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Plan to Ax A-10 Warthog Gets Pushback

A proposal from the Department of Defense to ax the Air Force's entire fleet of A-10 Thunderbolts is receiving criticism from multiple fronts with questions over how the move will impact military bases and defense contractors.The Pentagon's 2015 budget, unveiled by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday, includes a significant reduction in the Army, changes to military pay and benefits and other moves. The budget proposal calls for an Army of 440,000 to 450,000 soldiers by 2019, down from the current level of 522,000.Retiring the A-10, nicknamed the Warthog, will save $3.5 billion over five years, Hagel said. The Air Force has a fleet of more than 300 Warthogs that provide air support for ground troops. Meanwhile, the Pentagon also plans to ground its U-2 spy planes, replacing them with the unmanned Global Hawk.For now, Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC), Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) can compete for Thunderbolt Life Cycle Program Support contracts to do work for the fleet ...

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