- The Washington Times - Monday, October 26, 2020

The iconic A-10 Thunderbolt II has an impressive set of upgrades coming just years removed from surviving the Air Force‘s financial chopping block.

Air Force Major Matthew Kading, the A-10 Test Director for the 59th Test and Evaluation Squadron out of Tucson Air National Guard Base, Arizona, recently spoke to The War Zone about improvements that will keep the aircraft flying for years to come.

“Survivability isn’t just about upgrading equipment and software, it’s about ensuring we’re going into battle with the most up-to-date and lethal tactics,” Major Kading said for an interview published Oct. 23. There are also continued efforts to enhance the A-10’s capability to operate from austere environments with minimal support. All these will allow for greater readiness and mission ability through tactics improvements.” 

Some upgrades for the Air Force‘s 281 A-10s include:

  • Night vision improvements for “Night Medium Altitude Survivability and Low Altitude Tactics.”
  • Targeting technology “that will enable the pilot to engage multiple targets with three different weapon types on one pass.”
  • Cockpit modernization, which features the display of “high definition targeting pod footage and a new map engine.”
  • Hardware for “GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb [SDB] integration, 3-D audio, jam-resistant GPS, and ARC-210 radio upgrades.”

The upgrades are in addition to the Air Force‘s plan to re-wing 112 A-10Cs.

A portion of its fleet completed its re-winging in July 2019.

“Together, this host of capability upgrades will keep the A-10 at the forefront of the USAF CAS mission for at least another decade, and likely substantially longer,” War Zone reported.

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