Skip to comments.The Air Force is Quietly Killing Off the A-10—Over Congress’ Protests
Posted on 11/15/2013 5:31:04 AM PST by C19fan
A bipartisan group of senators and congressmen is fighting back against the U.S. Air Forces move to prematurely retire all 350 of its A-10 Warthog attack planes between 2015 and 2018.
But the flying branch is already strangling the A-10 force with budget cuts, upgrade cancellations and a reduced contingent of new pilots.
The battle is intensifying in Washington, D.C. over the legendary warplane, which was originally meant to destroy Soviet tanks and has flown thousands of missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, saving scores of American lives with its overwhelming firepower.
(Excerpt) Read more at medium.com ...
The air force hates the A-10 cause it doesn’t have tapered wings?
The A-10 is one of the most feared ground support/attack weapons.
This would be a big mistake.
Restart the Army Air Force.
The brass always wants new toys and unfortunately a lot of the top guys have one eye on the fight and another eye on their stock portfolios.
I say this as a former zoomie.
Stinking fighter pilot mentality.
The A-10 is one of the best combat aircraft ever designed and still proves itself worthy even today.
The fighter pilots running the Air Force are so near-sighted just because it does not look all sleek and it does not have an air-to-air combat role.
The Air Force is run by fighter pilots. It does not like close air support and it institutionally despises the A-10 because it is not a fighter.
Hence the Army's reliance on helicopters because the Air Force refuses to develop close-in air support aircraft.
Let’s face it the “United States Air Force” AND the “National “Security” Act of 1947” were/are/and will continue to be HUGE MISTAKES.
A huge flying Gatling gun...great idea that works everytime...darn it!
And the Marines, too.
The pretty boys with the patent leather combat boots only want expensive trophy planes, anyway.
The Air Force is now populated by pussies who want to fly drones from cockpits in warehouses where the only flack they get is from eating the last donut.
Actually the A-10 would make a perfect pilot-less aircraft platform.
The same F-16 that only carries a namby-pamby 20mm and has a low loiter time.
I meet brainwashed yupsters who think if underwear models can bowl over defensive guards on their vampire TV show that they can expect the same results in real life. Fail.
Somehow I think pretty boys have gotten themselves making decisions for the armed services and the A-10 just isn`t “sexy” enough for them.
MONGOL GENERAL: Conan, what is sexiest in life?
CONAN: To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.
As a retired employee of a company that did a lot of defense contracting, I can verify that very little in these decisions is based on rational analysis of needed capability.
And a sh!tload of it is based on politics, crony capitalism, and union jobs.
Well, just Damn!
We are on the flight path for a local AFB training area, and live on top of a hill, with a seven mile valley to the south. We are regularly treated to practice bomb runs and jet chases. Some low enough to scare the horses in the pasture. Fast and loud.
The A-10’s, though, are the best in show. Slow lumbering up the valley and across our hill, low and slow. Pilots even acknowledge our nods and waves, now and then.
Truly will miss them if they go away.
One awesome aircraft. And a feared warrior.
Beef up the undercarriage and let the Marines have them.
Truthfully, the A-10 has always been needed by the Army, for *their* mission, instead of the Air Force, for *their* mission. So the easiest way, which will be like pulling teeth, is for the A-10 to be given to the Army.
It cannot be a direct, 1 to 1 transfer, however, because the Army needs airfields and ground maintenance. And doing these alone, just for one aircraft, is not cost effective. So the way around this problem is to create a squadron of a single manned A-10, *accompanied* by a group of four drone aircraft with a similar CAS purpose.
Thus, instead of “point” CAS, the squadron would provide “area” CAS, with five times the firepower. The tactics of such a squadron would be very different. For example, instead of a “V” formation, they would use an inverted “V” formation.
Because drone aircraft can have a much higher speed and greater mach maneuverability, they are far more capable of evading surface to air attacks. Thus, when the squadron entered a high AAA zone, the drones would be first engaged, and evade the incoming, as the manned A-10 took out the AAA positions. And once an area was cleared of its AAA, all the aircraft would be able to smite ground targets at will.
The plane is far, far too cheap, too effective, and has been upgraded about as far as it can go. Thus nobody can get a multi-million dollar contract to renew the valve stems in the tires.
When you hear that God awful growl from it’s guns in the distance, you know someone just entered the gates of hell.
I’ve seen the enemy actually sh*t themselves when they hear the roar of the gun.
Give the plane to the Marines or the Army. A bad ass plane for a bad ass soldier.
Look for them to show up in the Marine Corps!!
It's old, not new and glamorous.
It's slow - by design and intent to fulfill it's mission. But no self respecting zoomie wants to fly a slow aircraft.
Even worse, it is simple. It makes all their other maintenance intensive (ie. costly) aircraft look bad by comparison.
Perhaps most damaging... It is a ground support aircraft. Meaning that when it flies missions the AF isn't the lead service, they are supporting another service in their mission. So when it succeeds, it is seen as "The Army took ..." or "The Marines successfully held..." and then in the third paragraph there is a mention of the AF support missions.
So yes, as others have suggested, maybe these units should be transitioned en-mass to the Army and/or Marines.
That sure appears to be true.
I was stationed at Myrtle Beach when they came in to the inventory and replaced the A-7s that were basically jet powered rocks - lose power and they "glided" like a rock.
The A-7s were loud and would shake the barracks and keep you awake at night. The A-10s sounded more like supercharged vacuum cleaners with the turbo fans and made sleeping through night sorties a lot easier.
They made for some awesome air shows (when the pilots didn't press the takeoff envelope too far and bang a wingtip into the ground). I can still see one going down the runway and not looking like it had enough speed to take off when the wheels would retract almost without first leaving the ground and the plane would seem to just be hovering above the runway only without the landing gear. Then, it would move sharply up while making a hard turn and you just knew it couldn't do that. They also had a quick turn capability so by the time someone would duck to evade cannon fire, it was already coming back from the opposite direction. It was able to maneuver some turns and rolls where you would swear it was now going away from you and next thing be screaming hard at you.
I never tired of watching them fly and they were known for coming back with so many holes and missing parts that it seemed impossible that they were still flying - awesome tank killers with a lot of other close air support capabilities and survivability. hate to see them go.
The Army-Air Force split gave all fixed wing airplanes to the USAF. The A-10 really should be an exception.
Get the A-10 out of the AirForce and give it to the Army.
Yep. Give the A-10 to the Army and Marines. They know how to use it.
I’ve been to air shows where the A10 did a fly over. Talk about awe inspiring. It’s a nearly unbreakable, well armored, flying gun platform. What’s not to love?
Yeah, or they could just be turned over to the Marine Corps.
Maybe the hate comes from liberals trying to transsexualize the services. The A-10 evokes pure flying testosterone.
Yeah, but it does kind of have that badonkadonk butt look to it.......
And wear flight suits and demand combat pay.
They’ve been trying to kill the A-10 for a long time, and yet it never seems to go away. When I stop seeing them in the skies above Tucson for a year I’ll believe they actually finally killed it.
My fantasy ground-attack/CAS weapon system from hell would be an A-10 with two drones, one under each wing: Kind of the Dr. Evil and mini-me look. And the smaller drone planes would be equipped with remote-aim/fire Dillon Aero miniguns!
Having fast movers come by and drop in a big punch is pretty cool.
But having an A10 or C130 hanging around all day long? SOOO much better. When you’re on the ground there’s nothing better than CAS that’s actually able to do something as soon as you need it
That Sir, is an idea that I can climb on and shout from the roof top.
Wasn’t a woman flying that plane when it was hit and she brought it home?
One correction, the fighter mafia are/were advocates for the A-10. It appears they lost the argument over high vs low tech aircraft. It looks like we need more John Boyds in USAF and government in general to get back on track to sanity.
How would that help the Army?
Direct control over close air support
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