No One Can Kill The A-10 Warthog, Not Even The U.S. Military

David Axe

Key point: Despite its popularity with ground troops, the Air Force wanted to retire the A-10 early in order to free up around $5 billion for other investments.

The U.S. Air Force has all but given up on retiring the A-10 Warthog close-air-support jet. Instead, the flying branch is upgrading the tough ground-attackers so they can fight and survive in high-intensity combat.

The Air Force had hoped to begin retiring its 281 A-10s starting in 2015. But Congress blocked the effort. Now the A-10 is safe even as the Air Force considers retiring other plane types.

“Acting Air Force Secretary Matt Donovan stoked speculation that the service will retire the A-10 after announcing that its FY21 budget request will include ‘controversial changes’ such as the divestment of legacy aircraft,” Valerie Insinna reported at Defense News.

From Defense News

But speaking at the conference later that day, Lt. Gen. Timothy Fay, deputy chief of staff for strategy, integration and requirements, confirmed that the A-10 is not one of the aircraft under consideration for divestment and will stay in service until the 2030s.

“Short answer: No,” Fay said, when asked whether the Warthog is on the cutting block. "I will tell you, I wish the response had been that the Air Force is actually bold enough to get after the threats that we’re facing.”

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