Don’t worry: A-10 Warthog attack planes will remain active. At least for some time

Nov 27 2013 - 11 Comments
By Jacek Siminski

Northrop Grumman was recently awarded with two contracts from USAF.

The issue which is regulated by these contracts is a logistic support for A-10 Warthogs, and the sum of money allocated to the aforementioned agreement is $24 million.

The contract is called the A-10 Thunderbolt Life Cycle Program Support (TLPS), and includes indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract vehicle.

What is more, the contract includes ASIP (aircraft structural integrity program) Modernization V. Its assumption is to keep the A-10 flying through 2028 and beyond that date and it is possible that the aircraft will receive updated systems.

In other words, this means that the A-10 will remain in the active service in large numbers even though after the sequester this was not so certain.

The process will at least be prolonged in time – even if the number of Hogs is to be limited, it won’t until a large number of F-35s is introduced.

Even if the A-10 is still considered the best CAS (Close Air Support) plane ever designed, its capabilities may be a bit limited is particular scenarios, as in the Pacific theatre. Furthermore, it is a purely single-purpose aircraft, as opposed to F-35.

U.S. Air Force operates 346 A-10s, half of those used by Air National Guard. The Congress protested against getting rid of 5 squadrons of A-10s last year, and it has already said that the protest is to be continued in 2014.

Jacek Siminski for The Aviationist

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  • Vito Boscaino

    Good to see.

  • mzungu

    Unfortunately, the thinking behind the Air Force is that the sooner they can get rid of these legacy fighters, the sooner it think it can burn this bridge behind them, and move everything into the F-35., and the sooner they reach that point of no-return…

  • germanlion

    That’s awesome. I think what they should do is to try and see how it could handle launching and landing from an aircraft carrier. This would greatly expand it’s capabilities.

  • jim

    so they want to replace it because it does what it was made to do, and better than they thought it would do

    am I the only one that sees something wrong here ?

  • Bill Scott

    Very good news!

  • Jim Rossi

    The F-35 apparently does everything poorly,but the A-10 does it’s designed job extremely well . Doesn’t anyone remember the “A-16” cluster “reproductive act ” ? If the AD AF doesn’t want the A-10’s, give the entire fleet to the Air Guard . I remember F-100’s,105’s and 106’s in the Air Guard . There is no way the F-35 can do the A-10’s job .

  • Mike

    Perfect! Very good News!

    An A-10 Warthogs is a flying “tank” and can also use the newest nuclear (GPS) weapons; as a deterrent to any enemy of Western countries/NATO-countries!

    The M.A.D.-principal is still working FINE! I hope they don’t change that ever!

  • Philip Ngai

    The US Air Force likes and has been using B-1 heavy bombers equipped with special targeting pods and precision munitions (SDB, JDAM) for CAS.

    • RB

      The A-10 can drop precision bombs as well. That isn’t the issue so much as danger close operations. When the enemy is too close to our ground forces you can’t drop bombs without killing your own folks. That is where the gun and the survivability of the A-10 comes in. 1150 rounds of 30MM at visual range versus 185 rounds of 25MM at high altitude for the F-35. This role, plus bombs (high or low altitude), plus rockets, plus Maverick missiles, plus loiter, plus survivability is a lot to bring to the CAS mission. When you need precision CAS and the ground forces lives are on the line, they all want the A-10 because it saves their lives. Not the B-1 or other jets. By going with the F-35, you are making the decision to accept the casualties associated with abdicating this mission of danger close. I don’t think this is a wise decision. Talk to the Army ground pounders, ask which one they want when in this situation. It is always the A-10.

  • commonsenseisdead76

    Let’s see. Retire a tougher than nails aircraft that does what it’s supposed to do, with an unproven, might fly right POS bird that’s cost more to test than deploy. Oh, and it still hasn’t been deployed. Brilliant!…

  • Jonathan Cohen

    Carrier A-10s make a lot of sense to me. they are already tough and shouldn’t need much to survive carrier landing stresses. their low speed handling and landing visibility are good. the biggest issue I see is the offset front gear and how to match it to a catapult, but I bet solving that won’t be too tough. Plus carriers have done a lot of ground attack lately. So none of the objections I have heard seem too tough to solve.