Super Warthog: The Last-Ditch Effort to Save the A-10 Warthog From an Early Retirement

The Super Warthog would bring the A-10's unmatched ability to support troops on the ground to the next level – and of course, it would keep the aging Warthog in service for many more decades.
Warthogs over Idaho

The A-10 is one of the most iconic aircraft in the entire history of the USAF. But, it is being forced into early retirement, though many are opposed to letting go of this American military aviation icon.

The best proposal to keep the Warthog active for longer is to modernize it and launch a Super Warthog. By increasing the A-10’s ability to support troops on the ground today, it will be able to destroy almost any armored vehicle in the 21st century too.

The A-10 Warthog is at risk

Super Warthog,Warthogs in the dirt
Warthogs in the dirt by John Winn. Public Domain.

The A-10 is a single-seat aircraft designed for close air support of ground troops. It first flew in 1975 and entered service with the US Air Force in 1977. The aircraft has been used extensively in combat, most notably in the 1991 Gulf War, where it proved its worth by taking out Iraqi tanks.


However, with the advent of newer and more advanced aircraft, the Warthog is starting to show its age.

And the US Military is currently evaluating several options for replacing the Warthog. Still, none of the proposed replacements seem to offer the same combination of firepower, maneuverability, and armor protection that the Warthog does.

As a result, the US military is considering an upgrade program that would keep the Warthog in service for many years to come.


The Super Warthog

Rise and shine Warthogs
Rise and shine Warthogs by John Winn. Public Domain.

The Super Warthog would be an upgraded version of the venerable plane that could extend its service life by decades. Experts consider it would be equipped with new engines, avionics, and other improvements.

The Super Warthog would be more fuel efficient and have more power than the current A-10. Also, it would also be able to carry more weapons and stay in the air for longer.

In any case, the military is still in the early stages of considering the Super Warthog, and it is not clear if the plane will actually be built.


Why does the USAF want to retire the A-10 Warthog?

A-10 Warthog
A-10 Warthog by Cecilio Ricardo. Public Domain.

The Air Force is looking to retire the A-10 in favor of newer, more advanced aircraft. One key reason for this is that the Warthog is not compatible with the latest generation of precision munitions. These munitions are essential for conducting air strike missions with minimal collateral damage.

The Warthog is also limited in its ability to defend itself against enemy fighters. Newer aircraft, such as the F-35, are much more survivable in combat environments and have a much greater ability to detect and shoot down enemy aircraft.

For these reasons, the Air Force has decided that it is time to retire the A-10 and invest in more modern aircraft. But, the age of the aircraft is not an excuse because other top aircraft were created at the same time. For example, the F-16 is still valuable today, and even other aircraft entered service decades before, like the B-52.


So, an upgrade to the Warthog could be the solution to this problem and keep the A-10 relevant.

Warthog at dawn
Warthog at dawn by John Winn. Public Domain.

The Super Warthog would be the solution to keep this icon of military aviation alive

The A-10 can still have a long life if properly upgraded to the Super Warthog version, like the F-16 was over the years, or even much older aircraft like the B-52.

That’s why retiring this aircraft can be a very drastic decision when it can still be revamped with new technologies and keep it as lethal as it used to be.


Featured image credit: Warthogs over Idaho by Cole Yardley. Public Domain.