A-10 Thunderbolt II (Warthog)

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Product Type:

Ground-Attack Close-Air-Support Aircraft

Using Service (US):

Air Force (USAF)

Program Status:

Upgrades and sustainment

Prime Contractor:

Fairchild Republic (now Northrop Grumman)

The A-10 Thunderbolt II aka Warthog

About the A-10 Thunderbolt:

The Fairchild Republic (now part of Northrop Grumman) A-10 Thunderbolt II, also known as the Warthog, is a single-seat twin-engine ground-attack close-air-support (CAS) aircraft. The A-10 is an effective and survivable aircraft, which can be used against all ground targets, including tanks and other armored vehicles. The A-10 is powered by two General Electric TF34-GE-100 turbofan engines, each providing 9,065 pounds of thrust.

The A-10's wide combat radius and short takeoff and landing capability permit operations in and out of locations near the front line. Using night vision goggles, pilots can conduct missions during darkness. The Thunderbolt can be serviced and operated from limited facility bases near battle areas.

The Thunderbolt is an extremely survivable aircraft. To protect the pilot, the cockpit is protected by titanium armor up to 3.8 cm thick. The cockpit has a large bulletproof bubble canopy, which provides excellent all-round vision. The aircraft can survive direct hits from up to 23mm armor-piercing and high-explosive projectiles. The self-sealing fuel cells on the A-10 are protected by internal and external foam. Manual systems back up the hydraulic flight control systems, thus permitting pilots to fly and land even when hydraulic power is lost.

Avionics equipment on the A-10 includes multi-band communications; GPS/INS systems; IR and electronic countermeasures against aerial and surface threats; the AN/AAS-35(V) Pave Penny laser spot tracker system; a heads-up display for flight and weapons delivery information; a Northrop Grumman AN/AAQ-28(V) LITENING targeting pod; Lockheed Martin AN/AAQ-33 Sniper XR targeting pod; a low-altitude autopilot; and a ground collision avoidance system.

The A-10 has received many upgrades over the years. Starting in 2005, the entire A-10 fleet was modified with precision engagement upgrades. The upgrade program installed an improved fire control system (FCS); electronic countermeasures (ECM); upgraded cockpit displays; the ability to deliver smart bombs; moving map display; hands-on throttle and stick; digital stores management; AN/AAQ-28(V) Litening EO/IR targeting pod + AN/AAQ-33 Sniper XR advanced targeting pod integration; situational awareness data link (SADL); variable message format (VMF); GPS-guided weapons; and upgraded DC power. Having received the precision engagement upgrades, all aircraft now carry the A-10C designation.

The A-10 was developed by Fairchild Republic in the early 1970s. The aircraft first flew in May 1972, and the first production A-10A was delivered to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona in October 1975. A total of 713 aircraft have since been produced. The A-10 was delivered to the U.S. Air Force from October 1975 to March 1984. The latest variant, the A-10C, achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in August 2007. The A-10C was specifically designed to perform forward air control missions.

FY 2020 & FY 2021 - A-10 DoD Program:

This data is available in Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, a comprehensive analytical database containing historical and forecast budget figures, year-to-year funding comparisons, congressional budget markups, program justification documents, and much more.

Source: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), The Boeing Company,
General Electric Co., Lockheed Martin Corp., and Northrop Grumman.

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