And now it can be seen:
The article discusses the USAFs numerous attempts to kill the A-10. Realistically, it’s days are numbered. yes, it would be awesoem to have more. Even more yes, it would be great for the Army and Marine Corps to ahve a bunch of their own. But the newest A-10 is decades old, the production lines and tooling are long gone. There won’t be any more. Spare parts are dwindling, expertise is going away.
The A-10 needs a replacement, but sadly nothing quite like the A-10 is in the offing. Hilariously, there are those who think the F-35 will do the job. More likely, the actual job of the A-10 of getting down in the weeds will be done by drones. An A-10 can get in low and slow and take a beating; an F-35 probably can’t really get low and slow, and it certainly can’t take a beating. A drone can get low and slow, and who cares if it gets blown out of the sky… it’s a drone.
It would be great if a direct replacement could be manufactured. it might even look like the A-10. But due to the fact that any new aircraft is necessarily going to be designed from the ground up with all-new components, it won’t *be* an A-10.
What would be great is if the US Army told the USAF to go piss up a rope, and the Army embarks on the development of a fixed-wing ground support platform of their own, perhaps in cahoots with the Marines. A modern “A-10” with the same or better capabilities, using modern materials (but still metals rather than composites, since metals are more flak-tolerant), modern electronics, modern engines. Heck, design it to be “optionally manned,” with a two-man version flying in the midst of a swarm of unmanned hunter-killers.