The US Air Force is now preparing for future battle, announcing some major makeovers to its arsenal. The huge makeover will target legacy platforms or older aircraft that may not be suitable for a future battle against a near-peer adversary like China or Russia. Unfortunately, the latest USAF’s decision places the aging A-10 Warthog on the potential chopping block.

As mentioned by Military.com, the USAF is considering divesting legacy capabilities and platforms that are not suited for future war.

This means that the service is now ready to chop off older aircraft from its current inventory. The idea is to stop spending money on programs that simply won’t work on the future battlefield.

At the recent 2019 Defense News Conference, the Air Force said that more resources should be spent on advanced programs instead of sustaining legacy platforms During a panel on the USAF program prioritization, Lt.

General Timothy Fay, USAF deputy chief of staff for strategy, told the media that the Air Force needs to divest some of its older planes and replace them with brand new and more advanced aircraft. The Air Force general also confirmed that the service is focusing on four major areas. These areas are space, multi-domain command and control, logistics under attack, and generated combat power.

The Air Force will keep the A-10 in its arsenal

The USAF is considering divesting legacy platforms as part of the US Defense Department-wide review directed by Mark Esper, the current Secretary of US Defense Department.

As the highest official in the Defense Department, Esper spearheaded a similar night court effort to divert funds from legacy department programs and then refocus those funds on new efforts needed to combat fast-growing rival countries like China and Russia.

Luckily, the aging A-10 Warthog will not be included in the list of the legacy platforms that the Air Force plans to retire or chop off in Air Force’s upcoming fiscal year 2021 budget request.

A senior Defense official confirmed this story, according to Defense News.

The A-10 Warthog was hit again by "retirement rumors" after acting Air Force Secretary Matt Donovan stoked speculation that the USAF will retire the aging attack plane after a recent announcement that the Air Force's fiscal year 2021 budget request will include "controversial changes" such as divestment of legacy platform or aircraft.

However, Lt. General Timothy Fay confirmed that the aging ground attack plane is not included in the chopping block and that the combat aircraft will stay in service until 2030.

This is not the first time the aircraft has been hit by retirement controversy. There were many unsuccessful requests to retire the attack plane, but US lawmakers rejected every attempt. A major battle was fought in the US Congress for the future of the A-10.

Fortunately, US lawmakers prevailed and the Air Force decided to keep the A-10 in its fiscal year 2018 budget request but declined to include the procurement of new wings to its fiscal budget. Instead, the Air Force bumped it into the "unfunded wish list" that it gives to the US Congress every year.

The Air Force restarts a major overhaul for the A-10 fleet

This year, the Air Force has restarted a major overhaul to replace the wings on a portion of the A-10 aircraft.

In August, an initial $240 million contract was awarded to Boeing to produce all 27 new wing sets. The Air Force has already placed new wings on 173 A-10 Warthogs, including one that crashed. This was made under the service’s previous contract with Boeing. But the Air Force’s 109 A-10 Warthogs are still using old wings and replacements for that aircraft, which could cost the service as much as $999 million, according to Defense News.

The Defense News also learned that the USAF are still not committed to replacing the wings on all 281 A-10 Warthogs.

Lt. General Jerry Harris also confirmed this during the 2018 House Armed Services Committee panel. Gen. Harris said that they are not confident that they will be able to fly all of the A-10s that the service currently possesses in its arsenal.

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