How Will Pentagon Replace the A-10 Thunderbolt?
“The impending mothballing of the A-10 Thunderbolt II attack jet has prompted outrage among its advocates in the active-duty military, hand-wringing on Capitol Hill and questions from analysts about whether the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter can be operated cheaply enough to support ground troops on a regular basis,” the Washington Post reports.
“But it also has sparked a question: Which plane could the U.S. military adopt if it ultimately decides it needs a new, designated plane to provide close-air support?”
“The mission has been handled by a variety of aircraft in recent years, but it is the A-10, nicknamed the Warthog, that is beloved for its ability to loiter over a battlefield and target enemy fighters, tanks and vehicles. Even as its heads into retirement, it is carrying out about 11 percent of the combat sorties against the Islamic State militant group, Air Force Secretary Deborah James said in January.”