Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt II (Warthog)
Technically called the Thunderbolt II, the A-10 or Warthog as it has been nicknamed is one of the most distinctive modern combat aircraft of today. Its strange and somewhat ugly twin tailed , twin engined design makes it superb at its low level interdiction and tank busting role. The twin tails help shield the engines heat signature and are fully interchangeable since the A-10 is also very tough and easy to maintain. The A-10 is well plated with titanium including the cockpit and control column linkages, and is able to carry 16,000lbs of external weaponry in addition to its General Electric GAU-8 Avenger seven barrelled 30 mm galting which alone weights 1856Kg (4,091lbs) and is 6.71m (22ft) long. The shells which can armour piercing or High explosive weight 2lbs each and can be fired at a rate of 2,100rpm or 4,200 rpm, although to avoid over heating the fire rate has been reduced to 10, 2 second bursts with a 60 second cooling period between each burst. The first full production version came into service in Feb 1976 and the A-10 saw active service in the Gulf War 1990/91 nearly 15 years later. Only the USA operates the A-10 although the Russian Frogfoot fulfils a similar role on the battlefield although it lacks the firepower of the A-10. The A-10 has nearly been withdrawn from service several times and is finally due to be replaced by the JAST project.
Maximum speed; 424mph (682 Km/h)
Max weapon load; 7257Kg (16,000lbs)
Combat radius 463km (288 miles) with 1.7 hours loiter or 998km(620miles) deep strike
How to cite this article:
Dugdale-Pointon, T. (5 February 2001), Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt II (Warthog), http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_a10.html