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IFC 2022: USAF set to launch A-10 divestment

Having been unsuccessful in its previous attempts, the US Air Force now looks set to begin the divestment of its A-10 fleet. (US AIr Force)

The US Air Force (USAF) is set to launch the long-sought divestment of its fleet of Fairchild-Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II ground attack aircraft, with the first aircraft pencilled in to go to the ‘boneyard' in fiscal year (FY) 2023.

Speaking at the IQPC International Fighter conference 2022 (IFC 2022) in Berlin, Lieutenant General Richard Moore, deputy chief of staff for Plans and Programs, said that the first batch of aircraft will shortly be retired from their front-line squadrons as the service plans to consolidate its combat aircraft types from seven to five (known as ‘four plus one', with the one now being the Collaborative Combat Aircraft [CCA] loyal wingman concept).

“The seven different fighter types will collapse down to four, or four plus one that used to include the A-10 but which now includes the CCA instead,” Gen Moore said. “I believe 2023 will be the year the first A-10s are going to retire from Fort Wayne [Air National Guard Station], Indiana, to be replaced by [Lockheed Martin] F-16s.”

The USAF currently has 230 A-10C aircraft in its inventory, operated across nine squadrons. The divestment is not assured, but for the first time, the FY 2023 defence appropriations bill contains no language that would prohibit the USAF from making such a move, as was the case in previous years.

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