Here's what's wrong with the A-10
"The Air Force seems to have at least temporarily adjusted to keeping it (the A-10) but, longer term, this debate is going to come up again and again. How do you develop the same capabilities if the A-10 is retired?" asked the highest ranking democrat on the committee, Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island.Goldfein began his response by committing to retain the same close air support (CAS) capabilities the A-10 currently provides in the air force of the future, and giving high praise to the Air Force's current A-10 operators.Advertisement
"I'm as concerned about the A-10 community as I am the A-10 platform," said Goldfein. He referred to the A-10 community as the "PhD force when it comes to CAS."
But Goldfein did seem focused on the need for discussion of the future of CAS beyond the A-10, but one that includes the important lessons learned by the A-10 crews."Anyone who does close air support tries to reach the level that the A-10 community has achieved," he said. Goldfein suggested we "go back to the doctors of CAS and say 'what is the future of close air support?'"
"Why is it that I have to do all the work on collateral damage estimates when I have a machine that can help me do that?"dynamic" situations, or where targets have not been deliberately selected before hand. In these moments, A-10 pilots need to make do-or-die situations about who to fire on, how long and what to fire, and at what risk. Advertisement
So although the A-10 is a capable, durable, and beloved platform, it leaves a few things to be desired for "the future of CAS."