Upgrade Advances A-10s Search Capability

A 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft takes off during an austere landing training exercise at Nowe Miasto, Poland, July 20, 2015. The deployed A-10s are part of the first European Theater Security Package. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

A-10C Thunderbolt IIs assigned to active duty fighter squadrons at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base are in the process of having new lightweight airborne recovery systems installed.

The LARS V-12 is designed to allow A-10 pilots to communicate more effectively with individuals on the ground such as downed pilots, pararescuemen and joint terminal attack controllers.

The LARS system provides A-10 pilots with GPS coordinates of ground personnel and enables them to communicate via voice or text, according to Staff Sgt. Andre Gonzalez, 355th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron avionics technician.

The systems upgrades are being installed by the 309th Aircraft Maintenance and Regeneration Group.

“This urgent operational need arose in August (2016),” said Timothy Gray, the 309th AMARG acting director. “Air Combat Command and the A-10 Program Office asked me if AMARG could complete 16 aircraft by (Dec. 16). I said, ‘Absolutely!’ It was awesome to see Team AMARG take on this massive logistical challenge, build a production machine, find facilities, manpower, equipment, tools, and make material kits (to) execute the requirement.”

In the last three months, technicians have completed LARS installations on 19 aircraft from Davis-Monthan AFB and Moody AFB, Georgia, which will ultimately provide pilots and ground personnel downrange with a valuable search capability.

“A-10 pilots take the Combat Search and Rescue role very seriously,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Hayde, the 354th Fighter Squadron commander and A-10 pilot. “While this is just one tool, it can assist us in bringing them back to U.S. soil safely.”

4 Comments on "Upgrade Advances A-10s Search Capability"

  1. and maybe save some friendly fire lives.. I liked it when the slogan on the ol hanger at the west end of the base was ‘to FLY FIGHT and WIN’

  2. The Oracle of Tucson | January 9, 2017 at 8:50 am |

    Why is the Air Force spending a single dime on the A-10 when they are actively wasting thousands on it trying to kill the entire program?

    TOoT

  3. The A-10 works. Improve the ones we have and build new ones.

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