The A-10 “Warthog” is a specialized CAS aircraft tasked with interdiction, Forward Air Controller-Airborne (FAC-A), CSAR, and Strike Control & Reconnaissance. It combines a heavy, diverse weapons load with lowlevel maneuverability, a large combat radius, and long loiter time over the battlefield. The A-10 is capable of carrying up to 16,000 lb of ordnance in addition to its 30 mm cannon which can destroy heavy armor while protecting the pilot in a titanium-armored cockpit.
The prototype YA-10A first flew on May 10, 1972, wining USAF’s A-X competition for a new attack aircraft. The A-10A development aircraft first flew Feb. 15, 1975, and A-10As were delivered between October 1975 and March 1984. USAF declared IOC in October 1977.
The fleet was modernized under the Precision Engagement Program, resulting in the A-10C which first flew at Eglin in 2005. The A-10C adds color cockpit MFDs, a Helmet Mounted Cueing System (HMCS), hands-on throttle and stick, digital stores management, improved fire-control, GPS-guided weapons, Litening/Sniper pods, advanced data links, and integrated sensors. The A-10C debuted in combat during Iraqi Freedom in 2007.
With NVGs and targeting pods, the A-10C can operate under 1,000-ft ceilings at night. The Operational Flight Program (OFP) continuously updates the A-10’s software to integrate advanced weapons and add situational awareness, targeting, navigation, comms, and cyber security improvements.
Ongoing mods include HMCS improvements, cockpit display replacement to eliminate analog instruments and add hi-resolution target tracking, SDB-1 integration, directional audio threat cueing, ARC-210 UHF/ VHF comm modernization, and Ethernet to enable EW upgrades.
An initial 173 aircraft were re-winged, and Boeing received a follow-on contract to re-wing up to 112 additional aircraft through FY30. USAF plans to retain the fleet through 2030 or beyond, and Congress denied the Air Force’s request to retire 44 airframes in FY21.
Contractors: Fairchild Republic (Lockheed Martin); Boeing (re-wing).
First Flight: Jan. 20, 2005 (A-10C).
Delivered: 2006-2012 (A-10C).
IOC: September 2007 (A-10C).
Operator: ACC, AFMC, PACAF, ANG, AFRC.
Aircraft Location: Barksdale AFB, La.; Boise Air Terminal, Idaho; DavisMonthan AFB, Ariz.; Eglin AFB, Fla.; Fort Wayne Arpt., Ind.; Martin State Arpt., Md.; Moody AFB, Ga.; Nellis AFB, Nev.; Osan AB, South Korea; Selfridge ANGB, Mich.; Whiteman AFB, Mo.
Active Variant: •A-10C. Upgraded version of the A-10A ground attack aircraft.
Dimensions: Span 57.5 ft, length 53.3 ft, height 14.7 ft.
Weight: Max T-O 51,000 lb.
Power Plant: Two GE Aviation TF34-GE-100 turbofans, each 9,065 lb thrust.
Performance: Speed 518 mph, range 800 miles (further with air refueling).
Ceiling: 45,000 ft.
Armament: One internally mounted 30 mm, seven-barrel GAU-8/A cannon (1,174 rd of high-explosive incendiary (HEI) or HEI/armor-piercing incendiary); four AIM-9 Sidewinders, AGM-65 Mavericks, laser-guided rockets, most free-fall or guided air-to-surface weapons in USAF inventory, and ECM pods.
Accommodations: Pilot on ACES II zero/zero ejection seat.