While we wait for some official footage of the A-10s at work in Iraq, here’s a clip where you can hear and see the Air Force “Hogs” in action.
Kurdish Peshmerga forces reportedly broke Islamic State siege of Iraq’s Mount Sinjar, freeing thousands of members of the Yazidi minority who were trapped there since August.
At min. 1:38 of the following footage released by Kurdish authorities you’ll see an A-10 flying high over the Peshmerga fighters east of Mount Sinjar moving in trucks and armoured personnel carriers.
Then, at min. 1:20 of the video below you will hear the unmistakable sound of the GAU-8 Avenger a 30 mm hydraulically driven seven-barrel Gatling-type cannon of the A-10 aircraft belonging to the 163rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron “Blacksnakes”, part of the 122nd Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard, based at Fort Wayne, Indiana, currently deployed to Ahmed al Jaber airbase, in Kuwait.
Little official information about the A-10 involvement in war on ISIS has been released so far. We know the Warthogs are being used in Iraq and not in Syria, a sign that the Pentagon probably considers Syrian air defense systems a lethal threat to the aircraft or that A-10s are not dispatched where they can’t get TACP (Tactical Air Control Party) support to conduct Close Air Support.
H/T to Save the A-10 page for the heads-up
Image credit: U.S. Air Force
Heros in those videos
Would like to see these converted into drones and turned over to the army and marines for close air support. Team them up with the X2 raider as a light attack/scout drone.
The ground forces would be unstoppable.
Google “A-10 Islamic State” and you’ll find that the information has been released by military websites as well as media outlets weeks ago….
Uh… the A-10’s track record killing scumbags like ISIS is pretty good to date. Taking highly trained and experienced combat aviators out of the drivers seat and direct contact with the battlefield doesn’t sound like such a good idea to me.
Automaton would give it more fuel and hence loitering ability. This would make it more available for the troops. The Ai systems being developed now can learn from pilots operating simulators. Holding on to the past will cost lives.
Drones are neat. The Iranian’s think so too, so much so, they jacked our link to our most advanced one (Sentinel) and landed it in Iran, gave our friends the Russians and Chinese access to it, and now are attempting to reverse engineer it.
As far as close support by drones, current technology, from operator field of view and a thing called lag time between operator command and drone execution of command make them a really poor substitute for A-10, and they crash a lot due to a variety of reasons (see articles and links at aviation intel for more info on limitations and drawbacks).
Regarding AI, looks neat on paper, but do you really want a machine making kill decisions and what if it decides it likes the other sides cause better or doesn’t care for either side’s cause and starts killing all sides?
I prefer a man in the kill loop.