Non veni pacem mittere, sed gladium.
Why do we want a mega-expensive STEALTH jet doing close ground support?
What WE want has very little to do with it.My Old Man always told me to use the right tool for the job.As a Garand or a Barrett might not be the best choice for room clearing, a stealth fighter might not be the best choice for close air support.Critics present some reasonable arguments:https://warisboring.com/fd-how-the-u-s-and-its-allies-got-stuck-with-the-worlds-worst-new-warplane-5c95d45f86a5#.5d4rhrdqlThere is a huge pile of money in this program.I suspect that trillion dollars could have been spent more efficiently."...remember, war is good business."-Dan Rowan as Gen Bullright, Laugh In, 1969 (or thereabouts.)=T.W.=(For the record, I am no expert. But I have been involved with Military/Defense Aerospace contracts for many years.)
Hmmm, excellent question. Maybe those Air Force smart guys could answer yet.
The '35 is an expensive, over-rated prima donna. It can't fly low and slow like the hog. It may be as good as the '18 but not at the same work as the A-10.
All Fighter Planes have a gun and are primarily used for air-to-air engagements. That's not to say it could be used for ground targets. The early jet fighters were still using the .50 cal guns dating to before WW2. Missile technology was in early development and was chosen for a new way to "dog fight" at long distances. Unfortunately, early missiles were unreliable and would fail to track the target. Also, missiles could not obtain lock on targets that were close range. What was needed was an effective gun. This led to the development of the modern Gatling gun, which is in use to this day.