The A10 Warthog, officially known as the A10 Thunderbolt II, had its official first flight in 1972. The Fairfield Republic Company developed the aircraft as an anti-tank Cold War-era weapon. Since its first flight, Fairfield Republic built over 700 Warthogs, with over 300 still in service, as of 2015.
Over the years, the A10 Warthog acquired upgrades. In 1978, the aircraft added the Pave Penny laser receiver pod to its system, and in 1980, it added an inertial navigating system. In 1999, the Warthog received a global positioning system navigation, and the 2005 upgrades included an improved fire control system, a smart bomb delivery system, electronic countermeasure improvements and an improvement to the cockpit displays.
In 2014, Congress voted to continue funding for the aircraft through 2015, although it was in danger of being scrapped. Opponents of continuing the funding claim the aircraft's purpose as an anti-tank and anti-air defense weapon serves little purpose in the current state of military maneuvers, which include more reliance on suicide bombers and improvised explosion devices. However, in September of 2014, the aircraft flew missions bombing ISIS targets in Syria.
The Warthog can fly at low-altitudes at high speeds for a long period of time with highly accurate bombing results.