Congressional Panel Votes To Save A-10 Warthog

Retirement may be delayed.

A-10 Warthog
A-10 Warthog
A-10 WarthogU.S. Air Force

Even though it's likely only a temporary reprieve, it's still good news for supporters of the A-10 Thunderbolt II as backers seek to head off the iconic tank buster's imminent retirement. A House Armed Services Committee panel has voted to delay deactivation of the A-10, affectionately known as the Warthog, meaning the full House will now vote on the measure to keep the Air Force fleet flying.

Still, even if the A-10's retirement is put off for another year or two, supporters realize the Warthog's days are numbered. A Facebook group called Save the A-10 has been handing out t-shirts and encouraging a letter-writing campaign to leaders in Washington to delay a move to mothball the A-10. But even the group understands that a replacement for the A-10 is coming — they just want the Warthog to keep flying until that replacement arrives.

The Air Force in March announced it was considering retiring the A-10 in favor of newer aircraft such as the Lockheed Martin F-35. Critics, however, point out that the F-35 is far from being ready to take over the A-10 ground support combat role. The Armed Services Committee apparently agrees with that assessment. The panel's recommendation, if adopted by the full House, would delay fleet retirement for at least a year.

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