Beefing Up the A-10 Force

The Air Force this year will begin operational fielding of the precision engagement modification for its fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft. The Air Force’s two top leaders said at a Wednesday House Armed Services Committee meeting that the modification, which incorporates an advanced targeting pod and data links, will “greatly enhance” a pilot’s situational awareness and targeting ability. The service also is continuing a service life upgrade to double the flight-hour life of the A-10 and plans to pursue system design and demonstration for an A-10 propulsion upgrade. They said the engine mod would provide a 30 percent boost in thrust to offset problems the A-10s have faced in operating at some expeditionary fields at high elevations and high temperatures.