Welsh Defends Plan to Scrap A-10 as ‘Logical’

Welsh Defends Plan to Scrap A-10 as ‘Logical’

The U.S. Air Force’s top officer defended the service’s plan to retire the A-10 attack plane, even as lawmakers continue to voice opposition to the idea.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said divesting the Cold War-era gunship, known officially as the Thunderbolt II and unofficially as the Warthog for its cannon-packing snub nose, would save $4.2 billion over five years, up from a previous projection of $3.7 billion.

The service considered other options to scale back fleets of other aircraft, including the F-15 and F-16 fighter jets and the B-1 bomber, Welsh said. But ultimately, it determined that scrapping the almost 300 A-10s would be the least harmful to military operations, he said.


“We came very clearly with the conclusion that of all those horrible options, the least operationally impactful was to divest the A-10,” Welsh said during a breakfast on Wednesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. “That how we got there. It’s not emotional. It’s logical. It’s analytical. It makes imminent sense from a military perspective.”

Welsh spoke for about an hour at the event, discussing a range of issues, from automatic budget cuts known as sequestration to military sexual assault.

John McCain, the senior senator from Arizona and former Republican presidential candidate, recently added his voice to the growing chorus of lawmakers seeking to block the Air Force’s plans to retire the A-10. The plane is credited with saving the lives of numerous service members, more recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“We are going to do away with the finest close-air-support weapon in history?” McCain asked at a news conference earlier this month on Capitol Hill,

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

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.

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Well first that money free’d up would allow the airforce over the next 5 years to buy a couple of hundred F-35A’s. (if they were 120mil a plane which they aren’t and they are still climbing in price.)

This of course is the real reason they AF is doing this. Must save the A-12.….I mean JSF. It’s a zoom, zoom, fighter after all.

BTW none of this includes flight hours which are more expensive than the F-16 and others and Damn sure more expensive than the Hog.

The Hog has taken hits (including ones from SAM’s) that shred the other planes and flown back to base. It was DESIGNED to fly in that environment.

This is the sound of the Air Force once again screwing the ground troops and finally succeeding in killing the best CAS plane America or anyone has ever built.

Meanwhile we have thousands of fighters in the Air force alone.….….so we need more fighters after all.….

Saw the speech referenced here, and he swings with some stone-hard logic on the A-10 cuts. We can nickel-and-dime the argument all we want, but he was honest that it was a budget decision. Congress, not the CSAF, is who screws up these plans.

I sure hope Congress and the Senate tell Welsh to cut a few of those F-35 Junk Strike Fighters at almost $180 Million apiece and keep the A10. Has he been paying any Attention to what is going on in the last month in Europe???? Those F-35A’s will really help us in 2–4 years if we need them Right?? ( NO not till 2017–18 Maybe ).
Time he got told just what he is Going to Do, and Not what he would Like to Do!!!!

Times change, and for the A-10, modern missiles have proven more effective than the big gun for killing tanks. But the 30mm bullets don’t have a blast radius and can be good option for some CAS. The B-1 can provide CAS from 30,000 feet with guided bombs, but cannot provide CAS with gun fire. You have to fly low and slow to provide CAS with gun fire, and the A-10 is very good at doing that, and can get there much faster than an attack helo. A-10 is far from obsolete.

What a crock. Gen Welch obviously is not on the ground in the area during combat. If he was he would not advocate retiring this aircraft. Dont buy as many junk strike fighters, you would be able to keep yhese planes that provide C A S for the ground troops. There is no plane out there more able to do this job than the A-10. It is now a multi role aircraft, tank busting, and C A S. Dont be so short sighted Welch.

Let’s see. What was the A-10 built for? What’s going on in Eastern Europe? Let’s. Get rid of a weapon system that was intended to stop Russian tanks if they storm over the borders. Maybe we should think about this for a while I before we make a decision we will later regret.

I hope what they mean by “scrap” is to shrink wrap them in the desert for long term storage in case we need them. Merely halting their current use, wear and tear and upkeep costs but retaining them in ready to go condition if all our new wizzbang stuff isn’t enough for some future potential problems.

In light of our sending troops to Poland, and the Baltic states. It would be wise to rethink scrapping the A-10. Our troops need air to ground support. Are there any helicopters that can fill the niche the A-10 occupied?

The USAF will want to scrap, i.e. cut them up so there will be no chance to resurrect them.

It’s time to put the air farce back into the army where it belongs. This A-10 move can be viewed as the straw that broke the ground pounder’s back. gen grape juice Welsh needs to learn what it means to be a soldier or Marine on the ground

the air farce has never cared one twit about ground operations, they just want to “AIM HIGH”

if that cannot be done then we break it up
–all transportation assets will become the property of the TRANSCOM and be manned by civilians much like USNS ships are, since the air force never like being a taxi service for the Army and Marines
–all CAS assetsand helo’s will go to the Army, but the Corp will get half of the A-10 fleet, since the air force always aims high
–all of the nukes and their silos will go the Navy or they will be decommissioned, since the air force does a very poor job of it
–all of the fighter aircraft will go to the army or half to the National guard
–all of the bombers will go to National guard
–all of the space assets will go to the joint space command, but we’ll make the air farce change their silly uniforms

Strange the general flew A-10s, so why is he now pushing to get rid of them. When it comes to supporting the troops on the ground there is no better aircraft for the job. If you fly F-16 or the F-35 they are altitude restricted and fly to fast to support the ground troops. In the time it would take the F-16 or F-35 to make one pass at altitude then come around for another pass the A-10 would have made 3 passes and knocked out the enemy. Wonder if the General had a son who was an Army officer in a combat area he would have the A-10 on station I bet

Well, whatever you do with those A-10’s my comrades, just don’t give them to the Ukrainians or Poles; that would cause me a major headache in my efforts to resurrect the Soviet Union.

Why does the Air Force want to dump the A-10?
1. As Big-Dean has suggested, the Air Force is more comfortable flying at 30,000 ft rather than 300 ft.
2. To score points with industry executives and help ensure those cushy, post-military consulting postions with contractors, one must advocate buying new aircraft rather than maintaining existing fleets.
3. Pilots don’t earn the coveted “Ace” status by destroying five tanks on the ground, but rather by destroying five aircraft in the air, and F-16, F-15, and F-35 have more liklihood of destroying aircraft in the air than an A-10.

But the Air Force needs that money so they can give it to their defense contractors for yet another pie-in-the-sky development program that will produce nothing after 2 or 3 decades of spending billions of dollars.

“Strange the general flew A-10s, so why is he now pushing to get rid of them”

Priorities change when you get your stars?

Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh is straight up idiot trying come up with excuse so he make room in the budget for new and less reliable toys wither he wants to admit it in public or not. I hope they stop that jackass before he causes harm to the Armed Forces. This really reinforces my belief the Air Force needs be reabsorbed into the Army.

Every branch is affected by procurement dreams.

Keep the A-10, buy 300 less F-35s.

yep, by the time the F-35 is fully operational it’ll cost $4.5 billion each, but that ‘s ok because by that time the air force will be bankrupt and Army will take pity upon them and take them back

The F-35 is more likely to be destroyed in the air by another aircraft. It can not run, climb or turn w/ gen 4+ aircraft. As it stands right now it is dependent on electronics and software that have not been developed or test to overcome these deficiencies.

You know that old Air Force saying,

“With only one pass, you hang on to your ____.”

The comments as usual are endlessly off topic: General Welsh’s recommendation is Budget Driven. Less money: hard choices.
We need the F-35 (even tho’ it would have been more logical to keep buying the super cruise F-22 as part of the air superiority mix) to replace our older aircraft that are getting tired — very tired.
The A-10 was designed for a different mission: close air support. If Congress wants to retain that capability then they can pass an exception to the Sequestration budget fiasco and fund the A-10 weapon system (aircraft, personnel, GSE, O&M, etc.) as a prudent hedge against the evolving situation in Europe.
Note that the A-10 has been undergoing a service life extension at the Odgen ALC for some time — the plan was to keep it around until the Sequester defended on DOD.

Insanity, Insanity, here we go. Are we saying the 29 tanks the US has in Germany and F-35 power point slides will stop Putin in Europe?
The USAF has a money problem, it is called F-35 and sequestration. Truncate the F-35 buy, buy 400 addtional F-22s over 15 years through restarting production. Keep the A-10 and upgrade it and supplement rest of USAF w new 4.5 Gen aircraft.
And GOP, allow a vote on sequestration.

at 120 mil a copy 4.2 Billion would only buy 35 fighters and then you would have to fly them.

You obviously do not know Gen Welsh. There is no better person to lead the AF at this time. If someone writes him a check for the 4.2 B he will keep them.

The USAF could save far more than the paltry $3.5B by fixing their acquisition system, rather than sacrificing readiness, training, and A-10s.

The entire DoD acquisition system is infested from top to bottom with waste, fraud, redundancy, unobtanium-plated widgets, corporate welfare programs, antiquated/obsolete rules, and punishes good and bad vendors alike. The US taxpayers get the lousiest deal for defense dollar spent in the western world — but rarely does anyone in the DoD or HoR’s want to do anything about it.

The HoR’s need to fix the funding problems, and remove sequestration in return for the DoD agreeing to have the acquisition system put under receivership.

That would, however, require that they put our national security above their own personal gains, vendettas, careers, etc.

“the best CAS plane America ”

The A-10 is only respnsible for 20% of CAS missions in any recent history. The B-1B, B-52, F-15E, and F-16 fly the other 80%.

More lies and tricks by Obama’s brown nose for his plan to get ride of a plane we need a lot now. With Obama wanting to goto war with Russia you will need a tank killer plane and that piece of crap plane called JSF will not cut the cake for this mission.

I wish we could fire this loser once and for all.

1. Keep enough of them if for no other reason than to retain corp knowledge of the finest CAS folks until they get a better tool.
2. Retire several hundred to the armed forces of Europe, who will need them yesterday

3. When leadership returns, replace the US active numbers by bringing boneyard birds up to A-10C or better.
3.5. Count the number of jobs created on national news.
4. Enjoy more peace through more hogs.

but but but the JSF F-35 (aka the power point fighter) is the most awesomeness thing ever…Putin is quaking in his boots right now looking over the plans. “My God” he says, “look at all those lines of code, we can never match the US line for line” “brahahahahahahahahahahahahaha”

Sweet, Now ask yourself how many of those were from 10,000 feet or above. How many were gun runs?

Most importantly ask yourself how much those cost per hour to keep flying.

I have yet to meet a grunt who wants a F-16 at 10,000ft over a A-10 on the deck.

Also the Air Force has thousands of fighters but only a few hundred A-10’s.

Also if those planes are simply bombing why does the Air Force and Navy etc all need a strike fighter and not a attack aircraft?

Yep sorry my shitty math skills and being in a hurry showing there.

The scope of the problem changes when you get stars.

I disagree about the comments being off topic. I think the readers here see and understand exactly what is going on. If providing unsurpassed close air support (CAS) was a priority to Gen Welsh, he and the Air Force could easily scrape together the $4B by shaving it off other programs (F-35 comes to mind). The fact is that CAS is not an Air Force leadership priority and never has been. What puzzles me is why they failed to make a bigger stink when F-22 was prematurely canceled. Yes, it was very expensive to maintain, but then attack the cost drivers and reduce them, don’t just end the program.

There is only provision for an Army and Navy in the US Constitution. Of course, it also says, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion,” and they clearly ignore that part of the document too.

Wouldn’t it be possible to wire the F-16’s stations 2 and 8 to carry a/g weapons? An AMRAAMs weighs more than a pod of 7 laser guided rockets. 2 pods would add 14 LG rounds to the F-16 to the 4 larger munitions carried on stations 3 and 7 ( on dual ejectors). Same for triple brimstone launchers.

The APKWS can be equipped with different types of warheads. With the anti-armor warhead it can kill an APC: http://​www​.baesystems​.com/​v​i​d​e​o​/​B​A​E​S​_​1​5​7​3​9​5​/​b​a​e-s

There has not been any corporate design knowledge for the A-10 since 1987 when the Farmingdale, NY works were shut down and eventually demolished. There’s a nice Home Depot there now, though.

No one is saying that some CAS missions can’t be done effectively another way. There are probably those who think it can be done with ballistic missiles based in Arkansas. Specifics on what missions the A-10 does that nothing else can do is very helpful, because we can then see what is being sacrificed. I guess Welch made that exercise in set theory and decided the union of the A-10 mission set and the other ways does not justify the expense, especially when we have F-35s to pay for. We will be paying dearly for F-35s long after Welsh is gone. They better make it work, because it is too big to fail. I would have pulled the plug in 2004 when the technical difficulties relegated the first jet (known as AA-1) to one-off prototype status.

If we us the same logic and reasoning all aircraft vulnerable to shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles, or SAMs, and other air defenses should be retired. If we did that what would be left?

Other allied countries could us these A-10 for defense.

Flying air support for the army has never been very high on their list of priorities. The F-35 is huge and expensive blunder and I cannot see the using it in a ground attack mode. On top of all of this bird is illequiped and is not a suitable replacement for the A-10. In my opinion Secretary Welsh is a dumbass.

I think about 90% of you are morons (just going to qualify my statements with that).

First, you really have no idea what the F-35 can do. You don’t, because it’s classified.

Second, thank god the Air Force is it’s own beach. The idiots claiming it should be reabsorbed into the army crack me up. You have an ego-centric ciew of warfare that is both unrealistic and lacking strategic insight. It’s not always all about you (shocking, isn’t it). You’d F things up within two days of taking over.

Third, we have so many ways of providing CAS it’s ridiculous. I’ve never heard a grunt complain when an AC-130 was overhead.

Fourth, we have Air Force Air Liason Officers in many army ground units (actual Air Force pilots) for the purpose of making sure we provide world-class CAS.

Fifth, don’t blame the F-35 issues on us. We did the F-22 alone and it’s stellar (not uncommon to hear stories of our F-15 drivers being shot out of the sky before they even knew what they were up against in exercises). The F-35 is what it is because the navy and marine corps insisted on their variants. That said, it has the best avionics in the business.

Sixth, if you want to start talking apples to apples, total up the acquisition costs of the entire F-16/F-18 and AV-6 programs that the F-35 replaces. Not so bad now?

Lastly, I have personally attended funerals for men flying F-15E’s who died providing CAS for some of you smart mouthed fools. We are neither afraid to do so or unwilling. It’s not all about you. If we get the money, we’ll continue the mission. If you want us to cut air superiority aircraft then you will have a lot more to worry about then CAS, you’ll have lead dropping on your heads, too.

And they’re more like $158M each when adding all the ancillary costs and equipment required to actually operate them. So it’s more like 25–30 F-35As gained by retiring 300-ish A-10s.

What I find amazing is how high-level USAF officials try to predict where the next war will be. And they often guess wrong!!! In 1989, the A-10 was going to be scrapped and replaced by the attack version of the F-16, or the A-16. When Desert Storm sprung up in early 1991, the A-10s made a significant impact in the war. While it does have some limitations (in the eyes of some), it was effective then and it has been amazingly effective in Afghanistan where it is greatly appreciated by the Army troops. This plane has to be kept in service!!!

I pray the term “scrap” is poetic, thus not accurate. The W.H. must be preserved and “if” and “when” it is called to war; it should be upgraded with a refueling probe (KC-130J) and “unmanned” to provide for autonomous flights to and from “on-station orbits” with allied ground control target direction. Manpad launched sites, should be a top priority for all Hogs. A mean, lean ground fighting machine; local PCAS on any IPhone. Download the “app” and zap a tallyman! :)

As a retired Army Armor ( M1A1 / M1A2 Tanks ) Soldier that fought in Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The A10 was instumental in the support of our ground forces and I have seen the A10 in action. That plane sets the true meaning of support.. Theres a saying. — If it aint broke dont fix it — The A10 is far from being broke. It is the most reliable combat aircraft in the world, We dont need 5 billion F35’s We need to sustain combat readiness and not put on a dog and pony show of all these pretty fighter jets. The Air Force cannot win a war alone. You will always need ground forces and with that you need Combat Air Support the — A10–. Sounds to me like someone failed the college course — Common Sense 101 or has that been deleted from the Air Force due to budget cuts

The Air Force doesn’t try to predict where the next war will be. Those “predicitons” get issued to Services by the SecDef and his policy gurus, after being approved by the CINC.

If you think only 90% of these blow-hards are morons, you are being generous.

The A-10 was built during the cold war, and to be a tank killer. Well folks, like it or not we are headed back into a cold war. i.e. TU-95’s flying off the coast of Scotland. It will not be long ’til they start down the east coast again. The A-10 could operate out of dirt strips. Can any other jet do that without the danger of destroying their engines with FOD? No way. The A-10 has redundant systems to get it back for another “go”. Plus a titanium bath to protect the pilot.

“We came very clearly with the conclusion that of all those horrible options, the LEAST OPERATIONALLY IMPACTFUL was to divest the A-10.”

Tell that to the guys on the ground when the enemy is danger close.

Is General Welsh mindful of the role that the A-10 has fulfilled in Afghanistan? Does he believe that the threat of land warfare is ‘old fashion’ and out of style? But then ‘style’ is what the AF is about. Remember when the AF ‘thought’ (I use that term tongue in cheek) that dog fighting was passe, history, and decided that a gun wasn’t required on their beloved fighters? They rethunk that in a big hurry.

I’ve seen it a hundred times in comments on the topic of divesting the AF of the A-10; if the AF doesn’t want it do the troops a favor and give the Thunderbolt II to the army or the Marines. There ARE programs that the AF SHOULD cancel or scale back. One might consider the expensive, floundering F-35 which in war gaming has consistently lost to aggressor fighters. Regardless of the wishful thinking on the part of the AF, the F-35 is NOT a CAS platform and will never be a suitable CAS platform. I’m not quite sure what it is exceptional at other than being a very expensive target.

As an ex– USAF pilot with a son who joined the Army at 17 and now has 5 years of remote combat tours and has had his a_s saved numerous times by the A-10, I couldn’t agree more with Old 391. After 15 yrs in Army Svc. My son is hanging it up just because he understands the value of a Real CAS plane. Something NO General understands!!

Gen Welsh flew the A-10 for several years. Have you? I fully believe he understands what is needed.

While the General doesn’t seem to see the benefit of keeping the A-10, maybe we should ask that young soldier, face in the dirt, bullets flying overhead, his opinion of the A-10. That is the customer in all this not the F-35 contingent. I think, regardless of the myriad studies, that the AF leadership is on the wrong side of this fence.

Sorry, but you can’t call a bombing run from high altitude, Close Air Support. You need a aircraft that can re-attack at will, loiter, have “eyes on,” and carries a variety of weapons commensurate with the ever changing ground battle.

He is saying what sounds good so he does not get fired. Obama wants the cuts and military leaders will not stand up for truth and for what is good for our military. Military leaders are more politician than leader.

The A-10 is a ground support aircraft, NOT a “Wam bam, thank you M’am” type”. It can hang around and make frequent passes on enemy positions. It can carry huge amounts of ordnance, It is armoured to survive ground fire, and even if one engine is hit, it can STILL make it back to base.They have survived battle damage that would wipe out many other aircraft. That’s more than I could say for it’s “glamourous” cousins. It is an aircraft we have NOW, not some future one that we will have later! It has sent uncounted terrorists to meet those 72 virgins
Oddly enough, the Army offered to take them over BUT the air force said NO! Maybe we should do something about :Obummercare instead of sacrificing our troops
1

Being one of the other CAS platforms, I will say that no other plane can do what the A-10 can. The Warthog can stay over troops longer, get in closer and more precise than the fast movers, and does it for a fraction of the cost of the others. If the AF leadership thinks another platform can do the job as easily and cheaply as an A-10 they are smoking crack! The only reason the leadership wants to get rid of it is the same reason they never wanted it in the first place, it is not Gucci enough for them.

Remember Nam? Remember how the F4’s were trying to do theCAS job with just a few missiles and no gun? How many of them did we lose? They had to dust off old in-storage recips to take up the CAS roll. So the go fast types dump the Hog, there’s really no other CAS platform. The 22 still has problems after all this time, the 35, if it ever gets to be operational, could conceivably be 200 mil or more a finished copy. Seems dumb to degrade the CAS role and platform when the conflicts we keep getting into require exactly that capability just to give the afterburner types another new toy. They could probably buy a dozen shiny new Hogs for the price of a single F35. Even if every Hog went to the Guard and Reserves it makes sense to keep it. The 35 has become a glittering money pit.

Look, this is just more misdirection, as usual. The powers that be want to cut the personnel benefits, but Congress won’t budge on it. So, they say they have to cut the A-10, F-16, B-1 to save money for R&D, “readiness” and their favorite new toys. They are hoping that Congress falls for it and agrees to cut benefits for the troops instead of killing off existing systems. This has been done over and over by the DOD. Congress needs to tell the DOD to fund the existing benefits, base COLAs on inflation (as per law), make use of the current systems, stop bringing this BS up every year and tell Obama to stay out of it as he has no idea what the military is all about. The cold war, where we have to fend off large armies, is over.

What are the alternatives for whole weapon system cuts? Specifically, what would be the cost savings for retiring the B-1? I have heard that it is the most expensive AF airplane to operate per flying hour. Who is protecting this albatros?

I had the A-10 account in AF public affairs in the 1980s, the first time the brass tried to do away with it. A veteran A-10 pilot confidentiallly explained it to me. “The Chief doesn’t want a aircraft that has a titanium bathtub. You don’t need one at 30,000 feet.”

On a brighter note, Tops in Blue is still funded!

I observed the transition from A-7s to the A-10s at Myrtle Beach AFB, S.C., from the Avionics Maintenance Squadron The aircraft seemed to be well received by the pilots there. As noted in other comments, the A-10 could take a lot bruising and still fly. I watched their successful gunnery training out in the Nevada desert. The aircraft would have been great in Afghanistan to cover a lot of our troops in tight situations. Like most other modern firepower weapons, our troops were not allowed to have the benefit of them. If anyone follows Military​.com, it would be seen that there are numerous weapons that would have saved a lot of our troops. Just like in Southeast Asia, they have to do the best they can with they are allowed to use. (Where are our rocket propelled grenades, our room cleaner shells for clearing snipers regardless what floor they are on, the automatic “shotgun,” The recoiless rifle/recoiless ground mounted rifles, etc.?) God Bless our active, reserve, and veteran personnel.

More like 96.3%.

Bradley anyone?

no do to the house and senate how are more happy to cut every one but themselves and the tell you what you have to buy.

Greg: Spot on! I worked with General Welch several times (once as my group commander) and we are lucky to have a man with the great common sense he has. He spent many times in the field with our men and women. Everyone makes these asinine statements about things they have absolutely no clue on. I spent 10 years as an Army enlisted and then AF enlisted. I then became a rated officer for another 25, retiring as a full Colonel. Welch is exactly what we need at the time he was chosen as Chief. All of you nay-sayers need to sit in that type of position where tough choices must be made before you bark out some idiotic statement about a fine officer and the choice he has made. Congress mandated a set military budget and the USAF is no exception and must live within it. If the AF is not your service branch it would be rare for you to have any valuable opinion upon it’s choices.

What does having flown the A-10 have to do with the question at hand. Does the United States want to have a capable close air support aircraft or not.

“… lacking strategic insight.” CAS is a tactical problem not strategic. Largely the AC-30 operates only in the dark of night as it is too vulnerable to operate during the day. “… we have Air Force Air Liason Officers in many army ground units (actual Air Force pilots) for the purpose of making sure we provide world-class CAS.” No argument there but you have to have a ground attack aircraft or helicopters to liaise with. RE the F-35 In simulated confrontations with potential aggressor aircraft the F-35, to my knowledge, did not do well. Also, to my knowledge, the F-15 is meant to be an air superiority platform and not particularly well suited for the CAS mission.

But a F-35 pilot will need that titanium bathtub when he is confronted by more capable aggressor aircraft. In simulations flying the F-35 against potential top of the line aggressor aircraft the F-35 did not do well at all.

All this guy see is shiny trinkets. He is looking for planes to control air space and taking out large objects that will get him big headlines. Saving ground troops with a ugly duckling dose not even rate honorable mention in most news media. The gratitude of the troop that has a change to make it home means nothing to him,

My problem with this budget cut Is 10 F-35 will negate plus over the savings that will come from scraping the 300 plus A-10s in the same time frame, DO THE MATH. While your at look at cost also look at which dose the better job in the field and not on paper.

Sounds good to me! I have not heard of even one type of mission that it can perform well at. Not even air superiority. In war gaming the F-35 was soundly beaten by aggressor fighters. The ‘thing’ is so expensive per copy that the AF would be loath to commit them anywhere on any mission ESPECIALLY ground support in which it is supremely unqualified to fill. All the F-35 is is an expensive, mediocre fighter of dubious value, except as a target.

Well said.

What the AF really has, recalling AF SNAFUS over the last five-plus years, is a profound lack of leadership. The only excuse that I can think of is that the AF is suffering from a mid life crisis of sorts. Unfortunately as a nation we cannot afford the AF collectively undergoing psychotherapy. I have to wonder where is the SecAF and the SecDef in all of this. If the military is answerable, or supposed to be answerable, to civilian leadership it seems to me that the lack of leadership includes the SecAF and SecDef.

I have to politely wonder what are you smoking.

THe House committee made the right choice by extending the aircraft for another year and commissioning a study on CAS.

What it was built for and what it is used for and good at can’t be different? Never heard of change in Tactics?

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