Hobby Master HA1312 USAF Fairchild A-10A Thunderbolt II Ground Attack Aircraft - "Chopper Popper", 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing, Operation Desert Storm, 1991 (1:72 Scale)
"Obsolete weapons do not deter."
- British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
The A-10 and OA-10 Thunderbolt IIs are the first Air Force aircraft designed specifically for close air support of ground forces. They are simple, effective, and highly survivable twin-engine jet aircraft that can be used against all ground targets, especially tanks and other armored vehicles. The first production A-10A was delivered to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, AZ., in October 1975.
The aircraft can carry a wide variety of ordnance under its wings and nose, loiter on-station for long periods of time, and fly over a wide combat radius, making it an ideal warrior on today's battlefield. In the Gulf War, A-10s, with a mission capable rate of 95.7 percent, flew 8,100 sorties and launched 90 percent of the AGM-65 Maverick missiles used in-country.
This particular 1:72 scale replica of a US A-10A Warthog was nicknamed "Chopper Popper", which was attached to the 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing, then participating in Operation Desert Storm during 1991. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 8.75 inches
Length: 9.75 inches
Release Date: November 2010
Historical Account: "Flying Tigers" - The 23d Wing is a front-line United States Air Force Air Combat Command wing currently assigned to Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. In response to the buildup of forces following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, the 74th and 76th Tactical Fighter Squadrons deployed with numerous support personnel to King Fahd International Airport, Saudi Arabia, attached to the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing (Provisional) as part of Operation Desert Shield.
Using forward operating locations near the Kuwaiti border as well as King Fahd AB, A-10s made their combat debut in Operation Desert Storm on January 15th, 1991. The 23 TFW flew more than 2,700 combat sorties over Iraq and Kuwait while maintaining a mission-capable rate of 95 percent. In addition to providing close air support for ground units, the A-10s performed Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) and SCUD-hunting missions. The combined efforts of the A-10 units resulted in the confirmed destruction of 987 tanks, 926 artillery pieces, 500 armored personnel carriers, 1,106 trucks, 112 military structures, 96 radars, 72 bunkers, 57 SCUD missile launchers, 50 anti-aircraft artillery batteries, 28 command posts, 11 FROG missiles, nine surface-to-air missile sites, eight fuel tanks and 12 aircraft.
Both squadrons returned to England Air Force Base at the end of March 1991. Support personnel continued to arrive for months after the aircraft redeployment. In October 1990, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission decided that England Air Force Base would be closed by September 1992. A draw down of equipment and personnel began almost immediately. On October 1st, 1991, as part of an Air Force-wide reorganization, the wing designation became 23d Fighter Wing, and on November 1st, 1991, the squadrons also dropped "tactical" from their designations.