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Report: John McCain-Led Group to Back A-10 Fleet Retention

A-10Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), potential chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is leading a group of lawmakers that have pledged their support for the A-10 Warthog aircraft amid Defense Department plans to retire the fleet, Reuters reported Thursday.

Patricia Zengerle writes that the Pentagon expects to save a total of $4.2 billion, such as planned upgrades, over the next five years if it shelves the A-10 in response to budget cuts due to the possible sequestration.

The report says the A-10 is popular with soldiers and works to withstand enemy fire and penetrate the armor of tanks and other targets on the ground with cannon rounds.

The Air Force has been working to reach a compromise with Congress on the retirement of only three squadrons of the A-10 fleet to reassign needed maintenance personnel to the F-35 program.

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