Skip to comments.First A-10Cs at Kandahar
Posted on 08/07/2009 9:17:51 AM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity
Airmen of the 355th Fighter Wing at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., last month made history by becoming the first unit to deploy a full complement of A-10Cs, the newest version of the venerable A-10 ground-attack aircraft, to Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. These airmen are expected to operate out of there until the beginning of next year. Before leaving for the combat theater, members of the wings 355th Maintenance Group completed two aircraft projects: a precision engagement software upgrade, known as Suite 5, and adding the Sniper targeting pod to the platform. This deployment represents the fifth time that wing aircraft and personnel have deployed to Afghanistan since Operation Enduring Freedom began in late 2001. The wing is not the first to send A-10Cs to Afghanistan, per se. A-10Cs from the 23rd Wing at Moody AFB, Ga., have operated out of Bagram Airfield, Lt. Chelsey Garrison, a wing spokesman, confirmed to the Daily Report yesterday. In fact, elements of the 23rd Wings 74th Fighter Squadron just returned on July 30 from a multi-month deployment to Bagram. A-10Cs of the Maryland Air National Guards 175th Wing have also previously operated in the combat theater, in this case from Iraq, Army Lt. Col. Charles Kohler, spokesman for the Maryland National Guard, confirmed yesterday. (Linked article includes Davis-Monthan report by Doug Herndon)
We need 1000 more of these.
A-10, what a great ground support airplane. Our troops in the air and on the ground deserve the best, today and tomorrow.
Let’s hope some of those roadside IED planters get a few depleted uranium shells up the butt and out through the turban.
The A-10 is the best ground attack plane ever created.
It’s not as sexy as the F-16 & F-15. But it can take a licking and keep on ticking. Also that 30mm gun sticking out it’s nose is a awesome equalizer. It can loiter in an area for a very long time, the plane is much slower than other jets so pilots are able to see their targets better.
The A-10 is one of my favorite aircraft to watch at airshows.
Bend over, Talibastards! Here comes some Love, American Style!
We ought to have our aicraft plants assembly lines running 24/7, cranking these babies out like sausages.
Not sexy enough for the fighter pilots. It’s too useful, utilitarian, reeks of working class, doesn’t look good while wearing a silk ascot. Usually stationed in dusty, dirty towns with no golf courses.
I get to see them up just about every day. I live close to Martin’s State Airport where the Maryland Air National Guard is based.
“From a clear weather, visual only attack aircraft the A-10C is transformed into an all-weather, multi-mission precision weapons delivery platform, capable of employing the Joint Direct Attack Munition and the Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser. The program is integrating advanced sensors, a datalink and the LITENING AT and Sniper XR targeting pods onto the aircraft, which will boost pilot situational awareness, targeting capabilities, survivability and communication with other coalition ground and air elements.”
“Comprising hardware and software upgrades, each installed kit transforms the legacy A-10A aircraft enabling precision weapons capability. Each PE kit consists of a new cockpit instrument panel with two 5x5 inch multi-function color displays, a new stick grip and right throttle to provide true hands-on-throttle and-stick fingertip control of aircraft systems and targeting pod functionality, and six pylons upgraded to ‘smart’ weapons capability. A new computer called the Central Interface Control Unit manages the avionics and the integrated Digital Stores Management System (DSMS), which controls weapons functionality.”
The pilots love hogs. Most say would fly nothing else. They'll even argue a case for why it IS sexy.
It’s the best “Close Air Support aircraft”, but not necessarily the best “ground attack plane”.
Yes, it’s slow, and it has loiter time.
But, that slowness also works against it and makes it difficult to deploy, because you have to keep it CLOSE.
Only now is it getting anything close to modern avionics.
The F-16 and F/A-18 are faster, have longer legs, and are capable of even more accurate ordnance placement. Guaranteed they’ll be deployed before the A-10 sees any action in any major conflict. While the A-10 was kept out of conflicted airspace, the “fast movers” were going head to head against ADA and SAMS. I think the fast movers dropped a boatload more ordnance in both Iraq wars, too.
I could tell he wanted to turn that 30mm loose! More importantly, I instantly felt safer knowing there were two "Alpha One Zeros" looking after us.
Awesome weapon system.. especially in this type of warfare.
That was mostly F/A-18s and F-16 in that one.
We're lucky they're still updating them.
It wasn't that long ago the dumb bastards in the Pentagon wanted to replace them with F-16's for ground support.
I was in a Army ADA unit with Vulcans. We'd hide in the woods and go against them. It was a lot of fun. The A-10 flying low, we could hear them around us, but not see them, but then they'd pop up and roll over on us. Two working together worked good for them in making noise and getting guns swiveling this way and that. And we'd try to get the gun on them. (Wouldn't want to do that in real life)
All the air to ground platforms are so deadly now. Once seen, targeted, it's all over.
Get outta town!
You're over there, NOW?
And posting to FR? That's great!
From a former Squid - take care... and watch your back.
No need to exaggerate. In a low threat environment the A-10 can be an effective platform but it is also a magnet for IR MANPADS.
Certainly has it's weaknesses, but I bet that meat grinding cannon on the front has soiled more enemy robes than any gun in the history of man. In some ways, the A-10 has a design that gets into the enemies head and has avoided obsolescence much like the B-52.
Close Air Support.
The F-16 already had the Ground Support role, as well as Battlefield Air Interdiction and some strike missions.
Everybody focuses on the gun and forgets the obvious shortcomings.
The same speed that makes it “easier to spot the enemy” (?) also makes it a) difficult to deploy and b) easier to target.
It’s only recently getting the “C” model upgrades that fast movers have had for DECADES, in some manner or another.
Keep them going, but we surely don’t need 1000 more of these, unless ALL of our adversaries have already been pounded back into the stone age.
I live under the landing pattern at Hill AFB, so I get to see the A-10s a lot. Good stuff!
Yep, but they figured out pretty quick that the F-16 just couldn’t take the hits. An F-16 with a 30mm gun pod just isn’t the same as an A-10 and didn’t work out at all doing CAS. Nothing against the F-16, that jet just wasn’t designed for the CAS mission like the A-10. The A-10 avoided retirement twice because of it’s awesome performance in an environment where no other jets could survive.
Hey, Rock of the Marne!
I always look out the window at the A-10s at Martin State Airport when I take the MARC or Amtrak up from DC up the Eastern Shore/Delaware.
Beg to differ... They were A10s. Thats what they were built for. They’re called tank killers as well.
Contrary to urban legends, the majority of assets that caused the devastation on the highway of death belonged to the Marine Corps. Navy, Air Force and coalition TACAIR were mostly operating further north in Iraq at the time.
They weren’t deployed that far enough north at the time.
A-10s were still sweeping kill boxes north of the Saudi border at that time.
F/A-18 pilots were the first on scene, and F-16 pilots show up right after it started, IIRC.