The Secretary of the Air Force, Heather Wilson, recently offered some unusually strong support for the A-10 Warthog, going so far as to say she is a “fan” of a plane her service has been looking for ways to retire for decades. This might be because she knows that, at least as of yet, there is still no formal requirement for a dedicated replacement close air support-focused aircraft or clear conclusions about how to otherwise provide a similar capability in the future.

In a letter dated December 12, 2017, the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force denied a Freedom of Information Act Request related to the replacement of the A-10, but was still compelled to offer significant new details in order to justify the decision. The missive both confirmed that the Air Force had put together a set of draft requirements for a notional “A-X” aircraft to replace the A-10, but did not formalize them, and that the service still has yet to make a final decision on what to do with that documentation at all.

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Featured image courtesy of U.S. Air Force.