The A-10 Warthog may be a homely plane if you’re used to sleek fighter jets like the F-16 and F/A-18. However, the way that it cuts down America’s enemies on the ground is a beautiful thing — and that should have the Iranians worried sick.
The Daily Caller reported that during a recent exercise in Florida’s Choctawhatchee Bay, A-10 pilots proved that if it came to war with the Iranian navy, the plane could eliminate Iran’s so-called “swarm” boats.
The exercise — which, according to Business Insider, also involved helicopters and other fighter jets — featured 35 local boat captains who simulated how Iran’s navy might attack American naval assets. Makeshift machine guns were mounted aboard the boats. Simulated munitions were also used.
Eglin Air Force Base, which organized the drill, issued a statement on the exercise — nicknamed “Combat Hammer” — discussing the rationale behind it.
“We evaluate precision-guided munitions against realistic targets with realistic enemy defenses,” Lt. Col. Sean Neitzke, commander of the 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron, said in the statement.
“There are plenty of places in the world where low-tech adversaries can mount 50-caliber machine guns and rocket launchers on small boats for use against us. They could also use other types of shoulder-launched weapons, all of which could be a threat to American assets.”
The A-10 was originally developed in the waning years of the Cold War for use in an anti-tank role. While that role may have passed, the aircraft has managed to find itself a second life in close-air support — a role that may prove invaluable if our ships come under attack from Iranian swarm vessels.
While the A-10 had been scheduled for phase-out, Pentagon officials have done an about-face, deciding to keep the plane in service “indefinitely.”
That’s great news for fans of a great plane — and it could be very bad news for the Iranians.
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