Gallery: USAF A-10 Warthogs practice landing, taking off from Estonian highway (6)
During a joint Estonian-US Air Force training exercise on Monday, A-10 Warthogs from the 303d Fighter Squadron of the United States Air Force (USAF) practiced landing on and taking off from the Jägala-Käravete Highway in Northern Estonia, a portion of the longer road known as Piibe Highway, for the second time this summer.
Crowds gathered to watch the attack aircraft land on and take off from the Estonian highway between 11 a.m. and approximately 2 p.m. on Monday.
The eight Warthogs, as they are popularly known, are from the USAF's 303d Fighter Squadron (303 FS), part of the 442d Operations Group at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. They arrived at Ämari Air Base on July 25 preceding joint Estonian-US Air Force training exercises which will continue through August 8.
The A-10 Warthog, whose official name is the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, was designed by Fairchild Aircraft for the US Air Force specifically to provide close air support for ground forces. It entered service exactly 40 years ago, in 1976.
Its primary built-in weapon, a 30 mm GAU-A/8 Avenger Gatling-type cannon, can fire 3,900 rounds per minute, or 65 rounds per second, making the Warthog especially effective in the destruction of tanks and bunkers.