It was quite a struggle, but thanks to pressure from numerous advocates, the A-10 will last for at least a few more years in active service. But, according to the Air Force, that will come with a hefty price. In a recent piece by Kris Osborn, Air Force officials told Miltiary.com that keeping the A-10 would require “retiring an unspecified number of F-16 fighter aircraft or delaying the deployment of the F-35 by at least a year.”
The original Air Force plan involved retiring A-10s beginning in 2016. This would take place until 2019, when the fighter would be scrapped altogether. According to the Air Force, this would save roughly $4.2 billion over five years. Now, they have some difficult choices to make. The Air Force claims that multiple aircraft can perform facets of the A-10’s job, including F-15Es, F-16s, AC-130s, B-52s, and B-1s. But, A-10 advocates argue that that A-10 is so good at what it does, that the Air Force’s ability to support infantry would be significantly decreased without it.
Do you believe keeping the A-10 is worth sacrificing F-16s? Sound off!