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The A-10 Is at War on Its 40th Anniversary

May 31 2012 at 10:23 PM
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Provost  (Login MPOne)
WAFFer.

The A-10 Is at War on Its 40th Anniversary
Once the ugly duckling, there is no more beautiful sight for troops in contact on the ground today than a 'warthog' overhead


Written by: Robert F. Dorr on May 30, 2012



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A thing of beauty. Capt. Jason Cobb fires a volley of 30 millimeter rounds Oct. 14, 2010, at a target on the Saylor Creek Range in Idaho during Hawgsmoke 2010. Cobb was an A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot assigned to the Air Force Reserve Commands 47th Fighter Squadron at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. He earned two personal awards during the competition. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jeff Walston

This summer, Lt. Col. Brian B. T. Burger will take command of the 184th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron in Afghanistan and will lead 350 airmen in carrying out A-10 Thunderbolt II operations in the war zone.

The A-10 is a great aircraft, says Burger, whose usual assignment is with the Arkansas Air National Guard at Fort Smith. When we upgraded the A-10 to bring it to the current A-10C configuration, we made a good decision.

Once derisively called the ugly duckling of Air Force inventory and more recently dubbed the Warthog with newly found affection, the A-10 began as a rebellion within the Pentagon by a small group of key advisers calling themselves the fighter mafia, including Pierre Sprey and Col. Everest Riccioni. Concerned about the increasing cost and complexity of warplanes, they wanted a single-mission, air-to-ground attack aircraft that could be manufactured at reasonable cost. Sprey is considered the principal mover behind the A-10, a simple airframe built around a heavy gun and intended to halt Soviet main battle tanks pouring through the Fulda Gap and onto the plains of Western Europe.

As we mark the 40th anniversary of the A-10 in 2012, its Cold War anti-tank mission has been replaced by precision close air support. Never fully appreciated early in its career, the A-10 has proven invaluable in the wars of the past decade. Still, the administrations fiscal year 2013 budget request would retire 102 A-10 airframes of the 356 now on duty (and of 715 built altogether). The budget request would wipe away five squadrons, including the one Burger will return to in Fort Smith.
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An A-10 Thunderbolt II flies a close-air-support mission over Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2008. The A-10 has excellent maneuverability at low air speeds and altitude, and and the big straight wing is able to carry a lot of ordnance to support troops on the ground. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon

The first service-test YA-10A (serial no. 71-1369) made its initial flight at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on May 10, 1972. Before any A-10 reached a squadron, a very public tragedy struck: On June 3, 1977, an A-10 crashed at Le Bourget Field, France in the middle of the Paris Air Show, mortally injuring Fairchild chief test pilot Howard Sam Nelson.

A contemporary of the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon, the A-10A did not initially find much love. At one point, Congress wanted all A-10As transferred from the Air Force to the Army. The Army said it didnt want them. The Warthog had a turnaround in its reputation during Operation Desert Storm in 1991 when it killed tanks as planned, and used its gun and bombs on a variety of other targets.

By the 1990s, the stage was set for the precision strike upgrade that produced the A-10C. The changes are extraordinary, said A-10C pilot Maj. Paul Harb Brown, also of the Fort Smith Guard unit. Brown has flown in combat in the A-10A and the A-10C. Theres no comparison, he said. From a clear-weather, visual-only, mostly-daytime attack aircraft, the Warthog has been transformed into an all-weather, multi-mission precision weapons delivery platform. It now routinely uses Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) and the Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser. The modifications include advanced sensors, a data-link and the Litening and Sniper XR advanced targeting pods, which boost pilot situational awareness, targeting capabilities, survivability and communication. Typically, the A-10C carries the AN/AAQ-28 Litening II Gen-4 advanced targeting pod when on home station.
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Two U.S. Air Force A-10A Warthogs, from the 52nd Fighter Wing, 81st Fighter Squadron, Spangdhalem Air Base, Germany, drop away from a refueling tanker during a NATO Operation Allied Force combat mission, Apr. 22, 1999. The A-10 "Tank Killer" munitions include 250 pound iron bombs, ALQ-131 electronic jamming pod, 2.75 inch Zuni rockets, AGM-65D Maverick missiles, and a 30 mm cannon mounted in the nose. As formidable as the A-10A was, the present-day A-10C is much more lethal. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Greg L. Davis

To the pilot, the only thing thats similar is the exterior of the airplane and how it flies, said Brown. The cockpit isnt 100 percent glass, but the targeting portion of the cockpit is a glass cockpit with two 5×5 color multi-function displays. The FLIR [forward-looking infrared] is strikingly clear and very clear and very sharp.

Unchanged is the slightly off-center GAU-8/A Avenger, or Gatling, 30 mm cannon with 1,196 rounds that is among the largest, heaviest and most powerful aircraft cannons in the U.S. military. In Afghanistan, the cannon has proven extremely accurate during close support strikes within 200 yards of friendly troops.

The precision strike A-10C upgrade did not include re-engining. The Warthogs 9,065-pound thrust General Electric TF34-GE-100 engines are becoming difficult to support with parts, although maintainers say they have a good record of reliability. Grafting new engines to existing A-10s would have been costlier than the other improvements in the A-10C upgrade effort. Funding was never available for this, so it has never happened.

Maj. Trey Rawls made the first flight of an A-10C (serial no. 81-0989) at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., on Jan. 20, 2006. The first operational A-10C was delivered to the 355th Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., on Nov. 29 of that year. Over the past half-dozen years, the entire Warthog fleet has been brought up to C-model standard.

Once tasked to prove itself, the A-10 doesnt need to prove anything any longer. As budget battles heat up this summer, the administrations plan to retire 102 A-10Cs will be a focal point of debate. Not everyone believes that the venerable A-10C Thunderbolt II is quite ready to be put to pasture just yet.

http://www.defensemedianetwork.com/stories/the-a-10-is-at-war-on-its-40th-anniversary/


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It is the teaching of all history that liberty can only be preserved in small areas. Local self-government is, therefore, indispensable to liberty. A centralized and distant bureaucracy is the worst of all tyranny.

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ruuuumler
(Login ruuuumler)
WAFFer

Re: The A-10 Is at War on Its 40th Anniversary

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May 31 2012, 10:55 PM 

The A-10 is a kick a$$ plane and IMO one of the most successfull in it's cost/mission performance.

For the US armed forces it is only good that they will have it still flying arround for some more time and who knows, it's retirement might be deleted again in the future (just like the B-52's one has been thanks to new tecnologys)

The most important part about the A-10 is that it is just simple and not filled up with electronics and stuff that can catch fire or fail.

Besides ... who wouldn't $hit him self if he heared that gun go down on you








 
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WAFFer
(Login T1tan)
The Conquerors (Turkey)

Re: The A-10 Is at War on Its 40th Anniversary

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June 1 2012, 12:32 AM 

A-10 baby! fkin love that plane! i'm not even pissed my ex gf is dating an a-10 pilot (he is pretty badazz lol) fokin amazing bird!!

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WAFFer
(Login T1tan)
The Conquerors (Turkey)

Re: The A-10 Is at War on Its 40th Anniversary

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June 1 2012, 12:47 AM 

Primary Function: close air support (A-10), airborne forward air control (OA-10)
Contractor: Fairchild Republic Co.
Crew: One
Unit Cost: $9.8 million (fiscal 98 constant dollars)
Powerplant: Two General Electric TF34-GE-100 turbofans (9,065 pounds each)

Dimensions
Length: 53 feet, 4 inches (16.16 meters)
Wingspan: 57 feet, 6 inches (17.42 meters)
Height: 14 feet, 8 inches (4.42 meters)

Weights
Empty: 25,600 lb
Maximum Takeoff: 51,000 lb (22950 kg)

Performance
Speed: 420 mph (Mach 0.56)
Ceiling: 45,000 feet (13636 meters)
Range: 800 miles (695 nm)

Service Life
First Flight: May 10, 1972 (prototype)
April 5, 1972 (A-10)
End of Service: (STILL GOIN BABY)
Number Built: A-10A (721) + A-10B (30) [~751 total]

Armament: One 30 mm GAU-8/A seven-barrel Gatling gun; up to 16,000 pounds (7,200 kilograms) of mixed ordnance on eight under-wing and three under-fuselage pylon stations, including 500 pounds (225 kilograms) of Mk-82 and 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms) of Mk-84 series low/high drag bombs, incendiary cluster bombs, combined effects munitions, mine dispensing munitions, AGM-65 Maverick missiles and laser-guided/electro-optically guided bombs; infrared countermeasure flares; electronic countermeasure chaff; jammer pods; 2.75-inch (6.99 centimeters) rockets; illumination flares and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles.


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WAFFer
(Login Aietuss)
Elite WAFF Vet Club

Re: The A-10 Is at War on Its 40th Anniversary

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June 1 2012, 2:09 AM 

was a bad mistake imo for greece to have turned down the 50 free surplus A 10's offered to them.
the A 10 is a great cas aircraft and even better when operating with AH 64's.
would have done wonders in adressing the numerical advantage of turkey.

 
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WAFFer
(Login DirtyDirtyDirtyBird)
The Conquerors (Turkey)

Re: The A-10 Is at War on Its 40th Anniversary

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June 1 2012, 2:20 AM 

I didnt know they were offered to Greece! Don't feel bad, they were also offered to Turkey and regretfully we turned them down too!!!

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WAFFer
(Login Aietuss)
Elite WAFF Vet Club

Re: The A-10 Is at War on Its 40th Anniversary

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June 1 2012, 2:36 AM 

yeah they were offered at the same time to both at 50 planes to each.greece turned them down first at the benign excuse that they were in capable of surviving on a modern battlefield against enemy fighters unescorted.About a week later turkey also turned down the offer with the same excuse but always thought turkey turned them down as greece didnt accept them also but in turkeys case would have helped against the insurgence.
a genuinely bad choice by both

 
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Kris
(Login ELWAPO)
Eagle Squadron (US)

Re: The A-10 Is at War on Its 40th Anniversary

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June 1 2012, 2:38 AM 

I'm surprised this plane was never exported.... South Korea, Israel, Germany would have been perfect for this plane.

Germany for during the cold war and Israel would have gone mid-evil on jihadis during its conflicts, from 82-06.

-----------------



 
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WAFFer
(Login Aietuss)
Elite WAFF Vet Club

Re: The A-10 Is at War on Its 40th Anniversary

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June 1 2012, 2:47 AM 

i'd read somewhere that the main reason for its export failure was the perception by many air arms that the A 10 was too specialised in the A2G role with no A2A capability and that it was unaffordable by many to operate a specialist aircraft alongside a prefered multi role platform.
the facts though were different.its flyaway price was cheap and its fuel consumption operating costs lower still.
replacement parts were also low as key components like the engines were a commercial asset.
at some stage interest was shown by thailand and the phillipines but nothing ever came of it.

 
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WAFFer
(Login hmmwvj)
Panzer Brigade (Germany)

Re: The A-10 Is at War on Its 40th Anniversary

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June 1 2012, 6:11 AM 

Funny how the Frogfoot has so many export customers.

 
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WAFFer
(Login PradoTLC)
Shaheens (Pakistan)

Re: The A-10 Is at War on Its 40th Anniversary

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June 1 2012, 7:07 AM 

why no one has bought it?

a) expensive
b) no airforce can guarantee total airsupermancy over the battle except USAF, his plane had the same problem as the JU -87 stuka... even an averagely trained piloted in a mig-21 can bring this down..

frankly bang for bucks f-16 are better



Pakistan Airforce: The largest distributor of Indian airforce parts in Asia happy.gif

[linked image]

Pathankot Strike
8 F-86Fs of No 19 Squadron led by Squadron Leader Sajjad Haider struck Pathankot airfield. With carefully positioned dives and selecting each individual aircraft in their protected pens for their strafing attacks, the strike elements completed a textbook operation against Pathankot. Wing Commander M G Tawab, flying one of the two Sabres as tied escorts overhead, counted 14 wrecks burning on the airfield. Among the aircraft destroyed on the ground were nearly all of the IAFs Soviet-supplied Mig-21s till then received, none of which were seen again during the War.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFHlzP69n9c


 
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WAFFer
(Login Azeri440)

Re: The A-10 Is at War on Its 40th Anniversary

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June 1 2012, 7:55 AM 

^^^^
its not expensive

F-16 is a jet fighter
A-10 was made for close air support

******* retard [linked image]

________________________________________




 
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orao from serbia
(Login orao)
Hellenic Hoplites (Greece)

Re: The A-10 Is at War on Its 40th Anniversary

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June 1 2012, 8:04 AM 

Never seen A-10 with large bombs in operational conditions, it always had Mavericks, Mk-82, Rockeye or GBU-12. Since it is a large COIN aircraft nothing else needed.
Any way not sexy, but very useful.

 
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WAFFer
(Login Aietuss)
Elite WAFF Vet Club

Re: The A-10 Is at War on Its 40th Anniversary

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June 1 2012, 8:40 AM 

why no one has bought it?

a) expensive

///Not so. it was deseigned to be aff ordable hence why it has wherever possible civilian components


b) no airforce can guarantee total airsupermancy over the battle except USAF, his plane had the same problem as the JU -87 stuka... even an averagely trained piloted in a mig-21 can bring this down..

///so how is the su25 more survivable?,,besides the myth that that they will operate in a 100% air supremecy environment it was desiegned for central european operations against the A league steamroller.as more a mig 21 bagging a hog?,a hog can quite easily turn the tables.


frankly bang for bucks f-16 are better

///how so?,A10 is cheaper to acquire,operate and maintain and can survive multiple hits that would make the sleeker rides less likely to survive.now i only commented as regards the "bang for bucks",role capability is something else alll together.


 
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WAFFer
(Login PradoTLC)
Shaheens (Pakistan)

Re: The A-10 Is at War on Its 40th Anniversary

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June 1 2012, 12:01 PM 

by cheaper not just a cost price, but the performance parameters.. an F-16 Block 60 cost 60m +, now even though the a-10 is cheaper it never do the things the f-16s can do... ie recon, aircombat, radar supression, anti shipping roles and so on... besides you need to remember countries on budget unlike the US that prints money like a lunatic,hence a combo of f-16s and attack helos are better choice . E.g. Pakistan and Israel face enemies with massive armour resourses yet they bought f-16s and Ah-1 cobras... not A-10s..



Pakistan Airforce: The largest distributor of Indian airforce parts in Asia happy.gif

[linked image]

Pathankot Strike
8 F-86Fs of No 19 Squadron led by Squadron Leader Sajjad Haider struck Pathankot airfield. With carefully positioned dives and selecting each individual aircraft in their protected pens for their strafing attacks, the strike elements completed a textbook operation against Pathankot. Wing Commander M G Tawab, flying one of the two Sabres as tied escorts overhead, counted 14 wrecks burning on the airfield. Among the aircraft destroyed on the ground were nearly all of the IAFs Soviet-supplied Mig-21s till then received, none of which were seen again during the War.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFHlzP69n9c


 
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Talatpasha
(Login TheKhun)
The Conquerors (Turkey)

Re: The A-10 Is at War on Its 40th Anniversary

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June 1 2012, 7:44 PM 

A few airforces can afford such dedicated aircrafts, the rest uses multirole aircrafts, also only americans can afford to fire mavericks or hellfires per guerilla . it is a dedicated tank/armored vehicle hunter.
A-10 is not efficient against insurgency as much as attack helos with hovering capability. Also with some sacrifice on capability, propelled aircrafts which are cheaper to acquire and operate do the job when its needed.




 
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WAFFer
(Login T1tan)
The Conquerors (Turkey)

Re: The A-10 Is at War on Its 40th Anniversary

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June 1 2012, 8:26 PM 

You can't compare a friggin f16 to an a-10... The main purpose if its not obvious enough is to take out ground targets and weapons. They are nicknamed tank busters and have even been known to take out enemy choppers as well. Obviously this is a short range support aircraft and nothing more. This is the plane you call in to support troops on the ground after the bombers and f15s have done their jobs. You do not fok with this plane, it foks you.

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WAFFer
(Login colky7)

Re: The A-10 Is at War on Its 40th Anniversary

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June 1 2012, 8:26 PM 

I'm surprised this plane was never exported....
----

I've always wondered about this, yeah the cold war ended and with it the A-10's primary mission became less likely but it would have been ideal for the UK for instance in Afghanistan and Iraq and quite a few potential conflicts to come. I've said this before but if the US do retire them i think we'd be crazy not to try and buy them off you. They could be canabilised to get a decent number in the air and would be perfect to do all the dirty up close jobs while the Typhoon and JSF handle the air defence/more tricky L/R strike jobs.

I know he's upset a few people with his comments about the Raptor but Sprey sure knew how to design an aircraft. That whole fighter mafia generation in the US really were geniuses...

=====
Speaking of the Eurofighters close-in combat prowess, Major Marc Gr�ne, CO of 742 (Zapata), the second squadron of the wing, described to assembled aviation journalists how, on a recent visit to France to demo the aircraft, he had won two out of two battles against the Dassault Rafale in mock within visual range dogfights. Both fights were a standard set-up and merge at 21,000ft and 30,000ft he recounted, adding that the higher the fight the better the Eurofighter liked it. He singled out the Eurofighters excess power as its trump card over the Rafale


    
This message has been edited by colky7 on Jun 1, 2012 8:30 PM


 
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Coalde
(Login cwc.mgmt)

Re: The A-10 Is at War on Its 40th Anniversary

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June 1 2012, 11:57 PM 

I love the A-10 (had a model of one hanging from my ceiling as a kid) however as others have pointed out it was far too specialized for most nations to afford to operate in tandem with multi-role aircraft that could (sort of) do the same thing. The A-10 was designed from the ground up to take on large armored formations and make it back alive...very few nations face large armored formations. In addition modern precision/smart weaponry offered alternatives to the A-10 that did not exist when it was designed and first fielded.


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This message has been edited by cwc.mgmt on Jun 2, 2012 12:01 AM


 
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WAFFer
(Login hmmwvj)
Panzer Brigade (Germany)

Re: The A-10 Is at War on Its 40th Anniversary

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June 2 2012, 8:54 AM 

How is an A-10 expensive if it saves a fast mover getting shot down by Manpads and Shilkas, and probably makes it back to base too?

The truth is most nations prefer to pass on the CAS mission to their older fighters.

 
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