A10 is not going anywhere but flying!

That’s an expensive joke to keep going. Aren’t they forced by congress anyway to keep it flying?

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Dunno, seems to me like it’s having a nice run for such an old airframe…

Old airframes are expensive and relatively ineffective. It’s an escalating sliding scale of money you have to throw at it for the exact same output as you had before. It’s very problematic keeping them flying given how many inspections you have to do, especially with airframes that have to withstand G-loading beyond your standard airliner limits.

Really, it’s a terrible decision from an maintenance perspective if you look at the costs associated with it.

You can call it “relatively ineffective”, but there’s first person account that’s not quite entirely true…
Time will tell I guess.

I would argue that the cost of the lives of troops saved in combat more than offsets that.

Name a currently available airframe that can do the A10’s job as effectively. It is an old platform, but it isn’t going up against the latest and greatest of air defense systems.

I’d say the A10 is still cheaper than utilizing something like the F35 in the same role. Fighting fanatical thugs in the desert is not a role that will disappear anytime soon. The A10 is still very effective at doing that.

Looking forward, what we need is a true A10 replacement. It needs to be effective, rugged, with simple systems and relatively cheap so that we can buy plenty of them.


Unfortunately, such platforms aren’t sexy, fast, or particularly groundbreaking, and the Air Force these days seems to have less and less interest in things that aren’t sexy, fast, and groundbreaking.


Indeed, but it seems that we are doomed to repeat history. We need another John Boyd.

Btw, I also see the need to have the cutting edge fast and sexy platforms (they take decades to develop and you can’t just pull one out of a hat if the need suddenly arises), but for a down and dirty, in the weeds conflict, fast and sexy doesn’t really cut it.


Crazy idea…why not just build new A-10s. Modernize them…but keep them essentially the same. Hey…the stuff works for almost every role it has been asked to do. Sure, it will be way more expensive than their original unit cost…but they sure won’t be reinventing a wheel that is quite clearly needed on both the COIN and WW3 battlefield. I don’t believe for a second all the hype the generals put out about Russian and Chinese technology. All one has to do is look at the videos of the Russian bombing campaign coming out of Syria to see they aren’t really great at precision bombing…and while the footage is impressive from a cool standpoint, I don’t know that anyone has really been blown away by the demonstration. Bad choice of words there…actually…

And now…for your daily BRRRRTT fix…


Is this an apt time to mention…

Bring back the F111. :f111:

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How about a 2 for 1…2 A-10s for each 1 F-111?

There’s a joke about hurdles in here somewhere…

We had this battle out a few months ago!

TL;DR, Points:

  1. The only mission uniquely fulfilled by the A-10 is Sandy (coordinating and protecting combat search and rescue), but part of the reason for that is only A-10 crews train for Sandy missions.

  2. Despite #1, the A-10’s visual situational awareness and famous 30mm let it perform ground attacks close to friendlies with lower odds of fratricide.

  3. Despite #2, the moment you introduce modern air defenses into the arena the A-10’s chances of surviving a fight plummet. While not currently an issue with the enemies we’re fighting, future proliferation of air defenses is a scary possibility.

  4. Despite #1 & #3, the A-10’s operating costs and reliability are still quite low compared to a F-15E or F-16C for counter insurgency (COIN) operations.

Possible Solutions and Why They Turn Into a Mess:

  1. Scrap the A-10, Give the F-15E Awesome Targeting and Upgrade the Datalinks!
    Problem: Money. Unproven capability, time to develop TTPs and cross-train

  2. Preserve the Existing A-10’s, Then Build New Modernized Ones, The Design Already Works!
    Problem: Extent/distribution of US military manpower. Skewed Military Focus on COIN. Nightmarish acquisition process.

  3. You’re stuck on 4th gen, Vive la F-35! Vive la 5th Gen!
    Problem: Acquisition timeline, unproven capability, money.

  4. Design a modern replacement for the A-10
    Problem: Distribution of resources (would it be worth it?), extent/distribution of US mil manpower, Skewed mil focus on COIN, acquisition timeline.

  5. Scrap the A-10, fill-in the gaps with UCAV’s, smart artillery munitions, upgraded attack helicopters, etc
    Problem: Unproven capability, acquisition timeline, major shift in CONOPS/TTPs will cost lives during adaptation phase, money.

  6. Acquire a small fleet of dedicated COIN planes like Super Tucanos
    Problem: Shift in CONOPS/TTPs could cost lives, military jurisdiction (are they USAF or Army?) causing cost/adoption timeline issues, distribution of resources, extent/distribution of US mil manpower, potential skewed mil focus on COIN.

The polarization the A-10 seems to generate doesn’t help the issue. On one extreme is the stereotype of a military industrial complex/ defense industry all too eager to help fulfill the desires of an Air Force that doesn’t care about the Army and just wants to fight its pretend air wars with technological marvels caught flat-footed when the boots on the ground need help fighting our real wars. On the other extreme is the stereotype of a bunch of Luddites that think CAS hasn’t evolved since 1945 or 1968 that like their flying tank who’re going to end up aghast when said tank gets schwacked without warning or mercy by a wild Flanker or Tunguska.

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And because my last post was destructive, let’s make a constructive one:


I assume most of us are familiar with the MiG-27.

I propose that we Americans can make one better than the Russians.


  1. No Radar, just a really nice INS. The pilot has eyes. If the weather’s bad just slap a TFR on the chin.
  2. Something accurate, probably rotary, beefier than a 20mm but not as obnoxiously heavy as a 30mm for your Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrt needs.
  3. Multiple redundant distributed fly-by-wire systems, because an armored electrical line is smaller than a hydraulic line.
  4. Big 'ol flaps and slats so you can go slow when you need to.
  5. Same engines as the F-22 for when you want to go the opposite of slow. No thrust vectoring though. Too finicky and you shouldn’t need that super maneuverability garbage anyway.
  6. Space for LOTS of Chaff and Flare
  7. TGP camera w/ laser ranger in the nose because aerodynamics.
  8. Capability to deploy Hellfires for tank/building plinking
  9. Coffee maker (drip machine with grinder, quantity and quality) because the pilot’s gonna need to be sharp for all the NOE flying @ 500 knots he’s going to be doing.
  10. WSO in the back with a JHMCS optimized for ground-targeting.
  11. Little aerodynamic bump somewhere on the spine/rear of the plane for getting data from roving pointy-nosed elitist scum.

80’s Metal and water for putting out your flaming hair not included. Hard limit the price to $30 million a pop and let Boeing/Northrop/Lockheed work it out. THREE CONTRACTORS ENTER, ONE CONTRACTOR LEAVE!


Hang on guys, I was talking about this from a MAINTENANCE perspective, not about the deployment and tasks executed by this aircraft!

It’s still a stupid decision, old ass airframes should be put in musea. :wink:

A couple of frames here that can be salvaged… surely there is enough wings to replace the ones that fall off.

Come on you know you want it.

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I have actually often wondered about that myself many times. That goes for a few other air-frames as well.

@AeroMechanical Please stop. You are making my head hurt. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :slight_smile:

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IIRC someone informed once said that they simply “forgot” how to make them.
Lost blueprints, machinery and above all the people.

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