After nearly five years of competitive development and testing, the Air Force has received the first production model of the A-10 close air support aircraft.
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Cockpit armour and wing tests
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Background: After nearly five years of competitive development and testing, the Air Force has received the first production model of the A-10 close air support aircraft.
The A-10 is the first aircraft ever designed strictly to support friendly ground forces. The simple but rugged fighter is built to take off and land on short runways near the front lines.
Lightweight and highly maneuverable, the A-10 can prove to be quite heavyweight with armament. It has a rapid fire 30mm cannon that can stop tanks and other armoured targets. Not only can it carry massive bomb and rocket loads under wing -- but also has the capability of firing the Maverick missile. This electro-optical guided missile has proven lethal against many types of surface targets including tanks.
The A-10 was designed with built-in survivability. Its single-seated cockpit is armour-plated against most anti-aircraft fire. In addition, the wing fuel tanks are protected against enemy fire by a unique self-sealing feature and major control systems are duplicated in case on is damaged.
Like most new aircraft, the A-10 went through an intensive "try before buy" competition before being selected for the Air Force inventory.