GALLERY: US A-10 Warthogs practice landing on Estonian highway

Ten A-10 Warthog attack aircraft of the 175th Wing of the Maryland Air National Guard practiced landing on and taking off from an extension of Jägala-Käravete Highway, a portion of the longer road known as Piibe Highway, in Northern Estonia on Thursday.

For safety and security reasons, the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) established a temporary danger zone around the highway extension.

The exercise began with troops from Estonia's NATO battle group rehearsing a helicopter operation on the highway extension, after which the A-10s arrived from Ämari Air Base. Following the landing and takeoff exercises, the Warthogs returned to Ämari.

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.

The ten Warthogs currently in Estonia belong to the 175th Wing of the Maryland Air National Guard, based out of Middle River, Maryland.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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