Workers at the Ogden Air Logistics Complex have installed the last of 173 new wings on A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft, finalising a project that started in 2011, say the US Air Force.

“The Ogden ALC’s 571st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron swapped wings on 162 A-10s as part of the A-10 Enhanced Wing Assembly replacement program. The remaining 11 were installed at Osan Air Base in South Korea.”

The new wings are expected to last for up to 10,000 equivalent flight hours without a depot inspection. In addition, a better wire harness design was created for easier wing removal and to lessen the chance of damaging the wing during the process.

“From a warfighter point of view, bringing this program to a successful conclusion was a significant accomplishment for the entire enterprise team,” said Stephen Zaiser, 571st AXMS director. in a release

Introduced into the US Air Force in 1976, the A-10 is the only production-built aircraft for close air support in service in America. The aircraft was made to fly close to the ground in support of friendly ground troops, drop heavy loads of weapons, attacks armoured vehicles, tanks and can be called in to attack enemy ground forces.

With heavy stresses put on the wings over the weapon system’s lifetime and with its full-service life still unknown, the US Air Force decided to replace some of the fleet’s wings in order for the weapon system to remain airworthy.

In 2007, Boeing was awarded a $1.1 billion contract to build replacement wings at its Macon, Georgia, plant that will allow the aircraft to continue flying into the late 2030s.

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Lordtemplar
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Lordtemplar

Not sure this is a good thing, a10 is very good at cas, much better than f35. Big loadout, big gun, good loitering qualities, can take a lot of damage compared to any other aircraft, low speed and low flight etc..
I wouldn’t be surprised if they walk this back. Afterall USAF ordered 144 F15x and Navy ordered 78 F18 Advanced Super Hornets in the last 12 months.

Ian
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Ian

The warthog doesn’t look any prettier with new wings! Used to disrupt us at the DZ in Bad Lippspringe.

Lee1
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Lee1

I think it is a great looking aircraft. It may not be pretty but it does not need to.

Ian
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Ian

Brutal when it flies over at 100’ and lets rip with that 30mm. A welcome sight to many.

Cam
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Cam

Yeah same i think it’s beautiful Aircraft, and for its age it’s even better.

DaveyB
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DaveyB

In most respects the A10 was better than the Apaches when called for in Afghan or Iraq. It had a more comprehensive weapons load, but more importantly the fuel reserves to spend time over and around the target. The Apache is awesome, but it simply doesn’t have the fuel or weapons load compared to the A10.

Helions
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Helions

My primary rapier back in the day. Glad the USAF was dragged kicking and screaming into keeping them. They would also make a very effective maritime strike aircraft against small boats – such those encountered in the friendly waters of the Straits of Hormuz. I’m inclined to believe they could also launch and recover off a USN carrier without CATOBAR. I’ve seen them brake on a dime… Hmmmmmmm….

Cheers!

Cam
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Cam

I just love the American military and how bad ass it is, USA is the only true world superpower.
America has so many amazing aircraft, warships and everything in between and the A10 warthog tank buster has always been a favourite of mine along with the Apache. But they do have so many great weapons it’s hard to choose.

Steve R
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Steve R

That’s the difference between USA and UK governments; the former takes defence seriously whilst our government pays lip service bit that’s about it.

Harriers should have been retained as our close air support platforms. I hate this obsession with reducing down to 2 airframe types. Makes no sense except penny pinching.

Ian
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Ian

The condition of the GR9 airframes at the point they were scrapped would have made keeping them in service for much longer fairly challenging. The US Marines gladly snapped them up for spare parts because they were having similar issues, and the production line closed down years ago. Realistically, the pace of operations put more strain on those airframes than earlier planning assumptions would have accounted for- as is the case for any military equipment that has to sustain combat operations more extensively than originally intended.

Steve R
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Steve R

The pace of operations wore the airframes down, which is what happens when we have so few airframes. Government needs to learn this; whether its planes or ships or submarines, having so few means using each airframe/ship so many more times, putting more miles on the clock and wearing them down faster.

Not that HMG will ever learn; they only see it in terms of this year’s budget and cant see any further ahead than the next election.

AlexO
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AlexO

Pity you did not include aircrew, sailors and soldiers in that statement as well. Great many burned out people as well as machines. Trying to be all things to all men with limited resources..