via Stars and Stripes.
Gilmore said the two aircraft will face off on close air support and combat search and rescue, as well as other missions.Gilmore has stood talk and did work by performing oversight to this scandalous, under-performing, abortion of an airplane.
“We’re going to do it under all the circumstances that we see CAS [close air support] conducted, including under high-threat conditions in which we expect F-35 will have an advantage and other conditions requiring loitering on the target, low-altitude operations and so-forth,” Gilmore told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
On paper, the F-35 faces some apparent challenges because it does not carry the firepower of the Gatling-style nose cannon or the ability to fly over targets for a long period of time compared to the Warthog.
“There are a lot of arguments that ensues over which aircraft might have the advantage, the A-10 or the F-35, but that is what the comparison test is meant to show us,” Gilmore said.
The controversy over whether the two aircraft will have similar capabilities became murkier in March when Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh testified to the Senate committee that the F-35 would not replace the A-10.
During the hearing Tuesday, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., said the general’s earlier testimony appeared to contradict statements on the fighter jet program’s website and its longtime aim to take over the Warthog responsibilities.
The Pentagon’s top weapons buyer denied any contradiction.
“Both statements are correct. We will in fact replace the A-10s with F-35s, that is the plan,” said Frank Kendall, under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics.
But Kendall said there should be no expectation that the F-35 will perform in the same way as the A-10 on the battlefield.
“The A-10 was designed to be low and slow and close to the targets it was engaging, relatively speaking,” he said. “We will not use the F-35 in the same way as the A-10, so it will perform the mission very differently.”
I hope he continues to tell it like it is...especially with regard to this test.
Want to know why the Deputy Commandant for Aviation pisses me off so much? That bastard talked about every mission for the airplane EXCEPT close air support! He wants to play mini-aircraft carrier, deep strike, fighter sweeps...EVERYTHING but supporting the guy on the ground.
But putting my dislike for the guy aside....What happens if they play this straight and the F-35 demonstrates a MASSIVELY degraded capability to deliver supporting fires for the ground combat element? Will people admit that the the most senior members of the Marine Corps lied to the public and more importantly to their Marines?