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Thu, Apr 12, 2007

First Active-Duty A-10C Squadron Should Be Operational By Year's End

Thunderbolt II Sports Advanced Avionics, Upgraded Munitions

In a press conference held Wednesday, US Air Force Lt. Col. Ralph Hansen said the first operational active-duty A-10C Thunderbolt II squadron should be fully operational by the end of the year.

Hansen, Air Combat Command’s director of requirements for the A-10, said the 75th Fighter Squadron -- currently relocating from North Carolina's Pope Air Force Base, to Moody AFB in Georgia -- will be the first front-line squadron flying the advanced attack aircraft.

AirForceTimes.com reports two Air National Guard wings -- the 175th Wing in Maryland and Michigan’s 110th Fighter Wing -- are already flying upgraded version of the A-10. So far, 47 A-10s have been converted to the updated C-configuration.

 
 
Listen To Part One Of The USAF Conference Here

 

The Air Force aims to convert the entire 356-plane fleet to the C-model, according to the website.

The A-10C looks identical on the outside to the venerable Warthog, as the modifications are largely in the software and cockpit hardware. The appearance will be different, though, when loaded with a new array of munitions -- such as J-DAM satellite-guided bombs. As Aero-News reported earlier this week, cockpit avionics have also been significantly updated.

The first A-10C Weapons School Course is now underway at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

FMI: www.af.mil

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