The A-10 Thunderbolt II, also known as the Warthog, is a twin-engine aircraft that provides close-air support of ground forces and employs a wide variety of conventional munitions, including general purpose bombs. The simple, effective and survivable single-seat aircraft can be used against all ground targets, including tanks and other armored vehicles. The aircraft is currently supporting operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The first flight of the A-10 was in May 1972, and a total of 713 aircraft have since been produced. Over 350 A-10 aircraft are in service with the US Air Force, Air Combat Command, the U.S. Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard.
A-10/OA-10 Thunderbolt IIs have excellent maneuverability at low air speeds and altitude, and are highly accurate weapons-delivery platforms. They can loiter near battle areas for extended periods of time and operate under 1,000-foot ceilings (303.3 meters) with 1.5-mile (2.4 kilometers) visibility. Their wide combat radius and short takeoff and landing capability permit operations in and out of locations near front lines. Using night vision goggles, A-10/OA-10 pilots can conduct their missions during darkness.
The single-seat cockpit is protected by all-round armor, with a titanium "bathtub" structure to protect the pilot that is up to 3.8cm thick. The cockpit has a large bulletproof bubble canopy, which gives good all-round vision.
The A-10 can carry up to six Maverick AGM-65/B/D/G/H/K air-to-surface missiles, and up to four AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.