(March 22, 2015)
The U.S. Air Force wants to kill the A-10 Warthog. Really, really wants to kill it. But some of the Air Force's ideas for replacing the A-10 are starting to strain credibility.
This is an 'economic' opinion, not a 'tactical' opinion.
The A-10 may be a fabulous CAS platform, but right now, it doesn't have a corporate backer with a truly vital interest in its survival. serves as prime contractor to maintain the plane, and has a contract to upgrade wings on some of the older A-10s, both of which bring in a few tens of millions of dollars annually for the respective companies. But without an actual A-10 Warthog replacement program in place, no one's making billions of dollars off of the Warthog.
Some suplementary commentary here.
PERSONAL NOTE: If I was still in the infantry, and needed fast-movers to supplement my unit's firepower in a "close up and personal" mode against overwhelming opposing forces, I'd really like a frame which provides guns. Bombs and Napalm are great, but they don't really have the same immediate effect as a precision strafing run within 100 yards of my "huddled masses".
And if you think that Napalm is a safe, effective support, I suggest you go to your DVD library and watch "We Were Soldiers".
Or watch this, which perfectly demonstrates my objection to area weapons for close support.
The full "BROKEN ARROW" segment is also available here: