Lt. Col. Ryan Richardson, 514th Flight Test Squadron commander and A-10 test pilot, makes a smoky landing after a functional check flight on an A-10 Thunderbolt II, tail no. 80-0252 at Hill AFB, Utah, on July 25, 2019. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd.
The Air Force this week awarded Boeing a contract worth up to almost $1 billion to expand its effort to add new wings to A-10s, shortly after wrapping up a previous initiative that replaced wings on most of the fleet.
“The Air Force currently has a fleet of 281 A-10s and recently announced the completion of wing replacements for 173 A-10 aircraft, by Boeing, from an earlier contract award,” the service said in an Aug. 21 release. The Aug. 21 contract allows the Air Force to re-wing up to 109 aircraft, plus three spares, “depending on how many aircraft are needed for the future,” the service said.
Warthogs appear set to remain in service through the 2030s, after a recent debate about whether to retire the attack plane that ended with the Air Force keeping the platform in its inventory. Offering Boeing more funds for new A-10 wings on the remainder of the fleet can help keep the plane viable into the future.
Boeing receives about $240 million for an initial 27 wing sets upon award. The 11-year contract covers work in the US and South Korea, and is expected to run through Aug. 23, 2030.
The company expects to deliver the contract’s first wing sets to Hill AFB, Utah. It will also partner with Korean Aerospace Industries and other suppliers on the effort.
“Our established supply base, experience with the A-10 structures, and our in-depth knowledge of the US Air Force’s requirements will help us deliver high-quality wings to meet the customer’s critical need,” Pam Valdez, vice president of Air Force services for Boeing Global Services, said.