Thursday, September 05, 2019

A-10 to receive "aggressive" modernization...did we just learn the results of the A-10 vs F-35 fly off?

via Combat Aircraft.
The A-10 Common Fleet Initiative will keep the aircraft alive and credible into the future. The USAF currently has 281 A-10s, so needs to have these available if the call comes for high-end conflict. From a survivability perspective, the A-10 can move outside some of the threats if its pilots use standoff weapons from longer ranges. The A-10 can then act as a truck that sends weapons in, softening the target area before swinging into its more traditional mission.

A-10 pilots have recently started wearing an improved helmet mounted sight, known as HObIT (Hybrid Optical-based Inertial Tracker), which more accurately tracks pilot head movements. This is an upgrade for the Thales Visionix Scorpion helmet that A-10 pilots have been wearing for the past five years.

Adding the Boeing GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) started this summer, and this gives the A-10 that new standoff capability. With a new multi-target engagement capability, the ‘Warthog’ will theoretically be able to target 18 weapons individually, making it a unique aircraft that fits well into the fourth/fifth-generation mix. ‘We’ll be able to carry four SDBs on a single hardpoint,’ said a 422nd TES pilot, adding that traditionally the ‘Warthog’ has only been able to carry a single weapon on each station until now.
Story here. 

I'm a bit conflicted here.  The title isn't click bait but simply looking at USAF statements and then witnessing this turn around.

Check this out via Jalopnik.
The USAF would want you to believe that the A-10 has no place in our future wars. Ones where the USAF is operating in an area-denial/anti-access situation. This is how Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel tries to sell this bogus rationale:

The A-10 is a 40-year-old single-purpose airplane originally designed to kill enemy tanks on a Cold War battlefield. It cannot survive or operate effectively where there are more advanced aircraft or air defenses. And as we saw in Iraq and Afghanistan, the advent of precision munitions means that many more types of aircraft can now provide effective close air support, from B-1 bombers to remotely piloted aircraft.

So, the powers that be say that the A-10 is vulnerable over the modern battlefield. 
This is an old article written by Tyler and I chose it because it illustrates how long the USAF has had the A-10 in it's crosshairs.  Read it here but consider that the SecDef was Chuck Hagel!!! 

What could explain this DRASTIC change except that the fly off revealed that either the F-35 was subpar in comparison and the A-10 obviously superior or the 10 ton elephant in the corner....the F-35 isn't competitive because its a maintenance hog.

Regardless I think we got our answer to the fly off.

The A-10 stays in service because the F-35 can't replace it....even in high end combat...and the reason why is the million or should I say the TRILLION dollar question.

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