A-10 Warthog May Live to Fight Another Day with Support from Lawmakers
April 14, 2014 9:41 AM
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"The Taliban hates the A-10. That’s good enough for me." -- Senator Lindsey Graham
In February of 2012, a report surfaced that said the
U.S. military was looking to retire single-purpose aircraft
in favor of multirole aircraft in large part due to budget cuts. One of the aircraft that was among those to be killed off was the A-10 Warthog. However, it looks as though some lawmakers want the venerable Warthog to fly for many more years.
The A-10 is a dedicated ground attack jet that has been providing close air support for decades. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R) has announced that she will push for amendments to be made to legislation that would retire the A-10 fleet.
The USAF has proposed the removal of the A-10 from its fleet by 2019 in part due to a 2011 deficit-reduction law. There are lawmakers on both sides of the isle that want to keep the A-10 flying, but they will have to find cuts in the budget elsewhere to make that happen.
The USAF maintains that by cutting the A-10 from the fleet it will save $3.5 billion over several years.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R) says that he has "been in theater enough to know what the troops say about the A-10." Graham added, "The Taliban hates the A-10. That’s good enough for me."
According to reports, many senior Army leaders, special operations troops, and soldiers in the field oppose the retirement of the fleet. Army Chief of Staff General Raymond Oiderno recently stated, "Obviously, we prefer the A-10. [Soldiers] can see it, they can hear it, they have confidence in it."
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RE: Great plane but less useful today than in the past
4/15/2014 10:13:21 AM
Agreed. SFW has all but eliminated the need to strafe a column of tanks. PGM's like the GBU-54 (one of my favorite air-delivered ordnance) have replaced the need for slow, slow passes with unguided bombs.
Modern operations (in an air-superiority environment) usually involved some type of platform armed with a Sniper pod & PGM's delivering payload from high altitudes. UAV's can be used to assist in finding targets (they cannot currently carry the capacity of A-10 or similar). This type of hunter-killer warfare is our bread and butter.
The A-10 was a great airplane when it was designed back during Vietnam. Since then, PGM's are the new standard of warfare. We've developed new and better means to stay outside of IADS and MEZ's to better keep our airplanes out of harm's way. No, the F35 isn't replacing the A-10. Improved armaments has. As much as I love the A-10, it's not really relevant anymore.
Congress needs to GTFO of military affairs with respect to stuff like this. It's bad enough that the military gets squeezed with less and less budgeting every year---but then to have some politicians decide HOW that money should be spent--instead of our military leaders--is just asinine. Most of the time, these politicians have ZERO military experience, let alone any concept of strategic military planning, posturing, capabilities and effects.
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