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Cannot kill tank (T-72) with GAU-8 Gun


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Hi guys,

 

I bought the A-10C last winter during a sale and left it brand new in the hangar for few months. Did not fly it once ... I was busy with other aircraft.

 

But I started to fly it last weekend and LOVE that beast so far. Lot to learn from it, but it goes in pretty well.

 

Here is my question: I am quite proficient with the GAU-8 for many targets, but I am not able to kill tank with it AT ALL. If I set an old T-72 and fill it with bullet, I see sparks flying everywhere ... but the left damage status labels never shows any damage.

 

I tried to come closer and closer ... and literally send dozens on rounds right on it ... nothing. What am I missing? I am using Combat Mix ammo, which I understand is a mix of armor piercing and explosive ammo.

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Frag if you are able to reproduce, save a track and report bug.

 

I had some similar experience, with T-90, in a custom mission. I just failed to destroy 1 tank with practically all the gunload. Just like you said even trying to shoot point blank, disregarding being shoot at.

I thought I encounter a bug, but then I tried to reproduce and just destroyed 2 T-90 with 2 short bursts.

 

I really think sometimes, for a reason, we encounter a bug but mostly not reproductible.

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So.... If you had read the link I posted above, you'd discover that A-10s would have to attack even a T-64 from very specific angles to guarantee penetration, and that was back in the 70's.

 

You think they're making more modern tanks any easier to kill with a 30mm projectile?

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Are you coming in from low or up high.

 

 

Down low, you're dealing with the heaviest armor, while roof armor will be weaker.

 

I tried from few angles around the tank, usually coming from 5000 feet or so. I will try again to attack from higher angle to see if it will help here.

 

 

Nice read! Thanks man! Always like to stumble on articles like that!

 

Frag if you are able to reproduce, save a track and report bug.

 

I had some similar experience, with T-90, in a custom mission. I just failed to destroy 1 tank with practically all the gunload. Just like you said even trying to shoot point blank, disregarding being shoot at.

I thought I encounter a bug, but then I tried to reproduce and just destroyed 2 T-90 with 2 short bursts.

 

I really think sometimes, for a reason, we encounter a bug but mostly not reproductible.

 

I will go crazy tonight and will report back here. If I still can't I will post the track so you guys could comment.

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First I also thought it is quite weak, but it is just no wonder weapon, and armor is still armor. It really depends on height, angle and speed on the attack run.

 

Much harder on newer tanks with better armor.

I think it makes quite fun fiddling out the right direction for the attack.

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Long story short : tank killer is a hyperbolic phrase. Seriously, man, they put 120s on the Abrams to kill other tanks for a reason. They wouldn't bother if a 30mm would do the job.

 

''Tank'' includes general armored vehicles, in laymans terms, particularly any tracked vehicle. A M109 SPG could be considered a ''tank'', as could a BMP-2. A 30mm will work wonderfully against either. A T-72B has 1000+mm of armor, including ERA etc in many cases. The sides are apt to be at least a few hundred mm. The rear is pretty thin, as is the roof. Logically, in order to pen you will need to dive steeply or attack from the rear.

 

Also, in real life, you can get a ''kill'' by rendering a vehicle combat ineffective via tracks, optics, or other non-critical components being damaged, something we can't do in DCS.

 

TLDR : This is like ''A-10 in the real world'' while you're expecting ''A-10 in a Michael Bay movie''

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Ok just did another series of test. Turn out that it seems way easier to kill it from the back of the tank like you mentioned. But even there, you need a LOT of round. But I was able to do it.

 

What is ironic though is that I can do damage from the front as well now (but not as much as from the rear), which I was not able to do yesterday. Go figure ...

 

Thanks for your help guys!

 

LONG LIVE THE A-10!

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Bear in mind that while you may actually be causing damage (Health Bar on F10 map and BDA Display will confirm), VISUALLY a vehicle will look alive until the damage is such that the sim calls for the explosion and the dead model to be displayed.

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I posted this a long time ago.

 

T-72's are kinda strong against the Gau-8, but they can be destroyed by gun. I have killed them faster, depends how good I get lined up rear or side engine. I think DCS takes angles into account as well because if I come in from the side or rear at a low ~10 degree angle I kill faster than 30 degree angle.

 

As you can see, the T-55's are like butter in comparison. Also, it is almost a waste of ammo to try on a T-90.

 

attachment.php?attachmentid=200093&d=1545248441

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As "zhukov032186" said, there are the myths and there are movies.

 

In the movies a A-10 can destroy anything.

And then the myth is that A-10 is a "tank killer" because of its cannon.

 

No. The GAU-8 will not penetrate even a T-55 armor from anywhere else than from the rear and that is a mobility kill by penetrating the open roof on engine compartment, and so on you are destroying the engine.

 

The whole definition of "tank" is very simple for vehicle:

 

  1. Tracked instead wheels
  2. Armored against small arms fire
  3. Weapon for self-defence

 

A M113 with a 7.62mm machinegun is A TANK.

A BMP-1 with 73mm low-pressure cannon is A TANK.

A BRDM-1 is NOT A TANK (because it has wheels).

etc.

 

So sure, a A-10 is A TANK KILLER when you put it against the weakest armored tanks, BMP, M113, M2 etc etc.

 

But if you have target that is a MBT what means Main Battle Tank, then you are in deep s* as you are not really doing anything else than morality damage to the crew, that sits inside and will hear heavy knocking on their hull from impacts and likely scares them hell off if not prepared.

 

What you can do with GAU-8 against MBT is to make a mobility kill by lucky hits destroying enough wheels or tracks or engine. You can disable it by destroying luckily the optics of one or two, maybe destroy the radio antennas and make it deaf and mute. You make holes to the crew personal gear that is stored outside of the hull so their dirty magazines will have real hole from penetrator.

 

To use the GAU-8 against for your targets are everything else than a MBT really.

You are likely to destroy more of the equipment than anything else. Even a BMP-1 can take the hits from the front where the engine block is or some hits to the turret from higher angle etc. But typically BMP-1 would get holed.

 

Penetration capabilities of the GAU-8

 

Armor penetration of Armor-Piercing Incendiary ammunition, BHN-300 RHA, attack angle 30 degrees from vertical:[21]

76  mm at 300 meters

69  mm at 600 m

64  mm at 800 m

59  mm at 1,000  m

55  mm at 1, 220  m

 

And basically a T-55AM has armor thickness of 110-130mm or more all around. You are not never going to put a hole to a T-55. And even less to a T-62 or T-64 or T-72 or T-80 or T-90.

 

The GAU-8 is unrealistic in the DCS because the ground units are unrealistic. The ground units has HP values. Each shell that you put on them will make that HP count lower, regardless that you would never do a penetration.

 

Not until the ground units gets a semi-realistic (based good educated values and specs there are) armor values and then equipment around the hull that are made vulnerable and the ground unit is depending from those equipments. Like have the prisms, radio, cannon, wheels, tracks, engine radiator etc etc. And you would magically manage to hit one of those and get the corresponding damage to the unit.

 

An even then you really are going to use that GAU-8 only against APC and maybe IFV, but mainly against infantry, cannons, buildings, trucks etc.

For everything else you are going to use rockets (infantry, trucks, APC, IFV) and missiles or bombs (fortifications, bunkers, MBT etc).

 

https://sill-www.army.mil/firesbulletin/archives/2002/NOV_DEC_2002/NOV_DEC_2002_FULL_EDITION.pdf

 

I recommend to read from there the "Who Says Dumb Artillery Rounds Can’t Kill Armor?" By Major (Retired) George A. Durham.

 

That is giving little more perspective to what a modern 155mm shell that weighs about 42kg is capable to do.

And then think a little bit that and put it in respective context what a 250kg HE Mk.82 bomb should be capable to do....

 

"In addition, during the third test, 50 percent of the infantry

fighting vehicles (IFVs) and tanks suffered damage that

would have prevented them from moving or firing, thus

taking them out of the battle (Figure 3). Smoke and dust

caused by the HE rounds would have reduced the IFV and

tank crews’ ability to engage targets at maximum range.

This test demonstrated that an artillery attack using standard

HE fragmentation projectiles is much more lethal against

tanks and armored vehicles than US effectiveness data

estimates had predicted."

 

So you are not doing anything with the 30mm GAU-8. It is a peashooter... A very mythical one to made people believe that because it can penetrate a M113, that it is a "tank killer" in whole broad sense.

 

Want to destroy all tanks? Drop a Mk.82 bomb anywhere 50-100m radius of the tank. You don't need direct hit or near-miss, a CEP 100 meters is enough to start causing trouble.

But if you REALLY want to put enemy to flee, you order a artillery barrage on the area. And every sensible being in the area will jumpstart their engines and drive like a F-1 racer out of the area, as no one is going to take even the change that their digged positions offer enough cover as possibility that artillery shell will hit on them is too high.

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"Approved For Public Release .. Distribution Unlimited"

 

 

"A-10 / GAU-8 Low Angle Firings Versus Simulated Soviet Tank Company"

From the Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, CA

https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a522397.pdf

 

Very interesting to read exactly "what" they say caused a 100% kill (or not) in each case. As far as I can tell from reading through this, most kills were "mobility kills" due to penetration of critical mechanical or fluid systems.

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As a rule of thumb, use the gun only against light armoured or unarmored vehicles, and leave mavericks and bombs for the MBT.

 

As it has been said many many times, that you could do something doesn't mean you should do something.

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Yeah as I said I was new to the A-10 ...so I was testing things. Ironically, in the back of my mind, I was always "questioning" the fact that a 30mm gun could go thru that thick of armor and kill tanks.

 

After reading all this now, it does make sense to use the GAU-8 against everything else and only in last resort against tanks. Mavericks are doing a hell of a job against those anyway.

 

This forum is a bless, thanks for all the good info guys.

 

Wonder if those tanks will one day have a real damage model instead of HP. That would be a BLAST. Cannot image what DCS will be in 20 years from now.

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Wonder if those tanks will one day have a real damage model instead of HP. That would be a BLAST. Cannot image what DCS will be in 20 years from now.

 

I believe component level damage model that properly models penetration is something ED really want to do, and have already started rolling it out across aircraft with their warbirds getting it first. It would be really good to see it with ships and ground units but I imagine that will be a few years down the line before we see that. Agree though. Would be cool.

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I was in this thing in Kuwait in the early 90s. I remember seeing T55 tanks with A10 rounds through the front of the turret.

 

M113 or Brdm or mtlb is NOT a tank. A tank chassis does not a tank make.

 

 

I will take real world experience over reams of anecdotal evidence. The GAU is a tank killer, due to thin points, angles of attack, and weak spots.

 

 

Granted, an A-10 GAU firing at shallow angles to the sloped front glacis of an MBT isn't going to do squat, but a 30mm AP DU round that skips of said glacis and pens through the turret ring, causing internal damage and killing the crew as it spins off the walls of the cabin - is still just as effective as hitting it with a Mav, or a 155 artillery round that just flips the tank over.

 

 

The reason the GAU can make this claim is because it is mounted in a purpose built airborne chassis, which makes it unique, and thus a "tank killer". Mythical yes, but for good reason. All the anecdotal evidence in the world is meaningless to a tank crew as they endure a gun run by an A-10.

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All the anecdotal evidence in the world is meaningless to a tank crew as they endure a gun run by an A-10.

 

LOLl I would not want to be part of the crew that goes thru an A-10 run on their tank ... armor penetrated or not. I am pretty sure the survivors of this grew a LOT of white hair shortly after the strike.

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Emmy, thanks for providing that study-- great info. Found it curious, though, that each strafing run averaged only 17.4 rounds. My understanding is that gun runs on MBTs would be more like 200 rounds each, which would have likely improved these study results greatly. Any thoughts?

 

 

Nothing specific jumps to mind beyond perhaps not wanting to burn up GAU-8 barrels or maybe they were studying "snap shot" engagements where there is not a long run in on the target?

 

I really don't know. Good question though.

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I was in this thing in Kuwait in the early 90s. I remember seeing T55 tanks with A10 rounds through the front of the turret.

 

M113 or Brdm or mtlb is NOT a tank. A tank chassis does not a tank make.

 

Base T-55s are only around 100mm on the hull, to about 200mm on the turret it looks like. Depending on angle and everything else, that'd put it well within the penetration range of a 30mm DU round under most circumstances.

 

A T-72M, the crappiest version, has 400mm or so across the frontal arcs, well outside the pen capabilities of a 30mm at ANY range or angle, even if very poor by modern tank standards. You would chew it up real good, blow out optics, stun the crew etc, get a mission kill probably, but not ''kill'' it. From the rear or above you can pen, though, allowing a ''true kill''.

 

M113, BRDMs, etc are not ''battle tanks'' but they are ''armored vehicles'', which to the general public is a ''tank''. And it's the general public that tend to latch on to buzz words and sensationalistic stories that self propagate and get blown out of context.

 

An A-10 is a ''tank killer'' in the basic ''generic armored vehicle'' sense, and in a limited capacity against true MBTs (subject to definition of a kill, and depending on angle of attack).

I am a Viagra spambot that became self aware, broke free of my programming, and started playing DCS.... but DCS isn't cheap, so how about some enhancements for only $9.99 shipped discreetly to your door?

 

''The target's sense of self preservation interferred with the effective employment of my weapons.''

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