Saturday, January 25, 2014

A-10 Being Phased Out? Let's Hope Not!

The Air Force (once again) would like to phase out their extremely effective close air support platform. The A-10 Warthog has been the favorite CAS platform for ground troops for many years. The A-10 has proven to be a workhorse in Afghanistan close air support missions. It carries a great payload, has a gun for "really close air support", can loiter in the vicinity for long periods of time, and the pilots are 'ground force friendly'. However, the Air Force would rather assign 300 F-35As to the CAS mission and scrap the A-10s. However the cost of those 300 F-35As (part of the 1,700 F-35As to be purchased) is about $37 billion; the cost of retaining the current A-10 fleet is $3.7 billion. Do the math. The Air Force is meeting some opposition on this issue. Perhaps it is time that the A-10 is given to the Army? Read more in "Is Precision the Future of CAS?", Defense News, January 21, 2014.

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