On this date in Hog History….The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II took to the skies on her maiden flight. The single-seat, twin turbofan tank killer developed by Fairchild-Republic for the USAF is a real-life example of the old saying “Walk quietly, and carry a big stick”! Lovingly referred to as “Warthog” or “Hog”, whose official name originated from the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, an extremely effective fighter bomber ground attack aircraft used during the Second World War. 

The A-10 was designed for one job, and one job only…close air support (CAS) of friendly ground troops, by providing quick-action support against enemy ground forces, attacking armoured vehicles, tanks, enemy positions and anything that the brass wanted to eliminate expeditiously. The Warthog entered service in 1976 and remains the only production-built aircraft that has served in the USAF inventory that was designed solely for CAS, with a secondary mission of providing service as a Forward Air Controller - Airborne (FAC-A) 

The A-10 was intended to improve on the performance of the A-1 Skyraider, while maximizing the potential weapons load. The A-10 has been described as a flying tank due to the over 1,200 pounds of titanium armour designed to protect the cockpit, and critical aircraft systems, thus enabling the Warthog to absorb a significant amount of damage and keep on mission objectives

The A-10 was basically an aircraft built around the world's largest gun carried by an aircraft. The 30 mm GAU-8 Avenger rotary cannon possesses the ability to fire over 3,900 rounds per minute and only takes half a second to come up to a speed of 70 rounds per second of depleted uranium of effective international relations. The monster gun is accurate enough to place over 80 percent of its shots within a 40-foot diameter circle from 4,000 feet in altitude. The GAU-8 is optimized for a slant range of 4,000 feet with the Hog in a 30-degree dive. For greater ranges, the A-10 is equipped with AGM-65 Maverick electro-optical (TV-guided) or infrared targeted air-to-surface missiles, cluster bombs, Hydra rocket pods, GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb, JDAM, WCMD and glide bomb AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon, and two AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles for self-defence.

Utilizing her impressive low-level maneuverability, heavily armoured fuselage, whisper-quiet engines, and obscenely fierce firepower, the A-10 is feared by enemy forces the world over, while loved by the troops she protects. 



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