A Higher-Tech Hog: USAF A-10C Upgraded, Refurbished, Unloved – But More in Demand
February 27/17: The USAF is expected to green light a study into a potential low-cost, light-attack fighter fleet to augment the A-10 Warthog and other close-air support (CAS) platforms in Iraq and Syria. The service will abandon plans for a more long-term replacement of the Warthog, which is expected to keep flying well into the 2020s. $100 million has already been earmarked for the study, scheduled to start in the Spring, and will look at the capabilities of the existing commercial designs such as Textron’s Scorpion light-attack fighter before calling out to industry.
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 2016 – 2017
FY 2005 – 2006
FY 2004 and earlier
Background: A-10 Platform & Enhancements
News & Views
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