To me the A-10 "Warthog" is the MVP of TAC of warplanes. In Afghanistan, they sent squadron of AH-64; they took so much fire and got damaged badly. Call in the "Warthogs", they probable can opera rate in that kind of environment. I read that our "Aging" fleet of A-10's is going to be replaced real soon by the F-16 aircrafts. The falcon flies too fast, lacks the gau cannon, dose not have 10 hard points, and the pilot dose not sit in a titanium bathtub.
The falcon is not built for this kind of missions. The A-10 systems are redundant. To the contrary, USAF likes the A-10 so much they're dropping the dime to pay to get them all upgraded for 20 more years of service and boosting their capabilities by making them able to use JDAMs. Now the A-10 will be able to perform as effective close air support in all situations, including those that the F-16, F-15E, B-52 and B-1 already could and have performed for the last several years. With the call for retiring warplanes you hear in the news, even here, I was kind of upset.
Thank you much for enlightening me. Yes, a stroke of Air Force genius. I knew they were flying at night; now, this "killer" is more potent. I read a while ago that the AH-64 was getting shot up pretty good in the Afghan Mountains. Perfect job for the A-10 aircraft. Some people personally don't see the need for replacing the beloved A-10.
The A-10 has proved its worth time after time in many major combat missions. I personally do not see another attack aircraft that can replace the A-10 in the close air support role. Over and over again I hear the A.F. wants to ditch this aircraft.
When they do, and they will, they need transferred to the Marine Corps. If it's deadly now think how deadly it would be in the hands of the close air support experts. You're talking about a task the MC has perfected to a fine art. Mark it and keep your head down while the treat is blown to bits or vaporized in a fire ball. I look at the A-10/OA-10 and recall the OV-10.
If the latter was brought back, hardened, re-powered, and given teeth, it would hang on station longer and, with Marine pilots, provide a deadly umbrella. That was part of the original thought that span the old OV-10. I would hate to see the day the Air Force dumps the A-10 Thunderbolt. If that day comes, dump it right on the Marines lap. But it would need runways or modified landing gear for carrier ops, and I have been a big supporter of keeping the bolt, as long as it can fly safety. Yes, the F-35 will be able to fly many CAS missions that sometime in the past we might have sent an A-10 on.
So can the F-15E, F-16, B-52, B-1, etc. But at the rate over the last decade or two that people who don't make the decisions have declared the A-10 is being dumped, we'd need to build 1000 more just so we could scrap them to satisfy all the doom and gloom.
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for http://www.WarGear.info/. WarGear.info carries the best selection of military clothing, war gear, and combat accessories on the market.