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USAF considering O/A-10 CAS replacement

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USAF considering O/A-10 CAS replacement

Old 18th Feb 2015, 19:01
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Finnpog View Post
If the plan is for F-35 style CAS to orbit at height and plink with precision guided munitions, then Reaper must surely by a better alternative for delivering effect on target.
It is already an alternative to traditional CAS. There aren't infinite Reapers in service, however. My experience with armed UAV/RPV's is that they are a low density, high demand asset. A disadvantage of Reaper and other RPV's now in service is how freaking slow they are.
No dash speed.
The fast jets can get to more places in a given time segment.
That X plane the Navy has been working on lately would seem to overcome that limitation if it ever goes IOC.
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Old 19th Feb 2015, 00:33
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by [URL="http://www.pprune.org/members/148503-melmothtw
melmothtw[/URL]"]Apologies, but I just don't get the argument that the A-10 should be retired because it has the highest 'blue on blue' kill rate.
Originally Posted by [URL="http://www.pprune.org/members/66636-billhicksrules
BillHicksRules[/URL]"]Melmoth,

You are not missing anything at all.

It is a false argument and those "deploying" it know fine well.

It is the equivalent of Pro-Gun supporters arguing that people are killed by cars so lets leave everything as is after each spree killing that could have been avoided.
Who is making that claim?

Certainly not me - go back and re-read my posts if you think I am.

PN claimed the A-10 didn't have a history of "blue-on-blue" and I provided information to refute his statement.

Of course the A-10 has a high rate - most of its work is done in close proximity to friendly forces, that's what it does best: kill people who are shooting at friendly forces.

Sometimes you will miss - and the lower-tech your aircraft the greater chance of missing in the wrong direction. On the other hand, the further from the target the weapon is launched the the greater the chance of a malfunction causing a fatal miss - so there is a balance there, as the A-10 usually gets in close (but not so often any more).


The real point against the A-10 is simply what Lonewolf_50 discussed - with the reductions in the budget something has to go, and the A-10 has the more-limited role - a role that can be done almost as well by other assets (like the F-35 or attack helos or UAVs), while the A-10 cannot at all do the other roles (like air-air combat or penetrating strike against a functioning ADS) that the F-35 can.
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Old 19th Feb 2015, 01:30
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Curious how you arrived at the conclusion that the F35 is as good or nearly so at CAS as the A10.
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Old 19th Feb 2015, 02:27
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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What a load of F35 codswallop GK.

What about battle damage survivability? is the airframe designed to actually have holes shot in it? Does it have an extinguisher system? Does it have electrical circuit protection? That's two items that were deleted to GUESS WHAT save weight.

But you just crack on after all it wont be you sitting in one will it?
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Old 19th Feb 2015, 05:27
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Just to point out, that sometimes, we have fallen into the trap of dropping these precision weapons on a tree line and actually they are too precise! That's where something like the GAU or the 30mm/CRV7 combo come to the party. Unless you are SF don't even think of calling for a Spectre! That said, if a Bone is on station then hey why not! If the A10 does go, then, it will be a shame because I truly believe that there is argument for dedicated weapons platforms....maybe
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Old 20th Feb 2015, 01:31
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Most A-10 CAS is now delivered from middle altitude via PGM.

The F-35 will certainly be at least as good at that than the A-10.

The whole concept of recent CAS operations is to avoid that whole ground-fire issue by remaining out of range - and that includes A-10s.

Sorry to burst your WW2-era mindset, glad rag, but getting into "read the nametag on his uniform before you shoot him with your pistol" is no longer a viable CAS method.
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Old 20th Feb 2015, 03:08
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by GreenKnight121 View Post
Most A-10 CAS is now delivered from middle altitude via PGM.

The F-35 will certainly be at least as good at that than the A-10.

The whole concept of recent CAS operations is to avoid that whole ground-fire issue by remaining out of range - and that includes A-10s.

Sorry to burst your WW2-era mindset, glad rag, but getting into "read the nametag on his uniform before you shoot him with your pistol" is no longer a viable CAS method.
You know this thing about checking your facts you go on about......

..show us the gun the F-35 will use, fitted and firing in a CAS role....it doesn't exist does it...
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Old 20th Feb 2015, 08:53
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Most A-10 CAS is now delivered from middle altitude via PGM.

Having spoken very recently to serving A-10 pilots with operational experience in Afghanistan, I can assure you that this is not correct and that the gun is still very much the weapon of choice across the Warthog community.


A point also made by a USAF F-16 pilot I interviewed last year who quipped that the third word to come out of every A-10 jockey's mouth is "gun", regardless of the topic of conversation.
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Old 20th Feb 2015, 09:29
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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CAS needs to have a direct-fire weapons capability to be effective or it becomes excluded through RoE. Paveways and some other PGMs can take an eternity to release if a targetting board has to sit within the RoE. Some PGMs like Hellfire or Brimstone are deemed direct fire, but they are way more expensive than a gun or CRV-7. So using F35 as your CAS asset is very expensive in both terms of operating cost, weapons cost and also the chance of total loss of a very expensive asset.

Apache has done a pretty good job as has Reaper, but as said, they are both slower than even an A-10 (that is about 150-250kts slower than a normal fast jet). The A10 does have a good loiter time over target, better than any fast jet (except B-1, but that has poor lookout), but it is about 8 hrs less than Reaper. As ever in aviation, the A-10 is a compromise, and a very good one at that, which is probably why the best replacement for an A-10 is another A-10! If the Cessna Scorpion gets a proven gun capability, then it might be in with a shout as it is pretty close to an A-10.

F35 is not the answer to everything, just like the F16 wasn't. It comes pretty close, but there will still be a need for niche capability airframes like A-10, V-22, Apache, Reaper, etc... etc...

LJ
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Old 20th Feb 2015, 09:42
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LJ seconded!
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Old 20th Feb 2015, 09:50
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Slight thread drift. Having just listened to Sir Michael Graydon on Radio 4 about our 27 fast jet squadrons diminishing over the past 20 years to just 7-gusting-6 squadrons, then cheap aircraft like the Scorpion is what NATO should be aiming at to augment its existing high tech fleet.

I quite fancy a UK Air National Guard equivalent...

LJ

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Old 20th Feb 2015, 10:03
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Off the shelf? No chance....
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Old 21st Feb 2015, 01:36
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by glad rag
..show us the gun the F-35 will use, fitted and firing in a CAS role....it doesn't exist does it...
If you mean you want photos of an F-35 using its gun in actual combat, performing CAS - then of [email protected] course there are none YET!

As for whether the goddam gun actually exists - the gun is the GAU-22/A, a 4-barrel development of the GAU-12/U of the AV-8B Harrier II (also in removable pods).
Every F-35A built is fitted for internal installation of one, and every F-35B/C built is fitted to carry (and use) the podded version (just like 95% of all F-4 Phantoms that performed CAS in Vietnam). Yes, the software to fire it safely has not yet been validated, that is part of the continuing development testing.


Here is a photo of the gun on a test-bench, and of the pod on an F-35B:


Here is a photo of a test F-35B flying with the gun pod (6 photos on the following link Photos of testing the removable centerline 25mm gun pod on the F-35 : theBRIGADE :




Here is a photo of an F-35A showing the gun location (above the port intake, the bulge). Note that there is a door covering the barrel that opens inward when the gun is armed.

Here is another - note the shell ejection port at the aft end of the bulge:
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Old 21st Feb 2015, 06:45
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Is the gun pod one burst or two?

LJ - Is the guided 70mm rocket a potentially useful CAS weapon? Accurate, supposedly easy to integrate with any pod/ball, lower CD than a Hellfire, cheaper and higher load-out.

F-35 for CAS is moot anyway until it is Rover-compatible, which does not happen before 2022-24 (Block 4A/B possible, but not confirmed). USMC will still have Hornets and Harriers for the job. And as has been pointed out here, the current EO setup (IR only) is not what people have become used to with dual-band pods or balls.

Scorpion's interesting - although in its present form it may be more like a bigger and faster OV-10 (NTTAWWT) than an A-10neo.
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Old 21st Feb 2015, 07:49
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LO

As the only direct-fire capability on the Harrier GR7/9/9a during Op HERRICK as it never got its gun pod, then "yes" CRV-7 was a "useful CAS weapon. Above is a picture of Harrier with CRV-7 mission markings, I'm sure a bona mate will chime in soon to speak more about it...

LJ
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Old 21st Feb 2015, 10:02
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whatever they think the number of F-35's available for CAS (or whatever acronym you want to use) will be a hell of a lot less than the A-10's
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Old 21st Feb 2015, 12:41
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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then of [email protected] course there are none


So along with having no "software" [$$$$ X10 to whatever], there is no evidence that the proposed gun system will be operationally viable.

Glad [] to see we have agreement on that little point.

Now about the lack of onboard electrical system protection and fire suppression systems that were deleted under the rather drastic weight reduction program would you care to comment on aircraft survivability under, say, CAS missions without either of the former attributes.....
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Old 21st Feb 2015, 15:30
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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What lack of electrical protection and fire suppression are you talking about?
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Old 21st Feb 2015, 16:18
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Green knight

Please explain your assertion the F35 will be as good or nearly so as the A-10 in CAS.

How do you arrive at this? I don't believe even LockMart claims this.

"Is the F-35 going to be as good a close-air support platform as an A-10? I don't think anybody believes that," Adm. James Winnefeld, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
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Old 21st Feb 2015, 17:11
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Green Knight,
"Is the F-35 going to be as good a close-air support platform as an A-10? I don't think anybody believes that," Adm. James Winnefeld, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Concentrating on these two guns (forget the lady for a moment), would you say the good Admiral has a valid point for starters?

F-35


A-10
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