Air Force’s Single-Mission Warthog Has Uncertain Future in Era of Budget Cuts

Posted October 1, 2013 at 4:53pm

As budget pressures force the Defense Department to rethink long-term spending plans, Air Force officials are openly admitting that their venerable fleet of A-10 Warthogs could be on the chopping block because the heavily armed planes simply do not top the priorities list, Roll Call reports.

The biggest strike against the A-10 is that it has only one job — to protect ground troops taking fire. And while considered critical by Army and Marine Corps combat units, close-air support has never been a favorite mission for Air Force pilots — who typically prefer high-flying sleek and stealthy aircraft to the slow-moving and aptly named Warthog.

Roll Call further reports on the A-10’s history: “The A-10 Warthog has been coming to the aid of ground combat troops since the Air Force received the first production plane in October 1975, with operations spanning nearly four decades and several continents.”