Jun 1, 2015
USAF A-10 'Warthog' likely to keep flying
After a near-death experience in 2014, the aircraft appears to be cruising toward renewal from Congress.
The Air Force has waged a protracted battle to mothball its fleet of A-10s, calling it a necessary cost-saving move that would save roughly $4 billion. Service leaders say the A-10’s close air support mission can be carried out by other planes, including the F-16 fighter, the B-1 bomber and the long-awaited F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
But that argument has failed to persuade lawmakers, who counter that the service has no suitable replacement for the aircraft that today is flying missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Earlier this month, the House approved a fiscal 2016 national defense authorization act (NDAA) that includes roughly $683 million to keep the A-10 flying, rebuffing the Air Force’s pleas.
While the Senate proposal, which could reach the floor in June, does not include around $240 million to re-wing the aging fleet, it does ask the Air Force to maintain, at minimum, 171 A-10s in combat status.