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A-10's GAU-8 is inefficient against any main battle tank


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Here's the interesting report I've found:

 

Stolfi, Dr. R., Dr. J. Clemens, and R. McEachin, Combat Damage Assessment Team A-10/GAU-8 Low Angle Firings Versus Individual Soviet Tanks, February-March 1978, Volume 1, Air Force/56780/February 2, 1979.

 

In this test an A-10 aircraft attacked two combat-loaded individual Soviet T-62 tanks in five missions totaling seven passes; technicians rehabilitated the two vehicles after each pass. The aircraft were seldom higher than 200 feet in altitude; firings were initiated between 2768 and 4402 feet and terminated at ranges of 1587 to 3055 feet at dive angles of 1.8 to 4.4°. The bursts ranged from 120 to 165 rounds.

 

Altogether 93 DU rounds struck the tanks during the seven passes, including no impacts on one pass. The ratio of impacts to rounds fired was 0.10. Of the 93 impacts, 17 penetrated the armored envelopes for a ratio of perforations to impacts of 0.18. The report noted many of the side or rear impacts that did not penetrate the armor nonetheless extensively damaged the tanks' exterior suspension components, whereas all the rounds that hit the tanks' front caused minimal damage. These results reinforced the strategy of attacking tanks from the side or rear to optimize damage potential.

 

I also want to point, that T-62 tank is toooo far away not so well-armoured, as T-80UD (for better compare imagine abilities of MiG-17 and MiG-29S -- the same here;) )

 

The situation doesn't change if you try the high angle attack -- from that position armour have better abilities to resist the penetrating rounds because of 30-45 degrees angle, while low-angle fire all shells going up 90 degrees to the side-hull and side-turret of the tank and have much better penetration ability. So this concludes, that GAU-8 have no any chance to bring even serious damages, but only could make alone tank immovable, if all fire power goes to the engine hull area from rear with the high angle attack.

 

So the only left opportunity to fight tanks is Mavericks and bombs -- GAU-8 is only for light-armoured and other light ground targets.

 

So I'm interested in LOMAC west-community position about this thread -- what do you think if LOMAC's GAU-8 could not be able to destroy tanks? Well, I know this is very hard to imagine, that such a power, which have GAU-8, could be not enough to destroy tanks, but if we are talking about simulating this feature must implemented in LOMAC in future projects, like should be implemented the remove of Kh-25MP from simple Su-25 in Flaming Cliffs project :)

Son... I drive tanks! ;)

 

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Sure it can destroy tanks. Damage is also cause by secondary effecs, and the top isn't well-armored. Strafing runs in GF were typically carried out from 8000' AFAIK so the angles were much steeper, and top armor isn't that good.

 

Also, teh T-62's armor, AFAIK, is as good or better than the T-72's (The T-72 absically being an export tank, T-62 domestic)

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and the top isn't well-armored

 

Well... actually if you look trough the test the shooting was exactly at weaked zones, like sides. Sides in T-62 armoured the same as top-hull and top-turret...

 

T-62 and T-72 is absolutely differrent :D

 

T-62 is medium tank, T-72 Main Battle Tank and armoured much better...

Son... I drive tanks! ;)

 

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I wouldn't know, but tanks tend to have grills on teh top or air intakes etc, so they are in that respect, practically naked on top if you hit the right place.

 

The sides are definitely far far better armored than those grills.

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The sides are definitely far far better armored than those grills.

 

Actually not :) The armour is close to 30-40mm RHA equivalent as at the sides, as at the rouf. The most weaked zone is air-intake area around engine, which equivalent is about 20 mm. By the way -- T-80UD is armoured far much better armoured ;) As you see GAU-8's DU shell is not so powerfull to penetrate this, if looking back to the test ;)

Son... I drive tanks! ;)

 

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Actually I think you'll find that the rather large air intakes are a really big vulnerability to just about everything that can hit them :P

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"The T-72 absically being an export tank, T-62 domestic"

 

It's not like this :) T62 is derivative of T55 family - designed in 1957 (object 165). It started it's service in Red Army in 1962. The first version of T72 started it's service in 1973. So it's much more modern and powerful in terms of both armour and armament than old T62.

Essentially, T62 in comparison to T72 is an obsolete tank.

 

I think speaking about 'domestic' tank you have meant T64 which was never exported indeed. T64 was a modern, innovative tank being a top of red armour spear in eastern germany and hungary - these tanks were to confront the west as first.

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Well... as you see there are some penetrations of course (17), but there is another tank parameter -- "inside armour damage", that goes after penetration. As you see the inside armour damage was also not enough to derange anything there... The only damages were taken by the suspension elements, which only could make the tank immovable...

Son... I drive tanks! ;)

 

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Thanks for the info Swierczek :D

 

Mayhem, does any of this 'inside armor damage' read 'electrical line' 'fuel line' or 'fuel tank'? ;)

 

I'll guarantee you that the pyrotic stuff the rounds are made of will cause a /lot/ of problems. Don't doubt it.

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VapoR

Interesting thread. Well how about the Su-25's cannon? Should it also not be able to take out a tank?

 

Of course it is also impossible to bring any serious damages to tanks with Su-25's canon, which AP shells is not so far different from GAU-8's(DU penetrators add's about 10-15% for penetrating ability). So destroying tanks with 30mm canon from the air is impossible thing at all. :roll:

 

well ... immobile tank on a modern battlefield is a dead tank actually .....

 

Well, if there is another any anti-tank groups around with ATGMs -- yes! But we are talking about only A-10 and tank :) By the way T-80UD could resist for a long time, while being even immovable. The auxilary power unit helps alot and even with only battaries it could fight against any ground target with all weapons it has, also as any other west MBT...

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Mayhem, look man, I argued this somewhere else - tanks practically indestructible, yaddayaddayadda, then a real tank driver got in on the discussionand solidly kicked my ass and put me in my place. A tank just sitting there unladen isn't going to suffer much. A loaded tank is going to hurt because there's stuff onboard that can explode, or catch fire, or otherwise cause problems.

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Actually, at question weren't even mavericks, but simple molotov cocktails. If one of those can destroy a tank, then so can the nice pyrotic 30mm DU round the A-10 fires.

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Actually, at question weren't even mavericks, but simple molotov cocktails. If one of those can destroy a tank, then so can the nice pyrotic 30mm DU round the A-10 fires.

 

Well.. I know, there are too many ways to destroy tank, but we are talking now only about GAU-8 and its shells. And as it was shown in official tests -- this is impossible to do anything to any modern tank, being in A-10 and armed only with GAU-8 DU shells... :roll: So as being in Su-25 and armed only with GSh-30-2.

 

By the way, this is quite dangerous to attack tank, which could bring you nice 125mm (120mm) heavy explosive shell, also with huge number of 7.62mm and 12.7mm bullets :D

Son... I drive tanks! ;)

 

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Of course it should be advanced -- the only way is increasing the length of penetrator, but this adds almost nothing(at least about 5% to pentrating level). Anyway I haven't heard about any GAU-8 shell upgrade... :roll:

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AFAIK there are few dedicated weapons (anti-tank) that can actually *destroy* a tank. Most of the weapons are designed to *disable* a tank, that is to make it unable to move and/or to fire. If some DU shells can penetrate the tank armour, with fuel and ammo they're probably gonna blow it up. If a shell hits the track, the tank will stop and it could take some time to make it drive again on its own tracks. If a shell destroys the optics, the tank isn't gonna fire anymore.

 

Some Iraqi T-72 (which were assembled in Iraq) in the Gulf War of 1991 were disabled because the gas which was to be sprayed for 0.1 seconds after the tank was hit (to extinguish fire), it was actually sprayed for some seconds. This is thought to have injured or killed some crews. So there are several ways to disable a tank.

 

Then, as far as armor, T-62 is different from T-72 and T-80, but not that much when you talk about penetrator weapons. The T-72 and T-80 carry a more advanced armor and also reactive armor, which are effective against other types of weapon (such as HEAT and shaped charge). DU penetrators were built for the specific role of penetrating and blasting new types of armor. The NATO APFSDS tank ammo is based on the same concept.

 

Just a story. During Iraqi Freedom there was an M1A2 Abrams tank disabled by fire and some well placed RPG shots (!). The US forces wanted to destroy it to prevent hi tech fall into enemy hands. They needed more than two direct hits from Maverick rockets and many other shots to have the tank really *destroyed* and useless.

 

And, another story... there were reports of Gulf War of 1991 that said that APFSDS rounds of the Abrams 120mm gun were far more powerful on T-72 than expected. They were said to enter from one side of the tank and exit from the opposite, blowing it up. And, back to the GAU-8, there are many reports of GAU-8 kills on the Iraqi Republican Guard T-72s. So I think the Avengers would have worked against WarPac armored forces.

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Of course it should be advanced -- the only way is increasing the length of penetrator, but this adds almost nothing(at least about 5% to pentrating level). Anyway I haven't heard about any GAU-8 shell upgrade... :roll:

 

Then you should look into the party mix armament for the GAU-8.

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well ... immobile tank on a modern battlefield is a dead tank actually .....

 

Well, that's not always the case. In Operation Desert Storm, an M1A1 got stuck in the mud, thus rendering it immobile. Three T-72s popped over a hill to ambush it but it proceeded to destroy all of them, although it took two hits to its turret (none of which penetrated, btw).

 

As for GAU-8 ammunition not being able to kill an T-80, well, the issue is controversial. Firstly, I'd be willing to bet that the A-10 didn't use the PGU-14/B DU ammunition, which offers more penetration and secondary affects than standard AP rounds...and secondly, there are a lot of things that shouldn't happen that do happen in LOMAC. In Operation Iraqi Freedom, for example, it took two AGM-65s and a few 120mm AP rounds to completely destroy a disabled M1; i.e. some 250 lbs of shaped-charged explosives and a lot of DU.

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If some DU shells can penetrate the tank armour, with fuel and ammo they're probably gonna blow it up.

Back to report:

 

In this test an A-10 aircraft attacked two combat-loaded individual Soviet T-62 tanks

 

Pay your attention to "combat loaded" :wink: --- this means, that these tanks have the full storage of ammo(just ready to explode:D ) and fulled up with fuel :!:

 

And, back to the GAU-8, there are many reports of GAU-8 kills on the Iraqi Republican Guard T-72s.

 

Difficult to say anything from this reports... It's contradict with this official document, that I've brought. Of course I'm not going to tell, that this reports not true, but as you see 90% of all Iraqi armour divisions were destroyed from the ground during the ground phase of DS operation. You can try youself to find any photos of GAU-8s destroyed T-72, or 120mm frontal-hit destroyed --- I'm sure there are no such of them(I'm still searching for them). All T-72s were hit to the weaked zones with HEAT penetrators, which were in guided missles(Mavericks and Hellfires).

 

By the way, the results of this war should be argued many times again, and mostly not all reports were correct at all.

 

Anyway --- the Iraqi T-72M(this is very earlier export version of Russian T-72A) modification is far away from Russian T-80U(D)... T-80U is better to compare with last of M1A2SEP(that you have told about), and T-72M is closer to earlier M1 with 105 mm gun, if we compare them in armour characteristics.

 

But T-62 is also not so well armoured, as T-72M. This fact disprove the Avenger destroyed T-72s(how it can destroy T-72, if it cannot even damage T-62?! ), which are goes from reports... To this fact I also add, that there is no any photos of Avenger's destroyed T-72s and T-62s, that of course should has to be, if the reported kill ratio was so high. I suppose those kills were not of exact tanks, but some another kind of armoured vehicles (BMP, MTLBs, BTRs) -- pilots almost have no time to identificate the target, while engaging it with Avenger -- so maybe they were mistaken in identification of hited targets :roll: There is also were huge number of false-targets, which was made from the wood in full scale and from the distance you will not found any differences with real. Those killed "tanks" also could be in reports...

Son... I drive tanks! ;)

 

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D-Scythe

Well, that's not always the case. In Operation Desert Storm, an M1A1 got stuck in the mud, thus rendering it immobile. Three T-72s popped over a hill to ambush it but it proceeded to destroy all of them, although it took two hits to its turret (none of which penetrated, btw).

This well-known story suppose not to be true -- the facts told, that T-72 and M1s have no sweety meeting at all :D (you may ask about it in armour thread forums), so they even have no chance to shoot each other... :roll:

 

Firstly, I'd be willing to bet that the A-10 didn't use the PGU-14/B DU ammunition, which offers more penetration and secondary affects than standard AP rounds...

Well... currently the "secondary-effect5s" you talking about is ability of any DU penetrator make burn, while piercing the armour -- this cause of high presure... So all the DU (and some of newest tungsten) penetrators have this "secondary effect" :roll:

 

There is also not so many ways to increase the penetrating (and better to talk even about damaging) -- the changes should be around 5-10%, which is do not so affect on its capability of penetrating... :roll:

Son... I drive tanks! ;)

 

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This well-known story suppose not to be true -- the facts told, that T-72 and M1s have no sweety meeting at all :D (you may ask about it in armour thread forums), so they even have no chance to shoot each other... :roll:

 

Yeah, it's not true...lol. Just because you said it isn't doesn't mean it's not right, bud. Gonna have to do better than that. For one, Tom Clancy, in his book, "Armoured Cav," reported this, and since he spent a few months with companies and companies of tank crews, I'm going to trust him on this one rather than armchair-expert-filled forums, which often produces useless information, btw.

 

M1s and T-72s never met? Haha. Your kidding right? You obviously haven't been doing your homework. Ever heard of the Battle of 73rd Eastings? No? Well, tanks met, tanks fought, T-72s got slaughtered. No M1s lost...or any other U.S. vehicle, AFAIK.

 

Well... currently the "secondary-effect5s" you talking about is ability of any DU penetrator make burn, while piercing the armour -- this cause of high presure... So all the DU (and some of newest tungsten) penetrators have this "secondary effect" :roll:

 

Read my post more carefully. I was talking about ammunition for the A-10. Do you know of any other round for the GAU-8 that features depleted uranium? If not, then I guess I was right when I said that only the PGU-14/B generated these secondary side affects for the GAU-8. :roll:

 

There is also not so many ways to increase the penetrating (and better to talk even about damaging) -- the changes should be around 5-10%, which is do not so affect on its capability of penetrating... :roll:

 

Relative to what? Where is this 5-10% coming from? Are you some DU expert?

 

This isn't a T-80 vs. M1 thread, which is what it currently is turning out to be. Don't make it so.

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