Conventional wisdom says slow attack jets like the A-10 Warthog can’t dogfight. Watch and learn.
F-16 Vs A-10, Sidewinder Vs Gun.
Conventional wisdom says slow attack jets like the A-10 can’t dogfight. Watch and learn.
Below 500’ above the ground, nobody would try more than a slashing pass because terrain denies vertical fight. But fighter pilots always assume Hogs can’t fight in the vertical, that they’re easy kills up high. Here’s a video from 1988 showing one F-16 new guy getting schooled.
According to the footage the clip was taken during a mock 1V1 dogfight between an F-16A and an A-10A during dissimilar air combat training (DACT) over the North Sea. Each pilot had less than 500 hours in their jet and according to the rules of engagement for the mission each “pipper equals kill.”
In case of real engagement seventy 30mm bullets would pass through the dashed circle every second.
The A-10 Thunderbolt II has excellent maneuverability at low air speeds and altitude to ensure accurate weapon delivery.
The Thunderbolt II’s 30mm GAU-8/A Gatling gun can fire 3,900 rounds a minute and can defeat an array of ground targets to include tanks.
The A-10, affectionately nicknamed “The Warthog,” was developed for the United States Air Force by the OEM Team from Fairchild Republic Company, now a part of Northrop Grumman Corporation Aerospace Systems Eastern Region located in Bethpage NY and St. Augustine FL.
Following in the footsteps of the legendary P-47 Thunderbolt, the OEM Team was awarded a study contract in the 1960s to define requirements for a new Close Air Support aircraft, rugged and survivable, to protect combat troops on the ground.
This initial study was followed up by a prototype development contract for the A-X, and a final flyoff competition resulting in the selection of the A-10 Thunderbolt II.
Selection of the A-10 Thunderbolt II for this mission was based on the dramatic low altitude maneuverability, lethality, “get home safe” survivability, and mission capable maintainability designed into the jet by the OEM team.
This design features a titanium “bathtub” that protects the pilot from injury, and dually redundant flight control systems that allow the pilot to fly the aircraft out of enemy range, despite severe damage such as complete loss of hydraulic capability.
These features have been utilized to great effect in both the Desert Storm conflict of the 1990’s and in the more recent Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and Global War on Terror engagements.
Photo credit: Peter Steehouwer (CLICK HERE to browse his site to see his incredible shots)