All of this has been said before in the thread, however...
A-10 survivability was designed around 1970s threats it was expected to encounter in a 1980s Central Region battlefield. These were primarily AAA such as ZSU-23/4 as well as first and second gen IR systems such as SA-7, SA-8 and SA-14. Even 20 years ago in the Balkans, the A-10 could not venture into Serb SA-2, SA-3 and SA-6 MEZ. To meet current and emerging threats, you need good EW, Low Observability and good kinematics. Any 2 of these 3 will do.
Meanwhile, all military aircraft have multiple levels of redundancy. Moreover, it's all pretty academic if it can't arrive in time.
Some A-10s have certainly returned with serious damage. However, armoured nacelles and a titanium bathtub are utterly irrelevant against an SA-10/20, SA-11/17, SA-15 or similar.
As said previously, I also find pictures of damaged A-10s fairly counter-intuitive. Each of those jets was forced off task, leaving a hole in CAS coverage and requiring C2 assets such as my own to divert other CAS players and scramble GCAS. I saw that happen in Kosovo and GW2.
I wouldn't say the gun was the Hog's raison d'être but it can undoubtedly be extremely effective. However, remember that it's only of use in low altitudes and relatively short ranges using profiles that expose the aircraft to additional threats.
Again, even in Bosnia 20 years ago, the gun was rarely used because of the threat systems present. Maverick was their preferred weapon, as it was in GW1.
I would argue that the A-10 offers no advantages whatsoever against current and emerging threats.
If you wish to see combat losses, ask some A-10s to provide CAS on a battlefield with modern SAMs.
Meanwhile, I will call BS on the claim that USAF leadership is seeking to divest the CAS mission. Indeed, I use the phrase purposely: CAS is a mission not an aircraft. The USAF have spent $Bs in recent decades on CAS upgrades for the AC-130, MQ-1, MQ-9, F-16, F-15E, B-1B, B-52 and...shock...even the A-10. Likewise investment in weaponry, targeting pods, data links and the enormous expansion of USAF JTAC capacity all speak volumes. I've deployed with and worked alongside the Service a great many times, listened to their leadership privately and in public. Not only do the USAF get CAS, they understand what is needed to provide the effects on the ground a lot more than the US Army does frankly. Moreover, it has been enthusiastically embraced from the lowliest FNG pilot to CSAF (again, he is himself a former A-10 pilot).
What I suspect has happened here is one of the pro-Hog lobby has taken a quote out of context. The last 15 years of focus has severely eroded USAF, USN and USMC capabilities in other roles such as interdiction, Large Force Employment, EW, maritime and amphibious ops. With good reason, all of these services are keen to see a more suitable balance of capabilities re-established.
As with many of these articles, Ms Smithberger appears from her comments to have no military experience whatsoever and it is disappointing that links to such drivel are still posted.
@Magic_Mushroom - thank you for taking the time to address my questions in such a comprehensive way. I appear to have been labouring under misapprehensions regarding the A-10. I remember seeing them "live" in 91 and along with the Apache, they send shivers down my spine.