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Next generation A-10: C-model rolls out at D-M

A newly modified A-10C Thunderbolt II taxis in during the roll-out ceremony Nov. 29 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.  The A-10 has been modified with precision engagement technology to create the new and improved A-10C.  The enhancements include full integration of sensors, multi-functional color displays and a new hands-on-throttle-and-stick interface.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alesia Goosic)

A newly modified A-10C Thunderbolt II taxis in during the roll-out ceremony Nov. 29 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. The A-10 has been modified with precision engagement technology to create the new and improved A-10C. The enhancements include full integration of sensors, multi-functional color displays and a new hands-on-throttle-and-stick interface. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alesia Goosic)

Col. Kent Laughbaum introduces the new A-10C Thunderbolt II during a 355th Wing roll-out ceremony at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. Nov. 29.  The A-10 has been modified with precision engagement technology to create the new and improved A-10C.  The enhancements include full integration of sensors, multi-functional color displays and a new hands-on-throttle-and-stick interface.  Colonel Laughbaum is the 355th Wing commander.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alesia Goosic)

Col. Kent Laughbaum introduces the new A-10C Thunderbolt II during a 355th Wing roll-out ceremony at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. Nov. 29. The A-10 has been modified with precision engagement technology to create the new and improved A-10C. The enhancements include full integration of sensors, multi-functional color displays and a new hands-on-throttle-and-stick interface. Colonel Laughbaum is the 355th Wing commander. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alesia Goosic)

Airmen at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. welcome a newly modified A-10C Thunderbolt II during a roll-out ceremony Nov. 29.  The A-10 has been modified with precision engagement technology to create the new and improved A-10C.  The enhancements include full integration of sensors, multi-functional color displays and a new hands-on-throttle-and-stick interface.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alesia Goosic)

Airmen at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. welcome a newly modified A-10C Thunderbolt II during a roll-out ceremony Nov. 29. The A-10 has been modified with precision engagement technology to create the new and improved A-10C. The enhancements include full integration of sensors, multi-functional color displays and a new hands-on-throttle-and-stick interface. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alesia Goosic)

A newly modified A-10C Thunderbolt II taxis in during the roll-out ceremony Nov. 29 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.  The A-10 has been modified with precision engagement technology to create the new and improved A-10C.  The enhancements include full integration of sensors, multi-functional color displays and a new hands-on-throttle-and-stick interface.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alesia Goosic)

A newly modified A-10C Thunderbolt II taxis in during the roll-out ceremony Nov. 29 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. The A-10 has been modified with precision engagement technology to create the new and improved A-10C. The enhancements include full integration of sensors, multi-functional color displays and a new hands-on-throttle-and-stick interface. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alesia Goosic)

Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. -- Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. - The A-10C made its official roll-out debut at Davis-Monthan Wednesday revealing its transformation from the A-10 and its enhanced capabilities under the Precision Engagement program.
The Precision Engagement program will offer the A-10 the most significant modifications it has ever received in its 30-year history, marking the first time it has been re-designated and making it a more capable and survivable attack fighter, according to Maj. Dan Walls, Director of Conversion Training Unit Operations, 355th Training Squadron.
"Precision Engagement increases the lethality, survivability and standoff of one of the most respected and recognized attack aircraft in the world and ushers in a new era in the A-10 story," said Major Walls.
Under this program, the A-10 will receive numerous enhancements including the full integration of sensors, including data link and a targeting pod, allowing the A-10C to identify and strike targets from higher altitudes and greater distances without sacrificing accuracy. This integration will also enhance the aircraft's communication capabilities.
The cockpit will also undergo modifications under the program with the introduction of two new multi-functional color displays and a new hands-on-throttle-and-stick interface. These enhancements translate into increased situational awareness for the pilot and the ability to perform most tasks without removing their hands from the throttle or stick.
As a result of this upgrade, the A-10C is projected to remain operational into the end of the 2020s well beyond its initial expected lifespan, according to Major Walls.
At the roll-out ceremony, Col. Kent Laughbaum, 355th Wing Commander, introduced the arrival of the upgraded jet with reminiscent words on the history of the A-10A. He ended by citing several of the technological advancements made to the A-10C and the possibilities for it in the future.
Guests and media later took the opportunity to see the newest modifications up close as A-10C pilots and maintainers showed them around the aircraft and the cockpit. A desktop simulator was also provided for visitors to experience virtual flight in the modified jet.
"We're going to see at least another generation of the A-10 at [Davis-Monthan]," said Colonel Laughbaum. "It is an exciting day for Davis-Monthan and the A-10 community."