Today's Washington Post has an interesting article on the fight to save the A-10. Supporters point out that while the F-35 is supposed to take the place of the Warthog, the 'Hogs will be gone by 2019 and the F-35 isn't slated to be ready until 2021. And that's probably optimistic. As part of the debate, Sen. John McCain, himself a decorated Navy pilot and former POW, asked the questions that are on many minds, including Oppo's:
"We are going to do away with the finest close air support weapon in history?" he said at the news conference. "And we are then going to have some kind of nebulous idea of a replacement with an airplane that costs at least 10 times as much — and the cost is still growing — with the F-35? That's ridiculous. That's absolutely ridiculous."
On matters of military procurement, McCain's is often a strong voice. It remains to be seen if his opinion will sway the Pentagon bean counters.