Hawg – A Short Documentary on the Baddest-Ass Flying Gatling Gun

Capture

The A-10 Thunderbolt II is now constantly under daily attack by its own Air Force trying to cut its budget and buy a few more Joint Strike Fighters. But, to those on the ground, the Warthog is an indispensable piece of flying artillery.

Politics aside, John Q. Public has posted up an excellent short documentary on the Warthog, the men who fly it, and the men who rely upon it. Its a slow watch, but plenty of footage of the GAU going off makes it worth the watch by itself.

My take? Outside an AH-1 when I was in the Corps, this was the favorite piece of hardware to have overhead.

Title photo is a first-person view from the cockpit when spewing depleted uranium rounds from the GAU-8 gatling. 



Nathan S.

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • Chris

    The A-10 is great when you are fighting an enemy without any real anti air capability. Once you get involved in a conflict with a halfway desent military the A-10 becomes useless. This was the concern the airforce had when the aircraft was introduced and the concern they have now.

  • Chris

    The A-10 is great when you are fighting an enemy without any real anti air capability. Once you get involved in a conflict with a halfway desent military the A-10 becomes useless. This was the concern the airforce had when the aircraft was introduced and the concern they have now. They want something with improved aircraft and pilot survivability and the ability to use modern munitions.

    • Sianmink

      It really doesn’t.
      The A-10 was designed to operate in Eastern Europe vs the Soviet military, and in an environment rich with MANPADS and ground-based AAA. They were expected to get shot-up and still accomplish the mission and bring their pilots home.

      • Ron

        The A10 was designed based on heavily on WWII experience
        between the Soviets and the Germans. It
        is more survivable working in a low-slow requiem than many higher performance aircraft. But its armor does not proof it against the enemy
        in the environment, and both A10s and their Russian equivalent have been shot
        down numerous times before by both AAA and MANPADS. The best way not to be shot down is not
        operate in that environment instead of putting your faith in armor and redundancy.

        Often people get hung up on the GAU, If said it once I
        have said it a thousand times as a JTAC “gun runs look cool, but are not
        the best way to kill people. If I want
        people dead I put HE on them. “

        • kyphe

          A10 has absolutely nothing to do with German Russian experience. It is simply a close air support platform identified as necessary in both Korea and Vietnam. A job that needed doing but needed a frame more likely to survive.

          • Ron

            You need to read the history of the aircraft develop, Hans-Ulrich Rudel was extensively interviewed by its design team. In a way, it is an homage to the IL-2. When it was fielded it was meant to interdict and provide CAS over the FGR if the Soviets ever decided to invade. However it was understood that most of the aircraft would be lost in that effort.

            When the 57 TFW conducted the TASVAL in 1979 to develop the
            TTPs for employing the A-10, the quickly discovered the usage of the tactics the A10 were originally designed off (getting in close and conducting gun runs, modeled off the tactics used by both Soviets and Germans in WWII tank killing) the aircraft normally were lost. When they switched to a standoff tactic using the AGM-65 they tended to live much longer.

          • andrey kireev

            Interestingly rockets on IL-2s were not very effective against tanks in WW2, as they were extremely inaccurate… I believe statistics showed something like 2% of launches actually resulted in hits on tanks….
            Just think how fare we went from that =)

          • Wolfgar

            You beat me to it. Hans-Ulrich Rudel is a story few know about because he fought on the loosing side. He had the most amazing military carrier no other military pilot can match to this day. He did this flying the obsolete JU87G. The Soviets feared him and the foot soldiers prayer was “let Rudel come”. I would ask the boots on the ground if they think the A-10 is effective and should be replaced. The Air force is going to have a hard time replacing the A-10 let alone surpassing it with something more effective.

          • kyphe

            OK! let’s get some logic back in this! you do not interview a German ace to make a tribute to a Russian plane! Rudel was one of the most decorated CAS pilots in history who fought in many theaters not just eastern front, so a both a good general resource and good for show on your sales pitch! but this aircraft is not related to ww2 aircraft at all in any way shape or form. least of all the IL-2

          • Wolfgar

            True, but when the US was deciding the best design for their new ground attach plane they did interview Rudel with the features he thought were best for that roll since he was the most successful pilot at that game. Thus we have the A-10. Like firearms they evolve but the principles stay the same.

          • Ron

            your reading comprehension is not that good is it? Based on experience is not saying they are related. They took the experience of those involved in the tank busting on the eastern front to design the aircraft. The reason it closer to the IL2 than the Stuka is shown by its original CONOPs to include armoring of the aircraft

          • kyphe

            Trying to insult someone while spouting populist history bull is laughable you also fail to address your primary mistake in naming Rudel then moving to the IL2. If you compare the A10 to ANY! ww2 aircraft it it the German Hs 129. I think you need to do more reading and avoid the history channel and it’s nonsense.

    • andrey kireev

      That’s an Ignorant statement.Did you know that A-10 was designed to on soviet tanks ? A-10 is made to be able to take crazy amounts of damage with its armor and Triple (!) backup controls. It’s not meant to fight by itself, and is one of multiple types of airframes that would be in the air during full on WW3

      • Bullphrog855

        It was design to take on the Soviets when?

        That’s the real ignorant statement.

        • andrey kireev

          What an ignorant question. Back in 1970s when thousands of soviet tanks were ready to cross Fulda gap. Have you ever heard of the Cold War before ? You should read up on that, its pretty fascinating.

          • Bullphrog855

            Bingo, back in the 70s, with a 70s combat environment.

            1970s == 2015.

          • andrey kireev

            Considering the fact concentration of forces back in 70-80s was much more dense than current along with higher AA saturation ?
            Along with Modern Electronic warfare and countermeasures that would be assisting A-10s in current combat environment ? Let’s not forget that there isn’t a single plane in USAF inventory that hasn’t been upgraded since it’s introduction (minus illusionary F-35)

          • Bullphrog855

            EW isn’t going to stop strelas and other IR based systems that have been vastly improved over the last 40 years which can be just as available as it was in the 70s.

            It’s truly mind boggling that people think the A-10 can survive in a conventional war against a well armed military. Just because the A-10C brought on board some PGM capabilities doesn’t mean that the ideal flight profile for it is still plausible as a lot of the AA systems that work best in that environment depends on IR, FLIR, EOTS, LRF, etc. Asking CJ to SEAD/DEAD that and you’ll get no where.

            In 2015, surviving in the environment means using stand off munitions, high altitude flying, planning and SA. These are things that any plane can do, and the A-10 does it the worst out of all of them.

            It’s over kill for COIN, and it just can’t reach the bar for anything else.

            Honest to God, I think the A-10 is one of the coolest planes, but cool factor only gets you so far in the real world. I’d hate to see it go, but suggesting it can still play in 2015 outside of COIN is going to kill the pilots that fly it.

            Is that worth a cool gun run video on Liveleaks? No. Luckily the Generals in the Big AF are smart enough to take them off call when the threat is real.

          • Bill

            There is no such thing as over-kill in COIN, in the practical sense, I’m not talking about ARCLIGHT. And the days of conventional warfare against a traditional military are over.

            The A10 excels at getting in the weeds and putting rounds and iron on bad guys dig in behind a rock wall. For that an F35 or such is overkill, if it ever works.

            Arguably, splitting CAS between the Army – rotary, and Air Force – fixed wing, is far dumber than any airframe issue. I’m not sure that the Skyraider, A26 Marauder, and C47 Spooky might not have had a place in the Long Wars, given enough flares and ejectors.

          • Buck Timlin

            Guided artillery shells/rockets can do everything the A-10 can do without having to wait for the bird to get on station.

            And no, the days of conventional warfare are not over, all that is required is the right circumstances.

          • Grindstone50k

            Did you even watch the video?

          • Buck Timlin

            Not before I commented, and after watching it I still don’t see the issue.

          • T Sheehan

            There is a world of difference between actually getting an Excalibur round fired out of a 777 (nearly mythological to those of us who can actually call for it), mortars & howitzers being guns up and cleared to fire your grid (fire control measures), an Apache showing up on time, a UAV being tasked to the mission/area and having limited munitions loaded, and a FAC in an actual aircraft like an A-10 bringing you rapid CAS.
            I have to tip my Army softcap to the Navy/Marines: they got their combined arms fire support act together. Army/Air Force? Not so much.

          • Buck Timlin

            Well yeah at present it doesn’t work but that doesn’t mean with updated equipment and a reformed/streamlined tac air structure wouldn’t make it possible.

          • jcitizen

            I’ve got to admit you’re right, I’ve detailed some of them in another comment in this thread.

          • Uniform223

            that is no joke the smartest, most down to earth, and realistic thinking I’ve seen when it comes to the “retiring the A-10 cluster F debate/argument”.

            http://cdn.buzznet.com/assets/users16/armenatoyan/default/43-shark-memes-shark-week–large-msg-131232912672.jpg

      • TJbrena

        >Did you know that A-10 was designed to take on soviet tanks

        Not with the oft-worshipped gun, which had short range and penetration enough only for IFVs, APCs and MBTs that were already obsolete. The missiles were what made most of its kills in the Gulf War, and would’ve made most of the kills in a Cold War gone hot. Its durability would help it in CAS for NATO troops, but A-10s were still expected to suffer heavy losses despite all the survivability features.

        The A-10s are tough and powerful, but not indestructible, and the insane amount of AAA, MANPADS, SAMs, and Soviet aircraft in any Hot War battle would make the A-10’s survivability rate less than legendary. And that’s with allied SEAD and air-superiority aircraft. They’d cause a lot of damage and have a high K/D ratio, but a common morbid joke among pilots was that they were speed bumps to a Soviet invasion.

        The odds have only gotten steeper against a modern opponent with modern AA defenses, and adding active countermeasures doesn’t cut it when you’re in that No-Man’s-Land where both ground-based AA and enemy aircraft will make you a target.

        Of course, none of this matters if you neutralize enemy SAMs, AAA batteries, SPAAGs and fighters ahead of time. Then you’ve still got MANPADS that have to be dealt with, but those aren’t as huge of a threat as a coordinate AA defense network.

        Then what? You’re flying heavily armored, specialized tank-killler/CAS planes that spend more time getting to the combat zone than strike fighters to do the same anti-vehicle work in support of ground forces. And the ground force’s own tanks, AT teams, organic fire support and attack helicopters will provide support quicker and can do the same tank-killing and anti-infantry work just as well whether it’s strike fighters or A-10s providing supplementary air support.

        The A-10’s role overlaps with strike fighters, attack helicopters and organic fire support and no longer provides anything the other puzzle pieces don’t.

        The Warthog has built up a mythos of being a nigh-indestructible anti-ground engine of destruction unrivaled by any other aircraft. Just like the M14 did with its mythos of accuracy and reliability, even though it’s less reliable than AR-pattern weapons and has to be frequently re-accurized.

        • jcitizen

          I don’t know, even if the enemy is in a new main battle tank. When you get enough of those depleted uranium projectiles tapping on your top hatch, it can get ugly. The Russians aren’t known for putting much armor up there. The angle of attack and the volume of fire can make all the difference. It is almost like squashing a bug!

          • Uniform223

            No one is saying that DU rounds are ineffective but you are correct about the angle of attack at which the round impact and where. Even though the A-10 in 1991 had 30mm DU rounds, majority of confirmed ground target kills (tanks) by the A-10s have either been by bombs or the AGM-65. Also since the use of DU rounds have gotten such flack and bad publicity, I do not know for sure of A-10s (or even Abrams) use DU rounds anymore.

          • TJbrena

            The areas the gun could penetrate even on older T-72s were very small in size. Hitting them would be impractical. The A-10 would need to be in a steep dive to target the top of the turret, and at the range the GAU-8 needs to reliably put rounds on target (at 4,000 feet or 1.2km, 80% of the rounds will hit within a 40-ft diameter area) and penetrate more than 40mm of RHA (less than 1km from target) it would be a very risky, very low-altitude dive.

          • jcitizen

            Thanks for that assessment TJbrena; I thought about it back then as I spent a lot of time in various armored vehicles, and you always assumed the enemy had your capabilities – the thought of all the damage to the sighting equipment, external fuel cans(Russian), external small arms, and maybe several lucky hits on a track enough to make you dismount. was scary enough for me to contemplate. I actually felt sorry for our enemies if we had been forced to find out if that doctrine worked.

    • justin

      So they replace it with plane that can”t get off the ground and is little more than a trillion dollar boondoggle.

      • andrey kireev

        Haven’t replaced it yet… guess HoR/Senate is actually useful for once huh ? lol

        • Uniform223

          No they are being a charlie bravo. For the HoR and Senate its more political debate then it is about actual capabilities. The USAF intends to gradually replace the A-10 with F-16s and eventually F-35s as they become operational. They wanted the pilots and other “mission essential” personnel to fill into other squadrons. HoR, Senate, and ASC are being CB’s. Having the A-10 around is more of luxury in then an actual operational necessity especially in this current atmosphere of defense budget. Lose some now or lose even more later…

          • andrey kireev

            Well to be fair, F35 will be doing exactly same job as F16… pretty much a bomb truck…something A-10 can do at fraction of the cost… I’m fairly certain it’s one of the cheapest to operate planes in USAF inventory… Honestly, with kinds of war we’re fighting right now, something like A-7 Corsair II would be *ideal*, since it’s cheap and easy to maintain. F35 is still years from being completely useful…

          • Uniform223

            To be fair the A-10 being used as a “bomb truck” isn’t even that good of a bomb truck when you compare overall capabilities to current Vipers and Mudhens. People always like to talk about the cost of the A-10 as it being cheap but as with all military aircraft that ages, the cost will eventually go up. This is further exacerbated that the supply chain for the A-10 (parts and spares) will eventually dry up. Guess where the USAF gets those parts?

            http://www.airplaneboneyards.com/images/amarg/amarg-davis-monthan-afb-a10-thunderbolts-storage.jpg

            http://i.imgur.com/Pk1gw3m.png

            One also has to think about cost benefit ratio. For the cost of the A-10C only doing one mission role that others can also fulfill isn’t much of a benefit. In current defense budget and the up coming defense budget reviews the US Military in general needs to get the “best bang for your buck”. I’ll say it again, lose some now or lose even more later, this is the mentality and harsh reality the US Military as a whole has to decide upon. Spend more for future capabilities now or spend less now for current capabilities but fall short in future capabilities. In the end it all comes down to capabilities and the harsh truth is for all the good the A-10 has done and is doing, it is NOT the most capable aircraft out there.

            “with kinds of war we’re fighting right now, something like A-7 Corsair II would be *ideal*, since it’s cheap and easy to maintain.”

            From old SLUF drivers I’ve talked to the general consensus was that the USAF favored the their A-7s over the A-X program (which eventually lead to the A-10). The A-7 had capabilities that were at the time far better then the eventual A-10. Capabilities like terrain following/mapping radar, moving projected map display, and early PGM capability. In general the A-7 could do far more than the A-10 could at the time.

            Also we can’t just think about “these kinds of wars”. This is exactly what the US military planners as a whole think about. In “these kinds of wars” the A-10 would do good. In a peer level threat war/conflict the A-10 would be floundering or would see incredibly minimal use. Look what happened in the Ukraine and then there is the Pacific to think about. Russia’s annexation and invasion put plenty of people in a whirl. Now Russia is getting involved in Syria. China… need I say more on that? USAF planners aren’t just thinking about “these kinds of wars” but also the worse case war.

            Yes the F-35 is still a ways to go before its COMPLETELY useful (block 4+ upgrades). F-35 and all its variants wont be considered mature until block 3F. As you said the USAF will use the F-35 the same way it uses the F-16… but it will have far more capability than F-16 and A-10 combined and will do things much much differently. The USAF already tested two F-35s at this years Green Flag exercise at Ft. Irwin NTC and it performed exactly how it was designed.

      • TJbrena

        Except the Marines’ F-35B reached IOC a couple months ago, the Air Force’s F-35A reaches IOC next year, and the Navy’s F-35C reaches IOC in 2018.

  • Kevin Harron

    Thanks for the article and share. Great video.

  • Geo

    What and how many combat ground troops does the US Air Force have?

    • Sianmink

      AFSOC combat troops include Pararescue, Combat Controllers, Special Operations Weathermen, and Combat Rescue Officers. They don’t get a lot of press and probably prefer it that way.

  • Ron

    The problem with the loss of the A-10, is not the loss of the aircraft but the loss of the culture of those who fly them.

  • Wild Bill

    What do the USAF and the Taliban/ISIS have in common? They hate the A-10

  • Jeffrey Witkin

    great post

    • KestrelBike

      Agreed, fantastic video (and very much worth it for the testimonials), thanks for sharing!!

  • nadnerbus

    I understand and accept the argument that the A-10 is not much more than a target in a fight with modern air defenses. My problem with that is that the wars we have fought for the last sixty years have not been that kind of war. We absolutely should be prepared for a peer or near peer war, but c’mon. The A-10 has been perfectly suited to fight in the types of wars we have fought.

    The first thing the US does against an enemy with air defenses is degrade and eliminate them with standoff weapons like TLAMs. The A-10 can still have a role after that.

    As far as IR MANPADS, I can’t believe their are none in Afghanistan. How has the A-10 performed against them there?

    • Uniform223

      That last conventional war the US has fought was the first Gulf War. Even though the A-10 gained a stellar reputation, out of all allied and US aircraft flown, the A-10 had the highest attrition rate (both combat losses and inoperable due to battle damage). The fact and truth is that currently any role the A-10 currently fills is or has been filled by other aircraft and platforms. With modern munitions and targeting sensors, CAS is much broader to the fleet. For all intents and purposes, as cool as the A-10 is becoming more of a luxury then an actual redundancy.

      “The first thing the US does against an enemy with air defenses is degrade and eliminate them with standoff weapons like TLAMs. The A-10 can still have a role after that.”

      Even though NATO in Operation Allied Force managed to destroy a large number of air defense systems and units, the remaining SAMs and AAA were still considered a threat that managed to down NATO aircraft (most notably a single F-117). A-10s were not used in that campaign.
      The current A-10C does NOT have the capability to employ true long range stand off missiles… no radar. The only real stand off capability that current A-10Cs have are smart bombs and AGM-65 Mavericks. Even then their engagement ranges are nowhere near that of actual long range stand off cruise missiles.

      • T Sheehan

        The one role that isn’t filled is Cheap. That’s a role that seems entirely outside the AF’s lane. Gowen Field’s A-10 squadron makes almost every last piece of their hogs in house with their own machining equipment, right down to the gun barrels. Fairchild has been gone for decades. THAT’S cost efficient in a way no current fleet craft can be. What little money is saved just would NOT mean much to funding the cash monster that is the F-35, and that’s the stated reason the AF wants the A-10 taken offline. The crap AF Major General James Post is pulling to protect that cash sink hole alone is Ollie North worthy. I’m sure Army General John Campbell would take the 300 hogs off their hands.

        • Buck Timlin

          But the cheap CAS role can be filled with a lot of currently existing aircraft like the Super Tucano or the Textron Scorpion not to mention the various UAVs. The problem is that you would have to do something supernatural to get the USAF to buy a cheap airframe over their beloved JSF.

          • Uniform223

            The USAF did express interest in the Textron Scorpion during a “Close Air Support Summit”.

            http://breakingdefense.com/2015/03/close-air-support-summit-sparks-nod-to-textrons-scorpion/

            I don’t know whats going on with that now. Like it or hate it the F-35 will become the backbone of the US combat air power for fixed-wing platforms in the foreseeable future. The USAF intends to get all 1700+ F-35As and the USMC seems to be diving into the F-35B that will replace their Harrier, Hornet, and Prowlers as a whole. The USN will be “late to the party” as their IOC wont happen until sometime in 2017. The USAF is already testing tactics for the F-35 at Nellis AFB and the USMC are writing CAS CONOPs for the F-35 as a whole.

        • Uniform223

          *sarcasm on*
          I like your enthusiasm
          *sarcasm off*

      • Zebra Dun

        Highest attrition rate? Well if you get down and dirty, up close and personal it stands to reason you will get a high attrition rate.
        What balances this out is the attrition rate, combat effectiveness and winning a battle that the weapon system was involved in.
        An Example would be the Sherman M-4 series of tanks.
        The battles were won through the combat efficiency of the A-10 in spite of the attrition rate, this makes the A-10 an effective and desirable weapons platform for Close air support.
        Given a choice of an F-16 two miles high alt dropping a large smart bomb danger close or an A-10 at eyeball range plowing a field of enemy into blood mud with a dumb Mk 82-83 snake eye and a large gun I’d go for the A-10 every time.

        • Poof-Aloof

          That is one of dumbest things I have ever read on the internet. The successful employment rate of PGMs (LGB/JDAM/SDB/LMAV etc.) is vastly higher than either gun runs or MK-80 series dumb bombs. Even with advanced targeting pods and auto-delivery systems (both the F-16 and the F/A-18 have computed release CCIP/CCRP logic), getting a direct hit on a stationary target is extremely rare. By contrast, missing a stationary target with PGM’s is just as rare. Asking a pilot to provide you with effective CAS using legacy weapons and driving him down into the enemy’s weapons range is…dumb.

          • Zebra Dun

            Name calling means you have lost the argument and have nothing to back up your point but name calling.
            Ask any Grunt, which do you prefer, An Airstrike danger close delivered by an aircraft perhaps ten miles high and fifty miles away or one that can actually see you and your enemy and can instantly tell the difference.
            It’s easy to sit across a keyboard and call people names, not so easy in person.

          • Poof-Aloof

            I have plenty to back up my argument including four years and over 700 flight hours in the Hornet. I’ve spent the last six months dropping bombs on ISIS and I have worked closely with every CAS aircraft flying in support of OIR including Air Force A-10s, F-15Es, and F-16s and Navy Superhornets off of the carrier. I’ve also flown along side French Mirages, Canadian and Australian F-18’s and Dutch Vipers. I have seen the strengths and weaknesses of all of these platforms in…whatever you call this over here. I have a very good idea of what I’m talking about.

            And I didn’t call you any names. I said that your statement was ignorant. Saying things like delivering ordnance danger close “by an aircraft perhaps ten miles high and fifty miles away” doesn’t help your case. An F-22 can certainly reach 60k’, but they are hardly a CAS aircraft. You’ll find most of us in the mid teens to low 20’s. At that altitude and the airspeeds most of us fly, we’re dropping PGMs level from between four to seven miles away. And again, getting first pass hits in training with unguided munitions where everything is static and there is zero danger is a pretty rare thing. In combat, where there is considerably more confusion, danger, and emotion involved, even your best pilot will perform significantly worse. Especially when you are asking him to fly INTO the threat in order to drop his ordnance. A visual delivery of MK-80 series GP ordnance typically has a release of below 8K’ AGL and within two miles of the target. That’s well within the reach of all known MANPADS and the vast majority of ADA pieces around the world.

            I’m not a FAC so I can’t speak to what it’s like on the ground side, but about a third of the pilots in my squadron were. Every single one of them, particularly the two with actual combat FAC tours under their belts, prefers PGMs for CAS. Especially danger close. I’ll be more than happy to have this conversation in six months when I’m on MY FAC tour. I doubt my opinion will have changed by then.

          • Zebra Dun

            I don’t base what I have learned off my formative years in the Marines, some 45 years ago when I was a child growing into a man.
            Do you still base your ideas and thoughts on the experiences you had in High school?

            I base my thoughts and opinions on what facts and figures I read from a great many sources Pro and Con, agreed with or not, on line, in books and from combat veterans I speak with, many close family members veterans of multiple tours in several wars WW2-Korea-Vietnam-Desert Storm and OEF. Veterans I meet at the V. A. I base my thoughts and remarks on being 62 years old and the experience I’ve gained and learned during that time.
            I might add my father built military airplanes for a living all my life so I am privy to a great deal of what he and his work pals had to say.

            Now, as for me?
            I was a Grunt, A Marine Grunt, I am no Hero, nothin’ special, nothin’ to write home about I followed orders went where I was sent, stayed till I was ordered to leave did my job as well as I could and I am not an “expert” I ain’t special.

            If in Combat what I want is an A-10 down on the deck, danger close means I want that Pilot to clearly see my smoke and markers, clearly see my enemy and know the difference between the two. to drop some Snake and Nape right down his throat and survive any shots fired in his direction.
            If he runs Winchester on bombs and rockets I want him to fire up that ast eating Gatling and ruin some enemy grunts day.
            I do not want some Jet Jockey two to ten miles high Orbiting above a location 50 to a couple of hundred miles away, firing a AGM missile/GBU that can be spoofed, ECMed or suffer a malfunction (as many do) or be delayed and out of position by everything from going Winchester, bingo fuel, weather, a flight of birds or failure to get weapons free commands.

            You may feel different, that’s your prerogative it don’t make you dumb.
            My thoughts are mine, gained through study and experience but that doesn’t make me dumb nor what I write dumb.
            Opinions?
            I don’t give a flying road apple about your opinion, they are like astwholes, everyone has one and they all stink.

            Be Advised: you cannot and should not try to prove who and what you are militarily, but, what you say about your military experiences could and probably are inflated opinions about yourself if not out and out lies. The Real deal doesn’t talk about it certainly not in an open forum on some blog somewhere just to make a point about some argument and discussion. I wish I had a dollar every time a forum argument turns into a “well I was with Chesty at the Chosin and we did it this way” or “I am a super secret special operator trained SF, Ranger and Seals as well as an astronaut so what I say is gospel and your dumb” moment.
            I simply stated what I believe and what I have heard and read through study.

            I ain’t tryin’ to shat in your special operator fact or fantasy cheerios.

          • Uniform223

            I was a grunt so I’ll answer this..

            I WANT THE DAMN BOMB ON F-ING TARGET!

            The fact and reality is that majority of CAS missions conducted in Iraq and Afghanistan has been done by PGMs dropped from high or med altitudes. Fancy “danger close” gun runs and bomb drops from low flying aircraft is NOT the rule anymore, it is the exception.

            “one that can actually see you and your enemy and can instantly tell the difference.”

            Modern IFF systems and targeting pods have all since made low and slow for proper enemy and friendly identification with the Mk.1 eyeball all but a thing of the past now. Even the current A-10C uses them. The only aircraft that go low and slow are the ones that are forced to because they can’t operate any higher or faster; helicopters. What is more important for successful CAS is training and coordination between air and ground forces.

            Do I get soft tiny tingles of good feelings when I see an Apache fly over? Yes. Do I get those same feelings when I see an Warthog, Viper, or Beagle fly over during a show of force? Yes. But I tell you what, I get even better feelings when I hear “TOT 10 seconds” and then 10 seconds later, *BOOM!* right on target where it should be. Besides no soldier or marine will EVER turn down CAS because it wasn’t from a Warthog, Apache, or Cobra. If its available and we need it, we’ll take it.

            One does not have to be close, slow, and low anymore for accurate hits on target anymore.

          • Zebra Dun

            There it is, lets get this man what he wants.
            The F-35.

          • Uniform223

            Thanks 😀

            http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pyr9Jeu19Xs/Va-g8u3B99I/AAAAAAAAD-w/p2yvzxH6OK0/s1600/Rude%2BRams%2BStand%2BUp.JPG

            The USAF received its first two combat coded F-35As to Hill AFB Utah. Like or hate the F-35 WILL BE the back bone of future air combat operations…

          • Zebra Dun

            Just so you know Snuffy I am a former Grunt myself.
            Nothing special, I am no hero or expert.

  • anomad101

    All you computer war veterans raise your hand. The A10 is the right tool for the right job. I am not going to call anybody ignorant, or disrespect the Air Force. As long as there are troops on the ground there will be a role for the A10. The only replacement for the A10, is a newer A10. (More than a few of you need to go to charm school).

    • Martin M

      I’m an old Missileer, and look what they did to SAC! I’m so ashamed of what has become of the Air Force. Fighter Generals buying silver plated wonder weapons. Aircraft with ridiculous price tags, dubious performance, and laughable mission capable rates. Culture indeed. Form over function.

    • Buck Timlin

      Oh what I would do for a real A-10 replacement, just imagine it. Radar assisted gun, SAR, current gen thermal imaging, IR signature reduction, etc. Alas the general staff will have none of it.

  • Don

    I love the A-10, it’s is most definitely a badass air frame that does its job well. The P-51 and F-86 were incredible air frames as well. But as ADA improves so must the aircraft. The truth is of all CAS missions conducted by the USAF since the start of both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan the A-10 has performed less than a quarter of them. That’s incredibly low for an airframe thats only role is CAS and in some cases air interdiction. Is the F-35 ready for operational use yet? No. Do I believe we should mothball the A-10 yet? No. However the need for a replacement is real and for the AF to not implement one is reckless.

    • Buck Timlin

      Yeah that’s what a lot of people don’t understand, the problem isn’t that the A-10 is being retired but that it’s being retired without a real replacement.

    • jcitizen

      Oh they did, they started calling the F-16 a “mud fighter” – what a JOKE!

      • Uniform223

        given the fact that most if not all missions the F-16 par takes in is air to ground… yes it is a mudfighter much like the F-15E Strike Eagle also known as the “Mudhed” and “Beagle” (bomb eagle).

        • jcitizen

          I can’t take it seriously that an aircraft with so little loiter time, and high altitude high speed, can see anything resembling a ground support role for COIN. Sorry, but it just doesn’t make sense! I’d sooner a UAV was watching over me – which is probably what is going to happen anyway.

          • Uniform223

            Loiter time on any particular aircraft is subject to many things such as how altitude, speed, distance from base to area, and payload. An F-16 with 2 EFTs already has close too (either a little below or over, can’t remember the exact number) has 18000lbs of fuel. Loiter time is important for a number of reasons but loiter only really truly matters if the air asset is on station and providing support. In reality that rarely happens that a unit has an air asset that is specifically dedicated to them (outside of SOF of course). If the CAS is needed and it isn’t directly on station you call for the closest or most available… which ever could get to you the quickest.

            Also loiter time was more important back before sophisticated air to ground sensors and PGMs. This often meant multiple passes. The US military found out that making multiple passes on a heavily defended target decreases the odds of success and most importantly survival. Successful single pass on target increases the odds of survival.

            “I can’t take it seriously that an aircraft with so little loiter time, and high altitude high speed, can see anything resembling a ground support role for COIN. Sorry, but it just doesn’t make sense!”

            The days of using the Mk.1 eyeball as the sole source of target identification is gone. Get used to the fact that the USAF, USN, and USMC have been using high altitude “fast movers” for CAS for the past 10+ years now and have been more effective than ever before. Besides the platform from which the munitions being dropped doesn’t matter anymore. What is most important and critical for successful CAS is communication between ground and air, training, and proficiency of both air and ground elements. Also close to or more than 90% of munitions used in combat from US aircraft (fixed wing) since 2001 has been PGMs.

            In one of my comments there is a video of F-16 pilots experience in Afghanistan. Down at the very bottom in fact.

          • jcitizen

            Thanks for your thoughtful response. When B-52s were lounging around Afghanistan packed with JDAMS, it all make sense to me, but afterward, when they were sent back state side, not as much.

            However – so many new assents have come out like these boxes that can be dumped off in strategic locations where they are rarely discovered and can self destruct if messed with, that can do missile missions to these electronic battlefield systems, that make it possible to call in a mission electronically from these robots, and POOF the target is destroyed and very little collateral damage occurs. Plus 150 lb. small diameter bombs with scissor wings put on them and launched from UAVs that are also tied into the battle field concept, that can travel farther than a JDAM to hit targets with precision that again reduces collateral damage but still gets the job done.

            I’ve never heard results from my buddies in the dirt, and in fact most of them said they did without CAS, because too many air assets were tied up else where, but I’ve read and watched a lot of field tests that lead me to believe this can be part of the future of COIN support. With these kind of assets, we won’t always need a CAS mission hanging around burning up as much fuel, and in fact a lot of blimps were appearing on the scene for semi-permanent surveillance.

            I don’t doubt the USAF is rethinking this mission, but I get the distinct feeling the Army is trying to solve this too – and make it as economical as possible. Sad to say I was once an artilleryman and some new long range rocket assisted smart bullets were developed for the 175mm SPs, however these didn’t turn out so good and were probably going to be another boondoggle to tax payers I’m afraid. There just isn’t the money to extend the big boomers in this reality.

            Of course there is always the new range extended smart MLRS launchers we used to use for counter battery fire – they can afford to sit out of harms way (generally) and fire one missile at a time that could fulfill multiple rolls in the same field. The range is immense with these things. I have no doubt hardware and tactics will continue to improve for missions against asymmetric forces.

  • Bal256

    People claim that A-10s can take a licking and keep on ticking, but they were getting wrecked in the 90’s gulf war so hard that the air force pulled them back from the forward line and used them only for low-risk missions. The advancement of precision weapons means you don’t have to get within spitting distance to put the hurt on someone anymore.

    • skusmc

      Really, because of this reason all combat missions in future conflicts will be flown by UAV drivers anyway. The entire JSF/A10 debate will seem silly in a decade when no politician will allow even the possibility of the negative publicity of an aircrew loss when it can just be an airframe instead.

      • efred1

        All fine and dandy, until a traitor gives ISIS the frequency codes, and then uses them against us. Don’t laugh; ANY and ALL codes can be hacked, and the past has been proof positive of that.

        • Buck Timlin

          I’d be curious who also sold them the control consoles needed to do anything with it.

          • efred1

            Uh, does the acronym of his initials also mean Body Odor?

          • Buck Timlin

            No, it means Command Post

    • Zebra Dun

      Precision weapons can be nullified by several different methods, then your back to eyeball Mk 2 and holding your mouth right.
      Nothing is an invincible weapon those that are close to invincible are appreciated.

    • Hillary “Bobblehead” Clinton

      I FULLY agree with you!

      We should kill the A-10 program immediately!

      BRW, I really liked how you listed aircraft from a war over TWENTY YEARS AGO that were hit in very small text, making it harder to see that FIVE of the above list of eleven aircraft were NOT A-10s, and that most of the A-10 pilots survived.

      I LIKE people that can present distorted agendas in devious ways – WELL DONE!

    • n0truscotsman

      “wrecked”?
      Dare to compare the number of sorties versus the other types of air frames and get back to us?

      That is an incredibly ridiculous assertion common among A10 haters.

      The A10 excelled in a role it wasn’t even designed to conduct: Interdiction.

      The only ones that got “wrecked” was the Iraqi Army.

  • Blackhawk 2001

    My AirCav unit did some Joint Air Attack Tactics training with an A-10 unit in 1978 or ’79. As part of the orientation, we got to sit in the A-10 cockpit and see some of what they were doing while flying at less than 200 ft & 250 kts. They were impressive then – as a “tank-buster” designed to degrade Warsaw Pact Tank Armies; they made their bones in Iraq; and if the Air Force doesn’t want them, I’m SURE the Army would take ’em off their hands any time they please.

    • Uniform223

      That would be great but there is unfortunately a law prohibiting the US Army from operating fixed-wing aircraft. Also why would the US Army need a fixed-wing CAS platform when it already operates the AH-64? If for any hypothetical reason the US Army should acquire a fixed wing platform for CAS that would end up being more expensive then they are worth; new facilities, personnel, and brand new TRADOC…

  • Grindstone50k

    For these low-intensity, gurellia-style, asymmetrical war, fast, light, and deadly is what carries the day. Smaller, lighter CAS aircraft is what is needed. Throw some guns and Hellfires on small planes and call it a day.

    • Buck Timlin

      The Iraqis have had fairly good success with using the AC-208, a Cessna Caravan with hellfires.

  • Oldtrader3

    I have always thought, after A-10 in Desert Strike, that 6 squadrons of constant A-10 sorties would eliminate ISIS is short order, just like they did the Republican Guard of Iraq?

    • anomad101

      Only the Air Force hierarchy believes they can win a war from the air. The Republican Guard of Iraq was only to keep civilians in line, not fight a war.

  • Uniform223

    I really liked this video up until the point where this was said, “when you tell them something else pff I don’t care about that tell me when A-10s are on station”. It is still a good video but that part just irked me.

    from personal experience that is hogwash. Yes we ground troops love the A-10 for what it is and what it does but in the end we don’t really care what is providing CAS for us so long as its there and doing it. No soldier or marine will turn down a flight F-16s on station that can provide immediate support now then to request the closest flight of A-10s that could be 10 minutes out or more.

    Also this belief that the USAF doesn’t care about ground troops is false. They have helped “boots on the ground” ever since their inception. CAS will still be provided, it will just be done differently by another platform.

  • kyphe

    Don’t confuse armored vehicles with “tanks” it has been proven by post war analysis and war time field reports that air power was responsible for only a fraction of the claimed kills. in fact Rudel claims to have killed more tanks than were confirmed killed by all air power of all nations combined throughout the war. My Granddad was a tanker in WW2, I also have two great uncles as RAF pilots. Mother and father both RAF I was born in an RAF base in Germany.

    btw your link is broke

    • Paul Dame

      Fair enough – confirming a tank kill in real time or from gun camera footage was difficult. His unit did work over the Falaise Pocket and then retreating German columns around Mons in early September ’44 for huge m/t and other equipment tallies.

      • jcitizen

        I’ve seen the footage from a P-47 pilot and he put the fear of God into those Panzer units. Did those eight 50 caliber guns penetrate the armor, no, did the rockets he fired blow them up, occasionally, did the German tankers pee their pants? According to intelligence gathered in and collected by Lt. Kuhlmann, the damage was enough to throw them completely off kilter. When you rain that much fire and damnation at a metal object it is going to affect the occupants, especially if they are already suffering from PTS, and you can see some of them un-assing their tanks and running!

        Did their 500 pound bombs connect? Occasionally – the pure fear this was coming next is what made the whole package work.

  • Zebra Dun

    I wish the Marines could get some A-10’s and make them carrier capable.
    The cost would be the problem.

  • efred1

    I agree; contact your Congressmen to cede authority of combat all sub-sonic fixed wing aircraft to the Army.

  • jcitizen

    TOTALLY!!!!

  • jcitizen

    I feel the Air Force is afraid someone will inherit them and do well, and somehow make them look bad. The states were calling for A-10s for the National Guard. They figured if the Air Force didn’t want them the Army National Guard would. You know what? The Joint Chiefs blocked the deal from the AF side. They don’t want ANYONE to have them!

  • jcitizen

    They tried, but were blocked.

  • jcitizen

    I was going to say, I know a Lt. Arthur Kuhlmann that splatted a LOT of Panzers in WW2 with his P-47!! I have the gun camera footage to prove it!!

  • anomad101

    Low, slow and stick around, from “Sandy” to A-10.

  • kyphe

    Your friends can’t argue with facts and after action reports. The effect allied air power did have on tanks was to knock out their supply and maintenance without which a tank is useless. Rudel was consulted by the A10 team as it looks good on paper when you can say you have some celeb endorsement. If you believe he killed all the tanks he claimed then their is something seriously wrong with you.

    • Wolfgar

      I wouldn’t exactly call Rudel a useful celebrity having fought on the side of Hitler, and not the kind of celebrity a US defense contractor would have put on a product brochure. Bad PR and all that. Rudels biggest supporters after the war were not his own country men but the men he fought against. There has never been any documentation that I have seen that would contradict any of his accomplishments. I guess all the veterans, historians and men who actually fought in that war who agree with me also have something serious wrong with them too. The insults coming from such a well manner chap such as your self says it all. Have a nice day.

      • kyphe

        He was clearly a celebrity in the field or no one would bother with him at all. US had a romance with the myth of superior German tech so Rudel is exactly who a US contractor would put on their brochure. You never see any examination of his claims anywhere! no one mentions he claimed to have bombed a ship on a date it was not in harbor. No one mentions that his bomb was not the only bomb to hit the cruiser Marat most credit him alone with its sinking. Yes if any actual historian takes Rudels claims as fact they are are a fraud. Historians know that veteran testimony often totally contradicts the known facts and the testimony of other vets and can not be relied upon.

        According to men who actually fought in that war tiger tanks were everywhere! every gun was an 88mm. Belton Cooper is a prime example of historical rubbish from a veteran that has been totally debunked! yet his nonsense pervades and corrupts history with his veteran status used to defend his claims. The German wartime propaganda machine had a reason to take every word Rudel said as fact but you don’t. Saying that there is something very wrong with a person who takes a strangers word for killing over 500 tanks, when all the examination of destroyed tanks on both east and western fronts, both during the war and post war! totally contradicted every air-force that participated in their claimed kills, is not an insult! it is a pretty fair diagnosis.

        • Wolfgar

          British historian David Irving has done a lot of research after the war and claims there was never any Jewish gassing at Auschwitz or any other concentration camps. He dares anyone to prove he is wrong with a $10,000 dollar reward for any substantial proof that would contradict his research. I guess using your logic the men and victims that witnessed the Holocaust should be discredited. I do know that when a police officer needs statements from 20 witnesses to a crime they will sometimes get 20 contradicting statements. The fog of war and exaggerations come with the territory and there is a respectful way of discussing this. You obviously haven’t learned that. If you can debunk Rudels claims by all means do the research and present it. I have no skin in the game. You built your opinion from a post war analysis. Who did the analysis, and were they credible, and honest? Those people are strangers to me so using your logic I shouldn’t take their word as being fact. Can you prove they got their assessment right? Who were the people who did the analysis? Could they have had an ulterior motive to discredit ground attach planes? I know military analysis in the US don’t always get it right and the soldier pays for it. Does the US Air force leaving a gun off the F4 phantom in its design ring any bells? Their analysis proved guns on planes were obsolete and missiles were all that was needed. That came from a post Korean analysis. That didn’t worked out so well during Vietnam WAR now did it? This is a forum to give and discuss opinions and you may have some good facts and thoughts to share but being insulting during the discussion process doesn’t help your case. That is my diagnosis. CHEERS!

          • kyphe

            First you use veteran status in the classic fallacy of appeal to authority, then you use anecdotal fallacy, now you use the fallacy of Argument from ignorance and ofc the fallacy of shifting the burden of proof. I stopped counting after that.

            Each military had people dedicated to reporting on events like the destruction of tanks, on examining the material evidence and documenting it. what caliber of gun or if it was something else, what range and angle of attack and the extent of the damage and if the vehicle could be repaired or was written off.

            Korea showed the limitations of guns! it did not show the potential of future missile technology. there was nothing wrong with the data! the fault lay with the interpretation and extrapolation from known to unknowns.

          • Wolfgar

            Your right I apologies, nobody should have an opinion that is contrary to yours. . If it contradicts your opinion and assessments it must be fallacy. How dare I or anyone else try to have a discussion on an open forum or give an opinion which is obviously pure fallacy when it contradicts yours.. We will all be waiting patently for your historical book on everything so we can disband all opinions and historical discussions and read the absolute truth from the Omnipotent historical work of yours. Then we can all watch you assent into heaven where you will be with beings more fitting of your stature and we will then know the absolute truth of everything. Thank you for setting me straight and showing me the errors of my ways oh great one.

          • kyphe

            What I identify are basic classical logical fallacy used again and again by people to support weak or spurious argument. Straw Man for example. presenting the claims of one historian vs thousands of camp survivors as the arguments are superficially similar yet fundamentally different. You use the easily defended point as a straw man (decoy) to support your own position when in that case it is in fact the opposite of thousands of investigators vs one mans unverified personal kill claims. If you want to debate publicly it pays to learn the basics. The fallacy are not suggestive of the opinions stated as that is independent of the manner a point is presented.

          • Wolfgar

            What you haven’t ascended to heaven yet?. You mention thousands of investigators vs one mans unverified personnel kill claim. Thousands of investigators? Can we say exaggeration?. Former soldiers, enemies, national leaders historians,all recognized Rudel’s accomplishments. Your character assignation of Rudel falls into the realm of conspiracy theory as does David Irvings position. The Nazi government used him only for propaganda , his comrades in arms, his former enemies, historians, national leaders, the A-10 design team all conspired to exaggerate his accomplishments and hide the truth for nefarious reasons. You obvious show classic signs of PPD and NPD. Your belief there is a world wide conspiracy to hide the truth and your
            hostile response to friendly discussion are symptoms of classic “PPD” Paranoid personality disorder. You arrogantly call any differing opinion other than your own as fallacy, use character assassination as an argument and then set the rules for public debate. Classic “NPD” Narcissistic disorder. I do believe they have medication for these conditions. Good luck!

          • kyphe

            Exaggeration is the definition of how you describe my comments lol, yes thousands of official instigators who produced and codified the after action reports on destroyed tanks on every front of WW2. vs the unsupported tank total kill claims of one man who you chose to belive without any corroborating evidence! We know what the longest sniper shot in history was as it was confirmed afterwords no one took a mans claim on face value! because that would be dumb. I have never called your opinion a fallacy! your claiming otherwise is a lie! I have explained this patiently to you. I have correctly called out your use of logical fallacy to support your position without merit and undermine my position. these were not set by me lol this is basic debate 101. I have assassinated no ones character. Rudel could have scored only 10% of his claims as actual kills and still be the best CAS pilot in history. All Air forces exaggerated their tank kill claims, this is proven fact! get over it! I get it. this is one of your heroes and you are upset that he is not what you want to believe. I will leave you to your delusions if they make you feel better. Or you will just throw more tantrums at me.

          • Wolfgar

            Freud was right!

          • Uniform223

            I am not an expert I am just a modern military aviation enthusiast.

            ” Does the US Air force leaving a gun off the F4 phantom in its design ring any bells? Their analysis proved guns on planes were obsolete and missiles were all that was needed. That came from a post Korean analysis. That didn’t worked out so well during Vietnam WAR now did it?”

            That is actually more of a myth than an actual full blown fact.

            The analysis of the air war in Korea showed that the speeds at which current or future fighter aircraft (at the time) were going to get faster (transonic and supersonic envelopes), too fast to employ “guns” properly. They also looked at the USSR as the main threat with its fleet of long and intermediate ranged bombers (Tu-95) and high speed supersonic capable fighters (Mig-25). The US Military as a whole was more “geared” towards large scale conventional warfare against the USSR and Soviet Bloc.
            The prevailing theory was that US and NATO airforces will have to intercept and defend against large Russian bombers. The F-4 was designed specifically as a intercept aircraft (just by operational necessity and chance did it become more than that) against Russian bombers and intercept aircraft. Against large Russian bombers or super sonic threats, guns would be of little to no use. So in reality the US Military planners weren’t completely wrong nor were they completely right.

            Also the restrictive ROEs place upon US pilots on during Vietnam also played a role in the F-4’s early “failures”. ROEs demanded that US pilots need to visually identify before engaging.

          • Wolfgar

            You are correct with your assessment. You may not be an expert but you explained it as one, good job. Now this is good dialog where you proved your case and my incorrect assessment on a subject manner with out the use of any insults to prove your point. Thank you for being civil and respectful.

  • efred1

    I stand corrected on the B-52; however, the A-10 flew more sorties per plane than any other.
    Also, ask any foot soldier what aircraft is the most welcomed in the heat of combat, and I dare say, the vast majority will say the A-10.

  • Zebra Dun

    The Sherman was a better Tank than we are led to believe, it’s sloped armor front made it’s armor as resistant if not more so than the Tigers which were few and far between.
    There were more Sherman’s and they were in the offensive, facing defensive forces which made their attrition rates go up.
    Attrition rates when closer to the enemies ability to shot you means he has a better than average chance of hitting you.
    The closer you are to traffic the better the chance of getting hit by a car.
    Apaches?
    Karbala March 23,2003
    The 11th Regt with 31 AH-64 Apaches attacked the Medina Division.
    A system was in place to warn of the attack via cell phones and turning the city lights on and off.
    The battle lasted just 30 minutes and the results were one Apache shot down and the Pilots captured.
    Post-battle analysis indicated the American gunships were targeted in a deliberately planned ambush with cannon fire, RPGs, and small-arms all combining from multiple camouflaged fire teams.
    Of the 29 returning Apaches, all but one suffered serious damage. On
    average, each Apache had 15-20 bullet holes; one Apache even took 29
    hits. Sixteen main rotor blades, six tail blades, six engines and five
    drive shafts were damaged beyond repair. In one squadron only a single
    helicopter was deemed fit to fly. It took a month until the 11th
    Regiment was ready to fight again. The casualties sustained by the
    Apaches induced a change of tactics by placing significant restrictions
    on their use. Attack helicopters would now be used to reveal the location of enemy
    troops, allowing them to be destroyed by artillery and air strikes the Secretary of the Army stated “we are lucky we didn’t lose more of them” The Apaches were reluctant to return fire; most enemy fire was coming
    from houses and the risk of collateral damage was high. The helicopters
    scattered in search of the Medina Division, but were hampered by poor
    intelligence. Apache “Vampire 12”, flown by Warrant Officers David S. Williams and Ronald D. Young Jr., was forced down after
    gunfire severed the hydraulics. The air commander’s radio was also hit,
    preventing communication with the other helicopters. The Apaches turned
    for home after a half-hour of combat. Most were without functioning
    navigation equipment or sights. At least two narrowly avoided a mid-air
    collision. A virtual hail of lead from mass AK-47 fire is what did the deed. Tactics changed Attack helicopters would now be used to reveal the location of enemy
    troops, allowing them to be destroyed by artillery and air strikes, making the attrition rate better for the Apaches.

    As stated above,
    “Well if you get down and dirty, up close and personal it stands to reason you will get a high attrition rate.”

    The Apaches did and the attrition rate went up, when they changed tactics to recon/Fire control their attrition rates went down dramatically.

    Now this doesn’t say the A-10 would have fared better given the mission and the circumstances.
    It is better armored and could have picked it’s targets from a safer set up.
    .

    • Uniform223

      “The Sherman was a better Tank than we are led to believe, it’s sloped armor front made it’s armor as resistant if not more so than the Tigers which were few and far between.”

      Actually no they weren’t.
      Even though the Sherman had “slopped” armor its overall thickness was still too thin to properly defend against the Tiger’s main gun and the dreaded 88mm. That is why some tank crews would apply “additional armor” (sand bags, spare tank treads, welded on additional plates) to the Sherman. Even the T-34 couldn’t take a direct frontal hit from the Tiger’s gun. Tiger tanks were known to take numerous direct hits (front) from the Sherman’s lower velocity and smaller 75mm cannon. Tigers even took multiple hits from the side from the Sherman’s gun (at long range) and was still able to operate. There were numerous accounts from US and Allied tanker crews as well as recovery crews of holes being punched straight through the Sherman by German “guns”. The Sherman tank even gained some rather unpopular and grim nicknames for catching fire after direct hits from the larger more potent German tank guns; “Ronson” and “TommyCooker”. Shermans couldn’t even survive hits from later model Panzer IVs. Even late into the war when the Sherman received a larger and longer 76mm, it still struggled against Tiger and Panther tanks.
      The only chance the Sherman stood against the more potent Tiger and even Panthers were to outnumber them… which they did.

      The event you mentioned about the Apache helicopters is a well known and well orchestrated ambush technique. Few people (even grunts) realize is that the Apache’s early and original technique was to fly “nap of the earth” to sneak up on enemy locations and engage from stand off distances. Against insurgents in an urban setting flying at low altitudes presents more risk. This is why (from my understanding) US and Coalition rotary wing aircraft later started to fly at higher altitudes in Iraq. The event could have been of less severity if the Apaches were flying at higher altitudes.

      Though you are right, when the tactics changed the attrition rates for the Apaches did drop dramatically. Even in Afghanistan (from my understandings) Apaches still prefer to engage at stand off distances.

      As for the A-10 the real worry is that against a well equipped, well trained, and motivated foe; the A-10 wont have the success that we all fondly look at the A-10 with. Even the USAF admits that in large scale exercises, without proper support, suppression, nullification, or complete dismantle of modern air defenses; the A-10 would not be operationally viable due to predicted loss rates. The idea and notion that after the 1st or even 5th day an enemies air defenses will be completely destroyed or dismantled , is quickly becoming false. Though a large majority of it will be destroyed there will still be stand alone platforms/systems that will present a threat.

    • n0truscotsman

      Have you been on the tanks and afv news site? and tank archives blogspot?

      Good stuff. Particularly when debunking the myth about the Shermans. Especially debunking the myths about the perceived ineffectiveness of its main gun, particularly, in the combat environment they faced the Panzers in. Zaloga’s stuff is an awesome source for information as well.

      The Sherman was probably the best tank of WW2 when you weigh all of the factors. Certainly better than the German cats.