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Great discussion, and I really love to think: just take all the original drawings and tool up and make new ones .... but having managed engineering projects through my career, I sadly have to agree with the logistical truths that you cannot keep an ageing fleet going forever.

There ought to be a way to make an A-10v2 using original design concepts, though the challenge here will not be engineering, but political, like the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, where politics and differing opinions will allow scope creep to poison the design, so what comes out is something that is a compromise based on negotiation, not performance.
If you wanted to make M14s again, you can collect up all the drawings, and the specifications and you would have all of the information necessary to make M14s just like the old ones. I think somebody has basically done that.

Unfortunately, aircraft aren't like guns.

1) Much of the design isn't actually on paper, it's in the tooling. Tooling to form the skin, frames, valve bodies, duct work, etc. And when that is destroyed or repurposed to other projects, it is gone forever.

2) Much of the technology used in the A-10 is obsolete and no longer available. The computers used to control various aircraft functions are 1970 vintage technology, and the chips are so obsolete you cannot make them anymore. And these are the core aircraft functions, not the easily modified mission avionics. To design and build a new modern computer to do the same jobs, would require a long and expensive development cycle, and a full validation test. Simply put, it would cost as much in time, money and effort as it did back in 1972.

3) "There ought to be a way to make an A-10v2 using original design concepts . . . " They did. they also threw in a few other additions, it known as the F-35. And your right, the problem is not engineering, it is political in getting people to understand that it really can do the core mission of the A-10, and other strike missions as well.

The only major difference is the F-35 doesn't have two tons of machine gun in the nose.
 

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In Vietnam, when the USAF withdrew all the A-1 Spads and replaced them in the CAS role with A-7s, you know what the major differences was?

We stopped loosing as many CAS aircraft to ground fire . . .
 

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The Stukas' Achilles heel was survivability. They were pulled from the Battle of Britain very early. They could only be used effectively when they had air superiority. Our Dauntlesses were probably a better all around dive bomber. They too were purpose built and had better speed and survivability. It's a slippery slope when saying anything is the best. ;)
 

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Airframes kill aircraft. Loading on certain engineered area's have a finite life, and then fatigue of metal becomes uncertain. And really even after you replace the fatigued area's the airframe still has many hours of loading on the balance of the airplane.

I am sorry if their are those that think the 35 is the cure all be all. And that drones will be the force multiplier. Yep I guess Iran just caught one in a net like a butterfly. :D Drones will be targets to a pier adversary.

The F35a is the new lawn dart. Someone better get their stuff together if the 35 is going to do a ground support task with one engine. Insanity, replacing the AV8B ok that one is gone now, but again with one fuel puuker their is no redundant system once that engine gets a hole in it or it ingests some bird or high level ordnance.

A two engine Bird is needed for the future with 20 years of improved blocks.

To rely on one Bird is not going to be enough in a hot war, and until there is sufficient capacity built to replace 242 A10's there is nothing to talk about.

Congress for once got this one right. They see what the Military is doing after killing the F22 and with the 35 still being engineered to cover 3 branches. Maybe one day it will be a partner to a pair of new generation mission specific airframes.

And the way that Congress spends imaginary money, well they need to look for 20 years instead of this year, dumbazzez. I watched the Army appropiations for 2022, Secretary of the Army, Christine Wormuth, Army Chief of Staff James C. McConville and all they could talk about was Army barracks, housing, diversity, social issues which all need to be or should have been addressed years ago and they said they had plenty of funds to operate. Congress could not believe what they were saying and asked several times the same question. They could of asked for a moon base and might of got it.
 

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Not being a ground pounder, I can not say for certain but it does seem to me that it would be much more accurate for an aircraft moving at the speed of the A-10 than it would be for a fast moving f-35 to hit accurately a small target without hitting long or short.. Kind of like the difference between shooting a deer that is walking vs one that is going balls-to-the-wall(been there, missed the shot !). Can the f-35 carry the same amount of ordinance as the A-10? Can it remain on station as long as the A-10? If you are a grunt, who's actually been there and done that, which would you rather have covering your back?
 

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"I watched the Army appropiations for 2022, Secretary of the Army, Christine Wormuth, Army Chief of Staff James C. McConville and all they could talk about was Army barracks, housing, diversity, social issues which all need to be or should have been addressed years ago and they said they had plenty of funds to operate."

Are these the kinds of issues burdening the progress of the most significant, immediate military threats to the United States? Hmm... dunno. It could give one pause to question if fixation on such perfunctory matters originates internally from misguided or hypersensitive inference, or if it could be part of an evolving covert military operation by an external aggressor. Makes one wonder...

Regardless- I personally feel safer knowing we've got A-10's performing CAS...
 

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Not being a ground pounder, I can not say for certain but it does seem to me that it would be much more accurate for an aircraft moving at the speed of the A-10 than it would be for a fast moving f-35 to hit accurately a small target without hitting long or short.. Kind of like the difference between shooting a deer that is walking vs one that is going balls-to-the-wall(been there, missed the shot !). Can the f-35 carry the same amount of ordinance as the A-10? Can it remain on station as long as the A-10? If you are a grunt, who's actually been there and done that, which would you rather have covering your back?
1) In combat, when the enemy is shooting everything from 7.62mm to 57mm at you there is only one speed - as fast as the aircraft can manage, with the drag you have attached. So, which would you rather be doing with a radar directed 30mm shooting at you, 250 mph, or 550 mph? Then after the bombs are gone and your aircraft is cleaner, which would you rather be doing, 320 mph, or 650 mph.

2) In the 1980s the F-16C introduced the Continuously Computed Impact Point, or CCIP, this was a line with a dot on the end of it projected on the head-up-display. The CCIP not only continuously calculated the point the selected weapon type would impact the ground if pickled off at that instant, it calculated the track over the ground later bomb release would take. Israeli pilots called it by a different name, the 'Death Dot', as now all they had to do was align the target on the projected line and sweep the dot over the target hitting the pickle button as the dot crossed the target. The accuracy was phenomenal. Not only did it make the dumb bomb impact points easier to calculate, you could maneuver during the bomb run, something that was not previously possible, and made bombers far less vulnerable during the run-in. Now, with guided bombs, moving fast is not detrimental to accuracy. But fast is always been safer.

3) Can it carry the same amount of ordnance? Yes, and even a bit more.

4) Can remain on station as long? As stated earlier, on-station is usually governed by your war load, when you run out of bombs you go home. Endurance and range are comparable.

5) But, you forgot a few questions:

Which one can get to you faster? Well, the faster one, of course.

Which one will be more available, i.e., break less, or be able to be fixed faster, or be damaged by ground fire less? Those first two questions we'll have to see, the third, probably the faster one that is less easily seen by radar.

If you are a grunt, who's actually been there and done that, which would you rather have covering your back?
The one that can get there the quickest, and demonstrates the best accuracy.

The Stukas' Achilles heel was survivability. They were pulled from the Battle of Britain very early. They could only be used effectively when they had air superiority. Our Dauntlesses were probably a better all around dive bomber. They too were purpose built and had better speed and survivability. It's a slippery slope when saying anything is the best. ;)
I would say Air Supremacy.

So, why didn't the USAAF use the A-24 in the CAS role? It was certainly better at CAS bombing than a P-47 with no bombsight. And, we even had air supremacy.

If fact, why did the Navy not make more use the SBC-2 or TBF/TBM Avenger as ground support, but preferred to hang bombs on F4Us and F6Fs?

I'll give you a hint, it's one of the same reasons the USAF wants to get rid of the A-10, the one that doesn't involve maintenance money.
 

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1) In combat, when the enemy is shooting everything from 7.62mm to 57mm at you there is only one speed - as fast as the aircraft can manage, with the drag you have attached. So, which would you rather be doing with a radar directed 30mm shooting at you, 250 mph, or 550 mph? Then after the bombs are gone and your aircraft is cleaner, which would you rather be doing, 320 mph, or 650 mph.

2) In the 1980s the F-16C introduced the Continuously Computed Impact Point, or CCIP, this was a line with a dot on the end of it projected on the head-up-display. The CCIP not only continuously calculated the point the selected weapon type would impact the ground if pickled off at that instant, it calculated the track over the ground later bomb release would take. Israeli pilots called it by a different name, the 'Death Dot', as now all they had to do was align the target on the projected line and sweep the dot over the target hitting the pickle button as the dot crossed the target. The accuracy was phenomenal. Not only did it make the dumb bomb impact points easier to calculate, you could maneuver during the bomb run, something that was not previously possible, and made bombers far less vulnerable during the run-in. Now, with guided bombs, moving fast is not detrimental to accuracy. But fast is always been safer.

3) Can it carry the same amount of ordnance? Yes, and even a bit more.

4) Can remain on station as long? As stated earlier, on-station is usually governed by your war load, when you run out of bombs you go home. Endurance and range are comparable.

5) But, you forgot a few questions:

Which one can get to you faster? Well, the faster one, of course.

Which one will be more available, i.e., break less, or be able to be fixed faster, or be damaged by ground fire less? Those first two questions we'll have to see, the third, probably the faster one that is less easily seen by radar.


The one that can get there the quickest, and demonstrates the best accuracy.


I would say Air Supremacy.

So, why didn't the USAAF use the A-24 in the CAS role? It was certainly better at CAS bombing than a P-47 with no bombsight. And, we even had air supremacy.

If fact, why did the Navy not make more use the SBC-2 or TBF/TBM Avenger as ground support, but preferred to hang bombs on F4Us and F6Fs?

I'll give you a hint, it's one of the same reasons the USAF wants to get rid of the A-10, the one that doesn't involve maintenance money.
Don't know the answer to your questions. I was merely pointing out the weak points of the Stuka after you said it was the best, and sharing the advantages of the Dauntless.
 

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Why didn't the Navy use aircraft purposely designed to drop bombs as close air support bombers, but preferred to hang bombs on less capable fighter aircraft? (Similarly, these reason apply to the USAAF in Europe for the preference of fighters with bombs rather than dedicated attack aircraft.)

In fact, the aircraft carriers tasked with close support of amphibious landing were assigned mostly fighters on purpose.

The answers are:

1) Multi role. F4Us and F6Fs were multi-role, if a huge kamikaze attack showed up all the fighters could intercept, if there was no air attack, all the fighters could be used in ground support. If the air group were divided, some aircraft would be sitting on the deck with nothing to do in some situations. This is the same issue the USAF has today, although the limitation is due to budgets, not acreage available to land on in the middle of the ocean.

2) More support available to the ground forces. Fighters are faster than bombers, so the round trip from the carrier to the target and back to refuel and rearm takes less time. For the same number of aircraft tasked for ground support more of them are actually over the ground troops at any given time. Again, this is an issue the USAF has today, but again it is due to budget restrictions on the number aircraft they have in total.

3) More survivable. The more maneuverable fighters were better equipped to evade ground fire, and in the event Japanese fighters showed up (unlikely in 1944, but a real possibility today) they would have been better equipped to defend or escape than the lumbering bombers. Again, the USAF has to husband its resources.

The aircraft the USAF would used to replace the A-10 would be far better equipped to handle the role than the F4U and F6F were in WW2, and some of them have been used in the close support role. In fact, the A-10 was not used extensively in Afghanistan, and faster Av-8s, F-16s, and F-18s showed they were more than capable. And, just to show than slow is not necessary, or desired, in close air support the Marines have been using the zippy little Harrier has it primary air support platform with nary a complaint.

To be honest, the whole idea of a dedicated "attack" aircraft is a notion whose time has passed. You can now stick the same avionics in a fighter and it can do the "attack" job just as well, and still do fighter stuff.
 

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In an ideal world...

the Marines, Army, and Navy would be responsible for all of their own close air support, and the Air Force would be responsible for air superiority/combat air patrol, strategic bombing, tactical airlift, and nuclear operations.

I understand that it's not that clear-cut and simple... but it just seems like it should be.
 

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In an ideal world...

the Marines, Army, and Navy would be responsible for all of their own close air support, and the Air Force would be responsible for air superiority/combat air patrol, strategic bombing, tactical airlift, and nuclear operations.

I understand that it's not that clear-cut and simple... but it just seems like it should be.
I'd hate to be on a carrier waiting for the Air Force to arrive and or refuel to give air superiority with incoming bogies.
 

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I'd hate to be on a carrier waiting for the Air Force to arrive and or refuel to give air superiority with incoming bogies.
Agreed. However, since the "friendly force" that Navy CAS would be responsible for protecting from incoming bogies is the naval fleet... I'd guess the Navy would just keep on doing what it does now. Fly Navy!
 

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Do you know what the ammo capacity is of the Marine variant of the F-35? Four seconds of strafing, then the guns is out. I know the A-10 is USAF only, but it is the finest ground-support aircraft ever made. Troops on the ground need to know that airpower supporting them has the right tools for the job.
 

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The biggest problem was the creation of the Airforce. When it was the Army Air Force, they had responsibility for both Strategic as well as Tactical air. When the Airforce was created, Curtis Lemay took over SAC and developed it into an asset to protect from the possibility of sneak attack from the Russians. TAC was an afterthought. The fighter Generals wanted high speed low drag interceptors to shoot down the Russian bombers. Oh and missiles were the way of the future, you won't need a gun. Then came Viet Nam. The only real fighter bomber at the start of the war was the F105 which was developed into a one way nuclear fighter-bomber. The F100 wasn't that great of a fighter bomber, F101 was developed to shoot nuclear missiles at the Russian bombers as was the F102. F104 It did have a gun, but took forever to turn in a dogfight. F105 had a gun, but it originally was not for dogfighting but as a ground attack fighter-bomber. F106, probably the best dogfighter of all the Century series fighters, no gun until they took out one missile bay and put a drop down 20mm. They didn't use it in Viet Nam because it was defending the US and Canada, and South Korea during the Pueblo incident. That meant the Navy's F4 The only airplane McNamara forced down both services throats and it worked. So we have this war in Viet Nam and who is to support the troops on the ground? The Army due to the Key West agreement, forced upon the Airforce and Army was that the Army couldn't have airplanes to protect their soldiers the Airforce "promised" to do that. They got so territorial that the Army had to get rid of its Caribou aircraft to supply their special forces teams in the bush. Then we got out of Southeast asia, and it was back to Bomber mafia, Fighter Mafia oh and we could be overrun by the Commie hordes and their tanks so lets build something to keep the army from claiming that we weren't supporting them. The bomber boys got the F15 and F16 Both great aircombat planes. In fact you could say the F15 is one of if not the best Fighter to come along since biplanes. Then the spooks come up with "STEALTH" which they neglect to mention IR can pick them up (remember teh F117 that got shot down.) Stealth costs lots of money and they want to have lots of new toys to show off to the world and strike fear into our enemies. So since it's post USSR we don't need to worry about tanks anymore, lets get rid of the A10. But then we have 9-11 and we have the Army wanting support. When the A10 went to the first gulf war the pilots bought garmin GPS's at PX's and used them to help them find their way where there are no discernable landmarks. The airforce tried to say their F16's could do the job, cept they were just like the fast movers in Vietnam all over again. in and out and tank or stop carrying enough ordnance to keep the bad guys at bay or to destroy the bad guys with the gas they carried. The A10 had that loiter time and ordnance to get the job done. When we moved to Afghanistan the F16's can't see the troops on the ground because in order to keep from being shot at and possibly shot down they fly higher and faster than the A10.
So the F35 while it has taken far more years and dollars to get it in service they try to say it can do what the A10 can do. The A 10 can't survive in a "high threat" environment. Those are the arguments against it. No one in the Airforce mentions that it can't or wouldn't fly as slow or low as the A10 to do it's job, doesn't have the same size cannon, and the biggest oops we didn't think of (just how much does an F35 cost vs an A10?) Sure we are going to place a Billion dollar airplane in harms way for a 5 man specials forces team surrounded. Sorry that's war.
You see the A10 pilots don't get to be members of the Joint Chiefs who make the decisions for new toys to purchase. So if you want to really change things, take back the key west agreement, give the Army TAC air and combat support. (F16's A10's C27's,C130's AC130's C17's and come up with actual replacements for them.) The Airforce can keep it's Stealth bombers and fighters and pretend to be important.
 

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You mentioned her- and that got my heart a-thumpin'. The Thud was the backbone of the air war over Southeast Asia, and for many (like me)- there's never been anything more beautiful to grace the skies than the F-105. She truly was a knockout with a punch...

455822


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455827
 

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Rocket with thin wings. 105 tough aircraft that was one long rocket with wings attached. It was very fortunate that the Phantom II The St.Louis Slugger was developed for the Navy, with the Air Force signing up later.

What I am saying is that one airframe can be used for all roles but why? Why compromise all roles that do none really great? There are allot of reason that you do not put all your eggs in one basket.

And it has been very fortunate that the U.S. has always had competition of designs for the "different" services. The U.S. should not begin now after 100 plus years to decide on one design fits all.
 

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Rocket with thin wings. 105 tough aircraft that was one long rocket with wings attached. It was very fortunate that the Phantom II The St.Louis Slugger was developed for the Navy, with the Air Force signing up later.

What I am saying is that one airframe can be used for all roles but why? Why compromise all roles that do none really great? There are allot of reason that you do not put all your eggs in one basket.

And it has been very fortunate that the U.S. has always had competition of designs for the "different" services. The U.S. should not begin now after 100 plus years to decide on one design fits all.
Absodamnlutely! There's nothing I respect more than being able to launch and land an aircraft within 250 feet... but that's only done because there is no other choice. Any pilot will tell you that more is better- runway length, altitude, fuel supply, power, payload, performance, etc. Everything that lands on a carrier is a compromise. And they all kick ass... but they could be better were they not limited by design.

I have lived my entire life in a city that's Navy Blue, but where my heart resides is what the Air Force flies- USAF has better toys. Why? Less compromise. Aim High!
 
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