Northrop Grumman Awarded A-10 Support Contract by Gareth Jennings, Jane's Defence Weekly.
… News that Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contract to maintain the A-10 out to beyond 2028 will be welcomed by many, US lawmakers among them, who feared that the USAF was looking to scrap the its fleet of approximately 355 A-10A/C aircraft.
In the current fiscal climate, the USAF had indicated that it wanted to divest itself of the single-purpose A-10 entirely, and to pass its CAS role onto the other multirole platforms, such as the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).
While the F-35A will undoubtedly prove to be a highly capable air-to-ground attack aircraft, it lacks the payload (both in terms of variety and number of weapons carried), time on station, low-level accuracy, and even the psychological effect of the highly lethal and feared A-10. In particular, it will lack the A-10's iconic GAU-8 Avenger 30 mm Gatling-gun, and while the F-35A will have an internal 25 mm Gatling-gun, it will only carry 250 rounds compared to the 1,700 carried by the A-10…