They have been called one of the deadliest weapons in the U.S. military’s arsenal. They have been in service longer than many people have been alive. They are beloved both by the public whose freedom it defends, the pilots who fly them, and the ground troops they protect. The A-10 Warthogs.
Lethal, dependable, durable, and more importantly, battle-tested, the A-10 Warthogs are one of those rare assets that have little to no downside, just a plethora of grateful ground troops whose backs it has covered over and over.
Here is an inside look at an A-10 Warthog attack run.
This is the deadliest weapon in the U.S. military and one of the most feared fighters in the world. Its mission is close air support and it’s the only aircraft ever built to complete that mission solely while flying low and slow. It can handle it with ease.
Thanks to the numerous cameras mounted throughout this particular A-10’s cockpit, this is the closest you can get to being inside one of these bad boys.
Take a look in the video below:
Its slow speed allows it to practically hover over its target for hours. It is extremely maneuverable and versatile, and can fly as low as 100 feet up to 20,000 feet to support ground troops. At high altitudes, the pilots can fly in formation and drop precision targeted bombs. Then they can fly low and deliver a fusillade of blazing 30mm rounds.
The 30mm cannon was designed to take out Russian tanks, but it is the most flexible weapon in service. The pilot has to bring his plane into a dive and line up the cannon toward the target. It can rip right through a tank. It is most identifiable by its sound when being fired — most commonly described as “brrrrrrrtt!” The bullets travel faster than the speed of sound.
The plane is built around the gun, which is 19 feet long and weighs more than 4,000 pounds. It has the capability to lay down 4,000 rpm. When it connects with the target, the target is destroyed in seconds. The pilot will lay down his fire, assess the damage, and increase altitude back to safety. The pilot is encased in 12,000 pounds of titanium.
Ground troops say that when they hear the Hogs coming in, it is the sweetest sound because they know the enemy is in serious trouble.
In Operation Desert Storm, Sadam Hussein and other countries watched in amazement as the Warthog performed, destroying tanks and military vehicles by the thousands. Since then, the A-10 has played a role in every major conflict. Nothing can ever replace the Hog.