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U.S. Air Force Fires Up the A-10 Depot Line to Keep Warthogs Flying 'Indefinitely'

On paper, the Air Force plans to start mothballing the A-10 in 2018, with the last Warthogs sent to the boneyard by 2021. But last month Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James said that the retirement of the A-10 would likely have to be delayed further as the military continues to rely on the low-and-slow attack plane for close-air support (CAS) missions ( More...

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The super fast, high flying, sexy fighters simply cannot do the job of the slow, low, ugly Warthog. Long live the Warthog!
I watched both the A-10 and the F-16 work the same airspace in Afghanistan while doing ISR work. IMHO the Hog drivers are the fighter pilots. When they went after a target it was always mission complete. The speed demons would leave if they were going to be late for yoga!
canuck44 8
"late for yoga". Best line of the month.
Neil Klapthor 2
Not cool to disparage one or the other, especially when you're comparing apples to oranges...or in this case Attack to Fighter. Two completely different aircraft, different capabilities, different missions, different armament. I spent 20 years in the Air Force as a B52 Radar Navigator...or bombardier, more common term...and have the highest possible respect for all flyers, particularly those in a combat role. Hog drivers are awesome! I had the chance to witness them in action when they were part of a Search and Rescue mission "rescuing" me and my B52 crew in the Nevada desert as a part of the Red Flag exercises. They were flying protective cover over us at about 50' in a circle, banked at, I swear it looked like, 90 degrees, while we called in a chopper to pick us up. Amazing! The Warthogs offensive capabilities are well known but it's an A-10 not an F-10. I don't think it can put a smart bomb thru Muhammed's window nor will it beat an F-16 to the target. Nor do I think a Hog driver would care to take on a hostile in aerial combat. Technically, they're not "fighter"pilots since their aircraft is designated as Attack...i.e. CAS, tank killer, low and slow loiter, etc...again, different in all respects from an F16. Within the flying "fraternity" we take jabs at each other on a regular basis...we were "bomber pukes", the KC135 refueling guys were "tanker toads" and so forth and it's acceptable and expected. The "late for yoga" jab was cute....are you a combat flyer? If not, then I, for one, would suggest being a bit more circumspect in your observations.
Gene Poon 1
Exactly why retention of the A-10 is needed. You don't send a fighter to do the attack job, or vice versa.
ekim125 3
Don't forget, the warthog was designed to dissuade USSR aggression in Europe. NATO today could use the A-10 as backup for discussions with Russia's Putin in the renewed chill. What could be better, an inexpensive very effective tank-killer.
Jay Estes 3
That's just fantastic. This is such an awesome warplane, so tough, maneuverable, and relatively inexpensive (compared to the gold-covered platinum on the newest aircraft. This is great news
Tim Marks 3
The turboprop interim replacements discussed cannot carry any near the ordinance of an A10 and cannot take a bullet and keep flying. The idea of a clean sheet replacement aircraft needs to be drawn up first by the troops being protected then given to a company who has built tanks to understand the role the 'next gen' of CAS aircraft needs to be designed and built to dominate. Giving this clean sheet opportunity to the fighter jocks will get you another F35 that has more ordinance hard points - not what is needed to support the boots on the ground. I would like to see the original drawings of the A10 updated using the latest materials and electronics technologies, higher thrust engines, and an improved 30mm cannon, but don't mess with the overall basic planform design - it works. and if it works, don't mess with it, just improve upon it without making it something else that no longer works.
Neil Klapthor 5
I totally agree Tim. Update and improve on a proven platform...just look at the B52. Glad to see someone at the Pentagon showing some good sense.
Dave Mathes 3
...HOGs with ARMY that's a sexy thought!...
canuck44 3
Actually a little appropriate artwork would turn the nose art from a shark to a hog with the gun as the snout...just think of the complaints from CAIR and all the other butt hurt PC types that this is Islamophobic. I would call it Psycops.
Warthog's direct ancestor was an Army plane. The OV-1 "Mohawk" Awesome, sneaky little devil it was. Sometimes you didn't know it was around until it had passed by your position.
You have my vote to keep the A-10 flying. I would never want o be on te recieving end of an attacking WORTHOG. OUCH!!!!
canuck44 4
The Warthog has too many supporters in Congress and the Army for the Air Force to swallow the Air Force lies that the F-35 can get the job done to dump it and risk their funding for their other pet projects. They may not like their CAS role but they did get around to reading the writing on the wall and they did not want it transferred to the grunts.
Larry Bass 5
I've served in the USAF and the Army. When I was attending the Army IERW course ('91-'92), it was rumored back then that the Army might inherit the Warthogs. That was an exciting rumor that never came - and probably never will come - to fruition. There's nothing like the sound of its 30 mm GAU-8 Avenger rotary cannon tossing lead downrange.

canuck44 2
There is talk of making the gun modular so it can be loaded with 20mm for non-armor tasks. Bigger capacity supposedly, but I doubt it will happen.
Tim Marks 4
No way, why would you bring the little gun if all of the sudden some armor shows up that needs to be eliminated, are you going to fly back to have the big gun mounted. Heck no! You fight with what you got and every A-10 driver would want the big gun there every time for those just in case moments.
Indiana Jones said: "Never bring a knife to a gunfight." True, that!
Dan Clemons 2
Every 16 seconds the nose of an A-10 can be pointed at the same target. Name another fighter that can do that? What is not to love about the A-10?
bbabis 2
O Happy Day! \\-=__->_ .....................................................
ekim125 2
Speaking of CAS, are the AC-130H Spectre gunships still inforce. I would hate to be on the receiving end of that also....?
Tim Marks 1
Sure are with several improvements to targeting so more of the 20mm or 30mm or 75mm or 105mm (depending upon configuration) will land squarely on target. Google up the AC130 and watch some of the night time footage, it is incredible.
joel wiley 2
Common sense from DC?
I guess even a blind pig can find an occasional truffle.
patrick baker 2
the saving of warthog has been all over these squawk pages, and I have been rather belligerent on behalf of the wartmonster. Good sense and reason winning out? maybe, maybe not, but the mach-mentality is reconsidering and has considered well. I suspect this magnificent flying machine will be shooting at various bad guys for ten, or twenty years hence. Such a decent design and well executed construction , so this beast will not be flying away to become toaster ovens or dishwashers for at least the next 25 years. This machine is among asmall number of designs needing not much improvement: the 50 cal machine gun, the b-52, the 1911 45 caliber, - classics that work. bravo
SmokedChops 2
Billy Koskie 2
So. is common sense actually breaking out in the USAF? The A-10 is the ONLY CAS aircraft in the inventory now or in the future. The war on terror will continue to require the mission only an A-10 can fly.
Hugh Somsen 3
Still, if the USAF doesn't want the A10, give it to the Army Guard who most understands the CAS mission and how vital it is.
Or maybe to the CAF to fly cover for Fifi and Doc?


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