Since 1997, the U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin-led A-10 Prime Team have worked closely to significantly digitize the A-10A Thunderbolt II close air support fighter to its A-10C configuration, enabling employment of the new GPS and inertially-guided munitions.
After a ton of requests to make a photo series about this much loved plane, here it is.
Photo series #6
BRRRRRRRRTTTTTTTT, this is the Fairchild Republic O/A-10 Thunderbolt II or as the commonly referred name “Warthog” or just “Hog”.
This twin engine, single seat, jet aircraft is one of the most (if not the most) sucessful CAS aircraft in the world. Although designed to be solely a CAS aircraft, it also fills the ground attack and foward air controller roles (when on foward air control role the A-10 becomes OA-10).
Introduced in March 1977, the A-10 was designed around it’s cannon, the GAU-8 Avenger, a seven barrel Gatling-type 30mm autocannon manufactured by General Electric. It was also built with durability in mind, the cockpit is armored with 540kg (1,200 pounds) of titanium to protect the pilot and the aircraft systems, it was also designed for short takeoffs and landings combined with it’s easy and low cost maintenance the Warthog can be deploy from improvised airfields close to the front lines or from highways adapted to be makeshift runways such as the ones in Germany.
The A-10 has flown in a number of combats such as the Gulf War in Op. Desert Storm,
Afghanistan, Iraq, and against ISIS in the Middle East. During these combat it’s durability has been tested, one such event was during Operation Iraqi Freedom when Captain Kim Campbell suffered heavy damage from flak fire resulting in damage to the engine and hydraulic system which required her to fly the Hog manually for an hour but managed to land safely.
One of the biggest battles the Warthog is fighting today is against the budget cuts and it’s replacement to the new fifth generation strike fighter, the F-35. So long it has managed to stay in service and some rumors say that the US Air Force is planning a big upgrade to keep it in service all the way to 2040s and one of these upgrades would include a engine swap removing the two General Electric TF34-GE-100A turbofans and changing it for new and more powerful engines.
Well, this is it for this photo series, don’t forget to like and reblog.
If you have any suggestions, contribution or want to send a complete photo series, don’t be shy, send them up and i’ll upload them!
U.S. Air Force Capts. Andrew Glowa, lead, and William Piepenbring, both with the 74th Fighter Squadron out of Moody Air Force Base, Ga., launch flares from two A-10C Thunderbolt II over the skies of southern Georgia, Aug. 18, 2014. The A-10’s primary functions include close air support, forward air control and combat search and rescue. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jamal D. Sutter/Released)
An A-10C Thunderbolt II from the 74th Fighter Squadron taxis down the runway during Green Flag-West 17-03 Jan. 23, 2017, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The 74th FS brought 12 A-10s to GFW in support of a joint, large-force, combat-readiness exercise for close air support integration training. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)
Two F/A-18F Super Hornets assigned to the “Diamondbacks” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 102 fly above the flight deck of the Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). F/A-18’s operate from 10 aircraft carriers and 37 squadrons worldwide. Ronald Reagan, the Carrier Strike Group Five (CSG 5) flagship, is on patrol supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Jamaal Liddell/Released)