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"Why Nothing (Even The Air Force) Can Kill The A-10 Warthog" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP14 Dec 2021 4:39 p.m. PST

"Will no one rid us of this troublesome A-10 ‘Warthog'? The United States Air Force (USAF) has spent almost two-thirds of its existence as an independent service trying to get rid of the A-10, one of its most well-known aircraft. But has the Air Force finally given up? It is odd to think that a fifty-year-old aircraft might have more job security now than at any time in its long history, but it does seem that the Warthog now has a relatively secure space in the USAF fleet.

The USAF has operated the A-10 Thunderbolt II, known affectionately as the "Warthog," since 1976. The attack aircraft was designed on the one hand as an update to piston-engined planes such as the A-1 Skyraider, and on the other as a hedge against the development of advanced attack helicopters by the US Army. The USAF worried that technologically advanced Army helicopters could take over the close air support mission that its aircraft had (grudgingly) performed in Korea and Vietnam, thus undercutting the argument that the Air Force needed multi-use jets to perform that task…"


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Thresher0114 Dec 2021 5:53 p.m. PST

It is a superbly engineered and robust aircraft, just like the B-52, so I hope it lives another 50 years, or at least until they come up with a better, more capable, and even more robust replacement – not likely I suspect.

The "zoomies" in the USAF hate it, so if they don't want it, they should give them to the US Army, but they'll NEVER do that, since they don't want any more fixed wing competition than that already present with the USN, and US Marines (assuming the latter still has close air support capabilities too, with ALL the chenges to The Corps, and budget cuts.

rmaker14 Dec 2021 5:55 p.m. PST

To turn the A-10 over to the Army, the Air Force would have to end the basic bargain that says the Army can only have rotary-wing tactical aircraft. That bargain is the basis of the continuation of the Air Force itself.

Thresher0114 Dec 2021 5:55 p.m. PST

Actually, I've read that the Warthog could be an excellent dogfighter, since with its straight wing, and low and slow maneuverability, not to mention that armor shredding gun, it could bring a world of hurt to anyone careless enough to get in a scrap with it.

Add in some short range AAMs and helmet mounted sights, and it could be very dangerous indeed, close in to its opponents.

Augustus14 Dec 2021 5:57 p.m. PST

The B-52 really isn't well engineered. In fact, it is damn near an endless blackhole of good money following bad because no one wants to simply build a new version of an old heavy bomber. It has a large number of aged, backward systems that are paid for in the blood, sweat, and tears of maintainers. The B-52 needs a replacement/massive overhaul.

The A-10, from an engineering standpoint, shows a far more robust case for redundancy and hardiness. It is, by far, the better of the two aircraft. The engines alone demand far less toil than the ancient TF33s on the B-52.

Joe Legan Supporting Member of TMP14 Dec 2021 7:42 p.m. PST

Putting on my senior AF officer hat, the A-10 is not expected to survive in a environment where the sky is contested. The Air Force has been expecting to fight that war since 1945. That is where the pushback has been. Mercifully we haven't fought with contested sky since 1944. In an uncontested environment the A-10 continues to be superb. Preparing for different wars with limited budgets.



Raynman Supporting Member of TMP15 Dec 2021 11:28 a.m. PST

Speaking as a life long Army vet, we love the A-10. It carries tons of weapons, has a long loiter time and comes when we need them. Hell yes, we'd take them off the USAF hands. We would love them and pet them and care for them, because they would return the favor to us! The USAF idea of CAS is to target something from miles away, scream through the combat zone as fast as possible and drop their bomb, hopefully hitting something (preferably not us) and then scream back home. They have no loiter time and really have no interest in supporting ground troops. I am speaking as a former Ground Liaison Officer (GLO) and have experience with A-10's and F-16's in the CAS role. There is nothing more intimidating than seeing a wagonwheel of A-10's in the sky, looking away for a minute and then looking back and seeing nothing in the sky! That means they have a target and are now stalking it. They come in low, often lower than surrounding hills and ridges and pop up when you least expect it! Truly exhilarating from an Army perspective, because now someone is going to be getting their behind handed to them!! I have no bad things to say about A-10's or their pilots!

Joe Legan Supporting Member of TMP15 Dec 2021 3:01 p.m. PST

Agree about the support and intimidation. In an uncontested air environment it works great. In a contested environment you won't live long enough to circle twice. That is where you have to scream in and scream out. Again, different war scenarios. In its niche there is nothing g better than the A-10.



Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP15 Dec 2021 3:20 p.m. PST



Legion 416 Dec 2021 11:25 a.m. PST

Army vet, we love the A-10.
Yep !

In its niche there is nothing g better than the A-10.
Yep !

Worked with A-10s when I was a 101 Bn Air Ops Officer(S3 Air), in the early '80s. 👍👍

Ghostrunner16 Dec 2021 1:11 p.m. PST

Given the current political climate, in anything short of WW3, would we ever commit troops to an area without uncontested skies?

Joe Legan Supporting Member of TMP16 Dec 2021 4:15 p.m. PST

I would hope not. I am not defending the air forces' decision over the years. There are a number of people in the AF who think the A-10 is important. as I read comments about how the AF was not concerned about CAS I was hoping to give a different perspective on the conversation. There are competing priorities and scenarios that is all.



Thresher0116 Dec 2021 4:38 p.m. PST

I don't see the USAF losing air superiority, or dominance anytime soon, against any opponent on the planet, save for possible aliens flying UFOs which don't obey the norms of physics as we know them.

The "fighter mafia" is strong in the USAF and the Pentagon, and they hate the Warthog, reportedly.

Legion 416 Dec 2021 8:42 p.m. PST

Air Superiority or localized Air Parity is generally critical.

Even as a ground Cdr, enemy ADA is a priority target, along with C3. Taking out enemy ADA makes it easier for your CAS, etc., to do their job.

Thresher0119 Dec 2021 2:38 p.m. PST

Iraq had one of the densest and supposedly "most effective" air defenses on the planet.

It was systematically eliminated in short order in both wars, by coalition and US forces.

There were a few losses of aircraft to their air defenses, showing that the system did have some teeth, but certainly not anywhere near what was expected prior to the war, or advertised by the Soviet/Russian weapons marketing people.

Legion 419 Dec 2021 9:05 p.m. PST

It was systematically eliminated in short order in both wars, by coalition and US forces.
The US/Coalition rapidly gained air superiority. In both wars … The Iraqis were not used to that kind of high-tech aggressive assault by air. Or by ground for that matter. Their almost decades long war with Iran before GWI showed both sides were not that good at mobile modern combined arms warfare. Like many in the region …

alexpainter16 Jan 2022 7:21 a.m. PST

Right, but the wars are becoming more asymmetrical, no one of the big bosses want a(destructive for either parts) shooting old fashioned war, so the A10 probabilly will remain, at least until 2030, a viable asset for low intensity conflicts, anti-insurrection duties and so on. Employing a (costly) F22 for CAS it's too irrational, plus in Iraq the A10 demonstrated a good survibility also against MANPADS of last generation.

wardog16 Jan 2022 12:44 p.m. PST

hear now they are considering using the a-10 to locate/track and designate targets for the f-35

Legion 416 Jan 2022 1:03 p.m. PST

shooting old fashioned war,
Costs too much for the big boys. But yes we will see more of insurgencies from 3d Worlders, etc. E.g. what happened in Iraq & A'stan …

using the a-10 to locate/track and designate targets for the f-35
Seems like a good use as any …

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP28 Apr 2022 10:29 p.m. PST

Pentagon Official Issues Warning On The U.S. Air Force's A-10 Fleet



Legion 429 Apr 2022 7:46 a.m. PST

Once again the threat of the A-10s' demise …

Heedless Horseman29 Apr 2022 9:55 a.m. PST

UK civilian… but remember an A10 'popping up' over a hill on exercise in 1980s whilst driving … and thinking 'Jeez'!!!

LOL! An RAF Vulcan did it too… only BIGGER! ;)

Legion 429 Apr 2022 5:38 p.m. PST

I loved it when I was in the 101, an A-10 flew low enough for us to see the pilot wave at us !

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP14 May 2022 10:17 p.m. PST

The A-10 Can 'Kill' Modern Tanks With Reactive Armor



Andy ONeill15 May 2022 6:42 a.m. PST

Imagine the Ukrainians had a few A-10s.

Would they be blasting a russian column a day?
Would they fairly quickly be toast?

Legion 415 May 2022 12:07 p.m. PST

A-10s with the Ukraine Forces vs. the Russians could change many things. As if the Russian ADA crews are as poor as the rest of their Army. And I believe they are. A-10s would certainly do a whole lot of damage …

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP27 May 2022 10:16 p.m. PST




Heedless Horseman30 May 2022 4:19 p.m. PST

Ukrainians would certainly have liked some! But Losses would have wiped them out…taking a whole lot of Russians with them.
Stealth makeover not rally viable or needed for role.

If production/tooling still viable…sure come Nations would like.
However, Drones seem capable in many ways… just not the gun/power/survivability AFAIK.

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