A Tactical Surface Attacker (TSA) is a production variant of the standard Tactical Surface Fighter. While equipped with similar weapons and systems, TSAs focus more on massive firepower and armor.
Out of their niche area, however, TSAs suffer from low speed and low maneuverability, making them unsuitable for close-combat, or maneuvers that require speed and precision in the battlefield.
After the BETA landed in Kashgar in 1973, the Tactical Surface Fighter was developed as an all-purpose weapons platform for the battlefield, and the subsequent battles that followed quickly showed their usefulness on the battlefield.
Despite the firepower and mobility of TSFs, their fighting power was still inadequate for certain situations, such as beach landing operations and defending locations. As a result of that requirement, the first TSA, the A-6 Intruder, was quickly developed and deployed by the US Marine Corps in 1977, to great effect against the BETA in heavy combat situations. Its success also resulted in foreign sales; the Type-82 Wadatsumi is a variant produced by the Empire of Japan for use by their marine units.
Seeking to deploy a unit of equal capabilities, except in land warfare conditions, the US Army developed and deployed the A-10 Thunderbolt II in 1978. The successful integration of Jump Units and twin GAU-8 Avenger 36mm rotary cannons with the A-10A Thunderbolt II, the initial production model, allowed the TSA to gain its famous nickname of "Tank Killer" when it was deployed in combat. Further improvements were later made to this unit as the A-10C Thunderbolt II, bringing its combat capability up to 2nd generation levels.
Despite their niche role and capabilities in combat, the success of the TSA on the battlefield has resulted in continued development of the line to its 3rd generation. Like its predecessors, the A-12 Avenger is heavily armed, armored, and is also equipped with stealth for improved anti-human combat capabilities.