As a means of extending the performance of its current A-10 aircraft fleet, the Air Force recently awarded a contract to replace wings on over 100 planes.
Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ), a former A-10 pilot and the first female to command a squadron of A-10’s in combat, said the effort would cover the remaining A-10 wing replacements – allowing the fleet to fly well into the 2030s.
“As a former A-10 pilot and commander of an A-10 squadron in combat, I know how critical the Warthog is to our military’s success in the air and on the ground,” McSally said. “I led the fight to keep the A-10 from being mothballed and to secure this re-winging funding, so it is good to see the contract awarded to start re-winging immediately—before any planes are grounded.”
Since 2015, McSally has secured over $347 million to revitalize the A-10 re-wing initiative and drafted provisions in multiple defense authorization bills, leading the Air Force to reverse its decision to retire the aircraft. This has opened the opportunity for a fly-off between the A-10 and the F-35, the Air Force’s newest, fifth-generation fighter jet, showcasing the A-10’s ability to out-perform other platforms in specific combat scenarios such as close air support and combat search and rescue missions.
McSally said troops rely on the A-10’s ability to provide close air support and combat search and rescue.
“The A-10 was specifically designed for these types of missions, so having it in the fight can make the difference between lives lost and lives saved,” she said. “This contract will ensure we maintain this platform’s critical capabilities into the next decade and beyond.”