A-10 Thunderbolt II – Units of Operation, Enduring Freedom 2002-07
The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II is so ugly, it’s beautiful. It is clearly an example of function over form. The A-10 is designed to maximize the pilot protection with a titanium bathtub cockpit and heavily armored cockpit glass. The airframe design has redundant control systems and high mounted engines to provide maximum survivability when damaged, and also to reduce the risk of engine damage. The book starts with the fly-offs between manufacturers and the selection of Fairchild Republic as the design winner. In response to pilots’ feedback for a big gun, the General Electric GAU-8 Avenger 30 mm cannon was selected, with a rate of fire at 3900 rpm.
The remainder of the book describes how the A-10 arrived in the Afghanistan and the A-10’s role providing combat air support during several engagements. Each engagement is described in detail from the A-10 pilot’s perspective and highlights the reason for weapon selection, attack strategy, and tactics. Also very interesting is how A-10’s, ground troops, other combat aircraft, and communications and control aircraft all collaborated during battle in general, and specifically against particular enemy threats or objectives.
This is very interesting book of the role played by A-10’s and their pilots in Afghanistan. Highly recommended for the battle details and for understanding of the capabilities of the aircraft and the tactics used by pilots. Thank you to Osprey Publishing for supplying the book and to IPMS USA for allowing me to write the review.