Receive our newsletter – data, insights and analysis delivered to you
February 7, 2017

USAF Chief says A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft to remain in service until 2021

US Air Force (USAF) Chief of Staff General David Goldfein has reportedly revealed plans to continue operation of its A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft fleet until 2021.

US Air Force (USAF) Chief of Staff General David Goldfein has reportedly revealed plans to continue operation of its A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft fleet until 2021.

Speaking to reporters during a breakfast meeting on 7 February, David Goldfein was quoted by Defense News as saying: "We’re going to keep them until 2021, and then as a discussion that we’ll have with [Defense] Secretary [Jim] Mattis and the department and the review over all of our budgets, that is what will determine the way ahead.”

The plans to retire A-10 were backed by a report released by the Government Accountability Office in August last year, FlightGlobal reported.

The report revealed that early divestment of the aircraft could be risky.

The A-10 Thunderbolt is the air force's high-survivability and versatile aircraft that is used to attack tanks, armoured vehicles and installations, and for close air support of ground forces.

The A-10 Thunderbolt was originally scheduled to be replaced by the new F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter jets.

Content from our partners
Bespoke harsh environment connector solutions set Omnetics apart from competitors
Growing opportunities for Unmanned Aerial Systems
Keeping the defence world connected with Smiths Interconnect
"The A-10 Thunderbolt was originally scheduled to be replaced by the new F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter jets."

The air force is planning to purchase 1,600 F-35As in order to modernise its fleet.

In a statement posted on the US Department of Defense website, Goldfein said: “The more F-35s we can procure in the shortest period of time to reduce aircraft age and get more heavily into the fifth-generation capabilities, the better.”

Besides F-35, the air force also needs to invest in new tanker aircraft, pay for the B-21 bomber programme and fund the nuclear modernisation programme.


Image: A fully armed A-10 Thunderbolt. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Blake R. Borsic.

Related Companies

NEWSLETTER Sign up Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. The top stories of the day delivered to you every weekday. A weekly roundup of the latest news and analysis, sent every Monday. The defence industry's most comprehensive news and information delivered every month.
I consent to GlobalData UK Limited collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
SUBSCRIBED

THANK YOU