The A-10 is exceptionally tough, designed to withstand armor piercing and or high explosive shells from small arms to 23 AP and explosive projectiles up to 23 mm. It has redundant hydraulic controls, and mechanical flight capability if flight by hydraulics is not possible. It can fly on one engine, with half of one rear horizon stabilizer, damaged elevator flaps and half a wing.
The cockpit, pilot and flight-control system are protected by a tub of titanium armor known as the “bathtub”. The canopy can withstand small arms fire.
The plane was built around the GAU-8, a gun that fires a round about the size of a quart milk carton, or 173 mm. The rounds are made of depleted uranium and the seven barrel rotary cannon gun fires at 3900 rounds per minutes. With 716 of these planes built in 1976, it was first used in the first Persian Gulf War. It has a 95% mission readiness rate and flew 8100 sorties.
Here is the tally of its destroyed targets.
987 tanks destroyed
1,026 artillery pieces to include:
501 Armor Personnel Carriers (APC)
249 Command Posts (CP)
11 Frog missile launchers
281 Military structures
96 Radar installations
9 SAM sites
8 Fuel tanks
2,000 other military vehicles
53 SCUD missiles and launchers
Suppressed enemy air defenses
Attacked early warning radars
2 Helicopter (air-to-air aircraft) kills with the GAU-8A 30mm Avenger cannon.