A-10 Thunderbolt II
Published February 13, 2019
The A-10 Thunderbolt II is a single-seat, twin turbofan engine, straight-wing jet aircraft.
Commonly referred to by its nicknames Warthog or Hog, its official name comes from the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, a World War II fighter that was effective at attacking ground targets. The A-10 was designed for close air support (CAS) of friendly ground troops, engaging armored vehicles and tanks, and providing quick-action support against enemy ground forces. It entered service in 1976 and is the only production-built aircraft that has served in the USAF that was designed solely for CAS.
The A-10 Thunderbolt II has excellent maneuverability at low air speeds and altitude, and is a highly accurate and survivable weapons-delivery platform. The aircraft can loiter near battle areas for extended periods of time and operate in low ceiling and visibility conditions. The wide combat radius and short takeoff and landing capability permit operations in and out of locations near front lines.
Thunderbolt IIs have Night Vision Imaging Systems, or NVIS, goggle compatible single-seat cockpits forward of their wings and a large bubble canopy which provides pilots all-around vision. The pilots are protected by titanium armor that also protects parts of the flight-control system. The redundant primary structural sections allow the aircraft to enjoy better survivability during close air support than did previous aircraft. The aircraft can survive direct hits from armor-piercing and high explosive projectiles up to 23mm. Their self-sealing fuel cells are protected by internal and external foam. Manual systems back up their redundant hydraulic flight-control systems. This permits pilots to fly and land when hydraulic power is lost.