The A-10 Thunderbolt II, otherwise known as the A-10 Warthog, is a genuinely legendary fighter aircraft. Initially introduced in the mid-1970s, the Warthog was a product of the A-X program initiated by the U.S. Air Force (USAF) in 1967. At that time, the USAF was searching for a close air support (CAS) fighter capable of knocking out lines of Soviet tanks. The A-10 was ultimately chosen for this task, not for its speed, but for its survivability, maneuverability at slower speeds, ability to loiter, and, of course, lethality.
However, the Warthog’s first wartime mission came not, thankfully, against Soviet tanks but in 1991 during the Persian Gulf War. In that conflict, the Warthog’s famed 30 millimeter GAU-8 Avenger rotary cannon was used to tear through Iraqi armor units. In total, 132 A-10s flew 7,983 combat missions, taking out 987 tanks, 926 artillery pieces, 1,355 armored vehicles, ten aircraft on the
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