The Armory - A-10C Thunderbolt II

Version: 1.0

Historical Background: The A-10 was the first USAF aircraft designed specifically for close air support of ground forces. It was named for the famous P-47 Thunderbolt, a fighter often used in a close air support role during the latter part of WW II. The A-10 is designed for maneuverability at low speeds and low altitudes for accurate weapons delivery, and carries systems and armor to permit it to survive in this environment. It is intended for use against all ground targets, but specifically tanks and other armored vehicles. The Thunderbolt II's great endurance gives it a large combat radius and/or long loiter time in a battle area. Its short takeoff and landing capability permits operation from airstrips close to the front lines. Service at forward area bases with limited facilities is possible because of the A-10's simplicity of design.

A tech scout from the Armory ran across some old A-10's parked in a hanger on a deserted U.S. Military Outpost. Included with the stash of old planes was a shelf of books and vid's detailing the abilities of the aircraft. One of the pamphlets of had the statement that the A-10 could lose one engine, half the tail, two-thirds of a wing and chunks of the fuselage ... and still get home! This was thought to be highly over exaggerated. It's NOT!

The scout seeing potential in the old planes in a modern world went back to the Armory and immediately made arrangements to have the entire stock of A-10's from the base shipped to the research and development arm of the Armory. After sitting down with a computer and mission profile planner the R&D personal came up with a design for a new A-10. One that kept the abilities of the original that made is so valuable and incorporated the technology improvements that have been made since the 1970's when the craft was first designed.

The first prototype of the rebuilt and reengineered Thunderbolt II made its initial flight on May 10, 52 PA. These are not A-10A's that have been upgraded with M.D.C. material and other features. These planes are brand new from the ground up. A-10C production commenced in 53 PA. Delivery of aircraft to Fort Knox units began in 54 PA and continue at a reduced rate even to this day.

This is by far one of the best battlefield tank and robot killer available, heavily armored and built around a powerful 30mm Cannon and its enormous munition drum. The large unswept wing, the two turbofan turbines in pods on top of the fuselage, and twin tail fins are all designed to keep the A-10 flying after suffering serious damage. The cockpit is armored to resist 25mm and 60mm rounds.

A-10C Thunderbolt IIs have Night Vision Imaging Systems (NVIS), a completely modern, digital optical, single-seat cockpit forward of the wings and a large armored bubble canopy which provides the pilot with all-around vision. The pilot is encircled by an upgraded "bath tub" made up of a ceramic/titanium armor much stronger and offering more protection than the original titanium armor. It also protects some parts of the flight-control system.

The main wings and horizontal tail of the Thunderbolt has three separate wing spars. This means that even if an armor piercing round were to destroy any TWO of them, the Warthog would still be able to SAFELY return back to base. The skin of the wings are made of unstressed material. This means that it provides no primary structural strength for the wings. This enables sections of the skin to be blasted away without weakening the overall strength of the wing. During the testing faze of development literally over 65% of a wing on one test aircraft was completely holed, leaving very little of the wings' skin to produce lift and the plane made it back to the base and made a wheels up landing.

This survival trait gives the Thunderbolt the ability to take a pounding even a tank would cringe at. These redundant primary structural sections allow the aircraft to enjoy better survivability during close air support than did previous aircraft. The aircraft can survive direct hits from armor-piercing and high-explosive projectiles from 25mm to 60mm shells. Their redundant hydraulic flight-control systems are backed up by manual systems. This permits pilots to fly and land when hydraulic power is lost.

The entire airframe is stressed for 10.0 G's positive, clean or 7.5 G's fully loaded. It is capable of sustaining a 4.35 G turn at 275 knots with a full weapons load. The airframe can sustain 5.0 G's negative more than twice what a normal pilot can handle before Red Out. The big straight wings enable it to turn inside any enemy fighter without dumping its weapons load first. And it is able to stay within sight of the target while avoiding direct overflight of the target, where air defenses will be toughest.

With the conversion of the Warthog to a Fusion Turbine system, the internal fuel tanks were removed thus reducing the weight of the empty airframe and giving more internal space for an expanded ammo load for the GAU-10/B Cannon. It also enable the removal of the nose refueling receptacle, thus allowing a modern radar system to be installed that has Air to Air as well as Look-Down Shoot-Down capabilities.

Plans for future improvement: R&D personal are still looking into making the Warthog even deadlier. This includes increasing the ammo load of the GAU-10/B Cannon as well as installing close range lasers for improved defensive capabilities. As well as a host of other options.

A-10C Thunderbolt II head-on image

Name: Fort Knox A-10C Thunderbolt II
Note: Also known as the Warthog.
Vehicle Type: Close Air Support and Tank/Robot Killer.
Crew: One

M.D.C. by Location:
   Decelerons (2) - 100 each
   Flaps (4, two on each wing) - 70
   Leading edge slats (2) - 75 each
   *Main Landing Gear (2) - 50 each
   Main Gear Sponson (2) - 80 each
   Nose Landing Gear (1) - 35
   Wheels (3) - 30 M.D.C. each
   **Engines (2) - 250
   ***Wings (2) - 450
   GAU-10/B Avenger Rotary Cannon - 75
   Reinforced Cockpit - 250
   ***Vertical Tail Section - 100
   ***Horizontal Tail Section - 375
   ****Main Body - 500

*The main gears structural supports are recessed into the sponsons but the lower half of each wheel is exposed to open air. This gives the A-10 the ability to land on it's main wheels even if the gear extension mechanism is damaged. Thus reducing damage to the airframe from a wheels up landing.

**Depleting the M.D.C. of an engine will destroy that engine, but the Thunderbolt is still flyable. Reduce speed by half. Note: Even if the destroyed engine becomes shrapnel it will do no more than superficial damage to the other engine (scratches the paint).

***Depleting the M.D.C. of either wing, or the tail section will force the pilot to make a crash landing or eject.

****Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body destroys the aircraft.

   Cruise speed 335 mph (539 kph).
   Maximum 450 mph (724 kph);
Flying Range: Effectively unlimited.
Climb Rate: 7,000 ft/min (2133.5 m/min) clean, 5,000 ft/min (1523.9 m/min) with a full weapons load.
Maximum Altitude: 35,000 ft (10,667.5 m)

Statistical Data
Height: 17 ft 8 in (5.38 m)
Width: 57 ft 6 in (17.53 m)
Length: 53 ft 4 in (16.26 m)
   Empty: 20,000 lb. (9,072 kg )
   Gross: 46,000 lb. (20,866 kg)
   Maximum: 55,000 lb. (24,948 kg)
Power Source: Micro Fusion Reactor
Engine: Two 50,000 lb. (222.4 kN) thrust FK A-34 high-bypass turbines.
Cost: 30 million credits.


  1. Targeting System
      Bonus to Strike: +2 with the A-10C's weapon systems.
  2. Pilot Ejection System
  3. Air-Recycling System
  4. Chaff & Flare Launcher: A dispenser is located in the wingtip of each wing as well as mounted in the trailing point of each sponson.
  5. Advanced Radar & Targeting Computer. Range of 70 miles, able to identify 60 targets and simultaneously track 30 targets flying below 200 ft (61m) while the A-10C is flying at 20,000 ft (6096m)
  6. Night Sight Camera
  7. FKE GM-50 Ground mapping radar is mounted in the left wheel sponson.
  8. FKI AIS-20 Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR) system is mounted in the right sponson. As well as a low-light-level T.V. This improves the planes ability to fly nap of the earth without betraying it's presence with active radar.
  9. Built into the tail is a rear facing Radar with a 50 mile range as well as an IR detector for warning against IR seeking missiles.

Weapon Systems:

  1. 30mm GAU-10/B Avenger Rotary Cannon: The Thunderbolt II's 30mm GAU-10/B Rotary Cannon can fire either 2,000 rounds per minute or 4,000 rounds per minute and can defeat an array of ground targets to include tanks. The GAU-10/B trajectory is almost laser-flat, making it deadly at a range of 4,000 feet, capable of knocking out a tank at 6,000 feet with a well-placed shot, or able to destroy lightly armored vehicles at two miles.

    Within the first half second of squeezing the trigger, the GAU-10 is firing at full speed; in one second, fifty rounds are headed for the target, with seventy more per second after that. The power of this weapon instills a penatily to the pilot's control roll. After the first 2 seconds the pilot has a -5% to maintain control of his aircraft for each additional second that the cannon is fired (so if he fired a four second burst he would have to make a control roll at -10%).
    Primary Purpose: Anti-Armor
    Secondary Purpose: Defense
    Mega-Damage: Special:
       70-round burst: 5D6x25 M.D.
       Strafing: 2D6x10 M.D. to all targets in a path 10' wide by 30' long (asumming a 2 second stafing run).

    The weapon is very hard to keep trained on the target. Therefore, bursts will usually only inflict a percentage of the damage stated above. To determine percentage, look at the *unaugmented/unaided/natural* strike roll (in other words, the number you roll before *any* bonuses are added). The number will be between 5 and 20. (aside: a roll of 1-4 is a automatic miss)

    Determine what percentage this number is in relation to a perfect 20. (i.e. a 10 would be 50%, a 15 would be 75%, etc). The easiest way to accomplish this is to devide the number rolled by 20, the result is the fraction/percent. This is the actual percentage of damage done to target.

    GM's Note: The target will always take a fraction of the total damage. Unless the thing is a HUGE target (size is greater than 40 feet) like the Triax Devastator Robot, or the pilot is suicidal enough to stay in a dive at the target. In which case the plane itself will have a good chace of hitting the target as well, but the pilot will get a +5 to strike in both of these cases. This bonus is counted when finding the percentage number.
    Rounds: 30mm depleted uranium tipped, armor-piercing, Ramjet rounds.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the # of hand to hand attacks of the pilot.
    Range: Deadly at 4,000 ft (1,219 m), max range is 10,560 ft (3,218.5 m).
    Payload: 2,760 rounds, that's only 23 bursts. Reloading the 30mm shells require special equipment. A full load of ammo can be loaded within 20 minutes.
    Length: 21 ft (6.4 m) without drum magazine
    Note: It is inadvisable to fire the Avenger for more than a 2 second burst, as the recoil from the gun will actually slowdown and stall the aircraft!

  2. Eleven Hard points Under Wings: 26,700 lb. (12,111 kg) of ordnance can be placed under the fuselage on three hard points or under the wings, each with four hard points. The weapons points are numbered 1-11, with number one being outermost on the port wing. Weapons options include conventional bombs, incendiary bombs, cluster bomb units, air-to-surface missiles, laser and electro-optically guided 'smart' bombs as well as gun pods. [A-10C Weapons Load]

    Each hard point is rated for a maximum weight. Some possible weapons loads are provided in figure to the right. Here is a partial list of ordnance that can be used with the A-10C

    Station 1 and 11 are each usually loaded with two short range Air to Air missiles for self-defense against enemy aircraft.

    It should be noted that if station 5 and 7 are used than station 6 is removed from the airframe as to reduce drag since it can not be used when the other two are in use. Likewise if station 6 is used then numbers 5 & 7 are removed. In either configuration the removed stations are stored inside a compartment on the A-10C. This allows for quick and easy rearming as well as changes in the configuration.

  3. Mini-Missile Launcher (2): Located along the upper fuselage are two vertically launching mini-missile launchers. These were installed so as to give the A-10C some defense against small, fast, close in targets without using it's defensive Air-to-Air missiles.
    Primary Purpose: Defense
    Secondary Purpose: Anti-Aircraft
    Mega-Damage: Varies with missile type. Normal load is Plasma: 2D4x10 M.D.
    Rate of Fire: One at a time or in volleys of 2, 4, 6 or 8.
    Range: Varies with missile type. Plasma: 1 mile
    Payload: Each launcher holds 12 missiles for a total of 24.

A10CThunderboltII.php -- Revised: January 27, 2021.