Possible reprieve for the venerable A-10 Warthog

Report says supply chain is ramping up for refurb and electronics upgrade

“Uglier things have been spotted in the sky, but not by reliable witnesses” – and, in the case of the A10 “Warthog”, it'll be the ugliest thing in the sky for a lot longer than the US Air Force wanted.

Devoted to the Toothless Tiger Moth, the F-35, the Air Force wants the ancient-but-nearly-indestructible A-10 decommissioned.

That's not going to happen, if this (paywalled) report in Aviation Week is accurate.

It quotes general Ellen Pawlikowski as saying suppliers are gearing up to keep the Warthog in the air, and her Materiel Command is rebuilding capacity and supply chain to keep the A-10 flying indefinitely.

Instead of being grounded in 2018, wings will be replaced and electronics will get an upgrade, with an eye to having the close-support attack jet in the air at least until 2028.

The decision is going to be a blow for the troubled F-35 project, since the A-10's budget allocation was meant to be redirected to help the F-35 project get back on track.

The F-35 has been plagued with delays: its buggy software is behind time, the pilot's helmet has been redesigned so as not to kill the wearer, and tail-winds can cause runway fires. ®


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