A-10 Thunderbolts are one of the oldest fighter jet in the United States Air Force. The Pentagon has been seriously considering the retirement plans for the jets but this long term effort looks like a distant dream. One non-government think tank asked the Pentagon about the profit aspect of delaying the retirement. The Air Force has made it clear that the five year savings due to the decision would be as high as $4.2 billion.
The non-partisan organisation said that this estimate might be overstated or understated than the actual figure. The Government Accountability Office Report also pointed out the similar finding. The preliminary data would be sent to congress soon which may finalize the decision of retiring the entire fleet. The Air Force needs to buy new F35A Joint Strike Fighters and for that large amount of savings is important.
The Air Force officials maintained that the A-10 retirements are important for new purchases. General Mark Welsh, Air Force Chief of Staff told the law making body that the lack of flexibility and different needs of service makes A-10 unreliable. As of now Air Force uses different types of aircraft's like F-15, F-16 and B-1 for close air support mission.
The Government Accountability Office criticized Air Force’s parameters to evaluate usability of the A-10 and underlined the protection of the ground troops along with close air support missions. The congress has always kept funding the A-10 in its annual budget. Both Defense Department and the Pentagon are strictly against the funding.
Posted by April Wilson 7/29/15