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Warplanes: When The Truth Is Toxic


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StrategyPage

June 23 2022

U.S. Air Force leadership are now accused of serious misbehavior (criminally deceiving Congress) by deliberately lying to Congress about their plans for the A-10 ground attack aircraft. *The recent leaks include briefings describing how air force leaders planned to continue undermining the A-10 but deliberately sabotaging promised upgrades and sustainment (money for maintenance and operations of A-10s). The leaked documents included mention of the importance of keeping all of this from going public. That’s where the air force crossed the line into criminal conduct.

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At one point the air force argued that the F-35 could replace the A-10 as a ground attack aircraft. One of the problems with using F-35s is that this aircraft costs more than twice as much an hour to operate. Moreover, only the A-10 can regularly go low and strafe enemy forces. F-16s and F-35s are too fast and unarmored to get away with that. The A-10 was designed to take a lot of hits and keep flying. A-10s have regularly demonstrated this durability and reliability. Finally, the air force admitted it would take fifteen years and a lot of money to develop an A-10 replacement. The current plan is to eventually turn that dangerous duty to a new generation of UAVs. This is something Predator and Reaper UAVs have already been handling, except for the low altitude strafing duty. This is often used to intimidate a stubborn foe and that still works. The A-10 makes a lot of noise when coming in low, with part of the racket coming from its 30mm autocannon. Again, this has been proven time and again. It is not a theoretical capability but very real and still in demand. No aircraft will ever duplicate that. If the A-10 manages to last until in 2040 it will have been in service 73 years, fifty of them after being declared obsolete at the end of the Cold War. Now that record endurance will include secret and illegal efforts by air force leaders to eliminate the A-10.

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* New Document Shows How the Air Force is Starving the A-10 Fleet

 

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