Fairchild  Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II

Commonly called the "WartHog" or "Tank-Buster" this attack-fighter is designed for ONE thing only: to kill tanks and anything else that moves on the ground or is threatening our troops. Drinks are usually free by the "ground pounders" because they know the A-10 can save their butt. It is everything the Stealth is not: Slow and in your face. After the first pass everybody knows you're there.

The A-10A is being upgrade now to the A-10C "PE" (Precision Engagement).  PE takes the A-10 avionics from an analog jet to a digital platform. The jet is completely rewired and what is added is: Digital displays with onscreen buttons to control all aspect of the navigation, communications, weapons, and targeting systems. What this means....... the jet can now interact with current and future weapons / communication / and battlefield advancements (think sat comm, data link, GPS bombing, etc...).

 "Close Air Support" (CAS): Engaging targets that are real close to our own troops. "Combat Search and Rescue" (CSAR): Finding, protecting, and coordinating the rescue of downed aircrew. "Forward Air Control" (FAC): Marking targets and coordinating air strikes from an airborne position.

The aircraft is built AROUND the gun (YES.... around!). It is the GAU-8 Avenger cannon (pronounced like pow... Gua-8). This is a 7 barreled hydraulically driven gatling gun. It is the size of a Volkswagen "Bug". The gun shoots about 6,000 rounds/min. The bullets are 30mm and mixed: amour piercing depleted uranium needle tipped and high explosive incendiary. The round travels at about 2500 ft/sec (about mach 2.3).

Bombs, Rockets, Infrared and "TV" Guided "Maverick" missile, heat-seeking air-air ("Aim 9"), chaff, flare.

Targeting is done by "CCIP" (constantly computed impact point) software integrated into a GPS/INS navigation system. Add to that a laser Targeting Pod and "Pave Penny" laser search pod. I can't tell you how good this system is or you'll have to be killed. But trust me on this one..... you never want an A-10 pointed at you. NEVER!

Panama / Bosnia / Kosovo / Desert Storm I /  Afghanistan / Desert Storm II. In Desert Storm I the A-10 is credited with 1000 tanks kills and 1200 artillery pieces. This is 1/4 the "feared" Iraqi Republican Guard. SAR ("search air and rescue") operations also included an A-10 flight airborne 14 hours providing cover for a downed F-14 pilot. This rescue was successful despite the attempt by some incredibly stupid guys in a truck who attempted to capture the pilot during the pickup phase. Their truck was vaporized in one gun pass by the hogs... duh. Newsweek credits the A-10 (in part) to bringing about the peace talks ending the Kosovo war. Two unrestricted weeks of A-10 operations wreaked havoc on the ground leading to a press statement that ...the war had gotten "particularly lethal".

Chances of getting shot up are good. The joke is that you will follow the wreckage of A-10's to the target area.... but, the truth is somewhere in the middle. The aircraft is ruggedly built. The pilot sits in a titanium armored cockpit. More than one Warthog has flown back with nearly half the wing ripped off.

The ejection seat is an ACES-II. Engineers say we can eject at 400ft, 300 knots, 30 degrees nose low, INVERTED ! and get out. You wanna try?


It is one of the most lethal devices created by man.... so you may not think this is appropriate for the world.  I agree with this viewpoint. Of course, this is fine until someone comes down your street in a tank and takes your town (country) by force.  This has never happened to an American so we tend to not get it (see the movie Red Dawn.....). However, many older Europeans do and so that's why they are so much more interested and knowledgeable about these types of aircraft.  Offense is the best defense. You may not believe in that but I think Ronald Reagan did, and that he had it right.

Also, the bullet is depleted uranium (U238 to be exact).  Some believe this is a very toxic thing after it is fired and impacted. Truth be told..... don't know.  The scientists and science says no (yeah, do your own research, I have) . But experience may prove otherwise.  Second truth... not too worried about the bad guys we're trying to kill in the first place.


Excerpt: A Fist in the Hornet's Nest. April 2, 2004

"That day—April 8, 2003—I also witnessed what was for me the most terrifying air attack carried out by what I suspect may be the most frightening plane in the U.S. arsenal: the A-10 Thunderbolt II, more commonly called the A-10 Warthog because of its stubby, inelegant shape and the grunting noise it makes when it fires its anti-tank machine gun. From my balcony I'd watched the stocky little plane fly low and slow over the city, dropping rows of flares to divert heat-seeking anti-aircraft rockets fired at it; none were. The pilot also performed acrobatics to protect the plane, swooping up and down and from side to side as if in an air show. The A-10 Warthog is armed with a Gatling gun in its nose that fires huge 30mm bullets hardened with depleted uranium that penetrate tank armor. The spinning gun fires bullets so quickly that it's impossible to distinguish the sound of the individual shots, and the rapid firing blends together to make a low-pitch grinding sound like an upstairs neighbor dragging a heavy sofa across the floor."

From Air-Attack.com

"Among the new, high-tech changes the aircraft will receive are new glass cockpit displays and full targeting pod integration. The modifications to the aircraft will reduce pilot workload, make the plane more lethal, and make it safer.
“I’d give my right arm to hop back in that airplane one more time,” said Gen. Bruce Carlson, commander of Air Force Materiel Command. “I flew the airplane as recently as a year ago and the plane I flew then was significantly different then the one I flew in the ‘70s and ‘80s, and with this upgrade, it’s just an incredible leap forward.”
The modifications are the largest and most sophisticated the fighter has seen in its 30 year history.
“This aircraft has never gone through a major modification; this is the biggest thing we have ever done to it,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Campbell, an A-10 pilot with the Maryland Air National Guard. “With the modifications made to this plane, it’s much easier for us to identify them and be able to stay back a lot farther then we used to, keeping us out of the threat envelope, which makes it a much more survivable airplane."

From Inside the Air Force. Officials: Modernization effort would keep A-10 fleet flying until 2028  By Marcus Weisgerber 

 "The Air Force is moving ahead with a series of modifications for the service's A-10 attack aircraft designed to keep the lethal planes in the sky until 2028, several service officials said.   The service currently ranks the A-10 modernization program third on its "test priority list," behind only two separate F-22A Raptor programs, according to Maj. Preston McConnell, division commander of the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, NV. 

The service is in the midst of a $477 million "precision engagement modification" -- which converts the analogue A-10A model to the digital A-10C -- as well as a few other upgrade programs that extend the service life of the plane and give pilots greater awareness of their surroundings. 


A-10s Support Marines in Anbar

FROM Captainsjhournal.com Published January 28th, 2007 by Herschel Smith

A report from a Marine in Iraq in 2004 shared with us the impact of having an A-10 in battle.

"I just wanted to state that the Hog is an awesome weapon. I was with 3rd Bn 2nd Marines of Task Force Tarawa in An Nasiriyah Iraq and saw firsthand the devastation the warthog created. We had been taking heavy fire from a building bout 3/4 of a mile from my pos. We shot it up with the 25mm Bushmaster cannons mounted on top of the LAV-25s, TOW anti-tank missiles from our HMMWVs, countless rounds of .50 cal and 40mm grenades and were still receiving heavy fire. We finally called in AH-1W Cobras to make passes, after about the third or forth pass an A-10 came on station, both Cobras broke off from a gun run and the Hog rolled in. Talk about devastation, that GAU-8 Aveneger sounded like hell on earth, sure came in handy that time. Probably saved my life"