Air Force May Delay A-10 Warthog Retirement

Air Force May Delay A-10 Warthog Retirement

Air Force May Delay A-10 Warthog Retirement

The Air Force is considering delaying the retirement of the A-10 Warthog attack aircraft for several years, a top Air Force commander said Tuesday — a move that Congress and troops would embrace.

The Air Force has been trying for years to retire the A-10 — which provides troops on the ground with close air support — in favor of the newer F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, but new demands have caused leaders to rethink that plan, said Gen. Herbert "Hawk" Carlisle, commander of Air Combat Command. 

"We have to retire the airplanes, but I think moving it to the right and starting it a bit later and maybe keeping around the airplane a bit longer is something that's being considered based on things as they are today and what we see in the future," Carlisle told reporters at the Defense Writers Group breakfast. 

"I think if you look at what we'd like to do is probably a couple of squadrons maybe early, because we have F-16s coming out of Hill [Air Force Base], and we'd like to transition A-10s to F-16s in a couple of different places, but I think the majority of it we would move it a couple of years, two to three years, to the right. 

Carlisle said factoring into the consideration is the campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, other military commitments and the slower procurement rate for the replacement F-35.

"One of our challenges today is capacity. If you look at the demand signal that's placed on the United States Air Force across all of our mission areas, the demand signal has gone up, things have changed a bit, obviously we're in Turkey now which we weren't before the fight against ISIL and Daesh," he said using alternate names for ISIS.

 

Read full story: http://thehill.com/policy/defense/259645-air-force-may-postpone-a-10-war...