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My rant/fantasy regarding the A-10(A&B) Warthog.

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Re: My rant/fantasy regarding the A-10(A&B) Warthog.
Post by Ensign Re-read   » Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:43 pm

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fallsfromtrees wrote:
Ensign Re-read wrote:snip
BTW, back to one of my earlier questions... Just WHO OWNS THE DESIGN of the A-10? In theory, could the Elbit Systems company have the right to build new ones?
.

They probably do, but they almost certainly will not get the ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) approvals to export them outside the US, and there is no customer inside the US that wants to (or will be allowed to) buy them. I addition, is there still a central mission to the A10 as currently designed. Would it not be better to refine the design, since the requirements for a CAS are totally different that those required for an air superiority fighter, which is all the Air Force really wants - they just can't justify building a new air superiority fighter when the F22 can already blow anything anyone else has out of the sky. They also want control over everything that flies (at least fixed wing). So the A10 has to go, since it doesn't fit their vision of the what aircraft should look like. I wouldn't be surprised if sometime in the future they attempt to convince some president that the Navy shouldn't have pilots - we'll just put some AF pilots on board the aircraft carriers, and the Navy can just run the ships. And eventually, try to get all of the helicopters under their control as well - "It'll be much more efficient if all of the flight training is centralized in one service".



I agree about ITAR.
Theory and practice are two completely different things.

As for the rest of your post, I hope you were being sarcastic. Yea, there's bound to be a lot of Air Force officers who think that way. That's why I dream of a future SecDef who will have the guts to rip up the Key West Agreement, and then transfer the A-10s to the Army. Let THEM do the CAS (Close Air Support) mission.

Heck, you could even still keep the units in the Air Force, just have the "ownership" be by the Army.

One problem with doing this is that A.F. personnel would be dealing with a "brain drain" issue. In other words, A.F. personnel may not see the A-10 units as a relevant career path. (Think about the Missileers that have been in the news lately.) One possible fix would be to put new language in the same modified Key West Agreement that says something like future promotions to the General rank would be dependent upon an officer having served in a CAS unit, regardless of if it's "owned" by the Army or Air Force.

Pie-in-the-sky dreams, I know.



.
=====
The Celestia "addon" for the Planet Safehold as well as the Kau-zhi and Manticore A-B star systems, are at URL:
http://www.lepp.cornell.edu/~seb/celestia/weber/.
=====
http://www.flickr.com/photos/68506297@N ... 740128635/
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Re: My rant/fantasy regarding the A-10(A&B) Warthog.
Post by fallsfromtrees   » Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:50 pm

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Ensign Re-read wrote:snip
As for the rest of your post, I hope you were being sarcastic. Yea, there's bound to be a lot of Air Force officers who think that way. That's why I dream of a future SecDef who will have the guts to rip up the Key West Agreement, and then transfer the A-10s to the Army. Let THEM do the CAS (Close Air Support) mission.

Too a certain extent I was being sarcastic, but the AF, like any other organization is subject to Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy, and it would appear that the AF is now old enough for that to have completely occurred. I am certain that there are senior officers in the AF who have wet dreams about such a scenario.
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Re: My rant/fantasy regarding the A-10(A&B) Warthog.
Post by Zakharra   » Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:52 pm

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The A-10 is a fine aircraft. It's perfectly designed for its role and has a multitude of uses for ground attack (heck, you could use it to attack ships. Imagine several of those 30mmm cannons strafing a missile destroyer/cruiser..). They should build more of them and retire the oldest ones. Used in conjunction with drones, you could easily keep battlefield air superiority. And the Air Force keeps ignoring that you need planes that can do specific roles. Planes do not have to be all purpose planes. Ground attack/CAS planes need to be slower than the speed of sound and need to be able to move slow enough the pilot can identify and target the enemy. Keep the A-10 Warthog flying Air Force.
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Re: My rant/fantasy regarding the A-10(A&B) Warthog.
Post by fallsfromtrees   » Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:11 pm

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Zakharra wrote:The A-10 is a fine aircraft. It's perfectly designed for its role and has a multitude of uses for ground attack (heck, you could use it to attack ships. Imagine several of those 30mmm cannons strafing a missile destroyer/cruiser..). They should build more of them and retire the oldest ones. Used in conjunction with drones, you could easily keep battlefield air superiority. And the Air Force keeps ignoring that you need planes that can do specific roles. Planes do not have to be all purpose planes. Ground attack/CAS planes need to be slower than the speed of sound and need to be able to move slow enough the pilot can identify and target the enemy. Keep the A-10 Warthog flying Air Force.

Actually, Tom Clancy had such a scene in Hunt for Red October where a group of A10 "attacked" a Soviet cruiser task force headed towards the US.

The A10 isn't cool, like supersonic aircraft, so the powers that be in the AF don't want to be associated with it, but they don't want anyone else to be flying fixed wing aircraft either. I agree that the A10 fulfills a very necessary role, and in fact a much more important role than the F35, simply because the F16 and F22 are all the air superiority fighters that are currently needed, or will be for the forseeable future. Until the Army can make a case that they have to have a dedicated CAS aircraft and make it stick, the A10 and its possible successors are dead in the water. As Reread-Ensign as said, until we get a President with the guts to tell the AF Chief of Staff, here is the way we are going to do it, and if you disagree, your resignation is regretfully accepted.
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Re: My rant/fantasy regarding the A-10(A&B) Warthog.
Post by Tenshinai   » Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:27 pm

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Ensign Re-read wrote:I know about the immanent retirement of the A-10, and strongly disagree with it.


You are seriously NOT alone in that regard.

Ensign Re-read wrote:I wish there was a way to use "social media" to convince Obama and Sec of Defense Chuck Hagel to not only stop the retirement, but to upgrade the A-10.


Wrong targets for convincing, at least to some extent. The problem is that the airforce utterly hates that there is something flying that is distinctly connected to the army. They want THEIR toys for themselves.

Service rivalry at its worst. Similar to how the army hates the existance of the marines.

Ensign Re-read wrote:Instead, Hagel seems inclined to use the A-10 funds to buy a few F-35As (groan).


*giggles madly*

:mrgreen:

Ensign Re-read wrote:In my wildest dreams, I would like to see the abolishment or modification of the "Key West Agreement"


An insanely stupid agreement. I mean seriously, a military that needs treaties between the services? :lol:

Ensign Re-read wrote:I hear about all the troubles withs ISIL, ISIS, etc., and I can't help but wonder if the A-10, or a modified 2 seat version (the one, single A-10B example) would be a great help out there.


Make it 2-seat and update the engines and avionics and you would have an excellent aircraft that could handle just about any air to ground mission.

A-10 is one of those rare occasional truly successful developments.

Ensign Re-read wrote:I also wonder: In the same way that a book can have a copyright, that can be sold, inherited or transferred...

Who "owns" the design of the A-10?

Would it be the U.S. Air Force?

What about The Fairchild-Republic company?
Technically, it does still exist.


Unless the "paperwork", blueprints and legals and stuff, has been sold to someone, then yes it probably went with the original company sales.

However, US government usually has some form of rights to important equipment that it buy.

Ensign Re-read wrote:Could the Iraqis turn to Elbit and offer to buy some newly build A-10Bs?


If the company still has the tools for the production line? Then the answer would be "maybe". USA is finicky about who is allowed to buy what, and while the A-10 is effectively "oldtech" i wouldn´t be the slightest surprised if it was suddenly considered "too advanced" to sell to anyone.

If for nothing else, to make sure that the production line isn´t reopened and allows the US army to argue for buying more of them for USA itself.

US airforce doesn´t want to be chained down to ground troops, and that means they do NOT want to fly ground support missions.

Ensign Re-read wrote:There must be SOME reasonable inventory of A-10s that could be transferred to the Iraq Air Force. (OK, OK, please try to not laugh so hard at the idea of an Iraqi Air Force.)


Of course there IS. But US airforce doesn´t want ANY A-10s in service at all. They´re not cool enough.

And why would anyone laugh at the idea of an Iraqi airforce?
An airforce not interested even in trying to fight, facing a >100 to 1 odds fight, it would be far stranger if they were not completely trashed.

It should also be noted, that while 6 A-10 were lost(and twice that damaged ) against Iraqi defenses, later on NONE were lost against the better Serbian air defense.

##########


Bruno Behrends wrote:I don't know how much financial effort would be needed to keep the A-10 fleet flying for instance and how cost effective they would be in relation to newer aircraft. Have the airframes reached or even passed their design lifetimes?


Their DESIGN lifetimes? Yes. However, the design is so robust that they are mostly nowhere close to their realistic end of lifetime.

And with all the titanium in the design, they´re seriously expensive to build(although would b much less so today than when initially built), and maintenance, a lot of things beyond the basic can be tricky, but the overall sturdiness of the design makes up for it.

Cost per flighthour is about 50-75% of the cost of an F-16, so it´s actually a fairly cheap plane to fly.
http://nation.time.com/2013/04/02/costly-flight-hours/
Note that the above numbers include costs for running upgrades, and as such isn´t base flight costs.

Meanwhile, depending on how you count and how things end up, the F-35 will be from 25-150% more expensive per flighthour than an F-16.

Bruno Behrends wrote:Can drones fulfill the ground attack role as perceived as necessary when taking the current threat situation into account?


Hardly. Drones can either be small and cheap, which also means they can carry little or no weapons and may be easy targets for defensive fire...
Or they can be capable which also means large and EXPENSIVE. With flighthour costs up to above that of 2 or even 3 A-10s.

Bruno Behrends wrote:One thing I can say though: I too find the A-10 exceedingly cool and will miss them.

I am sure they will go right into the military aircraft hall-of-fame.


Very true.
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Re: My rant/fantasy regarding the A-10(A&B) Warthog.
Post by Tenshinai   » Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:54 pm

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Annachie wrote:I don't think the reasons are BS. Exagerated yeah, but not BS. Add the age of the frames and I can understand.

The main problem is the multi-use concept.

I'd love to see them redesign it. It's always been my favorite plane. A true example of brute power can make anything fly. :)


The A-10s were made to LAST. Airframe age is not going to be a primary problem.
Heck, there are hundreds of F-16s that have been refurbished beyond the point where they are flying with cracks in the fuselage and wings!

Without being retired.


And the official reasons for retirement are complete bollocks.

And multi-use aircraft is for when you NEED to have a minimal number of aicraft models in your military. USA does NOT have that problem anymore than they tell themselves that they do.

My own country now relies solely on the JAS-39, but that´s because hello, small country here. OTOH, the -39 makes the F-16 look expensive to fly. :twisted:

And even here we still have several dozen SK-60 as backup light attack planes(normally used as trainers).
And the production run for those ended in 1972!
Austria still flies their SK-60 as well. And lets just say that SK-60 doesn´t come even remotely close to the A-10 in robust construction.


##########

fallsfromtrees wrote:My understanding of the A-10 design (and I too love the plane) is that it was to counter the massive Soviet advantage in armor in Europe. Effectively the plane is build around the central depleted uranium tank busting cannon, with additional hard points for other ordinance. With the demise of the Soviet Union, is there still a primary mission for the A-10?


Ehm, the plane is probably the best ground attack aircraft in the world. How´s that for "primary mission"? It can carry about 8 tons of bombs/guided weapons, while being better protected than pretty much any other aircraft.

fallsfromtrees wrote:I agree that the F35 is not going to be an adequate replacement for the roles that the A-10 filled (and before that the F22, and before that the F16, all of which the AF has called adequate to fill the A10 role).


The F-22? Eh, i think you got something wrong there... Raptor is pure air to air.

And F-35? F-35 isn´t going to be an adequate replacement for ANYTHING most likely.
It´s the biggest military aircraft flop since forever. The Boulton Paul Defiant was a masterpiece in comparison.

fallsfromtrees wrote:It is ugly as hell, but superb at its job.


Bah! It´s cute i tell you. :mrgreen:
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Re: My rant/fantasy regarding the A-10(A&B) Warthog.
Post by fallsfromtrees   » Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:20 pm

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Tenshinai wrote:snip

fallsfromtrees wrote:I agree that the F35 is not going to be an adequate replacement for the roles that the A-10 filled (and before that the F22, and before that the F16, all of which the AF has called adequate to fill the A10 role).


The F-22? Eh, i think you got something wrong there... Raptor is pure air to air.

At one point the AF was arguing that the F22 would work as a ground support aircraft to replace the A10. Dropped it pretty soon when it was pointed out that the F22 was sold to Congress as the ultimate air superiority aircraft, but an example of how desperate the AF is to get rid of the A10.
========================

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Re: My rant/fantasy regarding the A-10(A&B) Warthog.
Post by Ensign Re-read   » Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:01 pm

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Tenshinai wrote:And with all the titanium in the design, they´re seriously expensive to build(although would b much less so today than when initially built), and maintenance, a lot of things beyond the basic can be tricky, but the overall sturdiness of the design makes up for it.



Oy! I forgot about the Titanium "Tub" that the pilot sits in.

The cockpit and parts of the flight-control system are protected by 1,200 lb (540 kg) of titanium armor, referred to as a "bathtub".[50][51] The armor has been tested to withstand strikes from 23 mm cannon fire and some strikes from 57 mm rounds.[46][50] It is made up of titanium plates with thicknesses from 0.5 to 1.5 inches (13 to 38 mm) determined by a study of likely trajectories and deflection angles. The armor makes up almost 6% of the aircraft's empty weight. Any interior surface of the tub directly exposed to the pilot is covered by a multi-layer nylon spall shield to protect against shell fragmentation.[52][53] The front windscreen and canopy are resistant to small arms fire.[54]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairchild_Republic_A-10_Thunderbolt_II#Durability

That means that _IF_ the Army was ever able to reopen the production line to make some new (or refurbished) 2-seat versions, the "Tub" could be one pricy part of the cost... MAYBE.

Well, at least the tub seems to be a bunch of separate plates, and NOT one solid piece like I originally thought it was. Now THAT would have been pricey!


Dream on...



.
=====
The Celestia "addon" for the Planet Safehold as well as the Kau-zhi and Manticore A-B star systems, are at URL:
http://www.lepp.cornell.edu/~seb/celestia/weber/.
=====
http://www.flickr.com/photos/68506297@N ... 740128635/
=====
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Re: My rant/fantasy regarding the A-10(A&B) Warthog.
Post by Ensign Re-read   » Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:08 pm

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Tenshinai wrote:
Ensign Re-read wrote:I wish there was a way to use "social media" to convince Obama and Sec of Defense Chuck Hagel to not only stop the retirement, but to upgrade the A-10.


Wrong targets for convincing, at least to some extent. The problem is that the airforce utterly hates that there is something flying that is distinctly connected to the army. They want THEIR toys for themselves.

Service rivalry at its worst. Similar to how the army hates the existance of the marines.



Tenshinai:

I disagree, at least to some extent.

If SecDef or POTUS say so, then the Key West Agreement could be null and void, or at least modified to their hearts desire.

Once that document is out of the way, they could also take the next step and transfer the "ownership" of the A-10 inventory to the Army, and task the Air Force to maintain them.

We already have an example of how this would work.
They're called the US Navy and the US Marine Corps.

Once the Air Force is no longer the the owner's box, their opinion is (almost) irrelevant.



.
=====
The Celestia "addon" for the Planet Safehold as well as the Kau-zhi and Manticore A-B star systems, are at URL:
http://www.lepp.cornell.edu/~seb/celestia/weber/.
=====
http://www.flickr.com/photos/68506297@N ... 740128635/
=====
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Re: My rant/fantasy regarding the A-10(A&B) Warthog.
Post by Zakharra   » Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:16 pm

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Ensign Re-read wrote:
Tenshinai wrote:"Ensign Re-read"I wish there was a way to use "social media" to convince Obama and Sec of Defense Chuck Hagel to not only stop the retirement, but to upgrade the A-10.quote

Wrong targets for convincing, at least to some extent. The problem is that the airforce utterly hates that there is something flying that is distinctly connected to the army. They want THEIR toys for themselves.

Service rivalry at its worst. Similar to how the army hates the existance of the marines.



Tenshinai:

I disagree, at least to some extent.

If SecDef or POTUS say so, then the Key West Agreement could be null and void, or at least modified to their hearts desire.

Once that document is out of the way, they could also take the next step and transfer the "ownership" of the A-10 inventory to the Army, and task the Air Force to maintain them.

We already have an example of how this would work.
They're called the US Navy and the US Marine Corps.

Once the Air Force is no longer the the owner's box, their opinion is (almost) irrelevant.



.



It almost sounds like the Air Force is of like mind with Hermann Wilhelm Göring, who is reported to have said: 'If it flies, it's mine' in regards to any planes. The Air Force should get off of its high horse and just sign over the A-10s and the like to the Army and be done with it.
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