Su25 unnecessary aircraft

What purpose did the su25 frogfoot achieved in soviet military doctrine ?
Esp given their biggest rival was NATO whose armies were well equipped with MANPADS and SAMs , these defenses would have mauled them.
Maybe against China the su25 might be useful
However 1000 or so of these planes was just wasteful something a poor state like ussr can illafford in 80s
Afghanistan conflict was just an unexpected side show but other than that there was no real need for a dedicated fixed wing COIN aircraft

wouldn’t it be better to use these resources elsewhere? Even if it’s in R&D of new and better missiles
 
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The Su-25 fit into the well-worn role of shturmovik, which describes the job of battlefield close support*. This was distinct from the job the supersonic fighter-bombers like the MiG-27 and Su-17 performed, as while they were capable strike machines like the Super Sabre in Vietnam their inability to loiter over the battlefield for long periods of time was not popular with the troops.

Afghanistan shows precisely that use, and also that they were used in conjunction with attack helicopters, blasting targets the helicopters' lighter ordnance couldn't handle.

In a war with NATO, they would have reprised that role. Yes, losses were going to be extremely heavy; this was known, understood, and accepted, even by the United States with their A-10 fleet.

* Close, in the context, referring to the proximity of friendly and enemy troops, rather than proximity to targets
 
The Su-25 fit into the well-worn role of shturmovik, which describes the job of battlefield close support*. This was distinct from the job the supersonic fighter-bombers like the MiG-27 and Su-17 performed, as while they were capable strike machines like the Super Sabre in Vietnam their inability to loiter over the battlefield for long periods of time was not popular with the troops.

Afghanistan shows precisely that use, and also that they were used in conjunction with attack helicopters, blasting targets the helicopters' lighter ordnance couldn't handle.

In a war with NATO, they would have reprised that role. Yes, losses were going to be extremely heavy; this was known, understood, and accepted, even by the United States with their A-10 fleet.

* Close, in the context, referring to the proximity of friendly and enemy troops, rather than proximity to targets
Agree... in situations where contest of air superiority isn't exactly an issue, seems like a good enough aircraft for the role.... 1,000+ of 'em might have been a bit excessive of a production run though...
 
That the genuinely cash-strapped post-1991 Russian Air Force kept its Su-25s when it nonchalantly tossed a lot of its older fighter-bombers overboard says something. Sure, better smart weapons (in both directions) may have eventually rendered it obsolescent, but it was a good plane and made specifically to avoid the fast-blast [esp. nuclear] monomania that was prevalent when it was developed.
 
Agree... in situations where contest of air superiority isn't exactly an issue, seems like a good enough aircraft for the role.... 1,000+ of 'em might have been a bit excessive of a production run though...
Even though planes like the SU 25 and A-10 work better in other environments you have to keep in mind that they were still designed for use in a peer-to-peer conflict of the cold war turning hot. If you figure in the likely losses in such a scenario that @CV12Hornet already pointed out, the larger production run makes sense. The modern russian airforce with its focus on different types of conflicts also keeps way less of them around, even though 250 might still be a bit too many.
 
The Su-25 is a strange aircraft. It is an (apparent) response to the A-10. However, the A-10 is designed almost entirely around the gun, which is capable of attacking MBT, and has a huge magazine. Although it can also carry a huge external load, the A-10's raison d'etre is attacking tanks with this gun. The Su-25 does not appear to have the same capacity, either in terms of magazine or potency of cannon, so it is an odd choice - especially given the numerical advantage the USSR possessed at the time.
Perhaps in a Cold War -> Hot scenario, the expectation is few advanced fighters remain after a few days and the conflict regresses to a logistics battle. In such a scenario, it may be air-superiority is an illusion and an ability to attack armoured targets with such an aircraft makes sense.
 
The Su-25 is a strange aircraft. It is an (apparent) response to the A-10. However, the A-10 is designed almost entirely around the gun, which is capable of attacking MBT, and has a huge magazine. Although it can also carry a huge external load, the A-10's raison d'etre is attacking tanks with this gun. The Su-25 does not appear to have the same capacity, either in terms of magazine or potency of cannon, so it is an odd choice - especially given the numerical advantage the USSR possessed at the time.
Perhaps in a Cold War -> Hot scenario, the expectation is few advanced fighters remain after a few days and the conflict regresses to a logistics battle. In such a scenario, it may be air-superiority is an illusion and an ability to attack armoured targets with such an aircraft makes sense.
The Su-25 is a contemporary of the A-10 and was driven by many of the same lessons and observations, but it is not a direct response to the A-10, more of a parallel development. In fact, during development of the Su-25 was when the USSR learned of the A-10, and the Sukhoi team briefly considered whether to change the layout to one more similar to the A-10. In the event, the VVS' desire for speed and the amount of time the redesign would take meant that didn't happen.

In that vein, the Su-25 is more a general-purpose CAS platform, as opposed to the A-10, which is more specialized towards tank-killing. This makes sense for the differing operational needs of the countries that built them. The US had to deal with being outnumbered in armor by the Soviets, while the Soviets had no such worries; accordingly, their CAS aircraft were specialized differently.
 
The Su-25 is a strange aircraft. It is an (apparent) response to the A-10. However, the A-10 is designed almost entirely around the gun, which is capable of attacking MBT, and has a huge magazine. Although it can also carry a huge external load, the A-10's raison d'etre is attacking tanks with this gun. The Su-25 does not appear to have the same capacity, either in terms of magazine or potency of cannon, so it is an odd choice - especially given the numerical advantage the USSR possessed at the time.
Perhaps in a Cold War -> Hot scenario, the expectation is few advanced fighters remain after a few days and the conflict regresses to a logistics battle. In such a scenario, it may be air-superiority is an illusion and an ability to attack armoured targets with such an aircraft makes sense.
The effectivness of the A-10s gun is highly overrated, especially when it comes to tank-busting. If you look at operational reports of the conflicts in which the A-10 was employed it made most of its tank kills with various guided munitions, which the Su 25 can do likewise without needing the huge cannon.
 
What purpose did the su25 frogfoot achieved in soviet military doctrine ?
Esp given their biggest rival was NATO whose armies were well equipped with MANPADS and SAMs , these defenses would have mauled them.
Maybe against China the su25 might be useful
However 1000 or so of these planes was just wasteful something a poor state like ussr can illafford in 80s
Afghanistan conflict was just an unexpected side show but other than that there was no real need for a dedicated fixed wing COIN aircraft

wouldn’t it be better to use these resources elsewhere? Even if it’s in R&D of new and better missiles
In a 1980s Warsaw Pact- NATO full blown conventional war literally every type of unit, aircraft, ship or tank would have seen insane loss rates. Basically assuming somehow nukes don't come into play within about two weeks the losing sides forces would be obliterated while the winner's forces would be mostly obliterated.
 
The effectivness of the A-10s gun is highly overrated, especially when it comes to tank-busting. If you look at operational reports of the conflicts in which the A-10 was employed it made most of its tank kills with various guided munitions, which the Su 25 can do likewise without needing the huge cannon.
But when the A-10 was green-lit, the 'smart' AGM weapons like Bullpup were not that smart, and the next generation units like fire and forget Maverick were brand new
 
It was also not long removed from Israeli Mirages successfully busting tanks through their roofs with their 30mm DEFA cannons during the 6-Day War.
 
Afghanistan conflict was just an unexpected side show but other than that there was no real need for a dedicated fixed wing COIN aircraft

2nded

But if I remember correctly (this was in the late 1990's so my memory might be hazy ) Discovery Channel used to have a Saturday Stack with 'Wings' programs.

I think it was half decent against enemy targets, unlike the Mil-24 which the Mug' fighters quickly found out that using a RPG fired straight at the cockpit would be a kill and that's even before the arrival of the 'Stinger'
 
In a 1980s Warsaw Pact- NATO full blown conventional war literally every type of unit, aircraft, ship or tank would have seen insane loss rates. Basically assuming somehow nukes don't come into play within about two weeks the losing sides forces would be obliterated while the winner's forces would be mostly obliterated.
That’s probably the reason why Soviets kept 2nd rate aircraft/tanks etc in service long past their shelf life
 
The Su-25 is a strange aircraft. It is an (apparent) response to the A-10. However, the A-10 is designed almost entirely around the gun, which is capable of attacking MBT, and has a huge magazine. Although it can also carry a huge external load, the A-10's raison d'etre is attacking tanks with this gun. The Su-25 does not appear to have the same capacity, either in terms of magazine or potency of cannon, so it is an odd choice - especially given the numerical advantage the USSR possessed at the time.
Perhaps in a Cold War -> Hot scenario, the expectation is few advanced fighters remain after a few days and the conflict regresses to a logistics battle. In such a scenario, it may be air-superiority is an illusion and an ability to attack armoured targets with such an aircraft makes sense.
So essentially the su25 is blooded when attrition has thinned the ranks on both sides and NATO is not able to provide round the clock fighter cover ?
 
But the question is with so many sophisticated air defenses will su25 or A10 will be able to get really close in to provide the kind of support expected from these aircraft? Even with the heavy losses.
Afghanistan , Vietnam war and even Iraq war can give a false impression given that these were not near peer adversaries

Aren’t Soviets better off using more SS21 or SP artillery against NATO for support of army units ?

in its defence I think su25 is an excellent plane for air forces with less sophisticated opponents, and should have been built almost exclusively for export
 
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That the genuinely cash-strapped post-1991 Russian Air Force kept its Su-25s when it nonchalantly tossed a lot of its older fighter-bombers overboard says something. Sure, better smart weapons (in both directions) may have eventually rendered it obsolescent, but it was a good plane and made specifically to avoid the fast-blast [esp. nuclear] monomania that was prevalent when it was developed.
Something more to do with Russians standardization around only twin engined machines post 1991
 
But the question is with so many sophisticated air defenses will su25 or A10 will be able to get really close in to provide the kind of support expected from these aircraft? Even with the heavy losses.
Afghanistan , Vietnam war and even Iraq war can give a false impression given that these were not near peer adversaries

Aren’t Soviets better off using more SS21 or SP artillery against NATO for support of army units ?

in its defence I think su25 is an excellent plane for air forces with less sophisticated opponents, and should have been built almost exclusively for export
Artillery is subject to counter battery fire, is logistically extremely intensive, and can’t be everywhere at once. CAS is also more responsive to troops on the ground. Missiles, meanwhile, are few in number and are best used against hard and high-value targets, not shooting up mech infantry battalions.

Also, the really sophisticated air defenses are busy defending fixed targets. Frontline troops had to make do with various flavors of SHORAD, which were consistently pretty simple to retain mobility.
 
Artillery is subject to counter battery fire, is logistically extremely intensive, and can’t be everywhere at once. CAS is also more responsive to troops on the ground. Missiles, meanwhile, are few in number and are best used against hard and high-value targets, not shooting up mech infantry battalions.

Also, the really sophisticated air defenses are busy defending fixed targets. Frontline troops had to make do with various flavors of SHORAD, which were consistently pretty simple to retain mobility.
But isn’t SHORAD a much bigger threat to su25 s vs even the older su17 s ?
and can the accuracy of faster jets be improved by using retarded bombs ?
 
But isn’t SHORAD a much bigger threat to su25 s vs even the older su17 s ?
and can the accuracy of faster jets be improved by using retarded bombs ?
It’s not an accuracy issue, it’s a loiter issue. An Su-17 shows up, drops bombs, and leaves. An Su-25 sticks around and continues to drop ordnance on call. Troops greatly preferred the latter.

And yes, the Su-25 would be more vulnerable to SHORAD, that’s not the point. As I keep saying, the plane was designed for an important job and if that job was more dangerous so be it. It’s war, you don’t always get to pick what you fly your planes into.
 
Su-25 is the USSR's response to the A-10. If there was a Battle of the Fulda Gap in the 1983-1984, then we would have seen both Frogfoots and Warthogs duking out the other side's tanks and armored vehicles. The same role how Bradleys, TOW missiles, MILAN anti-tank weapons, AH-64 Apaches, AH-1 Cobras, Harriers, Merlins. and Gazelles, would hunt for armored vehicles.

Losses would be heavy as both NATO and the Warsaw Pact had a ton of MANPADs and AA units stationed in both sides of Germany.

Here's a video comparing the A-10 vs the Su-25.
 
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