Small Wars Journal

Air Force Plan to Get Rid of A-10s Runs Into Opposition

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 7:54am

Air Force Plan to Get Rid of A-10s Runs Into Opposition by Christian Davenport, Washington Post

It’s often called the military’s ugliest aircraft, a snub-nosed tank of a plane that’s nicknamed “Warthog” for its appearance and ferocity. The A-10 Thunderbolt II has been the Air Force’s equivalent of an in-the-trenches grunt for almost 40 years: heavily armed and armored, designed to fly low and take out the enemy at close range.

But now, after a career that has spanned from the Cold War to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon has proposed retiring the fleet as part of across-the-board cuts in defense spending. Getting rid of the remaining 283 planes would save $3.7 billion over five years, Defense Department officials say, and allow the Air Force to bring in more sophisticated aircraft, such as the F-35 Lightning II, to provide close air support.

Supporters of the A-10 have launched an aggressive campaign to save an aircraft they say is unlike any other in the history of American aviation, and they rallied on Capitol Hill Thursday to make their case…

Read on.