A-10 Lives to Fight Another Day

 In Military, Technology

A-10 Lives to Fight Another Day

The A-10 Thunderbolt II (affectionately known as the Warthog) was supposed to retire in 2011. Then they said it would retire in 2019. The aging aircraft hasn’t been manufactured in decades. But Congress can’t…quite…let… go of the versatile air support plane that is beloved by ground forces, and perfect for raining hell fire on desert jihadists.

They have now pushed back its retirement until 2022, and plan to replace them with F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike fighters squadron by squadron rather than by a blanket pulling of the plane.

Survival

Part of the reason the A-10 has survived is that AZ Senator John McCain and AZ Rep Martha McSally are in favor of the plane, in part because it’s perfect for fighting ISIS. Also because Davis-Monthan Airbase in Arizona has 80 of them. McSally is a retired A-10 combat pilot.

“There is no weapon in our arsenal that offers more effective close-air support to American ground troops serving in harm’s way than the A-10 aircraft. I look forward to seeing our A-10 pilots continue to make important advances in the fight against ISIL in the Middle East, boosting NATO’s efforts to deter Russian aggression in Eastern Europe, and supporting vital missions for U.S. national security wherever they are needed.” Senator John McCain

Warthogs can kill people – so can the planes

It could be the scary nose art on most of them with that 20-foot-long, 2.5-ton, seven-barrel Gatling gun that can fire more than 1,100 rounds of 30-mm bullets sticking out of its mouth that makes Muslims run when it attacks.

A-10 lives

The A-10 Warthog

Or it could be the name “wartHOG” that freaks them out. Maybe they think it’s some sort of giant pig with wings and teeth???

But according to Fox News, it scatters the jihadists like cockroaches across the desert when it hovers over the ground and blows up the bad guys.

Pricey changeover

The A-10 Thunderbolt II’s original price of $11.8 Million was much less than its replacement, which is $98 Million, and has more capabilities.  It can fly 334 nautical miles farther than other aircraft. It’s also 10,000 pounds lighter.

Some experts say that the Defense Department may in effect lose money instead of save money when they switch to the F-35A  because of its high price tag.

But, for now, the A-10 has survived to fight another day.

“It’s a very old plane, but definitely one of the most capable. The U.S. Air Force has been moving toward multi-mission aircraft, but when it comes to this particular mission this plane is unrivaled in its ability… The F-35 is very expensive. They need to work toward a strong replacement, but they do not have any strong plans in place.” Omare Lamrani, Stratfor military analyst

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