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Flight of the Warthog

5:59 PM, May 5, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
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The fight to keep the A-10 flying continues and those who believe in the ugly bird saw their high opinion of it validated recently when, as David Axe of War Is Boring writes:

Two squadrons of A-10 Warthog attack planes scored a military record in Louisiana in March, shooting down unprecedented numbers of “enemy” aircraft during an intensive war game.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has characterized the A-10 as a “40-year-old, single-purpose airplane originally designed to kill enemy tanks on a Cold War battlefield.”

To which an officer who participated in the war games took exception, saying:

“Single-purpose, single-mission? My ass. That bird out there kicks ass.” 

The officer pointed out that:

The armored A-10 carries missiles and bombs and packs a powerful 30-millimeter cannon. In 1991, a Warthog used its gun to shoot down an Iraqi helicopter. A-10s sank enemy warships during the 2011 international intervention in Libya.

The Warthog is the Corsair of its time. The famous gull-winger fighter that scored so many victories against Japanese Zeros in the Pacific proved itself reliable and versatile in the Korean War, for which the United States was woefully unprepared.  The piston-engined Corsair flew close-air support for troops on the ground and even scored a victory over a Russian-built MiG-15 jet-fighter.  

It is obsolete, one would think, when it stops working.  And the Warthog still gets it done.

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