The A-10 has many options for destroying tanks, its future role in the US Air Force is uncertain. Last week, when Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall floated the idea of ??sending Warthogs to Ukraine to help in their fight against the Russian military.
The A-10 Thunderbolt II, nicknamed the “Warthogs”, is known for its aggressive appearance, which often features painted teeth on the nose. This US Air Force aircraft, first introduced armed with the powerful 30mm GAU-8 Avenger gatling gun and has effectively provided low-altitude support to ground forces in conflicts such as the ωɑɾ in Ukraine.
The A-10 was built for a “very different ωɑɾ” than the one in Ukraine, current A-10 pilots told The Aviationist, explaining that a “permissive environment” was needed for the A-10 to operate successfully and carry out missions. Last week, Air Force Chief of Staff General Charles Q. Brown Jr., suggested that Ukraine could acquire aircraft from the US, as well as other Western countries.
Despite its slow speed, the A-10 could still play an important role in a large-scale conflict against Russia or China, a Warthog pilot said. Major Maurice “SPAWN” Grosso wrote in a May essay for Task & Purpose that the jet could carry new ωεɑρσռs such as the ADM-160 Miniature Air-Launched Decoy, which essentially launches a decoy that crowds and confuses enemy air defense imagery and complicates it.
A formation of four A-10 Warthogs can launch up to 64 MALDs to damage enemy air defenses, which can then increase the survivability of expensive stealth aircraft such as the F-35 or F-22. The A-10’s relatively low maintenance footprint and ability to launch from emergency runways also allow it to be operated relatively close to the front line, Grosso argues.