If they tested weapons on it during its development, we'd still be testing it rather than seeing it out in the fleet.
Pipe dreams. The Navy never had the money for even the 313-ship fleet talked about for most of the last decade even when the DoD was swimming in funds. Not only was there simply not enough money in their program, but none of their projections even considered cost-increases.
Those changes in tactics were required precisely because the fighter was inadequate. They had to add a gun pod and redesign the missiles it carried as well. Some of those tactics included simply beefing up the number of aircraft in each flight so the MiGs would be attacked from multiple directions.
And none of those countries have used theirs in combat. The F-4 beat the MiG-21 in Vietnam, but only by about 2:1. That is not a kill ratio to write home about. It was a supersonic fighter/bomber that carried anti-bomber missiles that was shoe-horned into dogfighting and required years of tweaks before it could really hold its own.
The F-4 wasn't a success story. It was a bunch of compromises that none of the services particularly liked but were forced to live with and ended up being a terrible fighter.
The EA-6B is being replaced by the E-18G Growler. They've been trading them out since 2009.
Yep, tracking that the Army gets cut the deepest. I was remarking more on the fact that you always hear shouts to abolish the entire Corps when budget conversations come up, so why should we expect them to "play nice?"
Define "high threat." Do you really think we'd have ground troops that close to theater missile defense systems? You're aware that the Air Force would never allow any of its airframes near an area for ground strikes without conducting SEAD first. The A-10 has proven to withstand missile and large caliber gun hits that would have shredded any other aircraft in the inventory. Besides, every time the A-10 is discussed and someone yells "But the MiG-29! The S-300! The S-400!" we end up just a few weeks later in a fight with someone who owns none of them but still requires killing.
They're keeping those around to make up for the F-22s they didn't build enough of.
"EVERY time force structure was evaluated the A-10 was retained when other airframes were retired en mass."
Name them. Every time there's been a force structure change more A-10 squadrons have been retired or moved to the Guard. The Air Force fought tooth and nail for the A-10 to die on the drawing board.
"First off the USMC will have to learn to play well with others, something that historically it has loathed to do. "
Why should they? Every time there is a budget fight, someone is always asking for the Corps' head as the first serving.