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Aircraft Vs Thread 5


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So they actually want to replace the A-10 with the F-35 in the 2020s? Can't picture the Lightning going low and slow to support troops on the ground. Atleast not in situations where it has to linger over a potentially hot AA area.

Not even the A-10 goes low and slow anymore, especially since the A-10C upgrade. About the only capability the F-35 loses versus the A-10 is the ability to dip down and plink targets from 10,000ft with 30mm cannon fire, and it makes up for that with better network and sensor integration.

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So they actually want to replace the A-10 with the F-35 in the 2020s? Can't picture the Lightning going low and slow to support troops on the ground. Atleast not in situations where it has to linger over a potentially hot AA area.

And they are talking about bringing back COIN aircraft, and the two top competitors are the AT-6B and a new OV-10X. As much neither one, nor the F-35, can really do the job of the A-10 as well as the A-10, I would much prefere to see the OV-10X in the role if they can't, by some miracle, find a way to start building a new model A-10.

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And they are talking about bringing back COIN aircraft, and the two top competitors are the AT-6B and a new OV-10X. As much neither one, nor the F-35, can really do the job of the A-10 as well as the A-10, I would much prefere to see the OV-10X in the role if they can't, by some miracle, find a way to start building a new model A-10.

You also have to remember that the A-10 is one of the last aircraft the F-35 is slated to replace. By the time Warthog squadrons start transitioning to the F-35 it will have all sorts of wiz-bang additions that will make it a much more effective CAS plane, like better datalinks with the troops on the ground, better missiles like the JAGM carried internally and externally (if it's doing CAS work it's very likely air superiority has been achieved and the big SAM threats have been neutralized), and maybe even high powered lasers. It's the same thing with the F-35s slated for F-15 squadrons, by the time it starts taking over air superiority missions it will have a more powerful engine, six or even eight missiles cleared for internal carriage, and much longer reach in the form of the JDRAAM (the possible laser weapons would be extremely useful in an air superiority mission as well).

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Nied, I work with the AirBorne Laser (ABL) guys, we are talking decades before an ABL small enough to fit an F-35 could be fielded, and even then it would be the ONLY armament on the aircraft due to space and energy requirements.

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Nied, I work with the AirBorne Laser (ABL) guys, we are talking decades before an ABL small enough to fit an F-35 could be fielded, and even then it would be the ONLY armament on the aircraft due to space and energy requirements.

We're talking decades before the F-35 is supposed to replace the A-10. Also my understanding is that the newer electrically pumped lasers Raytheon is working on are much smaller and more efficient compared to the chemically pumped lasers on the ABL. The plan is to get a laser package small enough to fit into the lift fan bay of an F-35B airframe and have it powered by the drive shaft off the engine. If it does end up working that way an F-35 could still carry weapons in it's internal bays and under the wings (though if the solid state laser works as advertised they might be superfluous).

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You also have to remember that the A-10 is one of the last aircraft the F-35 is slated to replace. By the time Warthog squadrons start transitioning to the F-35 it will have all sorts of wiz-bang additions that will make it a much more effective CAS plane, like better datalinks with the troops on the ground, better missiles like the JAGM carried internally and externally (if it's doing CAS work it's very likely air superiority has been achieved and the big SAM threats have been neutralized), and maybe even high powered lasers. It's the same thing with the F-35s slated for F-15 squadrons, by the time it starts taking over air superiority missions it will have a more powerful engine, six or even eight missiles cleared for internal carriage, and much longer reach in the form of the JDRAAM (the possible laser weapons would be extremely useful in an air superiority mission as well).

I don't think the F-35 could ever really replace the A-10 in the CAS role. The one ingredient that the F-35 doesn't have that the A-10 does have is loitering time. Plus the F-35 is probably too delicate for the role. Whatever the standoff capability the F-35 may have, I would imagine CAS often/sometimes? leads to aircraft coming down to where enemy light AA guns come into play and/or visual identification/confirmation is needed.

Edited by Vifam7
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I don't think the F-35 could ever really replace the A-10 in the CAS role. The one ingredient that the F-35 doesn't have that the A-10 does have is loitering time. Plus the F-35 is probably too delicate for the role. Whatever the standoff capability the F-35 may have, I would imagine CAS often/sometimes? leads to aircraft coming down to where enemy light AA guns come into play and/or visual identification/confirmation is needed.

Add a pair of drop tanks under the wings to the already considerable internal fuel capacity and I'm willing to bet an F-35 could keep up with an A-10 in the loitering department, and still have room left over for a sizable weapons load. I have to reiterate that even the A-10 isn't doing much in the way of down in the weeds work. If you really need to get a better look at the target(s) pulling up a zoomed in view from the multiple EO/IR sensors in your helmet mounted display, or datalinked video from the troops on the ground would work just as well if not better while not exposing the aircraft to ground fire.

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dale brown has some good ideas in his fiction books, while his fiction has had some intresting airframes and weapons in his books, some of the more feasible are the cruise missles that deploy micro missles similar to hellfire missles and then if need be the main weapon can either become a weapon by slamming into a target or be recovered by landing strip or mother aircraft which is it self a remote controlled b-1b

Edited by buddhafabio
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And they are talking about bringing back COIN aircraft, and the two top competitors are the AT-6B and a new OV-10X. As much neither one, nor the F-35, can really do the job of the A-10 as well as the A-10, I would much prefere to see the OV-10X in the role if they can't, by some miracle, find a way to start building a new model A-10.

Boeing has indicated that it will offer a new OV-10 for the LAAR program. Don't forget the Piper PA-48 Enforcer also, the P-51 follow-on with a turboprop.. though it probably will be cut because its a single seat aircraft. In any case, the Light Attack Aircraft program isn't really intended to be a A-10 replacement; its can't operate in a high-intensity battlefield or with any significant SAM threat. Its a COIN aircraft, designed to meet a mission profile that hasn't been filled in over 15 years. The LAAR's main role is more for observation and FAC, with attack being more of a secondary role. The A-10 is the opposite, its a pure attacker that can observe and control to a very limited fashion. The A-10 isn't really good at the latter, it moves too fast and is a single seat aircraft. Thats part of the problem with it even in CAS in a COIN environment; you've seen quite a bit of Fraticide incidents because of mistaken identities. The LAAR program will provide an aircraft that can deliver some ordinance in a pinch, but really would defer to fast movers like A-10s and Reapers to deliver large quantities.

Edit: I found the Request for Proposals page... these are the requirements:

LAAR operations will integrate with traditional Command and Control (C2) concepts and organizations and existing joint Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs). Mission planning will require access to theater air tasking order (ATO) and airspace control order (ACO) dissemination networks. LAAR may be tasked as part of a joint team and will require communication capabilities to coordinate with supported and/or supporting units. LAAR platforms will employ a modular structure capable of interfacing with multiple weapons and sensors to tailor configuration to tasking and having robust, integrated sensors used to find, fix, track, and target within a single asset. For LAAR platforms, aerial gunnery and precision weapons will provide the ability to engage targets quickly, thus reducing the sensor-to-shooter timeline. LAAR platforms will have the ability to coordinate fires directly with supported ground units through voice, video, and datalinks with other assets to create synergies and minimize fratricide.

Basically it sounds alot like the Reaper, but with humans inside to provide greater synergies in operations.

Edited by Noyhauser
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IMHO the only plane the F-35 is replacing that it is unquestionably a worthwhile "upgrade" from, is the Harrier.

I think it's a good upgrade on the F-16 and Harrier. It just is mega fail at helping F-22 take over for many multiples of F-15 and dedicated strike and CAS craft.

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I think it's a good upgrade on the F-16 and Harrier. It just is mega fail at helping F-22 take over for many multiples of F-15 and dedicated strike and CAS craft.

Why? An F-35 is as fast as an F-15 (at least one carrying ordinance), it carries a similar payload in an air superiority mission, but it has the advantage of stealth, a sensor fit that's light years ahead of even the Raptor's, and networking capabilities that have the potential to revolutionize air combat. How is that not an upgrade?

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Range (both ferry and combat) and thrust to weight ratios come immediately to mind where it by far more resembles an F-16 than F-15. I definitely like it better than the F-16, but would rather have new airframed F-15's (ACTIVE? lol). Well my preference would be: 150-200 x F/A-23A or at least 150 more F-22 (preferably an F-22C with improvements learned from the F-22A and the 35), but both are unfortunately unlikely.

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Range (both ferry and combat) and thrust to weight ratios come immediately to mind where it by far more resembles an F-16 than F-15. I definitely like it better than the F-16, but would rather have new airframed F-15's (ACTIVE? lol). Well my preference would be: 150-200 x F/A-23A or at least 150 more F-22 (preferably an F-22C with improvements learned from the F-22A and the 35), but both are unfortunately unlikely.

Depending on the mission profile (loiter time etc) it's pretty comparable in range (610nm vs 685 for an F15 and 1200nm max vs 1061nm max for the F-15). Unfortunately we don't have numbers on the F-35 for ferry range. Thrust to weight is difficult to determine since the max thrust for both the F135 and F136 are classified. With the numbers thrown around (anywhere from 40,000 to 50,000 lbs quoted for either engine) that nets us a TW ratio between 1.03 (closer to the F-16 I'll grant you) to 1.3 (identical to a -229 powered F-15) at half internal fuel (the only fair way to compare things since the F-35 carries almost as much fuel internally as an F-15 with two drop tanks).

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What's with the Thunderbird doing with live bombs? I know they're supposed to be a fully operational squadron, in addition to their airshow displays, but I've never heard of the Thunderbirds going to war.

Mind you, it would be pretty cool to see them in their airshow colours, causing all sorts of hell on the enemy, in a very acrobatic fashion. They would have a perfect operational record this way.

The enemy gawks, and marvels at the impromptu airshow, and then for the finale, they go boom! :lol:

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Mind you, it would be pretty cool to see them in their airshow colours, causing all sorts of hell on the enemy, in a very acrobatic fashion. They would have a perfect operational record this way.

The enemy gawks, and marvels at the impromptu airshow, and then for the finale, they go boom! laugh.gif

Not sure about the acrobatics while carrying a couple 500 pounders. Though a close aerial engagement could get a response.

"Thunderbird F-16 and MiG-29 merging"

MiG-29 Pilot: What the %#$@ is with this s#@$!

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Short/funny summary I just saw of the tanker situation: (I don't think anyone here has mentioned that Northrop/EADS just withdrew)

The USAF has tankers that are size A.

The USAF wants to replace tankers of size A with new tankers that are size A.

The infrastructure supports tanker size A.

The RFP goes out for tanker size A.

Boeing offers tanker size A.

Airbus offers tanker size B.

The govt picks tanker size B.

Boeing complains that tanker size B was not what the RFP requested and therefore the process was flawed (this is correct)

The govt. reissues the RFP for tanker size A.

Boeing offers tanker size A.

Airbus says we're taking our ball home ... it's unfair ...

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Short/funny summary I just saw of the tanker situation: (I don't think anyone here has mentioned that Northrop/EADS just withdrew)

The USAF has tankers that are size A.

The USAF wants to replace tankers of size A with new tankers that are size A.

The infrastructure supports tanker size A.

The RFP goes out for tanker size A.

Boeing offers tanker size A.

Airbus offers tanker size B.

The govt picks tanker size B.

Boeing complains that tanker size B was not what the RFP requested and therefore the process was flawed (this is correct)

The govt. reissues the RFP for tanker size A.

Boeing offers tanker size A.

Airbus says we're taking our ball home ... it's unfair ...

Except it was the airforce that selected tanker size B and Nothrop pulling out leaving EADS without a partner which is conveniently ignored. The outcome has little to do with the foreign connection, just check the political color of the states where the production of each tanker is planned and it becomes clear why Nothrop knows it has no chance. EADS is bound to use this result to bury the WTO claim against Airbus. Got to love the drama in these games.

Edited by Bri
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Short/funny summary I just saw of the tanker situation: (I don't think anyone here has mentioned that Northrop/EADS just withdrew)

The USAF has tankers that are size A.

The USAF wants to replace tankers of size A with new tankers that are size A.

The infrastructure supports tanker size A.

The RFP goes out for tanker size A.

Boeing offers tanker size A.

Airbus offers tanker size B.

The govt picks tanker size B.

Boeing complains that tanker size B was not what the RFP requested and therefore the process was flawed (this is correct)

The govt. reissues the RFP for tanker size A.

Boeing offers tanker size A.

Airbus says we're taking our ball home ... it's unfair ...

Technically Boeing offered Size B and Airbus offered Size C. If Boeing was winning on size they would be offering a KC-757 or some freighter derivative of the 737-900. Honestly I always thought the argument that the KC-45 was too big for our current hangars to be rather stupid, we seem to have no trouble finding hangars for our similarly sized KC-10s, often at the same base. It is too bad that the KC-45 lost this time, it carried more fuel and cargo and most importantly it was far better looking than the "Dump truck."

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A330's have a lot more wingspan than a DC-10. Plus 20ft or so in length.

Now, a 762 is bigger in all dimensions than a KC-135, and approaches the KC-10 in wingspan---but it will easily fit in any KC-10 space, and is still small enough that very few "accomodations" are needed to take it. An A330 is big---just check any airport that gets it--they're always restricted to just a few gates, when 762/DC-10's fit most anywhere except "narrowbody-only" spaces.

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Anyways, the armed T-bird was because a general asked them to "prove it" when it comes to their oft-stated explanation that a T-bird can be war-ready in 72 hours. Well, they technically didn't make it---it's supposed to include repainting into camoflage but there wasn't time.

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Be interesting to see if and when they replace the F-16 as the T-birds aircraft with most likely the F-35 in the future. F-35 in T-bird colors. :unsure:

Dunno, T-birds scheme hasn't looked good on...well, anything that I can remember. They SHOULD make the A-10 the new team. That would be worth seeing.

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Anyways, the armed T-bird was because a general asked them to "prove it" when it comes to their oft-stated explanation that a T-bird can be war-ready in 72 hours. Well, they technically didn't make it---it's supposed to include repainting into camoflage but there wasn't time.

Aren't the Blue Angels F/A-18s supposed to be capable of being made war-ready in 72 hours as well?

I wonder if there are any similar pics of Blue Angels birds :)

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Anyways, the armed T-bird was because a general asked them to "prove it" when it comes to their oft-stated explanation that a T-bird can be war-ready in 72 hours. Well, they technically didn't make it---it's supposed to include repainting into camoflage but there wasn't time.

If you're in a hurry, and you need the F-16s that badly, either it's going very badly, or somebody didn't do their job right. Besides, it would be a great boost in morale for the troops if the Thunderbirds showed up over the battlefield.

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If you're in a hurry, and you need the F-16s that badly, either it's going very badly, or somebody didn't do their job right. Besides, it would be a great boost in morale for the troops if the Thunderbirds showed up over the battlefield.

On the same end, it would be VERY bad if one went down.

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A330's have a lot more wingspan than a DC-10. Plus 20ft or so in length.

Now, a 762 is bigger in all dimensions than a KC-135, and approaches the KC-10 in wingspan---but it will easily fit in any KC-10 space, and is still small enough that very few "accomodations" are needed to take it. An A330 is big---just check any airport that gets it--they're always restricted to just a few gates, when 762/DC-10's fit most anywhere except "narrowbody-only" spaces.

From the Air Force Hangars I've been in they could accommodate that pretty easily (and why not they're designed to accommodate things like the C-17, C-5 and the various 747 derivatives floating about the AF). I do find it funny to hear this argument from you though, since I can remember a certain purple haired moderator telling me that existing hangar sizes shouldn't be a consideration in another contentious aircraft competition (the better looking plane lost there too!)

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I'm not talking hangaring the plane but simply finding space to park, turn around, etc. THAT becomes an issue with something as big as an A330. Heck, even taxiing is an issue---the A330 has a wingspan great enough that it's in the "restricted" or "forbidden" or "not on parallel/adjacent" category for many a taxiway etc--any taxiway that used to be marked "no 747s" is now "no 747s or A330/A340" as the big Airbuses have more span than the basic 747 even. Surely you recall the folding wingtips option for the 777, which has an almost identical span as the A330, to reduce the span to that of a DC-10? True, no one went for it, but Boeing built a prototype and offered it, so it was at least somewhat of an issue for the airlines.

PS---the 762 is one of the best-looking airliners ever. I like the A330/340 look, but they're not the original 767 design. (I find the 763 and 764 quite inferior to the 762)

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I'm not talking hangaring the plane but simply finding space to park, turn around, etc. THAT becomes an issue with something as big as an A330. Heck, even taxiing is an issue---the A330 has a wingspan great enough that it's in the "restricted" or "forbidden" or "not on parallel/adjacent" category for many a taxiway etc--any taxiway that used to be marked "no 747s" is now "no 747s or A330/A340" as the big Airbuses have more span than the basic 747 even. Surely you recall the folding wingtips option for the 777, which has an almost identical span as the A330, to reduce the span to that of a DC-10? True, no one went for it, but Boeing built a prototype and offered it, so it was at least somewhat of an issue for the airlines.

My point wasn't just hangars, the Air Force has been getting along just fine moving aircraft much bigger than the A330 about an airfield. The added size even has the benefit of taking a lot of pressure off of those bigger planes on cargo missions. You don't exactly need a strategic airlifter to move 100 pallets of frozen hamburger patties to Ramstein do you?

PS---the 762 is one of the best-looking airliners ever. I like the A330/340 look, but they're not the original 767 design. (I find the 763 and 764 quite inferior to the 762)

Then why'd pilot's nickname it "The Dump Truck?" :p

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