The United States is to delay retiring the A-10 because of the ongoing fight against Islamic State, it has been reported.

Plans to postpone the retirement of the A-10 will be outlined when the Pentagon submits its 2017 budget request to Congress next month.

The A-10 Thunderbolt is the only United States Air Force production aircraft designed solely for close air support, including attacking tanks, armoured vehicles and other ground targets. The A-10 was designed around the 30mm GAU-8 Avenger rotary cannon and the A-10’s airframe was designed for durability, with measures such as 540kg of titanium armour to protect the cockpit and aircraft systems, enabling it to absorb a significant amount of damage and continue flying.

Martha McSally, a long-time advocate of the A-10 and retired Air Force pilot, released a statement on the news:

“It appears the Administration is finally coming to its senses and recognizing the importance of A-10s to our troops’ lives and national security, since before I took office and after, I’ve consistently highlighted the A-10’s irreplaceable capabilities and worked to expose the Administration’s flawed argument for wanting to retire it prematurely.”

The US Government Accountability Office released a report in 2015 claiming that the US Air Force’s central justifications for removing the A-10 are deeply flawed.


    • the A-10 can carry a bigger payload and take more punishment than pretty much all other Close Air Support aircraft. its surprisingly easy to maintain according to its ground crews

      it also has a huge psychological effect. the Russians call it the ‘Devils cross’ as it looks like a orthodox christian crucifix as it pulls out of a attack run. Arabs call it the silent death for obvious reasons.

      In a AO with little or no aerial opposition the A-10 is the perfect aircraft for dealing with Daesh

  1. Had one of these practice its strafing run against the tank I was driving. A bit unnerving and despite sitting in 65 tons of armour, still felt vulnerable!

  2. Great for low itensity warfare where SAM threats are not a particular issue. A Typhoon equipped with Brimstone flying at medium altitude is considerably more effective at taking out a Tank Company.

  3. The physiological impact of certain weapons platforms should not be underestimated. The A10 does require protection in contested airspace, but for the US military this is not really an issue. Having something drop down low and cause havoc to ground troops either with missiles and bombs or that insane rotary gun can help take the fight out of the enemy before they even get chance to get going.

    Its a perfect machine for ground attack. Love it to bits.


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