a reply to: aholic
What surprises me about the potential decommissioning of the A-10, is that as far as I was aware, it was only relatively recently retrofitted with a
plethora of fire control improvements, handling alterations, new targeting gear, and a whole host of other improvements and tweaks. To decommission
the aircraft so soon surely means that the money spent on that package of upgrades will be essentially wasted, since the improvements made were
supposed to increase the viability of the aircraft going forward, and allow it to continue in a service role for a significant period (thus justifying
Never mind the fact that the F-35 has not had enough deployments to make a value judgement about its ability to cover the bases which the A-10
currently covers, but it has not even been proven totally reliable yet! Perhaps when the F-35 has been used in combat for a decade or so, that would
be a time to assess its capacity to fill the role currently occupied by the A-10, as well as the other roles it is supposed to fill, but until then,
it seems bizarre to place such an effective aircraft as the Warthog, on the scrap heap.
From what I understand, the things are essentially flying tanks, and for all that their mission roles are somewhat limited, you do not lambast a
sniper rifle for being incapable of rapid fire, or for its limited magazine size, and by the same token, you do not poo poo the Warthog, just because
it has a very specific role. Like a sniper rifle, the role for which it is intended, is one which it performs admirably, and until it stops being
capable of fulfilling that role, the powers which govern what gets used where, ought to keep them handy.
The idea that the US government is going to shelve the Warthog because it cannot afford to keep both the Warthog, and some of the newer airframes in
play at once, is nothing short of a total lie. It can afford to do whatever it wants, because it is in that much debt that nothing it does financially
will either a) make a dent in the deficit worth making, or b) make the situation any worse than it already is. They know this.
I would wager that the reason they want to remove the Warthog, has more to do with justifying the ridiculous cost of the F-35, although they have no
idea whether it can be relied upon to the same degree as is the Warthog.
Personally speaking, I find the A-10 to be a pretty awesome machine. There are very few things which LOOK as deadly as they are in aircraft terms,
but the Warthog looks like it is there to throw hot lead in the face of the enemy, and scatter them all over the place in rapidly expanding spheres of
vapourised blood and bone. It is a spine wrecking, face smashing, radical badass, and I think they should fly them all till they literally fall out of
the sky from metal fatigue.
edit on 3-10-2014 by TrueBrit because: added detail for clarification.