/ Modified apr 9, 2016 9 a.m.

Air Force Begins to Design New Plane to Replace A-10

Plans for the “A-X” are still in the early phase, Rep. McSally says.

A-10 from Davis-Monthan spotlight A-10s from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base taxi at March Air Reserve Base, California. February 1, 2016 (U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Steven A. Ortiz)

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In recent years, the U.S. Air Force has tried to retire the A-10 aircraft. Congress stopped the move, prompting the Air Force to shelve that plan until 2022.

Air Force officials said they wanted to use the new F-35 to replace the A-10, but now they confirm the Air Force is moving forward with a plan to develop a new ground attack aircraft.

She said the military needs to do that type of planning.

“They need to look into investing into a future capability," said Rep. Martha McSally, a former A-10 pilot. "If it is not the A-10, and it is not the F-35, is it the A-X as we call it, the follow on to the A-10."

The A-10 is the primary plane flown out of Tucson’s Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

Plans for the “A-X” are still in the early phase and the Air Force Chief of Staff must approve the concept before development continues.

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