A few A-10 items caught my eye today. First, at Strategy Page, is A-10 Forever. The old ‘Hogs are being refurbished to last another ten years:
A-10s were built three decades ago, with a service life of 4,000 hours in the air. Most have already got over 6,000 hours. So refurbishment will extend service life to 16,000 hours, and install an F-16 like cockpit, along with the ability to use a targeting pod and deliver GPS and laser guided bombs.
And American Forces Press Service has Bagram A-10 Thunderbolts Surge for Summer Offensive in Afghanistan:
Flying hours and the amount of bombs and bullets used by A-10 pilots here have increased all summer due to two offensives by ground forces against the enemy.
Operations Mountain Lion and Mountain Thrust flushed Taliban extremists out of where they normally hole-up, exposing them to U.S. and coalition forces on the ground, who called on A-10 pilots to provide close-air support.
“The increase in weapons deliveries is primarily because U.S. and coalition operations have carried the fight to the extremists,” Air Force Brig. Gen. Christopher Miller, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, said. One of Miller’s jobs is to advise Combined Joint Task Force 76’s U.S. Army commander on the use of combat aircraft in Afghanistan.
“Where extremists have attacked the Afghan people and their infrastructure, we have helped defend them, and we have carried the fight to the enemy, to push them back and reduce their ability to carry out further attacks,” he said. “The whole A-10 team, from the airmen who launch them to the pilots who fly them, should be proud. They are saving the lives of Americans and many others they don’t even know. And in the big picture, they’re enabling the security Afghanistan needs to rebuild into a society where terrorists can’t flourish.”
The Engineer Online reports A-10 goes digital:
A Lockheed Martin led team has received a $48m award from the US Air Force to produce 107 Precision Engagement (PE) modification kits for the A-10 close air support fighter.
Comprising hardware and software upgrades, each installed kit will transform the legacy A-10A aircraft from an analogue aircraft to its new digital A-10C designation with precision weapons capability.
And the Shreveport Times has Updated A-10 to be unveiled Friday in Utah:
Over the next six years, all 356 airplanes in the inventory will be raised to the new mark, getting “glass cockpits” that do away with old analog instruments and gaining state-of-the-art computer and control systems that will allow them to use the most modern and “smart” weapons.
The new A-10C will be unveiled Friday at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. The type will first fly Nov. 4 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., according to a release from the Air Force.
“The new designation from A-10A to A-10C represents the largest and most sophisticated modification in the 30-year history of the close air support fighter,” the Air Force release says.
Don’t you just love the A-10? In all cases, read the whole thing.