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Kill the A-10 Warthog: How The US Military Could Win a Conflict with China?

A-10 Warthog. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
A-10 Warthog. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

The US Air Force needs to retire older aircraft that are not well suited for a conflict with China to make way for newer systems with the capabilities necessary for great power conflict, Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall said again this weekend, according to Defense News.

“If it doesn’t threaten China, why are we doing it?” Kendall asked at the Reagan National Defense Forum on Saturday, calling the service’s fleet of aging fighters, tankers, and drones an “anchor holding back the Air Force” as it works to respond to modern threats.

China is the Department of Defense’s pacing challenge, as the secretary of defense has said repeatedly, and the Air Force secretary has made responding to that challenge a priority.

In August, shortly after Kendall was sworn in as the new civilian leader of the Air Force, he told Defense News that the service needs advanced and emerging technologies that “scare China” but is currently constrained by Congress’ unwillingness to retire outdated airframes.

Written By

Ryan Pickrell is a senior military and defense reporter at Business Insider, where he covers the Pentagon and defense-related issues from Washington, DC.