Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude

Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude
Where Great Intelligence Goes To Be Insulted

Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Any Squaddies Out There?



So unlike other weapon systems… the GAU-8 doesn’t discard it’s empties… it just returns them to the plane’s magazine? Are they reloaded then, like conventional rounds with new primers, powder and projectiles? Probably not, I would think…that would increase the likelihood of malfunction, right?

This round has me confused. The jet jockies seem to use the 30x173 round with depleted uranium rounds to shred tanks. Yet… during the war in Afghanistan I saw the helicopter guys go after a jihadi convoy. They were filming it all at night in infrared, watching the prey before they attacked. When they unloaded on them… I swear they were using exploding rounds. Am I having a senior’s moment? Do they even use tracer rounds anymore?


  1. One of the likely reasons the casings are not chucked overboard is to prevent ingestion by the engines which on the Warthog are aft tight to the fuselage.

    1. Oh right! That has to be it. Even empty... those cases gotta weight a couple hundred pounds I'd think.

      Mind you... I've heard those engines will eat things that would gag a billy goat. I have heard legends about the stuff that has gone through them and they are still running (kind of) when the boys get them home.

    2. The engines are high enough and designed to swallow a lot of stuff and still run. Ejecting cases is more a danger to frendlies on the griund. An aluminum case coming at you at 300 knots is gonna sting a bit.

      A standard combat mix for Hawgs while I worked on them (1980-2000) was 1150 rounds, 1 armor piercing incendiary followed by 5 high explosive ones. The empties are downloaded during ammo uploading. New rounds are in a plastic tube linked by cloth bands stored 525 to a big ass can. The load adapter takes the new rounds, strips them out of the tube and sends them into the chute system in the jet. The empties come out of the other end of the ammo drum along a different chute, go through the adapter, get stuffed into the tubes into an empty can. Whole process is powered by the jet’s right hydraulic system using the auxiliary power unit or the right engine. The gun itself uses two hydraulic motors to operate; one powered by each engine. If you lose one system tge gun will still operate, just at half speed.

      Once the trigger is released after firing, the gun backs up 7 rounds to put a live round in the chamber of the firing barrel. First pull gets a round down range.

  2. 30x173mm GAU-8A rounds are, in fact, reloaded. Friend of a friend has a depleted uranium license and makes a living reloading spent shells. Of course, most of the rounds they carry in "peace keeping" missions are standard HEDP (high explosive dual purpose), not DU.

    US Apache helicopters are armed with an M230 30x113mm chain gun that fires HEDP rounds capable of penetrating 1" of steel, with a lethal fragmentation radius of 2 meters.

  3. Reading the comments from those who know the Warthog, and Goddamit, I love that plane. The Air Force wats to retire it and I want a fleet of about 5,000 of those bastards.