Speaking of CAS…

Last week I pointed out that close air support missions in Afghanistan were up 31% over last year. Here are a couple of primary culprits:

An F-15E Strike eagle conducts a mission over Afghanistan on Oct. 7. The F-15E Strike Eagle is a dual-role fighter designed to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. An array of avionics and electronics systems gives the F-15E the capability to fight at low altitude, day or night, and in all weather. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon)

An F-15E Strike eagle conducts a mission over Afghanistan on Oct. 7. The F-15E Strike Eagle is a dual-role fighter designed to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. An array of avionics and electronics systems gives the F-15E the capability to fight at low altitude, day or night, and in all weather. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon)

And, of course, everyone’s favorite:

An A-10 Thunderbolt II flies a close-air-support mission over Afghanistan on Oct. 7. The A-10 has excellent maneuverability at low air speeds and altitude, and are highly accurate weapons-delivery platforms. The first production A-10A was delivered to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., in October 1975. It was designed specially for the close-air-support mission and had the ability to combine large military loads, long loiter and wide combat radius, which proved to be vital assets to the United States and its allies during Operation Desert Storm and Operation Noble Anvil. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon)

An A-10 Thunderbolt II flies a close-air-support mission over Afghanistan on Oct. 7. The A-10 has excellent maneuverability at low air speeds and altitude, and are highly accurate weapons-delivery platforms. The first production A-10A was delivered to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., in October 1975. It was designed specially for the close-air-support mission and had the ability to combine large military loads, long loiter and wide combat radius, which proved to be vital assets to the United States and its allies during Operation Desert Storm and Operation Noble Anvil. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon)

As usual, click for bigger versions.

Comments

  1. The A-10 Thunderbolt-II

    Solid proof that there are some military types in the aircraft acquision business with some brains, after all.

  2. The mudhen ain’t bad either. Got a friend who’s a backseater with that squadron in Afghanistan right now (so that could theoretically be him in the photo).

    Didn’t realize those guys had replaced the LANTRIN pod with what looks like a SNIPER pod (under the left intake of the jet, as in the one closer to the camera, between the LGB’s and the really huge JDAM, has flat glass windows instead of a rounded FLIR turrent like the LANTRIN has/had). Still for the life of me can’t figure out how with those little square windows it could possibly have the same field of view of the LANTRIN with it’s ball turret.

    Anyway, I pay too much attention to the stupid little details. Nice photos!

  3. Hawk accepts air support from Marine aviators and A10 pilots all week long and twice on Sundays, since they fly low enough to see what they are shooting at.

    Them other jet jockeys, though, need to stick to going deep and attacking things that can’t defend themselves, since they tend not to spend a lot of time on things like identifying their targets. True story: we were visiting our supporting composite squadron (F16 & A10), and the F16 bubbas where showing off some video of them doing night engagements with Maverick & LANTIRN pods.

    Jet jockey: “Here’s us killing a vehicle at 15 clicks” … whoosh, bang, applause.
    Hawk: “What kind of vehicle was that?”
    Jet jockey: *shrugs* “Well, it was a hot spot north of XY grid line.”
    Hawk: “Hey, I’m a scout, and I was operating north of the XY grid line. How do you tell a friendly hot spot from an enemy hot spot?”
    Jet jockey: *shrugs* “Nice strike, though, wasn’t it?”
    Hawk: “How do you feel about ‘big sky, little bullet’?” …

    In contrast, the A10 guys showed a proficiency in vehicle ID from the air that some of us ground pounders couldn’t match.

    Hawk’s been a bit soured on non-A10 CAS ever since.

  4. Im glad 20th century avionics is being fully utillized in useful battlefield purposes while every one is getting wet dreams of F22s and F35s, I personally see outdated aircraft as a perfect use in less scaled conflicts like the war on terror because the two MAIN countries in concern are basically gorilla warfare theatres, typically not involving capable anti air to shoot down even A10’s that are like huge targets with the turbofans extruding outward from the airframe, older combat aircraft should be utilized as much as possible unless running a risk of losses in a significant matter, why the hell buy $300B of countless squadrons of the highest technology and let it sit in military installations and training grounds their whole service life? fuckin use it before you upscale during an int’l recession

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