Author Topic: Bill Blocks Air Force from Retiring A-10 Warthog  (Read 442 times)

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Bill Blocks Air Force from Retiring A-10 Warthog
« on: December 19, 2013, 02:53:36 AM »
by Kris Osborn

The bipartisan defense budget that passed through the House Thursday includes strict language mandating the Air Force not execute any plans to retire the A-10 Warthog. The legislation specifically blocks the Air Force from spending any money to divest A-10s through calendar year 2014.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh has said the service needs to retired older, single mission aircraft like the A-10 in order to reserve funding for newer aircraft like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which is slotted to take over the A-10’s close air support role.

In service since the 70’s, the twin-engine jet aircraft is designed to provide ground troops with close air support by using its armored fuselage for protection, flying low to the ground to track and hit enemies and firing deadly 30mm rotary cannons.

Lawmakers have pushed back against any talk of the A-10’s retirement. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., blocked the nomination of the Air Force secretary, citing her concerns about Air Force’s A-10 plans and Defense Department struggles to bring the Joint Strike Fighter online.

Air Force has not formally made a decision about whether to retire the aircraft. However, Lt. Gen. Charles Davis,  Military Deputy for Air Force Acquisition, made clear that budget restrictions have forced the service to consider cutting entire programs to save money.

“Everything that we have is being effected by sequestration right now – satellites, missiles, air frames have already been cut 13 percent. Do you try to retire something so that you get rid of the entire logistics trail and the depot? You can save a lot of money. That is the discussion that is going on right now,” he said.

The potential budget deal that still needs to be approved by the Senate and signed by President Obama would reduce sequestration cuts and add $3 to $7 billion to the Air Force’s budget. However, Davis said the service would not prioritize saving the A-10 and instead listed funding more flying hours and the Joint Strike Fighter program has higher priorities.

Davis did say that technological advances such as sensors and laser-guided weaponry have made it possible for a number of aircraft, such as F-16 fighter jets, to successfully perform close air support. F-16s have regularly provided close air support in Afghanistan, service officials specified.

“F-16 does a wonderful close air support mission. You don’t need to fly slow with a lot of titanium armor with a 30-mm gun just to be able to do close air support. We’ve got B-52s and B-1s doing close air support. The weapons have changed the game,” Davis said.

Furthermore, Davis emphasized that close air support in potential future conflicts will likely require different technologies than are currently needed in Afghanistan today.

“Close air support is not hovering close with a gun anymore. That works great in a situation like Afghanistan — but if you assume that we are not going to fight that way all over the world you are going to do close air support much differently. Your ultimate close air support weapon would be something above the earth with a pinpoint accuracy laser that can pick off a person individually when they get too near our troops and do it repeatedly,” Davis added.


Read more: http://defensetech.org/2013/12/13/bill-blocks-air-force-from-retiring-a-10-warthog/#ixzz2nuBdRDxy
Defense.org

Offline EC

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Re: Bill Blocks Air Force from Retiring A-10 Warthog
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2013, 07:13:11 AM »
Good. Those ugly things are a sight for sore eyes when they pass overhead.

Quote
“F-16 does a wonderful close air support mission. You don’t need to fly slow with a lot of titanium armor with a 30-mm gun just to be able to do close air support. We’ve got B-52s and B-1s doing close air support. The weapons have changed the game,” Davis said.

He completely misses the point. An F-16 can do close air support, sure. The problem is blink and you miss it. The Warthog has that extra terror factor because the sodding thing just keeps on coming at you. It was designed that way - to not only deliver a hail of (rather large) chunks of lead accurately, but to scare the ever loving crap out of the target. If they are running, they sure aren't shooting!
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Offline Oceander

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Re: Bill Blocks Air Force from Retiring A-10 Warthog
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2013, 09:52:48 AM »
The A-10 is a beautiful thing because it's "ugliness" is the result of form following function.

Offline xfreeper

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Re: Bill Blocks Air Force from Retiring A-10 Warthog
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2013, 10:17:22 AM »
favorite of all time

Offline EC

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Re: Bill Blocks Air Force from Retiring A-10 Warthog
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2013, 10:29:54 AM »
Got a small story to tell.

Routine patrol. Got into a roach trap, can't go forward, can't go back - they had the high ground and were smart enough to wait until we were in totally screwed position.
Call for air support. Expecting a gunship to arrive. Hear this low growl coming up behind us almost immediately. A voice, totally calm, comes over the coms. Says "You might want to duck." Then he shredded the hillside. Circled once, tipped his wing to us and headed back to base.

No idea who the pilot was, but his total deadpan delivery was amazing.
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Offline xfreeper

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Re: Bill Blocks Air Force from Retiring A-10 Warthog
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2013, 11:53:04 AM »
very good
The A-10 is like the grizzled old-school Linebacker of the United States Air Force.  It's not flashy, it's not super-fast, it's not going to do like twenty barrel rolls just to try and prove to you how huge it's cock is... it just shows up, bleep everyone's shit up, and goes home.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2013, 12:00:13 PM by xfreeper »

Offline EC

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Re: Bill Blocks Air Force from Retiring A-10 Warthog
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2013, 12:43:19 PM »
 :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Offline Oceander

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Re: Bill Blocks Air Force from Retiring A-10 Warthog
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2013, 09:25:10 PM »
very good
The A-10 is like the grizzled old-school Linebacker of the United States Air Force.  It's not flashy, it's not super-fast, it's not going to do like twenty barrel rolls just to try and prove to you how huge it's cock is... it just shows up, bleeps everyone's shit up, and goes home.

In other words, it speaks softly and carries a big stick.

Offline xfreeper

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Re: Bill Blocks Air Force from Retiring A-10 Warthog
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2013, 10:51:12 PM »
In other words, it speaks softly and carries a big stick.


Heh heh. You might say that
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rGcn2XGr48" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rGcn2XGr48</a>


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