US House Saves A-10, Other Airframes

The US House of Representatives has voted to block the Pentagon's proposal to retire the A-10 Thunderbolt attack aircraft next year.

The 300-114 vote shows a clear majority supported the amendment to save the A-10 from the chopping block. The sponsor of the amendment, Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI), said that "The Air Force wants to save money, but they don’t have an adequate follow-on at this time, and, with what’s happening in Iraq and the Middle East, eliminating the A-10 is the absolute wrong move".

Although the total cost of maintaining the A-10 is around $900 million, it is not entirely clear if the House added funds to cover this expense. The entire 2015 fiscal year defense appropriations bill only adds $200 million to the funding requested by the Obama administration. The Obama administrations funding levels did not include money for the A-10, however.

The entire fiscal year 2015 defense bill easily cleared the House with a final vote of 340-73. Additional changes made by the House include blocking the retirement of the KC-10 tanker aircraft and the U-2 spy plane, reduce the order of F-35 from 42 to 38, and order an additional 12 EA-18G Growler aircraft.

The bill now heads to the Senate.