Skip to comments.The story of the A-10 and why the F-35 cannot replace it. (video)
Posted on 08/26/2014 4:58:24 AM PDT by servo1969
Pierre Sprey is one of the original designers of the A-10 Warthog during the 1970s. He provides insight into why the aircraft is so loved by ground troops in the military, and why its recent retirement from Air Force operations is so hotly debated.
(Excerpt) Read more at wimp.com ...
All of the equipment and tooling used for construction of the A10 is also destroyed.
We have no wisdom.
I don’t know why we insist on shooting ourselves in the foot like this.
I saw a couple of those in the air while working east of Nellis AFB. Impressive aircraft, incredibly nimble in the sky. My first thought was “I’m sure glad they aren’t hunting me!”
Just the fact that our enemies fear the plane so much is more than enough reason to keep it.
Why get rid of them?
Easy- There’s no profit to be made on keeping the perfect plane we already have. We need a new plane with new training classes and new programs and new infrastructure and new spare parts production and...
Make no mistake- they’d retire and replace our B-52s and C-130s if they could convince enough people to do it.
loved the ravens logo on the a-10 in the video...
loved the flight simulator game a-10 tank killer...
hate the fact they are scrapping this friend of infantry.
i hope it is because we are arming grunts with laser weaponry.
but i doubt it.
Obama is just protecting all those tanks, trucks, and humvees he made sure went to ISIS.
Much of the higher up brass dislike the warthog due to it not being, in their eyes, as “sexy” as an F15 or F16.
The previous “retirement” of the A10 and attempt to replace it with the F16 was reasoned this way: A10 is designed to survive hits, F16 is designed to avoid them.
Anyone with a brain can see the obvious problems with this as the F16 isn’t designed to survive a ground CAS environment.
Neither is the F35...
Sooooo, the same idiocy, repeated twenty years on.
Simply my favorite airplane since WWII.
We were stopping for fuel on our way to Cabo at some airport in California (IIRC) in my sister’s Citation and the field was an A-10 base. they were doing takeoffs and landings in pairs. It was a real treat.
I hear that at night, from the pilot’s perspective, firing that gatling gun is like firing a laser.
There’s another interview with this designer available on the net...not much different.
It’s hard to argue with literally any aspect of the realization of the design objectives of this airplane....unless your goal is to produce a dozens-of-millions-of-dollars-per-copy edifice of complexity. This inexpensive, 40-year-old plane turned out exactly how they wanted it and it achieved (AFAIK) every design objective, absolutely beautiful in its ugliness and ruthless in its effectiveness. We should be building them or an upgraded equivalent today.
Davis-Mothan is full of A-10 airframes and Boeing had a contract to rebuild the wings of active A-10s so we don’t need the original tooling.
There is no other jet in the U.S. inventory that can do close air support like the A-10. To compare the F-35 JSF to an A-10 is utter nonsense. The F-35 is totally unsuited for the CAS mission and would become a big, expensive, smoking hole in the ground if it tried to do CAS.
The A-10 embodies the American spirit in the form of a “can of whoopass”. Need I say more?
“Sooooo, the same idiocy, repeated twenty years on.”
Correct but you are off by about twenty years. I was with Fairchild, although in another division, when the aircraft was being developed (early 1970s). The Air Force actually forced a fly-off against the A-7. They just couldn’t stand the thought of adding a ‘slow’ aircraft to their inventory. They even tried to rig the results in favor of speed. Luckily the Army horned in and insisted that battlefield support actually be the measuring stick.
Another interesting fact - bad weather operations. The West Germans wanted 1002-1500 to stop a rapid invasion by the Russians, but the crummy weather concerned them. Fairchild built a two seat version especially for night and bad weather operations. I believe it is still parked in a desert bone yard.
The Germans loved it and all was a go until America made its first major mistake of the 20th Century. Peanut Carter was elected and decided that “America should stop being the arms dealer for the world.” Told the Germans ‘no’ and actually reduced the US order (if memory serves me correct, something like 2000 down to 1200).
Considering how many fools have tried to kill the A-10, it’s kind of a miracle it has survived this long!
Has it been retired?
Last I heard the retirement was still being debated, and Congress was probably going to override the AF and put the planes back into the budget.
But we's gots da fud stamps!
“All of the equipment and tooling used for construction of the A10 is also destroyed.”
WHY do they do sh#$ like this? Do they think that the Commies are going to get their hands on it or something??? This is a big country. Don’t we have the space for it????
A-10 vs. ground support helicopter?
Same thing Mac did to the SR-71, A-12, etc. Had all the custom tooling destroyed.
In 2003, the assets of Fairchild were purchased by M7 Aerospace and the new company was relocated to San Antonio.
On December 15, 2010, M7 was purchased by the United States subsidiary of the Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems.
OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM -- A-10 Thunderbolt II maintenance members from the 392nd Air Expeditionary Wing inspect their aircraft for any additional damage after it was hit by an Iraqi missile in the right engine. The A-10 made it back to the base safely. (U. S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo)
Anyone remember during Desert Storm, the black BG who was Schwartzkopf's press briefing officer? What was his name, and where'd his career go afterwards..
That was the San Antonio division, that had nothing to do with the A-10. And the company had previously been sold once before, they just kept the Fairchild name.
The A10 program has bounced around a couple of times. I think it was at one time part of Northrop, but I believe it is now managed by Boeing.
As far as the tooling goes, it was kept till around the mid 1980’s,hoping that Regan might reignite the possibility of European sales. When that didn't happen, Fairchild went to the Air Force and said, “what do we do with it?” A scrap order was issued shortly thereafter.
All of the technical data was sent to an Air Force storage facility. But it was improperly stored and most of the drawings being on Mylar, stuck together and were ruined. We (taxpayers) paid Boeing to reconstruct them in the early 2000s.
Beef up the undercarriage a bit to make them carrier capable and give them to the Marines.
Darn. I was hoping the Israelis might start making them.
some idiot careerist..started a political career..Bowels (iirc).
From my sources, as limited as they now are, the reason that the AF didn’t retire the A-10 in the early 1990’s, think DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM, is the Army needed it.
There were some very interesting urban stories surrounding a meeting between Gen Schwarzkopf (USA) and Gen Dugan (USAF).
Apparently the US Army didn’t fight hard enough to keep the A-10. Either that or there was some very interesting behind the scenes trades.
BLUF - the grunts are left holding the bag again.
As a Corporal in the 2nd Marine Division during the First Gulf War, I got to see these babies up close and personal!
Too DAMN personal on one occasion as we were incorrectly marked for target; they were tearing up the ground walking onto target when they finally pulled up! WHEW!!! More than one pair of shorts needed to be changed on that day!!
But, watching these aircraft chew up one line and down another with deadly precision, is enough to make a grown ass Marine cry tears of joy!!
The AF never liked or wanted the A-10, which was designed by the Army, but forced upon the AF.
Every time they show clips of those ISIS technicals, I think what an A-10 could accomplish.
I’d like to remind the big brass F-35 pushers how well the Me262 worked as a bomber. Warbirds are not a one size fits all proposition.
I am sure was the Govt to put out a request for new A-10’s we could make them.
Problem would be the Govt trying to make the new ones better.
In this country we have a love of all things high tech especially in military aviation. We are convinced that adding every conceivable gadget, bell and whistle makes things superior, but overlook that sometimes simpler technology can do the job better, more reliably and for less cost. There is a story, while not true, that NASA spent millions developing a ball point pen to write in zero G while the Russians used a pencil. It is easy to believe that story given our history of doing just that.
Why? It is to ensure the A-10 stays dead, and cannot be resurrected. It is done to totally commit us to the new stuff, to ensure that we cannot say "The A-10 replacement sucks, let's just cancel the project and go back to making A-10s, or enhanced A-10s".
Follow the money...and the acquisition announcements.
This doesn't answer your question but a friend of mine is a Apache pilot and he told me that it is just awe-inspiring to watch the destruction that an A-10 can deliver. I'm sure his Apache can open a can of whoop-ass, too.
I've conducted live fire Joint Air Attack Team missions with A-10s from the front seat of an AH-64. One of my best memories. I also served in the infantry soon after the A-10 was first fielded and conducted live fire CAS training missions with them. I have a special place in my heart for A-10 drivers and the machines they fly. They are "different" from their Air Force brethren and totally focused on supporting the ground commanders' battle. Meat Eaters, each and every one. It's a damned shame to watch this awesome platform being phased out. Nothing super fancy about it. Just brute force combined with subsonic, low altitude ballet and can take a beating.
That 2 seater is parked in front of the AFFTC museum at Edwards AFB...I drive past it 2x a day...
Damaged but survivable aircraft from Battle Creek, MI ANG.
Flying out of Kellogg Field.
This marks about the third or fourth time they have used the same argument of “a fighter is better”.
The last one was around the time of Desert Storm.
“That 2 seater is parked in front of the AFFTC museum at Edwards AFB...I drive past it 2x a day... “
In the early 80’s there was a rumor that it was going to be put in front of Fairchild Republic (Long Island) where all the A-10s were all built, but it never came to pass.
The unofficial reason floating around the company was that management realized they would have to pay to guard it 24 hours a day, 365 days out of the year, to keep disgruntled employees from painting remarks about Jimmy Carter on the sides of it!
No JC problems here, she’s in good hands and company...
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