Russia Would Destroy the A-10 Warthog in a War. The F-35B Could Take Its Place.

    Dave Majumdar


    Would this work? 

    The United States Air Force recently issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a program called the A-10 Thunderbolt Advanced-Wing Continuation Kit—or ATTACK—to fit new wings onto the venerable close air support jet.

    Once the Air Force selects a vendor, there would be a contracting period followed by five years of firm orders plus options for two more years of production. The Air Force intends to order the kit as an indefinite quantity contract—which the service defines as having contract minimum of the first article plus three Low Rate Initial Production articles. The maximum production number would be 112 each of wing sets and 15 kits. The winning bidder would not have to deliver the first low rate production kits until 2029.

    The kits would not be sufficient to re-wing all of the so-called “thin wing” A-10s, but the order quantity and timing would be enough to keep enough Warthogs flying in six super-sized squadrons into the 2040s. That means that out of the roughly 280 A-10s in service, about 80 jets would be retired eventually. But the Air Force is only keeping the Warthog in service because of pressure from the U.S. Congress, which has refused to allow the service to retire the A-10. Instead, the Boeing F-15C Eagle is likely going to be on the chopping block.

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