The A-10 Thunderbolt, commonly known as the Warthog, is an intimidating aircraft. Its most distinctive feature is perhaps its nose-mounted General Dynamics GAU-8/A Avenger cannon, a weapon of such destructive potential that it is often listed among the most powerful aircraft cannons ever designed. Firing 30mm armor-piercing shells, the seven-barrel cannon can fire up to 4,200 rounds per minute up to a distance of 20,000 feet.

A burst from the Avenger cannon is equatable to a small earthquake. Designed for either incendiary or uranium depleted rounds, the Avenger cannon can destroy even main battle tanks and will utterly shred most other vehicles. The cannon’s massive magazine, which is protected by armor plating, generally holds over 1,000 rounds and takes over a half hour to reload—by the best ground crews. This is how it’s done.

Featured image courtesy US Air Force

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