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Why is the Air Force want to get rid of the A10 and replace it with the F35. I realize the A 10 is old and needs protection from fighter jets but it is also a flying tank and slow is sometimes a good thing in close air support.

Why would you use a F 35 fighter that can be shot down by anti air craft fire that is not a flying tank that cost 150 million a peice. The A 10 is kinda like the B 52 just a good timeless design.
 

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The A-10 has been resurrected from the scrap heap more than once..
Indeedy....

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLlRglYXOCs"]Good News: Here's Comes the A-10 Warthog on Steroids (New Weapons and More) - YouTube[/ame]

Two airplanes on this planet I'd absolutely love to fly if given the opportunity, the Douglas A-1 Skyraider and the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt.

What a thrill that would be.
 

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I watch A10s fly over all the time. (I live pretty close, relatively speaking, to the Boise Airport/Gowen Field.) A10s are my favorite aircraft.

The A10 does what it was designed for better than virtually any other aircraft-----close air support. Ask any grunt on the ground that has needed CAS, and they will praise how well the A10 fulfills its mission.
Sadly, somewhere around 98.4% of the reason the F35 has been shoe-horned into a CAS mission is political---pure and simple. Money, contracts, and constituents. It's not complicated at all.
A shame. All the tooling was destroyed years ago, so building "new" A10s ain't gonna be a happenin" thing. Sure, components are still on hand, and larger parts are being made (wings as I recall) but no more complete airframes.
 

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I think its funny - in a sad sort of way - how Uncle Sam decides to shelf something because their doctrine or philosophy on fighting changes. Take for example the m14. Doctrine changed so they put these work horses in storage. Then, a need arises and out they come again. I see the A 10 the same way. Both weapon systems aren't flashy and the newest and greatest (and no lucractive contracts as Yahoo said) But in capable hands they do the job exceedingly well with no fan fare. With joint military operations between Russian, China and Iran occurring recently our troops may be facing the hordes of mechanized behemoths again as was the situation in Cold War Europe. If that happens I sure would want a squadron of Warthogs as some little angels on my shoulder. Just my thoughts. Blessed
 

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Why is the Air Force want to get rid of the A10 and replace it with the F35. I realize the A 10 is old and needs protection from fighter jets but it is also a flying tank and slow is sometimes a good thing in close air support.

Why would you use a F 35 fighter that can be shot down by anti air craft fire that is not a flying tank that cost 150 million a peice. The A 10 is kinda like the B 52 just a good timeless design.
Why?

Because they are old, tired, iron and are increasingly hard to maintain, one trick pony.

Old aircraft are time consuming and expensive to maintain, many of the companies that made the original parts are gone. There were only 700 made and currently less than 150 remain serviceable. The number of parts donors is dwindling. And, it only does one thing. It does it better than anything else, but these days "multi-role" is a requirement.

The B-52 is in a slightly different position, There are more spare parts available, Many airlines retired their JT3D engines and these were bought by the USAF, also the re-engine program of the KC-135 fleet freed up TF-33s for the few B-52. Also, many of the subsystems common enough to be reworked for B-52 use. This is one of the reasons the B-52 will probably outlast the B-1B.

Honestly, the A-10 should have been replaced years ago. But, the threat of 50 Soviet armored divisions (apparently) disappeared years back, and CAS against soft(er) targets can be done just as well by multi-role aircraft.

Do I agree that the A-10 should be retired? From a maintenance and fiscal point of view, yeah, they probably have reached the point where cost to maintain them exceeds what you can get out of 150 airframes. From a capability point of view, no not without a true replacement. The A-6 and OV-10 were retired without a true replacement and it looks like there never will be for those.
 

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Love to see an apples to apples comparison of these "multirole" planes compared to an uninhibited a10. Wasn't the test they ran a couple years ago laughed at for sounding like they designed the test to have the f35 "win"?

Call me simple but if the argument against the a10 is that it's only good in uncontested airspace why not deploy them with other aircraft like we used to deploy bombers and such?
 

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Given the time for 'modern jets' to get turned around and return for another firing run, the time over target (15 minutes vs a couple of hours linger time) and the fact that A10s seem to have the ordnance capacity of a medium-sized warehouse. I'd take an A10 giving me covering fire any day.
Never worked under an A10 but in Nam, my favorites were the A1Es and the F-4s.
 

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I, too, love the A10, always have, has a kind of muscle car or rat rod feel/look to it, and nostalgia with the paint job. But I'm nobody, lol.

I remember that they were gonna shelve them, and then decided not to because they are good at what they do, break stuff and scare the heck out of the enemy. I've also heard from Vets that they loved them because they could be deployed really fast and obliterate a target in no time, and turn around easily and do it all over again. I'm not sure why other planes couldn't be deployed that fast, but there ya go.

I'm not sure if there is another jet that is quite setup like the Warthog, as in oldschool "light it up" with fast brrrt rounds for convoys of trucks, tanks and hostile buildings, but I could be wrong. They are ridiculously agile as well, and can fly low, can other jets do that as well? Heck, do other jets even have machine guns? Lol, typing it just seems so archaic nowadays.
 

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Love to see an apples to apples comparison of these "multirole" planes compared to an uninhibited a10. Wasn't the test they ran a couple years ago laughed at for sounding like they designed the test to have the f35 "win"?

Call me simple but if the argument against the a10 is that it's only good in uncontested airspace why not deploy them with other aircraft like we used to deploy bombers and such?
Theoretically, a single squadron of F-35s can do both, contest the airspace and perform the CAS mission. The same logic that resulted in the USAF choosing to buy more F-4Es over picking up Republic's bargain close out offer to re-start F-105 production in 1968 for about 1.5 million a copy, about 2/3s the price tag of an F-4.

The A-10 can be compared to the JU-87, if you control the sky, they are the greatest thing since sliced cheese for the CAS mission, if the other side can even field fighters, you're better off with something that can dump the bombs and defend itself.

I'm not sure if there is another jet that is quite setup like the Warthog, as in oldschool "light it up" with fast brrrt rounds for convoys of trucks, tanks and hostile buildings, but I could be wrong. They are ridiculously agile as well, and can fly low, can other jets do that as well? Heck, do other jets even have machine guns? Lol, typing it just seems so archaic nowadays.
The USAF version carries a 25mm that shoots the same AP ammo as the Bradley.
 

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Why?

Because they are old, tired, iron and are increasingly hard to maintain, one trick pony.

Old aircraft are time consuming and expensive to maintain, many of the companies that made the original parts are gone. There were only 700 made and currently less than 150 remain serviceable. The number of parts donors is dwindling. And, it only does one thing. It does it better than anything else, but these days "multi-role" is a requirement.

The B-52 is in a slightly different position, There are more spare parts available, Many airlines retired their JT3D engines and these were bought by the USAF, also the re-engine program of the KC-135 fleet freed up TF-33s for the few B-52. Also, many of the subsystems common enough to be reworked for B-52 use. This is one of the reasons the B-52 will probably outlast the B-1B.

Honestly, the A-10 should have been replaced years ago. But, the threat of 50 Soviet armored divisions (apparently) disappeared years back, and CAS against soft(er) targets can be done just as well by multi-role aircraft.

Do I agree that the A-10 should be retired? From a maintenance and fiscal point of view, yeah, they probably have reached the point where cost to maintain them exceeds what you can get out of 150 airframes. From a capability point of view, no not without a true replacement. The A-6 and OV-10 were retired without a true replacement and it looks like there never will be for those.
As a former TACP member, currently working on A-10 refurbishment and modifications, THIS (see above) is closest to the truth.

I slightly disagree in that there is no replacement available for low threat CAS, any F-16, F-18, F-35 or AC-130 can do the job. A JDAM is a JDAM no matter what it falls off of. And the GAU-8 hasn't been a viable anti-armor weapon (in a scenario where armor is on the field, with it's attendant AA support) in decades.

Totally agree on the A-6...

The airplane is not a "Flying tank, it's armor is only around the cockpit.

The newest plane is 40 next year, the boneyard is almost empty of parts and wings, it's time to replace the family DeSoto.

Happy New Year!
 

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Why?

Because they are old, tired, iron and are increasingly hard to maintain, one trick pony.

Old aircraft are time consuming and expensive to maintain, many of the companies that made the original parts are gone. There were only 700 made and currently less than 150 remain serviceable. The number of parts donors is dwindling. And, it only does one thing. It does it better than anything else, but these days "multi-role" is a requirement.

The B-52 is in a slightly different position, There are more spare parts available, Many airlines retired their JT3D engines and these were bought by the USAF, also the re-engine program of the KC-135 fleet freed up TF-33s for the few B-52. Also, many of the subsystems common enough to be reworked for B-52 use. This is one of the reasons the B-52 will probably outlast the B-1B.

Honestly, the A-10 should have been replaced years ago. But, the threat of 50 Soviet armored divisions (apparently) disappeared years back, and CAS against soft(er) targets can be done just as well by multi-role aircraft.

Do I agree that the A-10 should be retired? From a maintenance and fiscal point of view, yeah, they probably have reached the point where cost to maintain them exceeds what you can get out of 150 airframes. From a capability point of view, no not without a true replacement. The A-6 and OV-10 were retired without a true replacement and it looks like there never will be for those.
Well Lysander, I could agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong...GI2
Actually, all kidding aside, my own personal take is that CAS is not real high on the priority list for the USAF. The A-10 Thunderbolt II is nicknamed the Warthog. It's not sleek and sexy like fighter jets such has the F-16. The USAF would rather spend their $ billions on modern, high tech stuff. Probably the same holds true for the US Navy. Would they prefer building nice, new high tech carriers, or mine sweepers and ice breakers?
And with the A-10, designed for one thing, CAS, there is nothing better. After Desert Storm, and with thousands of Iraqi soldiers captured, many were asked which weapon system we deployed against them did they fear the most, and most of them replied it was the A-10.
I think if more parts are needed to keep them flying, it might still be more cost effective, vs. the F-35 which is a very expensive aircraft.
But I could be wrong, just my humble opinion.
 
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Well Lysander, I could agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong...GI2
Actually, all kidding aside, my own personal take is that CAS is not real high on the priority list for the USAF. The A-10 Thunderbolt II is nicknamed the Warthog. It's not sleek and sexy like fighter jets such has the F-16. The USAF would rather spend their $ billions on modern, high tech stuff. Probably the same holds true for the US Navy. Would they prefer building nice, new high tech carriers, or mine sweepers and ice breakers?
And with the A-10, designed for one thing, CAS, there is nothing better. After Desert Storm, and with thousands of Iraqi soldiers captured, many were asked which weapon system we deployed against them did they fear the most, and most of them replied it was the A-10.
I think if more parts are needed to keep them flying, it might still be more cost effective, vs. the F-35 which is a very expensive aircraft.
But I could be wrong, just my humble opinion.
1) How many Iragi aircraft were flying around during DS/DS?
2) I don't think you have a good understanding of what it cost to restart production of out of production parts...

The original manufacturer designed and made a unique part. It was made from cast aluminum and originally cost about $2000 dollars in 1990. That company stopped making the part and the casting house went defunct. Now to restart production, a) a new master mold has to be designed and made* and since it is a new design, qualified, a new casting house has to qualified as a manufacturer. Worse since the demand is small, you will have trouble finding companies that are willing to take on such a large investment for such a small production run. We once had a casting that went out of production and were quoted 5 million just to develop the casting, that's not including the final machining, part qualification, or manufacturer qualification. It might cost 6 or 7 million dollars to get a handful of new parts.

It gets worse when you talk about electronics, as so many of the 1980s chips are so antiquated no can make them. An analogy would be asking a modern gunmaker to supply some spare flints for your flintlock muskets . . .

__________________________
* Drawings for casting and forgings actually give very little information on the actual shape. These features are controlled by the master mold. Even if you still have the original casting house, things get expensive, as master molds wear out and to make a new master, you have to clone it from the old master, and yes, you do get clone degeneration. I have dealt with that too in some of our legacy systems.
 

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The cost of reproducing parts can be astronomical. Several year ago the government put out a contract for 450 M14 op rods. They ended up costing about $1600 each.
 

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1) How many Iragi aircraft were flying around during DS/DS?
2) I don't think you have a good understanding of what it cost to restart production of out of production parts...

The original manufacturer designed and made a unique part. It was made from cast aluminum and originally cost about $2000 dollars in 1990. That company stopped making the part and the casting house went defunct. Now to restart production, a) a new master mold has to be designed and made* and since it is a new design, qualified, a new casting house has to qualified as a manufacturer. Worse since the demand is small, you will have trouble finding companies that are willing to take on such a large investment for such a small production run. We once had a casting that went out of production and were quoted 5 million just to develop the casting, that's not including the final machining, part qualification, or manufacturer qualification. It might cost 6 or 7 million dollars to get a handful of new parts.

It gets worse when you talk about electronics, as so many of the 1980s chips are so antiquated no can make them. An analogy would be asking a modern gunmaker to supply some spare flints for your flintlock muskets . . .

__________________________
* Drawings for casting and forgings actually give very little information on the actual shape. These features are controlled by the master mold. Even if you still have the original casting house, things get expensive, as master molds wear out and to make a new master, you have to clone it from the old master, and yes, you do get clone degeneration. I have dealt with that too in some of our legacy systems.
Very good points, but I have a right to my opinion, no matter how wrong I may be...GI2
And don't try to confuse me with facts.
 
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Wasn't it the USAF that sent F-4's into Vietnam without a gun because in the "new" air war a gun on a jet wasn't needed, that 'winders and such were all that was needed? That didn't work out so well as I recall. And, the M14 was "replaced" by the M16 as our main battle rifle and then we had to dust off the M14 for use in "the sandbox" cause the M16 didn't fit the need. We seem to do this to our selves over and over again. Sometimes "old" is good because it works. Are all the "bugs" worked out of the F-35 now?
 
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