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 has a reputation for extreme toughness and the ability to remain in the air even after sustaining damage
The A-10 is mostly used for ground attack missions, like softening up enemy forces for an upcoming wave of American infantry
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
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
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