14 Facts About Ground-attack aircraft


An attack aircraft, strike aircraft, or attack bomber is a tactical military aircraft that has a primary role of carrying out airstrikes with greater precision than bombers, and is prepared to encounter strong low-level air defenses while pressing the attack.

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The need for a separate attack Ground-attack aircraft category was greatly diminished by the introduction of precision-guided munitions which allowed almost any Ground-attack aircraft to carry out this role while remaining safe at high altitude.

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Variety of light attack Ground-attack aircraft has been introduced in the post-World War II era, usually based on adapted trainers or other light fixed-wing Ground-attack aircraft.

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US attack Ground-attack aircraft are currently identified by the prefix A-, as in "A-6 Intruder" and "A-10 Thunderbolt II".

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Imperial Japanese Navy designation use "B" to designate carrier attack bomber such as the Nakajima B5N Type-97 bomber although these Ground-attack aircraft are mostly used for torpedo attack and level bombing.

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Such missions required flying where light anti-Ground-attack aircraft fire was expected and operating at low altitudes to precisely identify targets.

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Nevertheless, during the 1920s, the US military, in particular, procured specialized "Attack" Ground-attack aircraft and formed dedicated units, that were trained primarily for that role.

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Nevertheless, such Ground-attack aircraft, including the A-2's replacement, the Curtiss A-12 Shrike, were unarmored and highly vulnerable to AA fire.

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However, like most air arms of the period it did operate attack Ground-attack aircraft, named Army Cooperation in RAF parlance, which included the Hawker Hector, Westland Lysander and others.

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British concept of a light Ground-attack aircraft mixing all the roles that required extensive communication with land forces: reconnaissance, liaison, artillery spotting, aerial supply, and, last but not least, occasional strikes on the battlefield.

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The concept was similar to front-line Ground-attack aircraft used in the World War I, which was called the CL class in the German Empire.

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Bristol Beaufighter, based on an obsolescent RAF bomber, became a versatile twin-engine attack Ground-attack aircraft and served in almost every theatre of the war, in the maritime strike and ground attack roles as well as that of night fighter.

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Ultimate development of the cannon-armed light attack Ground-attack aircraft was the small production run in 1944 of the Henschel Hs 129B-3, armed with a modified PAK 40 75 mm anti-tank gun.

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Jet attack aircraft were designed and employed during the Cold War era, such as the carrier-based nuclear strike Douglas A-3 Skywarrior and North American A-5 Vigilante, while the Grumman A-6 Intruder, F-105 Thunderchief, F-111, F-117 Nighthawk, LTV A-7 Corsair II, Sukhoi Su-25, A-10 Thunderbolt, Panavia Tornado, AMX, Dassault Etendard, Super Etendard and others were designed specifically for ground-attack, strike, close support and anti-armor work, with little or no air-to-air capability.

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