Jump to content
John Kettler

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

Recommended Posts

Historically relatively low tech forces along those lines have been very successful, like the French (with secondhand prop aircraft) in Indochina and Africa and the US Skyraiders (and assorted other props) in SE Asia.

lolwut?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly the presence of the Su-25 does seem incongruous to me. We have seen in both Syria and the real-life Ukraine how those fleets were rapidly depleted against even a third-rate air-defence environment. Some might attribute it to low to mediocre training standards of the pilots (that said, I cannot claim to know for certain just how affected the Ukrainian Air Force was by their country's "Peace Dividend"), but that doesn't change the fact that there is a technical limit to what you can do with these aircraft when it comes to survivability. After all, in the times seasoned vets in Zeroes went up against newbies in F6F Hellcats, they got worked all the same.

Edited by Agiel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly the presence of the Su-25 does seem incongruous to me. We have seen in both Syria and the real-life Ukraine how those fleets were rapidly depleted against even a third-rate air-defence environment. Some might attribute it to low to mediocre training standards of the pilots (that said, I cannot claim to know for certain just how affected the Ukrainian Air Force was by their country's "Peace Dividend"), but that doesn't change the fact that there is a technical limit to what you can do with these aircraft when it comes to survivability.

 

Well, maintenance attrition is still attrition, but a lot of those losses came at the hands of MANPADS, since the Syrian AF wasn't exactly flush with PGMs and a seriousface targeting complex.

 

After all, in the times seasoned vets in Zeroes went up against newbies in F6F Hellcats, they got worked all the same.

 

By time Hellcats were seeing Zeroes in serious numbers, there weren't any newbies in Hellcats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nsKb,

 

That was a very good question you asked about Doppler radar. My preliminary research was not helpful, but fortunately, I know a retired Navy fighter pilot who flew the F-14 Tomcat and the even more formidable F-14D Super Tomcat. According to him, finding an A-10 sized target in the weeds is a function of altitude and ground configuration. If the background is flat treeless desert, then target altitude doesn't matter, but if it's over trees and below 200 feet, it's not really findable, because ground clutter overrides even sophisticated signal processing. Also, he said finding helicopters in the weeds is practically impossible with fighter radar. The F-14D radar is, per him, on par with what the F/A-18E Super Hornet carries, so ought to be in the ballpark of the Russian types. If you're talking MiG-23/FLOGGER B type planes, rather than MiG-29/FULCRUM or Su-27/FLANKER and beyond, there is no capability at all to radar locate an A-10 in the weeds, even if over the desert, because the ground clutter of even that environment  simply overwhelms the radar's much cruder signal processor.  

 

Digressing for a moment to WVR engagement of the A-10, the A-10 routinely operates at altitudes where fast movers are in real jeopardy of ground clobber. When I was a defense analyst, the breakpoint between being eaten alive by SAMs and gobbled by clobber was 200 feet AGL. Further, the A-10 routinely operates under cloud ceilings which would ground the fast movers outright.  

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Think he just meant in the sense of the platform, not the overall mission. The A-1, and the various World War Two bombers did really well against the sorts of targets that were presented in the COIN environment.

Exactly. The modern day equivalent of those forces would be slow jets and turboprops. Those kinds of aircraft are also much cheaper to operate than fast jets, and they need less basing infrastructure.

Anyway, with American made Super Tucanos soon entering combat in Afghanistan (where they will probably be flown by US "instructors" on occasion) there will be a full scale experiment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the subject of COIN/CAS, the UAE is donating six Super Tucanos to Iraq:

http://www.janes.com/article/48114/uae-to-donate-super-tucanos-to-iraq

However since neither country has any trained pilots on the type, it begs the question who will fly them? Contractors? USAF pilots from the Afghan training program?

There is of course a history of weird equipment decisions in the region, so the answer might be "no one" or "no one qualified". But the possible connection to the A-29 is kind of intriguing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found it interesting that in the spirit of green environmentially conscious policies, no depleted uranium rounds will be loaded or used.

 

It may be partly that and partly PR, but mainly it is because they expect that there will be no targets requiring DU, so they will go to the cheaper stuff.

 

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there's been cases of A-10s in Afghanistan being loaded with inert training rounds since there was barely anything worth using even HE-I anti-personnel rounds over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there's been cases of A-10s in Afghanistan being loaded with inert training rounds since there was barely anything worth using even HE-I anti-personnel rounds over.

 

Its to limit collateral damage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reminiscent of the Clinton administration ordering the use of inert ordnance by the USAF during strikes against Hussein's (Saddam, that is), AAA sites during Op Deny Flight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Senator McCain is on the warpath over Air Force efforts to rid itself of the A-10 and has vowed to reverse the situation. This article went up one day ago. Also, for game purposes I think it would be interesting to watch the A-10 do CAS, since it has over 4 x the ammo load of its Russian Su-25 FROGFOOT counterpart. Typical load of 1150 (max 1350) vs 250. 

 

GAU-8 Goodness in IMAX clarity OR How I wish the camera had been set up so we could see the impacts on the engaged side! And the aftermath.

 

 

Find! Some of you may recall my making reference to reading live fire test results for the A-10 firing on a simulated Russian tank company (M47 stored for war (full fuel, oil,ammo) and with crew mannikins. This is one of the those grog's delight ammo lot live fire acceptance studies I read. Earlier ones were UNCLASSIFIED, which I thought was dumb. Down the road, they were upgraded to CONFIDENTIAL. The title says it all.

 

COMBAT DAMAGE ASSESSMENT TEAM

A-10/GAU-8 LOW ANGLE FIRINGS VERSUS

SIMULATED SOVIET TANK COMPANY (ARRAY 22) CLAVP Lot Number AJD 79A181-001, AEROJET)

(7 NOVEMBER 1979)

Ff.H/S. STOLFI fl.R. MetACHIN

JUNE 1980 

 

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTR,

 

I would've thought "ammo load" indicated what I was talking about, but I'm hardly in a position to point fingers, given some of the remarkable conclusions I've come to after thoroughly misunderstanding what someone else said. Or realizing with horror what I thought I said wasn't what I actually said in a post I now couldn't correct. But let's talk payload comparison.

 

Su-25/FROGFOOT max battle load 4340 kg

 

A-10 max battle load 7260 kg  WW II icon heavy bomber B-17 max battle load (Channel hop type run) 3600 kg. Tactical aircraft A-10 is two B-17 equivalents in terms of bomb load under same criteria. 

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An A-10 could kill a fastmover in only the most optimum of conditions like you stated. Modern AESA radar and IRST sensors have no problems picking out jets in the mud. The big issue is terrain masking, you still simply can't see through a mountain. Helicopters tend to do better at hiding from fighters than low jets, but both die when they're detected. And there are enough BVR missiles that a flight wouldn't even need to descend to engage said bandit.

And if a war ever reaches a point where A-10s are carrying AMRAAMs (and pilots totally unsure on how to use them), we'd have already run out of A-10s. The "Mad Dog" mode you talk about is appropriately named, because once that missile is off the rail it will find and kill the first thing it sees friend or foe. Dedicated air to air platforms are hesitant to use that mode, I would hate to have something not designed for the kind of target classification pulling the trigger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The A-10 would not survive in a war against Russia - it's made obsolete against Russian tactical and operational air defenses (MANPADS, SA-8s, SA-11s, SA-17s, SA-15 etc), to say nothing of the strategic level air defenses (S-300 etc). The A-10 only survives today in a war against foot mobile forces who are using strelas, the occasional Igla and heavy machine guns and with complete air supremacy on the NATO side. In a war against russia air supremacy is impossible, air superiority is difficult to achieve and every motor rifle company's MANPADS poses a significant threat of shoot down to an A-10. The f-16 and F-15Es in CMBS can defend against SAMs and fighters, and also perform high speed pop-up attacks.

 

The a-10 is on the chopping block and every year there is something on the news about them being potentially retired.

 

The biggest assets of the A-10 are the cannon and it's armor - both of which are useless in modern combat. In order to use the cannon, a slant range of less than 3 miles is required for light targets and less than 1 mile for tanks, putting it well within range of modern russian MANPADS and SHORADS. The A-10 cannot defend a system like the SA-15 or even SA-19.

 

The armor is from an age in which the most sophisticated Russian SHORAD was the ZSU-23/24 Shilka. It's questionable whether or not this armor would have been effective against the Shilka, but it's surely out classed by the SA-19 and SA-15, which are common features of Russian regiments. The outcome of being so heavily armored is that the A-10 is prone to flat spins and departures when pulling more than 4 G in a sustained turn and rapid loss of air speed, both of which are deadly in a defensive environment.

Edited by tyrspawn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Then neither would an SU-25 survive in a war against NATO, and yet, there it is in the game.

 

Actually - the SU-25 is more maneuverable and faster than the A-10. The US air defense scheme is based upon establishing AIR SUPREMACY (claiming the air space with fighters) - the organic air defense support within US maneuver forces is laughable in comparison to the Russians. There are less threats to endanger the SU-25, and when they do, more opportunities to defend against them.

 

 

Ultimately it boils down to PLAUSIBLE DOCTRINAL DECISIONS. It's not plausible for US commanders to deploy A-10s against modern Russian forces. It is plausible for SU-25s to be deployed.

Edited by tyrspawn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Actually - the SU-25 is more maneuverable and faster than the A-10. The US air defense scheme is based upon establishing AIR SUPREMACY (claiming the air space with fighters) - the organic air defense support within US maneuver forces is laughable in comparison to the Russians. There are less threats to endanger the SU-25, and when they do, more opportunities to defend against them.

 

 

Ultimately it boils down to PLAUSIBLE DOCTRINAL DECISIONS. It's not plausible for US commanders to deploy A-10s against modern Russian forces. It is plausible for SU-25s to be deployed.

 

WHY ARE WE USING ALL CAPS?

 

This actually came up in a very lengthy discussion in a different thread, but the short of it is the SU-25 in all practical sense is just as vulnerable as the A-10 (it's not super-sonic, and the agility of a fully loaded strike platform is marginal), and whatever Russian ability to prevent NATO penetration of Russian air space exists, they're still vastly outnumbered by the NATO fighterswarm as it is.  The question asked by serious observers has been "how long will it take NATO to achieve air superiority over Russian forces?"  never "can the Russians achieve effective CAS?"

 

And to that end, to argue the very modest difference in capabilities of the SU-25 somehow makes it immune to quite possibly the most lethal air force ever assembled, and still very robust larger SAM systems (not to mention it's not like the various Ukrainian ADA platforms simply vanished) is just stupid.  The A-10 and SU-25 operate more or less in the same threat window, with the same level of vulnerability, and neither would be committed in contested airspace outside of as part of a massive strike package for a short window (Codename Duchess gave a great breakdown on what this looks like in reality).  

 

Also what sort of uberdouche give themselves reputation votes?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Also what sort of uberdouche give themselves reputation votes?

I did . . . . . once . . . . . . by accident. :P

Can we just call me a junior uberdouche and leave it at that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Codename Duchess,

 

You may be right about the AESA and IRST. I have no experience with the first and had little to do with the second. I know USAF F-101 Voodoos had IRSTs, at least for a time, as did the F-14 Tomcat, though I believe the chin installation was later replaced with a powerful TV camera. The IRSTs on both the MiG-29/FULCRUM and the Su-27/FLANKER were considered to be good things, in terms of capability, but the intel I saw was purely air-to-air combat, as opposed to air to weeds, as you propose. I never called that AMRAAM mode "Mad Dog," and I have no idea where you got the notion, never mind the term. The correct term, I believe, is Active Launch, which means, rather than flying out under command inertial mode, then transitioning to active radar mode when close enough and in the seeker acquisition limits, the pilot finds the target, activates the seeker, points the plane and attached missile toward the target, gets a launch tone when the seeker gets target lock, then fires. There's no pattern running aerial torpedo whipping back and forth across the sky. Rather, the process is very similar to a AIM-9X Sidewinder launch, except that instead of a passive IR seeker, it's an active radar one. Fire and forget.

 

tyrspawn,

 

I see lots of assertions here, but very few facts.  I hope we don't have to find out in NATO vs Russia combat, but I'd remind you the A-10 has a lot more than a gun at its disposal, starting with the exceedingly accurate and lethal Maverick, which has a demonstrated 93% combat success rate. Maverick can be launched from practically treetop height and outranges the Tunguska. A-10s carry rockets, LGBs and JDAM, too. Enormous ordnance loads. Here's a picture of an A-10 flying an anti ISIS mission in which the plane may have to deal with anything from troops to buildings, softskins and tanks. If an A-10 can survive an SA-6 hit (demonstrated in combat), then it ought to be able to survive the much smaller SA-19, let alone MANPADS. I don't know enough about the SA-15 (divisional asset, not regimental; replaces SA-8) to be able to say there, though the first time I saw the thing thrust vector right after launch it scared me. I think your S-300s and such are going to be too busy dealing with other higher priority air threats and threats to themselves to themselves to bother with an A-10 whistling through the trees way way off in the distance. The US and NATO will have a very active SEAD/DEAD campaign going specifically to deal with S-300 and friends. Decoys, cruise missiles, JSOW, UCAV, jamming and who knows what toys not yet in the window. You seem to think it's going to be an A-10 shooting gallery. I emphatically disagree. Show me the evidence on A-10 G limit issues, please. While you assert lack of maneuverability, I respond with

 

A-10s are currently flying combat ops against opponents who have 12.7 mm, 14.5, 23 mm AAMG and AAG and SA-7, SA-14, SA-16, SA-24 and Stinger. Am aware of no reports of A-10s being downed by anything. You have claims; I have demonstrated combat survivability. Note the airplane is badly shot up, yet still flew back and landed. A tire blew, which is why the A-10 wound up off the runway.

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...