The gauntlet has been thrown down between the military’s long-standing close-air support platform, the much loved A-10 Warthog, and the Pentagon’s next-generation Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35. After months of debate over which aircraft is better suited to the role of close-air support, the Pentagon confirmed on Aug. 27 that it intends to put both aircraft to the test.
A series of evaluations will be used to “reveal how well the F-35 performs and whether there are gaps or improvements in capabilities compared to the A-10,” said J. Michael Gilmore, the director of the Pentagon’s Operational Test and Evaluation Office, the Washington Post reports.
“You can’t guess at what the capability gaps are,” Gilmore said. “It’s really not wise to guess. You have to go out and get data and do a thorough and rigorous evaluation.”