Air Force, News A-10, A-10 aircraft, A-10 contract, A-10 contract delay, A-10 delay, A-10 ground attack jet, A-10 program, A-10 warthog, A-10A Thunderbolt, A10 Warthog, Boeing, Boeing A-10 delay, Boeing A-10 Warthog, Boeing contract delay, Forrest Gossett, U.S. Air Force’s ground attack jet, U.S. Senate, U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, USAF A-10, Warthog
The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee has cut funding for the $2 billion contract to build to rewing the A-10 after Boeing incurred a 10-month delay.
The program is supposed to extend the life of the U.S. Air Force’s ground attack jet, the A-10 Warthog, according to the service. The Senate Appropriations Committee cited problems and unspent prior funding when it entirely cut the Air Force’s $145 million fiscal 2012 request for the program.
The A-10 program has experienced “significant delays and has not delivered a new wing” since the program began procurement in fiscal 2010, the committee wrote in a Sept. 16 report accompanying its fiscal 2012 budget.
Boeing spokesman Forrest Gossett said the company has put in place a “recovery plan”.
“We experienced issues during the initial manufacturing of the program,” Gossett said in an e-mail. The first A-10 wing was delivered “with no major deficiencies but there were items to work through as would be expected with any development program.”
“Boeing has worked with the Air Force to create a recovery plan and the program is on target to deliver the first of four new wings” before Oct. 31, Gossett said.
The new wings are needed to extend the life of the A-10 aircraft, some of which have been in use since 1975 after previous modifications. The new wings will keep the A-10s flying until about 2030 at a lower cost than buying new aircraft, according to the Air Force.
The Senate committee cut the Air Force’s entire $145 million request because the delays meant little of the $351 million in A-10 wing money appropriated since fiscal 2010 has been spent, according to service figures.
Air Force, News A-10, A-10 Thunderbolt, A-10A Thunderbolt, aerial demonstration, f-16, f-16 falcon, f16, L-39, L-39 Albatros, Mike Kucharek, OV-10 Bronco, OV-10B, OV-10B Bronco, Ramstein Air Base, Spangdahlem’s 52nd Fighter Wing, USAF F-16, USAF West Coast F-16 demo team, USAFE, West Coast “Viper West”
The USAF West Coast F-16 demo team will join a Belgian OV-10 and a L-39 to perform aerobatics display at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany this weekend.
The aerial demonstration — with maneuvers more complex than a flyby — is the first to be performed before the public on a U.S. military base in Germany since a 1988 air show crash at Ramstein Air Base, where 67 spectators were killed and more than 500 others injured, U.S. Air Forces in Europe officials said.
Since that disaster, military air shows of the type held at Ramstein have been banned in Germany. Highly restricted air demonstrations are approved for open houses only after review of detailed plans, and German rules and restrictions must be adhered to.
Therefore, the flying portion of the Spangdahlem open house will be on a much, much smaller scale than the Ramstein shows, once a huge draw on the European flying circuit with aerobatic teams from all over Europe.
“We carefully selected things that we knew were safe maneuvers and have been practiced over and over again,” said Lt. Col. Steve Horton, 52nd Operations Support Squadron commander at Spangdahlem.
At Spangdahlem’s last open house in 2008, an F-16 and A-10 assigned to Spangdahlem’s 52nd Fighter Wing did “fly-bys” but no aerial maneuvers like those planned for this weekend, according to Spangdahlem officials. Approved maneuvers include a Cuban 8, Double Immelman, Aileron Roll, and High-G turns.
This time, the base invited an F-16 from Air Combat Command’s West Coast “Viper West” team at Hill Air Force Base, Utah; an OV-10B Bronco from Belgium; and an L-39, a former German military aircraft, to perform.
Coordination was worked through many channels, including USAFE headquarters, U.S. Air Combat Command and the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, according to USAFE officials. Approval was granted by the German Air Staff, said USAFE spokesman Mike Kucharek.
“We recognize the sensitivities of the survivors,” Kucharek said. “This is a far different type of event than an air show, because we’re essentially going to be flying basic aircraft maneuvers.”
Source: Stars and Stripes
A-10 Thunderbolt II, A-10A Thunderbolt, A-10C plane, Maj. Andrew Taylor, Thunderbolt II
The last A-10A model of the Thunderbolt II aircraft departed OSAN AIR BASE in South Korea Dec. 4, marking the 25th Fighter Squadron’s successful transition to the A-10C model.
The new model features improved precision strike capability and enhances the Air Force’s ability to provide lethal and precise close-air support, said Maj. Andrew Taylor, from the 51st Operations Group.
The first five A-10Cs arrived here in spring 2010, beginning the transition to the new model. The final A-10A aircraft is being transferred for modification and reassignment to the Air National Guard.
“The upgrade to the C-model is unlike any other in the A-10′s history,” Major Taylor said. “Notably, the precision engagement modification combines a highly survivable airframe and the world’s most impressive air-to-ground cannon with state-of-the-art digital sensor and pilot integration.
The A-10As that supported both the first and second Gulf Wars were largely the same aircraft designed to protect Europe during the Cold War, Major Taylor said.
“In fact, just prior to the first Gulf War, the A-10A was slated for retirement,’ he said. “However, due in large part to its effectiveness in battle, the airframe was saved, and its service life was extended well beyond its original life expectancy.”
While many modifications to the A-10A made it the world’s premier CAS platform — as evidenced by its performance in Iraq and Afghanistan — it continued to lack the digital sophistication of its more ‘pointy-nosed’ counterparts, he said.
“Cockpit modifications include color multi-function displays, hands-on throttle and stick, and cockpit ergonomics that make the busy and often task-saturated life of an attack pilot easier to manage,” he said.
“Combined with the human factors element, the A-10C adds Situational Awareness Data Link, a digital stores management system and allows for employment of weapons new to the A-10.
“The upgrades provide attack pilots with a truly integrated suite of sensors, aircraft, and weapons that build situational awareness and facilitate the rapid destruction of targets,” Major Taylor said. “This capability will be critical on the massive, rapidly changing battlefield that any potential scenario here would entail.”
Capt. Jason Fuhrer, a 25th FS pilot, said the new model “brings us into the 21st century as a precision engagement fighter and makes an already-revered close-air-support platform that much better.