Photo: Air Force
Scout Warrior: Pentagon Advances F-35 vs A-10 Close Air Support Testing
Will the F-35s current and future line up of weapons, coupled with its sensors and ISR technologies enable the aircraft to out-perform the A-10 warthog when it comes to Close Air Support Missions.
Flying close to ground troops in combat in hostile and high-threat conditions requires a host of unique attributes for an aircraft -- such as flying slow and low to the ground, absorbing some degree of small arms fire and having an ability to quickly maneuver in response to fast-changing ground combat conditions.
These, and many more, are among factors now being analyzed as proponents of both the A-10 Warthog and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter assess their respective abilities to perform the crucial and highly valued Close Air Support mission. The Pentagon and the Air Force are now conducting a thorough examination of each plane's capability for this role - including extensive analysis, simulated tests, flights of both aircraft under combat-like conditions and a range of tests, Air Force and Pentagon officials have explained. While many of the details of the ongoing evaluation are not now being discussed publically, the results are expected to bear prominently upon the visible ongoing debate regarding the future mission scope of both the A-10 and the F-35.
Read more ....
Update: The F-35 and A-10 are finally going head to head to see which is better for close air support (Business Insider).
WNU Editor: I am looking forward to their conclusions, and more importantly .... the parameters that were used in conducting these tests.