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Video - Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt still battling on

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It is a ground-attack aircraft (including other roles) that the US Air Force knows well, and for good reason. The Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt, nicknamed the "Warthog" has been in service for 40 years - and it's not finished yet. Very effective in raids against the group islamic State, the US Defense secretary, Ashton Carter, has confirmed that the plane will remain operational until 2022.

With its two imposing General Electric turbofan engines attached to the rear of the fuselage, the Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt has a 440 mph (700 km/h) maximum speed, whilst being also highly manoeuvrable at low speed and altitude.

Finally, the single-seater close air support and ground-attack aircraft, together with its carrying capacity of 11 bombs, missiles or rockets, and in particular, its nose-mounted 30mm Avenger Gatling cannon (loaded with 1,174 rounds) capable of firing nearly 4,000 uranium bullets a minute, is able to attack most ground targets such as tanks or armoured vehicles. The A-10 has proven itself in operations in Kuwait, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.

715 units of the "Warthog" were built between the early 70’s and mid-80’s by the American manufacturer Fairchild Republic. The 280 still in service, will remain so for at least another six years, to be eventually replaced by the F-35.

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