The menacing-looking aircraft is nothing more than a winged weapons platform. It can carry up to 16,000 pounds (7,200 kilograms) of mixed ordnance mounted on eight under-wing and three under-fuselage pylon stations. The ordnance that can be fitted on it includes drag bombs, incendiary cluster bombs, combined effects munitions, mine dispensing munitions, Maverick missiles, and laser-guided bombs.
All of these are incredibly frightening in themselves, but they don’t even come close to the 30 mm, seven-barrel Gatling gun it comes equipped with. Known as the Avenger, the weapon can fire rounds from an altitude of 4,000 feet (1,200 meters), hitting a target area just 40 feet (12 meters) in diameter.
Power for the plane comes from two General Electric turbofan engines that can take it to an altitude of 45,000 feet (13,636 meters) and keep the plane in the air for up to 800 miles (1,287 km) at speeds of 420 mph (676 kph).
We’ve featured the Warthog in our Pic of the Day section before, and we’ve even seen footage of several such planes flying in formation. The latest image showing the airplane comes from Alaska, where a pack of these winged monsters took part in the Red Flag-Alaska exercise.
Deployed with the 25th Fighter Squadron, they are shown on the runway, taxiing before takeoff from the Eielson Air Force Base, on an amazing backdrop.