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Thread: America's Next Bomber: Unmanned, Unlimited Range, Aimed At China

  1. #46
    How's that Hopey Changey thing workin'? C.Puffs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by artjomh View Post
    Strategic long-range bombers will never be unmanned. Because of nuclear weapons. There will always be a person dropping The Bomb, never an computer system.

    The thing is optionally unmanned for tactical missions.
    I'll bet there are many strategic bomber pilots who wish some of those 40+ hour missions could have been unmanned.
    Last edited by C.Puffs; 05-09-2012 at 05:08 PM.

  2. #47
    Member TheCorruptedOne's Avatar
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    Just a little note though regarding the A-10: the cannon is the reason why it will be still in service for quite a while. If it's cheap to operate and it can fly after air supremacy and SEAD units have had a go at the enemy, then why the hell would you want to replace it with a far more demanding and expensive platform relying on expensive PGMs? Or did I miss a missive influx of money for the military after the Cold War?

    I apologise for the off-topic post.

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    Member Hoverhind's Avatar
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    COIN often requires NOE flying, otherwise ISAF and Coalition wouldn't be doing for more than a decade. That's where the A-10 excelles. What happens when a pilot expends his PGMs? Often, he will still have shells and sometimes a call comes in from ground troops that they need help. No fighter pilot would say "Sorry guys, I don't feel comfortable flying low". I believe that is how the F-16 I mentioned came from dropping PGMs to strafing the enemy. The pilot flew so low that he crashed into terrain, and while he was killed he saved some lives on the ground.

    My point is, heavily armed and armored fighters for close support will always be needed to do that job, no more, no less. Substituting F-35 for A-10 is like trying to replace a pickup with a sports car.

  4. #49
    L O L A JCR's Avatar
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    The plan is to replace on call CAS with Drones, I guess. Which might or might not work.
    You can't put a 30mm cannon in a Drone but it can drop bombs just as well.

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    Member SpudmanWP's Avatar
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    Two words

    Operational Flexibility, ie multi-role

    The F-35 has it but the A-10 does not.

    The powers that be have determined that is is more cost effective to have a fleet of fighters that can preform multiple missions than to have specialized aircraft that can only do a few missions but have to be staffed, trained, maintained, and paid for full time.

    The A-10 is overkill for the COIN role. Better to have a turboprop job (my pick the the OV-10X) than ANY jet powered fighter (except maybe the A-37)

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    Deserter Soldat_Américain's Avatar
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    A-10 is still not really Tactical Air Power...that would be the JUG and the Skyraider.

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    Member TheCorruptedOne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpudmanWP View Post
    Two words

    Operational Flexibility, ie multi-role

    The F-35 has it but the A-10 does not.

    The powers that be have determined that is is more cost effective to have a fleet of fighters that can preform multiple missions than to have specialized aircraft that can only do a few missions but have to be staffed, trained, maintained, and paid for full time.

    The A-10 is overkill for the COIN role. Better to have a turboprop job (my pick the the OV-10X) than ANY jet powered fighter (except maybe the A-37)
    F-35 is an aircraft with a serious identity crisis. Jack of all trades, master of none. Incorporating some of the know-how gained from the F-35 program into A-10 would be by far the best solution (electronic countermeasures, for an example), I bet it wouldn't be overly expensive as well. The aircraft still has its niche, and it has done a superb job in all conflicts it has participated in so far. I do agree including a lower end element, in the form of a turboprop (I hope you notice a certain controversy, you need to train and pay for the pilots of those turboprops as well). Hoping the F-35 would do A-10's job as effectively is just wishful thinking. In the next conflict, those shiny and expensive F-35 may just need to get up close and personal with hostile forces and in that situation, planes will be lost. Expensive planes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soldat_Américain View Post
    A-10 is still not really Tactical Air Power...that would be the JUG and the Skyraider.
    What exactly do you think "tactical airpower" is? Just FYI TAC use to have F-105s, F-4s, F-111s etc.
    Last edited by C.Puffs; 05-10-2012 at 08:19 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCorruptedOne View Post
    F-35 is an aircraft with a serious identity crisis. Jack of all trades, master of none. Incorporating some of the know-how gained from the F-35 program into A-10 would be by far the best solution (electronic countermeasures, for an example), I bet it wouldn't be overly expensive as well. The aircraft still has its niche, and it has done a superb job in all conflicts it has participated in so far. I do agree including a lower end element, in the form of a turboprop (I hope you notice a certain controversy, you need to train and pay for the pilots of those turboprops as well). Hoping the F-35 would do A-10's job as effectively is just wishful thinking. In the next conflict, those shiny and expensive F-35 may just need to get up close and personal with hostile forces and in that situation, planes will be lost. Expensive planes.
    And yet somehow you think A-10s are going to be survivable in the face of TOR, BUK, and Tunguska?

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    Quote Originally Posted by C.Puffs View Post
    What exactly do you think "tactical airpower" is? Just FYI TAC use to have F-105s, F-4s, F-111s etc.
    It's an air component built around supporting the grunt. That's because the Air Force didn't take the concept seriously.

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    Sheep dog standing before wolves The Dane's Avatar
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    The new bomber - I think, it will be a UCAV that carry maybe 8 tons(half of the B-2 payload) of bombs or missiles internerally, with lower RCS than even X-47, very longe range plus the ability to supercruise like F-22. And it will be able fly automounous, via satellite link or controlled by F-22's, F-35's and AWACS.. An automonous SEAD capability is also possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soldat_Américain View Post
    It's an air component built around supporting the grunt. That's because the Air Force didn't take the concept seriously.
    Nope. That's CAS. CAS is but one subset of TAC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dane View Post
    The new bomber - I think, it will be a UCAV that carry maybe 8 tons(half of the B-2 payload) of bombs or missiles internerally, with lower RCS than even X-47, very longe range plus the ability to supercruise like F-22. And it will be able fly automounous, via satellite link or controlled by F-22's, F-35's and AWACS.. An automonous SEAD capability is also possible.
    Doubt it will have supercruise. $$$$$$ In fact few soruces have ever suggested that it might be supersonic. Most (including the USAF) say subsonic.

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    Senior Member -Max2-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breakfast in Vegas View Post
    Obviously that depends on whom we are facing. A-10 has survived just fine in the conflicts of the last 20 years.
    Thats debatable. 5 A-10s were shot down during Desert Storm and 5 more were so badly damaged they never flew again. Another Hog was lost to a SAM during Iraqi Freedom. With 11 aircraft downed/damaged beyond repair, the A-10 has suffered more losses than any other USAF type in the last 20 years...

    I still think that the A-10 is a great plane but that myth that the A-10 is somekind of indestructible aircraft is just that, a myth. If 1970s-vintage SA-9/13 sometimes proved lethal for the A-10 back in 1991, then there is no way it is going to be survivable against Tor, Tunguska, etc, as C.Puffs pointed out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by C.Puffs View Post
    And yet somehow you think A-10s are going to be survivable in the face of TOR, BUK, and Tunguska?
    Nope, I don't think it will fare too well. Will the F-35 fare better in the same situation? I very much doubt it.

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