Picture this. It’s the peak of an intense battle. The belligerents are going at it with everything they’ve got. There are more and more tanks and armored vehicles swarming the warzone. But, out of nowhere, a group of fighter planes pierces through the clouds above and rains down explosives on the ground targets. They proficiently dismantle numerous adversaries while sustaining enemy fire and tilt the encounter in their side’s favor.
The aforementioned scenario is something that the U.S. Air Force’s A-10 Thunderbolt II, aka A-10 Warthog, is capable of producing. That’s because the Warthog is a fighter jet engineered to fly close to the ground and destroy enemy targets.
From scintillating offense to unwavering defense, this fighter plane offers the best of both worlds. Here’s a video showing the A-10 Warthog in action.
Warthog fighter jet and its capabilities
The A-10 Thunderbolt II is a product of U.S.-based aircraft manufacturer Fairchild Republic. It is a one-seater, straight-wing combat plane that packs twin turbofans and flies in the subsonic speed range. Equipped with notable weapons, it is the perfect aircraft for providing close-air support to troops on the ground.
In 1972, pilot Howard “Sam” Nelson tested Thunderbolt II’s prototype in the air for the first time. By 1977, the fighter plane became a part of the U.S. Air Force’s aircraft fleet. Although its production stopped 38 years ago, the Warthog is still in service, with the White House boasting 281 units at its disposal.
The Warthog features a GAU-8 Avenger 30mm gatling gun attached to its nose, which can fire explosive rounds capable of piercing armor. At 390 bullets per minute, these rounds are very prolific. On the other hand, they are quite accurate since they can hit within 40 feet of the target from a height of 4,000ft.
Coming to the aerial traits, Thunderbolt II can touch speeds of 450 kts (833.4 kmph) or Mach 0.75. It has a range of 2580mi or 4152.1km, whereas its max weapons payload can reach up to 16,000lbs or 7257.4kgs.
Remarkably, the fighter jet can take off or land in a short time and move expertly at low altitudes. Thanks to its Night Vision Imaging System, A-10 Warthog can operate with little trouble in poor visibility conditions. Moreover, the aircraft sports is built sturdy enough to sustain armor-piercing artillery.
Due to its incredible capabilities, the Warthog is of very high value to the U.S. Air Force. As a matter of fact, the U.S. doesn’t sell this highly-advanced aircraft to any other nation as of now. But, there are other powerful planes that the Americans have put on the market, such as Lockheed Martin F-35 and Boeing C-17 Globemaster III.