Good evening, FighterSweep Fans! You won’t find a lot of new information in this piece over at Scout Warrior, but the truth is we–much like yourselves–don’t tire of reading about or watching the Warthog in action. Truly one of the most rugged and reliable battlefield weapons ever designed (thank you, Colonel Kay), it continues to prove its worth in its multiple mission sets. The Warthog’s fate has been decided and other platforms will be performing its missions; however, there’s nothing else that can inspire the kind of terror in the minds and hearts of opposing ground forces like the Hawg.
Known for an ability to keep flying after taking multiple rounds of enemy machine gun fire, land and operate in rugged terrain, destroy groups of enemy fighters with a 30mm cannon and unleash a wide arsenal of attack weapons, the A-10 Warthog is described by pilots as a “flying tank” in the sky — able to hover over ground war and provide life-saving close air support in high-threat combat environments.
“It is built to withstand more damage than any other frame that I know of. It’s known for its ruggedness,” A-10 pilot Lt. Col. Ryan Haden, 23rd Fighter Group Deputy, Moody AFB, told Scout Warrior in an interview.
The pilot of the A-10 is surrounded by multiple plates of titanium armor, designed to enable the aircraft to withstand small-arms fire and keep flying its attack missions.
“The A-10 is not agile, nimble, fast or quick,” Haden said. “It’s deliberate, measured, hefty, impactful calculated and sound. There’s nothing flimsy or fragile about the way it is constructed or about the way that it flies.”
A-10 Thunderbolt II, affectionately known as the Warthog, has been in service since the late 1970s and served as a close air support combat aircraft in conflicts such as the Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Allied Force in Kosovo, among others.
Having flown combat missions in the A-10, Haden explained how the aircraft is specially designed to survive enemy ground attacks.
“There are things built in for redundancy. If one hydraulic system fails, another one kicks in,” he said. “So when I lose all the computers and the calculations, the targeting pod and the heads up display, you can still point the aircraft using a degraded system at the target and shoot. We are actually trained for that.”
The original article in its entirety can be viewed right here. Go check it out!
(Featured photo courtesy of YouTube)