Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The U.S. Air Force's Reasons For Retiring The A-10 Do Not Add Up

 A-10s of the 81st Fighter Wing sit at Spangdahlem Air Base in 2012. At top — A-10s from the 188th Fighter Wing take part in an exercise. Air Force photos

David Axe, War Is Boring: No, the A-10 Is Not Holding Back the F-35

Fed auditors blast Air Force’s baseless Warthog retirement plan

Two years ago, the U.S. Air Force annoyed the other military branches, Congress and the general public when it announced a plan to quickly retire its roughly 300 A-10 Warthog attack jets — rugged tank-killers that have flown down-and-dirty close air support, or CAS, for American ground troops since the 1991 Gulf War.

The Air Force’s rationale for dumping the A-10s keeps shifting. Now government auditors have poked holes in the flyboys’ latest justification — that the branch must drop the ungainly Warthogs in order to free up maintainers for the slowly-growing fleet of pricey F-35 stealth fighters.

Previous Post: New Report Casts Doubt On U.S. Air Force Claims That There Will Be Savings From Retiring The A-10

WNU Editor: My advice to the Air Force brass is simple. If you want to drop this plane find a replacement that can fly the same mission for the same cost.

1 comment:

B.Poster said...

You're right the reasons for the retiring the A-10 have never added up. The main threats to the US in terms of most likely to occur are as follows: 1.)an Islamic terrorist attack involving the use of a variety of dirty bombs likely including suit case nuclear weapons detonated simultaneously across multiple US cities followed up by an Islamic invasion similar to the ISIS strategy in the Middle East whereby Islamic terrorist take over much of the nation, 2.) an all out nuclear attack against America by Russia, and 3.)an invasion of the American mainland by Russia, China, both Russia and China, or Russia, China and some combination of their allies. As far as the most dangerous, 1 and 2 above should be flipped.

In scenarios 1 and 3 a low flying plane such as the A-10 would likely prove invaluable in supporting troops as they attempt to retake cities and areas taken by the enemy or as they try to prevent the enemy from taking cities. The F-35 simply has no use in any of these scenarios. Since it is unhelpful to any of the likely scenarios threatening American national security and it sucks resources away from preparing for the most likely contingencies, it would seem the sooner the F-35 is scrapped the better off we will all be.

Furthermore the US has defense treaties with a variety of nation. It would seem continuing to pour money into the F-35 would seem to undermine America's ability to be useful in this area. As such, it makes America less useful as an ally and it makes it more likely they might actually have to come to our aid (assuming they really would which I'm skeptical.) As such, they should be among the leaders in lobbying the US government to scrap the F-35.