That Time When Two A-10 Pilots Destroyed 23 Tanks In A Single Day
Operation Desert Storm was a 42-day mission carried out by an international alliance led by the United States against the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. The A-10 Thunderbolt II, the only aircraft that has served the United States Air force solely for close air support played a huge role during this operation. This aircraft is powered by two General Electric TF-34-100/A turbo-fan engines and has a flight speed of less than 440 mph, but it is a highly maneuverable aircraft and it is difficult for ground-based artillery to target the A-10.
During Operation Dessert Storm, A-10 Warthogs destroyed more than 4000 Iraqi tanks and other military vehicles. On February 25th of 1991, a large group of Iraqi tanks was moving toward the South. Two A-10 Warthogs arrived to engage the tanks. The A-10 pilots attacked the fleet of tanks using the A-10’s AGM-65 Mavericks and 30 mm ammunition. It just took 10 minutes for the Warthogs to kill 6 tanks using the Maverick missiles. They took out 2 more tanks using the GAU-8 Avenger cannon.
A-10 pilots thought they are done, but all of a sudden they were called to help the marines to the South West of Kuwait city. One of the FA-18 Hornet pilots of the Marines briefed the A-10 pilots that 2 of their AV-8B Harrier jump jets had already been hit. The enemies could down one Harrier jet and the other one was leaving the area on fire. A-10 pilots reached the area and they took out 8 more enemy tanks.
Then the A-10s had to return to their base for refueling and re-arming before supporting the marines. A-10s moved again after re-arming and could destroy 7 more tanks. That is 23 tanks in one day. A-10s could set an all-time record for Maverick and cannon kills in a single day.