Wing cracks take out half of A-10 fleet
As of early December, 168 attack jets — nearly half the service’s 356 Warthogs — remain grounded because of wing cracks. Those planes should be repaired by June, said Maj. David Ruth, A-10 weapons system team chief at Air Combat Command headquarters, Langley Air Force Base, Va.
The grounding began Oct. 3 after inspectors at Ogden Air Logistics Center in Utah, where A-10s are sent for major overhauls and upgrades, raised concerns about wing cracks.
An A-10 Thunderbolt II flies a close-air-support mission over Afghanistan on Oct. 7. The A-10 has excellent maneuverability at low air speeds and altitude, and are highly accurate weapons-delivery platforms. The first production A-10A was delivered to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., in October 1975. It was designed specially for the close-air-support mission and had the ability to combine large military loads, long loiter and wide combat radius, which proved to be vital assets to the United States and its allies during Operation Desert Storm and Operation Noble Anvil. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon)
Pilots have been rotating from base to base in order to get flying hours during the grounding.
What we need is a way to build more of these bad birds.