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A-10 CAN CARRY A HECK OF A LOT OF WEAPONS

Updated: Feb 15, 2023

INITIATIVE TO UPGRADE A-10 TO BE ABLE TO DELIVER HIGH-END WEAPONS


The A-10 can already deliver a wide variety of weapons ranging from dumb bombs dropped with precision accuracy, to AIM-9 Sidewinder Missiles, to the highly effective anti-tank Maverick missile. And of course we cannot forget its devastatingly powerful GAU-8 Avenger 30 mm cannon.


The Warthog provides the effective, low-lag close air support that no other fighter can provide. (Learn why no other U.S. aircraft, especially the fragile F-35, can provide the genuine CAS that the A-10 does)

Now the Air Force is looking to add to the type of weapons it can deliver via its ten weapons stations, including the ADM-160 Miniature Air-Launched Decoy (MALD), the GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bomb (SDB), a 250-pound-class precision-guided bomb that can glide dozens of miles to strike its target, and possibly the AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM).


All these are classified as stand-off weapons systems, and the A-10 with its big payload and large number of weapons station could potentially deliver a lot of them. And if saturating the sensor battle space with air-launched decoy degrades the enemy's ability to target the A-10 and other less robust allied fighters and copters then great. But stand-off weapons are no substitute for the kind of immediate, turn-on-the-dime, close air support for which the Warthog is legendary.


Stand-off weapons fired from many miles away take minutes, sometimes many minutes, to get to their target, and in the case of dynamic ground conflicts that lag can make a big difference.


To date, despite warnings that the A-10 would be a sitting duck, the A-10 has been able to operate in modern theaters full of anti-aircraft missiles that scare other fighters away, all the while providing the low lag close air support so appreciated by our ground forces that no other plane in our inventory can provide.


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