This Is The Face Of Salvation When You're Outgunned In The US Army

Photo: US Army

When you’re hunkered down behind a sliver of cover taking heavy fire, there is no more reassuring sound than the twin engines of the A-10 Thunderbolt screaming in from the distance.That’s what you think anyway, until you hear the 30mm Gatling gun that can pound out 3,500 rounds per minute at the guys trying to kill you.

Then you know the most reassuring sound you’ll ever hear.

The A-10 is an old plane, that continues to provide massive air support to ground troops with that cannon and missiles that can take out a main battle tank in a single shot.

Sometimes old is good. 

The A-10 Thunderbolt II was introduced in 1977

The A-10 has a reputation for extreme toughness and the ability to remain in the air even after sustaining damage

It's powered by two huge General Electric TF34 turbofan engines

The craft weighs 12 tons empty, but can fly with up to 13 tons more worth of arms

The A-10 is mostly used for ground attack missions, like softening up enemy forces for an upcoming wave of American infantry

In addition to a 30mm Gatling gun, the A-10 has 11 mounts for additional firepower

This is the GAU-8 Avenger Gatling gun, the cannon on the nose of the plane

It fires 30mm calibre rounds and can fire up to 3,500 rounds per minute

The A-10 can hold 1,174 rounds of ammunition for the Avenger cannon

Needless to say, that kind of firepower is very, very effective against armoured ground targets

A warthog fully loaded with eight tons of firepower is truly a sight to behold

This AGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground missile weighs up to 670 lbs and can wipe out a tank in a single shot

The Maverick missile costs between $17,000 and $160,000 depending on how advanced the guidance system is

The Maverick can make a rather significant dent in an enemy's line

A Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition is a smart bomb around 10 feet long with an accuracy of up to 7 meters

The A-10 has been a crucial component of Air Force close air support for decades and will not be replaced for years

In short, the A-10 is the meanest, toughest close air support aircraft in the skies, and it's incredibly good at what it does

Now that you've seen what's in the skies, see what's going on under the sea

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