I fired it up today for the first time in a long time. It is satisfying to rain hate and discontent on Mr. I Hate America, but it is soooo slooooow. Also, I think the F-18C has spoiled me. The pit in the hornet feels about 10 times higher texture quality.

I would also like to add, that the Warthog was my favorite aircraft growing up. Watching the Gulf War unfold on TV as a youngster, all I wanted to do was gun runs on fleeing Iraqi tank columns.

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I think I’d fly the crap out of the older, pre-LASTE A-10A if that ever became an option. As it is the -10C is all the avionics for a night of fun, without the speed to deliver it. I had good times with it, but I can comfortably say I’m not going back.


You guys sound like the Pentagon! And like the Pentagon: You’re wrong! The 'Hog is a indispensable beast. Nothing is quite as satisfying in MP as marking a bunch of targets for a buddy. Don’t get me wrong, both the AV8B and the F-18C are way more fun to fly. But they have to land, rearm and refuel 3 times while the Hog loiters on a single tank and loadout. But I get it…I just happen to be a low and slow sort of guy.


Grins in amateur defense analyst. The A-10C is an over hyped money sink with the sole tactical advantage being the most effective PR department this side of Stalin. It does well in low intensity conflicts, but it is, quite frankly overkill. Why do you need two turbofans and thousands of pounds of armor when you’re going to be loitering at 10,000 feet and dropping LGBs. Two guys in an A-29 can do the same job at far less cost.

In a high intensity conflict, you are quite simply dead. You can’t play in the denied access area. You can’t defend yourself or run from air threats, and you can’t do much in the contested FEBA except toss Mavericks and run. If you try and roll in with bombs, much less the famed GAU-8, you’re going to get blasted out the air by, in descending order, an SA-17, an SA-15, an SA-14 and whatever high explosive slingers Ivan has around that day.

I got bored one month and ran a TOE appropriate mission to this extent. I think a flight of four A-10Cs managed to kill one tank in exchange for 100% casualties.

AFACing is fun, but soon We’ll be getting a twin seat fighter that can do the job much better.


No doubt it’s a blast, and very satisfying.

Hear, hear, right @klarsnow?


You’re not wrong :smiley:

And right on cue, spend ten minutes starting up, server crashes.

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This issue’s black and white, like a school bus full of nuns…


I think he means this.

Well I DO!:stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


Dunno, there’s a bunch of grunts that disagree with you…

But honestly I think it’s not really a matter of right or wrong.
It’s more like a matter of using a tool.

Plus, as always, reality is WAAAAY more faceted and complex than sterile numbers.
For one, the A10 gained a terrible (for the Iraqi) fame on the battlefield in 1991… several time its sight was enough to really shaken up OPFOR grunts.

I think it’s really hard to properly define the complete effect a weapon system has on the battlefield without including all of its facets.

But I am a hopeless romantic. :hugs:

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For those calling for an earlier version of the hog, the FC3 set contains an A-10A without all the gizmos and whizzbang targetting pod. Just you, the gun, some mavs and a titanium bathtub.

Yeah it’s time might be over. double digit sams ended the hog as factor in a high intensity conflict, while for low intensity it rocks but also is overkill.

Actually the FC3 A-10A still has plenty of gizmos, like CCIP for bombs and the gun. I would be totally on board for a pre-LASTE A-10A to get the Fulda Gap and Desert Storm experience.


I’ve worked with a fair number of them for the better part of this decade. :smiley:

I’ll always remember I got into a pretty great discussion with a guy about it about two years ago. He went on this great rip roaring rant about how the gun can chew through tanks, how it can loiter for ever, and how other planes are for girly men because they don’t have armor and can’t actually do anything.

I responded with my usual spiel. The gun physically can’t kill modern tanks, LGBs, the armor is pointless. You can read it around the forums. He hummed and haw’d about it for a few seconds, and then stomped off to his cube.

If I didn’t mention it, this guy was Navy and did IT when he was “in”.

If we’re looking for a less strawman anecdote, I also used to work for a former tanker who was part of the Abrams unit attached to Marine Central Command during Desert Storm. He has stories about grinding up some poor Subaru while trying to link back up with his unit during the assault on Kuwait City, real charismatic guy when he’s not being an asshole (I digress). Anyhow he also goes through the A-10 mantra (Gun! Armor! Loiter! F-35s suck!). Without trying to sound patronizing or dismissive, his arguments were basically dogma. He’s part of that generation that was raised in the over-correction from Vietnam.

To him, we “lost” the air war was our aircraft were too generalized, too reliant on technology. The A-10, low tech and specialized, would always be superior because a studly, wily pilot with a big gun in a rugged aircraft would always be superior to some snot nosed puke reliant upon his “sensors”. It’s the same argument that the F-16 is better than the F-35, the M-16 is garbage compared to the M14 or AKM, that 7.62 is better than 5.56. If you point out the reasons why this isn’t the case, you get that same humming and hawing followed by either avoidance or the “well that’s just my feeling, okay?” defense.

The subject came up when I was out with a former Marine FAC I occasionally get drinks with. Interestingly enough he was pretty agnostic about it. He didn’t really care what was dropping the bomb so long as the thing he wanted blown up was blown up.

Ask the Republican Guard about how shaken up they were by the A-10. They shot down two in an afternoon with SA-13s, and a third four days later with an SA-9. A-10s weren’t allowed to fly in that area afterwards.


But this would get there two weeks earlier


Well then! I guess facts win over hearsay! :smile:

I stand corrected and accept this knowledge. Thanks. :relieved:

Ah, good ol’ CAS arguments!

On one side, we have those who claim that the only way ahead is WW2-era aircraft with lots of guns, piston engines, and the most complex piece of equipment being a holographic sight.

On the other, we have those that claim the only way to do CAS is from 30,000ft+ with two bombs, a jet that never goes slower than mach 2, and a loiter time of maybe 5 seconds if the pilot is really good with the throttle.

It’s a shame that the world isn’t quite so simple as either side would like to think. There are times when a simple bomb dropped from the stratosphere is the best solution, but there’s also times where a up close and personal gun run is the best solution. One must apply the right tool for the job – using a F-35 to drop a bomb on a tent in the desert isn’t an example of efficient use of resources, nor is throwing an A-10 into SAM city. I suspect this is partly why OA-X is still ongoing, as it could add another tier of capability in a highly complex, chaotic environment. Let’s also remember that the AC-130 can bring a lot of pain to the battlefield, though it’s far from cheap or efficient in most circumstances.

I’d be remiss to not mention that my side of study has been from the Army side of the house, especially rotary wing, where the focus is the ground war. Sorry to disappoint you pointy nose fighter jocks, but aircraft are a very poor way to take and hold territory. Warfare isn’t strictly limited to that, of course, as such air power capability is highly useful when fighting a more modernized enemy. It’s a bit more muddy when fighting an enemy that operates on a less civilized spectrum – and when you start dispensing bombs willy nilly, you end up ■■■■■■■ everyone off when you blow up some civilian’s house and cause him, his family, his 5 brothers, 3 uncles, etc. all join the fight because his favorite goat was turned to hamburger thanks to your so-perfect, precision guided weapon. That might win a battle, but it’s going to lose a war.

The past 20 years has seen technology used as a crutch in place of human judgement, which is where the real problem lies. I would highly recommend reading “A-10s Over Kosovo” for a good review of this concept, namely in that A-10s were using archaic technology, but were far more effective than super duper F-16s at FAC due to the pilots and their experience at performing the mission – and not relying on technology to do everything for them. This has been and likely always will be the Air Force’s problem, as they have a tendency to focus on “gee whizz” over everything else. That isn’t a slight against the Air Force, but those who are a part of it know that’s a very real problem with the culture there, just the same as the Army gets caught up in “Fulda Gapism.”

Long story short, the A-10 is neither as bad as the pointy nose fighter jocks in the Air Force think it is, but neither is it a glorious, unstoppable behemoth that everyone else believes it to be. It brings certain capabilities to the table that other aircraft don’t and it’s wrong to ignore that because it isn’t as fast or cool as an F-35. I’m also pretty sure that the Air Force isn’t going to suddenly task the A-10 with SEAD, since they know better and they have more appropriate aircraft for that job. Likewise, tasking F-35s with CAS isn’t going to happen very often if A-10s are available.

Story time: the Army used to operate OV-1 Mohawks in a CAS capacity, which caused the Air Force to ■■■■■ endlessly. There was an Army pilot who was full of ■■■■ and wind who would intentionally load up weaponry and practice on a CONUS range, just to see how long it would take for the Air Force observers to race to the nearest phone and complain. This was a sticking point because at the time (Vietnam era), the Air Force’s idea of CAS was a bunch of B-52s carpet bombing the area, which wasn’t what the Army needed. Hence, the reasoning why aircraft like the AH-56 and AH-1 were developed.


All very good points!

If I get bored, I might try and find it but until then, treat it as anecdotal.

I was reading a survey of unit commanders in Afghanistan, and part of it was ranking the perceived utility of fire support platforms they called upon in theater. It went something along the lines of

  • Mortars
  • Rotary Wing Aircraft (Apaches, Cobras, Kiowas, Etc.)
  • Tube & Rocket Arty
  • Fixed wing aircraft that are not an A-10s
  • A-10s.

Essentially the vast majority of firefights were happening in a span of roughly 30 minutes start to finish. In that time the enemy was either dead or withdrawing. The most useful forms of support were those that could be brought to bare inside of that 30 minute window. The first three are operating organically within the Army (or Marine) org structure, they are generally closer at hand, and easily reachable.

To contact those bottom two, you need to escalate it through proper channels, find someone listening, get them briefed, then wait for them to actually fly out and get set up to drop. By that time the enemy has been beaten back by direct fire and or one or more of the above three options.

Eh… nvm

IMO this is the biggest advantage A-10s bring to the table - it’s all they do. They don’t have to worry about launching on a DCA mission and getting re-tasked airborne to dropping on an immediate 9-line. In general, they’ll always be more proficient than other fixed wing multi-role platforms because they spend all their time on air to ground employment.