Transcript (by Youtube)

0s foreign
6s are nothing short of iconic just look at
10s it it's hard to believe that in 2022
12s this fearsome winged Predator is
15s celebrating its 50th anniversary and has
18s no plans to retire anytime soon even
21s though there were numerous attempts to
23s replace it actually the first of those
25s were made almost immediately after the
28s first A-10 Thunderbolt 2 rolled off the
30s factory floor
34s in fact even its road to production was
36s rather long and challenging after the
39s Vietnam War the U.S military realized
41s that they didn't actually have a single
43s full-fledged ground attack aircraft at
46s their disposal what they had was the
48s Douglas A1 Skyraider a carrier-based
51s piston-engined attack aircraft it was
54s cheap sturdy and capable of delivering
57s Precision strikes on small mobile
59s targets but it was also too slow
61s especially for jungle warfare Phantoms
65s on the other hand were way too fast
66s crossing the battlefield in a matter of
69s seconds with their distinct lack of
71s loiter time there was no way they could
73s achieve the same level of precision
75s there were some attempts to convert
77s trainer Jets into some kind of light
78s attack aircraft but that didn't really
81s solve the problem at hand just like the
83s adoption of heavier Crusaders and
85s Thunder Chiefs the main weakness of all
88s those aircraft was that they were simply
90s too vulnerable to ground fire and
92s helicopters well let's put it this way
95s even though they got full points for
97s precision they were even slower than the
99s venerable skyreader
103s it was crystal clear that the military
105s had to find another way forward but no
108s one was sure what it actually was that's
111s why the request for proposals for the
113s new aircraft issued by the usaaf was so
117s vague and full of self-contradictory
119s requirements so vague and full of them
122s in fact that most companies decided not
124s to take part in this competition at all
130s in the end there were only two major
132s players that decided to submit their
134s proposals Northrup and Fairchild
136s Republic the former came up with a
139s pretty conservative subsonic design but
141s the latter's submission was very
143s unorthodox and in more ways than one
145s even its looks didn't fit the Aesthetics
148s of contemporary military designs hell
150s the attacker had a straight wing with a
152s wide cord as if mocking the elegant
155s swept wings of SuperSonic Jets it had
158s twin Tails like some World War II era
160s aircraft it had two bulbous jet engines
163s protruding from the fuselage and it had
165s Nets to no nodes what Engineers gave it
168s instead was the snout of the gau-8 30
171s millimeter cannon fun fact the whole
173s fuselage of the aircraft was actually
175s built around it the military got exactly
178s what they asked for an aircraft armed
181s with a gun that could easily pierce the
182s steel hides of Soviet t-55 and t-62
186s tanks but U.S generals certainly weren't
189s too happy with the aircraft appearance
196s nevertheless it was the A-10 that won
198s the fly-off against the competing design
200s and was selected for production it
203s turned out to be a very reliable
204s aircraft capable of carrying all kinds
207s of missiles and bombs it had no trouble
209s operating from primitive forward
210s airfields near front lines it was cheap
213s and easy to maintain and it also had
215s Superior maneuverability at low speeds
218s and altitudes furthermore as became
221s evident from later use the A-10 had
223s phenomenal survivability you could hit
225s it with a surface-to-air missile and
227s it'd still have a chance to make it back
229s to base and high caliber machine guns
231s were no threat to the A-10 at all
236s while Pilots were getting the hang of
238s their new aircraft and discovering its
240s strengths the USAF decision makers kept
243s doubting its potential and looking for a
245s more aesthetically pleasing replacement
246s after all the rapid development of
249s Soviet Tactical Air Defense capabilities
251s permitted the use of the gau-8 cannon at
253s a range where there was actual visual
255s contact with enemy tanks and the new
258s generation of Soviet armor like the t-72
260s was harder to eliminate in general
263s it seemed like the USAF decision makers
265s finally had a reason to retire the
267s Thunderbolt too but then they remembered
269s that a single warthog can carry enough
271s Maverick missiles to destroy a whole
273s unit of tanks and then it has bombs and
275s Rockets and it can even deal with enemy
278s aircraft if they make the mistake of
279s trying to win a dogfight against the
281s Blasted thing
285s in other words this ugly aircraft could
288s carry enough weapons to single-handedly
290s ruin the day of a whole Regiment of
292s Soviet tanks now imagine a few of those
295s ugly ducklings working together
297s that's right so it's no wonder that the
300s USAF couldn't bear to replace the
302s warthog not to mention that the A-10
304s performed extremely well during the Gulf
306s War earning the respect of pilots and
308s Aviation enthusiasts alike naturally as
311s time went on new threats and challenges
313s emerged but the aircraft somehow always
316s turned out to be the best possible
318s platform for new equipment and thus
320s remained effective despite facing a new
323s generation of opponents
327s soon the analog age came to an end
329s giving way to the digital highly
331s automated ways of the 21st century and
334s it turned out that strike aircraft
335s didn't really need to have Pilots
337s anymore
338s these days more often than not it's
340s different versions of unmanned aerial
342s vehicles that carry anti-tank weapons
344s drones know no fear they don't doubt
347s themselves and don't get tired how can a
350s human pilot even a highly skilled one
352s compete with that but even now there are
355s new opportunities for the A-10 someone
357s has to coordinate drone strikes and one
360s of the ways you can do it is with a
361s specialized aircraft it's not always
363s possible to control drones from the
365s ground and remote control via satellites
368s is expensive not entirely reliable and
371s prone to countermeasures obviously
373s receiving a signal from an aircraft
375s isn't fail-proof either but at least it
377s can literally follow the drones around
379s and you know what as luck would have it
382s the USAF had a great candidate for the
384s job
388s the A-10 Thunderbolt 2 also known as the
391s warthog isn't going anywhere anytime
393s soon yeah there will be new upgraded
396s versions maybe even a new aircraft based
398s on its design but the idea of the A10 is
401s clearly here to stay because it's a
403s powerful fearsome highly adaptable
406s winged Beast that is capable of meeting
408s the challenges of time whatever they may
411s be
415s [Music]