Dubbed the Flying Tank, the A-10 Fighter Has a Terrifying and Deadly Big Gun

Dubbed the Flying Tank, the A-10 Fighter Has a Terrifying and Deadly Big Gun
Flying Tank, the US A-10 Fighter

International Military - Perhaps the scariest thing about a fighter plane is the array of weapons it carries. The United States has created many sophisticated weapons that place it as a superpower. One of the US-made is a fighter aircraft with a very strong defensive power, even up to the current modern era.

The US has the A-10 Warthog fighter, both dubbed the flying tank. The A-10 is one of the world's leading symbols, namely a fighter with armor, low altitude, high attack power, and a ground unit support role.

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The A-10 Warthog was born after the US military learned from its experiences on the Vietnam battlefield. Beginning in 1972, the US Air Force recognized the need for specialized aircraft for ground attack purposes.

Quoted from The Aviation Geek Club, before the A-10, the US used the F-4 Phantom, F-111 and A-1 Skyraider for ground attack missions, but these three aircraft were not good enough. The A-10 fighter has a GAU-8 engine gun mounted on the nose of the aircraft. Is a brutal machine gun that can release 4,000 rounds per minute.

This cannon is specially designed to penetrate armor, allowing it to destroy tanks. In addition, there are 11 hardpoints on the wings of the A-10 which can carry a total of 7.2 tons of weapons. These hardpoints can carry conventional bombs, cluster bombs, air-to-ground missiles such as the AGM-65 Maverick and AIM-9 Sidewinders.

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Taking a closer look at the A-10 Thunderbolt II's mainstay weapon, the fighter, also known as the Warthog, has a 30mm cannon. With a loud buzzing sound, a 30mm cannon that brought death from above.

Quoted from 19fortyfive.com, the weapon can punch holes in a volleyball-sized vehicle called the GAU-8/A rotary Gatling style weapon. The Plinker tank was designed to defeat Soviet tanks during the Cold War and was later used to great effect during Operation Desert Storm. It was used easily for close air support over the skies of Iraq and Afghanistan after 9/11.

The hydraulically driven GAU-8/A Avenger Gatling-gun was designed by General Electric and is now overseen by General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems. It could fire at 4,200 rounds per minute under the nose of the A-10. It is also used on some US Navy ships as a melee weapon system.

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The gun has seven 91-inch barrels and fires when the barrel rotates. The 30mm round itself is a miracle. It has the armor penetration characteristics of each sabot with high kinetic energy for more power. It "incorporated more than half a pound of super-dense depleted uranium," within 20 feet of the target, according to Military.com.

One hundred sabot rounds were sent downwards every two seconds. The other round is a high-explosive burner that can be fired at 70 rounds per second. 80 percent of the spin can hit in a 16-foot circle. One strafe can engage up to 40 targets.

The 620-pound gun has a muzzle velocity of 3,400 feet per second and a recoil force of 10,000 pounds. The maximum range is 2.2 miles. Fire is liquefied in seven barrels which extends the life of the weapon and increases reliability.

The Air Force recently tested the GAU-8/A against mock tank targets with explosive reactive armor. The evaluator determined that the explosive reactive armor was 'vulnerable' to cannon fire.

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The Air Force continues to threaten to retire the Warthog, but Members of Congress with A-10 jobs in their districts have typically rejected this plan in a back-and-forth debate that has been going on for years.

The characteristics of the tank clink are very interesting. If aircraft were ever transferred to Ukraine against Russian invaders, the A-10 with its powerful cannon would be one of the first aircraft on the wish list. 

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