Defense One: Air Force to Postpone A-10 Retirement, Retain Plane for Anti-Islamic State Campaign

A-10 PCAS testThe U.S. Air Force has agreed to postpone its plan to retire the A-10 Warthog due to increased demand to use the attack planes against the Islamic State militant group, Defense One reported Wednesday.

Marcus Weisgerber writes the defense budget request for fiscal year 2017, which the Pentagon will submit to Congress in February, will cover the change of plans on the A-10.

The service branch still aims to eventually decommission the aging fleet to accommodate newer aircraft and capabilities, the report said.

“With growing global chaos and turmoil on the rise, we simply cannot afford to prematurely retire the best close-air support weapon in our arsenal without fielding a proper replacement,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told Defense One.

In 2014, McCain led a group of lawmakers who have pledged support for the A-10 after the Air Force first revealed its plan to shelve the program.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh has said the fleet’s retirement would free up money amid the budget uncertainty.

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