• The Air Force Has Struck A Final Blow On The A-10

    Talks are now over, and officials have come to a decision: the Air Force won’t be selling the A-10 abroad to any foreign buyers at any point in time.

    The response dashed the hopes of Boeing, the aircraft’s defacto prime contractor, which hoped to refurbish the planes and ship them out to other buyers, but the Air Force’s plan for a cost savings of $4.2 billion entails sending the A-10 to the boneyard instead, Flightglobal reports.

    “There are no anticipated sales of A-10 aircraft to anyone,” Air Force spokeswoman Melissa Milner told Flightglobal.

    In June, Boeing Vice President Chris Raymond stated at the Paris Air Show that given the Air Force’s plans to sideline the aircraft, the company was interested in selling it abroad to U.S. allies like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates—two countries which have shown interest.

    “There’s been talk about what the international opportunities might be,” Raymond said at the time. “We’re going to stay close to the U.S. Air Force in this case. They have to make some decisions about what they actually have that they’re willing to declare as excess defense articles and so it’s really not our place to speculate on that.”

    Fairchild-Republic developed the A-10 Warthog in the 1970s, but as the contractor has since dissolved, Boeing ended up as project head and is working on refurbishing the A-10s with 173 new wing sets.  (RELATED: Boeing Plans To Sell The A-10s Abroad Because The Air Force Doesn’t Want Them)

    The Air Force has aggressively tried to retire the aircraft in recent years, forwarding a proposal in the 2015 budget to finally sideline the fleet best known for close-air support. Despite failing, the service tried again in 2016, saying that budget constraints has forced it to make a hard choice between the A-10 and the F-35.

    While Congress has allowed the service to transfer 21 A-10s into storage, it has succeeded in blocking efforts to retire the fleet entirely. Lawmakers have pointed to the A-10s deployment in multiple countries as justification for keeping the program alive. Aside from performing sorties against the Islamic State, the A-10s are also being used by the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron in Poland as a part of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

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