Technological update for the A-10 Thunderbolt II
The modified A-10C Thunderbolt II received its Initial Operational Capability Aug. 21 during a ceremony celebrated in Langley Air Force Base, Virginia.
Lt. Col. Ralph Hansen, chief of A-10 requirements for Air Combat Command, said : The A-10C has received its most significant modifications in its 30-year history.
The modifications, give the A-10C pilots better battlefield capabilities.
The new A-10 C upgrades includes: HOTAS (Hands On Throttle and Stick), new 1760 data bus and a digital stores management system.
The HOTAS allows the pilot to drop bombs without taking his or her hands off the throttle or stick.
The 1760 data bus that runs most of the weapons systems allows the A-10C to use the joint direct attack munitions, or JDAM, and wind corrected munitions dispensers.
Meanwhile the new computer system alloows to keep track of the munitions loaded onto the aircraft and which of those are still on board.
The main benefit received with this upgrade in the interconectivity between the pilot, the weapons and the target, Lt. Col. T.G. Smith said.
Currently, 75 planes have been upgraded and it is expected to finnish the transformation of 356 A-10 A planes in 2011, with an estimated cost of U$S 500 millon.