I keep reading about this being a good replacement for the A10 among other things. Part of the beauty of the A10 was it’s ability to take hits and make it back home.
Is the F35 going to be able to take major damage and still limp back home?
The F35 is designed to fight a modern adversary, it will never effectively replace the A-10 in close combat support.
Just as important with the A10 is its ability to fly slow and keep a hardened target buttoned up for a longer period while troops advance on it.
The A10 was my bestest friend.
How slow can the F35 fly to make a prolonged run?
It is not a single purpose low and slow like the A-10 with heavy armor. It can do air to ground precision support roles now done with helicopter gun ships and the A-10 but it is not a helicopter or A-10.
Pilots that fly it that I have spoken with see the future growth of the platform and like all pilots like to fly the newest.
Fact of the matter is the F-35 relies on it’s speed to increase it’s survivability in a Close Air Support role (visual/Anti Aircraft guns/Shoulder fired missles). A fast moving platform makes it difficult to place eyes on target before releasing ordinance. The F-35 relies on a pinpoint target BEFORE it can deliver it’s advertised pinpoint accuracy. Grunts on the ground saying they are “north of us” does not help the F-35 at all. The A-10, on the other hand, is slow enough to visualize the battlefield and deliver its ordinance on the correct target. Notice how the A-10 pilot who was interviewed said that the F-35’s electronics increased its “situational awareness”?? How do you think it receives this information? It gets it from other electronic devices!! If an F-35 showed up in Benghazi it would be clueless about where to drop it’s ordinance safely. Keep the A-10. Yes it’s slow and not sexy but it is cost effective and survivable in today’s low threat battlefield is what we need.