A-10 Thunderbolt II

Fairchild Republic

A-10 Thunderbolt II

A-10 Thunderbolt II

The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II is a single-seat, twin-turbofan, straight-wing, subsonic attack aircraft developed by Fairchild Republic for the United States Air Force (USAF). In service since 1976, it is named for the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, a World War II-era fighter-bomber effective at attacking ground targets, but commonly referred to as the "Warthog" or "Hog".[4] The A-10 was designed to provide close air support (CAS) to friendly ground troops by attacking armored vehicles, tanks, and other enemy ground forces; it is the only production-built aircraft designed solely for CAS to have served with the U.S. Air Force.[5] Its secondary mission is to direct other aircraft in attacks on ground targets, a role called forward air controller-airborne; aircraft used primarily in this role are designated OA-10.

The A-10 was intended to improve on the performance and firepower of the Douglas A-1 Skyraider. Its 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 damage and continue flying. Its ability to take off and land from relatively short runways permits operation from airstrips close to the front lines, and its simple design enables maintenance with minimal facilities.

The A-10 served in the First Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm), the American–led intervention against Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, where the aircraft distinguished itself. The A-10 also participated in other conflicts such as in Grenada, the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, and against the Islamic State in the Middle East.

The A-10A single-seat variant was the only version produced, though one pre-production airframe was modified into the YA-10B twin-seat prototype to test an all-weather night-capable version. In 2005, a program was started to upgrade the remaining A-10A aircraft to the A-10C configuration, with modern avionics for use with precision weaponry. The U.S. Air Force had stated the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II would replace the A-10 as it entered service, but this remains highly contentious within the USAF and in political circles. With a variety of upgrades and wing replacements, the A-10's service life can be extended to 2040; the service has no planned retirement date as of June 2017.


General characteristics

Crew: 1
Length: 53 ft 4 in (16.26 m)
Wingspan: 57 ft 6 in (17.53 m)
Height: 14 ft 8 in (4.47 m)
Wing area: 506 sq ft (47.0 m2)
Airfoil: NACA 6716 root, NACA 6713 tip
Empty weight: 24,959 lb (11,321 kg)
Gross weight: 30,384 lb (13,782 kg)
CAS mission: 47,094 lb (21,361 kg)
Anti-armor mission: 42,071 lb (19,083 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 46,000 lb (20,865 kg) [205]
Fuel capacity: 11,000 lb (4,990 kg) internal
Powerplant: 2 × General Electric TF34-GE-100A turbofans, 9,065 lbf (40.32 kN) thrust each

Maximum speed: 381 kn (439 mph, 706 km/h) at sea level, clean[204]
Cruise speed: 300 kn (340 mph, 560 km/h)
Stall speed: 120 kn (138 mph, 220 km/h) at 30,000 lb (14,000 kg)[206]
Never exceed speed: 450 kn (518 mph, 833 km/h) at 5,000 ft (1,500 m) with 18 Mark 82 bombs[207][204]
Combat range: 220 nmi (250 mi, 400 km) CAS mission, 1.88 hour loiter at 5,000 ft (1,500 m), 10 min combat[a]
Ferry range: 2,240 nmi (2,580 mi, 4,150 km) with 50 knots (58 mph; 26 m/s) headwinds, 20 minutes reserve
Service ceiling: 45,000 ft (13,700 m)
Rate of climb: 6,000 ft/min (30 m/s)
Wing loading: 99 lb/sq ft (482 kg/m2)
Thrust/weight: 0.36
Guns: 1× 30 mm (1.18 in) GAU-8/A Avenger rotary cannon with 1,174 rounds
Hardpoints: 11 (8× under-wing and 3× under-fuselage pylon stations) with a capacity of 16,000 lb (7,260 kg), with provisions to carry combinations of:
4× LAU-61/LAU-68 rocket pods (each with 19×/7× Hydra 70 mm/APKWS[208] rockets, respectively)
6× LAU-131 rocket pods (each with 7× Hydra 70 rockets)[209][210]
2× AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles for self-defense
6× AGM-65 Maverick air-to-surface missiles
Mark 80 series of unguided 'iron' bombs or
Mk 77 incendiary bombs or
BLU-1, BLU-27/B, CBU-20 Rockeye II, BL755[211] and CBU-52/58/71/87/89/97 cluster bombs or
Paveway series of Laser-guided bombs or
Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) (A-10C)[212] or
Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser
SUU-42A/A Flares/infrared decoys and chaff dispenser pod or
AN/ALQ-131 or AN/ALQ-184 ECM pods or
Lockheed Martin Sniper XR or Litening targeting pods or
2× 600 US gal (2,300 L) Sargent Fletcher drop tanks for increased range/loiter time.
AN/AAS-35(V) Pave Penny laser tracker pod[213] (mounted beneath right side of cockpit) for use with Paveway LGBs (currently the Pave Penny is no longer in use[citation needed])
Head-up display (HUD)[32]
Anti-armor mission: 252 nmi (290 mi; 467 km) with sea-level penetration and exit, 30 min combat

The single-seat F/A-18E and two-seat F/A-18F, both officially named Super Hornet.


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