US attack aircraft to land at Kuressaare airfield for first time next week
A-10 Warthog attack aircraft of the Maryland Air National Guard are to land at Kuressaare airfield on the Western Estonian island of Saaremaa, where they will participate in an exercise of the Saaremaa unit of the volunteer Estonian Defence League.
Altogether eight A-10 aircraft will depart from Ämari Air Base on Wednesday for a two-day cooperation exercise with the Saaremaa unit of the Estonian Defence League, spokespeople at the Headquarters of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) said.
The Warthogs will land at Kuressaare airfield, marking the first time that A-10s land there.
The two-day exercise will include practicing maritime control and protecting the port of Roomassaare and surrounding areas by sea and air.
The A-10 Warthog, whose official name is the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, was designed by Fairchild Aircraft for the U.S. Air Force specifically to provide close air support for ground forces. It entered service over 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
Source: BNS, ERR