Air Force Starts With Key Step In Developing The A-10 Replacement
Image Source: Popular Mechanics
Say It Isn’t So!
The A-10 Warthog’s fate wasn’t yet sealed what with the delay in retiring this badass aircraft. In February, we were told it would still be about six years before the legendary plane’s final retirement. F-35s will replace it which will be “on a squadron to squadron basis” but then again, there’s pressure from the public to consider another option. And so just this Thursday, the deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and requirements Lt. Gen. Mike Holmes that they are already “in the process of building a draft requirements document for a follow-on CAS airplane.”
After they’re done, the document will be sent for review to Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh. It’s already been a year since the Air Force studied the possible replacement of the A-10 for close air support missions, the A-X.
Once the requirement is firm, the next step will be deciding the most cost-effective way to meet that need, Holmes said. The Air Force will weigh the capability and affordability of three alternatives: building a new A-X, using existing aircraft to meet the CAS mission, or extending the life of the A-10, Holmes said.
“The question is exactly where is the sweet spot [is] between what’s available now and what the optimum CAS replacement would be,” Holmes said.
We’re still sticking by the A-10, by the way.