By on July 5, 2016

Toyota Hilux. Picture courtesy of Toyota

It’s a well-known fact that Islamic State fighters enjoy using hardy Toyota pickups in their pursuit of cleansing the Middle East of people even slightly different from themselves, but they’ll need to restock after last week.

Recent Allied military advances, including a huge, weeks-long push that liberated the Iraqi city of Fallujah, have ISIS on the run, and the U.S. Air Force’s best aerial hardware just caught a huge number of their vehicles making a break for it.

The results, as Defense Department video of the strike shows, wasn’t pretty — for the insurgents or their trucks.

According to Military Times, the unusually large convoy was spotted moving east from Ramadi on June 29. After Fallujah fell on June 26, it’s believed that the convoy was going to help reinforce the Syrian border town of Abu Kamal, also under Allied attack.

With the ISIS force exposed and vulnerable, the U.S. quickly called in a very diverse selection of aerial weaponry. They included F-15Es, A-10s, B-52s, and some MG-1 Predator drones. Essentially, 60 years worth of aircraft kept around because they’re so good at blowing things into much smaller pieces.

The resulting airstrikes bookended the convoy with bombs, while an A-10 can be seen dealing with the rest with its 30-millimeter Gatling-type autocannon. The insurgents reportedly abandoned their vehicles and ran. A strike one day earlier took out a 55-vehicle ISIS convoy (video below), meaning there’s a serious shortage of Toyota power in the insurgents’ hands.

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57 Comments on “Massive Airstrike Leaves ISIS with About 120 Fewer Toyota Pickups...”

  • avatar

    Though this post doesn’t seem relevant, I’ll play along. The Hilux is infinitely better looking than the Tacoma.

    • 0 avatar

      Better looking than the 2016? Definitely. Better engine than the 2016, too.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      The image at the top of this article is a previous generation Hilux. Here is the latest Hilux.

      I don’t know if they look better, I believe the new generation Hiluxes look a little more “awkward”.

  • avatar

    A. Warthogs rule

    B. What are the odds ISIS gets hold of diesel Jettas in the coming weeks?

    C. Where is the usual Republican backlash against all foreign policy measures from the last 7.5 years?

    • 0 avatar

      Didn’t I read that the diesel Jettas have to be rendered inoperable as part of the agreement?

    • 0 avatar

      “What are the odds ISIS gets hold of diesel Jettas in the coming weeks?”

      I literally laughed out loud imagining isis fighters trying to repair and maintain a fleet of finicky, glitchy, aging VWs used (abused) under the harshest conditions with a dearth of spare parts or special filters and oil, diagnostic equipment etc. necessary to keep an old TDI VW.

      The mind fills with images of VW Jetta wagons flying across the desert, suspensions creaking in agony under the weight of 20 fighters ridding on the roof rack. The body comically bouncing around due to blown dampers as the driver carelessly cajoles the shifter into whatever gear comes to hand, squeezing every last bit of life from the belching engine, Christmas tree dash and all.

      You can keep an old Hilux running with bailing wire, and a basic tool set.

      VW would be the end of isis.

    • 0 avatar

      A. Yes
      B. Pretty good, since those models hate our freedumb.
      C. Destabilizing five countries in eight years not enough?

    • 0 avatar

      This administration’s foreign policy ineptitude aside, the Republican’s second favorite part of this administration is how Obama immediately sold out his base and his campaign rhetoric to continue pressing the War on Terror in pretty much the exact same way as Bush (“War criminal! Indiscriminate drone strikes! We’re creating terrorists!”).

      Republican’s first favorite part of the Obama presidency is all of the racial healing.

      • 0 avatar

        What ineptitude?

        Syria and environs are a horribly complicated mess. However, the Iraqis have retaken Fallujah and there’s quite an array of forces, whom we help, aligned against ISIL. Nothing that’s going to happen there will be anywhere near ideal but ISIL is shrinking and, as they retreat, they leave behind people that *hate* ISIL, which will someday be leverage for us.

        We’re not looking at a lot of body bags or making fresh enemies as the war against ISIL progresses.

        You couldn’t hardly say this is being ideally played, because such a thing is not at all possible but this is about as good as could be expected.

        As for racial healing… what racial healing is that? From Obama’s election, the Republicans have incrementally embraced more and more racism. The party candidate is now solidly KKK endorsed. My mother warned me I’d be judged by the company I keep… apparently Paul Ryan’s mother didn’t tell him that.

        • 0 avatar

          Yes, but you have to take into account the state of the Middle East when Obama took office. The Bush administration had just saved the world from dreaded and magical WMDs, and Iraq was the epitome of peace. We had already won the war in Afghanistan and denuclearized Iran.

          Oh, wait, no, the Republicans had left the Middle East almost as big a mess as they left our economy.

  • avatar

    Prices for used Toyota pickups at auto auctions just went up by about a thousand bucks.

  • avatar

    Death from above, indeed. Damn.

  • avatar

    I don’t imagine dealers in that part of the world run those “$5000 guaranteed trade in, even if you have to drag it in!” specials.

  • avatar

    Beats all the fireworks I saw all weekend! Hope they picked off the runners.

  • avatar

    If I could be a fighter pilot tomorrow, with all the knowledge downloaded into my brain like the Matrix, and I could choose any aircraft, I’d drive an A-10 Warthog — all — day — long.

    • 0 avatar

      And the Air Farce has been fighting to kill this plane for years, knowing they have nothing to replace it with.

      • 0 avatar

        Because the generals don’t think the A-10 is sexy enough. Years ago they wanted to replace them with F-16s. The pilots love the A-10. The command staff in the Pentagon? Not so much.

        • 0 avatar

          We have the Hellcat, named after a WWII fighter. Now we need a muscle car called the Warthog.

          • 0 avatar

            Stateside, the civilian automotive Warthog is commonly known as the Nissan Juke.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          The costs of keeping an aging aircraft alive is horrendous.

          The other issue with old airframes is the number of aircraft in the hangars for deeper levels of maintenance. An aircraft in a hangar for deeper maintenance is akin to opening a can of worms. You just don’t know what’s underneath.

          Most of the maintenance would require engineering dispositions with the associated design of procedures and limits.

          So, if you have a couple hundred A-10s the reality is you will only have 50 or so that can fly. Then they will become U/S often (breaking), again reducing your numbers.

          Tail numbers equate to capability. It is no longer viable to keep A-10s as their capability has diminished due to the cost of maintenance and reduce reliability.

          • 0 avatar

            So build new ones.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            They would if it was viable. Making these kinds of strategic decisions is not like buying a new truck. There are parallels though.

            First you must understand how flexible the capability that is offered by the A-10 will be in even 5-10 years. How good is the technology of the A-10?

            What direction and how much money can be invested into the A-10 weapons platform? If new A-10s were constructed what avionics, power plant, flight control, etc changes would be needed for current and future use. A-10 Platforms are well beyond their use by date.

            What the A-10s achieved here is nothing spectacular, sort of like “shooting fish in a barrel”.

            How much use will you actually receive for your investment? I do believe most any fighter nowadays can be used in ground attack missions. So, if any fighter can produce 80%-90% of what an A-10 can achieve, then add the capability of attack choppers this figure would rise even further. Is it viable to make more A-10s irrespective of their past performance. Within a decade or so we will have autonomous drones with AI capability that will identify targets and destroy them.

            Look at the real risk to the US. Does China and Russia present themselves as a greater risk than a bunch of fnckwit Da’esh? Terrorism is sh!t, but as the word terrorism suggests terror is the aim. In reality they pose a smaller risk than is presented and perceived by the media and public.

            The only cost I’ve seen so far is the costs of LGBs, but how much is a Mk82 or even a Mk 84 to attach the guidance system to? How much an hour does it cost for each and every A-10? I’d say an A-10 would cost at a minimum between $20 000 to $40 000ph to keep in the air. This doesn’t include all of the air to air refueling, ECM and all the peripheral crap to make a successful mission possible.

            This isn’t like deer hunting. This isn’t a game or sport. This a very expensive, but necessary work. I do read with sadness how some of the commenters discuss these issues it appears they are totally oblivious to the impact of these events.

            War is sh!t, but sadly a necessity at times.

            Here’s a link to the future of warfare and the not too distant future, scary sh!t an A-10 will not be able to compete.


          • 0 avatar
            Dave M.

            Why can’t Toyota build them? Maybe there won’t be a 36/36,000, but certainly they wouldn’t need so much ‘maintenance’.


            On the other hand, it’s great to see my daughter may have a career of some sort with all her XBox experience….

      • 0 avatar

        It isn’t that simple – and the brass just aren’t fond of the A-10 as it is low and slow. It is called the warthog for a good reason.

        The primary reason to be for the A-10 was to kill Soviet tanks in the open fields of western Europe. After 1989 that reason went away. The A-10 was up for execution as part of Gramm-Rudman with arguments that the F-15 in a multi-role configuration could do the job of a ground pounder, Operation Desert Storm proved the A-10 to be formidable in Iraqi air space, and offered outstanding survivability to ground fire. The other surprise was the high mounted engines didn’t ingest as much sand and dust as other craft in the Iraqi desert, so their operation cycles were better.

        One does need to be mindful that the warthog is 40+ years old at this point. Modern avionics need room to be installed to keep up with the times. Ya, well they can do that with the B-52 Mr. Smarty Pants – and that plane is even OLDER! The B-52 has two key advantages over almost any other military aircraft built — well — ever. First and foremost, the air frames were incredibly overbuilt. Projected duty life of the wing spars, the backbone of any aircraft military or civilian is 100 years. Let that sink in. They’ve proven out the duty life of construction quality and design to last 100 years. The second thing for the B-52 is the original “A” model variants were as roomy as a 1958 Cadillac inside. They have tons of extra room which has yielded a lot of extra space for more modern avionics to be packed in. Finally, technology and mission has enabled the B-52 to carry on. For hostile air environments the B-52 no longer has to penetrate enemy air space. ALCMs have a range in some cases of over 1,000 miles, enabling the B-52 to stand off far from a combat zone and launch its payload. For areas where there is total air superiority, laser guided munitions, GPS navigation and targeting, and advanced optics have given the old BUFF frightening levels of accuracy. For situations where good old fashioned GU-82 ordinance al-a-shock-and-awe must rain from the sky, the BUFF can still do that too. It has an incredibly long range making refueling logistics far easier.

        In the case of the A-10 the writing is on the wall. For the specific missions they support, low and slow while staying on station to support ground troops, drones are going to take over the role. You may not like it. I’m not a fan either. But for this specific mission, which is dangerous, and the risk/return assessment of putting a pilot exposed to ground fire comes into the equation, drones are quickly reaching the point they can do it just as well. That 30MM Gatling gun is pure sex – but it is unique to the warthog, takes specialized ammunition, and there is growing evidence that the use of that ammunition is not good for friendly troops and loaders exposed to it. Fun fact, the recoil from the A-10 cannon actually slows the plane down. If you don’t melt the barrels, you can in theory stall out the A-10 if you lay on the happy button long enough.

        One other issue that hurts the long term viability of the A-10. The craft was built to provide close in support for ground troops, operating at primitive fields and getting field service. Because of that, it’s range is very limited. Geo-political situations call for far less FOB for aircraft and more fly in and fly out strike operations. The A-10 just doesn’t do that well at all. My understanding is aerial refueling of the A-10 is, errrrr, interesting for all parties involved because of its relatively low cruising speed. Given that helicopter aerial refueling is rather common now, that issue may have been addressed.

        In working theory that is largely proven out at this point, a smaller, pilotless version of the A-10 would be an ideal working platform for a combat on station close support aircraft. Drones is what is killing the A-10 today — and when you stand back, it makes sense.

        • 0 avatar

          With the Precicion Engagement upgrades in the A-10C they have pretty modern avionics and communications. Plus, a 30mm round is cheap compared to a JDAM.

          On a modern battlefield against a peer state it would have a hard time until air defenses are softened considerably.

          Air to air refueling isn’t an issue nor is range really.

    • 0 avatar

      One of the best sounds heard taking off from Bagram Airfield! I still proudly display my American flag flown on a mission while I was there. A-10s are ridiculously effective and bring a calm unlike any other sound!

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Crazy thing is, those things are STILL worth about 75% MSRP. Damn Toyota trucks just never depreciate.

  • avatar

    Obligatory post: That’ll buff out.

  • avatar

    Sure, we got money for precision guided munitions and all sorts of aircraft but heaven forbid they just fly in a drone and drop a neutron bomb on the ISIS (more like waswas) and swoop in there and sell the toyotas to highest bidding moderate group in the region.

    Even better, Barry O should just give Yamahog his own Letters of Marque and Repraisial and let me import every ISIS technical I can take. I”ll go in there, COD style, and seize a few hundred new diesel toyota trucks I’ll bring them state side and sell them before I can even finish my ticker tape parade.

  • avatar

    If Saddam was still running eyerack they would never have gotten a foothold and the lights would still be on.

  • avatar

    I have no military experience or training but I think this: open terrain, daylight, absolutely zero air power = do not convoy

    • 0 avatar

      That video shows the tactics used to take out convoys using air power going back to World War II. Bracket the ends trapping the vehicles in the middle and enjoy the turkey shoot. Fascinating to see it more specialized today with air to ground missiles delivered by one aircraft cutting off the two ends, and that sweet 30 MM Gatling gun on the Warthog shooting up everything between to pieces. I figure one or two 30 MM spent uranium shells through a Toyota pick up is all it takes.

  • avatar

    Oh, what a feelin’!!!

  • avatar

    Given the reputation of the Hilux , this may be the only way to actually stop one.

  • avatar

    USAF does what Top Gear couldnt.

    I wonder why Toyota does not set up a dealership in Iraq?

  • avatar

    I want the M40/M2 combo option on my Hilux.

  • avatar

    Chain reaction airbag failures.

  • avatar

    And what did the roaches exclaim as they scurried off for their lives? “RAAAAID!”

  • avatar

    This site is getting more and more like Jalopnik. Why?

  • avatar

    Joss: Agreement on your Saddam comment .. decision by Bush Jr to invade Iraq was horrible decision that helped to create current mess I’m middle east. I have to agree with Trumps recent comment on Saddam…not the I support Trump or Clinton – 2 bad choices!

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