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Pentagon To Scrap Warplane The Islamic State Fears

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Defense Spending: The venerable A-10 Warthog, designed to stop Soviet tanks, and the perfect weapon to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State, as President Obama promised, faces a budgetary chopping block.

We have noted the irony of how Obama was going to war against the Islamic State with weapons systems he had scrapped, ending the production runs of the F-22 Raptor and Tomahawk cruise missiles. They were dismissed by the administration as relics of the Cold War even as Russia was rearming and trying to reassemble the old Soviet Union.

We’ve also mentioned the phasing out of the A-10 Thunderbolt, a close-support aircraft that entered service in 1972 and was designed to combat Soviet tank formations on a European battlefield.

Dubbed the “Warthog” because of its decidedly un-sleek profile, the A-10 has been found to be useful in another capacity in Iraq — attacking IS forces that don’t want to be on the business end of the Warthog’s 30 mm cannon as it flies low and slow over the battlefield.

As Iraqi News reported last week after an A-10 sortie against IS forces near Mosul: “The aircraft sparked panic in the ranks of ISIS and bombing its elements in spaces close to the ground.” Such strikes also prove the value of such a low-maintenance aircraft built to take the punishment expected in close air support.

“Elements of the terrorist organization targeted the aircraft with 4 Strella missiles, but that did not cause it any damage, prompting the remaining elements of the organization to leave the bodies of the dead and carry the wounded to escape,” according to the Iraqi report


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