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    HomeMilitaryAmid Ongoing Debates Regarding Retirement, A Squadron Of A-10 Warthogs Has Been...

    Amid Ongoing Debates Regarding Retirement, A Squadron Of A-10 Warthogs Has Been Deployed To The Middle East

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    The U.S. Air Force has deployed a squadron of these ground-attack jets to an undisclosed location in the Middle East.

    The deployment, which took place on October 12, is part of a broader U.S. force surge into the region amidst the escalating Israel-Gaza conflict.

    The 354th Fighter Squadron is now forward-deployed, boasting an arsenal that is both versatile and specialized for the close air support role.

    Images released by the U.S. Air Forces Central (AFCENT) reveal the A-10s equipped with a mix of munitions suited for different combat situations.

    Each Warthog sports a pair of AIM-9M Sidewinder air-to-air missiles for self-defense.

    Moving inboard, under the left wing, each one also has a seven-round 70mm rocket pod loaded with what looks to be laser-guided Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II (APKWS II) laser-guided rockets with M282 warheads.

    The A-10s also carry LITENING advanced targeting pods, which are crucial for spotting, tracking, and prosecuting ground targets.

    Furthermore, the incorporation of GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bombs (SDB), greatly enhances survivability and flexibility in combat. These 250-pound class bombs can hit stationary targets over 40 nautical miles away.

    Additionally, a pair of 500-pound class Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) are attached under the fuselage of the aircraft.It is not immediately clear what bombs form the cores of the JDAMs on the Warthogs at the undisclosed location in the Middle East.

    However, each pair includes a Laser JDAM (LJDAM) variant. LJDAMs have a laser seeker on the nose in addition to the standard guidance package in their tail and therefore have the ability to engage moving targets, as well as stationary ones.

    Not to be overlooked is the A-10’s iconic 30mm GAU-8/A Avenger cannon, capable of unleashing devastating firepower at a rate of almost 70 rounds per second.

    The mix of ammunition in the magazine, including armor-piercing and high-explosive-incendiary rounds.

    The deployment occurs amidst discussions on the future of the A-10 fleet, with the Air Force expressing intentions to retire the aircraft type possibly by the end of the decade.

    The debate surrounding the A-10’s retirement includes its notable fly-off against the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter between 2018 and 2019, Details about that comparative testing remain murky even after the release of a heavily redacted report.

    The A-10s from the 354th Fighter Wing, with their live ordnance loads, are now part of U.S. military assets in the Middle East that could be used if the Israel-Gaza conflict escalates.

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