Battlefield tank-killer, heavily armored and built around a powerful 30 mm gun and its enormous munition drum. The large unswept wing, the two turbofan engines in pods on top of the fuselage, and twin tailfins are all designed to keep the A-10 flying after suffering serious damage. The cockpit is armored to resist 23 rounds.
The first production A-10A was delivered to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, AZ., in October 1975. It was designed specially for the close air support mission and had the ability to combine large military loads, long loiter, and wide combat radius, which proved to be vital assets to America and its allies during Operation Desert Storm. In the Gulf War A-10s, with a mission capable rate of 95.7 percent, flew 8,100 sorties and launched 90 percent of the AGM-5 Maverick missiles used there.