[Video] This is what taking a direct tank shell hit looks like!

A-10 Warthogs’ specialty is killing enemy tanks.

For this reason they are U.S. soldiers favorite planes when it deals with calling for air support in Afghanistan. An A-10 with a 30mm GAU-8 Avenger gun and some AGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground missiles would probably be useful to the Free Syrian Army as well and have prevented the rebel cameraman shooting the footage below from taking a T-72 tank’s direct hit.

Reportedly filmed at Jobar Damacus Lewaa al-Baraa, full speed:

Slow motion:

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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. Fin-Stabilised rounds are purposed for armored targets, so why expend this ammunition against an infantry target?

    • Since the cameraman survived the hit (or at least his camera did) we can’t rule out the possibility he was next to an armored vehicle that was the actual target of the tank.

    • Could have mistaken the camera or something in the building as a rocket launcher or RPG, or he could have just not wanted to be filmed that day.

    • That might be the only ammo they have available, or perhaps the crew isn’t trained to know the difference. Or, as others have pointed out, they were shooting at an armoured target, or that was what was in the breach at that moment.
      Possibly they were shooting at a building and thought that AP was the correct choice.

    • Syria’s probably not getting a lot of resupply, so perhaps the tanks are running low on shells and are firing whatever is available?

      Can Syria manufacture 125mm rounds on their own?

    • The man firing the shell doesn’t need to answer that question to fire it, or even answer it correctly. “Bad mood”, however irrational it is, could be a sufficient reason for some.

    • I believe it’s very very hard to unload a round in the T-72’s autoloader system and even if it was simpler, most tankers shoot whatever is in their breech as it takes too much time to switch shells in a pinch.

    • I agree something seems fishy with the tank video. At the very least I think the camera was static and unmanned. It never moves. Most likely the guys saw the armor rolling in and pointed the camera at its expected firing area and took off as quick as possible. Then go back later and dig up the camera. I honestly don’t see how the camera wasn’t destroyed unless it was looking thru a sniper hole much farther away or something.

      • Syrian rebels have a bunch of unmanned cameras feeding footage via wire to operators. Let’s them know about Syrian Army movements.

    • He’s a ballistics expert, not a photography expert. Extreme telephoto flattens depth of field in just this way. Head-on, the projectile is barely moving in frame, and this is exactly what you would expect to see. You can even see some supersonic shockwave around the projectile. Not fake.

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