Legendary A-10 'Warthog' Wins Another Fight vs. Budget Ax

Legendary A-10 'Warthog' Wins Another Fight vs. Budget Ax

Legendary A-10 'Warthog' Wins Another Fight vs. Budget Ax

The Air Force's venerable A-10 Thunderbolt II is proving as impervious to Pentagon cuts as it is to the bullets of the ISIS terrorists who scatter like roaches when the fighter plane known as the "Warthog" bears down on them.

Once again, the deadline for retiring the versatile plane has been pushed back, this time to 2022, when it would be replaced by F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. While the F-35 rollout has been less than smooth, the real reason the Warthog keeps avoiding mothballs is that it is perfect for raining fire down on desert-dwelling Islamic extremists.

“It has consistently proven its worth in the past decade and a half,” said Omare Lamrani, a military analyst with global intelligence firm Stratfor.

The A-10 may lack the speed and graceful lines of other fighter jets, but it is extremely low maintenance, flies low, can practically hover over a battlefield, land almost anywhere and packs a 20-foot-long, 2.5-ton, seven-barrel Gatling gun that can fire more than 1,100 rounds of 30-mm. bullets.

Given that most of the U.S. air power is currently used in the Middle East, the A-10 -- which has not been manufactured for decades -- is the right aircraft for the job, say experts.

 

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