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A-10 Warthog

Kirkhill

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The A-10 - Not Dead Yet?


“The big effort we are pushing for in the A-10 today is quick and simple modernization efforts to help the Air Force better posture to fight tomorrow,” says Maj. Kyle “Metric” Adkison, A-10 Division Commander at the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. “As long as the A-10 is in service, we want to develop it to help the Air Force successfully fight however we can. Today that means supporting fifth-gen fighters.” Proponents such as Adkison are keen to emphasize that the A-10 is much more than just an airframe and a 30mm gun. “It has 10 weapons stations, a very long loiter time, and a significant and robust austere capability to operate from highways and dirt strips, plus it doesn’t need lots of support infrastructure — so the overhead for us to affect the battlespace is low. Essentially, we can carry a lot of things that will help others achieve their desired effects.”

One of the things that we found that you're always going to need more of is standoff weapons, and the A-10 it turns out is a pretty good candidate to provide these because we have a lot of weapons stations and if you combine that with the agile combat operations we’ve been training to [...] it made a lot of sense.”

ACE defined


At least four F-35As assigned to Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, landed at Guam’s Northwest Field on February 16 as part of an Agile Combat Employment (ACE) exercise.
After touching down at Northwest Field, the Lightning IIs participated in “hot pit” refueling, in which the jets were topped up at the austere base with their engines still running. As well as using R-11 fuel trucks, the F-35s were refueled by a C-130J transport aircraft assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron at Yokota Air Base, Japan.

Weaponry options

Central to this A-10 enhancement effort is a plan for the integration of the ADM-160 Miniature Air-Launched Decoy (MALD), and the GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bomb (SDB), a 250-pound-class precision-guided bomb that can glide dozens of miles to strike its target. Testers are also looking at adding the AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) further down the road. “No one wants to spend billions of dollars on the A-10,” Vincent explains, “but if we can find ways to add capability and make platforms more survivable and more effective, then we are going to do this the best we can.”
 

Kirkhill

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Interesting prospect

Forward Basing of:

4x F35
12x A10
1x HIMARS Battery flown in by C130.

This is against a backdrop of the USMC Island Campaign, the USAF purchase of the SOF Crop Duster, the continued interest in UAS systems, in particular STOL Predator types....

Manoeuvering under fire?
 

Kirkhill

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Fun fact: the newest A10s were built in 1984. They're older than the CF18s.

Funner fact: The B52s first flew in 1952. They are 32 years older. And yet they still fly.

The Yanks are investing in new technologies. Yes. That includes super-neat stuff like UCAVs and stuff.

But - they are facing a war in real time - so what can they squeeze out of what they have on hand.

And if they can get a few more bomb runs out of their existing fleets - flying from as far forward as they can and launching from as far off as they can - then they will likely be doing that.

Before they start opening up new production lines for bomb carriers they need to focus on building more "bombs".

The Ukrainians are demonstrating the truth of the Arty shibboleth that the gun (aircraft) isn't the weapon. The missile (in the Roman sense) is the weapon. The launcher is just the last step in the logistics chain - the distributor.

WRT the CF-18s - even they could serve in the role the A-10 is being discussed here.

We need the F-35s.

We need weapons for both the F-35s and CF-18s more. Preferably weapons compatible with the CSC, GBAD and LRPF projects.

Edit - I keep forgetting the CP-140s/P8s.
 
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