Spectres and Warthogs Join Libyan Fight

The Pentagon briefed today that two new airplanes joined the Odyssey Dawn mix last weekend:  the A-10 and the AC-130.

At this morning’s NFZ ops brief, Vice Admiral “Shortney” Gortney allowed that Spectres and Warthogs had been “employed” but only in support of the UN-backed resolutions to protect Libyan civilians.

“We’re not in direct support of the opposition, that’s not part of our mandate, and we’re not coordinating with the opposition,” he said.

So we’re peppering the Libyan desert with depleted uranium rounds at random?  Heads up, rebel dudes!

(Gouge – DT tip linkster Patrick Casey, AFA cadet extraordinaire)


  • blight

    Libya’s low population densities should ensure that any hypothetical radiation doesn’t affect large swathes of the population. However Libyan rebel troops should probably steer clear of tank hulks in the desert, or at least wait for the DU dust to disperse before moving through it. Hell, just bypass and keep on rolling.

    • Jacob

      How much radiation does DU emit anyway? I was always under the impression that it was negligible.

      • Brian

        Yeah, the other brian is correct. DU is made up of Uranium 238, which has a half life of several billion years. That means it emits radiation so slowly that it might as well not be putting out any at all. Any radiation it does emit will be alpha particles, which are stopped cold by things like: a few inches of air, a t-shirt, dead skin cells, and other types of exotic protection.

        What makes DU dangerous is the fact that it’s a heavy metal, like lead. You don’t want to eat it, because it’s poisonous if it gets in your system. Just like lead.

    • brian

      As a radioactive emitter DU is insignificant. Your average garden variety banana is emits deadlier radiation than DU. The reason to avoid DU dust is simple metal poisoning. Thats it.

  • theman

    This is awesome! I know the A-10 is many people’s favorite aircraft. Of course, using ground attack aircraft is a serious escalation. I think it is clear that Obama is taking the advantage of the fact that, as of now, Gaddafi’s forces are arrayed in a manner ideally suited for attack–out in the open, in the desert. As long the civilians remain separated from the combatants, this will be a cakewalk. If Gaddafi was sitting out in the middle of the desert in a bunker, you can bet NATO would have killed him by now.

  • jamesb101

    This will aloow the US to send home some air assets…..

    The A-10 Warhog and AC-130 gunships means this thing is turning tachical and there is no worry of offensive Libyan a/c….

  • jamesb101

    since the land is level there will little problem in these two a/c finding targets….

  • Just what we need to do, shoot radioactive material into a country undergoing a revolution that could possibly create another Iran.

    Not like guys sympathetic to AQ won’t be looking for spent rounds to grind up and stick in IEDs used against us.

    • Nadnerbus

      I’m no physicist, but I don’t think it works that way.

      • Curt

        I’m no physicist either and I know it doesn’t work that way.

    • blight

      DU shouldn’t leave spent rounds, it’s pyrophoric. Once you grind the stuff up it’ll end badly for you…

    • Brian

      It doesn’t work that way at all. DU is what is left over after we take all the KABOOM stuff out of uranium. The reason we use it in bullets and tank shells is because it’s very very heavy, and it doesn’t bend or break or melt at high temperatures.

      • blight

        Probably more for high density and pyrophoric…? That and it’s plentiful, certainly moreso than tungsten.

  • paperpushermj

    Have any of you given any thought to who makes up the Anti-Government forces?
    Beware the law of Unintended Consequences, it has a habit of biting people in the butt.

  • sam

    What happened to just doing a no fly zone? Our President changes his story every day. Next he’ll be dropping the 82nd AB in Libya and telling us that he can’t sit by and just watch. What a typical politician.

  • jamesb101

    mission creep…..

  • Eric Palmer

    Might require some checking but I don’t think they use DU with the A-10 anymore.

    • ward

      We’re not seeing anything that proves they’re not, Eric. US refused to sign the most recent UN moratorium on the use of DU.

    • blight

      It’s probably still in use. DU will continue to experience stigma until it is conclusively /not/ part of “Gulf War Syndrome”…which still has no proper explanation, and DU is just one of many hypotheses’ attached to it. Once we know for sure and eliminate DU from the list, it’ll just be Another Weapon.

  • Valentina

    Have you see the effect of your DU in Irak’s baby? search…
    Would be the first time after Balcani, Irak and Afghanistan…undemocratic

  • Valentina

    Why do you need prove your destructive power?
    Why innocent people of future generation will pay ?
    Is this a action of a wise government?

  • Valentina

    I live in mediterraneo sea..tunisia is in front of me
    i have affinity in ancient history with all medioriente and i hope they can conquer ancient splendors of civilization and culture.
    For example
    I see afrikom in algery. Why?
    I see the disaster caused by France in Niger for the uranium…
    What do you have really in communion with this people and this nation?
    What would you like teach to all north africa nation?
    Obviously that Gheddafi is a dictator, Ben Alì also (he was a product of Stay Behind-Gladio operation)

    Your enemy is really Gheddafi or China’s business in Africa

  • Valentina

    After the liberation of fascism (Mussolini) in Italy, America has completely conditioned Italian politic and occupied with permanent militar bases .
    has supported the military regime of the colonels in Greece and also in Spain and Pourtugal.
    This is for free people? I have doubt

  • Project Thor

    Dude… spell check.

  • Valentina

    What do you know about ancient writing , scientist in Ugarit , ancient Greece tradicions of this people ..i love my nation Sardinia is my identity and i love also Berberi’s people
    What is progress? army, petrol business and a lot of money and real politik?
    I live in another word, i have other dreams

  • Pandaa

    Can anyone tell me how the A-10 targeting works for its main gun and strafing? I’ve tried looking online for info but its a bit vague. I assume its just a reticle and point and shoot like ww2 but I always wonder how they can be accurate with that against small groups of troops or how the pilots can even see them from the height and speed they operate at.

    I thought there might be a computer aided system where the pilot enters a target line and then the computer flys the plane briefly while it engages compensating for gravity, distance effects on the rounds etc.

  • Valentina

    Project Thor
    I was born after the dictator Mussolini (Dude)

    sorry for my english ..i use google translate

  • SMSgt Mac

    If A-10s and Gunships were used without friendly boots on the ground nearby, then dollars to doughnuts they were both used at night, or the gunships at night and the A-10s from above ~10K ft using AGM-65s or Paveways.

    Valentina, don’t waste your time here. Post where the Politicos will read it: they have the say as to what goes down. The military just makes sure it does go down. I can’t defend this war, just the efficacy of those fighting it.

    • mat

      Nailed it , i doubt they are being used for strafing as danger of manpads is still to great. But Spectre has uniqe night fighting capability that is way above any fighter of bomber + a 105mm gun enables precision fire out of igla or similar manpads range.Spectre is one of the few aircraft that can be used to target enemy forces in urban areas. Droping 250,500 or 1000 pound bombs at tanks is bit of an overkill

      And using 105mm rounds to kill tanks instead of 150.000+$ missle against a 30.000$ tank makes sense

      • Psypher

        mat, Spectre/Spooky cannot (let me rephrase that: SHOULD NOT) be used in urban AOs. They are incredibly inaccurate!

        Furthermore, they suffer from tactical limitations (like oh, just off the top of my head, the USAF only allows them to fly at night and Libya has a sh!t load of SA-7s all over the place).

    • Zap

      what is the range of a A-10 ? pretty short right ? so they must be flying out of Egypt , Sicily or Malta

  • Valentina

    American influence in GreeceMain article: Operation Gladio#Greece

    The Phoenix rising from its flames and the silhouette of the soldier bearing a rifle with fixed bayonet was the emblem of the Junta. On the header the word Greece (Ελλας) and on the footer 21 April 1967, the date of the coup d’état, can be seen in Greek.In 1947, the United States formulated the Truman Doctrine, and began to actively support a series of authoritarian governments in Greece, From Wikipedia…this is story!

  • Valentina

    if we measure the culture they are very rich

  • Valentina

    don’t know nomadism, don’t know that Berberi are75-80 million

    and Gheddafi don’t live in desert

    so who you are killing with DU?

  • Valentina

    I’m not upset really!
    I’m trying to think why
    In Greace is probably that dictactorship is hard to win but i don’t know if this has produced difficulties economy .
    For example in Lybia is strange but Gheddafi has product material progress, they aren’t poor . it’ s possible that is only a tribal war into Cirenaica and Tripolitania.
    I think is different respect revolution in Tunisia

  • Valentina

    The situation ins very serious

    Egypt and Tunisia are in transition (Egypt again with militar government)
    Syria , Lybia, Bharein…and very different..religious minorities , tribal war , monarchie minorities,

  • Riceball

    A DU round is much denser than a conventional round which gives the 30mm Avenger cannon on the A-10 an extra bit of punch against armor. So instead of either squashing or breaking into a million pieces when it hits armor it cuts through it turning the tank into Swiss cheese. It’s also supposed disintegrate into dust after penetrating and the heat from the force of the energy it generates during penetration causes the dust to ignite doing all sorts of nasty things to the inside of the tank.

  • Brian

    DU means depleted uranium. When you dig uranium out of the ground, there’s only about .06% (not 6%, but *point* zero six percent) of it that is the correct type for making nuclear reactions. Unfortunately, it’s all mixed in with the rest of it. Depleted uranium is the other 99.4% that doesn’t react to much. It’s still technically radioactive, because it gives off a little less radiation as a banana. And
    in about 4 billion years it will break down and become the kind of uranium that goes boom,

    The reason we use it is because it’s very heavy, and it doesn’t bend or break, and we have a whole lot of it just sitting around. Back in the 50s when we were building lots of nukes, we had all this extra DU sitting around and we didn’t know what to do with it. Then someone realized this stuff makes kick ass anti-tank rounds, When it hits a hard target, all these metal shavings flake off of it, and then catch fire and explode like a grain silo. This tends to happen *inside* the tank you just shot.

  • Valentina
  • While I understand that tactical vehicles have been approved as valid targets under the operation’s marching orders, doesn’t the addition of specialized air-to-ground shooters indicate mission creep? Are we supporting all the way to Tripoli, or not?

    What is the mission?

  • Joe Schmoe



    The normal people of DT.

  • Tim


    It’s time to take your idiot medicines and get that once-a-month shower, your odor is upsetting the rats.

  • Chris

    I’m sure oil is the motive here…if the US was really interested in humanitarian issues Ivory Coast or Bahrain would also be great places to get involved. However, natural resource availability is my specialty and since we’ve either hit or are almost at peak oil production, we need to secure as much as possible. The entire N. American (Canadian + US) way of life would be drastically altered if we no longer had secure sources of oil. I personally think these conflicts could be avoided if the US gov’t just invested more money into alternative energy sources. It’s inevitable that the supply will dwindle, so it would make sense to start investing into technology to supplement it.

  • Dhunt

    a-10’s are the bomb beat , guardian angels

  • mike j

    I’m not sure I fully understanding you. The GAU-8 points where the nose goes. The rounds it fires are purely ballistic, not guided. The pilot certainly has the ability to see a IR laser marker and aim a weapon at it, including the gun. They’ve had the ability to do that with the Pave Penny pod mounted on the right cheek under the cockpit for pretty much the planes’ whole service. Now they carry the Sniper XR pod also.

  • joe

    Sooo…has everything come to a screaching halt in Afghanstan? I mean, by all news thread indications, not a damn thing is happening over there where we got people on the ground getting shot at or IEDed.

    Hmmmm 150,000 troops in Harms way…or lets watch the Fast movers do their stuff on a piss-ant country.

    Focus People! For Gawd Sakes Focus! Stop looking at the Oooooo shiny thing and get back to reporting that ugly thing over there!

    • blight

      Wag the Dog for the win.

      • orly?

        Afghanistan has no opposing tanks or real front lines. Things are easier to hit when they are stationary and well defined.

  • OldVet

    Save a 100,000 lives and give freedom a chance.
    Let Valentina run the mouth courtesy of the freedom bought with American blood.
    Oh well. OldVet

  • orly?

    It is quite apparent Valentina has no common sense.

  • amauyong

    Too bad….A-10s can’t be manufactured anymore…

    As tactical close air-support….she is no equals….

    closest to her is the SU 25 (Frogfoot)…but the A-10 still has the wins for me.

  • Jay

    You guys missed the real news:

    “Spectres and Warthogs had been “employed” but only in support of the UN-backed resolutions to protect Libyan civilians.”

    The A10s and AC130s are taking out vehicles en route to fight the rebels.
    This means armed fighters in civilian clothes are now considered “civilians” since Obama says so. This is a precedent for the US to intervene in any country where “civilians” with AK47s are in danger.

    This redefinition of armed fighter as civilian opens the door for the US to intervene anywhere there is internal armed conflict.
    This new doctrine could be used against Israel to protect Hamas and Hizbullah “civilians” from counter attacks, or to stop Bahrain and KSA from harming “civilians” who are armed by Iran to take over those nations.

    • orly?

      conspiracy! everywhere!

  • jamesb101

    11:09hrs…. 3/31/11…..CJCS Mullen….There are NO ground laser teams from the US……I/F/O the House…

    The Britis HAVE said they DO have their people there….

  • Jonathan

    This would of been a perfect test candidate for those vietnam era COIN aircraft we were going to buy and put into service. Too bad all the good ideas are never used.

    We could of had thousands of propeller driven dive bombers wreaking havoc in libya right now, instead we have overpriced jet engines that self destruct and crash into the ground trying to take pictures.

    They should have a lottery for “General for a day” because it seems like most people could do a better job at managing such a badass military that somehow looks stupid time and time again. 500 billion to destroy a few dozen tanks, handful of radars, and a few buildings. I want my money back.

    Meanwhile ghadaffi is still shelling cities.

  • Rocky

    The primary reason A-10s and AC-130s would be employed to this theater is for Combat Search and Rescue missions -the retrieval of downed allied pilots. This certainly isn’t being mentioned by our leaders because God-forbid the general public should be concerned about the safety of our fliers.

  • Se volete a crescere know-how Solo simply Web page ed essere aggiornato
    con le ultime I più recenti aggiornamento di notizie
    postato qui .

  • Hello, i think that i noticed you visited my weblog thus i came to go back the want?.I am trying to to find issues to enhance my web site!I guess its good enough
    to make use of some of your concepts!!