The Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt II is a purpose designed tank-buster and ground attack aircraft. More commonly called the Warthog, it entered service in 1977 and has seen combat many times since 1991. The A-10 was built around the GAU-8 30mm cannon which takes up most of the forward space in the aircraft. The principle of the aircraft design is simple: to fly close to front-line troops, be highly manoeuvrable, resistant to damage, and provide high stopping power. The Warthog is armed with 1 x 30mm machine cannon with 1,174 rounds and 11 pylons for missiles, bombs, rockets, or fuel tanks. 2 x AIM-9s are normally carried for self-defence, and AGM-65s are a standard load, but almost any ground-attack munition can be used. A-10A of the 25th Fighter Squadron USAF 2003. A-10A of the 74th Fighter Squadron USAF 2003. A-10A of the 358th Fighter Squadron USAF 1986.