At one time, the A-10 Warthog was thought to have outlived its usefulness – but like a cat with nine lives this old war machine keeps finding new ways to reinvent itself and become a valuable battlefield asset. What is its latest task? It just happens to have the important role of hammering ISIS’ troops on the ground in Syria and Iraq. The A-10 has been doing this task so well in a limited support role that new funds are being asked for approval to increase the A-10’s presence even more in the important struggle against ISIS.
This is a big change in thinking from 2014 when it appeared the A-10 would join numerous other outdated aircraft in the military aircraft graveyard in Arizona. Several proponents of the aircraft such as Senator John McCain of Arizona and Rep. Martha McSally of Arizona are fighting hard to keep it a part of the Air Force’s inventory. Interestingly enough, McSally is actually a former A-10 pilot and that speaks volumes as to how much she believes in this aircraft’s value and usefulness to America’s military.
Neither of them wants this aircraft scrapped until an equivalent or better model close air support one is ready to take its place. It’s hard to imagine why people want to retire the A-10 when it is currently serving key roles in the battle against ISIS, as a countermeasure to Russia’s tank force in Eastern Europe and in the first line of defense against any attack from North Korea on South Korea. Those are some pretty key roles for an aircraft that people are considering retiring to say the least.
Military commanders have long said they have other aircraft that can do the work of the A-10 “capably” but cannot do it as well. That begs the question, if you were a soldier on the ground would you want to be working in unison with an aircraft that could help protect you “capably” or one that was put on the drawing board and specifically designed for close air support roles? The A-10 is nearly impervious to ground fire, has extremely lethal firepower and can easily coordinate attacks with the troops on the ground. It’s no wonder the Marines and the Army alike love this aircraft so much.
Why is it such an asset in the fight against ISIS? The biggest vulnerability to the A-10 is its susceptibility to attack from aircraft and surface to air missiles; these are things which ISIS either does not possess or have only very small quantities of. That makes these heavily armed and low flying beasts able to perform their missions against ISIS superbly. Not to mention that these aircraft not only perform their close assault missions more capably than any more modern aircraft, they also do it with far less operational costs.
Given all of this, it seems that the A-10 may survive well into the future fulfilling a key ground support role for our troops and be a major factor if and when we eradicate the pestilence known as ISIS.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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