Thursday, March 17, 2016

Killing The Wart Hog Won't Be Easy

The F-35 is staged to replace the much beloved A-10 Warthog. Boots on the ground who currently win hard fought battles with the Warthog. The tank busting Gatling gun with depleted uranium slice up armor as if it were shaved beef in a steamer. The A-10 was built for protecting the pilot. Shoot a silver bullet at it from a ground combatant insures an unrelenting neutralization by the A-10 of said combatant.

The question before the pentagon is what will happen when the A-10 goes to Davis Monthan for rotting in the desert? 

  • Will the F-35 loiter?
  • Can a "silver bullet" bring it down by hitting vitals through its thin skin?
  • Is a 150 million dollar aircraft too great a risk for down and dirty combat?
  • Is caveman warfare a bridge too far for the F-35?
  • Can electronic situational awareness plug the gap suggested by the above questions?  
These questions confound an extremely articulate warbird compared with the bludgeoning A-10 making a battle field pass.

The F-35 cannot do as well as the A-10 in a loitering battlefield but must make up any performing gaps through its own Trickeration. A silver bullet from the ground could damage and cripple the 150 million aircraft from being able to make a difference. Too many lucky shots could drive the F-35 off the field of battle during Close Air Support (CAS).

The F-35 may compete with the A-10 in this role by flying a little higher and relying on its targeting functions from a distance of 1 Kilometers (3,000 ft.) perch while the A-10 is flying from a 300 feet point of attack. 

Since the F-35 does not have a titanium tub wrapping around the pilot while the A-10 does, the F-35 CAS needs to stand-off from a little farther out when encountering light arms such as the fifty caliber machine guns or shoulder held missiles when engaging ground targets. 

The F-35 will not have a whites of your eyes combat sweeps, unless going faster than the A-10 combat speed. The F-35 electronics need to make up the difference when flying much faster than the A-10. That is the F-35 theory that must be tested against the A-10 during its CAS testing.

Now you begin to experience the economy of scale when comparing the A-10 with the F-35. The F-35 will fight faster and higher, thus not requiring the cockpit armor where it needs it when not taking a punch from the ground, and a ground combatant would need at least a shoulder fired missile hurled at the F-35 for which it can counter the ground missile better than the A-10 is equipped. 

The tests for the F-35 must involve the realm it will fight in while the A-10 is from another realm of the much lower and slower point of attack. It would not be a fair comparison with the A-10 or the F-35 doing low and low runs. the outcome is obvious who would win. 

Each aircraft is equipped for a different style of fighting, however the battlefield result must show the F-35 is more capable than the A-10 when cleaning up the same battle field using its own optimal capability. 

The measure for the dueling aircraft must tests each aircraft's capability with a summary report pointing out how the aircraft performs and achieves the mission for which both aircraft are being tested.

The F-35 must use all its tricks and techniques to beat the A-10 and not get shot out of the air from its own weakness, or (aka) the taking a hit from the silver bullet in its hull. The test score for both would be a measure of battlefield management from its own capabilities.