Monday, January 27, 2014

Give the A-10s to the Army and Save Billions

The Air Force generals are once again trying to scrap the A-10 Warthog close air support aircraft. The A-10 was specifically designed to support ground troops and kill tanks in a European conflict against the Soviet bloc nations. It saw extensive service in Iraq and Afghanistan supporting the ground troops. It is the best ground support aircraft in the inventory. However, the A-10 isn't sexy and the Air Force is trying to dump it once again. The replacement aircraft will be the F-35A. Current plans are to acquire 1,743 F-35As - and 300 of them would be allocated to the ground support role. As we have seen in the past whenever you develop a multi-role aircraft it tends to do all things okay. In this case the F-35A will be an "okay" ground support aircraft - not a "superb" one like the A-10. The cost of the 300 F-35s allocated to the ground support role will be $37 billion. The cost of retaining the A-10s will be $3.7 billion. Hmmmm. Let's do the math. Yep. Keep the A-10. Save money by making 300 less F-35s. And while we are it, let's give the A-10 to the service that wants and needs it. Give the A-10 to the Army and the Army National Guard. Read more in "Save the A-10: Give it to the Army", Real Clear Defense, January 22, 2014. (Photo by DVIDS).

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