Video Shows One Reason Proponents Say A-10’s Heavy Gun Still Remains Relevant.
Arguments about weapons systems tend to be circular and hard to win. The discussion about close air support, the retirement of the aging A-10 Thunderbolt II and the entry of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter along with the relevance of the recent Light Attack Experiment continue to swirl. But one thing that cannot be argued is the lethality and spectacle of the A-10’s GAU-8 Avenger 30mm, seven-barrel Gatling-type cannon
This video was released on January 24, 2018 from the U.S. Air Force Central Command Public Affairs office. It is credited to the 94th Airlift Wing which, oddly enough, is primarily an airlift wing. The Defense Video Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS) gave no reason why this video was released through an airlift wing, but it is likely due to logistics.
The video, shot from an unknown camera platform, shows an Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II conducting a strike on a Taliban vehicle fleeing the scene of an attack in Kandahar province on January 24, 2018. The insurgents in the vehicle were armed with a DShK 12.7 mm heavy machine gun, which had been used moments earlier during the attack on Afghans.
The video is relevant to the close air support discussion for a number of reasons. Firstly, it showcases the accuracy of the GAU-8 weapons system, at least in this single instance. You can see that two 30mm rounds penetrate the hood of the vehicle, then one penetrates the roof of the driver’s compartment and a fourth round goes through the roof of the passenger area of the vehicle. Considering the speed of the vehicle and that the A-10 was, of course, moving also, this is a noteworthy degree of accuracy.
Needless to say more than rounds left the cannon, and there appears to be two separate firing passes shown in the video.
The video also suggests an interesting scenario where, if the A-10 attacked from above 5,000 feet or even much higher (especially if required to remain outside the envelope of anti-aircraft systems like MANPADS), this imagery may have been collected from another aircraft, not the A-10 conducting the strike. A likely candidate would be a remotely piloted aircraft providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and then maybe even target designation for the attacking aircraft. While we do not know if this was the case with this video, it is a common enough practice to suggest in this instance.
While it’s unlikely proponents on either side of the “Save the A-10” movement will be swayed by videos like this one, and these videos date back to the A-10s first operational deployment of the A-10 in 1991, they remain compelling. During its first operational deployment in the Gulf War the A-10 was credited with destroying approximately 900 Iraqi tanks, 2,000 non-armored military vehicles and 1,200 artillery pieces according to a 1993 report.
BRRRRRRRRT. ‘Tollybon’ suppositories! Surprised to see the vehicle still rolling out the cloud.
It either wasn’t DU ammo or the car doesn’t offer enough substance to cause the ignition of the DU ammo that usually happens when hitting armor.
But as always when DU ammo is used, it contaminates the area and is a danger for civilians. The malformations of newborn children in Iraq are well documented.
We don’t fly API down range these days. 100% HEI only. And we never fly 100% API. In the old days they flew combat mix of HEI, API and something that is out of service, also sometimes T.P. ammo.
The Pentagon has lied before about the weapons that were used. So I’m always sceptical about “official” statements.
Yet you’ll believe statements from Russian media…
Double standard much?
Most of the time they just are publishing a different view and additional information. Information that some interested parties want to suppress and that’s why they call it fake news. I also don’t like it when Russian media is exaggerating about some things. It would not be necessary to do so.
And what does that have to do with the link and DU ammo that was definitely used in Syria when the Pentagon was in denial before?
Well all I can say is when we were loading jets to kick Jihadis but, the ammo was HEI. Trust me it’s a waste to use API on insurgents.
Guy, your talking to the guy that loads the freaking guns…it’s HEI. I track the ammo, buy lot, type, and NSN. It’s freaking HEI. trust me!
Don’t bother calling for an ambulance.
The article says they don’t think the video was shot from an A-10. It certainly was not. The TGP isn’t color imagery. That’s a drone feed. As to why an Airlift wing released the video is because of how expeditionary wings get thrown together.