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The A10 Thunderbolt II should be retired?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/3/2018 Category: Technology
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 631 times Debate No: 112298
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Keba Nelson
April 3rd, 2018
The A10 Warthog's Life

I DEEPLY believe the United States should keep the A10 "Warthog" Thunderbolt II in service for another 10-15 years. The A10 is one of most effective and inexpensive CAS vehicles in the United States. However, I really hope the government considers funding Fairchild Republic to produce an upgrade A10 Warthog maybe adding in stealth capabilities. A lot of rumors have been going around saying that the F-35 will be replacing the A10. I find this to be utterly ridiculous. In an article by CNN, Zachary Cohen, and Jeremy Herb states that "Unlike the multi-role F-35, the A-10 is the only airplane in the Air Force specifically designed for close-air support, a mission that has become urgent in the fight against ISIS, according to Air Force officials. The A-10 is able to target enemy forces up close without risking friendly fire casualties because the pilots are flying slow enough to visually distinguish between enemy and friendly forces. But while the first wave of F-35s is currently being deployed for combat, the program's history of delays and cost overruns has caused the Pentagon to consider extending the operational life of the A-10 to meet the demands of the counter-ISIS mission." So in conclusion, I'm heavily supporting the A10 Warthog's life extension.

- Keba Nelson (Highschooler)


First I'd like to offer a rebuttal to your arguments for the extension of the A-10's lifespan. You argue that the A-10 is especially effective because of it's ability to target enemies up close allowing pilots to distinguish between friend and foe.

This point is irrelevant. The US military has other vehicles that can do this even more effectively, the AH-64 Apache Helicopter for example. This vehicle can even hover in order to get more accurate verification of targets. The Apache is potentially more effective since it is operated by the same branch of military as the forces on the ground; the Army. While the A-10 is associated with the Air Force. The lines of communication would be simplified in coordinating support since only one chain of command would be needed to authorize missions. The A-10 is not the only effective close air support the military has and is subject to factors that could limit it's effectiveness. Using the Apache in tandem with the F-35 can provide more effective close air support; the A-10 is not needed.

You also mention the cost of the A-10's as another reason for a life extension as if the military could save money by keeping the A-10's around.

This is not true. The military is not going to stop using the Apache and its not going to stop developing the F-35. Adding more aircraft into the lineup does not save money.

Now my argument for discontinuing the A-10 is about business. The US wants to sell the F-35. Yes, the F-35 cost a lot of money to develop, you are aware of this. How do you propose the government recuperate the expenses? By continuing to showcase the older cheaper A-10? No, that's bad business. The US would be competing with itself to it's own loss. By showcasing the F-35's ability to do everything it effectively sells the aircraft. The country simply doesn't make money on the A-10. The A-10 should be retired in order to showcase and sell more lucrative aircraft.
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