The A-10, the venerable old low flying war bird is hard to shoot down with conventional firepower. But budget power is something else.
The A-10 is still headed for the scrap yard. However, a small contingent of Senators, Ayotte, McCain, and Chambliss, are making a good case for keeping the Warthog. They cite an incident in Afghanistan last July, to wit:
At one point during the two hour fire fight, enemy forces were close enough to engage the soldiers with grenades and helicopters could not be called in to evacuate the injured. When the A-10 arrived on the scene, it flew 75 feet above the enemy position, conducted 15 gun passes within 50 meters of friendly ground forces, and used its famous 30 millimeter nose cannon to fire 2,300 rounds.
The performance of the A-10 that day saved the lives of 60 Americans.
Those planes can take a lot of punishment and keep on going. See these photos, for proof.
The airplanes didn't bring it down, it was beauty brought it down. OK, the "King Kong" line doesn't work exactly right. But substitute "politicians" for "beauty" and it makes more sense.