Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

Red Flag and the F-35 Kill Ratio Is 15:1

 

The much maligned F-35 did very well at the February 2017 Red Flag exercises at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, Nevada. In fact the F-35 dominated the skies. When paired with F-22 the kill ratio may have been as high 17:1.

In the past few months reading through news stories about the F-35 I wondered why the F-35 was denigrated in the US, but Australians and Europeans were so impressed by this aircraft. The F-35 is available for purchase by American allies, the F-22 is not. The Red Flag exercises provided the answers to that question.

In the first day of sorties during Red Flag not a single F-35 was lost to “enemy action”, and not one F-35 was grounded to mechanical or electronic malfunctions. Throughout the exercise the operational ability to keep the F-35 flying was approximately 92%.

What this means to NATO is that the Russians would not be able to support ground troops and it would allow NATO to dominate the sky. The Russian Air Force would not be able to protect Russian armored or infantry units. The Russian Air Force would have to sit on the ground, or risk being destroyed in a very short time, or confined to Russian airspace.

Running from January 23 to February 10, this year’s Red Flag involves more threats to pilots than ever before, including surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), radar jamming equipment, and an increased number of red air, or mock enemy aircraft. Against the ramped-up threats, the F-35A only lost one aircraft for every 15 aggressors killed, according to Aviation Week.

The F-35 Lightning II’s advanced avionics software was the star of the show, as multiple F-35s successfully compiled data into a detailed layout of the battlefield with each individual threat pinpointed. The stealthy aircraft could then slip into weak spots in the defensive layout and take out SAM targets, opening up the space for follow-on forces of legacy fighters. Even when the F-35s ran out of munitions, F-22 and fourth-generation fighter pilots wanted the aircraft to remain in the combat zone, soaking up data and porting target info to the older fighters.

Before where we would have one advanced threat and we would put everything we had—F-16s, F-15s, F-18s, missiles—we would shoot everything we had at that one threat just to take it out, Lt. Col. George Watkins, 34th Fighter Squadron commander, told Aviation Week. Now we are seeing three or four of those threats at a time.

The F-35 and the F-22 Raptor pair up to make a particularly deadly team, according to the pilots. The Raptor uses its advanced air maneuverability to shield the F-35 from airborne threats while the F-35 relays data to the F-22 to paint a clear picture of the battlefield. Once the duo of fifth-generation fighters take out an initial wave of ground and air targets, F-18s, F-16s, and F-15s bring up the rear to provide support, all receiving target data from the F-35s in the field.

Published in Military
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Members have made 162 comments.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  1. Profile photo of Larry3435 Member

    Three questions. First, what were the “aggressor” aircraft? Simulated MIG’s? Simulated Chinese J-20’s? F-15’s?

    Second, do we have enough F-22’s to make the cooperative strategy which you describe realistic? It’s not like we could, in the event of war, quickly ramp up to churn out a lot of additional F-22’s.

    Third, is the kill ratio of the combined F-22 and F-35 any better than what would be achieved with the F-15, F-16 combination?

    • #1
    • March 18, 2017 at 7:51 am
    • Like3 likes
  2. Profile photo of Doug Watt Member
    Doug Watt Post author

    Larry3435 (View Comment):
    Three questions. First, what were the “aggressor” aircraft? Simulated MIG’s? Simulated Chinese J-20’s? F-15’s?

    Second, do we have enough F-22’s to make the cooperative strategy which you describe realistic? It’s not like we could, in the event of war, quickly ramp up to churn out a lot of additional F-22’s.

    Third, is the kill ratio of the combined F-22 and F-35 any better than what would be achieved with the F-15, F-16 combination?

    There was an F-15 versus F-22 exercise awhile ago, I cannot remember the date. Not a single F-22 was lost. The F-15 pilots could not find the F-22 with their electronics’, their only warning came when the F-22’s locked onto them to fire their missiles. The F-35 can find more targets than the F-22 with it’s electronics systems.

    The F-35 is capable of directing F-15’s and the F-16 to both ground and air targets.

    • #2
    • March 18, 2017 at 8:01 am
    • Like6 likes
  3. Profile photo of Brian Wolf Thatcher

    Great post! Very interesting and thank you for sharing! I had been disappointed by the F-35 but this result is wonderful news.

    • #3
    • March 18, 2017 at 8:03 am
    • Like4 likes
  4. Profile photo of Quietpi Member

    The F-35 was intended to replace the A-10, but that was put on hold. The F-35’s mission is certainly more broad that the A-10, but how does it do in its role of supporting ground operations, compared to the A-10, particularly in combination?

    I love the A-10, being a person with armor experience. If the F-35 can do better, albeit at a longer range, then I’m willing to bid my favorite warthog farewell. The visual of close ground support is thrilling. But the product is more important, especially if it can be administered from a safer location.

    • #4
    • March 18, 2017 at 8:06 am
    • Like8 likes
  5. Profile photo of Doug Watt Member
    Doug Watt Post author

    Quietpi (View Comment):
    The F-35 was intended to replace the A-10, but that was put on hold. The F-35’s mission is certainly more broad that the A-10, but how does it do in its role of supporting ground operations, compared to the A-10, particularly in combination?

    I love the A-10, being a person with armor experience. If the F-35 can do better, albeit at a longer range, then I’m willing to bid my favorite warthog farewell. The visual of close ground support is thrilling. But the product is more important, especially if it can be administered from a safer location.

    The F-35 in conjunction with aircraft in the current inventory would give the A-10 unlimited access to the battlefield. It would make armored and infantry movements close to suicidal. Even if an enemy air force is losing aircraft at even a 10:1 ratio and could replace aircraft at that rate replacing the pilots lost would be the problem.

    My personal opinion is that the A-10 is an aircraft that should be kept in the US arsenal.

    • #5
    • March 18, 2017 at 8:13 am
    • Like13 likes
  6. Profile photo of Black Prince Member

    If the F-35’s electronic systems are so good (and I don’t doubt that they are), why not put them on the F-22? Call it the Super F-22. I’m exaggerating slightly, but the article makes the F-35 sound more like a glorified AWACS than a fighter.

    • #6
    • March 18, 2017 at 8:13 am
    • Like2 likes
  7. Profile photo of Doug Watt Member
    Doug Watt Post author

    Black Prince (View Comment):
    If the F-35’s electronic systems are so good (and I don’t doubt that they are), why not put them on the F-22? Call it the Super F-22. I’m exaggerating slightly, but the article makes the F-35 sound more like a glorified AWACS than a fighter.

    That sounds like a good plan to me, but remember that the F-35 15:1 kill ratio is pretty impressive. I believe the F-22 line has been shut down. In my opinion we should still be building the A-10, the F-22, as well as the F-35.

    Unlike the AWACS the F-35 can engage enemy aircraft.

    • #7
    • March 18, 2017 at 8:23 am
    • Like4 likes
  8. Profile photo of Larry3435 Member

    Black Prince (View Comment):
    If the F-35’s electronic systems are so good (and I don’t doubt that they are), why not put them on the F-22? Call it the Super F-22. I’m exaggerating slightly, but the article makes the F-35 sound like a glorified AWACS.

    Better question is why not put them on F-15’s and F-16’s? We have 187 operational F-22’s. I believe there are about 1,200 F-15’s in service within NATO, and more than 4,000 F-16’s. Also, the cost of an F-15 is about 1/5 of the F-22. The cost of the F-16 is half again less than that.

    Manned air supremacy fighters are destined to be obsolete anyway; fighter drones will replace them if for no other reason than that G-forces put an upper limit on the speed and maneuverability of manned fighters.

    • #8
    • March 18, 2017 at 8:25 am
    • Like5 likes
  9. Profile photo of Doug Watt Member
    Doug Watt Post author

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    Black Prince (View Comment):
    If the F-35’s electronic systems are so good (and I don’t doubt that they are), why not put them on the F-22? Call it the Super F-22. I’m exaggerating slightly, but the article makes the F-35 sound like a glorified AWACS.

    Better question is why not put them on F-15’s and F-16’s? We have 187 operational F-22’s. I believe there are about 1,200 F-15’s in service within NATO, and more than 4,000 F-16’s. Also, the cost of an F-15 is about 1/5 of the F-22. The cost of the F-16 is half again less than that.

    Manned air supremacy fighters are destined to be obsolete anyway; fighter drones will replace them if for no other reason than that G-forces put an upper limit on the speed and maneuverability of manned fighters.

    All good questions, but unfortunately even basic parts for the current inventory are difficult to come by. The Air Force and Navy are searching air museums, or cannibalizing aircraft for parts. Disgraceful, but thanks President Obama.

    • #9
    • March 18, 2017 at 8:30 am
    • Like10 likes
  10. Profile photo of Z in MT Member

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Black Prince (View Comment):
    If the F-35’s electronic systems are so good (and I don’t doubt that they are), why not put them on the F-22? Call it the Super F-22. I’m exaggerating slightly, but the article makes the F-35 sound more like a glorified AWACS than a fighter.

    That sounds like a good plan to me, but remember that the F-35 15:1 kill ratio is pretty impressive. I believe the F-22 line has been shut down. In my opinion we should still be building the A-10, the F-22, as well as the F-35.

    Unlike the AWACS the F-35 can engage enemy aircraft.

    There is no reason why you couldn’t mount missiles onto an AWACS.

    I would be very cautious in crowing too much, Lockheed and the DoD have about 500 billion riding on the F-35 it is doubtful that they would let the F-35 look like a failure.

    From what I have heard, the problem with the F-35 is not that it’s long range (i.e. radar) engagement abilities are not terrific, but that once the enemy makes visual or heat signature contact the F-35 is a sitting duck.

    • #10
    • March 18, 2017 at 9:05 am
    • Like4 likes
  11. Profile photo of Percival Thatcher

    Larry3435 (View Comment):
    Second, do we have enough F-22’s to make the cooperative strategy which you describe realistic? It’s not like we could, in the event of war, quickly ramp up to churn out a lot of additional F-22’s.

    Probably not. We could have used a few more, overpriced or no. The same President that killed off the F-22 sure did deploy them a lot, though.

    • #11
    • March 18, 2017 at 9:08 am
    • Like3 likes
  12. Profile photo of Z in MT Member

    So,

    In an engagement that starts at long range one-on-one the F-35 will almost always win, but given that an F-35 only carries enough armament to kill 4 enemy aircraft that if the F-35 ever finds itself in a 3 or 4 on 1 engagement they will be toast, despite splashing 2 before the enemy can engage.

    Again, the problem is the cost of the F-35 is so terrifically high that they will always need close-in air support to protect them.

    • #12
    • March 18, 2017 at 9:10 am
    • Like5 likes
  13. Profile photo of Black Prince Member

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    Black Prince (View Comment):
    If the F-35’s electronic systems are so good (and I don’t doubt that they are), why not put them on the F-22? Call it the Super F-22. I’m exaggerating slightly, but the article makes the F-35 sound like a glorified AWACS.

    Better question is why not put them on F-15’s and F-16’s? We have 187 operational F-22’s. I believe there are about 1,200 F-15’s in service within NATO, and more than 4,000 F-16’s. Also, the cost of an F-15 is about 1/5 of the F-22. The cost of the F-16 is half again less than that.

    Manned air supremacy fighters are destined to be obsolete anyway; fighter drones will replace them if for no other reason than that G-forces put an upper limit on the speed and maneuverability of manned fighters.

    You last point about the future (or lack thereof) of the manned air supremacy fighter is most pregnant and suggests that continued investment in the F-35 may not be the best use of our resources. With respect to your first point, I suspect that retrofitting existing fighter planes with F-35 electronics might not be possible—the updated electronics would have to be put on newly constructed aircraft and require significant redesign (but still cheaper than and just as effective as continuing with the F-35 program).

    • #13
    • March 18, 2017 at 9:16 am
    • LikeLike
  14. Profile photo of Doug Watt Member
    Doug Watt Post author

    Z in MT (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    There is no reason why you couldn’t mount missiles onto an AWACS.

    I would be very cautious in crowing too much, Lockheed and the DoD have about 500 billion riding on the F-35 it is doubtful that they would let the F-35 look like a failure.

    I’m not sure what you are trying to say here. I can be as cynical as the next guy about Washington DC. I would hope you are not saying that the exercises were skewed and that pilots as well as command staff colluded to make the F-35 look better than it was during the exercise. A difficult decision for the pilots as their lives depend upon an honest assessment of aircraft capability as well as tactics.

    • #14
    • March 18, 2017 at 10:02 am
    • Like5 likes
  15. Profile photo of Black Prince Member

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Z in MT (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    There is no reason why you couldn’t mount missiles onto an AWACS.

    I would be very cautious in crowing too much, Lockheed and the DoD have about 500 billion riding on the F-35 it is doubtful that they would let the F-35 look like a failure.

    I’m not sure what you are trying to say here. I can be as cynical as the next guy about Washington DC. I would hope you are not saying that the exercises were skewed and that pilots as well as command staff colluded to make the F-35 look better than it was during the exercise. A difficult decision for the pilots as their lives depend upon an honest assessment of aircraft capability as well as tactics.

    There’s a whole universe between intended deception and intended truthfulness…and that’s just intentions…it has nothing to do with whether something is actually true or not.

    • #15
    • March 18, 2017 at 11:00 am
    • LikeLike
  16. Profile photo of Doug Watt Member
    Doug Watt Post author

    Black Prince (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Z in MT (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    There is no reason why you couldn’t mount missiles onto an AWACS.

    I would be very cautious in crowing too much, Lockheed and the DoD have about 500 billion riding on the F-35 it is doubtful that they would let the F-35 look like a failure.

    I’m not sure what you are trying to say here. I can be as cynical as the next guy about Washington DC. I would hope you are not saying that the exercises were skewed and that pilots as well as command staff colluded to make the F-35 look better than it was during the exercise. A difficult decision for the pilots as their lives depend upon an honest assessment of aircraft capability as well as tactics.

    There’s a whole universe between intended deception and intended truthfulness…and that’s just intentions…it has nothing to do with whether something is actually true or not.

    Truth is not dependent upon intention. Either something is true or it is not true. Either the Red Flag exercise of 2017 was an honest evaluation of the aircraft involved, or it was not. If it was not then at the very least it was a waste of resources, and at worst was a deliberate attempt to deceive the pilots involved, as well as American taxpayers, and our allies that wish to purchase the F-35.

    • #16
    • March 18, 2017 at 11:52 am
    • Like5 likes
  17. Profile photo of Percival Thatcher

    They over-specified the F-35. Air supremacy, stealth, ground-attack, capable of carrier deployment. Pick two. Pick three if you brought your wallet. All four is either going to cost a freaking fortune, run into trade-offs between the four, or (most likely) both.

    • #17
    • March 18, 2017 at 1:04 pm
    • Like6 likes
  18. Profile photo of Doug Watt Member
    Doug Watt Post author

    Percival (View Comment):
    They over-specified the F-35. Air supremacy, stealth, ground-attack, capable of carrier deployment. Pick two. Pick three if you brought your wallet. All four is either going to cost a freaking fortune, run into trade-offs between the four, or (most likely) both.

    This is a constant problem in military procurement. It is a big problem when the initial procurement has been approved, and then comes the; there are some changes we would like to make, but left unsaid is we don’t want to pay for them.

    • #18
    • March 18, 2017 at 1:35 pm
    • Like2 likes
  19. Profile photo of PHCheese Member

    No matter how good they are the Russians will steal and copy the technology within a year or so as well as the Chinese.

    • #19
    • March 18, 2017 at 4:28 pm
    • LikeLike
  20. Profile photo of OmegaPaladin Coolidge

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    Black Prince (View Comment):
    If the F-35’s electronic systems are so good (and I don’t doubt that they are), why not put them on the F-22? Call it the Super F-22. I’m exaggerating slightly, but the article makes the F-35 sound like a glorified AWACS.

    Better question is why not put them on F-15’s and F-16’s? We have 187 operational F-22’s. I believe there are about 1,200 F-15’s in service within NATO, and more than 4,000 F-16’s. Also, the cost of an F-15 is about 1/5 of the F-22. The cost of the F-16 is half again less than that.

    Manned air supremacy fighters are destined to be obsolete anyway; fighter drones will replace them if for no other reason than that G-forces put an upper limit on the speed and maneuverability of manned fighters.

    The problem is that we cannot use remote control for dogfighting – it is too chaotic and the connection lag would be lethal. This is not a problem for most air-to-ground combat. And AI for fighters is still a long way from being ready to use.

    Now what I am expecting are locally-controlled drones carrying missiles. The F-35 paints the target, and the drone launches a missile at the target. This reduces the delay to a minimum and makes up for the missile capacity issue

    • #20
    • March 18, 2017 at 9:07 pm
    • Like4 likes
  21. Profile photo of Brian Wolf Thatcher

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):
    The problem is that we cannot use remote control for dogfighting – it is too chaotic and the connection lag would be lethal. This is not a problem for most air-to-ground combat. And AI for fighters is still a long way from being ready to use.

    Now what I am expecting are locally-controlled drones carrying missiles. The F-35 paints the target, and the drone launches a missile at the target. This reduces the delay to a minimum and makes up for the missile capacity issue

    At some point our enemies are going to attack our communications and command and control capability as well. If we have unmanned drones they are going to more vulnerable to electronic warfare and completely vulnerable to satellite killing missiles. Put a pilot in the plane and we are still in business in such situations. I think pilots in the plane are going to stay the case for quite a while.

    • #21
    • March 18, 2017 at 9:10 pm
    • Like3 likes
  22. Profile photo of iWe Reagan
    iWe

    It is the electronics and software, not the flying platform, that matters.

    Indeed, the Israelis have defeated radar stealth, simply through better computing analysis of the radar returns. Fortunately, the Israelis are our allies.

    The F-35 is a turkey. You can put all those electronics and more on a larger platform (like a Gulfstream or 737), and use it for local command-and-control of a fleet of UAVs. Or just run UAVs from a room in North Dakota. The day of the heroic fighter jock are numbered, and rightly-so.

    • #22
    • March 19, 2017 at 6:08 am
    • Like3 likes
  23. Profile photo of iWe Reagan
    iWe

    Brian Wolf (View Comment):
    At some point our enemies are going to attack our communications and command and control capability as well. If we have unmanned drones they are going to more vulnerable to electronic warfare and completely vulnerable to satellite killing missiles. Put a pilot in the plane and we are still in business in such situations.

    I do not think so. Pilots no longer “fly” the airplane. Something that knocks out communications and/or electronics is going to make the pilot extremely vulnerable at best, and more likely dead.

    • #23
    • March 19, 2017 at 6:10 am
    • Like1 like
  24. Profile photo of Brian Wolf Thatcher

    iWe (View Comment):
    I do not think so. Pilots no longer “fly” the airplane. Something that knocks out communications and/or electronics is going to make the pilot extremely vulnerable at best, and more likely dead.

    I disagree. A kill shot to satellite will make a drone crash straight into the ground. For a pilot in a plane it might very well limit his capabilities but he will not crash straight into the ground.

    • #24
    • March 19, 2017 at 9:07 am
    • Like2 likes
  25. Profile photo of Doug Watt Member
    Doug Watt Post author

    The question becomes can drones carry enough ordinance to decimate an armored column. Can drones be efficient enough to provide close air support to your own ground troops. Will you have enough drones to attack multiple targets on a changing battlefield.

    Right now the battle lines are static in the eastern Ukraine. I would guess that is because Russia is not sure if they can get away with providing air cover for so called Russian militias over Ukrainian airspace. Think of Syria where the Russians could fly with impunity and the devastation that resulted to Syrian cities as well as the loss of life.

    You establish air superiority to support ground troops. Aircraft to include drones cannot seize and hold territory.

    • #25
    • March 19, 2017 at 9:22 am
    • Like2 likes
  26. Profile photo of James Gawron Thatcher

    Doug,

    It’s interesting that F-35’s basic superior capability is to acquire targeting information far in advance of other systems and much more rapidly. This sounds interesting on its face. Of course, F-35 got a serious kick in the pants from Donald Trump. He made it clear that if it couldn’t prove itself it was going to be replaced. This makes me a little suspicious of the February testing that you are quoting. Why in the world wasn’t this proven out before? Did they just feel such a sense of unlimited entitlement that they could make untested claims and produce no airplanes forever?

    First, can I rely on this one test and the data you have given? This is to assume that the test wasn’t rigged for F-35 to shine. Second, let us assume that the test was valid. How easily could the advanced targeting ability of F-35 be thwarted or countered in the future? Three, if this plane is really a much faster AWACS that can keep up with a massed fighter dogfight then do we really need a large number of them? Why not use them in conjunction with large numbers of less expensive more dog fight capable aircraft, that can stay in the air and fly more missions?

    Once again that strange orange haired guy that’s hanging around the White House seems to be having a really good effect on things. Especially things that matter in the real world, not the fantasy left wing narrative world.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #26
    • March 19, 2017 at 9:27 am
    • Like2 likes
  27. Profile photo of Doug Watt Member
    Doug Watt Post author

    @jamesgawron I can only refer you to the quotes in my essay, the enhanced nature of the threats to the pilots in the exercise, as well as the comments of the Squadron Commander, who in all likelihood is not in the procurement loop.

    Now I’m as just as happy as the next guy that Donald not Hillary is in the White House, but on defense matters perhaps he should call Jim Mattis before tweeting on military matters. If the F-35 performed as reported, especially in light of being able to asses target selection as to the targets that it can destroy because they allow other aircraft to follow and create more havoc for the enemy then we might have a better aircraft than we thought.

    • #27
    • March 19, 2017 at 9:50 am
    • LikeLike
  28. Profile photo of James Gawron Thatcher

    Doug Watt (View Comment):
    If the F-35 performed as reported, especially in light of being able to asses target selection as to the targets that it can destroy because they allow other aircraft to follow and create more havoc for the enemy then we might have a better aircraft than we thought.

    Doug,

    Nothing would make me happier than to know that after all of the expense and resources employed, F-35 does give us a new and powerful asset. I’m just still a little skeptical after being dragged over the river and through the woods for so long. Certainly, I don’t see why given this test one would just scrap F-22 and A10. That the Airforce has been pushing just exactly that makes me cringe.

    Glad to hear that F-35 isn’t just vaporware. However, I’m really far from being comfortable with all of this. For instance, assuming F-35 is the very fast AWACS, then what is the optimal ratio of non-F-35 planes to F-35s? Seven F-22s to one F-35, fifteen F-15s to one F-35,..etc? Also, I really don’t grasp how F-35 can handle A10’s mission at all. If there are fifteen ISIS soldiers hiding in a clump of trees does it make sense for a fabulously expensive fighter to take them out with an incredibly expensive munition and then fly 1,000 miles back to a long asphalt runway to land. The A10 gets the targeting tip from whomever, wheels around and with a short squeeze on the Gatling gun trigger the problem is solved. The A10 is still right in the thick of the fight with lots of fuel and plenty ammo to nail another target of any size. After a couple hours of the turkey shoot, the A10 flies back 200 miles to a dirt field and is refueled and reloaded pronto and is back up to nail the S.O.B.s again. I don’t see how F-35 does this kind of thing at all.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #28
    • March 19, 2017 at 10:56 am
    • Like7 likes
  29. Profile photo of Brian Wolf Thatcher

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):
    If the F-35 performed as reported, especially in light of being able to asses target selection as to the targets that it can destroy because they allow other aircraft to follow and create more havoc for the enemy then we might have a better aircraft than we thought.

    Doug,

    Nothing would make me happier than to know that after all of the expense and resources employed, F-35 does give us a new and powerful asset. I’m just still a little skeptical after being dragged over the river and through the woods for so long. Certainly, I don’t see why given this test one would just scrap F-22 and A10. That the Airforce has been pushing just exactly that makes me cringe.

    Glad to hear that F-35 isn’t just vaporware. However, I’m really far from being comfortable with all of this. For instance, assuming F-35 is the very fast AWACS, then what is the optimal ratio of non-F-35 planes to F-35s? Seven F-22s to one F-35, fifteen F-15s to one F-35,..etc? Also, I really don’t grasp how F-35 can handle A10’s mission at all. If there are fifteen ISIS soldiers hiding in a clump of trees does it make sense for a fabulously expensive fighter to take them out with an incredibly expensive munition and then fly 1,000 miles back to a long asphalt runway to land. The A10 gets the targeting tip from whomever, wheels around and with a short squeeze on the Gatling gun trigger the problem is solved. The A10 is still right in the thick of the fight with lots of fuel and plenty ammo to nail another target of any size. After a couple hours of the turkey shoot, the A10 flies back 200 miles to a dirt field and is refueled and reloaded pronto and is back up to nail the S.O.B.s again. I don’t see how F-35 does this kind of thing at all.

    Regards,

    Jim

    Lots of people think we should keep the A-10. I don’t think the F-35 should replace the A-10 but it seems that many of the bugs have been worked and it is performing extremely well. We should be grateful for that.

    • #29
    • March 19, 2017 at 10:59 am
    • Like3 likes
  30. Profile photo of Doug Watt Member
    Doug Watt Post author

    @jamesgawron I wouldn’t want the F-35 to replace the A-10, but the F-35 does not need a long runway. All you need is a short stretch of road. For carrier ops, no catapult is necessary, nor do you need arresting cables.

    • #30
    • March 19, 2017 at 12:44 pm
    • Like1 like
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6