The A-10’s Future


There’s a lot of gnashing of teeth about Air Force plans to replace the A-10 with the F-35A. And I suppose eventually, they will. But from what I’ve seen of the fielding plans, it looks like F-16 units are first in line to switch over.

And while there has always been somewhat of a love/hate relationship between Big Air Force and the A-10 community, let’s at least be honest enough to admit that Big Blue has in fact put significant money into the fleet, improving the remaining planes, even while drawing total numbers down somewhat.

First, the Air Force ponied up the money to rebuild most of the fleet from the original A-10A standard to the A-10C model, which adds night attack and precision guided weapon capability.

Secondly, the Air Force is spending real money on rebuilding the wings of the fleet to extend their fatigue service lives for another thirty years.

In fact, Boeing just announced another contract to build 56 more wings.

http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/a-10/images/a10_2.jpg

Of course, the Navy spent a fortune rewinging it’s A-6 fleet just before retiring them.

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7 Comments

Filed under Air Force, ARMY TRAINING

7 responses to “The A-10’s Future

  1. For what it is worth I have tilting at a windmill and asking my reps to turn the A-10 over to the Marines, or 2nd choice, to the Army. Too effective a platform for its intended mission to let die a premature death. The A-10 is NOT ready for the sunny sky’s of Arizona.

  2. Hogday

    As a mere amateur observer and student, would A10’s be deployed in anything other than under an umbrella of complete and friendly air superiority?

  3. jim

    The a-10 was supposed to be the fulda gap holder. Able to protect themselves with several A_A missles and the maverics. But the main objective was to hold the line so the B-1 sky boys could come in and pulverize the area. It’s be a shame to send the acft relegated to the trash dump. But washington and the buzz boys of the five sided house want clean jeans not the least bit of mud on the wheels. But I have yet to see a airplane control the ground. We must be going to hire a contractor to do that.

  4. Big AF announced several years ago they were going to phase out the A-10 and the Army said “Great! We’ll take ‘em. The Blue Clad dummies suddenly decided they would phase them out after tall.

    Frankly, USAF would be better off if they simply turned over TacAir to the Army and forgot about it. A number of the Army’s problems with heavier air support would go away with the lack of fighting the AF for it, and the AF could simply be what the Bomber Generals wanted in the first place, a strategic service that was not controlled by the Army.

    It was a serious mistake to allow the TACs to be taken by the AF. The Army has had serious complaints about the poor service the AF gave starting with Korea and the complaints have never ended.

    Jerry Pournelle is far stronger than I am. He’d completely disestablish USAF and put everything back under the Army. He’s of the opinion the AF has lost its right to an independent existence. By comparison, I’m pretty restrained. I think my way would yield a serious savings in cost as well.

    • Turf, my friend; it’s all about turf. The AF probably figures if they give up TacAir, they’ll lose more of their budget.

      I agree that some sort of independent air superiority force would be useful, as well as an aerospace division.

  5. Just caught the post about using the V-22 for COD. Feh.

    Then a chilling thought occurred to me: what if some nitwit bean-counter proposed using the V-22 to replace the A-10!?

    I mean, it’ll drive down unit costs even more, it’s far more modern, and just imagine the savings from commonality of spare parts. In fact, you could use a V-22 to drop the troops off, then provide them with organic air support. It’s a win-win for everyone!!

    The sad thing is that there are people out there dumb enough to fall for that. And they’re in charge.

    God help us.