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Big Gamble

Posted by rowdy on September 19, 2013

The US Air Force's Big Gamble


A lot of you may have seen this video floating around the Internet and Facebook the last week or so.  It is kicksass!!!  Even more of you are aware that, in a money saving effort, the Air Force is seriously considering parking the entire A-10 fleet.  Before I go on watch the video.

Regardless of all the jokes about the A-10 Warthog's speed and ugliness, there is no other platform in the world, not Predator, Reaper, Raptor, Viper, Beagle, Bone, none of the Euro jets, not Spectre and certainly not the Lightning II that can do that.  None have the flexibility, quick response, with maximum firepower that the A-10 Warthog has.  Yes, many of these attack aircraft can put down serious ordnance, like the Spectre and Beagle, but none can are able to transition, loiter and respond to the needs on the ground the way the A-10 can.  When troops on the ground want close air support their first choice is the A-10.  If an airman finds himself in the unenviable position of having his jet shot out from under him and now is in need of pickup in enemy territory the first choice of aircraft to find him, orbit overhead and protect him until the rescue helicopters show up is the A-10.  There are no yeah-buts here, it's the A-10 Warthog; hands down!

Sure the Air Force will save money by grounding and mothballing the A-10 fleet but what are those dollar savings going to cost in lives on the ground.  Should the A-10 be gone, as soon as in the next eighteen months, the Vipers, Beagles, Predators, etc. will most definitely give their best effort to our ground forces and those of our allies but it won't be the same and it won't be as effective.

The Air Force has become so enamored with the Raptor and Lightning II they're willing to spend billions and billions on these two weapons systems at the expense of everything else.  They're betting the future security of the U.S. and the lives of our folks on the ground on these two jets.  I think they're betting wrong and I think these savings and decisions like grounding the A-10 Warthog are going to end up being very costly.

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Posted by Badger on
Well said Rowdy. Retiring the Bone makes a whole lot more sense. This is crazy!!!
Posted by grumpyoldcrow on
I don't think retiring the Bone is a good idea at all. The speed, endurance and payload make this a very useful platform. If the AF truly needs to save dollars, it should retire every single pre-Block 50 F-16 and in their place purchase 1 block 60 (like we sold the UAE)for every two older ones retired.
Also, I have no idea what the MC-12 does that other recon assets either can't do or be adapted at relatively low cost to do.
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