Weapon Wednesday – The A-10 Will Keep Flying

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  • The A-10 Warthog, which first entered service in the late 1970s, will keep flying in Air Force service until 2040—or later.
  • The A-10 will only be restricted to combat against enemies with little or no air defenses, ending the jet’s career as a tank killer.

The U.S. Air Force has decided to keep the A-10 “Warthog” close air support jet in service until 2040. The jet, designed to dominate Cold War battlefields, will still be flying 50 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union. That’s the good news. The bad news? The service is downgrading the jet’s mission, from one flying over tank columns on the ground to bombing bandits and insurgents in lightly defended airspace.

The Air Force, Air Force Magazine reports, plans to cut 44 jets from the A-10’s standing fleet of 281 aircraft. The remaining 237 jets will fly on in seven squadrons split among three active duty, three National Guard, and one reserve squadron, respectively. Retiring a portion of the fleet will enable the service to fund upgrades designed to keep the A-10 flying along much, much newer planes, and tap into the Air Force’s new generation of networking and communications systems, boosting the airplane’s overall usefulness on the digital battlefield of the future.

skorea us military
An A-10 flying over South Korea, equipped with two Maverick missiles and two Sidewinder missiles…neither of which can be carried by the F-35.
In addition to the A-10s, the Air Force plans to cut 29 aerial refueling tankers, 24 C-130H transport aircraft (the current version is the -J), 24 Global Hawks drones, and 17 B-1B Lancer bombers. All of the manned aircraft are older planes, particularly the aerial refueling tankers, some of which entered service in the 1950s. Older planes are typically more expensive to keep in service, as sourcing spares and the lifespan of key parts becomes an issue. By retiring older planes, the Air Force hopes to free up funds to buy and support new planes.

About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).