The A-10 fleet currently averages 8,400 flight hours, but Col. James Ratti, A-10 system program manager at the Ogden Air Logistics Center, Hill AFB, Utah, told reporters Wednesday that the precise engagement upgraded C model Warthog should retire with 16,000 flight hours. It will be in the service’s inventory until at least 2028 and will begin to “ramp down” with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s presence. At this point, Ratti said, the A-10 is about halfway through its service life. The PE program “ushers in a whole second lifetime for the A-10 in terms of capability and relevancy on today’s battlefield,” he added.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.