A-10s are a ‘squeaky target’ for Russia, Ukraine shrugged and agreed
WASHINGTON, US — More details are becoming public after Russia’s nearly ten-month invasion of Ukraine. Sources in the US give details about the situation with the alleged delivery of the US A-10 attack aircraft to Ukraine.
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Sometime in March, a 40-kilometer military convoy of Russian weapons and armored fighting vehicles stopped at the entrance to Kyiv. Then Kyiv realizes that it will need something more than what they have. Apparently, the Ukrainian government has managed to “reconnaissance” the stockpile of US fighter jets well. Kyiv understands that Washington plans to retire the nearly 50-year-old A-10 Warthog attack aircraft.
A request has been made. Ukraine needs 100 A-10 Warthogs to deal with the Russians. Around that time, Kyiv was asking the West to declare the airspace over Ukraine closed. Something that to this day did not happen and was rejected by the west and the US, seeing the possibility of Russia taking military action beyond the border of Ukraine.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at the time spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart, Mr. Oleksiy Reznikov. Mr. Austin refuses to take delivery of any fighter jets, including the aging A-10 Warthog. The request was declared “impossible” and “nonsensical”.
Mr. Austin explains to his Ukrainian counterpart that if the US supplies Ukraine with the requested 100 A-10 Warthogs, they become a “squeaky target” for the Russians. “This was understandable to me. It was reasonable. I said okay,” Reznikov said, reportedly throwing his hands up.
Ukraine correctly assessed at the time that the A-10 Warthog attack aircraft could play a key role in destroying Russia’s 40-kilometer military belt. These aircraft fly low and fast, attacking ground targets with the use of a 30 mm Gatling-style gun and other ground support weapons.
The refusal of the US to deliver the requested attack aircraft has a logical explanation. It makes even more sense now that the US will be supplying the much more modern and more effective Patriot air defense system than the aging aircraft. Ukraine also acknowledges this fact, with even one of the advisers to the Ukrainian Defense Minister, Mr. Yury Sack, in an interview with Military.com saying that the A-10 will be a target for the Russians and that Ukrainian forces cannot support them.
A-10 goes out of service
The US will phase out the A-10. But the question remains whether Ukraine will not receive combat aircraft from the US after Patriot. This issue currently remains “taboo” for Americans and they do not want to involve the American government any further. However, there is one open door that appeared in a comment by retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Dave Deptula.
“There are more survivable, efficient, and lethal modern aircraft that can provide the capability that the A-10 was able to provide. If the Ukrainians don’t want it, that sends a message,” the ex-general told Insider.
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