The A-10 Thunderbolt II weapon system will be upgraded under the US Air Force’s A-10 Thunderbolt life cycle programme support (TLPS) task to extend its life another 20 years.

The indefinite delivery / indefinite quantity contracts will include logistics support apart from current and future upgrades to A-10 avionics, mechanical and structural systems.

Currently in use in Afghanistan operations, the Thunderbolt II, also called the Warthog, is a twin-engine aircraft that provides ground forces with close-air support and are used against ground targets, including tanks and other armored vehicles.

The TLPS contracts will allow USAF to authorise up to $1.6bn for the aircraft support activity.

The contacts have been awarded to Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Boeing.