The bipartisan defense budget that passed through the House Thursday includes strict language mandating the Air Force not execute any plans to retire the A-10 Warthog. The legislation specifically blocks the Air Force from spending any money to divest A-10s through calendar year 2014.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh has said the service needs to retired older, single mission aircraft like the A-10 in order to reserve funding for newer aircraft like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which is slotted to take over the A-10s close air support role.
In service since the 70s, the twin-engine jet aircraft is designed to provide ground troops with close air support by using its armored fuselage for protection, flying low to the ground to track and hit enemies and firing deadly 30mm rotary cannons.
Lawmakers have pushed back against any talk of the A-10s retirement. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., blocked the nomination of the Air Force secretary, citing her concerns about Air Forces A-10 plans and Defense Department struggles to bring the Joint Strike Fighter online. . .
The Airfarce must have its own money mill. F-35’s are hugely expensive campared to Warthogs. And the Hogs are really good at what they do including being reliable-—something not proven for F-35’s yet. I’d hate to see them go but that’s just me. I think P-51’s still have a mission if we had a few but that’s just me——2,000 horsepower coming in low and slow with sixguns flaming was enough to back off the entire German and Jap armies. Should be enough to re-educate the occasional band of muzzie dirtbagz.