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Is it time to put the highly regarded Warthog out to pasture?

9/3/2014 • Aviation History Discussion, Discussions

Aviation History Reader Poll

Due to budget cutbacks, the U.S. Air Force has proposed the retirement of the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, with Lockheed’s F-35A Lightning II slated to take over its close air support mission. Is it time to put the highly regarded Warthog out to pasture, or should its service life be extended?

Share your thoughts in the comments box below.

 

2 Responses to Is it time to put the highly regarded Warthog out to pasture?

  1. ken riskedahl says:

    Only from what I have read, the A-10 has been a life saver for the troops on the ground that need close air support. If the replacement plane cannot exceed time on station or exceed the amount of ordance carried and discharged, then stay with the A-10.

    The A-10 reminds me of the SPAD of Vietnam fame, great plane with lots or ordance and time on station.

  2. Mark says:

    For older, special purpose aircraft with higher maintenance costs, I believe it is best to put them in the Air National Guard. This solves the HR management issues with a small fleet, provides the continuity needed to maintain older airplanes, and lowers the overall operational cost.

    While it is true the revolution in military affairs has change the close air support mission (now B-52s are as likely to provide CAS to the warfighter), the need for a COIN platform is why we should keep the A-10 around for another decade. Perhaps the A-10 in a COIN role could be replaced by an armed version of a trainer aircraft like the T-6A or Tucano in a few years. Again, such a specialized mission would be ideal for the ANG.

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