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Bloviating Zeppelin: A-10 At Work

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A-10 At Work

This video was taken inside the cockpit of an A-10 by the pilot, at night. What you see is from 9,700 feet away (almost two miles). The four terrorists had no clue someone was watching from almost two miles away. The A-10 is using its 30 mm cannon -- without injuring the dog nearby, who escaped unharmed. You can see the gun camera shake a bit as the pilot fires; then count about 4 seconds for the rounds to travel the two miles. Every tenth round is a tracer, so the bullets you actually see are only tracers; the four terrorists are getting hit with hundreds of rounds, but the dog is unscathed. Muzzle velocity on the 30mm is 2,430 fps. All's well that ends well.



Blogger shoprat said...

Scratch four bad guys.

Sat Jul 26, 05:13:00 AM PDT  
Blogger TexasFred said...

It's a lovely day in the neighborhood!!

Sat Jul 26, 08:23:00 AM PDT  
Blogger RGROLAND said...

Warthog at it's best!! Those tank busters are awesome!!!!

Sat Jul 26, 09:00:00 AM PDT  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

Can we have another generation of this aircraft, please?

Sat Jul 26, 01:58:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Rgroland: hey, thanks for commenting and welcome aboard! Please return and comment any time, sir!

AJ: that brings up an excellent point. What kind of an AF would we have if we leave some of the Tech behind and build MORE (updated) C-130 Hercs, A-10 Warthogs, A6 Intruders, and a HUGE fleet of updated F-5 Tigers ("Recent estimates show that the F-5 can be operated at one third of what it costs to operate an F/A-18")? Sometimes VOLUME really DOES count!


Sat Jul 26, 04:55:00 PM PDT  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

Mr. Z - The A-10 is pure Combat Air Support... it is the most interesting aircraft the USAF didn't want and the Army needs. Now that the USAF has no more active aces because there are no equivalent fighters or anyone stupid enough to confront us, the A-10 is now the place to be. And it has female pilots... barred from fighter aircraft they took the next best thing - troop support.

It is now time to look at the Key West agreement and realize that was the 20th century, the 21st needs an Aerospace force with strategic venues from strategic bombing to space, with air superiority and ensuring the comms infrastructure as its main role. Everything below that should devolve back to the services and shared training schools: it is well past time to allow the ground and sea services to field what they need and get it de-conflicted by the USAF as part of strategic work. You don't need pilots for UAV/UCAV platforms, and you don't need figher jocks for CAS.

There is a need for a good, sturdy, large airframe as a 'bomb delivery service': a B-52 replacement, not stealthy, just able to loiter for a long time on low fuel use dropping GPS and other munitions as needed.

Although the A-10 has gotten the most modern avionics, it is a 1970's design and still extremely effective. You don't *want* it stealthy and a next gen should be more lethal, more accurate and more survivable.

COIN aircraft like the A-67 have a different role and that sort of airframe was perfect from WWII: give it modern avionics, lightweight gps guided missiles and direct attack capability. The P-51 would *still* be perfect for this or the A-1 Skyraider. Pure wheel re-invention going on.

We now have a chance to really get things sorted out and put a kick in the pants to the USAF by getting it upstairs where it matters. China has tested ASAT weapons, as have Russia... and the number of states able to get to those strategic assets is large, beyond those: UK, France, Iran, N. Korea, Japan, India, Pakistan. We are extremely vulnerable as is the world comm systems on this, plus weather reporting, solar observation, private imagery satellites... The next President should move forward on these things and yet, no matter who gets chosen, that is not in the cards. Obama is a pacifist and will gut the military, and McCain is willing to buck only 'wasteful' items, not figure out the big picture. If not done in 4 years, we will get a nasty surprise soon after that. It is a dangerous world, and it is time to stop playing games.

But games are in the cards, and America will pay unless we get some better ones in our hand. The USAF is a symptom of the larger problem... we need non-stealthy airframes for much of our work, and a real strategic protection system. Instead we will pay for high cost toys and old missions.

Sun Jul 27, 11:44:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

AJ: sounds like a slightly longer way of saying "build more less-techie aircraft."


Sun Jul 27, 12:38:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bushwack said...

Glad they didn't hit the dog, the only living thing worth saving in that footage.

Sun Jul 27, 03:59:00 PM PDT  
Blogger cary said...

Talk about some sharp shooting!

The dog was the only one that started running on the incoming rounds - he was probably the only one that heard what was coming!

Mon Jul 28, 08:30:00 AM PDT  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

Mr. Z - If we can get air superiority and domination with a layer of excellent fighters and pilots, then the CAS, tactical bombing, and the rest of it does not need stealth.

We do need to protect the comms infrastructure in space as a few tin cans of ball bearings in the right orbits could start to denude our military and commercial communications. Bright, shiny ball bearings that reflect lasers. If you can't protect your comms, then no matter what else you have, you are in a very, very nasty spot.

Divvie up the pie differently and get the USAF out of CAS, tactical bombing and only long-loiter strategic bombing of which most of that should be done via UCAVs. Fighter jocks for superiority and domination, and orbital defensive forces to protect our satellite equipment. The tech is in the delivery these days... and as the USN is back-burnering the DDX for a few years, we need that heavy-hitting CAS with the people who need it which is not the USAF but the ground forces.

If the USAF starts today we just might be able to do it in a decade, which is far too long for my taste.

Mon Jul 28, 06:02:00 PM PDT  
Blogger labcat said...

well, i don't know military talk but that was just plain awesome!

Wed Jul 30, 05:52:00 AM PDT  
Blogger AlaskaSteve said...

BV, you've got a fine group of readers - they know their hardware and they can discuss it intelligently. I'm ex-military as well - 5 years Army - but when I crack the seal on a batch of your comments I know these guys are going to school me. Always a pleasure Sir . . .

Thu Jul 31, 12:38:00 AM PDT  

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