A-10 Warthog Air to Air Kill

A-10 Warthog Air to Air Kill


Did you know the one and only air to air kill scored by an A-10 Warthog was against an Iraqi helicopter? What type of helicopter isn't known as went down under about a 300 round burst from the A-10's 30mm gun. Captain Bob Swain was flying anti-armor sorties in central Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm. After dropping six 500-pound bombs and taking out two Iraqi tanks with Maverick missiles, he saw potential tangos several miles away, just barely moving around.

"I noticed two black dots running across the desert that looked really different than anything I had seen before," Swain told the LA Times in a February 1991 interview. "They weren't putting up any dust and they were moving fast and quickly over the desert."

He was tracking what he thought was a helicopter. When his OV-10 Bronco observation plane confirmed the target, Swain moved in for the kill. One of the targets broke off and moved north (back toward Iraq), the other moved south. The A-10 pilot tracked the one moving south but couldn't get a lock with his AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles because the target was too close to the ground, just 50 feet above.

So he switched to the A-10's 30mm GAU-8 Avenger cannon – aka the BRRRRRT. It would be the first air-to-air kill in the A-10's operational history. But Swain didn't know that. He was just concerned with taking it down and started firing a mile away from the helicopter. His shots were on target, but the helicopter didn't go down.


"On the final pass, I shot about 300 bullets at him," Swain recalled to a press pool at the time. "That's a pretty good burst. On the first pass, maybe 75 rounds. The second pass, I put enough bullets down, it looked like I hit with a bomb."


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Performance Center M&P Shield M2.0

Performance Center M&P Shield M2.0

From Smith & Wesson, the M&P Shield M2.0 is a great option for a carry gun with optics option.

New handguns from Smith & Wesson

New handguns from Smith & Wesson

The Performance Center's M&P380 Shield EZ pistol features ported barrel, flat face trigger and tuned action.

The GPO Rangeguide 10x50

The GPO Rangeguide 10x50

If you need to see your game, and know the distance in all hunting environments, the GPO RANGEGUIDE 10×50 is your winning ticket.

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

G&A Editor Eric Poole and Viking Tacticals's Kyle Lamb talks about 2 new pistols from SIG Sauer and a Lipsey's Special of the P365.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Want the “Holy Grail” of AR-15 rifles? Brownells has made that possible with their BRN-Proto retro rifle. Rifles

Brownells BRN-Proto Retro Rifle

Patrick Sweeney - July 02, 2019

Want the “Holy Grail” of AR-15 rifles? Brownells has made that possible with their BRN-Proto...

The last of Germany's infamous Elefant tank destroyers. Historical

World War II German Elefant Tank Destroyers

Neal S Shera - July 12, 2019

The last of Germany's infamous Elefant tank destroyers.

CRKT makes 17 different knife models exclusively for Ruger, from fixed hunting knives to tactical folders, and many of their models are offered in several different styles. Accessories

Ruger CRKT Knives Review

James Tarr - July 08, 2019

CRKT makes 17 different knife models exclusively for Ruger, from fixed hunting knives to...

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the president himself. 2nd Amendment

2020 is Trump's to Blow with Gun Owners

David Codrea - July 09, 2019

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the...

See More Trending Articles

More NFA/Class 3

Every tank designed since has been influenced by the German Tiger tank. Historical

Amazing Feats of the Tiger Tank!

Neal S. Shera - August 30, 2019

Every tank designed since has been influenced by the German Tiger tank.

Heckler & Koch's Maschinepistole 7 was developed as a modern Personal Defense Weapon capable of penetrating modern soft body armor. NFA/Class 3

HK's Compact MP7 4.6x30mm PDW

David M. Fortier - January 14, 2020

Heckler & Koch's Maschinepistole 7 was developed as a modern Personal Defense Weapon capable...

In part two of this three part series we climb inside the German Sd.Kfz. 251 Halftrack, examine the crew's compartment and find out what all the controls do. Historical

German Sd.Kfz. 251 Halftrack - Part 2

David Fortier - June 07, 2019

In part two of this three part series we climb inside the German Sd.Kfz. 251 Halftrack,...

While filming the 2018 season of Guns&AmmoTV we had the unique opportunity to fire the M134 Minigun. Rifles

On The Firing Line With The M134 Minigun

David M. Fortier - August 12, 2019

While filming the 2018 season of Guns&AmmoTV we had the unique opportunity to fire the M134...

See More NFA/Class 3

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.