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New Wings for A-10 May Keep it Flying Past 2030: Air Force Secretary

A U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot breaks right and releases flares over Afghanistan after completing aerial refueling operations with a KC-135 Stratotanker in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel, March 12, 2018. (U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Gregory Brook)
A U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot breaks right and releases flares over Afghanistan after completing aerial refueling operations with a KC-135 Stratotanker in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel, March 12, 2018. (U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Gregory Brook)

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said Friday that new wings for the workhorse A-10 Thunderbolt will keep the close-air support aircraft in the inventory for another dozen years or more.

Last week, Wilson told the House Armed Services Committee that funding for the re-winging of the A-10s in the fiscal year 2018 budget would keep the "Warthogs" flying at least to 2030.

At an Air Force Association breakfast Friday, Wilson extended the potential retirement date for the A-10, whose first production model was delivered in 1975. She said the A-10s would remain in the fleet to 2030 "and possibly beyond."

Last year, the Air Force told Congress that 110 of the 283 A-10s in its fleet were in danger of being permanently grounded unless money was appropriated to re-wing them.

The $1.3 trillion omnibus spending packaged signed by President Donald Trump last week included $103 million requested by the service for the re-winging.

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@Military.com.

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