US Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II
US Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II

Northrop Grumman Wins $188 Million for A-10 Thunderbolt II Engineering Services

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Clearfield, Utah, has been awarded a $185,700,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the
A-10 Thunderbolt II Aircraft Structural Integrity Program (ASIP) Legacy VII. This contract provides for sustaining engineering services of A-10 aircraft. Work will be performed in Clearfield, Utah, and is expected to be completed by Dec. 13, 2030. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance funds in the amount of $6,480,694 are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is the contracting activity.

The A-10 Aircraft Structural Integrity Program began with the initial A-10 OEM development contract, with the definition of materials and processes on an aircraft by aircraft basis, to validate analyses and accurately predict fatigue damage for the optimization of inspection intervals and maximization of aircraft availability. The A-10 OEM Team continues to be a key member of the A-10 ASIP Team, providing loads and structures analysis to prevent structural failure, analyzing manufacturing methods for aircraft improvements and providing overall weapons system expertise for the support of the warfighter.

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US Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II
A U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II receives a complete overhaul at the 571st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron on Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Feb. 7 2020. The wings, elevators, and avionics systems of the A-10 will each be thoroughly inspected and upgraded. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. DaQuan Hurt)

The A-10 Thunderbolt II, affectionately nicknamed “The Warthog,” was developed for the United States Air Force by the OEM Team from Fairchild Republic Company, now a part of Northrop Grumman Corporation Aerospace Systems Eastern Region located in Bethpage NY and St. Augustine FL. Following in the footsteps of the legendary P-47 Thunderbolt, the OEM Team was awarded a study contract in the 1960s to define requirements for a new Close Air Support aircraft, rugged and survivable, to protect combat troops on the ground. This initial study was followed up by a prototype development contract for the A-X, and a final flyoff competition resulting in the selection of the A-10 Thunderbolt II.

Selection of the A-10 Thunderbolt II for this mission was based on the dramatic low altitude maneuverability, lethality, “get home safe” survivability, and mission capable maintainability designed into the jet by the OEM team. This design features a titanium “bathtub” that protects the pilot from injury, and dually redundant flight control systems that allow the pilot to fly the aircraft out of enemy range, despite severe damage such as complete loss of hydraulic capability. These features have been utilized to great effect in both the Desert Storm conflict of the 1990’s and in the more recent Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and Global War on Terror engagements.

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