U.S. Air Force Fact Sheet
A-10/OA-10 THUNDERBOLT II
The A/OA-10 Thunderbolt II is the first Air Force aircraft
specially designed for close air support of ground forces.
They are simple, effective and survivable twin-engine jet
aircraft that can be used against all ground targets, including
tanks and other armored vehicles.
The A-10/OA-10 have excellent maneuverability at low air
speeds and altitude, and are highly accurate weapons-
delivery platforms. They can loiter near battle areas for extended periods of time and operate under
1,000-foot ceilings (303.3 meters) with 1.5-mile (2.4 kilometers) visibility. Their wide combat radius and
short takeoff and landing capability permit operations in and out of locations near front lines. Using night
vision goggles, A-10/ OA-10 pilots can conduct their missions during darkness.
Thunderbolt IIs have Night Vision Imaging Systems (NVIS), goggle compatible single-seat cockpits
forward of their wings and a large bubble canopy which provides pilots all-around vision. The pilots are
protected by titanium armor that also protects parts of the flight-control system. The redundant primary
structural sections allow the aircraft to enjoy better survivability during close air support than did
The aircraft can survive direct hits from armor-piercing and high explosive projectiles up to 23mm. Their
self-sealing fuel cells are protected by internal and external foam. Manual systems back up their
redundant hydraulic flight-control systems. This permits pilots to fly and land when hydraulic power is
The Thunderbolt II can be serviced and operated from bases with limited facilities near battle areas.
Many of the aircraft's parts are interchangeable left and right, including the engines, main landing gear
and vertical stabilizers.
Avionics equipment includes communications, inertial navigation systems, fire control and weapons
delivery systems, target penetration aids and night vision goggles. Their weapons de