Major Mariam Al Mansouri, the United Arab Emirate’s first female fighter pilot, flew in the recent multi-national strikes against ISIS. Maj. Mansouri, 35, a 2007 graduate of Khalifa bin Zayed Air College, flies Emirati Air Force Block 60 F-16’s.
The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II is an American twin-engine, straight wing jet aircraft developed by Fairchild-Republic in the early 1970s. It is the only United States Air Force production aircraft designed solely for close air support, including attacking tanks, armored vehicles, and other ground targets with limited air defenses. The A-10 was designed around the 30 mm GAU-8 Avenger rotary cannon that is its primary armament. The A-10’s airframe was designed for durability, with measures such as 1,200 pounds (540 kg) of titanium armor to protect the cockpit and aircraft systems, enabling it to absorb a significant amount of damage and continue flying. The A-10’s official name comes from the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt of World War II, a fighter that was particularly effective at close air support. The A-10 is more commonly known by its nicknames “Warthog” or“Hog”. Its secondary mission is to provide airborne forward air control, directing other aircraft in attacks on ground targets. The A-10’s service life may be extended to 2028, though there are proposals to retire it sooner.