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Aircraft Super Thread Mk.VII


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During the Kosovo conflict, in what weeks of the intervention were the F-117 and F-16s shot down? And in Vietnam, could you tell me when the USAF and USN "pacified" the NVA Air defence systems?

The NVA air defenses weren't effectively put down due to a number of reasons. Poor visibility due to jungle terrain, the White House putting heavy restrictions on bombing targets to name some.

Just to add a little fuel to the fire, hasn't the Su-25 "Frogfoot" had a bit of a rough time of it in the recent conflicts in the Ukraine?

Early in the war, the Ukrainians used Su-25s and Mi-24s quite readily. Now it seems most are grounded from operating in the East due to the high chance of getting mangled by the sea of MANPADS the separatists have now along with some other systems that include Tor's and Buk's.

I'm still very curious as to what if anything will fill the gap that the F-15E will leave once it's retired. The F-35 doesn't have the legs for it and the F-22 lacks the storage capacity to be worth it. It's why I thought the YF-23, with some modifications, could be a contender for that role. Northrop apparently pitched this back in 2004 but was shot down.

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Drones. Possibly the B-2 if the target is truly worthy. Also possibly, a B-1B used as a stand-off weapons platform. Cruise missiles can carry conventional warheads. Program the GPS coordinates and off it goes.

Or something none of us know about.

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I like the idea of the B-1R. I'm not sure still how it would fair in a threat environment where you have S-300s and 400s protecting valued targets. It's seems it's stuck in permanent limbo however or has been shelved in favor of the next-generation B-3.

Edited by Shadow
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I'm still very curious as to what if anything will fill the gap that the F-15E will leave once it's retired. The F-35 doesn't have the legs for it and the F-22 lacks the storage capacity to be worth it. It's why I thought the YF-23, with some modifications, could be a contender for that role. Northrop apparently pitched this back in 2004 but was shot down.

It'll be quite awhile before the Strike Eagles are retired. They are expected to remain in service until about 2025.

I would guess that any replacement will be an upgraded F-35. Probably sprouting bigger wings and/or wearing stealthy CFTs.

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Noyhauser, I will concede that you have some valid points, however, your entire argument is pushing the use of more advanced technology to win wars. Better technology is important to aid in minimizing friendly casualties and collateral damage, but it's not the ultimate solution. Look at Iraq and Afghanistan, we've been throwing technology at the problem since we started, and it's still not solved.

First off, I think your argument is flawed because you're conflating tactical and strategic levels of employment. Nobody claimed that airpower was a panacea for what ails us in Afghanistan or Iraq. That requires a political solution, which entails a whole other set of considerations, such as economic development, governance, popular support, ect. Airpower only plays a tangental part of it.

Rather, the USAF and NAVAIR are focused on a different threats and theatres, like providing security in Asia. That requires a technical response, as our potential adversaries are engaged in developing what we generally call Anti Access/Area Denial technologies to counter our ability to operate in these areas. These technologies are also being proliferated, so that we need better capabilities to deal with them. "going back to the well" with the F-16 or F/A-18, just is not going to cut it anymore.

Moreover, this is not just a threat issue. As the world gets more connected, we need more nuanced capabilities to deal with our challenge. In 2000 we could accept some civilian casualties or friendly fire incidents, I would argue that the room for such error has narrowed significantly in the intervening 15 years. Moreover the type of effects required has widened. We're looking at the need for organic ELINT, surveillance, electronic attack (both broad based and cyber), pinpoint strikes on specific targets, among other things. Just being able to look out the side of the cockpit and some rudimentary capabilities is what the A-10 was before 2007: the deficiencies certainly outweighed any cost savings that was being accrued.

My comment about the F-35 being designed by committee, was not meant as literal as you seemed to take it. I'm well aware of how the procurement process works, but that's not design. Was it a dig at the design, yes. It's not what was advertised, it's horribly over cost, and we're still discovering problems. It's suffering a very similar situation as the F-111. By the time all is said and done, no one will want it, because it no longer suits anyone's purposes.

I think the rate of problems is perhaps as low or even lower than other development programs. I've worked or observed dozens of programs: the F-35 has problems but in terms of development time its better than most of the immediate antecedent fighters, like the Eurofighter, Rafale, F-22. Only the F/A-18E was shorter, but then again they largely reused the Legacy Hornet's avionics, so that shortened development time significantly.

And the F-111 is not apt. The F-35B is already in service, the CTOL version next year, and the CV version the year after that. Its already got 14 countries lining up to buy it, four of which have received their first aircraft. Claiming that "nobody wants it" at this stage completely flies in the face of what is going on in various allied militaries in the world. Its the utter disconnect between what a sensationalist media and internet experts are claiming, and what is going among those who actually have knowledge in this field.

You pointed out that 2000lbs is about half of the internal capacity of the F-35's bays, which I believe. You also pointed out that a majority of A-10 sorties are carrying ~2000lbs or less of ordnance, which I also believe. This begs the question, can the F-35 carry the quantity of ordnance in it's internal bay, as the A-10 can carry on it's wings, at 2000lbs?

No: most of those ordnance loads are 4X Mk82 types. However the F-35A will be cleared next year carry eight SDBs on two BRU-61 racks internally, which is 2000lbs and gives very similar effects (more bombs, but smaller size.) They are more than sufficient for taking down tanks or other targets.

Let's also talk about some of the characteristics that make the A-10 better at CAS. It's tough, It's combat survivability has been proven. They have returned to base missing wings, and looking like swiss cheese. Are low level SAMs and MANPADS a threat, you bet, but no aircraft is going to be entirely safe from a missile. You take evasive action, pop countermeasures, and hope for the best. It's simple, which means maintenance is easy and less manpower intensive (theoretically). Because of the simplicity there is less to go wrong, and it has a lot of redundancy built in, meaning it has good reliability.

No, this is incorrect. The A-10 suffered the highest loss rates of all the aircraft in Desert Storm. Certainly it was effective, but at a grievous cost: they were withdrawn in late february when eight were shot down. It is far less survivable compared to other fighters. Sure the A-10 is very robust, but that misses the point: fighter like the F-16 don't get hit at all because they fly above 15,000ft and the range of these weapons. During Desert storm, the vast majority of A-10 losses were to small SAMs... the aircraft had comparatively fewer to AAA. Moreover the past 20 years major advances in sensor technology have allowed aircraft to easily operate at high altitudes and still be very effective.

the A-10 is very limited in its speed, which means it lingers in threat zones for much longer. Sure it has good snap turn, but if you're slow, that means very little: you might miss one, but the others will get you as you bleed off energy to do the snap turn. In many ways the A-10's original design is far more antiquated than you realize. ITs actually a 1960s design and it only had limited protection against SAM missiles. It was more intended to defend against AAA, a threat which has diminished significantly due to the proliferation of MANPADs.

The gun, that 30mm cannon is the most powerful airborne gun system we have (outside the AC-130U's 105mm). True, the A-10 was designed to counter a threat that no longer exists (Russian Tanks pouring through the Fulda Gap), but it has proven itself a versatile and capable aircraft. There are more than political pressures keeping the A-10 in service, the Army want's that capability to stay around.

For the past 15 years, the USAF and USN has provided just under 100,000 ground strikes in Iraq and Afghanistan: the majority of these were accomplished by the F-16 and F/A-18 series. A-10s account for less than 25%. Before this whole A-10 being withdrawn discussion emerged, there was no controversy about how those other platforms were providing CAS. Now apparently everybody else sucks and only the A-10 can do this mission, which is kinda annoying.

As to your last point about the Army wants' the capability, I think that's an overstatement. The Army Brass has repeatedly said that they are fine with the current plans and just want to be included in process. As for what the Grunts said, I saw this post on F-16.net by a former A-10 pilot and I think current F-15 one.

What gets me are these people saying "listen to what the Army troops want, when they request Hogs"

Well, the Army only requests effects when they need CAS. It's up to the JTAC/ALO or even CAS pilot, to determine the apprproiate weapons to deliver that effect they need, as these guys know their weapons systems and their capabilities, not some Army grunt on the ground. It's the same way as the Army isn't going to ask some Air Force guys opinion on which set of armor/tank tactics are best to use against a given enemy's armor forces.

Could the F-35 be a valuable addition to the inventory, yes. Will it replace the F-16, A-10, F/A-18, and AV-8B? The AV-8B, sure because the F-35B is the only thing in development that even attempts to replicate it's capabilities. The rest? No. It can't, nor should it.

Oh, it can and is replacing ever single one of that aircraft. I think the biggest role that the F-35 can't do is Combat Search and Rescue, (CSAR) which the A-10 excels at due to low speed and loiter. But that's one, very specific role, that probably doesn't warrant spending 3+ billion dollars to keep going.

The reason why the F-35 can do more of these roles is because technology has enabled it. Its less now about the plane's raw performance, and more about the weapon and sensors it mounts.

Stealth fighters completely replacing our current fleet of conventional aircraft, is not adding value to our forces. You cannot win a war with a handful stealth fighters and a bunch of drones. Airpower is a component to victory, a force multiplier. Wars are won by crushing your enemy's will and ability to fight. And sometimes that means inflicting lots of collateral damage. You have to make war too costly for your enemy to resist.

We're actually doing a 1 to 1 replacement of F-16s, and maintaining the size of the air wing on carriers (only some squadrons will get F-35Cs, some have been replaced by F/A-18E/Fs). It will have about the same level of availability as the legacy platforms its replacing. Flight hour costs may be higher, we're still not sure about that.However we will likely require fewer flights: the F-35 will continue trend of replacing flight time with simulators.

We have all of this great technology, but do you know how many times I touched a GPS unit on a land navigation course? Once. I spent all of my time doing it the old fashioned way with a map and compass. Why? Because technology can, and will at the most inopportune time, fail.

I'm sorry, but this is an empty aphorism. By your logic, we should go back to dropping iron bombs instead of GPS munitions, because we might not have the global positioning? Our adversaries are employing increasingly advanced technologies as well: should we limit ourselves to inferior systems because of some fear that they might not work? When have we done that in the past, and when has it worked? Certainly systems have not worked on spec right of the back. But usually we work through the problems and deploy something that will help the soldiers on the frontline. The M-16 had serious problems in the field initially, but after a bit of trouble shooting, was superior to the M-14 and other rifles it replaced. The USAF and other service arms, do look at potential asymmetric threats to our technological capability and try to mitigate them. The irony is that the F-35 is actually developed to be more self sufficient in combat than its predecessors. It won't be as reliant on the AWACS, or GPS due to its low observable systems, and fears of localized GPS jamming. Are we going to free ourselves of all the threats? of course not. But we should not use the threat of the unknown to bar ourselves from any advantages we may have.

I'm not going to say that the F-35 is a bad aircraft, I'm sure it's a very good aircraft. I just don't believe that it's going to be all it was advertised. As such, replacing a very capable aircraft with something inferior at that task is not sound military thinking. Quote all the numbers you'd like, you can't apply economics and accounting to something that isn't economical. War is wasteful, and expensive, and horrifying.

It has to work as advertised. This is called the Key Performance Parameters, and the F-35 has to meet them in order to get into service.

As for you comments about shows of force, that's as stupid as firing warning shots. I don't want to show the enemy how strong we are, I want the enemy to experience how strong we are. Speak softly and carry a big stick, the louder you proclaim your strength, the weaker you appear. A show of force is an empty gesture.

But it works, and quite well. Its slightly ironic is that you initially opened up this post telling me how we need to have a non-technological military solution to places like Afghanistan and Iraq, then you go on and say we should, in essense "kill them all" or show them our will. Yet, we've used B-52, just like in Vietnam, and it did nothing. They adapt, and use our mistakes, like civilian casualties, against us. I've seen it in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2010. Rather we need to be much more discriminating in our use of force. Actually I don't think the issue is with our military force, rather we need to work on our non-military capabilities and encourage better governance. That's going to result in success.

In regards to airborne FAC and the Textron Scorpion, the idea is, you have a manned aircraft, with fully aware pilots in the mix, doing the exact same thing a reaper is doing, only pilots can look in directions other than where the camera is pointed. They can make the JTACs and ROMADs aware of incoming threats that they can't see on their video uplink.

It also gives another set of eyes, to assist in avoiding friendly fire, and making sure that ordnance goes where it's supposed to. The whole thing can go just as smoothly, and as fast, as a drone assisted strike, but the extra situational awareness in the mix can keep good guys from getting killed.

Again, having extra eyes is a lot less valuable, and even disruptive if they cannot integrate themselves into existing C2ISR network. One of the issues is speed. With current technology, JTACs can quickly identify targets using various systems which allows pilots to quickly prosecute them. It also allows for fewer negative effects. Just having eyes is of limited value: we have plenty of systems to do the same thing, but much much better. Getting the Scorpion up to the basic level of capability is going to take a lot of money.

We also have one other thing to consider. No one really knows what the true capabilities of the F-35 are and are not, except the guys who are dealing with it every day. Any information we have regarding such in the public domain, is all hearsay or taken out of context, because we don't know the variables introduced in the test.

No, I actually have a good sense of what it can do, its differences and capabilities. I might not know some of the precise specifications or capabilities (nor would I want to if I did know), but by and large I can tell you what the aircraft can do.

Edited by Noyhauser
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The NVA air defenses weren't effectively put down due to a number of reasons. Poor visibility due to jungle terrain, the White House putting heavy restrictions on bombing targets to name some.

Yes, and such issues and restrictions will always exist. We can't guarantee that they won't, so we need to prepare for them.

Early in the war, the Ukrainians used Su-25s and Mi-24s quite readily. Now it seems most are grounded from operating in the East due to the high chance of getting mangled by the sea of MANPADS the separatists have now along with some other systems that include Tor's and Buk's.

I believe that the Su-25 is actually the most shot down aircraft of the past 15 years: six were lost in Georgia during the 2008 war and I think 7 in Ukraine. The thing is a flying pin cushion.

I'm still very curious as to what if anything will fill the gap that the F-15E will leave once it's retired. The F-35 doesn't have the legs for it and the F-22 lacks the storage capacity to be worth it. It's why I thought the YF-23, with some modifications, could be a contender for that role. Northrop apparently pitched this back in 2004 but was shot down.

Well the F-35 has the same range as the F-22, but that's not going to be good enough. There was some discussion for a medium sized bomber around 2006, but that was shelved. For now it will be the F-15E, perhaps until 2030. I think you'll see the F-35 carrying long range weapons like JASSM take over some of the role, but not much. We may see something come out of the new long range bomber, or perhaps a clean sheet design. We shall see.

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You're right, forgive me for thinking that you actually wanted to have an informed discussion on this topic: please, return to your regularly scheduled ranting and posting of uninformed opinions. .

First off, frakk you, don't be a conceited dick. Second, I'm sorry, but I'm not interested in hearing you profess to be an expert. I'm not interested in listening to you tell me how technology is the be all end all solution. I'm not interested in hearing all of your platitudes regarding current military thinking, because quite frankly the Military has been hamstrung by the civilian leadership and it's own unwillingness to learn from history. I'd much rather this thread move past our shouting match about who's right, as I've ceased to care. I'm not going to be able to make you understand my viewpoint, and that's fine you have your opinion, and I have mine. You seem to be missing the overarching problem, I'm advocating a complete switch in thinking, because what we're doing isn't working. You are advocating cost efficient technological solutions that are sound, in theory, but are constrained by the idea that war can be something other than brutal, dirty, bloody, wasteful, and horrifying. I'm advocating an approach that is total war, not the limited war that your solutions are based upon.

I'm not an expert, on anything. I know a little bit about a lot of things, and it's enough to get me by. I appreciate your input, but it is time for this thread to move on.

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You're right, forgive me for thinking that you actually wanted to have an informed discussion on this topic: please, return to your regularly scheduled ranting and posting of uninformed opinions. .

Maybe if you didn't sound like a living breathing advertisment for a certain aircraft manufacturer that you may or may not work for in real life maybe people would be willing to engage you in discussion without ridicule. That and not trying to skew facts in your favor by omitting things or making false insinuations like below.

No, this is incorrect. The A-10 suffered the highest loss rates of all the aircraft in Desert Storm. Certainly it was effective, but at a grievous cost: they were withdrawn in late february when eight were shot down. It is far less survivable compared to other fighters. Sure the A-10 is very robust, but that misses the point: fighter like the F-16 don't get hit at all because they fly above 15,000ft and the range of these weapons. During Desert storm, the vast majority of A-10 losses were to small SAMs... the aircraft had comparatively fewer to AAA. Moreover the past 20 years major advances in sensor technology have allowed aircraft to easily operate at high altitudes and still be very effective.

Yes the A-10 lost 8 aircraft during the Gulf War, but what you failed to mention is only four of those were directly lost in combat. 3 others were damaged and able to make it back to base before being written off. The last made it back to base, but crashed on landing due to bad weather conditions killing its pilot. The A-10 was not withdrawn in late February because of losses, it was withdrawn because the war was over by the 28th of that month! Nice BS attempt though.

So How many F-16's were lost in that same conflict? Seven. That's right the "grevious cost" you claim the A-10 paid is only one more than that of the aircraft you put above it. Also between the British and Italians they lost a total of seven of their Panavia Tornados. So a loss of eight isn't that bad compared to them. I do know there's no way a F-16 absorbs the amount of damage a A-10 can and make it back to base or loiter on the battlefield the way the Hog can and that's enough for me.

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Simply writing TL;DR might have been a bit brusque. Noyhauser wrote some thoughtful stuff I didn't know, which I appreciate.

I do sometimes wonder which is the "best" European canarded-delta aircraft in terms of capability, cost per flight hour, and performance. Typhoon, Rafale, or Gripen?

And as for damage capacity and loiter time, how does the Frogfoot compare to the A-10, or other designs before it? Anyone know?

Edited by Sildani
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And as for damage capacity and loiter time, how does the Frogfoot compare to the A-10, or other designs before it? Anyone know?

The Froggy has a higher overall speed and slightly better turning, but that's about it.

The Hoggy has a slightly heavier payload with more varied loadout with a much greater range and loiter time.

Biggest difference is survivability. The SU-25 just isn't built as sturdy as the A-10. Part of this is its general layout(single rudder, engines in a position vulnerable to groundfire etc).

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Renegadeleader1, thank you.

Simply writing TL;DR might have been a bit brusque. Noyhauser wrote some thoughtful stuff I didn't know, which I appreciate.

You're probably right about that TL;DR comment. And yes he did say some good things, problem is it was buried under so much drivel and miscelleneus wank, that it was difficult to find. Lets also not forget the gratuitous straw man arguments.

Still we should just put this one to bed and move on.

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Heh. Beautiful airplane, and I LOVE that splinter camo. Nightmare to mask on a model though. I believe the Oerlikon 30mm cannon fitted to the JA variant is the third most powerful gun fitted to a modern aircraft, behind the GAU-8 and the Spectre's 105.

Was the Viggen effective? It was never exported, never fired a shot in anger, so how can one measure its worth?

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Heh. Beautiful airplane, and I LOVE that splinter camo. Nightmare to mask on a model though. I believe the Oerlikon 30mm cannon fitted to the JA variant is the third most powerful gun fitted to a modern aircraft, behind the GAU-8 and the Spectre's 105.

Was the Viggen effective? It was never exported, never fired a shot in anger, so how can one measure its worth?

Well, Sweden hasn't been invaded in a while so...

I kid. I'm sure that it's proven itself in international exercises. I guess we'll never really know, because Sweden might have replaced it entirely by the time the actually need to fight a war.

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The Viggen's last flight was in 2007, it's successor is the Gripen, introduced in '93. The latest Viggen updates, the JA37 D, were on the same level regarding avionics and weapon systems as the Gripen.

Here's an interview with an ex-Viggen pilot with some informative bits:

http://www.milavia.net/specials/iv_viggen/

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The Swiss Air Force evaluated those 3 aircraft back in 2008/2009 when it was looking for a replacement to its F-5E fighters. A leaked report said that the Rafale was the best aircraft for its needs. Yet, despite being the 3rd best choice, the Gripen still won the contest based on cost/price.

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Not going to lie, all three are pretty cool and capable aircraft. I like the Typhoon based on looks personally. I do know that it's all going to depend on what the pilot can do with the airframe to make the biggest difference.

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While I worked for Red Flag Alaska, the Swedish AF was invited to participate. This was in 2007, they brought a squadron of brand new (they had 40 hrs on them respectively) Gripens. The plane is tiny even compared to an F-16. We were impressed by them both in maintenance and flight capabilities. Here where I am working I see the Rafales everyday taking off. The French AF have actually put on demos here over the base. The plane can definitley maneuver, but I didn't see it do anything different from what the F-16 could. As for the A-10 what Renegadeleader1 said is absolutely true. If you are going to break down aircraft losses then you need to break them down into combat and non combat losses. The A-10 is designed to take damage. It has redundant mechanical lockouts in the wings, in layman terms if the flap in either wing becomes jammed or or so damaged it wont move than the flight control system locks it out and mechanically disconnects it from the system so the pilot can continue to use the other wing and tail to control the aircraft. Also all of its essential systems are spread out in the frame to prevent damage to too many systems at once. One other thing also. The plane can loose about 1/4 to half a wing and fly. This is due to the design. Its horizontal tail can generate enough lift to help keep the aircraft airborne. Its ease of maintenance gave it the highest FMC (Fully mission capable) rate of any US aircraft used in Desert Storm. Now ironically the US aircraft with the lowest combat loss or losses in general during DS was the F-4G. They lost 1 to a SAM. Here is a video link of one of the A-10's that landed with severe battle damage during DS:

https://youtu.be/1BecNTYPYbU

Edited by grigolosi
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Here is some info taken from the 2951st CLSS website. These are the folks that perform heavy ABDR on AF aircraft around the world.

ABOUT THE A-10s OF THE GULF WAR
The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II "Warthog" is the only aircraft in United States Air Force (USAF) history designed specifically for the close air support mission. It was designed to survive in an intense anti-aircraft environment including anti-aircraft guns, radar-guided and infrared missiles and absorb battle damage and keep flying. In fact, the A-10 is probably the most difficult plane ever built to shoot down due to its extreme maneuverability, self-sealing fuel tanks, wide separated jet engines on top of the fuselage, twin vertical tails, multiple independent hydraulic systems, manual backup flight control system and redundant wing spars.

A total of 165 of these most recognizable and feared aircraft from 5 different units participated in Operation Desert Storm. All units were formalized under the 354th Provisional Wing with 144 aircraft at a time. The remaining aircraft above those 144 were replacements standing by at an off-site location to replace aircraft damaged beyond continued combat status or aircraft destroyed.

Together, these A-10 and OA-10 aircraft conducted 8,624 sorties maintaining a 95.7% mission capable rate, 5% above A-10 peace-time rates, had the highest sortie rate of any USAF aircraft. They achieved:
  • 967 tanks destroyed
  • 1026 pieces of artillery destroyed
  • 1306 trucks destroyed
  • 281 military structures destroyed
  • 53 Scud missiles destroyed
  • 10 aircraft on the ground destroyed
  • 2 air-to-air aircraft (helicopter) kills with the GAU-8A 30mm Avenger cannon: 6 February 1991 by Capt. Bob Swain in 77-0205 of the 706th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 926th Tactical Fighter Group "Cajuns" from New Orleans Louisiana and the second by Capt Todd "Shanghai" Sheehy in 81-0964 with the 511th TFS "Vultures" out of RAF Alcombury United Kingdom.

Pilots often flew up to three missions per day with A-10's accounted for destroying 1/4 of Iraq's entire arsenal.[Read more on statistics....] Often exposed to withering anti-aircraft fire and surface-to-air missile threats the slow, highly maneuverable A-10's incurred extensive combat battle damage during Desert Storm. A total of sixA-10s were lost: five in combat action, another destroyed attempting to land at KKMC Forward Operating Location #1 after being badly battle damaged durng combat. Nearly twenty more sustained significant battle damage and many others incurred minor damage.

Roughly half the total A-10 force, about 70, supporting Desert Storm suffered some type of damage.

Now 3 of the ones lost were written off due to damage sustained in combat as Renegadeleader1 said. The remaining number were hit by SAM's.

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Yeah, the MANPADS have become far more common than they were 25 yrs ago. But they are are not as destructive as a SA-2 or SA-3 to an aircraft like an A-10. They are deemed a greater threat also on the Korean peninsula to the aircraft in the South should hostilities ever start since they can be carried in by infiltration units. So much so that we had identification charts in the maintenance block houses there.

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I remember when I was at JRTC a few years ago, MANPADS were considered a huge threat, mostly to the Chinooks and Blackhawks. Now JRTC is a practice for war, so it's all about preparing deploying units for the sandbox, based on what deployed units are experiencing currently, and what the threats are predicted to be. We spent a significant amount of time preparing for that threat, in fact I kind of became the guy for getting that kind of information because I had a live internet connection on my computer (everyone else was using canned data, on a closed local area network connection), for doing my job.

Now the question is can an SA-7 or SA-14 bring down an A-10, maybe, if the sun and moon align with jupiter on a blue moon at midnight on Tuesday. Fixed wing aircraft are generally not the typical targets for MANPADS, helicopters and other fragile, slow moving aircraft are. Besides, taliban hears that A-10 gun, and they scatter like roaches in the light. Because they know that the A-10 can stick around, and brought enough hurt to the party, that they'd be better off running and hiding to fight another day. Not to mention that gun run they heard, probably just killed a bunch of their tali-buddies.

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