McCain Joins Fight to Save A-10 Warthog

McCain Joins Fight to Save A-10 Warthog

John McCain, the senior senator from Arizona and former Republican presidential candidate, has added his voice to the growing chorus of lawmakers seeking to block the Pentagon’s plans to retire the A-10 attack plane.

The Air Force in its budget request for fiscal 2015, which begins Oct. 1, has recommended retiring its fleet of the Cold War-era aircraft, known officially as the Thunderbolt II and unofficially as the Warthog. Its snub-nose packs a 30mm cannon designed to destroy tanks and other ground targets.

The service estimates it will save $3.7 billion over five years by retiring the almost 300 A-10s that remain in the inventory. An increasingly vocal group of lawmakers, which now includes McCain, has opposed the move on grounds that the aircraft is critical to protecting ground troops. The plane is credited with saving the lives of numerous service members, most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.


“We are going to do away with the finest close-air-support weapon in history?” McCain said at a news conference Thursday on Capitol Hill, where he was joined by other lawmakers and even former Warthog pilots and joint terminal air attack controllers who favor keeping the plane.

The senator, a longtime critic of the F-35 fighter jet – the Pentagon’s most expensive weapons acquisition program designed to replace the A-10 and other aircraft – questioned why the Air Force would begin to get rid of the Warthog before it has started operational flights of the stealthy, radar-evading jet. The F-35A is scheduled to reach initial operating capability, or IOC, in 2016 but only by employing a less lethal version of software.

“And we are then going to have some kind of nebulous idea of a replacement with an airplane that costs at least 10 times as much — and the cost is still growing — with the F-35?” McCain said at the news conference. “That’s ridiculous.”

The Pentagon plans to spend almost $400 billion buying 2,457 F-35 Lightning IIs made by Lockheed Martin Corp. to replace such aircraft as the F-16, A-10, F/A-18 and AV-8B. The Joint Strike Fighter program has had repeated cost overruns and schedule delays due to hardware and software problems.

Still, the fifth-generation fighter jet is designed in part to operate in areas with sophisticated enemy air defenses, known in military parlance as anti-access, area-denial, or A2-AD, environments. Countries with such technology include China, North Korea and Iran.

The Warthog, meanwhile, is a slow-flying gunship designed during the Vietnam War. The A-10 entered military service in the late 1970s, though flew more recently in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. While it has a reputation for being tough and able to withstand damage from flak, the plane is vulnerable to shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles, or SAMs, and other air defenses.

The Air Force maintains Warthog squadrons in several states in the U.S., and at bases in Germany and South Korea. The service has about 283 of the aircraft across the active, National Guard and Reserve components.

The Air Force in recent years spent more than $1 billion upgrading the A-10 fleet. Boeing Co. received contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars to replace the aircraft’s wings. Northrop Grumman Corp. last fall received an order to modernize the weapons system to keep it viable through 2028.

To find long-term budget savings, however, service leaders such as Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh – a former A-10 pilot himself – have weighed shedding the fleets of “single-mission” aircraft – not only the A-10, but also KC-10 refueling tankers and F-15C fighter jets.

“Even if an additional $4 billion became available, I believe the combatant commanders would all tell you that they’d rather have us fund more ISR and airborne command and control capability than retain the A-10 fleet,” Welsh said on Thursday during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, referring to the acronym for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

Winslow Wheeler, a longtime defense analyst who’s now a staff member at the Project On Government Oversight, a watchdog group in Washington, D.C., said the debate over the A-10 has become one of the top issues in this year’s congressional defense legislation. He supports keeping the aircraft.

“Gen. Welsh has kicked over a bee’s nest,” he said in a telephone interview. “He surely thought that there would be some controversy to dumping the A-10 fleet, but not what he has found he has gotten himself into.”

McCain this week joined fellow Republican Sens. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire in writing an op-ed, “Retiring the A-10 Early Puts Troops’ Lives at Risk.”

Ayotte, whose husband was a Warthog pilot, has led the congressional fight to keep the aircraft over the past several months, with a letter-writing campaign and legislative amendment to temporarily block the Air Force from doing so. Her ability to enlist McCain into the battle is significant, Wheeler said.

“McCain is a big fish and he was sitting on the sidelines until very recently,” he said. “He brings a lot of his stature to the issue.”

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Being a former AC-130 pilot I would imagine they would be next. It also can’t provide CAS in China NK or Iran. At least not on day one. Course there probably won’t be any ground troops there either. The A-10 was made to go against the Russians in the Fulda Gap. Hardly a permissive environment. It can do a great job over all of Africa. It is getting old but another 5–10 years would fill the gap until the F-35 which can carry less than half the payload gets to full up CAS able. It can definitely do a better job than the Apaches the Army wants to take from the Guard.

correction: the payloads are almost the same A-10 vs F-35

Gen Welsh is a typical air force empty uniform

I hope McCain is making this decision to help save live and not for political gain. I hope he remembers what is was like in Vietnam without proper CAS.

It’s called the Thunderbolt II. Sigh.

The Air Force tried to kill the A-10 for years, they never wanted a plane that would support ground troops, Close air support was not high on their agenda after Viet Nam, Even the Army Air Corps wasn’t thrilled about providing that type of support when World War II started, but they finally came around to the concept. It seems as soon as a conflict is almost over, the Air Force tries to kill the idea of close air support. If the army loves the aircraft so much and Congress won’t kill the A-10, transfer them to the Army or the Marines. The A-10 is a proven weapons platform that has saved countless of lives. Its ugly and lethal, it can take a beating like the B-17, the pilots are surrounded by a titanium like tub that protects them. What more can the Air Force ask for?

Well, they have been asking for its speedy demise for several decades…

:-P

But as the man says — to kill it off before there is any meaningful replacement seems rather premature.

Where are you getting that? The A-10 can lift up to 11 tons of ordinance.

The Airforce has been trying to kill the A-10 since before it was born. And it’s always the same song, “the A-10 can’t cut it in modern warfare”. It was a joke back in the 80’s when the plan was to retire the A-10 and replace it with F-16’s and it’s still a joke now…Survivability against air defenses is a matter of using counter measures and active suppression. The

He flew as a naval aviator until captured and spent many a day, week, month…year at Hanoi Hilton.

I was stationed in Germany with the 1st 46th Infantry BN, (The Professionals/Condors)1st Armored Division. We’d had a big painted wooden board in shape of a Condor in front of our bldg. door at Ferris Barracks, Erlangen. While participating in a REFORGER/FTX at Grafenwoer and another one in Hohenfels, I was impressed with the Thunderbolt/A-10 then 1979–1981. This aircraft wiped us out in this exercise? lol. Being a TC (track commander) of a M113A1 APC. The LT (2nd Lt. Jeffreys ROTC grad) said to me. “SP/4 Miranda…place de Red flag!” and I’d looked at him! “Why sir?” “Did you see why? That A-10 just wiped us out. Came from BN!” So; I pulled the bolt to the rear from the M2 HB 50 Cal. and put the wooden handle with the red flag in between the bolt, and we’d sit there until told to raise the green flag and resume battle exercise. This time it was almost impossible to hide from the A-10’S. Silent, fast and all you hear after the fly by is: RRRRMMMMMMMMMMM! 30MM shooting so loud, that it would just give you a weird sensation below your navel. AWESOME Aircraft. Make it Stealth, and the Russians better hide their Armored Vehicles and Troops. God bless America, and those brave pilots that saved our brothers and sister’s life! KEEP THEM FOR ANOTHER 10 YEARS! PLEASE!
Miranda, USA 1979–1985 11B20, SCPO, USCG Ret. 1986–2010.

Ask the real recipients of close air support of the A-10 and the old A-4 Skyhawk (subsonic) and the supposedly antique AD, the last 2 so effective in Nam. The A-10 came in late but would have been boon. Much more effective that the AF F-4’s and F-101s that dropped ordinace and naplam on our own troops due to lack of training to a degree, but more so to the high speed and altitudes required for those aircraft. When lower altitude and speed produced more effective deliverance of ordinance. The old Ad’s are gone now but they were cheered heartily by ground troops in close quarters with the enemy. Computers are fine but on the battlefield they can’t distinguish between enemy and freind they way a good pilot with a plane that can take a hit and keep on tickin.

External stores are not cleared for F-35 until Block 4 sometime in the 2020’s.

The way things are going in Europe right now, we may really need those A-10’s for just the exact same reason they were originally built for. Stopping Russian Armor.

ordnance

They should just give the Army the Close Air Support mission and transfer the A-10 to them. The Air Force gets nervous that close to the mud. Might get dirty.

That’s great and all, but the issue is still advanced Anti-Air systems.

True as that is (and yes, I do welcome seeing a remake of the “Highway of Death”), we still have to take on the account of new Anti-Air/Air Supremacy assets that now exist.

Yo Dude, We got nothing and they got nothing that can compete with the A-10. You can expend additional Tax Dollars to come up with more Systems or you can keep a Proven System with no counter in the known Universe.….Saw what they did in Desert Storm…Unmatched…

We had Great Air Support in Vietnam.…As long as you had a Good FSO.…

The only thing the airfarce wants to do is go zoom zoom (fighters) or boom boom (bombers). Everything else is of no importance to them-other than having 5 star BOQ’s and very nice golf courses.

In 1990, the SecDef tasked the Marine Corps Operational Test and Evaluation Activity (MCOTEA) to conduct a field test of the A-10 to determine its inherent value to the Army CAS mission and determine what would be required to transfer the aircraft, its support equipment, spare parts, and personnel from the AF to the Army. I was the Scientific Advisor to MCOTEA at the time. We recommended that the Navy Operational Test and Evaluation Force (OPTEVFOR) take responsibility for the operational test since MCOTEA was not oriented toward testing aircraft or their operational systems.

While all this was being worked out as to who would do the DOD mandated operational test, the Vice Chief of the Air Force and Army met in the Pentagon and came out announcing that the AF would continue providing the A-10 for Army CAS mission as well as anti-armor. At that time, the issue was settled. I learned later when talking with my Army counterpart that the AF reconsidered once they learned that they would lose the budget dollars they were counting on for another weapon system along with transfer of the A-10 fleet with their personnel, support equipment, and logistics train. The Army almost had a dedicated CAS aircraft.

For some who don’t know, the Army is prohibited by the 1947 agreement that created the AF to have a CAS capability. Whenever one of their helos provides ground fire, it is not considered CAS but suppressing fires instead of “support” fires.

IF the A-10 had been around during Nam, a lot of American lives would have been saved and a lot of VC/NVA lives would have been lost. The A-4 was not an effective CAS aircraft. The F-4 was more effective because of its napalm load (when napalm was a friendly weapon of choice). Not much accuracy required but sometimes it fell short or long into friendly positions. The A-10 has a much more accurate delivery system which was not available back then. The A-6 was a pretty good system and carried a heavy bomb load with reasonable accuracy.
(Marine aviator)

See my reply above that addresses what happened in 1991 concerning your suggestion.

Why the AF dies not and has NEVER wanted the A-10:

1. No pointy nose.

2. No afterburners.

3. No swept wings.

4. It flies below the clouds.

5. It just doesn’t look good with an ascot.

AF Warthog pilots were the only AF pilots we Naval Aviators respected. They even got us thrown out of a bar in Quebec quicker than the Marines could.

“Mad Dig” — Navy Airborne Electronic Warfare Officer 1973–1982

Like the Marines said when they started CAS, LOW AND SLOW.

Just changing the line spacing on the F35 documentation would save the entire cost of the A10.

This myth about the Air Force never wanting a plane to support ground troops gets really old really fast. The USAF has historically disagreed with the Army about priorities of what their aircraft should be blowing up on the ground and the same was true of the USAAF. But that has never meant they don’t want to provide close air support to the troops in direct contact with the enemy.

Except that they did not try to kill the A-X since “before it was born”.

That is a lot of bull. What then to support ground troops. Come up with another ground support aircraft. that costs ten times more money. the congress and the senate and the government is like a spoiled kid that wants some thing new everytime they turn around and then next day they are not satitsfied so they screem and cry until mommy and daddy u.s. civilians buy them a new toy. spank their butts and tell them that is all they get.

Understand, this is a question, not a statement.

Is the A-10 truly survivable in the modern combat zone — or at least in the combat zone one would expect 2–3 years from now?

Especially after Obama’s misadventure in Libya there should be a whole lot of MANPADs floating around in Africa, the Muddle East, and even going into Central and South America.

I know that there are countermeasures but I do not know their effectiveness.

Net effect is that I have the somewhat informed opinion that the A-10 is the most effective CAS aircraft and will continue to be so for a number of years (maybe as long as it is kept in inventory?), but I am not at all certain that it would survive long in the current combat space (I’m not certain it wouldn’t, either). If the craft are quickly shot down, they aren’t going to provide CAS for very long.

So I wonder whether the A-10 will be able to survive in the modern combat zone? Not a statement but a question.

The best close air support machine a grunt can ask for.…having said that its the real world Air Force brass.…get out in the real world and get dirty.…enough of the clean sheets.….walk the walk.…

The USAF should keep the A-10 and reduce the buy of F-35s by 300.

As a former 11C30 in an Armored Bn 1/77 Armor, I can say that I also respect and love the A-10. I have never seen a plane come in lower or more accurately lay down a devestating arc of fire than the Warthog. On a Combined Arms Exercise at Fort Irwin I personally observed what they can do to opposing armor. F-16’s coming in to the targets were too fast and not accurate like the Hog coming down the valley and cutting lose with that gun. Keep the A-10 and the brave pilots who would fly it. Be smart for once. The F-35 is a piece of c—.

Our Warthog tore up our enemies runway so fast that the enemie tried to hide their old planes,Without the A-10 the airforce aint complete, we need to modify this good plane..Stop nagging and be proud it helped in alot of wars…

If you look at every major conflict in the past 50 years you will find that the Air Force has not learned from it’s mistakes. No guns were needed. Remember that one. The F-16 with a gun pod could replace the A-10. Another great plane. Back to guns weren’t necessary again, because this time, we have better BVR missiles. Yeah. That didn’t work either. The Air Force needs a babysitter to make sure they buy planes capable of completing their mission requirements.
The argument that an A-10 can’t survive a high threat environment can be made of any aircraft. I’d like to see the F-35 take half a dozen hits from a ZSU, make a second pass, kill it and then fly home and be mission ready in 72 hours.

Hey HasBeen, fyi, the A-10 was designed to stop the hordes of Russian tanks pouring through the Foulda Gap. It was designed from the very beginning to operate in a high risk environment. Do you think the Russian would just let us fly around and tear up their tank without doing anything?

The point I’m making is that nothing is survivable in a modern war, not soldiers, not Marines, not tanks, aircraft, ships, etc. Everything will get hit, shot down, blow up, killed, or sunk at some point. There will be loses of everything, even stealth aircraft.

But the A-10 is perhaps the most ‘survivable’ CAS out there, titanium armor, twin engines, very tough airframe. It’s been proven to take a severe beating and still come back to base

I see the comment that the A-10 has problems with MANPADS. Does anyone know what the survivability of an F-35 is against MANPADS? I doubt if it has the toughness engineered into the A-10. If I remember correctly the A-10 can lose one engine and still get home OK.

I’m 100% for keeping the A-10 as well, but “make it stealth?”

The amazing ability of the A-10 to provide ground support, in some ways, directly contradicts the possibility of any stealth capability. In order to carry such a massive payload and such heavy weapons, it has to be built with a sturdy design, a design that would, by definition, prohibit stealth design. With stealth planes, you’re sacrificing overall durability for reduced detection on radar systems. If we were to make the A-10 stealth, the payload would have to be significantly reduced and the 30MM cannon might even have to be removed entirely.

And then we would basically be back to the F-35.

Russians have actually increased their Anti-Air capabilities significantly in the last decade.

“Low and slow” isn’t great when you have a dozen missiles incoming several miles away from your target.

This isn’t Afghanistan/Iraq, this is Europe/the Pacific we’re talking about.

I highly doubt A-10s would take many anti air missile hits or evade MiGs well.

as a former air rescue medic, viet nam era, the best close air support was a ww2 prop plane, the a1e sky raider. it could fly low and slow and carry a multiple ordinance. the air resuce and recovery service has morphed into combat search and rescue. the a10 wart hog has been their close air support aircraft and its history is legendary. there isnt anything else in our current or planned future aircraft that can compare. with their rapid response and accuracy THEY SAVE DOWNED PILOTS AND RESCUE PERSONEL
. save enough for this important life saving role

F-35 can’t do that either.…it only has 1 engine…AF Brass always has been idiots…

Why won’t they let the army support themselves? It’s all about turf, politics and money.

The myth about the Army being “prohibited” from operating fixed wing-aircraft, irrespective of mission, gets really old really fast…

Was in armor @ HHC 1/70 when the A-10s were tested in Baumholder. We got the news we were dead.When I asked wherethe A-10 tank killer was it was said it is 7 miles going the other way. Carry on A-!0s!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Give em to the Army so folks with some balls can protect their own.

That is the best suggestion I’ve read on this board in a long, long time…how simple a solution is that?!!

The A-10 can hug the ground and (barring a billiard-table open-desert scenario) use terrain to its advantage. Its thermal signature is suppressed from a ground perspective due to the positioning of its horizontal and vertical stabilizers. It carries ample flares and chaff. It typically flies with an ECM pod. It’s not invulnerable, but neither was it built to be easy to lock on to. And if it is hit, it was built with multiple redundancies. A-10’s got pretty banged up by ground fire in Desert Storm and still managed to limp on home.

The A-10 saved more lives than the F-35 ever will! The marines integrated ground and air support while the Air Force doesn’t realize that terrorists do not have an Air Force!

Europe in general perhaps.

Asia, I highly doubt it can cross the many miles of ocean and ADIZs, especially if it tries to go under radar.

You are probably right, but I would like to be involved in a study project using the same design criteria to see if lower observables could be incorporated in a single mission CAS jet.

It is not because the Air Force (whoever that is?) is nervous performing the mission. It is because there is a combination of career management, budget management, and just plain human faults involved. Factions will form in the Army promoting other equipment, like helicopters and the A-10 will be controversial again. If it is proven worthwhile, make the Air Force do it.

The early termination of F-22 production does not corroborate your point of view. A lot of boom and zoom was sacrificed there. Something else is happening.

Exactly the same argument against the A-10 used in 1975. ZSU23-4 radar guided guns and SA-6 sams were going to rip apart any airplane in their operating zones. Although it was planned to do it if necessary, the A-10 never operated in that threat, to my knowledge, so there is no real data. I still think it is a viable alternative to design the jet to absorb hits so it can go low and slow. The main criticism that comes up is that it can never go high and fast. Do that with another jet, then. It will be cheaper in the long run.

Can an F-35 do well meeting a Mig or more likely a Sukhoi ? I don’t like its chances either.

I think the CAS strategy for the F-35 is to keep it high/fast and out of intercept capability of MANPADS. Of course, the A-10 and the F-35 both have IR countermeasures. If intercepted by a small warhead MANPAD, an A-10 has a better chance of flying than an F-35.

The russkies did it another way with the Frogfoot. It did not have bypass 6 turbofans or thick wings, so it was a lot faster. I believe it was a hundred knots faster in top speed. I don’t know what the combat speed was. It also had a big cannon in it that was anti armor capable. It was useful to them in Afghanistan too.

or a self serving politician?

So the F-5 and F-16’s chances with Migs/Sukhois are just as bad as an A-10?

You can be sure McCain always does what is in McCain’s self interest. On Monday he is fully behind the F-35. On Friday he has serious reservations. On Wednesday he loves the A-10. On the Sunday talk shows he favors cutting the Air Force budget. An explanation could be that a lot of money goes into his state from both those jets. His public statements are maneuvers to keep the money flowing.

Roger that, but what stores?

Keep the A-10! If necessary transfer them to the Marines, who really appreciate CAS. Fasterr A/Cs just cant cut it low and slow.

Why would it be that much of a problem to cut the number of A-10s in half? Most air forces operate small fleets and don’t complain about it.

It’s true that the A-10 would be hit relatively quickly in a major conflict but it is survivable enough to at least bring back the pilot most of the time. Then the pilot can be reused on another A-10 put in storage.

And how would a DIRCM increase its survivability?

Anyways it is a tough call and now that the A-10 has been cancelled it’s time to look for alternatives. For instance the F-16s can be armed with brimstones and laser guided rockets combined with an HMS with the ability to cue the missile/sniper pod.

Too bad the NLOS has been cancelled it would have been awesome. However, wouldn’t it be possible to use the TOW in BLOS mode? Raytheon is testing a variant of the TOW right now with a new motor that doubles the range. It would be excellent to kill enemy tanks before they merge with friendly forces, and at low cost. Other artillery systems can also compensate for the loss of the A-10.

Dean — Don’t forget the O-Clubs and Swimming Pools!

Your response and the others is greatly appreciated.

And the Airforce fought that termination tooth and nail.

The key here is in the phrase ‘vulnerable to MANPADS’. The A-10 is no less and NO MORE vulnerable to MANPADS than another aircraft. The only way to eliminate this vulnerability is to stay out of range — in other words, fly above 5000 meters (3 miles). That’s exactly what the Airforce wants to do.

Flying that high would (of course) prevent any kind of direct gun support. In fact the only possible kind of precision engagement would require a laser guided bomb or missile. The Airforce feels that the direct support mission should be left to Army helicopters. The fact that these helicopters fly lower and slower and are not as well armored which would lead to more loses than using the A-10 is not their problem.

Squeakiest wheel gets lots of grease.

I’m going to say this:

In the Russian-Georgian war, Russians employed ALOT more than MANPADS.

The A-10 has many redundant systems (i.e. hydraulics), self sealing fuel cells; not to mention the titanium bathtub to protect the pilot. Engines mounted high enough, so you cannot FOD the engines out on unimproved landing strips. Not to mention the number of weapons stations, and the GAU-8 gun.
and what can the F-35 do better = NOTHING!
Yes, I worked the A-10, and had a lot of respect for what it could do!

Redundant systems in the A-10 to make it more survivable (i.e. hydraulic system)

A 10’s SAVE American LIVES, enough said.

i bet you have never been in a situation to need one, i call it monster’s roar. This is not about what’s it called.

YOU TELL EM, I HAVE EN THIS WARTHOG IN LIVE ACTION WHEN MY TEAM NEEDED IT ND WE ARE ALL ALIVE , UNLIKE OUR ENEMY. tose of us whom fight the ground war should know a thing or two

Put them all in the RC and probably save a bundle. Then you use them when you need them, RC spin up is the same as active duty and you would not have constant churn of training the AC puts themselves through.

They had the same deployment ratio as they’ve always had. The same as in the Fulda gap. And it doesn’t address my point of A-10’s being less vulnerable to these weapons than Army helos.

Look up Captain Kim Campbell over Baghdad for information on this subject.

not to mention BUT Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz carries a few of them planes ‚and mccain is their sen.

Flak is not the same as continuous rod SAMs.

Missiles damage is vastly different from bulletholes.

DIRCM would be a major improvement against infrared guided SAMs but that’s not the only threat. The Russian Tunguska for example uses semi-automatic radar command to line of sight and the e are a lot of other radar guided SAMs that the A-10 would have to contend with in a conventional war. Personally I believe there are enough potential conflicts where the A-10 could be of use to justify us keeping those which have been upgraded. Yet the USAF insists they don’t have the money for it. Regardless of how true that claim is, they do have a lot on their plate between the F-35A, KC-46, and requirements for a new bomber/long range strike aircraft. All three of these are vital in the long term.

SDB-II provides a precision attack for destroying tanks and all sorts of other targets. It can be dropped from all sorts of modern fighters but isn’t suited for low altitudes. As originally planned JAGM would provide a capability exceeding that of the Brimstone missile but this program and its predecessors keeps getting axed and resurrected. Currently the programs goals have been scaled back and Increment 1 is simply an upgraded Hellfire for the AH-64D/E and AH-1Z.

Seeing an opportunity MBDA has been trying to market their dual-mode Brimstone to the US military and will certainly do the same with their upcoming “Spear” missile.

Block 3 actually allows AIM-9X and GBU-12/49 Paveway II 500 lb laser guided bombs to be carried externally and the external gun pod for the B and C variants.

After that plans are less well known but AMRAAM, JSOW, JASSM, JSM, JDAM, SDB, and larger Paveway variants look to be among the priorities.

I don’t understand why the US Air Force needs, or thinks it needs to have control of targeting. The Hog is matchless — you will never surpass its excellence as ground attack plane. Kudos to Senator McCain for getting on the right side of this.

Per the Airforce’s own statements; the airspace above Baghdad during the Gulf war was as heavily defended as any place on Earth. The A-10 operated just fine there. They took loses, but so did other aircraft types. And those other aircraft were operating at far higher and ‘safer’ altitudes.

Simply legislate the transfer of position, money and aircraft from the Air Force to the Army. Easy and allows the Air Farce to go do what they want to do and that is to shoot down other AC and not much else.

Do you REALLY think they are ever go to go down a dirty in a F-35? Come on.

Let’s face it, he’s doing it because three squadrons of A-10’s are based at Davis Monthan in Arizona. Putting that aside, it’s still the right thing to do…there’s nothing else available to replace them. Retiring them would give a good feeling to the terrorists…similar to the good feeling our enemies get when we elect democrats.

EXACTLY!

Not its survivablity, A-10 still less expensive to loose in comparison to F-35 which it stealth technology can be out done by innovations. A-10 can be upgraded, armor and survivorable is hard to obsolete. Payload of F-35, being able carry same 30mm has less ammo and it cannot lotier over a target as easy or as long sue to its need for high-speed. Not worth the trade off, the F-35 a missile strike aircraft with bombs as side option.

Hello Josh, Interesting article. I knew some A-10 pilots who flew these supporting OIF. They swear by them.

I hope they can over come Air Force’s decision to again try retire A-10 over a multi-mission F-35. The A-10 maybe a one-mission pony, but a Jack all-trades seldom is able to do any of jobs as good as something dedicated to the mission. Thats why F-14s were still better as fleet interceptors over the F/A-18. Better range, long-range missiles, and could hang in there with fighters of its day better than F/A-18.

A-10 can stay on station longer, handle damage better than a thin skinned fighter that can stay on station for long and has sheet metal for armor. Something roles requires a dedicate vehicle to do the job, than multimission jackknife. Budget is tight, but congress needs make sure their funding armed forces better so they don’t have do drastic cuts like this.

Why mess with proven ordinance? I live by the ex Willow Grove air base in PA. The sight and sound of the A-10s always put a smile on my face, and knowing they were so close was even better. They are a wonderful ordinance platform, the only reason the F-35s are getting the nod is because someone is getting a cut of the profits. Make more A-10s, they are awesome, kinda like the not so pretty farm girl, she got it where it matters, looks are fleeting, quality, on the otherhand is the core. On the other hand, I wouldn’t mind seeing a tandem cockpit with an RO, and maybe a few more hard points underwing. Think of the possibilities with two people in the cockpit

I agree. The A-10 is the best ground support weapon for the combat soldiers and Marines the AF has ever provided. I understand that the fighter pilots are the fair haired boys of the AF but as a soldier, I have received outstanding and on time support from the A-10’s and C-130 Puffs. Thanks to these pilots for their unwaivering support through my Army career.

I think that the point has been made, if the Pentagon was really cost conscious, maintaining the A-10 with the current contracts is the way to go. It costs way less than the new F-35. If they at all consider the battlefield situation, having numerous A-10’s to support troops on the ground is much more effective that one F-35 (which can carry less of a payload than a single A-10).
Have talked to Martha McSally (Retired Col –USAF)about this. Very impressed with her knowledge an insights on the issue.

I agree with McCain and think USAF brass is being stupid once again. The A-10 is made to survive in contested environments if you think if war came with East Germany and the Russians and it be like Desert Storm think again. And by the way North Korea is a bad example of a air defense system more dangerous than lets say the Warsaw pact was, according to brass. Face most of North Koreas SAMs are 60-70s era SA-2 SA-3 SA-6 and SA-8 systems the A-10 was built to survive against those SAMs when it was developed. Face it you see the brainless idiocy of the Pentagon in there blind love of the waste of JSF. I join with congress in a BIG NO! to those idiots.

Fighting to “Save”, the A-10, is a losing cause.…Salvage a few …that’s the best you can do. (Unless DoD has determined it).

What’s fascinating are that some Su-25’s were flown off of Russian Navy STOLs, and the Russian Navy still keeps a small unit of them around. An interesting anti-ship platform if they could take off and land with any meaningful payload.

In the early ‘80s the Iranians launched potent airstrikes against the Iraqi regime that probably would’ve made their American trainers proud (if the Shah had still be in charge). Obviously, by ’89 Saddam had ten years to make Baghdad that much more defensible.

Pretty sure Moscow was the most heavily defended place on earth at the time, but we’ll never know.

Why get rid of something that works? Is it to spend more of the money on a new toy the generals just have to have? This is the plane that provides close ground support and it provides for the man on the ground not the one in a chair in the Pentagon. Leave it alone.

The Army didn’t like it at first durning WWII until they saw what the Germans did with close air support during the war. Then some unknown reason caused them to change their minds wander if it was the Generals in the field demanding it???

way to go John Mccain!

CAS aircraft don’t benefit from RF stealth per se. The CAS mission presumes local air superiority. The A-10 has design features that interfere with IR tracking missiles, and lessen damage if struck. What the A-10 needs is effective countermeasures, either physical, like flares, or electronic, like RF ECM or IR dazzlers. Short range stuff to deal with local threats.

A couple of 500lb LGB doth not make a F-35 a great CAS aircraft — it makes it an F-16. Got plenty of those. The A-10 has a smorgasbord of weapons choices compared to the F-35A, plus it actually can operate from grass/dirt fields — try that with an F-35 of any flavor.

They only need to reduce the F-35A buy by 25 aircraft over five years, and they’ve paid for keeping the entire 300+ A-10 fleet.

It’s spelled “ordnance”.….not “ordinance”. Ordnance is various explosives you’re using.…ordinance is your local rule or law.

New ordinances to change aircraft types in inventory that can drop ordnance on target.

That’s the Tax Code, the Patriot Act, several decades of filibusters, procurement docs for every dead DoD program…

The A-10 supporters should detail what is to be cut to allow the A-10 fleet to remain in service. Does the USAF cut 300-some F-16 multi-role fighters so as to allow for continued operation of the A-10 fleet? The F-16 can accomplish air-to-air (A-A) way better than an A-10. The F-16 carries AIM-120 for one thing, along with the radar needed. Sure, the F-16 doesn’t have the 30mm cannon, but in a non-permissive surface-to-air threat environment, you probably want to stay high up outside the range of small arms, MANPADS, and AA anyway. In a non-permissive environment, won’t the A-10’s have to stay high and use their Sniper pods and such, just to survive? Wouldn’t that negate the effective use of the 30mm cannon for close air support? USAF has said that 80-some percent of CAS in Afghanistan has been accomplished by aircraft OTHER than A-10’s. This means F-16’s, B-1’s, F-15’s, etc. Those who argue that the A-10 saves soldiers lives and therefore, must continue in service, they do a disservice to the brave pilots flying other USAF aircraft in the CAS mission. The USAF is simply saying, Congress, you have cut my budget, and now you are telling us what weapon systems to retain for political reasons most likely? I understand the A-10 is a great CAS aircraft, but at some point, you have to move on. The P-51 was great as well, but it was also multi-role. The USAF has selected the F-35, and nothing is going to change that now. They are not going to give up F-35 tails to retain the A-10 fleet. So, they will end up cutting another weapon system such as F-16 or F-15. Will the soldiers on the ground be better served by the A-10 if/when air superiority cannot be maintained in the first place? can the A-10 protect the soldiers from being bombed by enemy aircraft? With funding as it is, it only makes sense to retain the multi-role fighter aircraft over a dedicated CAS aircraft such as the A-10, which does not have a good A-A radar, BVR missiles, speed, etc. Nostalgia for a fine airframe is all well and good, but do not discount the possibility that this political push to retain A-10 may not be the best thing for ground forces, if multi-role fighters (having better A-A capabilities) are reduced as a result. The next war will not necessarily be the same type of environment as Afghanistan.

Given their cost I don’t understand why anyone would want a F-35 to be down and dirty supporting Ground Forces.
An A-10 is and will remain the most cost effective Close Air Support aircraft.

Right, the F-35 is not fully tested yet, far from it, let alone in full production. Same for the SDB2. If the A-10 fleet is retired, the USAF loses 300 planes capable of killing 5–10 tanks per sortie versus just a few F-35s limited to only 2 internal bombs initially. I think it would have made more sense to keep half of the fleet for 5 more years until the F-35 is available in significant numbers and the inventroy of SDBII is increased to a few thousands.

The USAF could have retired 80 F-15Cs instead of 150 A-10s and kept 150 A-10s. The F-15C without AESA is not much better than the F-16, and 80 F-15s represent only 5% of the fleet capable of air to air.

Moreover, most artillery systems that were capable of direct hits on armored vehicles have been cancelled ( LAM, PAM, MRM ). Other precision artillery systems like the GPS guided rockets or 120mm guided mortar rounds don’t guaranty a direct hit, especially on a moving target. Fortunately the helicopters are kickass with hellfires, but they’re very expensive and how long would they survive?

I would imagine the Ukranians would like to have a few of the A-10’s.

It’s not about nolstagia, it’s about capability. you’re wrong that “The USAF has selected the F-35, and nothing is going to change that now.” In case you forgot, the power to make authorization and appropriation legislation for force structure, as well the appointments for senior military leadership, belongs to elected representatives. We do not have to tolerate foolish decision making by any government officials. USAF serves the country, not the other way around. Many future years of legislation will be required in order to keep F-35 alive.

Only if carried internally which dramatically curtails the F-35’s loiter time. To increase loiter time it uses its weapons bay for an internal fuel tank.

Not a chance! The F-35 must carry its weapons (and the only weapon suitable for CAS is it’s gun which holds only something like 35 rds) internally. Unless the F-35 is redesigned to the same spe4cs as the A-10 will it be capable of carrying out the CAS mission. Also I’ve been told that it is possible to make design changes to the A-10 to make it carrier capable which can go just about anywhere you can float a boat.

Let’s face it!!! The pentagon stars have morphed into pencil pushers, politicians, bean counters and greedy
accountants hoping for unwarranted promotions, leaving the poor grunt lowest on their totem pole. Why should they worry, there are plenty of more able to take their place. KEEP THE A-10!!!!
As an old Air Force vet, I can attest to the willingness for our pilots and crewmen to give their lives for their country, but only with the support of their leaders. The forces want the A-10!! Give it to them!!!

Nope. For one reason that is one expensive bird. Number two it is way too vulnerable to ground fire number three it just cannot fulfill the CAS mission without chancing blue on blue casualties. Without going into a laundry list of why it is a terrible choice as a CAS capable acft; it just is not suitable for a good eight or a dozen reasons any one of which would be a deal breaker.

If you’ve paid attention to the AF in the news over the last eight years or so there are a lot of AF general officer ‘empty uniforms.’

It is OK as long as the bad guys weren’t danger close. The only CAS capable acft was the A-1 Skyraider

Anytime that an A-10 walked into a bar serving soldiers and Marines the pilot’s drinks were gladly paid for by the troops.

You were told wrong. Adapting an A10 to take a Cat shot and then catch a wire is not a small task AT ALL. It would reqiure a massive redesign of the aircraft’s frame to start with which would then chanage much much more. You’d end up having to redesign a plan that has been out of prodution for over 20 years.

Probably the only ones that refer to the A-10 by its ‘proper’ name are the suits in Fairchild/Republic in honor of the original Thunderbolt, the P-47,

You’re being polite. The correct term is stupid which should be the writing on the wall (“retire, stupid”) to the AF decision makers.

The F-15Cs without AESA are a bit outdated too, they are not much better than the F-16s.

A pure fighter absolutely needs an AESA and each F-15C upgrade costs about 10 million. Add to that the fact that the F-15 is much more expensive to operate and you can keep 2 or maybe 3 A-10Cs for 1 F-15.

The Air force has about 1500+ planes capable of air to air( not counting those that can be reactivated and that can shoot AMRAAMs), so why not split the fleet reduction between the A-10 and F-15C.

Also the F-15Es will have an AESA upgrade, with even a better radar than the F-15Cs.

Why did you feel it was necessary to add in the last political part? Everybody laughs at our political because of the hyper-partisanship. We would be a stronger country/a more efficient government if Republicans and Dems just got along as players on the same team.

Which is the reason why the National Security Act of 1947 should be revisited and ALL CAS responsibilities and equipment currently in the AF inventory should be turned over to the army and the Marines.

It’s called politics which has no place when it comes to national defense. Unfortunately politics is central in all DoD weapons program decisions. That’s why we’re stuck with the inappropriate F-35.

It is a proven tool in the tool box. The tank killer not only protects our ground troops it also puts the fear of God in the enemy. It’s a keeper. Good Job Senator McCain.

Not that it just mounts a 30mm GAU but it carries a ‘ton’ of ammunition to actually do some good. The F-35 carries something like 135 rds; gone in a heartbeat. Not only can F-35 can do nothing better than the A-10 it cannot even approach the capabilities of the A-10. All it is is an ineffective target.

It’s almost like MUSLIMS are in control of our government and they are setting us up to fall to our enemies. If we can’t protect ourselves they will walk all over us. We are being destroyed from within.

I think McCain is doing the thing, Don’t forget about His Grand Father. Both are Veterans.

As a former A-10 Crew Chief I think it makes no sense to retire the active A-10s. Compared to so many other programs this one is relatively cheap and they will never save what they claim they will save. Bang for buck the A-10 can lay it to the enemy on the battlefield like nothing else in the inventory. The F-35 appears to be a white elephant and not nearly operational now or in the near future. The A-10s have a proven record. Even when the F-35s are operational they lack the sheer firepower that the A-10s bring to bear. The F-15 Strike Eagle is a formidable close air support/interdiction platform but, in the real world it still doesn’t stand in the same class as the A-10s.

I’d like to note here that my beloved Air Force has a history of letting the bean counters make battlefield decisions that turned out to be short sighted. When the F-4 Phantoms entered combat in SE Asia they had no guns. Some genius thought they would never need them and gave them (on average) 4 missiles. Who whould have thought that was a good idea? Sure, hindsight is 20/20 but, given the global security issues we face now retiring a bad ass like the A-10 with nothing to fill it’s shoes is negligent. Wars, battles, are won by beating the enemy into submission. We wish it were otherwise but, it’s true now just like it was when hominids were beating each other with rocks and bones. Somebody has to get down and dirty and engage the enemy and kill the bastards.

The A-10 was always designed around the idea that it could take a few hits and keep flying. Redundancy is built into the system. The F-35 has none of that. The A-10 was also designed to loiter over the battlefield. It’s heat signature is very low for a jet aircraft. If you shoot it you better kill it because it will surely kill you.

Keep the A-10? You bet! Until such time as there is a viable replacement IN THE FIELD it makes little sense to remove this platform from active inventory. The Air Force higher command has never liked anything that was low tech, yet effective. They see it as taking money from their bells and whistles, an sparkles, programs! Maybe they should consider refurbishing some of the A-1E SkyRaiders sitting in DM. That would be a great bird for Afirca operations. Sorry, Sandy/Spad flashback, did like that ground support that they could provide!

I remember “Stormin’ Norman” did not ask for the tank killers when going into Iraq. He required them. Smart man.

Does anyone know the capability of the A-10 wth the cannon against other aircraft in a dogfight. Turns rate or sustained G’s. Can it cur inside the other aircraft? How quickly.

McCain never fought for an Air Force program in his life, there must be a political angle to this — like the Navy will get a new mission and more money. Reality is there is not enough money in the budget to support all the programs. Maybe we should kill the tanker and not worry about aerial refueling? Or aircraft carriers since we have plenty of them?

Plane is solid and serves a particular purpose. Just upgrade the engines to make it a bit faster! Stop wasting money on F35s which are cost prohibitive!

Huge mistake to retire our A –10 fleet.Same argument was used with the B-52 outdated no longer of use etc..we have no other platform to replace the multirole ability of this very proven plane.wake up !

ya gotta admit they got nice golf courses

I’ve commented on this topic under the user name ‘jjschwartz.‘
With all the flak flying on this obviously ill conceived proposal of the AF brass-in-charge of this decision I am confident * that when this decision is countermanded by those that know something and have an once of common sense these AF decision makers will be shown the door as being incompetents with their noses stuck in the ledger books and not in the AF mission, which may come as a surprise to the AF, includes responsible and efficient close air support. The problem is, besides a serious lack of judgement, that the AF does not like being a team player. They want to do their own thing and not have to interact with any other service. Revisit the National Security Act of 1947 and change the AF’s mission to NOT include CAS and take those assets away from the AF and give them to a service that can use a most excellent CAS platform. *I’m generally speaking a pessimist when it comes to decisions made by the AF. Being an AF vet it pains me to say that but recent history speaks for itself. IMO the AF comes close to being a failed branch of the armed forces.

Correction: That would be “something like 135 rds”

The A-10 is meant to operate where the allies have total air superiority. In a hostile environment the A-10 would fly with a fighter CAP. Someone asked about it’s superior flying characteristics I.e., turn radius and maneuverability. The A-10 in spite of these qualities is not and was not meant to be an air-to-air platform. These same qualities contribute to the A-10’s success as a CAS platform.

The placement of the engines are such in relation to the horizontal stabilizers that it gives less of a heat signature for a MANPAD to lock onto. It is also less vulnerable to a shoot down because of the high redundancy in in hydraulics and flight controls.

They’ve been out of the real world for so long that they wouldn’t recognize it. When you’re flying high and fast the real world doesn’t exist.

Being a curmudgeon I disagree. The AF doesn’t want the job of CAS. The only ‘part’ of the AF that wants the job and the responsibility are the A-10 pilots and maintainers. There is nothing worse in conducting a mission than to have to ‘force’ team work and a desire to triumph in spite of tough duty. The AF just doesn’t have the ‘right stuff’ for the CAS mission.

The A-10 is meant to operate ONLY where the allies have air superiority OR if they have a fighter CAP. Talk about MiGs and Sukhois is for video game players. Also I am told from what I believe are reliable sources that the A-10 can operate from carriers. Whether the A-10s were modified or not, I do not know. The point is though, if true, the A-10 is carrier capable which would greatly enhance its range and loiter time.

Hello so with the political voids in reality , im glad to see other wise comments from experienced flyers,pilots and support personnel . I was involved and was in awe when i worked with flight test engineers and pilots at the strengths this plane has as a lot of blood, sweat, and tears and dedicated men spent countless days and nights to resolve development to make this one of America Classic weapons platform at the time and its strength was incorporated for long time use. I would proudly fly this plane anywhere in the world, with a pilots skills it is and will be a vital tool. I Know without it we loose vital capabilities to protect and back up in numbers other aircraft in large scale conflicts, like the Russian intrusions. If we had a stronger leader, and a stronger military so many innocent humans would be safe internationally. Please dont throw away something that works and has our American technology. The price of plane is a small picture to our freedom so many have fought to preserve, from my Army wwll father to me a USAF son to many men and woman who fought for our beliefs in harms way for the betterment of all in America. I love the sound and would proudly die in one in any conflict for the USA. This is a nobrainer to keep around.

Really? Nothing? I would have to disagree with that and I don’t even like the F-35. There is that little thing called SEAD or anything air to air.

They did for good reason.

That was after a lot of SEAD and DEAD.

Poor assessment of the damage from weapon impacts.

That’s incredibly narrow minded. You fail to mention that the Army has a lot to do with what CAS gets sent where. The AF has bent over backwards to supply whatever aircraft they can to do CAS for the Army even at the expense of it’s combat fleet

So does Battle Creek MI, and Eglin AFB in Florida.

‘DEFENSE’ — That’s how you stop OFFENCE .. Want to save money — Stop the billions of give-a-ways … Next thing that these genious’ will want, is to arm all Police Officers with a Single Shot 22 cal. pistol . Do they not know the responsibility of a Powerful Nation ? You never let your guard down. There’s no defense against a sucker punch, but we can darn well make them regret ever trying any aggresion.…

As an Air Force veteran I tell you one thing, If you have ever seen an A-10 in action or even on a target range. It almost makes you feel sorry for the bad guy / enemy in his sights. You can run but you cannot hide or survive it’s Attack!
Sgt. Johnson

I used to be the USAF gun engineer for the A-10! The plane was designed around the gun and cannot fly without it. The 7 barrel Gatling gun shoots 49 shots a second of 30mm bullets . On a 100 shot strafing run only 10 are needed to kill a tank! The bullets are traveling at speeds equal to those shot from high powered rifles. After the gun shoots it clears the live rounds and rotates the barrels one by one to cool them in the airstream! This gun is the “smartest” gun ever designed !! Couple that with its ability to and loiter and survive in a CAS environment and you have a unique and powerful advocate for those on the ground! Push away all the politics and ask the common sense question! Does it still meet the needs of the warfighter on the ground in the present combat environment? If it does then keep it and cut money somewhere else! If lives can be saved and send the enemy packing then enough said!! The B-52 is several decades beyond its service dates because it can still do the job!! The A-10 is no different! Also the A-10 can carry massive amounts of ordinance under its wings to enhance its CAS mission! As far as I know, no other aircraft can accomplish its mission as well and still bring the pilot home!

a-10 would not need a cat shot, imo they are very quick to clear the deck

USAF, TSgt. Vet 79–89 assigned to the A10 Hog’s nest at RAF Bentwaters UK the 81st TFW The largest compliment of A10’s in Europe. Great aircraft. Would hate to see it go. I agree with an earlier comment, they should be relegated to the Marines Air Division for CAS if the weapon no longer suits the AF role.

A-10 can NOT operate from carriers. To start with, it can’t take a Cat stroke and the wings do not fold. Both are mandatory.

That may happen one day, but the A-X program, eventually the A-10 evolved because the Army wanted to take the roles and mission task away from the Air Force back as early as 1969, possibly a bit earlier. The Army’s candidate was the Cheyenne helicopter, which proved to have many short falls. As a result the Cheyenne program was cancelled. The A-10 eventually evolved. Regarding getting that close to the mud, the idea is to stay out of it with the airplane, that is what tanks are for.

JC Jones

Perhaps merging the AF and the Army back together again would eliminate some redundancy, if planned correctly. Things that are mirrored such as transportation, cyber commands, MP/base security…

To answer some of these uninformed questions: a) The reason why the Army isn’t allowed to fly significant fixed wing aircraft is that they won’t support them and they don’t fly them safely. They can’t even be trusted to keep from hitting everyone with UAVs; b) The A-10 is a great aircraft for a single role (very specialized RESCAP notwithstanding), but no service can afford very specialized equipment when other multi-role platforms can do the job; and c) CAS is not, and never should be, the first mission of the Air Force or any other aviation arm. Although most of the Army doesn’t know it, they would be decimated from the air if we didn’t concentrate on air superiority first. Strategic and operational attack can win wars–ground troops are necessary for supporting and sustaining victory, but they are a tactical force that occupies once enemy defenses are weakened or destroyed. Tell me when we’ve used the Army lately without first bringing an adversary’s defenses to it’s knees with airpower…you can’t.

McCain, why don’t you fight for the 62,000 Homeless American Veterans cold and hungry on the Streets of the United States. Or don’t you believe in “We take care of our own” or Standing up for those that Stood up for US.

Retired USAF Msgt

I served with the original Sandy’s and fully appreciate what the Warthog’s have accomplished. Please let us all
get together and support this program. We all desperately need such support for our ground units!!

McCain, why don’t you fight for the 62,000 Homeless American Veterans cold and hungry on the Streets of the United States. Or don’t you believe in “We take care of our own” or Standing up for those that Stood up for US.

While posted ‘somewhere’ in the Middle-east I had the pleasure of seeing the A-10s come home after combat sorties. There isn’t one person at that location that would deny that any modern jet including the vaunted F-35 would have failed to bring the pilot home. They came in with holes you could put your fist through. Partial wings, engines that had caught fire and been shut down. And yet they came home with a pilot intact. One plane was so badly damaged that it was declared a total loss on the ground, the woman flying it didn’t have a scratch on her. In every case these pilots were flying at, or below, 100′ AGL facing fire from light to heavy automatic weapons, RPGs and small shoulder-fired SAMs. In each and every mission these pilots put everything on the line to accurately suppress an enemy with devastating fire delivered with superb accuracy at air speeds so low that any other aircraft, excepting a helicopter which would never have survived the environment, would have simply fallen to the ground. We have great hope for the F-35 but until that platform has proven itself to be as capable as a Warthog I say the plane MUST be kept in the inventory.

Like the B-52 that was reborn with conventional missions in Vietnam and later in Desert Storm and beyond, the A 10 is a great platform for the sands of the Mid East…and steppes of Russia given the present day resurrection of Vlad the Aggressor. The F 35 is a little machine in terms of capability for a whole lot of money. I flew the Fulda Gap and there is still a need to the A 10, Spectre, and other close air support machines that are proven in combat.

How people forget , the A-10 was the star in the gulf war. And with the trouble going on with Russia now the A-10 is a proven Russian tank killer . Not everything is computerized and software driven sometimes you just have to go down in the dirt and have a messy fight. And that is where the A-10 comes in , simple and lethal.

One important point to remember is the largest active duty USAF base with A-10s is in AZ — McCain’s home state. Where else do they fly them? Moody AFB in GA — Sen. Chambliss’ home state. Coincidence? Highly doubt it. This is less about mission capability than about politicians protecting their home turf. The A-10 community is a proud, tight group — Gen Welsh is a former A-10 guy, am sure he put a lot of thought into this. They are old, expensive to maintain, and more vulnerable to modern air defense technology every year — better to transition early than hang on too long.

Surely, the AF can find other venues to cut. As a former A-10 maintainer I can see that the AF motto still is “not a pound for ground”. The “hog” can still do the job. I cannot say that about Gen. Mark Welsh who is now a true politician and no longer a CAS pilot who is selling out..

I think all of you know nothings except the pilots who flew the A-10 and those people who maintain them. You havthanose to draw a blank. World war 11 . Let me enlighten the ground diggers. The Air Force lost more men then the Army / Marines put together. That’s a fact. They chose to Bomb the oil fields in Poland. Hitlers most defended places. Be for you go mouthing off any ourf services​.be sure you know what your talking about. Remembe Japan –they sure do. an estimated million troops were saved by Atomic bombing Japan.How about Dolittlls raid. [sorry about my spelling}.

I have the opinion that the A-10 was a very effective CAS aircraft, concidering the environment it proved itself in; however, that doesn’t equate to being the best CAS aircraft for furture environments. We have in the past either not prepared for our wars or prepared for the last war we were in. We don’t want to do that again. Also we can’t discount the importance of the economics of the question, even though the mission and the safety of the aircrews and ground troops should take priority. Vietnam F-100D fighter/bomber pilot.

Recent news say Russia has lots of tanks ready to roll into Ukraine. NATO says don’t go too far! Of course, that’s “Bluff Military Talk!” What’s to stop Russia from doing whatever they want? In the near future, can we bust their tanks with F-22’s, F-18’s or whatever? Don’t think we’re willing to use fast, expensive aircraft to kill tanks, Russian tanks would also be protected by a mighty Russian air force and serious air defense! Let’s keep the A-10’s!!!

Right on target. No other aircraft in the inventory or on the drawing board can do what th A-10 can do. If the administration thinks all we need to plan for is a new technological warfare, Putin is smiling and laughing at us as his forces move into Eastern Ukraine. They will take over there and then head north. He will take over as much as he can so that Russia can increase it’s sphere of influence until we have new leadership in next three years. The new Fulda gap is in Poland. We will need the A-10. God help us over the next few years.

He’s a politician period…

I was a FAC (O-1) in Vietnam and a Raven (O-1 and T-28D) in Laos — worked 495 strikes, much of which was CAS. I would strongly suggest that you are way off base. Additionally, I had F-4E that were able to work CBU 24 patterns (minimum safe distance of 1000m) up to within 75m of friendlies.

He’s a politician period…he doesn’t care about the soldiers in the trenches.

Most everyone has missed the point — the A-10 is being offered as a sacrificial lamb to the sequester. AF brass know that, every time it’s suggested, the A-10 system is saved for either political or very practical reasons.
Stop being so thin skinned and watch the politics! Welsh & company are trying to make the point that the US cannot maintain an effective AF while the over-sized sequester cuts remain.

As a 71year old totally Disabled American Veteran,
Ret. USAF. Are we putting are selves in harm’s way by. Giving up all the protection we need to keep this United States Of America free and safe. All this reduction has Russian President Putian laughing at us with no fear of us.let’s remember who he was andstill is . A major problem to our country’s life and freedom. I hope my time spent of 19. Years untill disability happened aren’ t all fir nothing along with our returning Veterans and all that didn’t make it
WAKE UP CONGRESS AND SENATORS. KEEP THIS COUNTRY SAFE AS YOU WERE ELECTED TO DO. NO MORE CUTS. START OVER AND REBUILD OUR MILITARY AND THE EQUIPMENT WE NEED TO DEFEND ALL OUR BORDERS SAFE AND DON’T LEAD US INTO ANOTHER PEARL HARBOR. LES NOT FALL
ASLEEP NOW. THIS sleeping giant needs to wake up now before it’s to late.

We seemed to have come down this path before. Then we went into combat and realized “AWW CRAP WE NEED A-10S VERY MUCH BADLY!!!” Then, we brought them back from the brink of extinction. Nothing out there can quite replace it. Certainly not a new jazzed up jet that will probably be periodically grounded due to software glitches, (hope they put a large ctrl, alt, del button in the cockpit).

Well put Spector, the A-10 is an excellent aircraft and should remain as long as it’s logistically supportable. The AF has spent loads to keep it up to speed. Former EC-130 pilot.

Here we go again. Did the same thing right after Desert Storm. Brought the F-4G Weasels home, and scrapped them. Brass knew the F-16C wasn’t capable of replacing the Phantom, but did it anyway. And when the F-4 drone program started up, the Weasel was the first model on the ramp. Not the more available C/D/E models, oh no. Got the “G“‘s in there and shot ‘em all down before they had a chance to come back out. I worked Hog’s at DM from 1979 to 1980, and we hung everything we had on them. I’d like to see an F-35 fly off with 28 Mk-82 500 pounders! We did that and more.

I guess we’re not using ground troops anymore either. If the A-10s can’t get passed air defenses then how the hell are the helicopters with the ground troops getting in?

I agree that nothing touches the A-10’s capability. As an aside, the comment about the F-14 being one mission only is a common misconception. Most of its career was one mission, but it was originally intended to carry bombs also and these was a Marine squadron working up on them very early and had them snatched away. There are pictures around of an early test plane with a pallet of bombs under it. After the Bombcat upgrade they were said to have better accuracy than even the F-15E. Traitor rumsfeld had them shredded so they couldn’t be brought back after everyone realized what they had lost.

They missed name the A-10 Warthog, they should name the F-35A “Porky” for millions dollars wasted.

Not so fast buddy. I was an E-8 on the ground and I agree… Dont get rid of it. Bolster the software, refit the engines and load up the magazines for the nose gun. I have seen pilots stand these things on their ears, make a turn on a dime and give you a nickel change. This is the suits talking. A squadron of A-10s sitting in W. Ukraine would make Putins bear think twice. He will hit his chest, make a lot of noise but that squadron would put an end to this racket about invasion. We have zero tanks in theater and it would take 3 months to get even 30 of them into position. The Ruskies throw away nothing. The Hog is the only thing that would keep this honest or they can expect a lot of airborne casualties from airplanes that go way too fast having to go way too slow to target something on the ground. Its an effin bad deal and just like everything with our wussie in charge, we are going to get our butts kicked but good if this thing kicks off and he commits troops.

So, you send the hogs. If they get a weapons lock they punch. Meantime they are beating the hell out of those AAA systems. The Israelis got the Granit 300 and thats a mean SOB. If there is a tree to hide behind it will that rather than the Hog.

I bet the Air Force generals that support the retirement of this aircraft will end up with a good paying job with the aircraft company that wants to provide the replacement. There is already a lot of doubt about the F-35 and calls to reduce production. Get rid of the A-10 and they have to have a lot more of the less effective aircraft. Just like the F-111. It takes 3 F-16s (it supposed replacement) and 1 to 2 tankers to replace one F-111. Don’t get me started on the F-14, SR-71, B-1B and the Space Shuttle. Never get rid of something that you don’t already have a replacement for.

Army Air Corps in WWII ?? Better recheck your history. the US Army Air Corps was disestablished on June 25 of 1941 in favor of the US Army Air Forces (USAAF).

If the AF doesn’t like the “Single Mission” aircraft it should get rid of the F-22. An Air-to-air A/C to replace the F-15C. Well the F-22 is a nightmare as far as performing maintenance — since you have to spend hours taking the LO off and putting it back on. Heck the AF didn’t want to send the F-22 to Iraq, cuz of the LO. Will the AF do the same again when Russia runs the Fulda gap? The AF may thing the same when the F-35 comes on board. I’ve heard the F-35 has cost overruns and if the LO is the same as the F-22, which I think Lockheed hasn’t changed a thing, you might as well trash that too. Let’s bring back the good old boys. F-4’s F-100’s, F-105, A-7’s, and why not the F-117, F-106 and the F-111. There’s still some left in the bone yard waiting…

This may all be mute — cuz if the French still have the same policy as back in 1980, “if the Russians come through the Fulda Gap — Nuke em”. Nuff Said.

McCain is doing his usual thing for political gain. This article fails to mention that there are three A-10 Squadrons based in his home State of Arizona. His arguments have nothing to do with military necessity, he is trying to keep those Squadrons (and the troops’ money) in his home State.
Many people think that because McCain served in the Navy and was a POW, that he is supportive of military programs. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you look at his record over more than 30 years in Congress, he has very rarely voted in favor of any military issue that didn’t directly impact Arizona. Just a couple of months before he ran for President, he voted against the Education Bill. His reason was that if the enlisted troops get more education, they will leave the military and create a shortage of Noncommissioned Officers.

By using sophisticated Radar seeking missiles on better equipped/stealthier/faster jets.

Something we HAVE been doing.

I’m tired of people thinking the first aircraft taking down Iraq’s heavy SAM batteries were A10s.

If Chrysler had paid the other 10 Billion on their bail out , it would pay for a lot of airpower.
retired 29 years Air Force and Viet Nam Vet

I highly doubt an airforce composed of A10s will destroy the Russian air force.

Might get dirty? Really? It’s said among the A-10 drivers and support crew that you’re not viewed as a true Warthog pilot until you can bring the bird home with mud on the wing tips. I can’t begin to tell how many times I’ve personally witnessed this. I’m a retired AF PJ and I can guarantee the muscle side of the Air Force is not afraid to get dirty.

Kruger, I couldn’t have said it better. We’re screwed if the A-10 is parked. Putin is a hardline cold war soviet and is laughing at the posturing coming from the west. He was head of the cold war KGB and hadn’t lost that mindset. Regan had occasion to meet Putin during his administration and had this to say concerning this meeting,“When our eyes met it was like looking at satin himself, I saw pure evil.” we’ve got to have platform available for drop of a dime action

Lockheed has the Pentagon by the short hairs on the F-35. They sold them the myth that you can buy one airplane that does it all. Now they’ve spent so much money on the darn thing they have no way of backing up. The only thing they can do is shut down all the other weapon systems to finance this gold-plated compromise.

“When our eyes met it was like looking at satin himself, I saw pure evil.” — Robb

President George W. Bush said otherwise.

The problem with giving fixed-wing CAS assets to the Army is that they treat it like artillery: they assign it to a level of command that then doesn’t share it, even when it’s no in use, with other equal levels of commAnd, e.g., Corps to Corps, or dividision to Division.

Correction the A10 is a less expensive aircraft to maintain and fly 1 flight hour cost for a A10 is around 14,000 give or take a few hundred. The F35 would cost much more to fly per hour and even more to maintain than a A10.

They are forgetting what it did to the Iraqi Army. In the Desert Storm. Their we only lost a few airplane, but lost half of their tanks. Boy they sure forget what it did.….. But you know how wasteful the Air Force can be.They Gave the Coast Guard some new airplane the had bought that they did not use.

Maintenance guys still have to wash their hands!! I always loved the A-10—way too cool for the Air Force to give up…

McCain is scared about his next election, his own constituents from his state has given him a vote of (no confidence) as he has turned liberal in his moves and he has been virtually silent about the downsizing of our military and the budget cuts for military pay and medical coverage of the troops. This A-10 move is pure political pandering trying to get some military votes.

Why won’t McCain just go away?

I agree. We should have never reduced our presence in Europe the way we have. Mr. Putin waited for that before he started his methodical annexations.

we are not done yet, there are countries out there that want us null and void, nomatter what chuck Hagle says I was in combat in Iraq on the ground and there is nothing sweeter to the human ear than to hear a A10
coming in over your head ‚to stop the enemy from running over you, shes mean and But Ugly but I love her dearly,God bless you A10 pilots and the A-10 warthog, the A-10 is going to be needed again Mark my words

I hope Congress stops this insane idea of getting rid of the A-10. All the Pentagon & Air Force can think of is shiny new toys & they take the cost’s out of Personnel & Retiree Healthcare programs. Before the A-10 the AF whined & whined about “not having” a good CAS aircraft. they had been relying on the A-7 to get the job done.
Hell, there was even some discussion back then to bring back the P-51 Mustang. The folks down in Wichita said they could give them an extended version of that aircraft but the AF didn’t want to go back to Prop jobs.
I think Senator McCain & a lot of other folks in Congress have finally got this issue right. I hope Congress stops this stupid idea in it’s tracks. The A-10 has a GREAT mission that only “it” can provide. We gotta keep the “Wart Hog”

Our A-10s saved a few ground folks during the initial start of Iraqi Freedom. One pilot, “Killer Chick”, came home with about a thousand bullet holes in the body, one engine gone, flew home on the wire and landed safely. Any other fighter would have been a pile of rubbish in the desert.

As a Marine 1964–1970 I’m well versed in close air support. The A-10 is by far the best close air support airplane has ever come up with. I know for a fact that it has saved more lives than any other airplane the military has ever had. The only one that could come anywhere close to it as far as capability was the old Corsair & the prop job the Airforce had during Vietnam. Close air support can not be accurate or effective unless the plane is a slow mover. Also theres the old adage; If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I’ve had to many friends & relatives that swear by that plane. Of course, as always the powers that be never want to listen to the people on the ground for advice because they think were just dumb troops. And we don’t know what were talking about. Well I think the powers that be need to start listening & quit thinking about their new toy their going to get. Thank You!! I feel better getting that off my chest. Just another know nothing Marine.

if you are a grunt you need a hog to back you up!! i have no idea where the “heads” are coming from that are trying to guit using the best ground support flying tank in the world, i worked on many for 25 years and our fire and drop rate in and out of many combat arenas was 97.9 to 99.8% try being on the other end of that baby…

Fast Movers can remove AA threats, then the choppers and Warthogs move in. There will always be a place for the A-10’s.

Personally, I’ve lost all respect for Senator John McCain. I was once a big supporter and help him in a number of campaigns. No more done with the man.…..

Why throw away a good tool with so many applications? Everything is always hinged on some political BS, something I pay little attention to these days. I did pay close attention when it all started but after years of “DONATIONS” in my mail box daily starting around ” when Obama got in office” and Mr. Beck and Hannity came on the air. I can fix the whole world, it all my responsibility and if I don’t we will all perish!!!. I really felt like the donations I gave helped but they are still there everyday and I refuse to start an allotment. Just real tired of the GOV, MEDIA BS — SOMETIME I REALLY WONDER IF I’M BEING USED???? As for McCain, you had your chance and couldn’t figure what side of the fence you liked (not the first time either) so you lost my support — Live and Learn!!!

Topic is CAS of ground troops, with emphasis on ‘close,’ not suppression of aid defense systems which, strictly speaking, is not CAS.. SEAD would be in support of CAS missions and likely provided by a fighter CAP. The larger point is that the F-35 is incapable of providing for the close in CAS mission.

Absolutely.. The A10 can

Carry ECCM and Specialized ECM Pods
Carries adequate number of countermeasure flares and RWR Radar Warning Receiver
Is specifically designed to counter IR and Heat Seeking Missles via Engine placement and Wing location
Can carry twice the ordinance of the F-35 whih can include counter battery and counter radar missles
Is Armored and hardened to protect the pilot and keep on flying if hit and damaged (you can search and see how much this plan can take online)
Is highly manueverable and able to jink and throw off missles as well as turn so quickly that a missle loses track and has to reaquire lock.
Can be integrated into a combat airspace control enviornment allowing it to act as a loitering sensor system therby enabling other systems to control the air.
Can and will land in rough airfields the F-35 requires good runways and is so vulnerable that one .50 cal slug candestroy vital systems easily.. The A10 can take many hits and has redundant systems.

Your answer is yes

6. It has a titanium bathtub. As a previous Gen Welch, AF Chief of Staff, explained, they want to fly missions above 30,000 feet and not need a titanium bathtub.

Dont forget the ability to transport Main Battle tanks which is another Fail mission the AF seems to not want to do..The can but the ability is so limited.

They are attempting with the F35 to make one aircraft that does everything nominally. such was the case of the F4, instead of having aircraft that excel in one or two areas. The A10 is excellent in CAS and anti-armor modes. They say it is obsolete, however, we still use aircraft from the 1950’s (B52 and C130) and they excel in what they were designed to do with upgrades. The A10 is a flying tank, it can take hits and keeps going, and there is no way the F35 has the loiter capability as the Warthog…and the thought of it kept Soviet tank commanders awake at night. The expense, 10x of the A10, and limited numbers of F35’s would also limit availability for CAS/AT if air superiority is required.…sometimes quantity and simplicity outweighs quality and high tech on the battlefield.

The A-10 Warthog was made to survive an unfriendly environment close up! I see planes with holes size of a baseball and the wing partially gone fly and return to it’s base. It is still a viable air frame for close air support. I agree with those that say that if the Air Force doesn’t want it give it to the Army or the Marine Corps. Incidentally fewer A-10’s crashed than Harrier Jump jets, humm.…

Even the most rudimentary knowledge of finances/ budget/ math will tell you: Killing the A-10 is a DUMB IDEA. In last three theater of battle, A-10 Thunderbolt has had a readiness score of over 95% and a 7–1 kill ratio. This plane deals with the harshest of circumstances this planet can throw at a precision piece of equipment and it works. The F-35 has ZERO Combat readiness because it’s a bloated pork belly project. It isn’t going to be ready in 2016 nor in 2020 because it’s a “one size fits nothing” piece of crap. Scrapping the A-10 is NOT going to save 5 billion. NOT SCRAPPING it will continue to serve in saving American and Allied lives as it always has. It is a slow, lumbering bull that takes abuse and gives retribution. It is a tank-hunter/ killer, close air support and mid-level bomber with a 30mm canon for good measure. This is stupidity beyond rational. Judging from the recent “camouflage debacle”, we shouldn’t be surprised that common sense is not the strong suit of the Pentagon.

Having DemoncRATs in charge of defense policy
is like having drug runners in charge of the DEA.
Oh… wait.…

(and only someone who tells the uncomfortable TRUTH
can get such an awesome rep score!
Since I only have *3* comments posted, with an
actual rep score of –2, I think the moderator is a DemoncRAT, don’t you?)

J-DuB, you say it has a kill ratio of 7–1, against what, planes and helicopters?

I believe the A-10 has the scorpion helmet now, or JHMSC2 I don’t remember. If they could integrate the 9X block 1 with 90 deg off boresight capability it would have a great anti-helicopter and anti-frogfoot capabilities.

This being said, the A-10 is not very survivable against modern SAMs. There is a documentary on youtube in which a pilot is talking about his experience in GW1. He and his wingman were flying 50 miles inside iraqi airspace, and both were shot down at the same time by 2 missiles. Only 1 pilot survived.

Even if it’s shot down regularly, as you say, the F-35 cannot replace it yet. Other planes like the F-16 can do CAS, but they are multirole, the pilots have to train for air to air too, they will never be as good as dedicated A-10 pilots.

NO AIRCRAFT — NONE — support we ground pounders like the A-10. The AF never wanted to be concerned about us anyway and were forced into the Warthog to begin with. if the F-35 PROVES it can do the job, THEN revisit the subject.

The F35 like any fast mover cannot do the job that the A10. The A10 was replacement for the aging and venerable A7 ground attack weapons system. There is no way any fast moving jet can currently do the job of the A10 period, the end.

Just a thought…wasn’t the “Air Force ” the Army Air Force” in WW2? But we DO need the A10, no
matter who the good guy is that’s flying it.

Theres a new AC-130J out there now

Its still the best ground support aircraft boots on the ground has ever had for CAS

A-10s Rule The Earth ! (DIRT)
What makes them great.
1. A 30mm gatling gun with depleted uranium penetrators (Ask Iraqi tankers)
2. Titanium tub proof against ZSU rounds.
3. The splt tail shields the engine heat trail. The housing is also insulated.
4. Extremly Quite. Ghosting down hill the only sound you hear is the impact of the 30mm then the roar of the gun. MANPAD operator is usually dead or hiding at this point.
5. Hauls more bombs than most fighter jocks can imagine.
6. We have them instock and ready with trained crews.
7. They are paid for.(No need for a manufacturer to pay bribes ‘ER campaign contributions’ to anyone and back bill the project.
8. 30 mm gatling gun. (Yea its that big a deal)
The closest plane to the A-10 is the Russian FROGFOOT but it has no internal gun.

As many will recall the A10 was developed and put into service to replace the aging A7 ground attack aircraft. Several times the Air Force tried to replace the A10 with the re-designated A16 aircraft. That was a sad joke. No way can a fast mover ever replace the A10. I will hold judgement on the F35 until that weapon system is in service. But one thing holds true the A10 with its GAU8 30mm Gatling gun and large weapons payload as well as it’s ability to take punishment will be difficult to replace. As an old AF vet seeing those aircraft seeing what they are capable of will be difficult to replace.

My 1979-’83 tour of duty took place at Eglin AFB in Florida where I worked avionics on F-15, F-16, F-111’s and occasionally, on the A-10 aircraft’s chaff and flare system. NATO held a firepower demo which I was lucky to attend and saw many cool things (“I love the smell of napalm in the morning…”) An A-10 came in low and destroyed a truck with its 30mm cannon; it also did a painfully slow loop with gear down and I was sure it was going to stall and fall. An aircraft with that much lift and low-speed maneuverability is crucial for ground support and we should keep it flying! It’s also a simple aircraft with cable & pulley flight controls–I fear the F-35 will be plagued by tech troubles due to its complexity.

In 1950, I worked for Republic Aviation when the Korean War started. Two aircraft were being built, the F-84G and F84F. The F-84G was already in Korea, but became degraded to ground support because engine weakness and MIG-15s. The F84Fs (sweep wing versions) went to NATO and some were used in movies to simulate MIGs. The F84G, was the predecessor to the A-10 for ground support from that period was on the drawing boards though delayed for production; I returned to my Republic job after coming back from Korea and worked on F-105 prototypes. Rumors on Fairchild takeover and the A-10 model closed Republic plants forever. But I have seen the A-10 “Warthog”, as and hope still is the best, less costly ground support aircraft that protected my Marine grandson in Afghanistan and Iraq. No other US Jet aircraft since World War II was designed, specially for ground support only. All others used in that role, were due to default because of our dated design, politicians, budgets and non-combat designers, such as the F4s, F15, 16 and 18s, with long range rockets and bombs, but no close air support guns for combat! Most were too fast to do the job! Keep and improve the A-10 “Warthog” for the battles they are good at!

I would love to see a competition between the A-10 and ANY aircraft to provide close air support for troops in contact. Even f-16’s will not fly low and slow enough to be as effective as the A-10. The f35 is a joke, a joomy fantisy, the American Air force version of the Swiss Army knife. one plane to do it all has been the dream since the earlly 50s and the development of the F-4. You just can’t build a plane that will go slow and 2 or 300 feet off the ground and still tangle with the latest SEAD systems and 5th generation fighters. You would have thought the Air Force would have learned with the “Century” series of aircraft and especially the F-4.

Thats because it kills pilots, unless you can come up with a pilot who does not require oxygen or do as is being done now, fly in perameters that do not put the pilot at as much risk. those people flying that plane have a extraordinarily good fighter except for a couple of bugs. unfortunately, when you have such a sofisticated plane, a suimple bug tends to get you dead in a hurry! The F-16 had its teething problems and we fixed them. The F-22 has problems but we are goin to spend hundreds of billions fo dollars to replace a plane with a plane that is a whole generation behind the F-22. that is, unless they can make the software work on the F-35. then it will be a modern fighter.

Sure hope they don;t send some into combat without the latest, greates update, cause we all know how good those IT updates are!

Is McCain going to make another run for POTUS. It as in many other cases political. There are very few politicians now serving that are thinking about others but what they can gain for themselves.

Very true. We need to upgrade the A-10’s capabilities to exceed the current battlefield requirements. But you tell me. How many air wing commanders are going to send their billion dollar fighters for CAS when the will get blown out of the sky for flying low nad slow? CAS means you have to get down and hang around not zip in and out at 2000 feet.

A F-35 flying at CAS altitudes is a setting duck for the same weapons that the A-10 are vulnerable to. taking a hard look, financially, which is more cost effective? Because the people in congress and upper managment will not give a damn for loosing a dozen A-10’s but you loose a dozen F-22’s or F-35’s and that will be the end of game for the commader on the scene.

I know its terrible to put it in dollars with no reguards to the pilots, but that is what the Pentagon and Congress see, dollars, not pilots.

I personally think that the A-10 is more effective than a high speed low drag fighter could ever be at altitude. It is getting long in the tooth, but it has been updated to minimum specs, it could be updated much more to give it more bangs for the buck.

You better start talking about places like Afghanistan then. Low entensity warfare will always be with us. If we have a war where we have to handle armored battalions of Soviet tanks cooming throught Fulda Gap, we will all be screwed.

Nuclear docterine is still in place and there will always be someon in a command situation that believes that a nuclear weapon is just another bomb.

Besides, again, the A-10 was deesigned to kill tanks in a European environment. It will still do that job better than any other aircraft in theinventory or on the drawing board.

This is from Wikipedia, it is more commonly known as the Miami Accords.

The Johnson-McConnell agreement of 1966 was an agreement between United States Army Chief of Staff General Harold K. Johnson and United States Air Force Chief of Staff General John P. McConnell on 6 April 1966. The U.S. Army agreed to give up its fixed-wing tactical airlift aircraft, while the U.S. Air Force relinquished its claim to most forms of rotary wing aircraft.

The agreement is that the Air Force will provide all CAS the Army needs.

Those aircraft are waiting to be returned to duty, cannibalized for parts or destroyed outright. I am not sure so please correct me on this but Davis Monthan is the graveyard and I didn’t know they had active wings there.

They can outturn other aircraft but they just do not have the speed it takes to kill a true fighter UNLESS, you can get a idiot pilot (Iraqi was shot down and two helicopters as well), or get them to come down and play near the groung, in the A-10’s envornment.

But your not going to get a fighter pilot to give a A-10 any chance at all. they can stand off an kill or shoot, extend and come around again. In that situation, a A-10 would have one chance to get a shot off, if any. But is is not and never has declared to be a air-to-air fighter.

An A-10 is basically a flying tank and is one heck of an airplane. If any thing they should be building more of them to fight the terrorist.
B. Wiles, AF Vet. and 9/11 survivor at the Pentagon.

Michael Kelley is correct; also Greg on the political side.

The F/A-35 (grins) is a joke as far as close air support. I can only presume USAF fighter-jock commanders are counting on sitting high above and ‘plinking’ as in Iraq. I was in USAF systems engineering around the time the
Warthog was being “proved out” in destructive fire tests, and can testify as to the thought that went into making it real-world survivable. And this was immediately post-Vietnam, when we knew how easy it was to lose supersonic jets to ground fire.

The F/A-35 (chuckles) will go down in droves if it EVER has to get low-and-slow — like in fluid-front-lines warfare. It was never designed to take hits in every conceivable area and absorb them. The F/A-35 (laughs out loud) does not benefit from the WWII Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik or even Republic P-47 Thunderbolt emphasis on “toughing it out.” There will be parachutes all over the battlefield.

I really am hoping that this is another USAF bargaining chip with Congress, rather than a serious effort to retire an irreplaceable aircraft. Put some money into upgrades, and it is good for another few decades…

Rather then scrapping the A-10 how about scrapping excess capacity in F-16’s, F-15’s etc? As far as I can tell no single country or even all of them combined can pose a credible threat to the USA. And the US can hardly be able to field the majority of them abroad. Scrap 600 USAF fighters and retain the A-10’s.

Failing that, Can us Aussies and other nations buy them if you do scrap em? =)

Sen, McCain this time it’s not thme to park the Hog park or evan let the fans get cold. You got work to do boy, First load every high value tank killer on those birds. Next load every130 c-17 and piper cub to the gunnels then look around for any row boat ‚speed boat club boat or paddle boat to caryallthe arms you will need alot whene you stiffen up.the Ukrain line. Tell every person to stay home while those freindly russian tanks die a colarful death because they were to good to fly a surrender flag. 24 Warthogs ‚withF-22 s upstairs e is called for,ncase a fbight

what a goat rope. Congress keeps money from the services, orders them to make cuts, then fights every cut they try to make. They can’t close bases, can’t retire or move assets, can’t lower the pay raise or steal 1% from the retirees (uh, shouldn’t in this case!)… what does congress want? They are having their cake and eating it, at the expense of our nations readiness and defense.

Either give the money, or accept the losses.

Congress will huff and puff but won’t write a $4 billion check for O&M. The AF will have to find the dollars somewhere.

Perhaps you need to re read your WW 2 history. The Air Force bombed the oilfields in Ploesti, Romania in WW2 at low altitude. Check out a map. It is a wee bit south of Poland.

I was stationed at Myrtle Beach AFB, S.C., as we transitioned from the loyal A-7 aircraft to the A-10. The upgrade was a great feeling for us in TAC at that time.

1) Bullets? If you look at the pictures that is most definitely fragmentation damage from an explosion just above the plane, and a very close one at that.
2) Can you name any other aircraft that would have taken that hit and survived? The loss of hydraulics alone would have put anything else flying in the ground.

So correct. He went to the Ukraine in December for talks the jailed opposition leader and imagine when only a short time later we have a coup and the duly elected president is ousted. McCain is nothing more than a self-serving trouble making war monger. How he still stays a Senator is beyond understanding or logic. In April 2011 McCain visits Libya to visit rebel leaders and imagine a few short months later another coup, an over-throw of the government. Despicably led by Gaddafi but non-the-less another coup. McCain is nothing more than a self-serving trouble making war monger stirring up dissent where ever he goes or when he opens his mouth. He’s a disgrace to veterans. How he still stays a Senator is beyond understanding or logic.

I was in the Air Force when the A10’s first came out they more than prove themselves against tank, helicopters, MIGs and even Russian bombers. For air support it can do. For ground support it works. So why keep it!!!!! Not only will it save our ground troops it will also protect our air space. The politicians that are trying to kill off the A10, our trying to kill off our ground troops. That really show you how much they care.

Dude people stopped calling it that about a year after it came out.

I have sent out a email to a Senator about the A10 and if everyone that believes in the WARTHOG dose the same maybe they might get the picture. Let them know of the ground troops that would be lost thanks to them. It works and it cost less. In the 80s I read the report of two Warthogs had encountered a Russian bomber and the Migs that were escorting it. In short the A10s won and the their pilots were up set that they were not aloud to fire.

Well, we can always pay the Russians to do our close air support (CAS) for us, just like we pay them big bucks to fly our astronauts into space.
Unless of course the CAS has to be against Russian troops rolling tanks into NATO countries. Then we’ll be screwed.

250roundsds of 20mm compared to 1150 of 30mm, so not the same

Amen! Time to CARE about the troops on the ground.

Good points, and a real concern. Go to Eglin AFB in FL and check out the ECM pods that were created
to make our Fighters “invisible” and you can see that they are small and areodynamic enough
to be carried by the A-10, and can make the A-10 just as invisible to being tracked electronically.
The gattling gun on the A-10 seems to fire 10 times the rate on the fighters we fly. We are in and out, and gone. Teh A-10 can stay on target longer (loiter), and actually SEE what the target is. PLUS, some females were flying them. I swear, those A-10s must be made of styrofoam, they can take so many hits
and still fly. Hey? Remote Tours, with women? My Dream!

They wont replace the ac-130 all together, what’s the point in that? They are replacing the old ones with a new one (ac-130h to ac130j)

With all the Iraqi vehicles( including tanks) that ISIS stole from the Iraqi cowards, The A-10 would be perfect
to nail all of those bastards.
When they line up, I would like to see another ” highway of death”..

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