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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Weapons of War > Air Power

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Air Power A place to discuss the implements of War in the Air!

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  #46  
Old 02 Aug 15, 17:59
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Again, in a REAL scenario against a near peer opponent, neither an A-10, Su-25, nor OV-10 Bronco or AC-130 will last long in a proper war, nor in any of the future wars we anticipate (except perhaps another Middle Eastern war involving us).

But for the capability, the bang for the buck, adaptability, and feasibility of such an aircraft, I still stand with my opinion of the OV-10 Bronco.
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  #47  
Old 03 Aug 15, 14:39
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That's why I think the tornado is the best. It can operate in that kind of war. They fast enough to escape response and can better defend them selfs.


Any case low flying is not the sole domain of any one aircraft. SAAF used to operate at around 15m with there Impala, mirrage and now gripens. None where purpose built for low level operations. I think training as more to do with it than any thing else.
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  #48  
Old 04 Aug 15, 21:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frtigern View Post
So I saw someone post on FB that the RAF Tornado always flies the deadliest missions at the lowest altitudes. Are they correct? I'm thinking of a few others that are just as good if not better than the Tornado. Luckily for the Tornado, the ISIS campaign has probably saved it from the scrap heap.
Depends on the type of mission. For low level penetration probably something like the Tornado but also Russians have attack planes and bombers with similar capability--see Su-24 Fencer. The key gadget is the terrain avoidance radar. This equipment will fly the plane automatically at low altitude, in any weather, hugging the terrain and hoping over obstacles. The pilot doesn't have to touch the controls. This type of technology has epic costs so only the countries with biggest budgets can have large numbers of such aircraft. Europe has the worst flying weather in the world (literally) so this type of technology was designed for NATO-Warsaw Pact war in Europe that never came.
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  #49  
Old 04 Aug 15, 22:13
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Speed is not the only method of escape. A slower strike aircraft is probably equipped with various electronic countermeasures especially since most modern fighters rely solely on missiles. Radar and missile guidance can be disrupted by low altitude maneuvering with terrain and ground clutter improving the survivability of low penetration aircraft against possible enemy fighters equipped with missiles and radar assisted guns.

We shouldn't discount the slow speed characteristics of slow strike aircraft for penetration at low altitude. The design of fast lightweight multirole fighters (F-15,F/A-18) plays a factor in their low level ride quality.
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  #50  
Old 12 Aug 15, 09:56
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We shouldn't discount the slow speed characteristics of slow strike aircraft for penetration at low altitude. The design of fast lightweight multirole fighters (F-15,F/A-18) plays a factor in their low level ride quality.
Low level ride 'quality' is usually related to wing-loading; the F-15E has a reportedly very poor stability at low altitude owing to its low loading compared to the GR4.
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  #51  
Old 27 Aug 15, 14:11
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I'm also partial to the A-1 Skyraider.

But for modern I say AH-64.

Lol.
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  #52  
Old 27 Aug 15, 15:00
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I have a friend who is a Marine Major and he says he prefers the attack helicopters to the A-10 for support. He says he gets better communication with helicopters. Considering how badly helicopters got beat up in Iraq I'm not sure that from a pilots perspective this opinion might hold. In theory however helicopters can refuel and rearm on the battlefield which has to be a plus. Time to target is the real issue with the A-10. Time to target of course can be handled by rotation but they can't really hide while waiting for an assignment. If we are talking dedicated support I would go with the helicopter but it really seems as obsolete as the A-10.

I think people are really selling the military's ability to make these decisions short. The reasons they give for retiring the A-10 seem sound to me. Below is the offical explanation.

Quote:
First and foremost, retiring the entire A-10 fleet would save the Air Force $3.7 billion from 2015 to 2019. Retiring just some or even most of the A-10s wouldn’t reap nearly the same savings, because there are fixed costs in training and maintenance you can’t get rid off as long as you keep any planes.

Second, thanks to the wonder of smart bombs, most of the A-10’s mission can be done by other, less specialized aircraft. That wasn’t technologically possible when the A-10 first entered service in 1975. But in Afghanistan and Iraq, precision-guided munitions from faster-flying fighters and even heavy bombers have actually provided the overwhelming majority — 80 percent — of close air support.

Third, we’re not the only people with smart weapons. The Taliban and the Iraqi insurgents had at most a handful of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles — known in the trade as Man-portable Air Defense Systems, or MANPADS — but an unknown number of MANPADS were smuggled out of Libya after Qaddafi fell, and the missiles on the black market are getting more sophisticated all the time.
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  #53  
Old 27 Aug 15, 15:19
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I think people are really selling the military's ability to make these decisions short. The reasons they give for retiring the A-10 seem sound to me. Below is the offical explanation.
Wolfhound, the B-1 flew (IIRC) the most CAS sorties in the last few years in Afghanistan - I have tried pointing this out a few times in this thread, but the Jon Wayne knee-jerk reaction of 'A-10, big gun, low-level, bang-bang!' keeps on rolling
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  #54  
Old 27 Aug 15, 15:53
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That might be because the B-1 is a bomber rather than a ground attack aircraft. It's really not the best tool for this particular job.
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  #55  
Old 27 Aug 15, 20:21
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That might be because the B-1 is a bomber rather than a ground attack aircraft. It's really not the best tool for this particular job.
The B-1 has longer loiter and carries more ordinance so it proved especially good for the job
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  #56  
Old 27 Aug 15, 20:26
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What about cost per hour to fly? or to maintain? How do those fast jets and tactical bombers compare to the A-10?
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  #57  
Old 27 Aug 15, 20:28
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IMHO, any aircraft that is fast in dense air, has a good electronics package and pilot visibility, and a plentiful and high spec. weapons package. Also, being 'lucky' helps.

The A10 is good[ish] if you really want to stooge about when the crap is flying. Same goes for the tooled up armoured helicopters.
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  #58  
Old 27 Aug 15, 20:58
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The A-10 at least glides a while! Helicopters are heading for the ground! I worked at a Helicopter Company in Intracoastal City when I was young. A mechanic was pointed out to me. It seems he was supposed to have left a screwdriver tip on the intake of a Huey. The Helicopter was at 1000 feet and just off the beach when the screwdriver tip finally went into the turbines! The pilot was able to autorotate down and they made a safe landing (all of our copters had floats to fly offshore!).

The first thing one of the passengers did was fling the door open and some idiot yanked the cord on the inflatable raft! It was never see again after it floated away! A crew boat picked up the men and brought them back to the dock. A tugboat later pushed a barge out there with a crane on it and they were able to lift the helicopter onto the barge and they brought it back.Of course they had to buy a new engine...

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  #59  
Old 27 Aug 15, 21:24
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Pruitt - Did that mechanic have the cost taken by increments out of his pay packet? Or did good old Uncle Sam end up footing the bill? Or did the insurance take a hit?
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Old 27 Aug 15, 23:53
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If he would have admitted he left the screwdriver tip, they would have fired him. I hope the insurance company paid for the new engine. They were running around $500K back in the 70's.

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