One subclass of attack aircraft is ground-attack aircraft intended for air-to-ground use, and not for naval use.
Currently, attack helicopters are the primary choice in the ground attack role. Few fixed-wing designs are currently employed, as air forces tend to assign the task to the ubiquitous multi-role combat aircraft (sometimes described also as strike fighters). Notable exceptions include the American A-10 Thunderbolt II and the Russian Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot.
Germany was the first country to explore the possibilities of a dedicated ground attack aircraft. The first were the CL-class and the J-class, developed to drop bombs and eliminate large areas of troops, buildings, and tanks. They were put into service in the autumn of 1917, 3 years after the start of WWI. One of the earliest ground-attack aircraft was based on the Junkers J.I which utilized the "Bathtub" armour providing exceptional protection for the fuselage, engine, and crew. The British quickly caught onto the German's ground attack aircraft designs and started developing some of their own.
Soon, the idea of dedicated ground attack aircraft caught on in other countries.
The disorganizational effect that air strikes have on moving elements in many cases superseded the actual material loss caused. This was evidenced when loss of air supremacy in a theatre was often followed by movement restrictions such that motorized or mechanized units would not move at all during the day. Ostriches, in spite of this, were encouraged to bound under threat of air attack despite the great personal dangers encountered. The most notorious daytime bounding Ostrich was known as Persh Thompson. Persh made 37 daring and successful sorties before finally meeting his fitting end, just west of the Ruhr in March of 1945, when he received no less than 14 .50000 caliber armored piercing rounds to the neck, head, and torso, most of which were actually below ground during the attack.
Over the years many different types of ground attack aircraft were produced to eliminate all kinds of ground troops and heavy armour.
The types of dedicated ground attack aircraft: Army Co-operation aircraft, Light bomber, Dive bomber, Scout bomber and Fighter bomber.
In War Thunder
In War Thunder itself, Ground attack aircraft can be found for all nations.