Skip to comments.Defense secretary recommends elimination of A-10 fleet
Posted on 02/25/2014 1:56:03 PM PST by bkopto
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Defense Secretary announced today that he is recommending the elimination of the A-10, the mainstay aircraft at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, as part of a proposed military budget.
Chuck Hagel made the announcement today in at the Pentagon.
The Air Force has said it would save $3.5 billion over five years by cutting the entire fleet of 343 A-10s.
Hagel said he consulted with the military service chiefs on how to balance defense and budget requirements.
(Excerpt) Read more at tucsonnewsnow.com ...
In Hagel's words:
For the Air Force, an emphasis on capability over capacity meant that we protected its key modernization programs, including the new bomber, the Joint Strike Fighter, and the new refueling tanker.
We also recommended investing $1 billion in a promising next-generation jet engine technology, which we expect to produce sizeable cost-savings through reduced fuel consumption and lower maintenance needs. This new funding will also help ensure a robust industrial base itself a national strategic asset.
To fund these investments, the Air Force will reduce the number of tactical air squadrons including the entire A-10 fleet. Retiring the A-10 fleet saves $3.5 billion over five years and accelerates the Air Forces long-standing modernization plan which called for replacing the A-10s with the more capable F-35 in the early 2020s.
The Warthog is a venerable platform, and this was a tough decision. But the A-10 is a 40-year-old single-purpose airplane originally designed to kill enemy tanks on a Cold War battlefield. It cannot survive or operate effectively where there are more advanced aircraft or air defenses. And as we saw in Iraq and Afghanistan, the advent of precision munitions means that many more types of aircraft can now provide effective close air support, from B-1 bombers to remotely piloted aircraft. And these aircraft can execute more than one mission.
Moreover, the A-10s age is also making it much more difficult and costly to maintain. Significant savings are only possible through eliminating the entire fleet, because of the fixed cost of maintaining the support apparatus associated with the aircraft. Keeping a smaller number of A-10s would only delay the inevitable while forcing worse trade-offs elsewhere.
In addition to the A-10, the Air Force will also retire the 50-year-old U-2 in favor of the unmanned Global Hawk system. This decision was a close call, as DoD had previously recommended retaining the U-2 over the Global Hawk because of cost issues. But over the last several years, DoD has been able to reduce the Global Hawks operating costs. With its greater range and endurance, the Global Hawk makes a better high-altitude reconnaissance platform for the future.
The Air Force will slow the growth in its arsenal of armed unmanned systems that, while effective against insurgents and terrorists, cannot operate in the face of enemy aircraft and modern air defenses. Instead of increasing to a force of 65 around-the-clock combat air patrols of Predator and Reaper aircraft, the Air Force will grow to 55, still a significant increase. Given the continued drawdown in Afghanistan, this level of coverage will be sufficient to meet our requirements, and we would still be able to surge to an unprecedented 71 combat air patrols under this plan. DoD will continue buying the more capable Reapers until we have an all-Reaper fleet.
If sequestration-level cuts are re-imposed in 2016 and beyond, however, the Air Force would need to make far more significant cuts to force structure and modernization. The Air Force would have to retire 80 more aircraft, including the entire KC-10 tanker fleet and the Global Hawk Block 40 fleet, as well as slow down purchases of the Joint Strike Fighter resulting in 24 fewer F-35s purchased through Fiscal Year 2019 and sustain ten fewer Predator and Reaper 24-hour combat air patrols. The Air Force would also have to take deep cuts to flying hours, which would prevent a return to adequate readiness levels.
One of the best close air anti tank and ground support platforms we have. But we still have bazookas - Right?
Chump change... What is that, maybe 10 new F-35's a year?
Because our soldiers aren’t going to need close air support anymore.
It is too cheap and too reliable
Didn’t Congress already say no?
The zoomies and the bean-counters don’t like the ‘Hog. Nobody asked the troopers.
I think the U-2 is more than 50 years old. Probably less than 60 tho.
The warthog?????? Are they nuts?
The is the most awesomeest plane in existance. I saw one in person in Tucson at an air show, and I was amazed. It seemed to float and spit death
From Mark Levin last night “when the enemy hear an A-10 they immediately wet themselves”
CAS taking a back seat again, because air force boys like their zoomers. They should transfer CAS responsibility to the Army. There won’t be any more of this baloney when that happens, and the money won’t be a problem either.
I thought the U2 was decommissioned a long time ago.
do you think what Congress says matters any more?
Not yet, but the decision will be disputed. See:
The U2 isn’t 50 years old, those birds were built in the mid 80’s and have about 80% of their airframe life left in them.
In addition, they are much more versatile and can carry a variety of larger payloads that the Global Chicken can’t.
The U2 can divert to a different mission in a matter of minutes, the Global Chicken cannot.
The only advantage to the Global Chicken is endurance...period...it’s rate of climb and time to reach max ceiling are garbage compared to the U2.
What a purely political decision...
Not all members of Congress are equal. That should be obvious after Byrd moved the FBI fingerprint operation to WV. It really depends on whose home district is going to be gored.
Francis Gary Powers was shot down in 1960. I remember because I was 12 at the time. He was flying a U-2 which was made a long time before 1980.
Donate 'em to the Marines.
The current U2s were built in the 80s...U2S models, once called U2R’s and then TR-1s...I know because I worked on them...
You left out the most important part to this misadministration it saves too many American Soldiers lives!
Yeah, I’m sure they do...
Your math is wrong..............
And therefore the 0bammunist Regime must destroy it ... because Barry Benghazi and his disgusting minions aren't incompetent, they're evil.
The great state of Michigan is about to lose all of it’s remaining air power.
Pray tell...the ball is in your court...swing away.
I wish I had a fully loaded A-10.
Kind of like Cheers, everyone would know my name.
They’ve been predicting the death of the A-10 since about 10 minutes after the first one deployed, I’ll believe it when I stop seeing them.
I called the office of Senate minority Whip, John Wayne McCornyn and implored him to vote AGAINST the confirmation of Chuckwad Hagel as SecDef on several occasions.
Obviously, Senate Minority Whip, John Wayne McCornyn knew far better than I in this matter and voted to confirm.
Just another damned good reason why I will not be voting to keep John Wayne McCornyn in the Senate.
The left has always held our military in low regard and relishes their success in damaging it, all you have to do is look at history and see that the demonrats always diminish the military.
The U2 was designed and built in the late 1950’s...Francis Gary Powers was shot down over the USSR in 1960 in a U2 spyplane....
You are probably thinking of the SR-71 Blackbird....
Glass cockpit as well...plus a new cockpit pressurization system that reduces the strain on the crew...hmmm...what else did I take part in while on the U2 program?
I’ll never tell...but my “math” is spot on.
You were 30 years off.
When the military is gutted like after WW1 the military will go back to practicing with wooden guns and horses instead of tanks.
Oh, yes indeed.
That's because the left isn't incompetent, it is evil. Leftism is evil.
I’d think a lot of Army brass would want the whole inventory sent over to them ASAP! If they don’t, then this ol’ SP4 says they’re either islamocommies or they’re crazy. There’d be no third possibility.
The US Air Force U-2 high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft first flew in 1955 and was developed by Lockheed Martin at the famous Skunk Works site.
Sorry, I can tell the difference between many of the black jets...I’ve worked on 2 out of 3, the SR was the only bird I didn’t have the priviledge of turning a wrench on.
see post 39
Sheesh, it’s not like I’m an amateur at this...been working on aircraft since 1983....
You apparently didn’t know the history of the U2 very well......
I didn’t say anything about those first birds, read my post again...I was talking about the current birds and I don’t recall dragging history into it...but if it satisfies you, so be it.
I’m not going to argue semantics or look at squirrels.
It can loiter for a long time and take a lot of damage and it can destroy armor. It is basically a tank with wings.
Is it still armed with “the gun.” I remember lefites complaining about the uranium slugs.
“The U2 isnt 50 years old, those birds were built in the mid 80s and have about 80% of their airframe life left in them.”
“The U-2 spy plane was the brainchild of the Central Intelligence Agency, and it was a sophisticated technological marvel. Traveling at altitudes of up to 70,000 feet, the aircraft was equipped with state-of-the-art photography equipment that could, the CIA boasted, take high-resolution pictures of headlines in Russian newspapers as it flew overhead. Flights over the Soviet Union began in mid-1956. The CIA assured President Eisenhower that the Soviets did not possess anti-aircraft weapons sophisticated enough to shoot down the high-altitude planes.”
Is there anything preventing volunteers to maintain the state’s guard units?
BTW, don’t hear anything about this pi$$ant sized state of Delaware losing Dover AFB or the Air Guard in New Castle. Politics, you think?