Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Keeping the Warthog in the air

According to DefenseTech, the Air Force is looking for proposals to keep the A-10 Warthog flying until 2040.  This may be one of the smartest things the military has done in a long time.  The A-10 is one of the few fixed wing aircraft that has a dedicated air support role.  Yes, there are fighters from the F-15, F-16, and F-18 families that have a ground attack role and do some Close Air Support (CAS) work, but there's nothing like a virtually indestructible airplane build around a big gun that can linger for a long time to make you feel better about your day.

When I was stationed in Arizona, A-10 pilots from Tucson liked to buzz our columns when we were in the field.  The A-10 is surprisingly quiet when it's coming at you, and amazingly loud when it flies over you.  If the pilots had lit us up with their cannon, most of us wouldn't have known they were there until big holes started appearing in our trucks and tracks.

I hope this comes to fruition.  There's been no talk about replacing the Warthog with a comparable airframe, and this friend of the ground soldier fulfills a crucial role in our fighting capabilities.


bluesun said...

One of the more laughable things the Air Force has talked about is replacing the A-10 with that flashy do-nothing-as-good-as-anything-else F-35. In my opinion you just can't compete with a plane built around a gun bigger than a VW Beetle...

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Awesome news, I hope it happens.

The idea of replacing it with the F-35 is a joke. Honestly, the F-35 is a joke - it brings to mind the old saying "jack of all trades, master of none." Whoever thought they could replace the F-16, F/A-18, A-10, and the Harrier with a single airframe design should be fired for incompetence. You might get away with the F-16, F/A-18, and the Harrier (but probably not), but the design requirements for those preclude the design requirements for the Warthog's role - you're not going to get "high and fast" and "low and slow" out of the same design without compromising so much it doesn't do either one very well.

I would be interested in seeing a redesign of the A-10 with stealth features and modern electronics and systems incorporated from the ground up, though.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Also, you've been linked and blogrolled.

DaddyBear said...

Thanks Jake! I'm trying to blogroll you, but Blogger won't let me add the URL of your site to my blogroll. I'll keep trying!

Creative Commons License
DaddyBear's Den by DaddyBear is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at daddybearden.blogspot.com.