The U.S. aerospace giant Boeing has been awarded a new contract for continues A-10 Thunderbolt II support.
The Department of Defense and Boeing announced on Wednesday an agreement with a maximum ceiling value of $999 million for A-10 wing replacements.
Introduced into the Air Force aircraft inventory in 1976, the venerable, affectionately called the ‘Warthog’, A-10 is the only production-built aircraft for close air support. The aircraft was made to fly close to the ground in support of friendly ground troops, drop heavy loads of weapons, attacks armored vehicles, tanks and can be called in to attack enemy ground forces.
With heavy stresses put on the wings over the weapon system’s lifetime and with its full-service life still unknown, the Air Force decided to replace some of the fleet’s wings in order for the weapon system to remain airworthy.
Under the contract, which was competitively awarded, Boeing will be responsible for managing the production of a maximum of 112 wing sets and spare kits. The U.S. Air Force ordered 27 wing sets immediately at contract award.
“Boeing is honored to be selected to continue as the A-10 Thunderbolt II wing kit contractor,” said Pam Valdez, vice president of Air Force Services for Boeing Global Services. “Our established supply base, experience with the A-10 structures, and our in-depth knowledge of the U.S. Air Force’s requirements will help us deliver high-quality wings to meet the customer’s critical need.”
The new wings are expected to last for up to 10,000 equivalent flight hours without a depot inspection. In addition, a better wire harness design was created for easier wing removal and to lessen the chance of damaging the wing during the process.
According to a statement released by the Department of Defense, work will be performed at multiple subcontractor locations in the U.S. and one subcontractor location in South Korea and is expected to be complete by Aug. 23, 2030.