Friday, February 13, 2015

Legacy Weapons Systems

The Economist, at the end of a piece commenting upon Ashton Carter as new US defense secretary, said this.  "To fund new weapons and technology Mr. Carter will need to axe legacy weapons systems (such as the A10 tankbusting aircraft). "
The A10 is old enough to be bought and paid for.  It works.  Should we desire to push the Russian tanks out of Ukraine, a couple of squadrons of A10's could do the job handily.  Keeping the A10 flying is a bargain compared to the pricey, new, not-paid-for  F35.  The Air Force, run by a fighter pilot mafia, wants to dump the A10, largely because it is no match for a real jet fighter.  They see themselves at the stick of an A10, and helpless against a MIG.  The answer, is to create US air superiority over the battle field, and make sure the A10 squadrons have fighter escort.   To be a good ground attack aircraft, the A10 has to fly low and slow so the pilot can see his targets and get close enough to hit them.  You cannot fly between the trees and under power lines at Mach 2. 
  Plenty of potential US enemies have lots of tanks.  Few of them have jet fighters that compete with ours.

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