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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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  #16  
Old 02 May 17, 11:24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
Well, there's a number of things that could be done to upgrade an A-10 replacement.

Incorporate some degree of "stealth" capability reducing its electronic and IR signature to enemy systems.
Incorporate advances in armor that make the plane more resistant to damage.
Better integrate sensors and other electronics into the design.
Add an ability to integrate into other sensor and C3I systems. A capability to use Army as well as Air Force off platform sensor systems to find targets would be highly useful.
Add an ability to be used as a forward observer platform for targeting by other systems.
The performance envelope could be expanded... a lot. While the plane needn't be supersonic, being able to make 500 knots in level flight would be useful for reducing transit times.
All good points, there really is no plane like the A-10 flying now, perhaps the Su-25.

That gatling gun BRRRRTTT! Good sound to hear because it's not being aimed at you.

This is my fave A-10 vid - a bit long but intense and pretty sure it's been posted already.

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  #17  
Old 02 May 17, 15:13
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No need for a new aircraft - just upgrade the current airframe. For an aircraft that operates down in the weeds, stealth is neither an issue nor a requirement.

The Air Force doesn't even like the A-10, so any effort they make to obtain a "new" version is just money-hungry BS.

The best upgrade possible for the A-10 is to give it to the Army and the Marines, who don't do their fighting from the safety of an air-conditioned officers' club.
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  #18  
Old 02 May 17, 21:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
No need for a new aircraft - just upgrade the current airframe. For an aircraft that operates down in the weeds, stealth is neither an issue nor a requirement.


Sure it is. You don't want to worry about a MANPAD putting an IR missile up your @$$ all the time. Being low signature on radar helps too with AA systems. Even low visual signature would be good.
Quote:
The Air Force doesn't even like the A-10, so any effort they make to obtain a "new" version is just money-hungry BS.
True, but at least they're asking. Under Obama they knew that cutting stuff to get what money was left for their core pet programs was more important. Now, they're asking for goodies since they think Trump will expand their budget.

Quote:
The best upgrade possible for the A-10 is to give it to the Army and the Marines, who don't do their fighting from the safety of an air-conditioned officers' club.
Quote:
The Marines could, but the Army? Not so long as the Howze board agreements remain in place. The USAF had a royal hissy fit over the OV 1 Mohawk having the capacity to be fitted with 20mm cannon as a joint Army - Marine project.
There is literally ZERO chance the USAF will let the Army have a fixed wing anything with a gun on it.
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  #19  
Old 03 May 17, 14:14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bwaha View Post
The Air Force is beginning to work on how fast, lethal, durable and capable a new A-10-like aircraft would need to be in order to provide U.S. military ground troops with effective close-air support for decades to come (.......) led the service to begin the process of developing a new, longer-term A-10 type platform.

Amazing. Hasn't the Air Force top brass been trying to get rid of the A-10 for like ten years or so? Or have I just been reading only biased articles?
The F-35 could take care of it all, and then some? Stuff like that?

I'm all for a dedicated CAS aircraft, but a Super Tucano to replace the A-10 would be laughable.
I'd say the worst threat would be the MANPADS environment in a full blown symmetrical conflict. If ECM could take care of that, it'd be able to stay closer to the targets. If not, it'll have to stay further away, negating the advantage of being close.
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  #20  
Old 03 May 17, 16:34
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They could design new molds to cast the airframe on. If I remember correctly the Air Force ordered the old ones destroyed. You would need to design new parts to go in new builds. Good luck finding parts that were on the market 40 years ago!

I don't know how much stealth you could build into the design. The wheels protrude under the wing, the GAU cannon protrudes out the nose, the wings are straight. Where will they hide the ordinance hung on the outside? The good news is the two turbofans are in a position where they are hard to hit from groundfire. It is more important to protect the pilot than design a small radar signature.

Aren't the Stealth aircraft supposed to take out threat radars?

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  #21  
Old 03 May 17, 16:40
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I could see them replacing steel parts with carbon fiber and upgrading the avionic systems.

But as far as shape, form follows function.
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  #22  
Old 03 May 17, 20:15
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I agree, form follows function.

While we can do a few things to reduce signature, in the end, you either have to do one of the following:

Angles/Curves and mounting most/all weapons internally in order to achieve low observables.

or

Accept a far larger radar signature in order to mount weapons externally and avoid hyperexpensive pods and such that would require very expensive repairs should they be hit by debris or ground fire.

In the end, I think that option 2 is the better option.



I've given my opinion on this matter a few times, so I'll refrain from too much detail

(who is he kidding, really?)

The Toucano, in any form, is simply too small, and too slow to be effective at this role. This is not the 'light CAS/COIN' aircraft. This is a Heavy or Enduring CAS aircraft. In concept, and in reality, this aircraft is meant for permissive or semi-permissive environments. Note the latter. A-10s are sent into places where they're going to get shot at, and to places where air supremacy is not absolute. No, I'm not saying that A-10s can be a 'first wave' bird, but in a high intensity conflict the air battle will likely still be going when the ground troops need support....and with the 'multirole' aircraft fighting other aircraft, it'll go to the CAS platforms to do the job.

So, with that in mind, let's go over the following:

1) What the A-10 does well:

It loiters like a boss, it has the low and slow ability to get visual fixes on targets too small to for fast movers to precisely engage. It can carry a LOT of ordnance. It has a cannon that's built for ground engagement, rather than air combat as a primary mission. It can take hits that would cripple other birds....which allows its pilots to be more aggressive with ground targets. It's also maneuverable which allows it to stay on an engagement, and turn a missed pass into a good one.

2) What the A-10 sucks at:

It's slow. That was a blessing above, but it's also a curse as it can't realistically un-arse the area if enemy fighters appear, or quickly displace to a new combat zone when called upon. It has the radar signature of Rosie O'Donnell in a tinfoil burkha.

3) What's changed since the A-10 came to be:

30mm is still a darned good armor-killer. But armor has gotten more effective to some degree. And 30mm is far from perfect at dealing with more common ground targets like soft-skins or personnel. Electronics have far outstripped her, to the extent that pilots sometimes resort to using the onboard weapons as the targeting systems.


So, with those things in mind, let's come up with a series of realistic requirements for a replacement:

1) Modern glass cockpit with both the best sensors (NV, IR, visual, etc) and built in upgrade space.

2) Armor to withstand shrapnel or up to 23mm hits for the pilot(s), with protected engines and fuel tanks and redundant systems.

3) Reduced Radar/IR signature (think Katie Perry in a tinfoil bikini instead).

5) Top speed increased to 550kts (quicker displacements) with a stall speed of no greater than 110kts.

6) Unrefueled (combat zone) combat radius of 500nm. (I have serious issues with any bird with less range, overreliance on IFR is a pandemic in the air services, and to remind, that would mean its ferry range would be more in the 1200-1500nm range)

7) Integral Armament of 1 Autocannon (single barrel or rotary) of sufficient power to attack modern AFVs and with ammunition types suitable for engaging soft-skins/infantry efficiently

8) Full all conditions capability with little to no change in capabilities.

9) IFR capability (just because I'm not the biggest fan doesn't mean I dislike it).

10) No fewer than 6 weapons stations with a maximum aggregate payload of no less than 7500kg (16500lbs).



I'll leave this out there for a bit before I wax eloquent on my personal opinions as to precisely what they should go with for this aircraft.
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  #23  
Old 03 May 17, 21:06
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Well one of things that's a strike against the GAU-8 is that its DU rounds are considered a environmental hazard... A environmental hazard... That's what you get when you have eight years of far left administration. (It started changing after Kosovo where they left radioactive residue.)

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/01/07/wo...ms-europe.html
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  #24  
Old 03 May 17, 22:19
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Well, for the mission, I'd think that a somewhat larger caliber would allow for more effectiveness against both armored and unarmored targets. Armored targets can get a heavier and longer AP shell, maybe even APFSDS, while unarmored targets can get an effective HE shell or even an airburst Anti-Personnel round.

As for precision and the rate of fire, I'd argue that equipment has gotten more precise and would allow a pilot to put sufficient ordnance on target with fewer rounds. With better computer aids, pilots might not need the sheer volume, considering that they're targeting ground vehicles and people that might as well be stationary when compared to an aircraft on a firing run.
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Old 03 May 17, 22:24
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We need to investigate the issue. There were reports out of Desert Storm about radioactive debris left in Iraqi Tanks killed by the GAU-8. While I love the effect on enemy tanks, I have wondered for years if the 30mm round was overkill against soft targets (including enemy soldiers). Maybe we could hang a 50 caliber gun pod on the wings for soft targets?

We should also check and see if discharging the round leaves the same dust inside the tank?

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Old 04 May 17, 19:28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
The Marines could, but the Army? Not so long as the Howze board agreements remain in place.
Congress can take care of that. It should have never happened in the first place. When the USAF was spun off the US Army the Army should've formed the Aviation branch right then and there. Each Division has a dedicated Aviation brigade with attack helicopters, COIN aircraft and heavy hitters like a modernized A-10 flown by WO pilots who do tours with ground units as controllers to know what they go though. CAS is a mission Air Forces do not want so take it away from them personal, equipment and funding and let Armies take it over. Ah well it's all going to be drones in another few years any way.

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Old 04 May 17, 19:37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacCovert4 View Post
Well, for the mission, I'd think that a somewhat larger caliber would allow for more effectiveness against both armored and unarmored targets. Armored targets can get a heavier and longer AP shell, maybe even APFSDS, while unarmored targets can get an effective HE shell or even an airburst Anti-Personnel round.

As for precision and the rate of fire, I'd argue that equipment has gotten more precise and would allow a pilot to put sufficient ordnance on target with fewer rounds. With better computer aids, pilots might not need the sheer volume, considering that they're targeting ground vehicles and people that might as well be stationary when compared to an aircraft on a firing run.

Add to the bucket list. Pilot a A-10 and rip a clip.
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Old 04 May 17, 19:38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bwaha View Post
Well one of things that's a strike against the GAU-8 is that its DU rounds are considered a environmental hazard... A environmental hazard... That's what you get when you have eight years of far left administration. (It started changing after Kosovo where they left radioactive residue.)

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/01/07/wo...ms-europe.html
Always political with you, right? Your selective memory excluded the questions about DU rounds during Desert Storm, of course.
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Old 08 Jul 17, 03:00
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I've watched a video on YouTube that a "Super" Warthog might be developed.
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Old 08 Jul 17, 07:01
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