Over the past several years the A-10 Warthog received little support from the USAF that pushed to retire the Warthog from FY15 onward.
Full funding for A-10 Warthog upgrades next year — including re-winging them — passed the House Armed Services Committee with nary an objection. The panel approved its proposed version of the fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act in a marathon session that concluded early Thursday morning.
Arizona Reps. Ruben Gallego and Ann Kirkpatrick applauded the A-10 funding in a statement.
“The A-10 Warthog has immeasurable value to our U.S. troops on the ground and plays a critical role in our military strategy in the Middle East and around the world,” Gallego said. “I’m glad that we were able to keep this fleet fully operational, and I will continue to fight to preserve this aircraft to ensure that the warfighter on the ground gets their air support.”
As reported by Air Force Times, Gallego and Kirkpatrick noted that the Air Force said in 2017 that nearly half of its A-10 fleet, which consists of 283 aircraft, could be permanently grounded unless funding came through to restart production and re-wing them.
“The A-10 Warthog has been a vital fixture to Southern Arizona for over 40 years and is instrumental to our military operations around the globe,” Kirkpatrick said. “The Warthog is a primary mission at Davis-Monthan Air Base [which is in Kirkpatrick’s district], employing hundreds of airmen and it contributes millions of dollars to our local economy.”
General James Holmes, Air Combat Command (ACC) chief, revealed last year that the USAF aims to maintain the A-10 fleet out into the 2030s. Approximately 350 A-10s are currently in the inventories of the active USAF, Air Force Reserve, and Air National Guard, although a number have already been sent for mothballing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (AFB) in Arizona.
Since the A-10 Warthog is a legacy platform, it is supported equally by Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman.
As we have previously explained, over the past several years the A-10 received little support from the USAF that instead pushed to retire the Warthog from FY15 onward. In FY18, the service decided to retain the aircraft but kept the procurement of new wings out of its budget, bumping it instead into the unfunded wish list given to Congress every year.
Photo credit: U.S. Air Force