Thursday, October 27, 2016

Air Force Yields To Common Sense, Fires Up the A-10 Depot Line to Keep Warthogs Flying 'Indefinitely'

Seems like this is good news to the men on the ground who have to do the tough work of fighting nasty people.

Last month Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James said that the retirement of the A-10 would likely have to be delayed further as the military continues to rely on the low-and-slow attack plane for close-air support (CAS) missions flown against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. Even more telling, the Air Force Material Command (AFMC) is bringing the depot line for A-10 maintenance and repair back up to full capacity, according to Aviation Week.

"They have re-geared up, we've turned on the depot line, we're building it back up in capacity and supply chain," AFMC chief Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski recently told Aviation Week. "Our command, anyway, is approaching this as another airplane that we are sustaining indefinitely."

In the current struggle against the Islamic State, a heavily armed and armored attack plane with a long loiter time—and the GAU-8 Avenger 30-millimeter gatling gun that holds 1,350 armor-piercing rounds—is significantly more useful than a stealthy, fast, software-laden fighter like the F-35.

To keep the A-10 fleet of 283 aircraft flying, Hill Air Force Base in Utah, where most of the A-10 maintenance and repair work is done, is continuing to prepare for increased capacity. According to Aviation Week, the A-10 division at Hill has improved the aircraft availability rate from about 63 to 68 percent in the past year, accounting for 87,000 flight hours worldwide in fiscal year 2015.


  1. Maybe. Is the Air Force getting more money? Doubtful. So where are they going to get the money to pay for this? That is the question. My betting is it's coming out of the F-15C budget.

  2. If you have ever seen the GAU-8 open up it is quite impressive. What is even better is the variety of stuff they can hang under the wing that can rearrange a landscape. I have always been a fan of the Warthog.

  3. When you look at the low intensity conflicts that we are primarily engaged in, the A-10 makes more sense than any other close support option that USAF has in inventory.

  4. Every once in a while common sense prevails.....doesn't happen often, so take note....