16:23 GMT +3 hours01 July 2016
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US Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II

US Air Force’s A-10 Warthog to Keep Fighting Daesh and 'Russian Aggression'

© AFP 2016/ TED ALJIBE
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The US Air Force will delay retirement of the A-10 Warthog indefinitely, citing the ongoing threat of Daesh – and Russian "aggression."

Designed to house a massive 30mm rotary cannon, the A-10 Thunderbolt II is one of the US military’s most effective attack aircraft. Highly maneuverable and capable of flying low at slow speeds, the A-10’s heavy firepower makes it uniquely adept at taking out heavy ground artillery.

But despite its competence, the A-10 is aging. First inducted into service in 1976, the Air Force stopped producing the aircraft in 1984, making the newest Warthogs in the Pentagon’s arsenal 32 years old.

The plane is long overdue for retirement, and the Air Force has long considered an end to the A-10 as a way to save money, particularly in light of the growing expenses of the F-35 joint strike fighter program.

But according to Pentagon officials speaking to Defense One on condition of anonymity, the Air Force has shelved any plans of retiring the A-10. The officials say the aircraft is too valuable in the fight against Daesh.

The news has already been welcomed by a number of US lawmakers. For Arizona Senator John McCain, the A-10 is not only an invaluable asset against militant groups, but also crucial to stymie "Russian aggression."

"Today, the A-10 fleet is playing an indispensable role in the fight against ISIL in Iraq and assisting NATO’s efforts to deter Russian aggression in Eastern Europe," McCain, chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement.

"With growing global chaos and turmoil on the rise, we simply cannot afford to prematurely retire the best close air support weapon in our arsenal without fielding a proper replacement."

The Air Force has not yet confirmed the plan, with a spokeswoman telling Reuters that there was “no information at this time” on the A-10’s fate. The Air Force’s budget for fiscal year 2017 will be released next month, and could offer more concrete insights.

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Tags:
Thunderbolt II, Warthog, A-10, Daesh, Pentagon, US Air Force, John McCain, Syria, Iraq, Russia, United States
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  • karlof1
    I recall the Neocons writing a document entitled Rebuilding America's Defenses prior to their being handed power by the US Supreme Court in 2000. Yet, they went on an illegal invasion and regime change spree that totally neglected their initial charge. Smart move Neocons doubled down by Obama and his brand of neoliberalcons.
  • Randall Lee Hilburn
    The A-10 really is an excellent aircraft, not like the usual junk the US produces.
    It will no doubt be replaced in time by something vastly more expensive but nowhere near as effective. That is the usual American way of doing things. Corporate profit before all else.

    As to the idiot McCain's insane babbling about Russian aggression. We all know that is a complete fabrication and hallucination of his defective brain.
  • "Russian aggression" in terms of? I do not get him. Has he been smoking it again?
  • Andreas
    Please give us a viable link to the asserted statement of this Republican senator.

    I am sure that you and me will miss President Barack Obama quite soon in 2017.

    > For Arizona Senator John McCain, the A-10 is not only an invaluable asset against militant groups, but also crucial to stymie "Russian aggression."
  • michael
    another sign of a failing economy.
  • OK. McCain is the one who said Russian aggression. That accounts for the utter stupidity of the remark.
  • Andreas Koppa
    The A-10 "was" a good ground-attack plane providing the enemy lacks of air superiority. Otherwise it is a sitting duck. In short it can´t withstand conventional war operations. That's why it was meant to be replaced by the F-35 which so far is a complete failure.
  • Not going to fight the terrorists and will spy on Russia's army to help said terrorists.. better said
  • cast235
    Those things will be burning so fast, U.s won't be able to replace them in time. Dumb IDEA. U.S U.k, France , Germany NATO are far more dangerous than DAESH.
    Because they control the media, U.N and int courts. And organizations. And they united into topple governments, destroy countries and split them apart. Like Yugoslavia. Perhaps Yugoslavia should had stay Soviet and in Russia. No one would had died from NATO bombings. It would still be intact.
    They so dangerous they despotically, did a coup d etat in Ukraine that is seeing thousands of women and babies dead, and still say is Russia.
    Russia MUST understand that they far more dangerous than DAESH. And want to pretend they super powerful.
  • Andreas
    Where is the viable link ?

    Where is it ?

    In a political sense: Konservendose ?
  • Mitach2002
    Russia needs to stop being so aggressive towards Americian created terrorists.
  • Al SAN
    The old man is been telling nonsense for years. The super "hero" has been due for retirement but doctors keep him alive by using russo phobic vitamins
  • Bob Hofererin reply tomichael(Show commentHide comment)
    michael, Again, you are 'spot' on.
  • Bob Hofererin reply toMitach2002(Show commentHide comment)
    Mitach2002, I like your 'observation'.
  • Bob Hoferer
    The 'old' plane has been a TRUE war horse for years. Give it a 'small' injection and it will live on for many more years. It can perform stunts these NEW birds only wish they could.
  • ivanwa88
    McCain failed to explain his love for warthog... it can kill hundreds of people in one arc! works great on Middle Eastern countries... what he's really saying is if ive got anything to do with it we aint finished yet! Hopefully God will see its time he retired.
  • linebackerk
    They can keep them but it won't be flying anywhere near the Pantsir-s1 or Tunguska m1. either one will blast them out of the sky. s-300 won't even needed.
  • Shue
    Yeah right, successful against defenceless countries.
  • Reginald Frackenwhip Spaulding
    I highly doubt the Russkies are scheiss'ing their bryuki over some 32-year-old A-10s....
  • tobi.gelando
    Mc. Caine, Mc. Caine it seams you have again forgotten to take your pill's. Or have you token the wrong new pill's !!
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