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Shhhh...Don't talk about the A-10


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Abiding by common sense and security as well as the forum rules, I am a civilian currently, looking for information on the usefulness of the A-10 in modern combat, particularly where networked Russian systems like the Pantsir and BUK are involved. General thoughts, with nothing classified or specific incidents not publicly well reported please. Love to hear from some pilots of the Warthog, or analysts familiar with the modern Russian systems. I'm aware of the general toughness, and survivability, and the fact the A-10 is the current CAS champ. I also understand the A-10 is one aspect of the aerial ballet, and that other aircraft and systems come in to fill in the gaps in A-10 abilities like removal of RADAR sources. Again, without violating forum rules, could the A-10 function in a modernized battle with leading edge tech anti-aircraft systems like Pantsir or BUK (or others)?

A second, somewhat related question, what would the minimal training time be for training a hypothetical foreign friendly national to pilot and use in a CAS role the A-10... What I have found online is 55 weeks, 260 hours of flight time. (And that there are no public records of any active A-10 pilots outside the USAF, so strictly hypothetical) 

If the questions can't be answered without violating the forum rules, please don't answer saying that, as that inability, if present, represents an abstraction of the information itself. 

 

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12246902_630007543806915_861717096421841

Nice.

It appears the A-10 is (kind of) safe for another year.  The President is expected to pass the current version of the 2016 NDAA.  The ambiguity comes in the form of what is considered "significant reductions" in part C:

SEC. 141. BACKUP INVENTORY STATUS OF A–10 AIRCRAFT.

(a) Maximum Number.—In carrying out section 133(b)(2)(A) of the Carl Levin and Howard P. “Buck” McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 (Public Law 113–291; 128 Stat. 3316), the Secretary of the Air Force may not move more than 18 A–10 aircraft in the active component to backup flying status pursuant to an authorization made by the Secretary of Defense under such section.

(b) Conforming Amendment.—Such section 133(b)(2)(A) is amended by striking “36” and inserting “18”.

 

SEC. 142. PROHIBITION ON AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS FOR RETIREMENT OF A–10 AIRCRAFT.

(a) Prohibition On Availability Of Funds For Retirement.—Except as provided by section 141, none of the funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act or otherwise made available for fiscal year 2016 for the Air Force may be obligated or expended to retire, prepare to retire, or place in storage or on backup aircraft inventory status any A–10 aircraft.

(b) Additional Limitations On Retirement.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided by section 141, and in addition to the limitation in subsection (a), during the period before December 31, 2016, the Secretary of the Air Force may not retire, prepare to retire, or place in storage or on backup flying status any A–10 aircraft.

(2) MINIMUM INVENTORY REQUIREMENT.—The Secretary of the Air Force shall ensure the Air Force maintains a minimum of 171 A–10 aircraft designated as primary mission aircraft inventory.

(c) Prohibition On Availability Of Funds For Significant Reductions In Manning Levels.—None of the funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act or otherwise made available for fiscal year 2016 for the Air Force may be obligated or expended to make significant reductions to manning levels with respect to any A–10 aircraft squadrons or divisions.

(d) Additional Limitation On Significant Reductions In Manning Levels.—In addition to the limitation in subsection (c), during the period before December 31, 2016, the Secretary of the Air Force may not make significant reductions to manning levels with respect to any A–10 aircraft squadrons or divisions.

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Fish bowl, there's a massive fighter pilot shortage. If the A-10 goes away, those pilots will fill 11F billets. ....i.e. they'll fly fighters, trainers, or go to school/staff or ALO. I know several guys that got Tx'd to other fighters a couple years ago based entirely on the *threat* of the A-10 going away. I know at least another dozen that have transitioned to the F-35. Several others to the A-29.

 

M Mouse. Ask around, F-35s are starting to come off the line faster than they can find pilots. The A-10 isn't going anywhere for now, so contrary to what you implied about F-35 supply/demand, the limfac will very quickly become pilots, not iron. Ironically, cutting the A-10 is one of the only ways to solve that problem because it would free up a majority of the community to crosstrain.

 

If they made a sweeping cut to the A-10 fleet, what do you think would become of the Hog guard/reserve 11Fs (assuming they don't want to fly whatever the follow-on aircraft is at their unit; like how the -130J was proposed for MD's 104th)?  Seems like the -35s may be farther away from that community, at least in large numbers.

Edited by Jumpseat18
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....I don't think the cut would be "sweeping," per se. It would be gradual, unit by unit over the course of a couple/few years.

 

As far as the guard/res guys, if they don't want to transition I think their options are pretty simple: separate/retire or move to another unit.

 

Hogs have lost Barnes, Bradley, New Orleans, Willow Grove, and Fort Smith in the last decade. Battle Creek moved to Selfridge and Barksdale moved to DM. We gained Fort Wayne. ....Every unit has a hip pocket plan to transition (back) to vipers if the A-10 goes away. (Boise will go to Strike Eagles at MH)

 

In all those moves, I know guys that stayed and transitioned to the new jet, guys that separated/retired, and guys that relocated to stay in the hog.

Or you can apply here.

http://www.news9.com/story/28039187/a-10-warthog-to-take-on-oklahomas-thunderstorms

 

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