The Flying Pig, Warthog, and Hog are all nicknames for the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, an American single-seat, twin-engine, straight-wing jet aircraft developed by Fairchild-Republic in the early 1970s. Known for its ability to offensively conduct missions against armoured ground forces have made the Warthog a formidable opponent to any military. Unlike most aircraft, the Warthog was designed around the GAU-8 Avenger, a heavy rotary cannon which forms the aircraft's primary armament. The cannon is the heaviest rotary canon ever mounted on an aircraft. Not only is the Warthog a strong offensive aircraft, but it was also designed with survival as a priority, including and incorporating a strengthened hull and other protective measures. The first Warthog unit was deployed in 1976 and the first Warthog to receive combat readiness was in 1978. The A10 operated in the Gulf War and the Balkans for the United States Airforce and Royal Air Force. The A-10 is scheduled to be in service with the USAF until 2028 and possibly later.