Whether one looks at the A-10 (pictured) and thinks “totally awesome” or “inexplicably ugly”, fans of the aptly nicknamed Warthog can rejoice (for now at least), as Washington’s recently-signed National Defense Authorisation Act has blocked the USAF from retiring any more examples until at least the end of this year. As The DEW Line notes, the A-10 could have been an easy cost-cutting target now that NATO’s Afghanistan campaign is winding down – but fears that a critical close air support capability could be lost before the replacement Lockheed Martin F-35 is ready appear to have been recognised. And, speaking of close air support, Arie “Ariel View” Egozi writes from Tel Aviv that Israeli air force and ground units have been running major joint exercises with Black Hawk helicopters, to practice transporting troops and evacuating injured soldiers from the battlefield.
Week on the web 14 January
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