A-10 Warthog Thunderbolt Striker USAF
An aircraft modified with the Precision Engagement kit is designated as an A-10C.
A large portion of the systems sustaining engineering is for contingency use throughout the fiscal year and is utilized to investigate mishaps, resolve system deficiencies, develop engineering change proposals, or to establish new operational limits. Specific requirements cannot be forecast, but general needs can be predicted based on actual occurrences since the A/OA-10 program management responsibility transferred to SM-ALC in 1982.
The objectives of the sustaining engineering and configuration management programs are to reduce spares utilization, reduce hazard potentials and to increase the weapon system's effectiveness. Sustaining Engineering is mission critical and will be used to obtain the non-organic engineering services needed to maintain and improve the design and performance.
The A/OA-10 weapon system was originally designed for manual pilot operation and control. In 1990, the aircraft was modified to incorporate the Low Altitude Safety and Targeting Enhancements (LASTE) System. This system provided computer-aided capabilities including a Ground Collision Avoidance System (GCAS) to issue warnings of impending collision with the ground, an Enhanced Attitude Control (EAC) function for aircraft stabilization during gunfire and a Low Altitude Autopilot system, and computed weapon delivery solutions for targeting improvements. The LASTE computer system installation added the requirement for an Operational Flight Program (OFP) to provide the computer control software necessary to perform the above functions.
Commencing in 1999, the A/OA-10 fleet was additionally upgraded with the installation of an Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System (EGI). In conjunction with this aircraft modification, a replacement Control Display Unit (CDU) will be installed with its own separate OFP software.
Operation Iraqi Freedom began on 20 March 2003. Sixty OA-10/A-10 aircraft took part in early combat there. United States Air Forces Central issued Operation Iraqi Freedom: By the Numbers, a declassified report about the aerial campaign in the conflict on 30 April 2003. The A-10s had a mission capable rate of 85% in the war and fired 311,597 rounds of 30 mm ammunition. A single A-10 was shot down near Baghdad International Airport by Iraqi fire late in the campaign. The A-10 also flew 32 missions in which the aircraft dropped propaganda leaflets over Iraq.