A US Air Force A/OA-10 Thunderbolt II surrounded by a cloud of gun smoke. The Air Force wants to send the A-10 to boot hill to keep funding for the wounded F-35 intact.
US Air Force
The Warthog may live to fly another day—or another year, for that matter. The A-10 Thunderbolt II, the venerable Cold War era attack plane built by the now-defunct Fairchild Aerospace Corporation, has fans in Congress pushing for its continued funding despite the threat of a presidential veto of the entire Department of Defense budget.
As part of its budget plans for 2015, the Air Force had planned to retire its entire fleet of A-10 attack planes. But the Senate Armed Services Committee appears poised to throw a monkey wrench into that strategy, which was aimed at freeing money to boost spending on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.
On May 20, Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, told reporters that he and a group of other Armed Services committee members have found a way to move hundreds of millions of dollars from other parts of the Air Force’s budget to keep A-10s flying. Levin said that the budgetary moves stayed within the total budget presented by the Department of Defense and did not pull from the Pentagon’s overseas contingency operations funding.
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