A Higher-Tech Hog: USAF A-10C Upgraded, Refurbished, Unloved – But More in Demand
March 14/16: The USAF is to look at a variety of options to replace the A-10 Warthog for its Close Air Support (CAS) requirements. A study will investigate whether a new clean-sheet design is required, or if existing aircraft such as the AT-6 or A-29 would be best for continued low-intensity “permissive conflict” like counter-terrorism and regional stability operations. An alternative option could involve a derivative of the T-X Advance Trainer, however with the T-X program not due until 2024, it would miss the A-10’s retirement in 2022.
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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