What is A-10?


The A/OA-10 Thunderbolt II is the first Air Force aircraft specially designed for close air support of ground forces. They are simple, effective and survivable twin-engine jet aircraft that can be used against all ground targets, including tanks and other armored vehicles.

The A-10/OA-10 have excellent maneuverability at low air speeds and altitude, and are highly accurate weapons-delivery platforms. They can loiter near battle areas for extended periods of time and operate under 1,000-foot ceilings (303.3 meters) with 1.5-mile (2.4 kilometers) visibility. Their wide combat radius and short takeoff and landing capability permit operations in and out of locations near front lines. Using night vision goggles, A-10/ OA-10 pilots can conduct their missions during darkness.

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.

The Thunderbolt II's 30mm GAU-8/A Gatling gun can fire 3,900 rounds a minute and can defeat an array of ground targets to include tanks. Some of their other equipment includes an inertial navigation system, electronic countermeasures, target penetration aids, self-protection systems, and AGM-65 Maverick and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles.

General Characteristics


Primary Function: A-10 -- close air support, OA-10 - airborne forward air control

Contractor: Fairchild Republic Co.

Power Plant: Two General Electric TF34-GE-100 turbofans

Thrust: 9,065 pounds each engine

Length: 53 feet, 4 inches (16.16 meters)

Height: 14 feet, 8 inches (4.42 meters)

Wingspan: 57 feet, 6 inches (17.42 meters)

Speed: 420 miles per hour (Mach 0.56)

Ceiling: 45,000 feet (13,636 meters)

Maximum Takeoff Weight: 51,000 pounds (22,950 kilograms)

Range: 800 miles (695 nautical miles)

Armament: One 30 mm GAU-8/A seven-barrel Gatling gun; up to 16,000 pounds (7,200 kilograms) of mixed ordnance on eight under-wing and three under-fuselage pylon stations, including 500 pound (225 kilograms) Mk-82 and 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms) Mk-84 series low/high drag bombs, incendiary cluster bombs, combined effects munitions, mine dispensing munitions, AGM-65 Maverick missiles and laser-guided/electro-optically guided bombs; infrared countermeasure flares; electronic countermeasure chaff; jammer pods; 2.75-inch (6.99 centimeters) rockets; illumination flares and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles.

Crew: One

Date Deployed: March 1976

Unit Cost: $9.8 million (fiscal 98 constant dollars)

Inventory: Active force, A-10, 143 and OA-10, 70; Reserve, A-10, 46 and OA-10, 6; ANG, A-10, 84 and OA-10, 18

The A-10 is a perfect example of the combined-arms theory.


The Hand of God

That A-10 is the hand of god

See a10, jets, airplanes, military, god


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