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How the A-10 Warthog became ‘the most survivable plane ever built’

BY   February 25, 2014 at 3:53 PM EDT

This video was shot by Dan Sagalyn and edited by Justin Scuiletti. Extra footage via DVIDS

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Monday that the Air Force will retire the entire fleet of A-10 Warthogs, an aircraft that ground forces view as their guardian in the sky.

The Air Force owns about 350 A-10 Warthogs, which were designed during the late 1970s and early 1980s specifically to support ground troops in close proximity to enemy forces.

The PBS NewsHour recently interviewed one of the designers of the A-10, Pierre Sprey, about the unique characteristics of the aircraft.

On Tuesday the PBS NewsHour explores the debate brewing over the decision to retire the aircraft within the Air Force and among A-10 supporters. Watch our report below.