At the height of the Cold War, the world’s two superpowers developed a new pair of battlefield aircraft that were similar in power and purpose.
The first was the American a-10 Thunderbolt, which was also called the Warthog. The second was the Russian su-25, which was also called the Frog Foot. Both of these planes were made specifically for close air support. Both planes have continued to be very useful on many battlefields.
In this article, we will be Pitting America’s a-10 warthog against Russia’s su-25 frog foot and determining which Aircraft is better.
To begin, while the su-25 is significantly smaller than the a-10, its top speed of 606 mph is more than 167 mph faster than that of the a-10. Both planes can carry a lot of weight in the form of bombs, rockets, missiles, pods, and fuel tanks, but the a-10 can lift almost 7451 pounds more than the Russian plane.
The su-25’s 30-millimeter cannon is substantially less impressive than the a-10’s due to its limited ammunition, but it still packs a lethal blow.
The size and speed of the Su-25 make it a more difficult target. Both aircraft are extensively armored and regarded as the world’s safest and most feared close air support jets.
The A-10 has two turbofan engines that together make 18,130 pounds of thrust. The aircraft’s engines provide a maximum speed of 439 miles per hour and a range of 2,580 miles. The combat radius of the aircraft is 290 miles.
The A-10 weighs about 24,959 pounds and can take off at a rate of 6,000 feet per minute while carrying up to 50,000 pounds. The highest that the plane can go is 45,000 feet.
On the other side, the two engines that are housed within the Su-25 are its major source of propulsion. These engines have the potential to generate up to approximately 19,860 pounds of thrust. These are designed to propel the jet to a top speed of 904 kilometers per hour (606 miles per hour).
The Aircraft can fight within a radius of 470 miles, with a maximum range of 620 miles. The frog foot has a takeoff weight of around 21,605 pounds, a maximum weight of 42549 pounds, and a climb rate of about 11,400 feet per minute. The highest altitude the jet can fly at is 23,000 feet.
The su-25 is a bit faster and more maneuverable than the a-10. But the A-10 can fly about 22,000 feet higher than its Russian counterpart.
The a-10 can fly a few more miles and carry more weight than the su-25, but the su-25 can climb twice as fast as the a-10.
ARMOR & SURVIVAL:
Survivability is an essential attribute of any successful ground attack aircraft. The a-10 excels in this category due to its heavy armor, for example, and the engines are located a bit higher on the rear fuselage.
The Aircraft’s wings, fuselage, and tail shield them against attacks from most angles. Flight controls operate with dual hydraulic systems, including a mechanical one as a backup.
Heavy armor ensures that A-10s are immune to small arms fire, which is useful when flying between 50 and 500 feet above ground level. The cockpit is situated inside a titanium armored bathtub
capable of withstanding a direct hit from 23-millimeter rounds. Modern a10 pilots have the advantage of night-vision imaging systems enabling them to operate effectively in night missions.
In contrast, the su-25 is a comparatively smaller and faster jet, making it a difficult target from ground fire; however, it is less of a problem for guided missiles.
When flown clean, the frog foot can reach supersonic speeds, and the airframe can withstand 6.5 Gs. with a higher speed and maneuverability, the su-25 can defeat MANPADS launched from closer distances.
The su-25 is not as resistant to damage but is more difficult to hit. The skill of a pilot and ground crew trying to bring it down is more of a factor. The jet has players chafe, jamming pods, and multispectral decoys.
It is also equipped with a Laser-based infrared jammer, and a dual infrared missile approach warning system in the modern su-25 provides a 90% defect rate against any infrared missile.
RADAR AND AVIONICS:
Lasers are both aircraft’ primary means of targeting, aiming, and weapon guidance. The a-10 is equipped with improved communications, inertial navigation systems, night-vision, fire controls, weapons delivery systems, and target penetration aids.
The head-up display indicates airspeed altitude and dive angle on the windscreen pave penny laser tracking pods under the fuselage assist the a-10s primary gun.
The Aircraft also has armament control panels and infrared and electronic countermeasures to handle surface-to-air missiles.
Similarly, the su-25 has an integral laser system for ranging tracking and targeting with HUD designation.
In terms of pods, the Aircraft has infrared and optical systems for both day and nighttime operations. The Aircraft is fortified with satellite navigation radar warning receivers and sophisticated attack systems, Which allows for more precise targeting.
The a-10s most dominant feature is its primary weapon, the 30-millimeter 7-barrel Gatling gun. The Aircraft is literally designed around the gun.
The jet is capable of disabling the main battle tank from a range of four miles. The cannon can fire various ammunition, including armor-piercing and uranium-depleted rounds.
The gun magazine can hold 1350 rounds. The pilot can select a firing rate of 2100 or 4200 rounds a minute, depending on the target.
The a-10 has eleven hardpoints, including eight pylon stations under both wings, while the remaining three are fitted under the fuselage with a total payload capacity of sixteen thousand pounds.
The a-10 can carry up to ten maverick air-to-surface missiles. The Aircraft can also be fitted with pave penny laser guidance and electronic support measures. The jet can also be armed with Sidewinder missiles having a speed over Mach 2.5.
The a-10 can also deploy a wide range of unguided ordnance. In contrast, the Frog foot is fitted with 11 hard points capable of carrying various rocket pods, bombs, and missiles. the bomb load outs include a variety of general-purpose munitions.
Cluster bombs are another special purpose weaponry. The Aircraft’s most impressive weapon is its 30-millimeter cannon, capable of firing 3,000 rounds per minute.
The su-25 has a nose-mounted laser rangefinder that assists with target acquisition allowing the cannon’s high-explosive and depleted uranium armor-piercing shells to find their mark. The su-25 can also be armed with wing-mounted 23-millimeter cannon pods.
The a-10 clearly has a better gun. However, the cannon is an inherently ineffective weapon against armored vehicles and requires the Aircraft to float dangerously close, except for the 55 millimeters s5 rocket with a smaller warhead.
The su-25 carries more unguided rockets, such as the hundred twenty-two millimeter s13 and the powerful and longer-ranged s25 and s24 rockets.
In contrast, the a-10 can unload almost twice as many dumb bombs and precision-guided bombs. The SU-25 is more agile and can escape from enemy missiles.
The su-25s missiles are 60, and k13 are inferior to the a-10s aim-9 sidewinder and AGM maverick; however, the su-25 can carry a pair of r73 or active homing medium arranged r-77 missiles on the outer pylons.
We have laid out all the points of both these Aircraft. We will let our readers decide which one’s better.