Chinese CAIC Z-10 attack helicopters

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>that nearly all of their combat platforms *can* perform the mission

Sure, but being capable, and having a specialist aircraft are two very different things. As I outlined below, the Air Force doesn’t have an interest in CAS because their spending on it is so low, especially compared to specialised air superiority fighters.

But this doesn’t actually demonstrate why scrapping it is a bad idea.

[Statistics provided by Air Combat Command said A-10s have provided 32 percent of combat sorties in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. The sorties ranged from 27,800 to 34,500 annually between 2009 and 2012. In 2013, they have reached 11,189 as of June 30.](http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/archive/2013/September/Pages/FighttoKeepA-10WarthoginAirForceInventoryReachesEndGame.aspx)

[Plus the A-10 is almost 3 times as expensive to operate, and nearly 10x as expensive to build, while performing above average in no task assigned to it](http://www.democracyarsenal.org/2013/12/can-the-.html)

>The idea that the Air Force doesn’t care about anything other than fighters is a myth and an incredibly stupid one at that.

To quote Adm. James Winnefeld, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

>”Is the F-35 going to be as good a close-air support platform as an A-10? I don’t think anybody believes that, But is the A-10 going to be the air-to-air platform that the F-35 is going to be? So again, the Air Force is trying to get as much multimission capability into the limited number of platforms it’s going to have.”

[Further, Franklin C. Spinney, the pentagon official, wrote an article arguing exactly this for the small wars journal](http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/should-the-af-retire-the-a-10-a-seminar-on-a-seminal-question)

The question I ask is, if the A-10 is removed, then what replaces it? There won’t be enough F-35s to both play interceptor and provide CAS for at least another 10 years, and there isn’t really much evidence backing its performance as a ground attack aircraft.

Further to this, I ask you why CAS is the Air force’s responsibilty at all, which is the point of my argument. It’s an arbitrary decision, that places resources in Air Force hands that they don’t really want.

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