Monday, December 2, 2013

A 10

Close Air Support has been an abiding feature of Great Satan's combatty exploits since way back in the last millennium. And the pinnacle of CAS has without a doubt gotta be the A 10 Thunderbolt II often nom d'guerr'd as the 'Warthog."

She actually eats armored vehicles like candy

The ultimate panzer killer - the A 10 is a high-survivability and versatile aircraft, popular with pilots for the 'get home' effectiveness. She's suitable for operation from forward air bases, with short take-off and landing capability. Her long range (800 miles), high endurance and ability to sweeter loiter in the battle area are incredible.

Her manoeuvrability at low speed and low altitude (below 1,000ft) allows accurate and effective targeting and weapon delivery over all types of terrain.

And she's on the Air Force's chopping block.

Saving the A-10—or at least keeping it around until an updated model can be developed—is the latest bureaucratic mission of the ‘Fighter Mafia,’ a cadre of post-World War II pilots, policy gurus, and engineers who have been advancing reform as “guerrilla warriors” within the system, for the last 40 years.

Inter service fighting over A 10 - from the Jedi Knights - fighter pilots and big bomber jocks, and big vision cats who never liked the idea of being the Army's Flying Artillery Corps -( after all - A 10 only helps Army and Marine boots on the ground) are gearing up to fight to kill A 10 

For now, it looks like the A-10’s angels are going to come from the Senate. A group of 20 lawyer lawmakers, including Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) (who also co-sponsored an amendment to the FY 2014 defense authorization bill, protecting the A-10) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA.), just sent the Secretary of Defense a letter, urging “hands off” the A-10. In fact, the Fighter Mafia itself could’ve written it:

"We oppose any effort that would divest the A-10, creating a CAS capability gap that would reduce Air Force combat power and unnecessarily endanger our service member in future conflicts."

Now that's close air support.

On the other hand - the newly minted Drone Market could come up with CAS drones - controlled all the way down to sub section level in a traditional Army or Teufel Hunden platoon.

Pic - "Thunderbolt II can employ a wide variety of conventional munitions, including general purpose bombs, cluster bomb units, laser guided bombs, joint direct attack munitions or JDAM, wind corrected munitions dispenser or WCMD, AGM-65 Maverick and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, rockets, illumination flares, and the GAU-8/A 30mm cannon, capable of firing 3,900 rounds per minute to defeat a wide variety of targets including panzers."