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Why is The A-10 Thunderbolt Nicknamed “Warthog”?


The A-10 Thunderbolt II, more commonly known as the “Warthog” due to its not-so-pretty exterior, is one of the most iconic military aircraft designs ever produced. The distinctive forward-swept wings and nose-mounted 7-barrel Gatling gun has been iconic since it first rolled off the production line in 1974. It’s a powerful air-ground support plane that has been deployed in conflicts around the globe, and its reputation as one of the most reliable aircrafts in US military history is well deserved. But why is the A-10 Thunderbolt called the “Warthog?”

GAU-8 Avenger Gun images - A-10 Thunderbolts prepares to take off
The 174th Attack Wing Forward Operating Location (FOL) provides arming, refueling, and aircraft generation services for multiple types of aircraft that come to Fort Drum, New York for training missions and contingency combat missions. This past month the 122nd Fighter Wing from the Indiana Air National Guard guard flew A-10 Thunderbolt II's for close air support and combat search and rescue training. An MQ-9 Reaper flown by the 174th Attack Wing can be seen flying overhead as the A-10 Thunderbolts prepare to take off. The 174th Launch and Recovery Element (LRE) handles all takeoff and landing functions of the MQ-9 training flights from Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield. The 122nd accomplished all their critical aircrew training with 40 combat training sorties by using Adirondack Range 48 and FOL resources. The FOL allows aircrews to complete their training without the need of deploying their home station maintainers cutting down training costs.
Master Sgt. Eric Miller

The moniker was allegedly first coined by Robert “Boomer” Ettinger, an A-10 pilot from the 104th Fighter Squadron, Maryland Air National Guard. This is due to the A-10’s rugged, stubby appearance more resembling the warthog, a common African wild pig species.