A Higher-Tech Hog: USAF A-10C Upgraded, Refurbished, Unloved – But More in Demand
November 12/15: The Air Force is considering pushing back the retirement schedule for the A-10, following a spike in demand from US forces operating in the Middle East. The venerable Close Air Support platform has been on the service’s chopping block for years, with recent efforts to retire the aircraft early blocked by lawmakers in September. The Air Force also recently released a RFI to identify sources for a new A-10 re-winging program, with the Thunderbolt Lifecycle Program Support effort intended to extend a portion of the Air Force’s A-10 fleet out to 2028.
The Precision Engagement modification is the largest single upgrade effort ever undertaken for the USA’s unique A-10 “Warthog” close air support aircraft fleet. While existing A/OA-10 aircraft continue to outperform technology-packed rivals on the battlefield, this set of upgrades is expected to make them more flexible, and help keep the aircraft current until the fleet’s planned phase-out in 2028. When complete, A-10C PE will give USAF A-10s precision strike capability sooner than planned, combining multiple upgrades into 1 time and money-saving program, rather than executing them as standalone projects. Indeed, the USAF accelerated the PE program by 9 months as a result of its experiences in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
This is DID’s FOCUS Article for the PE program, and for other modifications to the A-10 fleet. It covers the A-10’s battlefield performance and advantages, the elements of the PE program, other planned modifications, related refurbishment efforts to keep the fleet in the air, and the contracts that have been issued each step of the way.
A/OA-10 Thunderbolt II: Experiences on the Ground
The A/OA-10 Precision Engagement Modification Program
A-10 PE, Increment 3.2
A-10 PE, Increment 3.3
A-10 Fleet: Other Planned Improvements
Contracts & Key Events
FY 2005 – 2006
FY 2004 and earlier
Background: A-10 Platform & Enhancements
News & Views
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