Ukraine asks for USAF A-10 Thuderbolt attack planes

US Air Force close air support aircraft have never been exported and are known as destroyers of armored vehicles

Ukraine is close to receiving its first F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters, transferred by European air forces, but the military leadership is already eyeing another US military aircraft, the A-10 Thuderbolt II attack plane.

According to Reuters, Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrskyi, commander of Ukrainian land forces, said the A-10 would be essential for supporting infantry and launching long-range cruise missiles.

“I would talk about A-10s as an option if they’ll be given to us… this is not a new machine, but a reliable one that has proven itself in many wars,” said Syrskyi.

Unlike the F-16, whose main mission should be to keep Russian aircraft away from Ukrainian territory, in addition to occasional attack missions, the A-10 can fly close to the battlefield as it flies at a low speed and is quite efficient in due to its titanium armor and firepower.

Farchild A-10 Thunderbolt II (USAF)


Known as “Warthog”, the Farchild Republic aircraft was developed in the 1970s to replace an old piston aircraft, the Douglas A-1 Skyraider, used until around the Vietnam War.

Instead of supersonic speed and a sophisticated design, the A-10 was designed with unswept wings, engines on external struts in the tail formed by two vertical stabilizers.

The GAU-8A Avenger 30 mm cannon in action (USAF)

But the project’s biggest challenge was using the largest cannon ever installed on an aircraft of this size, the 30 mm GAU-8 Avenger.

The USAF received just over 700 aircraft over 12 years of production and the A-10 remained a valuable asset until recently.

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However, the Air Force has already begun its gradual retirement scheduled for 2029 some time ago, with around 270 jets currently remaining in service, according to World Air Forces 2024.


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