autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 

Warthog Lurking in the California Dark Is the Definition of Fright

The dictionary definition of fright is “a sudden intense feeling of fear.” If you’re one of America’s enemies, the sight of this image here might trigger that into your bones.
A-10 Thunderbolt II 12 photos
A-10 Thunderbolt taking offA-10 Thunderbolts on ACE trainingA-10 Thunderbolts on ACE trainingA-10 Thunderbolts on ACE trainingA-10 Thunderbolts on ACE trainingA-10 Thunderbolts on ACE trainingA-10 Thunderbolts on ACE trainingA-10 Thunderbolts on ACE trainingA-10 Thunderbolts on ACE trainingA-10 Thunderbolts on ACE trainingA-10 Thunderbolts on ACE training
A starry sky, the flowing outline of California’s hills, and the silhouette of an A-10 Thunderbolt II, with just a couple of lights behind it, are all it takes to properly place this menacing beast at the top of the list of things giving enemies bad dreams.

Born in the hangars of Fairchild Republic back in the early 1970s, the Thunderbolt, also known as the Warthog on account of how ugly it is, compared to other planes currently in operation, was the first aircraft the U.S. Air Force (USAF) had made for close air support of ground forces.

The military branch describes this plane as “simple, effective and survivable,” a brute that could cut enemy forces to shreds thanks to the seven-barrel Gatling gun that can rain projectiles from as high as 4,000 feet (1,200 meters), directly into an area on the ground just 40 feet (12 meters) in diameter.

Aside from the gun, it can carry up to 16,000 pounds (7,200 kg) of mixed ordnance, most of it external, hanging from eight under-wing and three under-fuselage pylon stations and making it look lethal in the process.

The one we have here, deployed with the forces out of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona, does not pack the full extent of its gear, but still looks menacing on the surface of a dry lakebed in Cali, where it attended an air-land integration combat training exercise in early January.

It’s one of close to 300 such beasts currently in service with the American military. Despite its age, the brute of an airplane will form the backbone of what the USAF calls its future streamlined fleet of aircraft, which will also include the F-35 Lightning II, F-16 Fighting Falcon, and a future sixth-gen aircraft.

 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories