Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning vs Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II
F-35 shall be pitted against the beast A-10 Warthog this coming 10th April to test whether it can take over the role of the latter. A-10 Warthog entered US Air Force in 1976. It was meant for close air support (CAS) of ground troops such as taking on an armored vehicle, tanks, and enemy troops.
A-10 Warthog can fly slow and closer to the ground because that is crucial to provide air support to the troops on the ground, but the point is how well Joint Strike Fighter Lightning II can do that.
A-10 is armed with huge 30 mm GAU-8 Avenger Gun ( Thunderbolt ) that can fire 60 rounds per second, with each round the size of a Red Bull can. F-35 uses 4 barrel 25 mm Gatling gun that can fire 55 rounds per second.
Another job that Warthog is required to accmplish is to help other aircrafts to direct their fire by providing forward air controller -air borne support.
So Pentagon will test in coming April whether F-35 can provide greater measure of Close Air Support so that A-10 could be retired. The parameters will include Close Air Support, Combat search and rescue, Weapons Drop, Forward Air Controller Air-borne Missions, Reconnaissance etc
A-10 Warthog 30mm GAU-8 Avenger Vs F-35 Lightning 25mm GAU-22 Equalizer
The General Electric GAU-8/A Avenger is a 30 mm hydraulically driven seven-barrel Gatling-type autocannon that is typically mounted in the United States Air Force’s Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II. Designed specifically for the anti-tank role, the Avenger delivers very powerful rounds at a high rate of fire. The GAU-8/A is also used in the Goalkeeper CIWS ship weapon system, which provides defense against short-range threats such as highly maneuverable missiles, aircraft, and fast maneuvering surface vessels.
The GAU-22/A is a four-barrel version of the GAU-12/U designed for use on the F-35 Lightning II. The CTOL version of the aircraft will carry the gun internally, while the STOVL and naval versions use it in an external gun pod. The GAU-22/A’s major difference is the use of four barrels, rather than the five barrels on the GAU-12/U. The GAU-22/A is lighter, has a reduced rate of fire of 3,300 rounds per minute and an improved accuracy of 1.4 milliradians as compared to the GAU-12.This system is undergoing intensive testing and qualification. The weapon is currently produced by General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems.
The Nammo 25 mm APEX projectile is being developed for the GAU-22/A.