The US Air Force will be retire the A10 thunderbolt soon. The plane with the nicknames of “Warthog” and “Tank killer” was designed for close air ground support missions. A mission that could be adopted for police use.
General George Hammond says the A10s we will be retrofitted for civilian police use. “We have done a few studies and found these planes will improve American police forces much as helicopters have.”
The planes would be given to police as part of the 1033 program. Much like how MRAP vehicles are being given to police SWAT teams.
A retrofit would include removing the Gatling Gun or rotary cannon, from the nose of the airplane. That weapon would be replaced by a 40mm less lethal launcher.
No police sources will go on record admitting it but there is rumor of new tear gas “bombs” being developed for police use. Using old Mark 81 bomb designs manufactures are looking to create a larger anti riot gas payload delivery system for law enforcement. The theory being that a laser guided bomb could put the gas into the pinpoint center of any civil disturbance.
Police Lt. Cameron Mitchell says “Look we are the police. We don’t need a weapon of war. But this plane can be a tool to keep the public safe. With that 40mm launcher we can drop grenades filled with tear gas or pepper spray deep into riots to disperse them with out marching cops into the fight.We can also use less lethal ferret rounds to end high speed chases on the interstate. A close support jet can work better than some helicopters can in missions like these.”
Lt. Mitchell could not go on record to talk about bombs. Off the record he did say how a laser guided weapon would do a better job to end a police chase than firing off rounds from nose cannon.
There is no official word on when the first A10 will be in the air flown by a police officer.