The A-10 is back in Iraq doing what it does better than many other assets: attacking hostile targets that threaten friendly forces or assets on the ground.
During the week of Nov. 17-21, the U.S. Air Force moved a squadron-sized element of A-10C Thunderbolt aircraft from Bagram, Afghanistan, to Ahmed al Jaber airbase, in Kuwait, to join the fight against ISIS.
The aircraft belong to the 163rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron “Blacksnakes”, part of the 122nd Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard, based at Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Little was known about their activities in support of Operation Inherent Resolve until a video showing a “Warthog” (as the A-10 is nicknamed among the fighter pilots community) attacking ground targets in Al Anbar region, in western Iraq, using its GAU-8 Avenger a 30 mm hydraulically driven seven-barrel Gatling-type cannon
The Air Force planned to get rid of the A-10 but the Congress blocked the retirement in 2015 keeping part of the Warthog fleet (100 aircraft) intact.
Image credit: U.S. Air Force
Our wars against extremist insurgents went better when we used Daisy Cutters instead of bullets.
1) No, the (US) defence industry is not a free market.
(Military) lobbyists are trying every way they can to influence the US Congress.
There is unfortunately corruption, bribery and broken promises, see for example the (constant rising expenses for the) F35 …
2) Every military air plane has his limitations…
Which air plane is according to you better than the A-10 for attacking ISIS ?
Drones can loiter over the battlefield much longer than any manned air plane. The expandability of a drone is much higher than any manned air plane, and detection of a drone is much harder then a conventional air plane.
Age of a military air plane has little to do with its capabilities; an A-10 is not a easy target in a asymmetrical war, it also depends on ultra modern avionics used in the A-10.
May I remind you that ISIS still has no air force and no modern Manpads.
What Misterjag said: “A-10 is brilliant at loitering over the battlefield providing close support”.
Maintenance costs for an A-10 is much lower than other, newer military air planes, because their are more then enough spare parts for the A-10, because the A-10 fleet is going to be scarped in the future.
3) Most military scientists are working for defence companies, these companies are far from independent.