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John Kettler

Why doesn't the US Air Support roster in CMBS have the A-10 on it?

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Faced with both growing interest in the game and growing temptation to buy it, I headed over to see whether it was playable on my iMac. Answer? Somewhat better than marginally, but not by a great margin. Am running OS X 10.7.5, have twice the minimum RAM and gobs of HD space, but verily sucketh on the VRAM front. After momentarily stunning myself by thinking I couldn't play the game (locked onto Preferred specs initially), I then realized I could. I headed over to look at the weapon lists and found my favorite CAS bird and proven tank eater, the A-10 Warthog, missing and that its much ballyhooed "replacement" the F-35 Lightning II (there, there Kelly Johnson, don't cry) was also absent.

 

Considering there is presently an entire ANG wing of A-10s in Bahrain, I find it both odd and annoying (how's that for restrained language?) that in CMBS we are evidently going to be Warthogless, while the OPFOR (as seen from the US end) has the flying tank Su-25 FROGFOOT aka A-9sky in military aerospace circles. How did we wind up deprived of our premier tank buster and the infantryman's friend--and get no supposed replacement aircraft either?

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

 

P.S.

 

I tried the Search function here under "A-10" and got squat. I think the problem here is the same one that I ran into on another thread trying to find a T-64 post. The problem appears to be that the Search function isn't reading the hyphen/dash as a character, completely torpedoing the search. Would some kind soul on the BFC side of things please give Search a tweak so it does recognize the hyphen/dash? Thanks!

Edited by John Kettler

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The Air Force WANTS to retire A-10, they've tried on several occasions to do so including most recently in the 2015 budget. Congress is being stubborn though and is forcing them (once again) to purchase and maintain equipment the Pentagon neither wants nor needs. I guess CMBS *assumes* the Air Force will get its way on this.

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Compared to other AT air assets, there is a logical reason for the A10 to be shelved.

 

They really are not built for what is needed in a modern conflict. And if used I would say you are basically sending pilots to their death..

 

They are dead slow and must fly though or near the enemy lines to be able to fire. They just would not last long against a well equipped enemy.

 

So maybe they have a place in your Heart, they do in mine. But really they are a weapon from the past, not one for many situations of the present

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We (over a dozen communities of flight sim pilots from all over the world) recently completed a several week long campaign simulating hostilities in Georgia in DCS World. This included SU-25s and -27s on the Russian side, with A-10s, SU-25s, and F-15Cs (plus helos on both sides) opposing them. To the disappointment of most people flying ground attack, 90%+ of fixed wing attacks were turned back or destroyed by interception. This was in a very light SAM and SARH only air to air environment. While the balance of the campaign was built around gameplay rather than realism, the accuracy of mechanics and modeling of the systems is quite high. A modern conflict such as CMBS would be FAR more lethal on A-10s and SU-25s, and I'm presuming Battlefront took this into account. I for one was a big supporter of the A-10 up until the campaign, but after flying the F-15 and shooting down countless attackers while seeing their general ineffectiveness, my resolve was shaken.

The argument is sound that since SU-25 is in, A-10 should be in. But I honestly think neither should be. Both aircraft require very controlled air spaces for the kind of effectiveness seen over Afghanistan. The aircraft should only be included in scenarios with a back story of temporary air control, and if this is the case, then the other side should not get their reciprocal attacker for that scenario.

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Not much in the US inventory to shoot down aircraft besides Stinger in the game. Patriot battalions are outside the game's scope. This reliance on  air superiority is something of an Achilles Heel for US units in this sort of war. You can argue that SU-27s shouldn't make it over the battlefield at all but once they do there's not much players have to counter them. I've seen Beta testers resort to attaching Ukrainian AA units to US forces to get decent coverage. A-10 would be meat on the table for the Russian AA assets in the game. Forget A-10 and purchase Apache longbow.

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Im a bit baffled by the A-10's absence too. I would think it would at least be an option for a scenario designers.

 

 

A-10 is fetishized to such a degree that I suspect there may be an A-10 section in the local XXX shop.

There has been alot of attention given to it, no doubt. But can you blame the pro A-10 crowd? The Air Force wants to replace it with the F-35! You know...because 150 rounds of cannon ammo is plenty! Not to mention the proven reliability of the F-35!  :rolleyes:

The AF has yet to come up with a good argument to retire the A-10. And right now the AF's new tactic is to make defending the A-10 equivalent to Senators and Congressman keeping bases open in their voting districts even though keeping that base open is not necessary or sound. 

 

The only logical argument for the F-35 is to help keep the military industrial complex alive.  And I dont think that is a good argument.

 

The ground pounders love the A-10. They love its long loiter time and its ability to bring lots of ordinance and delivery that ordinance close to the troops without getting them killed. It's relatively cheap and to operate and maintain. It is an established airframe and should stay.

 

Now if we can only allow the Kiowa to stay. Apaches are overated for the CAS roll.

 

Keep calm and brrrrrrt! :)

Edited by gunnersman

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People say that the rule on the modern battlefield is, "If you can be seen, you're dead." I'm sure this applies to the A-10 being seen by the Tunguska as much as it does for the T-90 spotted by the Abrams, and the AAA vehicle is going to be harder for the medium-fast-mover to see than the plane is for the tank. The extent to which it is true kinda determines whether the A-10 (or whatever fixed-wing, direct LOS CAS asset you want to address) is a sensible thing to put in the air in a given place. How commonplace are battlefield AA systems, from Tunguska down to MANPADS on the Russian side? I've always had the impression that the Russians weren't anything like as confident as NATO that they could attain air superiority over a high-intensity battlefield, and so have made significant "other provisions", i.e. SAM and AAA of various sizes. All of which have improved greatly since the days in which the A-10 was designed; have aircraft defenses improved commensurately.

Hopefully those Tunguskas will have a high rarity, cos they look very effective weapons systems both AA and vs ground targets short of MBT, and they can spoil the day, even for those, if they can't end it, and look likely to be very popular choices in QBs.

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Well, Hog or no Hog, I don't mind, especially as CAS is necessarily abstracted in this game but, having done hundreds of hours in the DCS A-10C I have to comment that, if Apaches have effective stand-off capability in the CMBS battlefield (as I have observed in ChrisND's playthroughs, albeit in missions with light Russian AD) then surely the A-10C's Maverick systems and optics will give it as much capability as a CAS platform as the Apache?

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During the 1980s NATO/Airforce-Army doctrine envisioned Apaches and Warthogs cooperating in somewhat this fashion: The Apaches would pop up and take out the WARPAC AA assets at which point the A-10s would roll in to take out the rest of whatever was around. Whether that would have worked out that way in real life practice we never had to find out. Presumably in the 30+ years since then the Russians have made adjustments to their own arsenals and tactics to make that more difficult.

 

Michael

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The GAU-8 was great against tanks when it was designed, and yes it will mess up BMPs and the like, but against modern Russian MBTs against anything less than a rear attack (not as guaranteed as you'd think), penetration is unlikely.  True it will mess up all the "soft" sensors and the like on top, but it probably won't even get a mobility kill with the gun alone.  This post links to a semi tongue-in-cheek coloring book for A-10 pilots on where to engage T-62s.  Another noteworthy quote from this article which cites Combat Aircraft magazine regarding 1980s Germany:

"According to Combat Aircraft magazine, the flying branch predicted that, if the A-10s went into action, seven percent of the jets would be lost per 100 sorties. Since each pilot was expected to fly at most four missions per day, each base would in theory generate more than 250 sorties daily. At this pace, a seven-percent loss rate per 100 flights equaled at least 10 A-10s shot down at each FOL every 24 hours — and that’s being conservative.
 

At that rate, in less than two weeks the entire A-10 force at the time — around 700 jets — would have been destroyed and the pilots killed, injured, captured or, at the least, very shook up."

Also, if it were to go into battle against a modern force, it would not load up every single pylon with every single weapon it could take because that would be suicide.  You'd get maybe 4 Mavericks and a laser guided bomb on a heavy loadout.  Any more and maneuverability is severely compromised, which is a death sentence in this theater.  A loadout like that is much more comparable to faster jets with better defensive measures.  Including, and I hate myself for saying it, the F-35

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The AF has yet to come up with a good argument to retire the A-10. And right now the AF's new tactic is to make defending the A-10 equivalent to Senators and Congressman keeping bases open in their voting districts even though keeping that base open is not necessary or sound. 

 

Actually I'd say the blame for the impending A-10 retirement rests not with the USAF, but with Congress. Or, more specifically, with the Sequester that Congress forced upon the military. Everything I've heard from the USAF on this issue states that they'd love to keep the A-10, but that the only way to do so while their budget is being cut would be to sacrifice other aircraft that they deem are more critical, such as the F-35. And frankly, for our future military, the F-35 is more critical. If we want to stay competitive in the air in the coming decades, we'll eventually need to replace our aging F-16s and F-18s, and the F-35 is now the only realistic option for doing so. The A-10 is great for low intensity COIN, but it's just not built for the realities of modern high intensity conflict.

 

 

“The Air Force was very clear. They said, ‘If we could afford it, we want to keep it, but if they have to keep it because Congress wants them to, what else are they going to have to cut?” said Mark Gunzinger, a former top Air Force official who’s now a senior fellow with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/12/a-10-warthog-iraq-isil-113684.html#ixzz3PDJO8u2S

Edited by slug88

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I'm surprised that the Russians have such an extensive SAM/AA order or battle while the US/NATO just have stingers.  Will there be the M6 Linebacker Bradley or HUMVEE Avenger system?  I know the M6 line was discontinued, but I could see it making a comeback in a pinch.  Plus there has to be other NATO AA systems in development that could see future use.

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Compared to other AT air assets, there is a logical reason for the A10 to be shelved.

 

They really are not built for what is needed in a modern conflict. And if used I would say you are basically sending pilots to their death..

 

They are dead slow and must fly though or near the enemy lines to be able to fire. They just would not last long against a well equipped enemy.

 

So maybe they have a place in your Heart, they do in mine. But really they are a weapon from the past, not one for many situations of the present

 

If this is the case, most of our UAVs and all of our attack helos would be unusable as well.

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I'm surprised that the Russians have such an extensive SAM/AA order or battle while the US/NATO just have stingers.  Will there be the M6 Linebacker Bradley or HUMVEE Avenger system?  I know the M6 line was discontinued, but I could see it making a comeback in a pinch.  Plus there has to be other NATO AA systems in development that could see future use.

Wait till you have the brits with Starstreak and Stormer SAMs.

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If this is the case, most of our UAVs and all of our attack helos would be unusable as well.

To a point, yes, but UAVs are expendable, and well-handled helos can hide behind things while moving laterally in order to pop up briefly in unexpeced locations (plus, of course, the -D models and higher can stay 'turret down' while engaging targets via the rotor mast sight.)

Edited by JonS

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