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But you have to offset that advantage by the A-10's runway requirements. Strategically (and maybe tactically?), the A-10's inability to be launched from aircraft carriers is a major limitation. Plus, while the Warthog has (maybe?) excelled in our asymmetric wars, the US military sure hasn't. It's a great plane for wars we shouldn't be fighting.



By the same token, the A-10 can operate from unimproved runways. You don't need a carrier, you just need a few thousand feet of dirt. Wherever the troops go, an A-10 squadron can follow close behind. That capability has a huge impact in the response time of a CAS squadron, the number of sorties they can fly per day and their dwell time over the target.


Operating from rough airstrips looks great when touted by the AF, but it usually ignores the problems associated with it. First you need to provide physical security for the strip, facilities for aircrew and maintainers, and finally the two most important things, fuel and weapons.


It's not that "you don't need a carrier", it's often that you "get to use a carrier". Carrier battle groups are much safer than dirt landing strips on foward operating bases.

There is also a VTOL variant of the F-35.




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