The Reasons You Can’t Kill An A-10

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 8 months ago

It works.  The Marines and Soldiers love it.  It’s a life saver.  It’s the greatest close air support aircraft ever built. It isn’t a “fifth generation warfare” F-35, so the flybois don’t want it.

Of course.


Comments

  1. On January 7, 2020 at 12:04 am, Georgiaboy61 said:

    A relatively little-known aspect of the history of the Fairchild A10 Thunderbolt II is that during its development, legendary Luftwaffe ground attack pilot Oberst (Colonel) Hans-Ulrich Rudel, was consulted during its construction.

    Rudel, the most-successful ground attack pilot of all-time, piloted a Junkers Ju-87 “Stuka” dive-bomber on the Eastern front for a total of 2,530 missions, with over 800 vehicles of all types to his credit, including 519 tanks, 70 landing craft and 150 artillery emplacements. He also is credited with 51 air-to-air victories.

    Rudel was the most-decorated member of the German Armed Forces during the Second World War, and the only man to receive the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Gold Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds.

    Rudel was an unsavory character and an unrepentant fascist, but he knew low-level flying and ground attack better than any man alive, so designers and engineers working on the new A10 sought him out as a subject-matter expert and solicited his views. Engineer Pierre Sprey, a former Pentagon staffer who worked on the A10 project, confirmed Rudel’s involvement.

    Many of the features of the A10 which later proved to be so valuable, such as high-mounted, twin engines (two engines for redundancy in case one was disabled), long loiter time over the target, the ability to operate from unimproved fields, and a fast-firing armor-piercing cannon, were developed in part from his input.

  2. On January 7, 2020 at 12:05 am, elysianfield said:

    I have always been of the opinion that the USAF should cede ownership of the entire A-10 fleet to the USMC.

  3. On January 7, 2020 at 10:26 am, Drake said:

    I was a radio operator on a forward air control team. The A-10 was perfect because it could fly low and slow and deliver all kinds of ordnance on target. (The Harrier was also about perfect for ground attack). The F-35 is the exact opposite – it’s fragile so it flies high and fast and if it can’t see a laser illuminated target, it’s as likely to kill you as the target.

  4. On January 7, 2020 at 11:44 am, rickr44318 said:

    A non-aviator’s non-Pentagon-based suggestions: (1) Immediately transfer operational control of all A-10 assets — aircraft, equipment, manning levels *and* operating budget — to the Marines. (2) Determine the minimum time needed to train replacements for USAF personnel who do not want to lateral to USMC. (3) By that date, AF personnel who want to stay with A-10s get new uniforms and are lateraled in grade and service time into the Marines. Those who don’t remain in the Air Force.

    Goal = within *n* months, the A-10 program is totally moved over to a service that benefits from them. No infringement on the USMC budget, no “windfall” for USAF by keeping the funding without the tasking, (hopefully) minimal disruption of optempo and the personnel pipeline.

    Too radical? Only if “we’ve always done it this way.”

  5. On January 7, 2020 at 6:34 pm, Morris Schaffer said:

    When my dad was still in the service I got to witness an A-10 turn an old Toyota pick up into some scrap metal from an observation tower.
    They didn’t tell me it was about to be an attack run by the Thunderbolt II and it was very exciting for a youngster.
    We had toilet papered the latrine and after a major discovered it and we cleaned it up, he made sure we were busy all the time after that at the biggest military base in the state.

  6. On January 8, 2020 at 8:20 am, ROFuher said:

    My gooogle-fu is lacking to confirm this, but isn’t there a nonsensical law that prohibits the US Army from fielding fixed wing combat craft?
    The line was apparently to the tune of, “We don’t want them, but they are our toys, so nobody else can play with them.”

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You are currently reading "The Reasons You Can’t Kill An A-10", entry #22871 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Air Force,Department of Defense and was published January 6th, 2020 by Herschel Smith.

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