The Badass of the Week.

The A-10 Warthog

Vehicle Statistics

Designation: A-10 Thunderbolt II (aka Warthog)
Function: Close Air Support
Nation of Origin: The United States of America
Speed: 420 Miles Per Hour (Mach 0.56)
Range: 800 Miles
Ceiling: 45,000 feet (13,636 meters)
Armament: One 30mm GAU-8/A Avenger seven-barrel Gatling gun
Payload: Up to 16,000 pounds (7,200 kg) of mixed ordinance including conventional and laser-guided bombs, incendiary cluster bombs, AGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground missiles, AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, and various other munitions and countermeasures
Power Plant: Two General Electric TF34-GE-100 Turbofans
Crew: One

Say what you want about the Air Force being a bunch of pussies or whatever, but for my money shit doesn't get a whole lot more badass than the A-10 Warthog.  The thing is a goddamned flying tank from Hell equipped with a badass 30mm Avenger Gatling gun the likes of which would make the Terminator soil his extra-tight leather pants.  The Avenger (even the name is badass) fires armor-piercing rounds capable of tearing gigantic sucking flesh wounds in even the most formidable Soviet-built Commie bastard battle tanks and can be switched over on the fly to dispense 4,200 high-explosive rounds per minute when it needs to blast the shit out of less heavily-armored crap like trucks, artillery, APCs, SUVs, hang gliders and renegade hot dog stands.

If that doesn't float your boat, the thing's also equipped with enough explosives to blast the Moon into about eight billion tiny inedible cheese wheels.  It's got a crapload of super-accurate laser-guided air-to-ground missiles and various other high-yield bombs for taking out bunkers, SAM emplacements, radar sites, and grounded fighters, and also has air-to-air missiles in case they need to show some enemy jets what it's like to be on the receiving end of some good old-fashioned red, white, and blue American Grade-A top-choice beef sirloin whup-ass.  It's also also so heavily armored that it can withstand direct hits from armor-piercing and high-explosive projectiles up to 37mm in size, can survive having a 2002 VW Beetle launched at it at extremely high velocity by a Russian-made Volkswagen Cannon, and has heat-shielded engines (and sundry other countermeasures) so no Commie Nazi Terrorist Unitarian bastards can jam a heat-seeking missile up it's ass.

The A-10 is like the grizzled old-school Linebacker of the United States Air Force.  It's not flashy, it's not super-fast, it's not going to do like twenty barrel rolls just to try and prove to you how huge it's cock is... it just shows up, fucks everyone's shit up, and goes home.  Even it's name is a good indicator of the fact that this plane doesn't fuck around.  Think of it this way - while all those other hotshot fancy-pants jets are out there flying around doing fruity-ass loop-de-loops, feathering their hair and listening to "Danger Zone" with pretentious fucking extravagant nicknames like "Eagle", "Falcon", "Tomcat", and "Raptor", the A-10 is the fucking Warthog.  Have you ever seen a warthog before?  It ain't pretty:

This is not a graceful or elegant creature.  It's a fucking angry pig that roots around in shit all day and gores lesser creatures to death with it's giant goddamned awkward tusks.  That's like the A-10.  It's not designed to get out there like a purebred poodle and perform fucking air shows at the Eukanuba Nationals, it's designed to fly out, support the infantry, go toe-to-toe with a company of badass tanks and jack their shit up like a AAA tow truck driver on an emergency service call.

Here's another piece of evidence.  You know how a lot of those bomber jocks or whatever used to paint all those tawdry tight sweater-wearing pin-up chicks and stuff on the side of their planes?  Well this is what Warthog pilots put on their aircraft:

That's right:  A motherfucking MEAN FACE.  I guess that's a shark or something, but the point is that it LOOKS PISSED OFF and it has a HUGE FUCKING GUN sticking out of it's mouth.  Who needs some doe-eyed tart hootchie smiling like a dumbass and leisurely reclining on the side of a plane when you can adorn it with an intimidating toothy grin?  On the side of the plane is a list of fucking kills.  That's what this A-10 shit is all about - any jackass can get out there and dogfight at Mach 10 with a bunch of 1980s-era MiG-29s yelling, "I GOT A BOGEY ON MY SIX I CAN'T SHAKE HIM ROGER THAT TEN NINER YOU CAN BE MY WINGMAN ANY TIME!" - the real badass planes are the ones swooping in 100 feet above the ground laying fiery death down on a vast array of front-line enemy troops and launching missiles shaped like those giant oversized boxing gloves from the cartoons which give enemy commanders the middle finger before punching them in the balls and then detonating with enough force to create a volcanic eruption on Mars.

The A-10 rocks.  In terms of getting down-and-dirty, it's like a women's competitive mudwrestling champion among beauty queens.  It doesn't have the flair and panache of the more metrosexual Air Force jets, but it's tough, deadly, ugly, deceptively maneuverable, and can take more punishment than an entire farm full of disobedient donkeys.  It's a highly-efficient tank-killer, its minimal takeoff and landing requirements make it able to function effectively even on the front lines, and it can hold its own on attack and support missions.  More than once it's bailed out U.S. troops who were pinned down by an ambush, and it's quick turning radius actually allows it to strafe a stationary target twice in under eight seconds.

Probably the most telling indicator of the Warthog's ultimate badassitude come from it's numbers when we were fucking up the Iraqi Republican Guard in 1991.  During Desert Storm, A-10s flew 8,100 sorties, with a mission capable rate of 95.7%. They were credited with killing 987 tanks, 926 artillery pieces, 1,106 trucks, 51 SCUD missile launchers, and a shitload of support vehicles and bunkers.  I mean, holy shit, those hotshot flyboy prissy fighter pilots get a goddamned medal, a blowjob from a supermodel and the rank of "Flying Ace" after only five fucking kills... these Desert Storm A-10 pilots were getting racking up those kinds of numbers on their bathroom breaks.  When it comes to no-bullshit death from above badassitude, the A-10 Warthog is where it's at.



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