

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    Re: Air Force fires general over A-10 jets 'treason' remarks

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    It is political because the budget is political. Ever since the Clinton era, they have been trying to kill off the A-10 and other systems inorder to reroute funds to systems they want. This has resulted in the Air Force almost totally abandoning it's previous roles in close air support (CAS) of ground troops. The Air Force was run for many years by Fighter Pilots from the air superiority systems, the F-15 which was supposed to be replaced by the F-22. They have had some leadership from other areas for about a decade now, one being a Special Forces guy but not anyone from CAS.

    The F-15s air superiority fighter entered service around 1972 and were slated to be replaced with the F-22 but the service couldn't afford enough for total replacement. The Air Force F-16 multi-role aircraft entered service around 1976 with the Navy/Marines adopting the FA-18 for that role shortly afterwards. The Joint Strike Fighter, F-35 is a replacement for the multirole tasks and will be one of the few times that all branches have the same aircraft. The Navy currently uses a updated version of the FA-18, the Super Hornet, for fleet defence/Air Superiority.

    The A-10/OA-10 is a close air support air craft specifically designed to loiter in an area and kill tanks and convoys. Because it is neither fast nor stealthy, it is believed by some leadership to be obsolete. They much prefer aircraft that move fast and have stealth capabilities. Thus, they want to kill off these systems to move the money to the new fast and stealth aircraft. The problem is that the faster the air craft, the longer and further it takes to make a turn. The faster aircraft such as the F-16, F-15E, and FA-18 cannot turn ontop of the enemy the way an A-10 can. They make a strike using missiles/rockets go out, turn around then come back. The A-10 makes a pass using missiles rockets then turns almost in place and then strafe the enemy with further missiles/rockets and with a 30 MM gun that can chew up tanks.

    Again, the A-10 is an early 1970s aircraft. So it is also very old for an aircraft and it really should be replaced. My personal opinion is that it should be replaced by an aircraft designed specifically to do the same job. A purpose built aircraft will always do it's job much better than multi-role/multi-purpose aircraft.
    I agree with everything you've said, except your contention that the A-10 should be replaced. They fact that it's a 40 year old design by itself isn't reason enough to replace it. It fulfills it's mission extremely well and it's hard to imagine anything that would be more than just incrementally better. Given development costs a replacement should be more than just a minor improvement.
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    Re: Air Force fires general over A-10 jets 'treason' remarks

    Quote Originally Posted by notquiteright View Post
    As a grunt who was in service before the A-10 came online let me comment. the A-10 wasn't designed to loiter anywhere. It was cheap and somewhat expendable in the face of an envisioned Roosian/Warsaw Pact invasion of Germany. Designed to be a 'sight' hunter and not have a big electronic signature, the A-10 was to swoop in low and gun Roosian tanks trying to punch through the Fulda gap. Flying below Roosian missile systems they had to be built tuff enough to face light ADA, early attempts at updating slaved a missile's targeting system to the pilot so he could use the advances in attack systems. There were hundreds of updates to make 'my' era's A-10 capable of carrying 'smart' weapons.

    Very true the fighter jocks have owned our AF for generations, the F-16 was to take over ground support missions. Missions and munitions have changed since the M16A1 and it's 20 round mag was standard issue. Stand-off smart bombs, cluster bombs, stealth tech and a whole array of spoofer elec counters has changed the AF since the day of see and shoot. These days a multi purpose aircraft can drop a bomb from 30,000 feet and hit the window- third from the right. They can hit an suv going 60 mph. With tanker to refuel from an F-16 can loiter an insane length of time.

    Now Nap of the Earth missions are tough on airframes- there comes a point where rebuilding isn't cost effective. These days the Army's attack helos are far more 'mission capable' to fill CAS missions. It would be nice to have a dedicated AF airframe for CAS, but the AF (not politicians) figure a fast mover with a variety of enhanced munitions can do far more across the mission spectrum than the, older than the pilots, A-10.

    It's funny how at times some demand the 'professional' military make key decisions (when you agree) but they are spineless political wonks when they see the big picture differently than the armchair crowd. Put steel on target and I could give a hot damn what did it...
    Maybe it's just me but if I was 100 meters from a tank I'd much prefer that the guy trying to kill it could actually see the damn thing and not be lobbing bombs at it from 30,000 feet.
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    Re: Air Force fires general over A-10 jets 'treason' remarks

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius46 View Post
    Maybe it's just me but if I was 100 meters from a tank I'd much prefer that the guy trying to kill it could actually see the damn thing and not be lobbing bombs at it from 30,000 feet.
    I'd opine it was never you. If a MBT is 100 meters from you the 'splash' from ANY ordinance would earn you one each HEE-roes death...

    Dumb weapons you fire and forget are a piss poor substitute for one guided to the target. (no one said the bomb would be 'lobbed' but rather dropped and flown into the target... :d

    Course in your scenario I'd rather have an Apache/TOW than a Warthog blasting away with a 30mm. just coz a pilot can see the tank doesn't mean he will hit it and if it is 100 meters away from me most likely I'll get hit too...

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    Re: Air Force fires general over A-10 jets 'treason' remarks

    Quote Originally Posted by notquiteright View Post
    I'd opine it was never you. If a MBT is 100 meters from you the 'splash' from ANY ordinance would earn you one each HEE-roes death...

    Dumb weapons you fire and forget are a piss poor substitute for one guided to the target. (no one said the bomb would be 'lobbed' but rather dropped and flown into the target... :d

    Course in your scenario I'd rather have an Apache/TOW than a Warthog blasting away with a 30mm. just coz a pilot can see the tank doesn't mean he will hit it and if it is 100 meters away from me most likely I'll get hit too...
    Correct it never was me and point taken regarding the bomb being guided. Still it seems that when our guys are close to their tanks having someone who can see the target, use weapons that don't go boom and can get there quickly are all good things to have.
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    Re: Air Force fires general over A-10 jets 'treason' remarks

    After serving in the Army for years, constantly working with the Air Force, I came to the following belief. The Air Force always wanted bigger and better bombers/fighters and would constantly let the ground support vehicles (C5 Galaxy, C-130, C-141, A-10) go to **** because the Army would demand money be released so those planes would be maintained to support the ground fight. The air force would then get funding for their new bomber and the Army's demand for support would equate to more money for them.

    Just a belief.
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    Re: Air Force fires general over A-10 jets 'treason' remarks

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius46 View Post
    I agree with everything you've said, except your contention that the A-10 should be replaced. They fact that it's a 40 year old design by itself isn't reason enough to replace it. It fulfills it's mission extremely well and it's hard to imagine anything that would be more than just incrementally better. Given development costs a replacement should be more than just a minor improvement.
    Not just the design is 40 years old, but the actual airframes are as well.

    The only real improvements that I could think of would be to add a pair of 50 cals for light/unarmored vehicles and up to 4 5.56 or 7.62 mini guns for troop concentrations.
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    Re: Air Force fires general over A-10 jets 'treason' remarks

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    I think they should let the Army handle that role.
    I can't really disagree with you. But since 1947, the army hasn't been allowed any fixed wing aircraft except DV shuttles.
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    Re: Air Force fires general over A-10 jets 'treason' remarks

    There are alternatives that can perform the same battle mission to replace the A-10 and maybe or maybe not more cost effective. The one thing the A10 has always done better than any other aircraft and that is to bring its pilot back alive. No other attack aircraft I can think of has a better record of being able to continue to fly after sustaining battle damage.
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