In service since 1976, the Warthogs have a stellar career that spans up to 50 years. Thanks to its long line of upgrades, it’s not retiring anytime soon.
Lethal in an Ever-Evolving Battlefield
To remain lethal, the A-10 was upgraded to the brute metal-raining attack aircraft of the 2000s that shouldn’t be messed with. It features an offensive suite that allows it to drill holes faster than a caterpillar drill and a powerful defense armor.
Built Around Its Main Weapon
The A-10 is built around the 30x 173 millimeter GAU-8 Gatling Style autocannon which has a high muzzle velocity and a super high rate of fire that allows it to fire 3,900 rounds per minute. This allows it to round an entire army of enemy infantry of armored personnel carriers and tanks in minutes.
Aside from its autocannon, it’s also armed with an AGM-5 Maverick air-to-surface missile. The Maverick allows target engagement at much greater ranges, resulting in less risk from anti-aircraft systems.
A Plethora of New Weapons
The A-10 has also been upgraded to wield a plethora of newer weapons including cluster bombs, hydra 70 rockets, GPS, and laser-guided bombs.
Surviving Direct Hits
Approximately six percent of the aircraft is heavy armor, letting it survive direct hits from high explosives and even armor-piercing projectiles.
It also features a double redundant hydraulic flight system, and a mechanical system as a backup in case hydraulics are lost. If an engine, one elevator, half of its tail, and half of its wing are all lost, the A-10 stays flying, and with sufficient control for the pilot to return to base.