Mission A-10 Thunder Bolt
Provide Close Air Support (CAS) and Forward Air Control (FAC) supporting the land battle, including Special Forces, and provide Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) and interdiction under certain circumstances.
|A-10 THUNDERBOLT II|
The A-10/OA-10 Thunderbolt II has excellent maneuverability at low air speeds and is a highly accurate weapons delivery platform. Using Night Vision Imaging Systems (NVIS), A-10/OA-10 pilots can conduct their missions during darkness. Thunderbolt IIs are designed for survivability during close air support and can survive direct hits from armor-piercing and high-explosive projectiles up to 23mm. Sophisticated avionics equipment includes communications, inertial navigation systems with embedded GPS capability, fire control and weapons delivery systems, target penetration aids, and night vision goggles.
Weapons delivery systems include a 30mm GAU-8/A Gatling gun that fires 3,900 rounds per minute. In the Gulf War, A-10s had a mission capable rate of 95.7 percent, flew 8,100 sorties, and launched 90 percent of the AGM-65 Maverick missiles used. These aircraft were responsible for 60 percent of Air Force fighter destroyed targets in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). All A-10s are being upgraded to A/OA-10C models by incorporation of the Precision Engagement modification, which extends through FY09.
This modification integrates the A-10 avionics systems with a digital data link and a targeting pod. Other added capabilities include Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) and Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser (WCMD) weapons employment,a MIL-STD-1760 data bus, a digital stores management system, and Hands On Throttle And Stick (HOTAS) controls.
Weight : 51,000 lb. (22,950 kg )
Range Armamant : 800 miles (695 nautical miles) One 30 mm GAU-8/A seven-barrel Gatling gun with over 1,150 rounds of ammunition. Up to 16,000 lb. (7,200 kg ) of mixed ordnance on eight under-wing and three underfuselage pylon stations, including 500 lb. (225 kg ) Mk-82 and 2,000 lb. (900 kg ) Mk-84 series low/high drag bombs, GBU-31/32/38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions, incendiary cluster bombs, combined effects munitions, Wind Corrected Munitions Dispensers, mine dispensing munitions, AGM-65 Maverick missiles and laser-guided/electro-optically guided bombs; infrared countermeasure flares; electronic countermeasure chaff; jammer pods; 2.75-in. (6.99 cm) rockets; illumination flares; and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles.
Dimension : Length: 53 ft., 4 in. (16.16 m); Height: 14 ft., 8 in. (4.42 m); Wingspan: 57 ft., 6 in. (17.42 m).
Power Plant : Two General Electric TF34-GE-100 turbofans.
Thrust : 9,065 lb. each engine
Speed : 450 miles per hour (Mach 0.75).
Ceiling : 45,000 ft. (13,636 m)
Crew : One
Program Status :
Modification and sustainment; projected inventory—356
Current Inventory :
356 (58 percent Active, 14 percent Air Force Reserve Command
(AFRC), 28 percent Air National Guard (ANG))
Future Upgrades :
Precision Engagement (PE), Extended Infrared CounterMeasures
(IRCM), Situational Awareness Data Link (SADL),Wing
Replacement Program, and Mode S/5.