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    The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, better known as the Warthog, is the premier United States Air Force ground attack aircraft.

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    Shark Warthog.
    Shark Warthog.

    The A-10 is a big, slow, heavily armored beast of an aircraft. It is the the flying equivalent of the tank. Its mission is to fly close to friendly troops, and blow up anything in their path. The aircraft frame is built around a massive GAU-8 Avenger cannon, which fires super dense depleted Uranium 30mm shells, at a very high rate of fire and velocity. The bullets fired from the main gun have enough kinetic energy to penetrate a tank.

    Flamingo Warthog.
    Flamingo Warthog.

    The combination of heavy armament, unique ugly look, ease of control, immense survivability, and awesome shark mouth have made it a favorite for pilots, the troops it supports, and civilians. As such it has been featured in several video games, including starring roles in the Amiga's A-10 Tank Killer, and 1996's A-10 Cuba!.

    The Warthog is popular enough that it was even given its own... interesting Downloadable Content skins for Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation, which for about 200 Microsoft Points could add an Idolm@ster to your plane, or turn it Flamingo pink.

    A-10 STATS

    • Primary role: Close air support, ground-attack, anti-tank.
    • Turbo fans: Two General Electric type TF34- GE - 100 turbofans
    • Thrust: 9065 pounds each engine
    • Length: 16.16 meters
    • Height: 4.42 meters
    • Wingspan: 17.42 meters
    • Speed : 420 M/H 0.56 MACH
    • Range: 800 miles , 695 nautical miles
    • Weapons: 30mm GAU-8/A Gatling gun with 1174 rounds. Up to 16,000 lbs (7000 kg) of rockets, bombs, missiles, cluster bombs, napalm and other goodies.
    • Defense: Flares, jammer pods , illumination flares, redundant and triple redundant systems, armor plating, self-sealing fuel tanks. The engines are durable turbines that are placed in their distinctive high, and back position on the plane to make them harder to hit with Anti-aircraft weapons.
    • Crew: One
    • Date first deployed: March 1976
    • Cost: $11.8 million

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