Friday, November 28, 2014

Let's Do It Again

The United States has just announced that it is  re-deploying the A10 'Warthog'  ground attack aircraft.

The A10 was developed to counteract the threat posed by the "massive" forces of armor deployed by Russia and the Warsaw Pact states in a possible invasion of western Europe.  The aircraft, designed to survive in an intensive anti-aircraft environment: the engines were positioned out of the line of direct fire, the cockpit was positioned in an armored titanium 'bathtub', multiple under-wing hardpoints enabled the carrying of a wide array of bombs and rockets, redundant control systems were featured as was the main weapon a 30 millimeter 'gatling gun' firing depleted uranium munitions.

The gun on the A10 - unique and particular only to the type - has a very high rate of fire. The aircraft carries  enough rounds for a burst of sustained fire lasting about 30 seconds. The gun is highly accurate landing most of the shells fired inside a 40 foot circle at a distance of 4 000 feet. It can cause significant damage to most armored vehicles and is highly destructive to anything less than tanks.

When the round leaves the gun, the DU part of the round is heated to burning point by the time it strikes the target.  The heat and weight of the round assist melting and penetration, some of the round is dissipated in smoke, spall and dust. If the round hits the ground, or rock, it can disintegrate or lodge in the ground. The DU, its dust and spall, is radioactive at short range and can contaminate food and water. It is thought that most gas masks cannot prevent inhalation of small particulate. Depleted uranium has a half life of 50 Billion years. To date, no way has been found to ameliorate or negate its effects.

In addition to the A10 system - DU forms part of many other munitions designed to penetrate concrete or other emplacements, the results are much the same. 

Since 1990 DU has been used  in Gulf War 1, in Yugoslavia, In Afghanistan and Iraq - and in increasing amounts - from hundreds to thousands of tons.

And now we're getting ready to deploy the A10 again, against all those tanks ISIS doesn't have.

A good perspective on this, and other war horrors, can be found in the documentary "Beyond Treason".

Beyond Treason

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