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Reports: Air Force to Operate A-10 Aircraft Through 2021

Air Force Chief of Staff David Goldfein has said the U.S. Air Force will continue to use the A-10 Warthog aircraft for the service branch’s close-air support missions until 2021, Defense News reported Tuesday.

Valerie Insinna writes the Air Force general told reporters that the Defense Department will discuss plans for the future of the A-10 fleet, which was initially slated for retirement in 2018.

Goldfein added he wants the discussion on close-air support mission to move from a “platform-centric” discourse to a “family of systems” approach.

Aviation Week’s Lara Seligman reported the Air Force also mulls the procurement of 300 light-attack aircraft to support A-10s and other CAS planes in the fight against the Islamic State militant group.

Goldfein said the service branch may explore commercial-off-the-shelf designs for light fighters and engage companies such as Textron in the effort, according to the report.

The Air Force sent a budget request to President Donald Trump in January that includes an additional $8 million to study low-cost, low-end fighter aircraft, Seligman wrote.

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