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Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon

The U.S. Air Force officially named the F-16 “Fighting Falcon” on July 21st, 1980, during a ceremony at Hill AFB in Utah.

The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a compact, multi-role fighter aircraft. In the air combat role, the F-16’s maneuverability and combat radius exceed that of all potential enemy fighter aircraft. It can locate targets in all weather conditions and detect low flying aircraft in radar ground clutter. In the air-to-surface role, the F-16 can fly over 500 miles, deliver its weapons accurately, defend itself, and return to base. An all-weather capability allows it to accurately deliver ordnance during bad weather or at night. With a full load of internal fuel the F-16 can withstand up to 9G’s, it’s likely the pilot will fail before the airframe does.. The bubble cockpit canopy gives the pilot unobstructed vision forward and upward and much improved vision over the side and rear.

The F-16 first flew in December 1976. The first operational F-16A was delivered to the 388th TFW at Hill AFB, Utah in January 1979. The two-seat version, the F-16B, has two cockpits each about the same size as the single ‘A’ version cockpit. To make room for the second cockpit the forward fuselage fuel tank and avionics growth space is reduced.

The Falcon was one of the first to use the now standard fly-by-wire control system whereby no direct mechanical link is provided, instead the pilot’s controls communicate with the F-16 ‘s electronics which in turn move the aircraft’s flying surfaces. This system requires a side-mounted control stick instead of the conventional between the knees joystick that came as standard with combat planes since the beginning, needed for better control during the high-G maneuvers the plane can fly.

To simplify and cut the cost of development and production of the Falcon, some existing and proven systems from other USAF aircraft were adapted for it’s use. Parts used in the earlier F15 Eagle and the old swing wing F111 fighter bomber found a home in the aircraft. Unusually the F16 Falcon has a single engine instead of two. While cutting the cost of the aircraft and also maintenance time it does always increase the chance of a ‘dead stick landing’, however the F16 has proven reliable in the field.

The Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon, the first of the US Air Force multi-role fighter aircraft, is the world’s most prolific fighter with more than 2,000 in service with the USAF and 2,000 operational with 23 other countries.

Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Specifications
Primary Function Multi-role fighter
Builder Lockheed Martin Corp.
Power Plant F-16C/D:
one Pratt and Whitney F100-PW-200/220/229 or
one General Electric F110-GE-100/129
Thrust F-16C/D, 27,000 pounds(12,150 kilograms)
Length 49 feet, 5 inches (14.8 meters)
Height 16 feet (4.8 meters)
Wingspan 32 feet, 8 inches (9.8 meters)
Speed 1,500 mph (Mach 2 at altitude)
Ceiling Above 50,000 feet (15 kilometers)
Maximum Takeoff Weight 37,500 pounds (16,875 kilograms)
Combat Radius [F-16C]

740 nm (1,370 km) with 2 2,000-lb bombs + 2 AIM-9 + 1,040 US gal external tanks
340 nm (630 km) with 4 2,000-lb bombs + 2 AIM-9 + 340 US gal external tanks
200 nm (370 km) + 2 hr 10 min patrol with 2 AIM-7 + 2 AIM-9 + 1,040 US gal external tanks

Range Over 2,100 nm (2,425 mi; 3,900 km)
Armament One M-61A1 20mm multibarrel cannon with 500 rounds; external stations can carry up to six air-to-air missiles, conventional air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions and electronic countermeasure pods.


North American P-51 Mustang

U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) fighter aircraft manufactured by North American Aviation, Inc., between 1942 and 1945. In its role as a long-range bomber escort in the European Theater of Operations during World War II, the P-51 exhibited its greatest influence and is credited by many as the airplane that shifted the European airwar in favor of the allied forces.

This P-51 was used by the USAFF, USAF and various U.S. Air National Guard units during and after World War II, performing a variety of missions, including interception of enemy aircraft, long-range bomber escort, armament support for land and sea forces, photographic reconnaissance and flight training.

The P-51 performed at levels surpassing other single-engine, propeller driven fighter aircraft during World War II.  The wingspan of 44-73287 is 37.03 feet and has a wing area of 236 square feet. The plane’s two-section, semimonocoque fuselage is constructed entirely of aluminum alloy and is 32 feet and 2 5/8 inches in length.

Laminar flow airfoil was used during World War II in the design of the wings for the North American P-51 Mustang, as well as some other aircraft. Operationally, the wing did not enhance performance as dramatically as tunnel tests suggested. For the best performance, manufacturing tolerances had to be perfect and maintenance of wing surfaces needed to be thorough. The rush of mass production during the war and the tasks of meticulous maintenance in combat zones never met the standards of NACA laboratories. Still, the work on the laminar flow wing pointed the way to a new family of successful high-speed airfoils. These and other NACA wing sections became the patterns for aircraft around the world.

P-51 Mustang


Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

The B-17 Flying Fortress is one of the most famous airplanes ever built. The B17 prototype first flew July 28, 1935. Few B-17s were in service on Dec. 7, 1941, but production quickly accelerated. The aircraft served in every World War II combat zone, but is best known for daylight strategic bombing of German industrial targets. Production ended in May 1945, and totaled 12,726.


In response for the Army’s request for a large, multiengine bomber, the B-17 (Model 299) prototype, financed entirely by Boeing, went from design board to flight test in less than 12 months. General features on the B-17 include its mid-wing monoplane design, aluminum-clad exterior, four radial engines, massive wing structure and heavy armament. It was the first Boeing airplane with the distinctive, and enormous, tail for improved control and stability during high-altitude bombing.

Although many U.S. airmen and craft contributed to the Allied victory in World War II, the B-17 has become especially symbolic of the self-reliance, daring and sacrifice of American airmen during the war. American confidence in the B-17 became the cornerstone for the Air Corps doctrine of strategic “daylight” bombing in German-occupied Europe.

The G series could hold a crew of 10, including pilot, co-pilot, bombardier, radio operator, navigator, dorsal turret gunner, two waist gunners, ball turret gunner and tail gunner. Typical for B-17Gs are the four 1,380-horsepower Wright GR1820-97 Cyclone air-cooled, nine-cylinder radial engines equipped with exhaust driven turbochargers.  General features include the raised cockpit section and Plexiglas nose cone. Characteristic of all B-17s, starting with the E series, is the massive dorsal fin, which gracefully sweeps to merge with the fuselage. All B-17s have retractable tail-wheel landing gear. The empty weight of the airplane is 32,720 pounds. Fully armed and loaded, B-17s weigh 65,600 pounds. Payloads of 4,000-5,000 pounds were typical but up to 17,600 pounds could be carried for less than maximum range. The maximum speed was 300 miles per hour at 30,000 feet.

While the B-17s were used in the Pacific, by 1944 the B-29 had replaced the B-17 for use in the Pacific Theater. While in the Pacific, the planes earned a deadly reputation with the Japanese, who dubbed them “four-engine fighters.” The Fortresses were also legendary for their ability to stay in the air after taking brutal poundings. They sometimes limped back to their bases with large chunks of the fuselage shot off. B-17s were initially intended as a fast, land-based bomber, which could patrol at sea and intercept naval vessels.

The B-17 went through several alterations in each of its design stages and variants. By the time the definitive B-17 G appeared, the number of guns had been increased from seven to 13, the designs of the gun stations were finalized, and other adjustments were complete. The B-17 G was the final version of the B-17, incorporating all changes made to its predecessor, the B-17 F, and in total 8,680 was built, the last one on 9 April 1945. Boeing plants built a total of 6,981 B-17s in various models, and another 5,745 were built under a nationwide collaborative effort by Douglas and Lockheed (Vega). Many B-17 Gs were converted for other missions such as cargo hauling, engine testing and reconnaissance. Initially designated SB-17G, a number of B-17Gs were also converted for search-and-rescue duties, later to be re-designated B-17H.

Late in World War II, at least 25 B-17s were fitted with radio controls, loaded with 20,000 pounds (9,000 kg) of high-explosives, dubbed “BQ-7 Aphrodite missiles”, and used against U-boat pens and bomb-resistant fortifications.

Specifications

Wing Span: 103 feet, 10 inches
Length: 74 feet, 4 inches
Height: 19 feet, 1 inches
Weight: 55,000 pounds loaded
Armament: Thirteen .50-caliber machine guns with normal bomb load of 6,000 pounds
Engines: Four Wright “Cyclone” R-1820s of 1,200 horsepower each
Cost: $276,000
Maximum speed: 300 mph.
Cruising speed: 170 mph.
Range: 1,850 miles
Service Ceiling: 35,000 feet

EASTERN EUROPE -- The vapor trails from two Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress  aircraft light up the night sky. The B-17 is one of the most famous airplanes ever built. The B-17 prototype first flew on July 28, 1935. Few B-17s were in service on December 7, 1941, but production quickly accelerated. The aircraft served in every WW II combat zone, but is best known for daylight strategic bombing of German industrial targets. (U.S. Air Force file photo)

Vapor trails from Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses.The Flying Fortress is one of the most famous airplanes ever built. The B-17 prototype first flew on July 28, 1935. Few B-17s were in service on December 7, 1941, but production quickly accelerated. The aircraft served in every WW II combat zone, but is best known for daylight strategic bombing of German industrial targets. Production ended in May 1945 and totaled 12,726.


Fabrica Militar de Aviones IA 58 Pucará

FMA IA 58 Pucará
The FMA IA 58 Pucará (Quechua: Fortress) is a two-seat light attack aircraft powered by two turboprop engines. It was designed for the COIN (counterinsurgency) and CAS (close air support) roles for the Argentine Air Force. A low-wing monoplane of all-metal construction, with a retractable landing gear, it was manufactured by the Fabrica Militar de Aviones. It has narrow fuselage and tail section and a tandem seat cockpit with a steep sloping nose. Although heavily armed the weapons are unguided and visually aimed by the crew. The IA 58 only needs a minimum of ground support to operate; it is able to operate from unprepared rough terrains.

Named after a form of South American stone hill fortress, the Pucara’s origins can be traced back to the mid-1960’s when Argentina’s Fabrica Militar de Aviones ( Military Aircraft Factory ) was requested to develop a new combat aircraft capable of performing COIN, CAS and reconnaissance missions. The first flight of the prototype AX-2 Delfin, powered by a pair of Garrett TPE331-U-303 turbo props, took place on 20 August 1969. Subsequent prototypes were re-engined with French Turbom Eca Astazou XVIG turboprops.

The Pucara was designed to operate from rough field and unprepared sites with the minimum of ground support – a point it proved to good effect during the Falklands War of 1982. Operations are possible by night, but not in adverse weather conditions, and weapons aiming is achieved visually by the pilot making full use of the excellent forward visibility over the Pucara’s downward sloping nose.

The IA 58A is the main production variant of the Pucará design. About 108 aircraft were built for Argentina of which 6 were sold to Uruguay. About 3 aircraft were captured by the United Kingdom during the Falkland War, they are now preserved by the RAF. The production standard IA 58A first flew on 8 November 1974, with deliveries to the Argentinean Air Force commencing just over a year later.

The IA 58B is basically a IA 58A with 30mm cannons in place of the 20mm cannons present in the A model. Although a prototype has been developed, none were produced.

The IA 58C is a multi-role single-seat version of the Pucará. The changes included the addition of a Head-up Display, IFF (identification friend of foe), 30-mm DEFA 553 cannons in the nose, two extra hard points for Magic 2 Air-to-Air missiles and additional weapons capability, including Martin Pescador anti-ship missiles.

The IA 66 prototype was a IA 58A model fitted with 1,000-shp Garrett TPE331-11-601W turboprops, none were produced.

However, overall production figures have been modest at best, with exports to Uruguay, Sri Lanka and Colombia accounting for less than 20 aircraft in total

Specifications
Country of Origin Argentina
Wing Span 14.5m ( 47 ft 7 in )
Length 15.25 m ( 46ft 9in)
Height 5.36m ( 17ft 7 in )
Weight empty, equipped 4,037 kg ( 8,900 lb );
MTOW 6,800 kg ( 14,991 lb )
Engine two 988 shp Turbomeca Astazou XVIG turboprops
Maximum speed 500 km/h ( 311 mph ) at 3,000 m ( 9,840 ft )
Cruising speed 430 km/h ( 267 mph )
Service Ceiling 9,700 m ( 31, 825 ft )
Armament two Hispano HS804 20mm cannon each with 270 rpg, four FN Browning 7.62 mm cannon with 900 rpg; up to 1500 kg ( 3,307lb ) of free fall bombs, napalm tanks, 70 mm ( 2.75 in ) rockets, cannon pods, two auxiliary fuel tanks.
Role: counter insurgency, close air support, light attack
Builder: Fabrica Militar de Aviones (FMA)
Variants: IA 58A, IA 58B, IA 58C, IA66
Operators: Argentina, Colombia, Sri Lanka, and Uruguay

Click the picture for even more great Pucará pictures!
FMA IA 58 Pucará


Grumman F-14 Tomcat

The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic, twin-engine, variable sweep wing, two-place strike fighter. The Tomcat’s primary missions are air superiority, fleet air defense and precision strike against ground targets. Recently phased out of active service, the F-14 has had a long and distinguished career. The person responsible for the F-14 project was Admiral Tom Conolly, Deputy Chief, Naval Operations for Air. The aircraft was dubbed “Tom’s Cat” long before it was officially named “Tomcat”. Naming their aircraft after ‘cats’ is a long held Grumman tradition.


The F-14 Tomcat had visual and all-weather attack capability to deliver Phoenix and Sparrow missiles as well as the M-61 gun and Sidewinder missiles for close in air-to-air combat. The F-14 also had the LANTIRN targeting system that allows delivery of various laser-guided bombs for precision strikes in air-to-ground combat missions. This enabled the Tomcat to acquire mensurated target coordinates that are accurate enough for GPS weapons, which was unique to the Tomcat. The F-14, equipped with Tactical Air Reconnaissance Pod System (TARPS) was the Navy’s only manned tactical reconnaissance platform.

The F-14 was designed in 1968 to take the place of the controversial F-111B, which was under development for the Navy’s carrier fighter inventory. The F-14A used the P&W TF30 engines and AWG-9 system and carried the six Phoenix missiles that had been intended for the F-111B. A completely new fighter system was designed around these with emphasis on close-in fighting “claws” along with standoff missile fighting. Grumman was announced as competition winner for the new carrier-based fighter for the U.S. Navy. Emphasis had been placed on producing a comparatively small, light weight, high performance aircraft with a significant advance over the then current F-4 Phantom II. The F-14 had three primary missions; the first was as a fighter / escort to clear contested air space of enemy fighters and protecting the strike force. The second mission was to defend the carrier task force with Combat Air Patrols (CAP) and interception operations. The third role was secondary attack on tactical ground targets.

From its first flight on 21 December 1970, the F-14A went through five years of development, evaluation, squadron training and initial carrier deployments to become the carrier air wings’ most potent fighter. Technical and financial problems that received a great deal of publicity were overcome in achieving this goal. Originally it was planned that the F-14B with the advanced P&W F401 would be the major production version. However, performance of the TF30-P-412 exceeded expectations while development of the F401 was delayed. One F-14B was flight tested, showing that an F401-powered Tomcat would be a potential future option.

The first operational ‘Tomcat’ squadrons with the U.S. Navy were VF-1 and VF-2. VF-2 flew the first operational sorties from the U.S.S. Enterprise in March 1974. The first ‘combat’ cruise of the Tomcat was in April 1975 when the Enterprise covered the withdrawal from Saigon, South Vietnam although no combat took place between American and North Vietnamese forces. In the 1980s, in what was known as the ‘Gulf of Sidra Incident’, a pair of VF-41 ‘Black Aces’ Tomcats from USS Nimitz shot down two Libyan Su-22 Fitters on 19 August 1981. A similar incident took place again on 4 January 1989 when a pair of VF-32 ‘Swordsmen’ Tomcats from USS John F. Kennedy shot down two Libyan MiG-23 Floggers.

Also, during the 1980s, Iranian F-14s (the only export customer for the F-14) were engaged in combat against the Iraqi Air Force during the Iran-Iraq War. Apart from functioning in its intended role, Iranian Tomcats were also used as mini-AWACS, using their superior radar system to direct other Iranian fighter planes (such as the F-4 and the F-5) against Iraqi aircraft. The final kill by the US Navy Tomcat is an Iraqi Mi-8 helicopter, shot down by an F-14 from VF-1 using a Sidewinder AAM on 7 February 1991 during Operation Desert Storm. These five kills are the only ones scored by the US Navy. The IRIAF Tomcats is much more successful, shooting down fairly large numbers of Iraqi warplanes using all the weapons systems available.

The Tomcat caps a long line of Grumman Cats. In the hands of Navy pilot/NFO teams, it provided the carrier task force with its first-line offense and defense against any enemy air threat in the tradition of its predecessors.  The F-14 became famous to the general public, as the star of the movie Top Gun, which also featured Tom Cruise.

The F-14 Tomcat performed superbly in Operation Allied Force and the strikes in Operation Southern Watch. While the Navy provided only eight percent of the total dedicated aircraft in Operation Allied Force, the Navy was credited with 30 percent of the validated kills against fielded forces in Kosovo as a result of the superb performance of the Tomcat in the Forward Air Controller (Airborne) (FAC(A)) role.

Specifications
Function: Carrier-based multi-role strike fighter
Contractor: Grumman Aerospace Corporation
Unit Cost: $38 million
Propulsion:
F-14A: Two Pratt & Whitney TF-30P-414A turbofan engine with afterburners
F-14B and F-14D: Two General Electric F110-GE-400 turbofan engines with afterburners
Thrust:
TF-30P-414A: 20,900 pounds (9,405 kg) static thrust per engine
F110-GE-400: 27,000 pounds (12,150 kg) static thrust per engine
Length: 61 feet 9 inches (18.6 meters)
Height: 16 feet (4.8 meters)
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 72,900 pounds (32,805 kg)
Wingspan: 64 feet (19 meters) unswept, 38 feet (11.4 meters) swept
Ceiling: Above 56,000 feet
Range: 1239 km 1994 km
Speed: Mach 2+
Crew: Two: pilot and radar intercept officer
Armament: Up to 13,000 pounds to include AIM-54 Phoenix missile, AIM-7 Sparrow missile, AIM-9 Sidewinder missile, air-to-ground precision strike ordnance, and one M61A1/A2 Vulcan 20mm cannon.
Date Deployed: First flight: December 1970

Grumman F-14 Tomcat


Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II “WartHog”

The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II is also known as the Warthog, the Flying Gun and the Tankbuster. The A-10 and OA-10 Thunderbolt IIs are the first Air Force aircraft specially designed for close air support of ground forces. They are simple, effective and survivable twin-engine jet aircraft that can be used against all ground targets, including tanks and other armored vehicles. The primary mission of the A-10 is to provide day and night close air combat support for friendly land forces and to act as forward air controller (FAC) to coordinate and direct friendly air forces in support of land forces. The A-10 has a secondary mission of supporting search and rescue and Special Forces operations. It also possesses a limited capability to perform certain types of interdiction. All of these missions may take place in a high or low threat environment


The A/OA-10 aircraft was specifically developed as a close air support aircraft with reliability and maintainability as major design considerations. The Air Force requirements documents emphasized payload, low altitude flying capability, range and loiter capability, low speed maneuverability and weapons delivery accuracy. The A-10 is slow enough to be an observation plane. This greatly increases the A-10’s effectiveness at protecting ground troops. The aircraft is suitable for operation from forward air bases, with short take-off and landing capability. The aircraft has a long range (800 miles) and endurance and can loiter in the battle area.

The A/OA-10 is a single place, pressurized, low wing and tail aircraft with two General Electric TF-34-100/A turbo-fan engines, each with a sea level static thrust rating of approximately 9000 pounds. The engines are installed in nacelles mounted on pylons extending from the fuselage just aft of and above the wing. Two vertical stabilizers are located at the outboard tips of the horizontal stabilizers. The forward retracting tricycle landing gear incorporates short struts and a wide tread. The nose wheel retracts fully into the fuselage nose. The main gear retracts into streamlined fairing on the wing with the lower portion of the wheel protruding to facilitate emergency gear-up landings.

The A-10’s survivability in the close air support arena greatly exceeds that of previous Air Force aircraft. The A-10 is designed to survive even the most disastrous damage and finish the mission by landing on an unimproved airfield. Specific survivability features include titanium armor plated cockpit, redundant flight control system separated by fuel tanks, manual reversion mode for flight controls, foam filled fuel tanks, ballistic foam void fillers, and a redundant primary structure providing “get home” capability after being hit.
All of the A-10’s glass is bulletproof and the cockpit itself is surrounded by a heavy tub of titanium. Titanium armor protects both the pilot and critical areas of the flight control system. This titanium “bathtub” can survive direct hits from armor-piercing and high explosive projectiles up to 37mm in size. The front windscreen can withstand up to a 23mm projectile. Fire retardant foam protects the fuel cells which are also self sealing in the event of puncture.

The redundant primary structural sections allow the aircraft to enjoy better survivability during close air support than did previous aircraft. Designers separated all of the crucial battle and flight systems. Manual systems back up their redundant hydraulic flight-control systems. This permits pilots to fly and land when hydraulic power is lost. The wheels can roll in their pods, which lets the plane perform belly landings without significant damage to the aircraft. Dual engines are mounted away from the Warthog’s fuselage; if one is destroyed, the other can propel the craft to safety. Dual vertical stabilizers shield the hot exhaust from Russian-designed heat seeking missiles. The A-10 has two hydraulic flight control systems, backed up by a manual flight control system. This redundancy allows the pilot to control a battle damaged aircraft, even after losing all hydraulic power. Furthermore, redundant primary structural and control surfaces enhance survivability. Lastly, the long low-set wings are designed to allow flight, even if half a wing is completely blown off. No other modern aircraft can survive such punishment. The wings themselves are set low to allow for more weaponry to fit beneath the aircraft.

The General Electric Aircraft Armament Subsystem A/A49E-6 (30 millimeter Gun System) is located in the forward nose section of the fuselage. The gun system consists of the 30mm Gatling gun mechanism, double-ended link-less ammunition feed, storage assembly and hydraulic drive system. The General Electric GAU-8/A 30mm seven barrel cannon, specifically designed for the A-10, provides unmatched tank killing capability. The gun fires armor-piercing depleted uranium projectiles capable of penetrating heavy armor. It also fires a high explosive incendiary round, which is extremely effective against soft skinned targets like trucks. The cannon fires at a rate of 4,200 rounds per minute.

The A-10/OA-10 have excellent maneuverability at low air speeds and altitude, and are highly accurate weapons-delivery platforms. The A-10 has half the turning radius of the Air Force’s other primary CAS aircraft, the F-16. After initially leaving a target, the A-10 can turn around and hit the same target again, all in around 7 seconds. Due to its large combat radius, the Thunderbolt II can loiter for extended periods of time, allowing for the coordination required to employ within yards of friendly forces. They can operate under 1,000-foot ceilings (300 meters) with 1.5-mile (2.4 kilometers) visibility. Using night vision goggles, A-10/ OA-10 pilots can conduct their missions during darkness. The A-10s highly accurate weapons delivery system makes it effective against all ground targets including tanks and other armored vehicles.

The Thunderbolt II can employ a wide variety of conventional munitions, including general purpose bombs, cluster bomb units, laser guided bombs, joint direct attack munitions or JDAM), wind corrected munitions dispenser or WCMD, AGM-65 Maverick and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, rockets, illumination flares, and the GAU-8/A 30mm cannon, capable of firing 3,900 rounds per minute to defeat a wide variety of targets including tanks.

The first flight of the A-10 was in May 1972, and a total of 707 aircraft have since been produced. Originally manufactured by Fairchild, since 1987 the prime contractor for the A-10 has been Northrop Grumman, which carries out support and structural upgrade programmes from the Integrated Systems and Aerostructures Divisions at Bethpage, New York and at St Augustine in Florida.

The first production A-10A was delivered to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., in October 1975. It was designed especially for the close air support mission and had the ability to combine large military loads, long loiter and wide combat radius, which proved to be vital assets to America and its allies during Operation Desert Storm. In the Gulf War, A-10s, with a mission capable rate of 95.7 percent, flew 8,100 sorties and launched 90 percent of the AGM-65 Maverick missiles. The Thunderbolt II has also participated in operations Southern Watch, Provide Comfort, Desert Fox, Noble Anvil, Deny Flight, Deliberate Guard, Allied Force, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

The upgraded A-10C reached initial operation capability in September 2007. Specifically designed for close air support, its combination of large and varied ordnance load, long loiter time, accurate weapons delivery, austere field capability, and survivability has proven invaluable to the United States and its allies.Over 350 A-10 aircraft are in service with the US Air Force, Air Combat Command, the US Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard.

Specifications
Primary Function: A-10 — close air support, OA-10 – airborne forward air control
Contractor: Fairchild Republic Co.
Power Plant: Two General Electric TF34-GE-100 turbofans
Thrust: 9,065 pounds each engine
Wingspan: 57 feet, 6 inches (17.42 meters)
Length: 53 feet, 4 inches (16.16 meters)
Height: 14 feet, 8 inches (4.42 meters)
Weight: 29,000 pounds (13,154 kilograms)
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 51,000 pounds (22,950 kilograms)
Fuel Capacity: 11,000 pounds (7,257 kilograms)
Payload: 16,000 pounds (7,257 kilograms)
Speed: 420 miles per hour (Mach 0.56)
Range: 800 miles (695 nautical miles)
Ceiling: 45,000 feet (13,636 meters)
Armament: One 30 mm GAU-8/A seven-barrel Gatling gun; up to 16,000 pounds (7,200 kilograms) of mixed ordnance on eight under-wing and three under-fuselage pylon stations, including 500 pound (225 kilograms) Mk-82 and 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms) Mk-84 series low/high drag bombs, incendiary cluster bombs, combined effects munitions, mine dispensing munitions, AGM-65 Maverick missiles and laser-guided/electro-optically guided bombs; infrared countermeasure flares; electronic countermeasure chaff; jammer pods; 2.75-inch (6.99 centimeters) rockets; illumination flares and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles.
Crew: One
Unit Cost: Not available
Initial operating capability: A-10A, 1977; A-10C, 2007
Inventory: Active force, A-10, 143 and OA-10, 70; Reserve, A-10, 46 and OA-10, 6; ANG, A-10, 84 and OA-10, 18