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  #31  
Old 08-29-2017, 01:19 PM
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Of course, in the world of T2K, where infantry operates on foot, cavalry on horse and armor is worth more than gold, a cropduster with 100kg fragmentation bombs or 7.62mm gun pods is a sufficiently dangerous threat while not stressing local resources.
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  #32  
Old 08-29-2017, 04:41 PM
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Honestly, in T2K-verse, an ultralight with mason jars and hand grenades (a la Airlords) is a pretty serious threat.
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  #33  
Old 09-11-2017, 06:44 PM
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I can guarantee that the USAF is playing fast and loose with the definition of CAS. The current fad position is that PGM can enable CAS by "fast movers" (F/A-35, F-16, F-15, B-1, etc) and even "high fliers" (B-52 and drones). I just don't buy. An F-16 dropping a GBU-32 at 600 kts and 5,000 ft is NOT flying CAS in my opinion. Any grunt will tell you that effective CAS is from a plane under 2,000 ft and 400 kts. When I was at the 8th TFW at Kunsan AB Korea the USAF was all about "speed is life' and the A-10 was simply un-survivable and the F-16 was going to take over the mission. "Studies" showed it could cut it. Few re-call that the A-10 was slated for retirement at the start of "Desert Storm" and NO A-10 were scheduled to deploy. Gen Horn briefed Gen Schwarzkopf on the deployed air assets, not mentioning the A-10. Schwarzkopf pointedly ask when the A-10s would arrive, and Horn responded none were deploying and the F-16 would perform the mission, primarily going to an Air Guard unit with 30mm gunpods. Schwarzkopf, noticeably miffed, responded, "General, I don't think you understood me. When are MY A-10s arriving?" Horn got the hint (order) and the A-10s deployed, but that did not stop the USAF for going forward to "prove" the A-10 was obsolete and the "do all" F-16 could do the job better and safer.

It was a disaster! The F-16s performed horribly. They couldn't do the strikes without getting down on the deck and slowing to A-10 speed, and they could not do that without taking hits that would force them down. The gunpods were useless; vibration was so severe some pilots almost lost control and accuracy was nil. In contrast, the A-10 was a champion! Studies also showed it had one of the highest readiness rates and was the most effective for CAS. All talk or retiring them ceased.

I suspect budget realities are going to throw the F-35 into doing this, and the USAF will finally have to admit it can't - after either losing a couple of planes or a unit getting overrun. Either way, people are going to die because some idiots that have never been stuck on the ground BEGGING for a flight of A-10s AND praying that the ridiculous B-1 that was first sent does not drop another GBU-32 on top of them decided that the F-35 could do the job as well as the A-10.

And keep in mind the A-10 is pushing 45 now, and it is still the best CAS plane out there. Sorta tells you the genius of the designers and ineptitude of the USAF brass and Congress. My guess, in the short term, the USAF is going to end up trying to use drones with Hellfires and Mavericks. The geewiz F-35 and B-21 are going to EAT the available budget, meaning they can't develop a new CAS aircraft. The Scorpion or something like it might work. As for an armed crop duster...for pity sake PLEASE try and get something like the P-47 or A-1....armored, able to break AT LEAST 300kts, and carrying a few tons of ordinance.
I had this same fight with idiots on Youtube who think that all CAS is done with JADAMS from 20K feet. When I pointed out that I didn't like the idea of dropping a 1000lb bomb on a target 500m away, they tell me I don't know what I'm talking about. After all, those JADAMS will hit a 3m CEP. I guess that 1000lber's blast radius has an IFF function too...huh? When I point out that sometimes you need a good old fashioned "MK1 Eyeball" to look "over yonder" they talk about "survivability." The same a****les that don't want a jet flying low have NO PROBLEM killing a company of soldiers by sending them unsupported into a "meat grinder."

They need to repeal that ridiculous restriction on the Army flying CAS. The Army should then take the A10 and pay the Air Force for them so the flyboys can go buy more F35s. CAS is like sex or money... YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MUCH OF IT!
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  #34  
Old 09-12-2017, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by swaghauler View Post
I had this same fight with idiots on Youtube who think that all CAS is done with JADAMS from 20K feet. When I pointed out that I didn't like the idea of dropping a 1000lb bomb on a target 500m away, they tell me I don't know what I'm talking about. After all, those JADAMS will hit a 3m CEP. I guess that 1000lber's blast radius has an IFF function too...huh? When I point out that sometimes you need a good old fashioned "MK1 Eyeball" to look "over yonder" they talk about "survivability." The same a****les that don't want a jet flying low have NO PROBLEM killing a company of soldiers by sending them unsupported into a "meat grinder."

They need to repeal that ridiculous restriction on the Army flying CAS. The Army should then take the A10 and pay the Air Force for them so the flyboys can go buy more F35s. CAS is like sex or money... YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MUCH OF IT!
The us army cannot have the A10's. the Key West agreement bares it. now back in 1988/89. they did work out a work around, that i don't think they will try again. From what i understand of the agreement. The army would pay for and man the units in peace time, but in time of war they would fall under the USAF for command. Now with the problems of finding parts for an air-frame that last came off the lines in 1984. I don't see them risking that much money on a 30 year old air frame (at best).
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  #35  
Old 09-13-2017, 09:22 AM
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The us army cannot have the A10's. the Key West agreement bares it. .
I know that; I just think they should throw out the Key West Agreement out and the laws attached to it. If the Air Force doesn't want to fly a credible CAS platform, let the Army have it (regardless of whatever aircraft we eventually end up going with).
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  #36  
Old 09-13-2017, 10:31 AM
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My guess is that things will muddle forward with F-35s and drones increasingly doing the CAS mission. At some point, things will come to a head and Congress will strip the CAS mission from the USAF. I think it has been heading that way for 50 years now. After all, that is where attack helicopters came from was the army's need for something. I think it is a matter of time now.
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  #37  
Old 09-13-2017, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by cawest View Post
The us army cannot have the A10's. the Key West agreement bares it. now back in 1988/89. they did work out a work around, that i don't think they will try again. From what i understand of the agreement. The army would pay for and man the units in peace time, but in time of war they would fall under the USAF for command. Now with the problems of finding parts for an air-frame that last came off the lines in 1984. I don't see them risking that much money on a 30 year old air frame (at best).
That's why the Key West agreement NEEDS TO GO! Whatever you do, don't say that a 30-year-old plane is too old to rehab around any B52 pilots. The B52s have been flying for 60 years and are expected to serve for about 10 more years after their recent update. The average B52 airframe age is like 42 years old. I just flew in a newly "Zeroed" 1974 Cessna 172 that was nicer to fly than the 1982 one I took my first lesson in. There's no reason the 300 A10 airframes cannot fly for another 30 years with a proper rebuild.
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  #38  
Old 09-13-2017, 02:06 PM
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I see no reason why the Army or Air Force shouldn't adopt a new turboprop aircraft. The Broncos supposedly cost the Air Force $1,000 per flight hour to operate. The A10 is supposed to cost around $10K per flight hour of operation. I have heard that an F15 costs around $30K per flight hour in fuel and maintenance costs but I don't know if this is accurate. I know it costs between $100 and $200 per flight hour to operate a Cessna (based on age, condition, and the region you fly in), so the numbers SEEM accurate based on fuel and inspection costs.
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  #39  
Old 09-14-2017, 01:46 PM
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This article demonstrates the importance of genuine, down-and-dirty, CLOSE air support, and the value of the A-10. If FA-18s couldn't hack it, neither could the F-35. Drones weren't even mentioned as an option.

http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/how...e-c-1806510162
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  #40  
Old 09-15-2017, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpipes View Post
Any grunt will tell you that effective CAS is from a plane under 2,000 ft and 400 kts.
No any grunt will tell that effective CAS is putting ordnance on target, dont care how slow or fast.

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Originally Posted by swaghauler View Post
That's why the Key West agreement NEEDS TO GO! Whatever you do, don't say that a 30-year-old plane is too old to rehab around any B52 pilots. The B52s have been flying for 60 years and are expected to serve for about 10 more years after their recent update.
The Key West agreement is not a bad as it seem to be all it did was to allow they Navy to retain its own combat air arm. The Army would be allowed to retain aviation assets for reconnaissance and medical evacuation purposes and the Air Force would have control of all strategic air assets, and most tactical and logistic functions as well. At this time air force was less than a year old and was fighting for it share of money.

The real damage was cause by Pace-Finletter MOU 1952 which removed the weight restrictions on helicopters that the U.S. Army could use and widened the range of tasks the Army's helicopters could be used for. However, it also created an arbitrary 5,000 pound weight restriction that limits the Army's ability to fly fixed-wing aircraft.

However it is the Johnson-McConnell agreement of 1966 that effective kills any hopes that the army might have had a CAS aircraft. In the agreement The U.S. Army agreed to give up its fixed-wing tactical airlift aircraft, while the U.S. Air Force relinquished its claim to most forms of rotary wing aircraft.

While you are correct about the B52, the 93 B52H that Airforce flies have been updated regularly due it consent need for the airframe. The 600+ A-10 have maintained not so much as it need for CAS has shrunk. The Afghanistan war was the best for the aircraft as it showed the need for a CAS aircraft. Also in 2006 the Airforce launched it service life extension program for the A-10 which put in 2040 before another need the B52H is 2045.

Id also like to point out On June 7 2017, Air Force R&D Chief Lt. General Arnold Bunch testified that the service is committed to maintaining a minimum of six A-10 combat squadrons flying and contributing to the fight through 2030 with additional A-10 force structure is contingent on future budget levels and force structure requirements.
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  #41  
Old 09-16-2017, 03:24 PM
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DoD has been looking at prop aircraft for the CAS role off and on for a little over a decade now. The Super Tacano was one of the first they were looking at, I think FOX news did a story on it about eight or nine years ago. Think about it like light and heavy CAS (my words). They want something that is one step up from a drone; has high loitering time and good weapons payload. However, this would have an "on site" pilot who is not looking at the battlefield through a "soda straw" (camera) and has the situational awareness to make snap decisions. Additionally, it is cheap to purchase, maintain, and operate. It is not meant to replace the A10, but augment The CAS capabilities of a force in a COIN environment, of which the A10 is a part of. These were never meant to be used outside of COIN.
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