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Thread: A-10 Warthog - possible victim of the sequestration

  1. #61
    Contributor Battleship IOWA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
    I got to watch a demo of a downed pilot rescue a few years ago. It was part of a larger "airpower demonstration" out in the desert near Nellis AFB, NV. We were probably about 30 yards from the pilot, while a 4-ship of A-10s did an horrifying dance right overhead, just raining absolute hell on their targets a couple miles one after another away as the Blackhawks extracted the pilots and set some desert scrub on fire with flares. It was pretty damn impressive.
    Sure would have enjoyed seeing that. Craig

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
    I got to watch a demo of a downed pilot rescue a few years ago. It was part of a larger "airpower demonstration" out in the desert near Nellis AFB, NV. We were probably about 30 yards from the pilot, while a 4-ship of A-10s did an horrifying dance right overhead, just raining absolute hell on their targets a couple miles one after another away as the Blackhawks extracted the pilots and set some desert scrub on fire with flares. It was pretty damn impressive.
    I would expect nothing else from these bad-boys. They are just iconic and that is why they have such a following by ground troops.

  3. #63
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    Guess the bomber & fast fighter mafia is back. If the USAF is short on money, will not kill off some old F-15s and F-16s? Why kill the A-10, which has no replacement?...

    USAF presses case for A-10 cuts

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlvfr View Post
    Guess the bomber & fast fighter mafia is back. If the USAF is short on money, will not kill off some old F-15s and F-16s? Why kill the A-10, which has no replacement?...

    USAF presses case for A-10 cuts

    As much as I like the A-10, to be fair the USAF has been losing alot of F-15's and F-16's the past few years. Alaska no longer has F-15's. Langley lost their F-15's, Tyndall lost their F-15's. Luke has lost 2 squadrons of F-16's. Cannon lost 3 squadrons of F-16's, Mountain Home lost their F-16's. And a few Guard/Reserve basses have also lost airframes. So cuts are being made all over.

  5. #65
    Senior Contributor DonBelt's Avatar
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    Any possibility it could go to the Marines? They could use the CAS capability it brings and at $17564 per flying hour to operate compared to $35,200 for the F-35, its more affordable. It would be a better choice to escort SAR missions and they've been recently upgraded with Boeing getting a contract to re-wing them. I doubt it could be used from a ship, but maybe once the Marines have established a base with a primitive airstrip it can be brought in? The main argument the AF has against it is that it is a single mission aircraft and they cannot afford to maintain single mission aircraft, but with the Marines, they aren't likely to be doing the air superiority role in a large way and have a need for CAS specific assets. Or maybe the AF doesn't really intend on getting rid of them? They do seem to be pursuing upgrades on this plane while saying they are getting rid of it at the same time. Maybe using it's popularity to leverage against budget cuts?

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Operator View Post
    As much as I like the A-10, to be fair the USAF has been losing alot of F-15's and F-16's the past few years. Alaska no longer has F-15's. Langley lost their F-15's, Tyndall lost their F-15's. Luke has lost 2 squadrons of F-16's. Cannon lost 3 squadrons of F-16's, Mountain Home lost their F-16's. And a few Guard/Reserve basses have also lost airframes. So cuts are being made all over.
    So how many F-15s, C and Es do the USAF have in active current service? F-16s?

  7. #67
    Senior Contributor Stitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonBelt View Post
    Any possibility it could go to the Marines? They could use the CAS capability it brings and at $17564 per flying hour to operate compared to $35,200 for the F-35, its more affordable. It would be a better choice to escort SAR missions and they've been recently upgraded with Boeing getting a contract to re-wing them. I doubt it could be used from a ship, but maybe once the Marines have established a base with a primitive airstrip it can be brought in? The main argument the AF has against it is that it is a single mission aircraft and they cannot afford to maintain single mission aircraft, but with the Marines, they aren't likely to be doing the air superiority role in a large way and have a need for CAS specific assets. Or maybe the AF doesn't really intend on getting rid of them? They do seem to be pursuing upgrades on this plane while saying they are getting rid of it at the same time. Maybe using it's popularity to leverage against budget cuts?
    Slim to none on that; as much as I'm sure the Marines would LOVE to have A-10's supporting their assault packages, and as austere as the A-10 is, it still has a whole lot of infrastructure that needs to go with it. For example, the A-10 uses Syn-Tech's linked tube carrier GFU-8/E 30 mm Ammunition Loading Assembly cart, which is unique to the GAU-8/A (and, by extension, the A-10).

    Plus, as you pointed out, they're probably not CV/CVN capable anyway, even with major modifications, and they certainly couldn't be used off of an LHA/LHD/LPH. I have also heard (and I think some here can affirm this) that the Marines are firmly committed to the F-35 program, and would see any other investment in any other aviation program as a threat to the F-35 program.
    "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blademaster View Post
    So how many F-15s, C and Es do the USAF have in active current service? F-16s?
    As of Sept. 30, 2012

    Fighter/Attack
    A-10C 190 Active 108 ANG 48 AFRC 346 Total
    F-15C 106 Active 108 ANG 214 Total
    F-15D 13 Active 22 ANG 35 Total
    F-15E 219 Active 219 Total
    F-16C 469 Active 334 ANG 49 AFRC 852 Total
    F-16D 112 Active 45 ANG 4 AFRC 161 Total
    F-22A 169 Active ANG 18 187 Total

    Hopefully somebody can improve on those numbers to reflect the last 12+ months. For example the F-22A inventory stands at 182 machines currently.
    Last edited by TopHatter; 13 Dec 13, at 17:14.
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonBelt View Post
    Any possibility it could go to the Marines? They could use the CAS capability it brings and at $17564 per flying hour to operate compared to $35,200 for the F-35, its more affordable. It would be a better choice to escort SAR missions and they've been recently upgraded with Boeing getting a contract to re-wing them. I doubt it could be used from a ship, but maybe once the Marines have established a base with a primitive airstrip it can be brought in? The main argument the AF has against it is that it is a single mission aircraft and they cannot afford to maintain single mission aircraft, but with the Marines, they aren't likely to be doing the air superiority role in a large way and have a need for CAS specific assets. Or maybe the AF doesn't really intend on getting rid of them? They do seem to be pursuing upgrades on this plane while saying they are getting rid of it at the same time. Maybe using it's popularity to leverage against budget cuts?
    The A-10 isn't carrier-capable, and the whole reason the Marines want the F-35B is to be able to have an organic CAS capability off their LHDs for the next time they do a WWII-style amphibious assault with no support from the Air Force or Navy (because this is a likely scenario).

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
    The A-10 isn't carrier-capable, and the whole reason the Marines want the F-35B is to be able to have an organic CAS capability off their LHDs for the next time they do a WWII-style amphibious assault with no support from the Air Force or Navy (because this is a likely scenario).
    Doesn't the Navy still operate the LHD's? & don't they operate in groups like Carriers? Craig Johnson

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battleship IOWA View Post
    Doesn't the Navy still operate the LHD's? & don't they operate in groups like Carriers? Craig Johnson
    Yes, that's why the Marines want the F-35B. It was made specifically for them (and other STOVL operators)
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    As of Sept. 30, 2012

    Fighter/Attack
    A-10C 190 Active 108 ANG 48 AFRC 346 Total
    F-15C 106 Active 108 ANG 214 Total
    F-15D 13 Active 22 ANG 35 Total
    F-15E 219 Active 219 Total
    F-16C 469 Active 334 ANG 49 AFRC 852 Total
    F-16D 112 Active 45 ANG 4 AFRC 161 Total
    F-22A 169 Active ANG 18 187 Total

    Hopefully somebody can improve on those numbers to reflect the last 12+ months. For example the F-22A inventory stands at 182 machines currently.
    A lot can change in one year and given the defense cuts and sequestration, I think the numbers have gone down more.

    I think USAF has less than 2000 combat planes in fighter/attack excluding the bombers and recon planes and drones. Wow. I remember at the end of Cold War, USAF had over 4000 combat fighters.

    Even with the F-35 planes coming along, I would think that in ten years, the F-15Cs & Ds would be completely phased out in favor of F-35As and there would be only 400 F-16s left. But there would only be 400 F-35s in 2024. That represents a further loss of 400 fighter planes, reducing the inventory to 1600. Unless somebody cares to correct me.

  13. #73
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    If I recall correctly, 187 was the total number of F-22s ordered...there have been losses, so yeah the current numbers are definitely lower.

    The Air Force is planning to maintain a smaller force of F-15C/D, with upgraded radars and other systems. The 130-or so combat-coded F-22s are physically not enough to meet the requirements of any major conflict. Hell, even with the full F-15 fleet, we use F-16s for air-to-air missions all the time. In a defensive scenario, I'd expect F-22s to be the lead, backed up by F-15s then F-35s.
    Last edited by Jimmy; 13 Dec 13, at 21:47.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
    If I recall correctly, 187 was the total number of F-22s ordered...there have been losses, so yeah the current numbers are definitely lower.

    The Air Force is planning to maintain a smaller force of F-15C/D, with upgraded radars and other systems. The 130-or so combat-coded F-22s are physically not enough to meet the requirements of any major conflict. Hell, even with the full F-15 fleet, we use F-16s for air-to-air missions all the time. In a defensive scenario, I'd expect F-22s to be the lead, backed up by F-15s then F-35s.
    Then I expect that USAF will use F-22s to exploit stealth to their greatest extent. I am imagining one large force of F-15s armed with Sidewinders and a smaller force of F-22s waiting in the wings as an enemy air force have no choice but to send a large force to meet the threat of F-15s, Viola! Comes out the F-22s and BAM! comes the AMRAAMs from F-22s. Anything left over will be left to the F-15s to mop up.

    Once enemy radars are down, the F-22s won't be needed anymore and regular fighter planes can do the rest of the job. Hey Gulf War I and I showed that stealth was only useful for the first couple days and after that, it just becomes another expensive deadweight we do not need to wage the rest of the war. I think that is why the numbers of Raptors were so low. We just need to take out the AEWs and radars and dominate the skies so that regular planes can do their jobs without worrying about any external air threat.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
    Hell, even with the full F-15 fleet, we use F-16s for air-to-air missions all the time.
    How long before they start refitting and training the Mud Hens for primarily air-to-air combat to make up the shortfall.

    The hilarious part is that the F-15SE could easily fill the gap. Sure it's no F-22A but it's a damn sight better than coming short in overall numbers.
    And it looks to be ready right now.
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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