It’s only 18 seconds long, but one video drives home a serious point to America’s enemies: if you’re caught in the gun run of an A-10 Thunderbolt II, you’ll never live long enough to hear the signature “BRRRRRT” of its gun.
The video shows a GoPro-style camera sitting in the middle of a desert target range, staring at nothing in particular as the faint sound of an aircraft sneaks up from the horizon.
With less than seconds from when the aircraft is first heard, cannon fire rakes the target zone, destroying the target and dislodging the camera.
Not long after, the signature sound of the GAU-8 Avenger can be heard, followed by the telltale whine of a departing A-10.
The video was initially recorded and posted by the 137th Special Operations Wing, stationed in Oklahoma.
The A-10 is a quiet aircraft compared to many of its peers, and is nearly undetectable on a low-altitude attack approach. Loved by grunts, pilots and fans alike, the “Warthog” is one of the most publicly-defended aircraft in USAF history, and for good reason: The US Air Force always seems hellbent on pulling it out of service.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, if for nothing more than the fact that nothing lasts forever. With the youngest A-10 in existence being 36 years old (likely far older than its pilot) and no ability to create more (as the company that built them has long gone out of business), it is simply a matter of time -whether we wish it or not- before the A-10 airframes are simply too weathered and worn to be mission effective.
With this in mind, the real question remains: What will replace the “silent thunder” of the A-10 on the battlefield of tomorrow, and will it terrify the enemy as much as the ‘Hog has done for decades?
Only time will tell. Until that day, however, we are still able to witness the absolute raw fury that is the A-10 Thunderbolt II.
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