The A-10 “Warthog” is the perfect military air support for close combat. The Warthog can easily protect ground troops, including taking out tanks.
Close Support Design
The aircraft was built in the early 1970s specifically for close support and got its nickname from the overall look and design. The A-10 has a GAU-8 Avenger nose cannon that uses 30-millimeter bullets. In addition, the wings can carry weapons such as the Maverick AGMs and the Sidewinder heat-seeking air-to-air missiles.
The plane’s fuel is in the center of the plane, which would need a direct hit to the surrounding titanium before anything would touch the fuel system. So it’s easy to see why this plane became a pilot favorite.
The versatile plane is meant to be used everywhere, and its modern iteration is no different. So, on June 29, 2022, the Air Force tested the A-10 Thunderbolt II’s capability of landing on a highway, refueling and heading back into the skies.
Testing The Thunderbolt
The plane landed on Michigan Highway for the test. The state’s Air National Guard closed off 9,000 feet of Highway M-28 so they would have enough space to land, practice integrated combat turns, and take off. An ICT is crucial to efficient refueling and rearming jets that are running.
The A-10s weren’t the only planes a part of the exercise, though. The Air Force Special Operations Command MC-12W Liberty, C-145A Combat Coyote, Air Force Reserve U-28A Draco, and the C-146A Wolfhound joined.
All the planes could land, execute an ICT, and take off. All around, it was a successful test. For the test, the landing zone was named LZ Hawk.
The name was in honor of Maj. Durwood “Hawk” Jones. He was an F-16 pilot with Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing. He died on December 8, 2020, in a training accident.