Good news if you are a fan of the A-10 Thunderbolt II and bad news if you are an ISIS fighter or enemy of the US. The fiscal 2018 Air Force budget request shows funding for the 280 plus A-10’s in the Air Force arsenal. 2017 Fiscal year budget requests had shown the Air Force planned to begin decommissioning some A-10 squadrons between 2018 and 2022.
The Air Force’s fiscal 2018 budget request released this month calls for keeping its fleet of A-10s — which stood at 283 as of Sept. 30 — in service for at least five more years.
To recap: The service — facing financial pressure driven by spending caps known as sequestration — made multiple attempts in recent years to retire the Warthog to save an estimated $4 billion over five years and to free up maintainers for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the stealthy fifth-generation fighter jet designed to replace the A-10 and legacy fighters.
So the retirement push appears to have dissipated — at least, for now. Indeed, the Air Force’s budget request for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 includes modest funding for A-10 modifications in coming years. – DoDBuzz
Many members of congress had been fighting the proposed retirement of the A-10 saying it was needed for the close air support (CAS) role as the F-35 has not been proven yet for that mission.
Featured image of Andrew Glowa, left, and William Piepenbring launching flares from two A-10C Thunderbolt IIs by Staff Sgt. Jamal D. Sutter, US Air Force