Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt
Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt
The A-10 Thunderbolt II, affectionately nicknamed “The Warthog,” was developed for the United States Air Force by the OEM Team from Fairchild Republic Company, now a part of Northrop Grumman Corporation Aerospace Systems Eastern Region located in Bethpage NY and St. Augustine FL. Following in the footsteps of the legendary P-47 Thunderbolt, the OEM Team was awarded a study contract in the 1960s to define requirements for a new Close Air Support aircraft, rugged and survivable, to protect combat troops on the ground. This initial study was followed up by a prototype development contract for the A-X, and a final flyoff competition resulting in the selection of the A-10 Thunderbolt II.
Selection of the A-10 Thunderbolt II for this mission was based on the dramatic low altitude maneuverability, lethality, “get home safe” survivability, and mission capable maintainability designed into the jet by the OEM team. This design features a titanium “bathtub” that protects the pilot from injury, and dually redundant flight control systems that allow the pilot to fly the aircraft out of enemy range, despite severe damage such as complete loss of hydraulic capability. These features have been utilized to great effect in both the Desert Storm conflict of the 1990’s and in the more recent Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and Global War on Terror engagements.
In 1987, the A-10 OEM Team® and all A-10 assets were acquired by Grumman Corporation from Fairchild Republic Company, and are now part of the Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems Eastern Region, presently partnered with Lockheed Martin Systems Integration as a member of the A-10 Prime Team.
The OEM Team has maintained continuous involvement in the modernization of the jet, integrating the Inertial Navigation System in the 1970s, developing and installing the Low Altitude Safety and Targeting Enhancement ground collision avoidance system in the 1980s, and the Night Vision Imaging System in the 1990s, and has demonstrated particular leadership in the planning and analysis required for managing the structural integrity of the airframe through the various changes in flight maneuver spectra, mission, and force structure.
The A-10 Aircraft Structural Integrity Program began with the initial A-10 OEM development contract, with the definition of materials and processes, design analyses, component and full scale testing, and data collection and analysis on an aircraft by aircraft basis, to validate analyses and accurately predict fatigue damage for the optimization of inspection intervals and maximization of aircraft availability. The A-10 OEM Team continues to be a key member of the A-10 ASIP Team, providing loads and structures analysis, performing full scale and component testing, developing structural reinforcements and non-destructive inspection techniques to prevent structural failure, analyzing manufacturing methods for aircraft improvements and providing overall weapons system expertise for the support of the warfighter.
- Crew: 1
- Length: 53 ft 4 in (16.26 m)
- Wingspan: 57 ft 6 in (17.53 m)
- Height: 14 ft 8 in (4.47 m)
- Wing area: 506 ft² (47.0 m²)
- Airfoil: NACA 6716 root, NACA 6713 tip
- Empty weight: 24,959 lb (11,321 kg)
- Loaded weight: 30,384 lb (13,782 kg)
CAS mission:47,094 lb (21,361 kg)
Anti-armor mission: 42,071 lb (19,083 kg)
- Max. takeoff weight: 51,000 lb (23,133 kg)
- Internal fuel capacity: 11,000 lb (4,990 kg)
- Powerplant: 2 × General Electric TF34-GE-100A turbofans, 9,065 lbf (40.32 kN) each
- Never exceed speed: 450 knots (518 mph, 833 km/h) at 5,000 ft (1,500 m) with 18 Mk 82 bombs
- Maximum speed: 381 knots (439 mph, 706 km/h) at sea level, clean
- Cruise speed: 300 knots (340 mph, 560 km/h)
- Stall speed: 120 knots (138 mph, 220 km/h) [
- Combat radius: ** CAS mission: 250 nmi (288 mi, 460 km) at 1.88 hour loiter at 5,000 ft (1,500 m), 10 min combat
- Anti-armor mission: 252 nmi (290 mi, 467 km), 40 nmi (45 mi, 75 km)) sea-level penetration and exit, 30 min combat
- Ferry range: 2,240 nmi (2,580 mi, 4,150 km) with 50 knot (55 mph, 90 km/h) headwinds, 20 minutes reserve
- Service ceiling: 45,000 ft (13,700 m)
- Rate of climb: 6,000 ft/min (30 m/s)
- Wing loading: 99 lb/ft² (482 kg/m²)
- Thrust/weight: 0.36
- Guns: 1× 30 mm (1.18 in) GAU-8/A Avenger rotary cannon with 1,174 rounds (capacity 1,350 rd)
- Hardpoints: 11 (8× under-wing and 3× under-fuselage pylon stations) with a capacity of 16,000 lb (7,260 kg) and provisions to carry combinations of:
- Rockets: *** 4× LAU-61/LAU-68 rocket pods (each with 19×/7× Hydra 70 mm/APKWS rockets, respectively)
- 6x LAU-131 rocket pods (each with 7x Hydra 70 rockets)
- Missiles: *** 2× AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles for self-defense
- 6× AGM-65 Maverick air-to-surface missiles
- Bombs: *** Mark 80 series of unguided iron bombs or
- Mk 77 incendiary bombs or
- BLU-1, BLU-27/B, CBU-20 Rockeye II, BL755 and CBU-52/58/71/87/89/97 cluster bombs or
- Paveway series of Laser-guided bombs or
- Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) (A-10C) or
- Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser (A-10C)
- Other: *** SUU-42A/A Flares/Infrared decoys and chaff dispenser pod or
- AN/ALQ-131 or AN/ALQ-184 ECM pods or
- Lockheed Martin Sniper XR or LITENING targeting pods (A-10C) or
- 2× 600 US gal (2,300 L) Sargent Fletcher drop tanks for increased range/loitering time.
- AN/AAS-35(V) Pave Penny laser tracker pod (mounted beneath right side of cockpit) for use with Paveway LGBs (currently the Pave Penny is no longer in use)
- Head-up display (HUD) for improved technical flying and air-to-ground support.