Why the A-10 Warthog Is the Badass of Badasses
Let’s start by agreeing there is no plane like the A-10 Warthog. It’s capable of unleashing an unprecedented level of destruction, making it one of the most fearsome aircraft on the modern battlefield. Equipped with an immense array of weaponry, including a devastating GAU-8/A Avenger cannon, the Warthog is capable of decimating targets with unparalleled precision and devastating power. It’s no wonder then why the A-10 Warthog has become such a formidable adversary. Let’s take a look at why this ferocious platform is such a frightening force in modern combat.
Arguably the main reason for the A-10’s legendary status is its armament. The A-10 is equipped with six wing-mounted hardpoints, capable of carrying up to 16,000 pounds of ordinance. This includes six AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles and a General Electric GAU-8/A Avenger 30mm cannon that can fire up to 4,200 rounds per minute. The sheer firepower of the A-10 is enough to destroy any enemy on the battlefield.
Tough As Nails Fuselage
The engineering of the A-10’s fuselage is also extraordinary. Constructed from titanium, the A-10’s frame is incredibly resilient and can take immense amounts of damage and still remain intact. In fact, the A-10 can absorb more than three times the amount of punishment than a standard fighter jet can. This includes being able to withstand direct hits from 23mm caliber bullets and explosions from 500lb bombs. The resilient frame was designed so that the aircraft can still be operated after sustaining damage from missiles and anti-aircraft fire.
The A-10 Warthog’s maneuverability is legendary! Like a hot knife through butter, its low-speed, high-angle-of-attack capabilities allow it to fly through tight turns and swiftly pull up from a dive to quickly reclaim the high ground. This aircraft is so maneuverable, it can sustain a 9G turn and still remain on-target – faster than its own bullet! Furthermore, its engines are specially designed to give it the power to execute powerful maneuvering, and its wide wingspan gives it unparalleled roll control and stability, enabling it to respond to quick changes in direction with ease. The A-10 Warthog is truly a prime example of next-level aerial prowess.
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Primary Function: The A-10 is an aircraft designed for close air support, airborne forward air control, and combat search and rescue.
Contractor: Fairchild Republic Co.
Unit Cost: $9.8 million (fiscal 98 constant dollars)
Inventory: Total Force – approximately 281 (as of 1/01/2023)
Length: 53 feet, 4 inches (16.16 meters)
Height: 14 feet, 8 inches (4.42 meters)
Wingspan: 57 feet, 6 inches (17.42 meters)
Power Plant: Two General Electric TF34-GE-100 turbofans
Thrust: Each engine produces 9,065 pounds of thrust
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 GAU-8/A seven-barrel Gatling gun and up to 16,000 pounds (7,200 kilograms) of mixed ordnance on 8 under-wing and 3 under-fuselage pylon stations, including 500-pound (225-kilogram) Mk-82 and 2,000-pound (900-kilogram) Mk-84 series low/high drag bombs, incendiary cluster bombs, combined effects munitions, mine dispensing munitions, AGM-65 Maverick missiles, laser-/GPS-guided bombs, unguided and laser-guided 2.75-inch (6.99 centimeters) rockets, infrared countermeasure flares, electronic countermeasure chaff, jammer pods, illumination flares, and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles.
Date Deployed: March 1976
Can civilians purchase an A-10 Warthog? Find out here.