Few things in life dominate their purpose of existence quite like the A-10 Warthog and its GAU-8 Avenger 30mm Cannon. The two remain forever, intrinsically linked in military lore. From tanks to terrorist convoys, the 30mm round simply decimates everything in its path. In a word, it is glorious. So BRRRRRRRT! Let’s watch how this marvel of military might works in action.
GAU-8 Avenger 30mm Cannon
YouTuber 3D Mil-Tech posted an awesome animation recently of the GUA-8 Avenger. And the stellar video makes it at once clear, this isn’t a gun, it’s a machine. The behemoth aircraft cannon weighs in at 619.5 pounds, measuring nearly 20 feet down the belly of the beast that is the Warthog. The 90.5-inch barrel weighs a massive 71.2 pounds.
It spits out massive 30mm rounds at a whopping 4,200 rpm. The tank buster sends rounds downrange at 3,500 fps. And the maximum effective range extends to 3,660 meters.
Certainly, the U.S. military inventory commands more impressive firepower. But when combined with the unique flying ability of the A-10, the GAU-8 Avenger excels. The combination famously busted more than 900 Iraqi tanks in Desert Storm. Timeless footage abounds of the Warthog slowly crawling across the sky, reigning fire down on enemy material and emplacements.
The Avenger employs Armor Piercing Incendiary (API) rounds. Loaded with depleted uranium, these bad boys hit like the proverbial hammer of Thor. Ultimately, few enemy tanks or positions can withstand the punch of the A-10 Warthog and the GAU-8 Avenger.
The original contract specifications called for the cannon to be capable of destroying a wide variety of targets expected during a close air support mission. It must destroy light, medium and heavy tanks, armored personnel carriers and fixed or mobile artillery. It would also need to take down hardened targets, including bunkers.
At various times, the military expressed interest in moving on from the Warthog. But then we get into a fight, the combination proves its mettle all over again. Long live the GAU-8 Avenger!