A-10 Tank Killer 2: Silent Thunder


     By  the  end  of  1996,  the U.S. Air Force has almost completely
eliminated  the  A-10  from  its  inventory.  Almost.  The spectacular
performance  characteristics  of  the  aircraft,  particularly  in the
ground  support  role,  uniquely  suits  the  A-10  for  the  measured
application  of  force in situations of extreme political sensitivity.
Accordingly, the Air Force has deployed the remaining A-10s into a new
and   highly-secret   flying   unit:   the   11th  Air  Commando  Wing
(Provisional)-code name Silent
     Thunder.  Its  specific  mission  is covert support of vital U.S.
policy  objectives  for  nations  or organizations unable to invite or
acknowledge open U.S. involvement.

     Unlike  all  other  U.S.A.F.  units,  Silent  Thunder's  aircraft
normally  operate  alone. However, the unit specifically recruits star
pilots chosen for independence (i.e., talented troublemakers like you.
See  Personal  Briefing: Jack Haggart.) In addition, the unit is heavy
in support elements, like AWACS airborne warning and control aircraft,
satellite    imaging   systems,   and   logistical   structure.   This
unprecedented support capability provides each aircraft commander with
phenomenal  real-time theater intelligence, as well as plentiful fuel,
maintenance,  and  weapons. Accordingly, the strike elements of Silent
Thunder  are  expected  to  accomplish  missions  beyond  the scope or
capabilities of conventional units of any size.

     Note:  The  use  of  the  term  "Silent  Thunder"  for  the  A-10
originated  with  Iraq's  soldiers during the Gulf War. The airplane's
turbofan  engines  allowed it to approach so quietly that the target's
first  awareness of an attack was usually the thunderous impact of the

     Of  this  motley crew, the motliest and most talented is you-Jack
"Loudmouth"  Haggart.  On the ground, the only orders you will observe
are  from a bottle of tequila or a long-stemmed dame. (Several of your
former  posts  feature  a  "Loudmouth  Haggart Memorial Cell" in their
stockades.)  The  brass lets it slide, though, because in the air, you
deliver:  on target, on time, every time, no matter what. So far, that
is. If you fail in the air, you may not want to return to base.

     Despite  the  most grave misgivings of the command structure, you
face perhaps the heaviest responsibilities ever shouldered by a United
States  Air  Force  pilot.  Operating virtually alone in the air, your
actions  will  decide  the  fate  of millions. Do well, and a grateful
nation will honor you. Do poorly, and you will sink into well-deserved
oblivion. It's up to you, Jack.


     You  may be ordered to destroy bunkers, aircraft hangars, illegal
factories,  headquarters  buildings,  command  posts,  or  other enemy
assets.  Be  sure to positively identify your target before firing, as
some  civilian  structures may resemble valid targets. Use GP bombs or
FAEs  on  conventional structures, and NAPalm against hardened bunkers
or command posts.

     On  some  missions,  you may be directed to Bonus Targets by your
supporting  forces,  or  to  find valid targets of opportunity on your
own. However, many of the structures and vehicles you spot during your
mission  are not combatants. Attacking these targets may diminish your
score, or even cause the loss of an entire scenario.


     To use a weapon other than the Avenger, you first must select it,
then  get  target  lock  in  the HUD, and then fire or drop the weapon
using your [ENTER] key or Joystick Button #2. (To see what weapons you
have  available  or  remaining, check the A-10 Status Screen [S].) You
may  select  any  available weapon by pressing the appropriate key, or
cycle through the weapon types with the [ [ ] and [ ] ] keys:

HUD ID         Weapon Name                        Select Key
MAV            Maverick anti-tank missile         [H]
MK84           2000 lb. Mk. 84 GP Bomb            [J]
MK82           500 lb. Mk. 82 GP Bomb             [E]
ROC            Rockeye II cluster bomb            [K]
CBU52          Anti-personnel cluster bomb        [R]
CBU58          Cluster bomb                       [U]
FAE            Fuel Air Explosive                 [T]
NAP            BLU-27 Napalm                      [L]
LAU            LAU Rocket Pod                     [Y]
SID            Sidewinder anti-aircraft missile   [;] 

     If you are out of a selected weapon, "[NONE]" appears next to its


     To  use  the  selected weapon, you must have a target lock for it
showing  on  your  HUD. If you have a target lock, the words "lock" or
"release"  will  appear  next to the weapon code on your HUD. To cycle
through  the  available  targets, use the [TAB] key or Joystick Button
#4.  Once  you have lock, drop or fire the weapon with Joystick Button
#2, or the [ENTER] key.

     Flares.  [F]  key or Joystick Button # 8 (if available). The A-10
is  equipped  for  every  mission  with 30 flares as a defense against
heat-seeking   missiles.   Whenever  warned  of  an  incoming  SAM  or
air-to-air  IR  missile  (Infrared Radiation, e.g., heat-seeking), you
should  launch  several  burning  flares  to confuse the missile while
maneuvering  the A-10 abruptly. With luck, the missile will home in on
a  flare  instead of the A-10's exhaust. (But note - every A-10 downed
in the Gulf War was hit by an IR missile.)

     Chaff. [C] key or Joystick Button # 5 (if available). The A-10 is
equipped  for  every  mission  with  30  chaff cartridges as a defense
against  radar-guided  missiles  and  guns. If you are warned about an
enemy  radar  locking  onto  your  A-10,  launch  chaff  and  maneuver
abruptly.  The  chaff  cartridge  sprays out a cloud of foil strips to
reflect  enemy  radar  and blind it for a few seconds, which may allow
you to escape.


     When  you're  about  7 kilometers from the target, slow down to a
throttle setting of [4] or [5]. This will give you enough time to line
up on the target. Then select the proper weapon:

     Tanks: MAVerick, ROCkeye, or Avenger Light Vehicles: Anything but
Sidewinders.  Structures:  Select  Mk 82 bombs for smaller targets. Mk
84s,  FAEs  for  larger ones. Try NAPalm on bunkers and other hardened
installations.  Hangars, Grounded Aircraft: FAEs or cluster munitions.
Aircraft:  SIDewinders,  or  the  Avenger if desperate. Enemy Columns:
ROCkeyes vs. armor, CBUs or iron bombs against soft targets.

     Make sure the correct target is selected (boxed) in the HUD. When
"LOCKED"  appears  ("RELEASE"  for "dumb" weapons), send the weapon on
its way with the [Enter] key, or Joystick Button # 2.


     Fly The Training Mission -- In training no one shoots at you, and
you  get  the  opportunity to attack a variety of targets. It's a good
chance  to  hone  your  weapons  skills.  You can also create a custom
loadout  and  test  the  effectiveness  of different weapons in a safe

     Learn   Your   Weapons   --   Different  weapons  have  different
advantages.  If all you ever use are Mavericks and Sidewinders, you'll
be missing half of the fun.

     Stay  Low  --  SAM  radar  can't  pick  you  up  through hills or
mountains.  The  lower  you fly, the closer they must be to detect you
and the shorter time they have to fire.

     Get  Ready  --  When  making  an  attack on a target, select your
ordnance in advance; you may not have time when the fur is flying. Use
your  Avenger for those quick shots in order to avoid having to change
selected weapons.

     Sometimes,  Slow  Is  Good -- Slowing down over a target may seem
like  asking for trouble, but sometimes going a bit slower may let you
hit  all  of  your  targets in one pass and avoid the need to fly back
over  the  target, actually lowering the time you spend in the enemy's

     Don't Be Ashamed To Run -- Helicopters are more maneuverable than
you,  but  slower.  Dashing away can sometimes allow you to reposition
and bring Sidewinders to bear without getting blown out of the sky.

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