Roll on Roll Off Gunship

Oto Melara gunship

Cast your mind back a few months and we discussed the potential for using transport aircraft as gunships, combat ISTAR, electronic warfare and even maritime patrol by  using roll on roll off palletised and pylon mounted equipment.

A couple of months before I looked at Orbital ATK and their work with Jordan on the C235/295 gunship development that made use of palletised automatic cannons.

Now it seems Oto Melara have joined the list of suppliers of palletised systems.

Oto Melara gunship

After initial flight trials they are planning final qualification for the Italian Air Force.

Instead of a 30mm Bushmaster the Oto Melara system uses a 20mm M61A1 Vulcan multi-barrel cannon coupled to a modified Selex Janus electro optical and infra red sensor pod. It is mounted on a 463L pallet making it adaptable for many transport aircraft. The retractable rail system allows it to be deployed only when in targeting mode. When loaded with 750 rounds it weighs less than 1.6 tonnes and has a battery for autonomous operation independent of the aircraft’s power system. The whole system is completely self-contained on the pallet

The whole system is completely self-contained on the pallet, even the gunners chair.

Oto Melara developed the system after receiving €2m development funding from the Italian MoD, no €2m  is not a printing error!

Six are expected to come into service in 2016.

Jane’s has a good article on the system, here.

The bit that I found most interesting though was not the weapon system but this;

As well, it noted that a separate Italian company was developing a second palletised command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4ISR) system that would add datalink capabilities to the Gunship system and function and allow a transport aircraft to function as both a gunship and an airborne command post for ground operations.

A European Harvest Hawk perhaps, not as mad as many people claim.

Interesting, no?

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150 Responses

  1. @ The Other Chris.

    Yes too Both. The 463L Mil-Spec. Pallet Measures 2,235.2mm (88″) x 2,743.2mm (108″) and Weigh ~135.624-kg. (299-lbs.) without Tie-Down netting and ~161.025-kg. (355-lbs.) with Tie-Down netting…

  2. 750-rounds of ammunition, seem like “Light Load” for Cargo Plane/Gun Ship. 5,000-round, should be the “Norm” An F-16 standard Gun Load of ammunition is 750-rounds…

  3. If it can be simply “slotted in”, then this could get a lot of interest from militaries with low budgets

    And not just Air Forces , I suspect

    Could these be fitted onto anything else? Merchant ships or large trucks, for instance

  4. For a given effect, what would be the lowest ammo cost? Choices are 14.5mm, 20mm, 25mm, 30x113mm, 40x53mm grenade or a GD/BAE roll controlled 81mm mortar?

  5. The 20mm Vulcan would be a big step up for the 7.62 gatlin mounted in the belly door for the V22 giving an extra dimension to the use of the Osprey as a gunship after the initial insertion role. Shows what you can do with only €2m development money in the right hands. Could the Kongsberg turret we use be fitted on the same mounting I wonder? Or even the 40mm CTA?

  6. Ah, takes me back several decades, USAF had C-130 gunships with miniguns. Jolly useful they were too, particularly if you had some VC in open padi. Night ambushes in padi are of course the preserve of competent armies.

  7. defencenews reported this a good year ago:

    “The Air Force is studying the twin-engine Beechcraft King Air as part of its search for a light aircraft to deliver a “development of force,” the source said.

    Meanwhile, France’s special operations forces are looking to add various capabilities to their 14 Lockheed Martin C-130s, such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), gunship and low-level air-drop, the source said.

    Robbin Laird of the ICA consulting firm, based here and in Washington, said interest in the C-130 packages reflects the growing relationship between US Marines and French and Spanish special operations forces.”

    Though it would first seem that they want to do ISR with both platforms, there is a later mention that the smaller one would be mainly for post-troop insertation uses (ISR & a command post)

  8. Matt W said: “Could these be fitted onto anything else? Merchant ships or large trucks, for instance”

    A Foxhound Utility Technical!

    I wonder if they could do one with a rocket pod.

  9. While a cargo gunship is an interesting concept, how practical is it? I don’t mean how technically practical, the US demonstrated with their AC-130 that it works quite well, but unless you are the US with planes overflowing out of your airfields, every transport craft is extremely precious in their original role, as a supply lifeline to the troops. Is it practical for you to take a cargo plane from the limited number already in service and use it as an ad hoc Apache, especially since you already got AH-64s for the job?

    The US could do it, they have an excess of aircraft. I don’t think many others in the world can. The US isn’t a good role model for other countries. They have advantages others don’t.

  10. Just goes to show that taking the 12 C130’s that the RAF want to retire, having a mid life refit, then being used for various uses by the pallet load. The loiture time and cost per hour for example is a lot cheaper than an AH64, then to use as C4 or Special Ops insertion aircraft, or even an MPA as discussed before.
    These are airframes bought and paid for plus there replacement is in service, so why throw them away is beyond me, heck even stick that lot in £5m a pop BAe146’s if the C130’s are just so knackered. But when it shows you don’t need a £150m stealth jet to provide ground support I suppose some Air Marshalls are going to look a little silly.
    Part of my campaign of use/re-use what you’ve got rather than selling it off for someone else to use for the next 30yrs quite happily.
    Same for a QE Class Aircraft Carrier with 12 F35b’s on board to do the hard stuff and then 24/36 Harrier II to do the mud pounding. Once you’ve spent £6bn seems silly not to fill it up, and if we hadn’t sold them to the yanks we might actualy have a usable airwing on the QE/PoW.
    But interchangable pallets is the way to go, some missiles on the hard points of a C130 and all of a sudden your SF op has some muscle, since most of our recent ops have been in low grade antui air enviroments.
    Heck if the RAF don’t want them then give them to the Army Air Corps.

  11. Luckily we bought ours with the wide cargo side door… so we can put two of those side by side.

    There is an unsolicited bid on the go for upgrading France’s Special Forces Hercs (I guess they found out in Mali that those buggers can shoot back e.g. with MANPADs):

    “”Sagem is preparing to offer an armed upgrade package for the French Air Force’s Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules transport aircraft, company officials told IHS Jane’s .

    The upgrade would include arming the Hercules with the SSA-1101 Gerfaut system, allowing the C-130 to carry and deploy as many as eight Sagem AASM (Armement Air-Sol Modulaire) precision guided munitions (PGMs). The SSA-1101 Gerfaut has been under development since 2012 by Sagem, Rafaut, and AA/ROK.

    “We can guarantee a range of 30 km for an AASM dropped at 25,000 ft and 190 kt,” a Sagem official told IHS Jane’s” so not a secret, but rather an advertorial in Jane’s.

  12. I could see the advantages of keeping the Herc’s to do stuff like this- doesn’t impinge on the air transport fleet. Mind you in a perfect world we would, of course, buy extra Atlas airframes (common fleet savings etc, etc)
    You couldn’t do it on 146’s though, without chopping big holes in the structure- no arse flap, and outward opening doors, which can’t be opened in flight.

    I have always liked the whole gunship motif, though……

  13. @ monkey.

    If your going to place a M61 Vulcan 20x102mm Autocannon on an Osprey. It’s probably going to be Static Mounted. If your going fro Flexibility, I’d go for the M197 3-barrel 20x102mm version on an undercarriage Turret Mounting…

  14. @Secundius
    When I heard of the existing 7.62 gatlin in the belly mount of the Osprey I thought it to light to be of any use against anything but infantry and soft skinned vehicles , and a bigger cannon capable of at least distracting light armour or infantry behind heavy cover would be better too. The USMC seem to think the same after using it in the sandboxes too.

  15. The ginge

    You would need to define mid life update for the RAF s current c130s. Number of hours on the airframe much more important than number of years in service. Wouldn’t be at all surprised if when all said and done they’d need rewinged, new rudder and elevator and fuselage panel replacements. As for the bae 146 that’s a pressurised aircraft who’s doors don’t normally open in flight start your cash register.

    Rolling off and on a gun or indeed mission consoles or seat is reasonably straight fwd, it when you start to get to more specialist sensors be they US Hercules variants or Airbus cn 295 variants those aircraft tend to have sensors permainanly mounted in position.

  16. @ monkey.

    The original Ordnance Package Load Out for the MV-22B Osprey, was: (1) GAU-19B 3-barrel 12.7x99mm Turreted HMG under the Nose, (1) GAU-21 M3M “War Thunder” 12.7x99mm HMG on the Stern Ramp and (2) GAU-2/A M134 6-barrel 7.62x51mm/NATO “Miniguns” Side-door Mounted. Then it became as weight issue, and everything went too S@#t…

  17. @ mr.fred.

    The Minigun’s were only meant to be used in the Landing Configuration a protection to the Aircraft during Loading/Unloading. When the Osprey was most Vulnerable too Attacks…

  18. Don’t get the fascination with miniguns. Sure, a high ROF weapon makes sense if you’re in an aircraft doing a strafing run, but as a suppression weapon? I can’t help but wonder if you’ll run out of ammo very fast. We use a CIS 50 (12.7/o.5 cal) for a door gun. Wonder how the 2 systems compare?

  19. @ Observer.

    The GAU-21 M3M “War Thunder” has a cyclic rate-of-fire of 850rpm to 1,100rpm compared to the M2 “Ma Deuce” 450rpm. The 21st Century version of War Thunder, is mostly Titanium, compared to it’s WW2 counterpart of Aluminum…

  20. @ Matt W.

    The only limitation your going to face, is the Imagination of the Person mounting the system. There’s and American aphorism that goes: “If your not cheating, you’re not trying hard enough”…

  21. @ monkey.

    I’d go with a 30mm Bushmaster II first, and then go from there. It really depends on the amount of “torque” applied to the airframe of the “host aircraft”…

  22. @ A Different Garth.

    A Rocket Pod, is pretty Simplistic. It’s a Line-of-Sight, Indirect Fire Support System. You Aim and Shoot and hope for the Best. It doesn’t get anymore Simplistic than that…

  23. @ Observer.

    The AC-47’s during the Vietnam War, consisted of three-7.62x51mmNATO Miniguns and a “greese pencil” etched gun sight on the Pilots Side Window…

  24. @ barbarossa.

    On a 146, an Emergency Exit Hatch should work nicely, or just a matter of removing a few passenger windows/viewports…

  25. The only issue is there’s only two emergency exits- Not exactly the festooning with guns I was hoping for.
    Equally, the windows are part of the structure, as in all pressurised airframes. So there would still be a bit of chopping about. Not undoable though. And the advantage of pressurisation, means that the aeroplane could loiter at high altitude, thereby keeping the endurance up.

    ….There’s plenty of 146’s about, and it’s a tough little airframe, with excellent STOL performance.

  26. @ barbarossa.

    The biggest concern I have with the 146’s is, drag. The plane wasn’t exactly designed to fly with her “window’s rolled down”, so too speak. That not to say she can’t fly unpressurized. You could employ a gun cover, to minimize the amount of air going into the fuselage. But that also limit’s the flexibility of the Gun System being employed. Or, you could just go with a Standard Cargo Carrier variant of the 146’s airframe. And make Specified Desired Modifications of intended Mission Profile…

  27. This Italian kit is not for a gunship as such; it’s a particular requirement for their special forces role C27. It’s no different to putting a door gun on a transport helicopter, hence the light ammo load.

    The Jordanian aircraft on the other hand are essentially an Apache weapons package on a C235. Carrying those weapons is its whole reason for existence.

  28. @Observer: Apart from the advantages you already mentioned, Gatling’s are very accurate contrary to popular perception. By far the most accurate fully automatic in the world. The barrels act as a giant gyroscope meaning almost no recoil or barrel rise and extreme ease of control even on the longest burst(you can do it one handed). This combined with the bright trace from the high ROF meaning you can walk it on quickly and keep it there without ever letting off the trigger if necessary, is a fierce combination. A Gatling doesn’t just put more rounds on target but more per shot/belt. 9 times more if you believe Dillon Aero and no-one’s called them on it yet.

    ROF is user customisable, normally 2/3 preset/instantly available to the gunner and we both know it’s training and fire discipline that’s going to effect real world ammo usage. A moron will empty a 400rpm M2 before a smart man is halfway through the belt on even the fastest Gatling.

    Honestly Gatling’s trump everything in every metric bar weight, reload speed and ease of employment. Due to the fact they need power and ideally one long belt not lots of short ones. So useless for infantry obviously but on vehicles, they’re great, that’s what they were designed for.

    Back to the OP: I’ve always thought what you’d want to pursue for getting the most AC-130 without the price would be it’s 105mm not the 40mm or Gatling. Stay above the manpads while delivering reasonably large accurate explosions at very low cost per(the 80% solution to hellfire). Most difficult initial integration and low profit thereafter means it’s probably not going to happen. Especially not on the C295. I think you’re going to need a bigger pallet.

    On the Hercules fleet getting a similar treatment. Genius. Especially with the enemies we face today. A more multirole pallet system to turn it into truly multi role utility aircraft, MPA/ISR/Gunship/Missileship/SAR/all the stuff it can already do and continue to as a backup to A400. Double genius. Especially with all the gaps we face today, how cheaply pallet’s full of gadgets can be bought and for once we have the exactly the right plane for it bought and paid for. Almost every palletised do-dad ever made will get a C130 version and we can even get in on that market ourselves. Yeah the airframes are a bit shagged but unshagging airplanes is a well practised art and it’s not like you’d have trouble finding the parts.

    Chance of anything so sensible happening when all the services are scrambling to keep what they have. Zero.

  29. Thinking about it, the Nimrod was pressurised, and it had opening hatches….and the OTO Melara is retractable… OK a few airframe mods, but….

    The advantages of the 146/RJ series are legion-
    The undercarriage is designed for rough field use, including the option off a gravel kit;
    It uses airbrakes, deployable in flight rather than reverse thrust;
    It’s designed with simplicity and ease of maintenance;
    Four engines; and
    It’s a very good STOL aircraft.

    The -200/RJ85 has a payload of 8.5t, you might to have to drop that by a tonne for any cargo variant (re-inforced floor and cargo door).
    My only issue is the range- 1200miles… But with it only needing 3000ft, and rough field ability you can keep it at an austere airstrip and call it forward.

    …The RAF could re-introduce the WOP/AG, or even just the AG, brevet….

  30. Chuck has a point about unshagging aeroplanes, Marshall Aerospace have been doing it for years…

    ….The Idea of fitting the Herc fleet up as a sort of SF/ special duties/ back up air transport… Seems pretty good to me…..Cheaper than buying extra A400’s.
    You could deploy the hereford hooligans and then air support them, with the same wagon: what’s not to like?

  31. Tempted to pop this in Open Thread however we’re discussing RoRo kit here.

    This news is not quite an SC-130J Sea Herc, but it’s interesting nonetheless due to the combination of C-130, palletised RoRo kit and hard-mounting being involved:

    http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/lockheed-eyes-c-130-maritime-opportunities-in-south-east-412493/

    In recent months I’ve swung away in opinion from the UK ditching a C-130 fleet. As well run as the RAF procurement and operation of C-17 has been, there’s a niggling feeling that selling on that fleet, increasing A400M purchase and retaining a C-130 fleet instead could suit the UK more going forward.

  32. Interesting. A larger pool could definitely be the enabler for it.

    Would also fit in with the whole increased/pooled Euro/NATO assets push most partner nations are agreeable to at the moment and Kiev could certainly do with the business.

  33. Ugh, more fantasy b***ocks. Really? Downgrading our air force to the level of a third world backwater doesn’t achieve anything other than satisfy boyish fantasies of aeroplanes with guns and ‘dakka dakka boom’ noises. Completely f***ing irrelevant. We are not supposed to be fighting other people’s wars for them. Everybody else in the world has flying Skodas with dumb bombs and rockets; why do we need to add more?

    The only use for retaining a Herc fleet is to generate a UK-equivalent COMPASS CALL/COMMANDO SOLO platform full of EW, radio and other electronic attack gear that actually undermines the enemy will to fight, deceives him, blinds him, and disrupts his C2. Make it powerful enough and you can do standoff jamming outside the immediate threat zone. THAT is a specialist and highly effective niche capability that few other nations have – and THAT will add value, not some half-assed attempt to knock up a gunship.

    Any why on earth would anyone get rid of C17? It’s the most useful plane in the RAF inventory. It is being worked bloody hard and does what C130 and A400M cannot do.

  34. Never said anything about gunships TAS ;)

    It’s all about the about the specialist niches that add value.

    Because I do not know, as opposed to being a facetious question, when was the last time we shipped a C2 via C-17?

  35. The C17 is an interesting aircraft but if you look at its use you will a few flaws creep into the argument for retention.

    Yes it is hard worked, but how much of that is because there are no alternatives until A400M comes into service?

    Its main role in Afghanistan was as a troop transport because we didn’t have enough DAS equipped aircraft that could make use of Bastions 200 mile long runway. That is a spectacularly poor use of a the most expensive aircraft in the RAF’s service to operate and maintain.

    Whenever there was actually any heavy lifting to do it was done by AN124 and chartered aircraft

    We also do not use it for austere operations or air despatch of any kind.

    So, the C17 is mostly used for long range pallet delivery and the odd run with vehicles, plant and helicopters into locations that are well found with long runways and devoid of high levels of risk

    Now if you said, lets move our C17 fleet into a position where it can do air despatch and blend that with the future A400M and a Voyager fleet modified to the cargo variant then that would be a good thing.

    As for gunships, a niche capability perhaps, but an important one nonetheless and if you track back through the links at the top of this post you will see the rationale for making a roll on roll off EW system.

    Am being a bit provocative with this but it makes for an interesting discussion item

    ToC, the answer to your question is never.

    Some of the Warriors went to Afghanistan by C17 but I think Trojan etc went by AN124

  36. Commenting on more than just your eloquent posts, ToC. It’s not all about you, you know? Smiley face, whatever… C2 – Command and Control. Maybe I should have said C4I, much clearer…

  37. @ Barbarossa.

    I thing the Oto Melara would make a great gun system, but not in either Rapid 85rpm or Super-Rapid 120rpm. At those speeds , it would “Tear the Plane Apart”. Semi-Automatic would be much Safer and Controllable. And using the “Volcano” round far more Deadly. The 146 is a great plane, but realistically it’s not built to C-130 standards…

  38. @TAS

    Plus 1 from me.

    C2 question was about the MBT, my fault for mixing contexts, apologies. I genuinely did not know if we had shipped one or not. Question sparked by your comment that C-17 does what A400M doesn’t do. TD expanded on the concern that it may perform these tasks, but we’re not leveraging it.

    Appreciate, note and respect your C2/C4I degredation comment in the Command & Control sense. Elements such as COMPASS CALL/COMMANDO SOLO are amongst the reasons my opinions are swinging. Add to that items such as the HARVEST HAWK developments – and not the obvious derringer door gunship gumpf, talking along the lines of MCALS delivery of decoys – intermingled with such items as some swing-role assistance for EEZ SAR (ARTAMIS) and retaining a fleet starts to justify itself.

    Just a shame CHAMP (understandably) selected JASSM-ER rather than MALD-J/V as the initial vehicle.

  39. @ Think Defence, Moderator.

    Isn’t the Antonov An-124 manufactured in the Ukraine Republic. I’m fairly curtain the Ukraine’s could use the Influx of Currency…

  40. Sorry, so chartering is an option? Okay, so at the first intimation of a crisis, when everybody in the developed world starts looking for chartered aircraft to fly in aid, etc, we are relying on what – previous good customer behaviour? “Yes I know you’ve been such good customers in the past, but India just got there first, sorry.” Civilian agencies are not always willing to fly into a war zone. Plus, a grey tail with RAF written on it is a statement – news agencies do not check the hiring agreement when trying to work out who has just delivered stuff to an apron. A400M can lift a lot but not as much as the C17 nor as far, plus it isn’t here yet and remains relatively unproven, so for heavy loads we have a national capability. How we use it in the interim is almost irrelevant; yes we could have splashed out yet more mythical cash on hiring civvy aircraft to move stuff, but this is back to the same old argument that everybody blatantly ignores or doesn’t like because it gets you fewer toys – high end warfighting capabilities maintained at readiness. High end warfighting is just as much about moving shedloads of hardware quickly as it is about Typhoon, Astute and, erm, pongoes with shooty sticks (I nearly said FRES…oops!).

  41. Not arguing with that TAS but you cannot ignore the fact that chartered aircraft actually form a relatively large part of the lift matrix.

    I think ToC and I are perhaps being provocative when we say we would bin off the C17 but it is an interesting debating point because for all their fine capabilities, they are eye wateringly expensive to run and we more often than not, actually fail to use them in the roles they are actually designed for i.e. heavy drop and austere locations

    When we are delivering pallets, people and light vehicles, the C17 is extremely poor value for money, it just so happens that is what we use them for most of the time and into well found low risk locations. A Voyager cargo variant can do 90% of what we use the C17 for and in fact, carry more pallets and people by a long way, massively cheaper to boot.

    Interestingly, I think for a lot of the time we use them to deliver helicopters, something that France, Germany, Netherlands and others use AN-124’s for

    SALIS is a pool of heavy lift aircraft for use by European governments and therefore provides assured availability of 6 AN-124, of which the UK is a member of

    Increase that to 12 or 24 aircraft, then lets have the discussion !!

    Pooling and sharing and all that :)

  42. On the ‘grey tails’ flying in too HADR needing areas to get publicity when a cheaper aircraft could shift the same cargo from much closer ( why fly bags of rice from Brize 10,000km when its available 500km away ?) just to get media brownie points . Spend the hard won money efficiently and directly out of the DFiD budget . Granted if only airdrop or rough strips are available then fair enough but otherwise use commercial. If there’s none available as its all hired that by inference means enough is arriving anyway , doesn’t it? It does bug me I am afraid that there is rarely a government sponsored spokeman who doesn’t get in just how useful a 65,000t carrier will be in a HADR situation , maybe it would but its a warship not a vessel of mercy , build those specialist vessels and buy kit from the DFiD budget directly FFS.

  43. TAS – I see two options in any land domain strategy for future equipment; either assure the transport means is available for whatever weight/size equipment we buy, or make the weight/size of our equipment fit the transport means we have. Like in the US these two have become separated (hence the US giving serious consideration to GCV when its weight was running up towards 90t). In the UK the decision was made to drop C-130 limits before A-400M was in service and proven, leaving the RAF just C-17 as a guaranteed air bridge for the future combat armour. A-400M looks a certainty now (even with the Spanish accident last week) but that can’t lift Challenger/Titan/Trojan/CRARRV, nor even Scout-SV when combat ready. C-17 will remain the only RAF aircraft that can deliver tracked combat armour.

    Personally I think there is value in a set of combat armour (wheels or tracks I don’t care) that can use A-400M and even C-130 while still largely combat ready – perhaps just antennas and RPG screens to deploy on landing. Something to get to theatre fast and slow an opponent’s advance while the heavyweights trundle in on ships or trains. Something fast and mobile to sow confusion and uncertainty in the mind of the enemy. Something to restore the concept of tempo to the doctrine.

    The alternative is to be content to have only medium & heavy combat vehicles, in which case we really need bigger transport aircraft that can deal with the heavier cargo.

    Or we abandon the idea of rapid reaction and attend conflicts at our own modest pace trusting that the opposition politely wait for us before making their advance.

  44. Monkey, sorry shipmate but you severely underestimate the significance of getting UK branded assets into the public eye quickly. It has nothing to do with how much cargo you move or how many tents you deploy. It is all about influence and engagement – and if you think otherwise, sorry, go and speak to someone who works for the FCO or DfID who will tell you otherwise. The second and subsequent plane into the area can be a charter if you like, but the cameras will be there for the first one and it has to make the statement. UK contribution will be tiny anyway – so why try and move another 0.5% of the total aid effort when you can get 25% or more of the media coverage and send a message to your key audiences?

    TD – on the ‘eye-watering expense’, have we a handy comparison of charter costs vs. C17 own/operate cost? It’s all expensive – the point is about maintaining the capability and balancing it against demand. Come on, we’ve been here before. I’m sure your average Antonov charter costs in the millions – scale that up against the task loading placed on the C17 fleet and you quickly shoot down the ‘go commercial’ argument.

  45. @Chris

    Unfortunately despite Challenger being under the overall weight limit (at least last time it was trailed, I know it’s gained a few pounds since then) C-17 cannot move one as the loading process over stresses certain parts of the airframe, and I can only assume the same for other C2 derivatives, hence why they ride into theatre on Antanov’s when we need to move one by air.

  46. Shackvan – I didn’t know that but it is a – um – feature? of tracked vehicles that in cresting a ridge such as the top of a loading ramp the majority of the vehicle weight bears down on the ridge. Obviously in wheeled vehicles the floor loading goes where the wheels make contact with the floor; some multi-axle configurations also concentrate loads close to ridges – a 6×6 with an axle dead centre for example might well get close to balancing on a ridge if its steep enough. Tracked vehicles tend to have a longer wheelbase and more restricted suspension movement, both of which increase the chance of piling load onto the aircraft’s ramp/floor junction.

  47. TD, absolutely. And fertile ground for lots of assumptions, most of which have little basis in either reality or most parallel universes where people live in ISO containers.

  48. Deep breaths TD, I know that kind of container porn leaves you a bit light headed.

  49. Just reading the comments since my earlier post. From my perspective it really was a case of looking at yet another niche palleted system that could be used on existing aircraft we own, thus cutting the cost of MPA, close Air Support, Special Forces Insertion etc etc. IE a truly multi role aircraft, even when flying over Libya dropping guided bombs to cut the enourmous cost of flying Tornado/Typhoon/F35B’s (in the future) from Italy on any other similar operation. Not attacking heavily defended hard targets in Sam invested waters.
    The Second Part of the post regarding the BAe146 was the fact that there are other cheaper planes out there be they in RAF use or Second hand BAe146’s or C130’s that could be picked up, wrapped in the already existing Service/Supply Chain in place to provide cheap air frames. Any other suggestions ?
    Thirdly agree that UK RAF Aircraft turning up looks and buys more influance than a chartered Cargo Hauler from XTZ Airlines, if the Dfid Budget is recharged the cost as in the example of Nepal the cost of one C17 and 4 Chinooks sitting on the tarmac in India. (Plus all the associated staffing costs). The problem I see is the Armed Forces in General (ie HMS Bulwark in the Med now) get asked to do other Dfid/FOC work without any of the captial cost being paid for by those departments. Once the capacity has gone because of cuts Dfid/FOC and the PM will not have the luxuary of picking the phone up to the RAF/RN/Army and saying can you pop over to X and help out.
    Finally I would not look at cutting C17 or A400 numbers for this I would look at the billions about to be spent on buying 6 to 10 P8’s to do one role (MPA, which at a later date may be expanded at yet more cost as UK aircraft have to be remanufactered to excpet new Sensors), plus the SF budget which is being designated in supplying them with another option other than the A400, plus Sentinal Replacement/Operating Cost. Wrap those budgets up in to one multi role airframe which we already own 12 examples of and you are looking at some tasty savings.
    With the Chancellors axe looming large post May 7th I think we need to be maximising what we have, I appreciate all the comments above regarding the absolute suitability but the chances of getting a new Awacs Plane, A Sentinal Replacement, A C130 Replacement for SF, an MPA P8 are pretty slim, so start thinking of ways of rolling jobs in to one airframe or look to cut capability. The choice is yours and the Otto Melara solution shows what can be done with a small team, a few good ideas and a bit of get out there and just do it attitiude. So could we have C130 or BAe 146 doing those roles ? Is their another Airframe out their that could do the lot, but somehow somewhere you’ve got to save money or start walking to places.

  50. There’s no accurate number of IOS (TEV/FEV) Container’s World Wide. But, suffice to say it’s a S@#TLOAD. Put them to use, or get prepared to be Buried by them…

  51. @Tas
    I do understand ,it just grates that the skew of our spending on such HADR response is more to gain political capital than to save lives. Could the same effect be generated by a fleet of UK Aid livered planes , brilliant white with 20′ high letters in bright red along the sides have the same effect whilst coming directly from the Dfid budget , they do have £12,000,000,000 to play with PER year or would that eat into their £1000 per day consultancy fees you mentioned in an earlier post ;-) That would never do would it, jobs for the boys and all neatly lined up till retirement at UK taxpayers expense … Oh and the needy’s lives but what the hey …..

  52. “Finally I would not look at cutting C17 or A400 numbers for this I would look at the billions about to be spent on buying 6 to 10 P8’s to do one role (MPA, which at a later date may be expanded at yet more cost as UK aircraft have to be remanufactered to excpet new Sensors)”

    One role? Seriously? If an MPA is single role I’d be fascinated to find out what constitutes multi-role.

  53. Thanks Chuck, that bears thinking about. How is the ammo usage if both guns (M2 and M134) had intelligent people behind them, not spray and pray terrorist wannabes?

    I suspect the real reason we used the CIS50 was because they were simply available.

  54. TAS, before you can even convert any transport bird to an EW platform, Transport Command would already be crying. Every transport craft is precious, there are too few birds for too many jobs already. No country is like the US where they have so many excess planes they can toss a few out for other roles, the rest of us barely have enough to meet necessary taskings.

  55. Ginge

    You can loiter a c130 over somewhere like Afghanistan dropping guided weapons wouldn’t of thought you have had many volunteers for doing that over Libya. Who says the SF will give to use something other than a a400m they maybe told no after all the SF chinooks worked out well. The c130 replacement is the a400m in UK service.

    Sentinel doesn’t actually need replaced it maybe scrapped to save money but it’s perfectly capable and an unique UK assets much in demand.

    What did the otto gun pallet show? They put there product on an existing aircraft certified to have a role as gunship by placing a gun out a door. I think the Americans may have started doing that with the Dakota. On Unpressurised slow cargo planes this is a relatively straight fwd option it’s not when you come to something like a .bae146. Note the flight global article Toc posted when Lockheed are talking about hard attaching sensors before getting carried away with pallets.

    Tas is correct mpa are very expensive but they are multi role.

    Secundius no idea what your point was regarding cn295 already being a gunship.

  56. Just had a thought. Wasn’t the main reason why aircraft these days have round/oval windows because square holes give the worst metal fatigue in pressurization/depressurization situations? IIRC some old planes even crashed when their window frames blew out. Now extrapolate that into square holes cut into plane hulls.

  57. @Observer
    That was the original Comet. It had square windows, which concentrated the stress at the corners of the windows. Coupled with metal fatigue, it was a fatal combination and resulted in the loss of 3 aircraft only a year or so after they entered service in 1952. They were radically redesigned with oval windows and structural reinforcement and some flew on until 1997 or thereabouts. I flew in them a few times in the 60s and once in the mid-70’s from Cairo to London when our aircraft (probably a Boeing of some sort) developed a fault on the earlier leg from Riyadh (I think, might have been Baghdad). It wasn’t until that last flight that I realised just how bl**dy noisy they were, particularly if you were sat behind the engines!

  58. @ Observer.

    I think it’s more to do with weight. A fully loaded CIS50 (12.7x99mm) weighs 66.14-pounds vs. the M2’s (12.7x99mm) 127.87-pounds, 51.73% of the M2’s weight…

  59. I thought we were comparing the M-134 vs the CIS 50? We have the M-134 on naval vessels, but we don’t use M2s.

  60. @ Observer.

    AN/M2’s Single and Twin mountings are used on US Naval Destroyers, LCS’s Cruiser’s, Gator-Freighter’s, Mk. VI Boat’s, etc. Dillon M134 Minigun’s on 11-meter RIB Boats…

  61. No secundius, I meant that I suspect we used CIS 50s as door guns because they were more commonly available instead of the M-134s, not if the US uses them (M2 and M134s). I know you use them. My question is on the point where if the M-134 is a superior system, why not use it? My guess is probably due to the supply of weapons. They got a lot more CIS 50s than M-134s.

  62. @Observer and ACP
    Not forgetting the last two Comet’s built where the prototype airframes for the Nimrod series , not bad career for an aircraft that flew first in 1948 . The American passenger jet designers pretty much all admitted if the Comet hadn’t been first the structural issues would of been repeated on their early designs too , being first isn’t always best :-(

  63. @ monkey.

    The problem with the COMET, was the View Ports/Cabin Windows. They were TOO BIG, they were more suited for a plane flying a 1/3 the speed 150mph vs. 450mph. The stresses imparted to the fuselage to stretch and contract between the Low-High-Low Flights, cause Micro-Fractures to from. Eventually Ripping the Plane Apart At the Seam (no pun intended)…

  64. @ Observer.

    The CIS50’s are better suited from Longer-Ranged Threats, while the M134 Minigun’s. Are a Melee Weapon of Choice. Nobody is going the F@#k-Around a gun system firing 4,500-rpm. An Anti-Boarding Party/Suppression Weapon. Think of it as a 21st century version of a 18th century Volley Gun or Canister Shot Round…

  65. It wasn’t that the comets windows were too big ( 787 and a number of the large biz jets have windows of similar size today) it was that the corner rads of the windows were too small which created a stress concentration this was further exacerbated by placing c’sk rivets too close to the window cutouts. The final bit of bad luck was not having appropriate crack stoppers between window frames, hoop stress causing out of plane bending just opened the cracks to a cascading failure. Fatigue crack grow was simply not really understood back then. Comet doomed British commercial aviation but made the UK air accident investigation branch a world leading organisation.

  66. @observer: I freely admit to knowing little about the CIS beyond skimming it’s wiki but I’d guess it’s the same decision every other country faces. .50 or 7.62 Gatling. You can get .50 Gatling of course but put 2 of them in your bird along with ammo feeds and plumbing and you’ve really cut down on usable payload.

    Not to mention being locally produced is always a leg up in such things.

  67. @secundus: Just not right, you’re confusing calibre performance for gun performance. It’s not a 21st century canister shot it’s a 21st vehicle optimised (H)MG, honestly that comparison better suits the less accurate but more powerful CIS.

    You’re right about .50 out performing M134 at range but that’s because .50 beats 7.62 at range. A .50 Gatling would be the clear winner in terminal performance, were it a case of comparing like to like.

  68. @ Chuck.

    What on Earth are you talking about, Sir. The M134 Minigun is to the 21st century, What Canister Shot was to the 18th century…

  69. I do get a bit of what Chuck is getting at and calling an M-134 canister is a bit off considering that we still do use canister and their effects are rather different. M-134 is probably wonderful for suppression, something canister cannot do. Canister is purely a killing shot and has either too low a ROF for suppression if you are talking about old cannons or too low an ammo capacity for sustained suppression (IIRC 30 rounds of tank ammo only had about 3-5 rounds of canister, you can’t use it too often).

    From what I can see, we were talking about 2 factors, one is the calibre (7.62 or 0.5) and the other is the system (gas operated or electrically operated multi-barrel). I can see a GPMG used as a door gun (7.62 gas operated), 0.5 cal used as a door gun (0.5 cal gas operated), 7.62 gatling used as a door gun (7.62 electrically operated) or 0.5 cal gatling (0.5 cal electrically operated) but like Chuck, I think that 0.5 cal gatling is pushing it a bit and should be for more dedicated gunships.

    I just had a thought that target selection might also be a factor. 7.62 is fine for B-vehicles and infantry but 0.5 might allow you to take some light armour on as well, especially if you were using SLAP and aiming at top hatches.

  70. @ Observer.

    During WW2, it was common practice for Fighter Pilots to “Skip” rounds under a tank to hit the Escape Hatches. If you seen Gun Footage of this procedure you’ll notice how Devastating it was on German Tanks…

  71. @Secundius: Canister shot is to the 21st century what canister shot was to the 18th century. That’s why you’ll never find a FOB without canister arranged in 360(Claymores). Canister is a single shot short range area weapon. Gatling is a sustained rapid fire long range point weapon. The antithesis of canister. The melee weapon of choice like in the 18th century is the bayonet.

    Perhaps you missed my earlier post explaining, but once again; Gatlings are the most accurate machine guns on Earth by a clear margin(factor of 9 according to their largest manufacturer) along with other advantages. Not the wall of lead with massive spread as you see in movies and particularly computer games.

    I know ROF = Spread is intuitive but, completely incorrect with Gatlings. The faster a Gatling fires the more accurate it gets.

    Gatlings with never replace gas operated outright but they do outperform them outright.

    The math is simple. It’s a machine gun, machine guns are about maximising firepower within the constraints placed upon them, normally weight or cost;

    Most firepower for least cost = Gas operated HMG
    Most firepower for least weight = Gas operated LMG
    Most firepower = Gatling

  72. Interesting secundius, any links to the footage? I know of tankers skipping their rounds off the bottom of a turret to bounce the round into the driver’s hatch against the very tough German tanks, but first time I heard of aircraft doing so. Seems a bit redundant to me, hitting the top is more than enough to penetrate.

  73. @ Observer.

    Does British Television have a History Channel, or any specials of or about WW2? I would inquire at a Library, Museum, YouTube, or something equivalent. I’m not Up on the British Media System, I’m using American/Canadian as a reference guide…

  74. Not British. I know of the tactic you mentioned, but it was quoted specifically for tanks, not aircraft. Aircraft did not seem to need this kind of tactics as their rockets and cannons to top armour usually did the job, not to mention the angle for air attack is usually totally wrong to try skipping rounds (i.e too high an angle of impact). The only clue I have to that is a discredited P-47 article.

  75. Ok found something but the video is also rather instructive

    Saw the tracer rounds? All over the place. Apparently it is pretty hard to aim while flying. Not sure if you could be so good that you can calculate ricochet with that kind of aiming. And from the looks of it, a side attack is still the SOP.

  76. @Mark,

    A tad unfair to lay the blame for the demise of the UK aircraft industry at the Comet’s feet. The UK produced 3 good jet airliners after the Comet, the BAC 111, the Trident and the VC10 – all excellent aircraft. We also had a large share in another world-beater, Concorde. The VC10 and Concorde still hold the trans-atlantic crossing records for sub-sonic and supersonic passenger aircraft. I think the general failure of British industrial management, the actions of certain individuals in the trade unions (many of whom seem to have taken Moscow gold for their efforts) and the Governments failure to support UK industry (indeed, in some cases they seem to have actively sabotaged it) are the true culprits

  77. @ Observer.

    In most cases, they were either P-47 Thunderbolts or P-38 Lightnings. So, Western Europe? France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and possibly Italy and Sicily. There may have been other Aircraft Type’s. But those were only two I knew of for certain…

  78. @ Observer.

    As I recall, the Pilot aimed at a point Just Ahead or Behind the Target and Skip or Ricochet the rounds Under the Tank. The Actual Practice goes back before the Revolutionary War. It was a means of Increasing the Range of the Cannon Ball. The Practice was usually done by the Best Skilled Gun Crews…

  79. secundius, that would only work if you flew straight at the target from the front or the back at a very low angle, which is why I have my doubts on if it actually worked in real life. The pilots might believe that they were skipping the rounds when something else was actually happening. Cannon fire or 0.5 cal fire to the top of the tank usually does the job, tank hatches can’t be armoured to heavily or they won’t be able to open.

    You serving in the military secundius? I’m currently with a recce unit attached to an armour brigade.

  80. @ Observer.

    I was an Armament and Ordnance Specialist in the US. Army, from 1973 to 1981. And worked on Bell AH-1S Cobra’s. To get a proper deflection shot, you have to be literally Clipping the Tree Branches at Low Altitudes. The only way I can describe it is a Kamikaze Run, 27(deg) or less. And at that Angle and Speed, there’s a Good Chance you’ll hit the Tree’s trying to pull out of the dive. And some pilot’s actually did…

  81. AH-1S eh? Daft design them, who puts a melee weapon; the modern equivalent of canister shot, on an attack helicopter that needs range and accuracy? Those folks at Bell, mad I tell you; MAD!

    /s

  82. Really not sure what the Cheyenne or it’s cancellation has to do with anything.

  83. If you’re talking about cancelled attack helicopters, there is also the RAH-66 Comanche.

  84. @Chuck: as I remember it, the AH56 was a fast compound helicopter that’s preferred attack mode was a high speed pass, whether firing guns or missiles, rather than the AH64’s “hover at distance, preferably screened mostly by cover, and ripple off missiles” approach. Given what @secundius was saying, I suppose it’s just about relevant :-)

  85. I’m thinking guided CRV7 and whether the perpendicular airflow from shooting a rocket out of an open aircraft door would present a problem. Mounted above the gun on that palletised setup it could give you extra options.

  86. @WF: I know what it is and does, but the designers of it and the cobra both went for Gatlings for the reasons I’ve already stated so I’m a bit stumped. If the Cheyenne had a Gatling and the AH-1 didn’t it might of been a good point, but Cobra has an even bigger Gatling a cannon in fact.

    I wouldn’t waste to much time trying to figure it out I’m pretty sure he was just scrambling for something to wrap around the oddly capitalised “LOSER” in a post aimed at me.

  87. Nice succinct summation Chuck
    I would add in one thing
    Fastest rate of response = gas operated MG

  88. @Observer
    The tanks deployed in Vietnam because of the OPFOR’s lack of armour carried a lot more anti-personnel, typically Beehive flechette rounds , great flor clearing foliage to view concealed bunkers as well as slaughter.I guess the armours load out will be tailored to the potential need.

  89. @Monkey: Nah the spin up then fire; that’s another movie thing. They fire instantly, just don’t achieve maximum ROF instantly. There’s no trigger delay. Unless you were referring to something else?

    If I correct any more misconceptions about Gatling’s I’m sending Dillon Aero an invoice. :P

  90. @ A Different Gareth.

    Perpendicular to WHAT? Jet, Propeller, Helicopter, Tilt-Rotor?? Side Launched, Forward Launched, or Ejection Launched??? It’s a Generic Question…

  91. ACP

    The Comet did end any change of gaining access to a mass market as 707 exploited its issues there also wasn’t a great deal,size wise between comet and the early 737s what might of been. The civil aerospace industry is still strong in this country it pays my bills and many others besides. VC-10 while good suffered from the typical UK ministry decision to way over spec it then refuse to pay the price associated with it, that’s why it never sold in the numbers envisaged. But was very good hot or high in short strips and what a sound the RR Conway engines made.

    Chris looks interesting will check it out on iplayer

  92. Hollywood. The home of a thousand wrong ideas.

    monkey, I can’t think of why a loaded round can’t fire immediately. In fact, I think that with the M-134’s short barrel length, you can actually bring it to bear on a target quicker as the arc the barrel traverses is much shorter.

    As for the Vietnam loadout, that doesn’t change my point, canister is still a specialized round, not general purpose.

  93. @ Chuck.

    I believe the Bell AH-1A Cobra, actually had (2) Chin-Mounted 7.62x51mmNATO Miniguns. The One I Work on the Bell AH-1S Tow Cobra, had a Chin-Mounted (1) 3-barrel 20x102mmR Auto Cannon and Up-To (8) BGM-71 TOW’s…

  94. Mark,

    I accept that it didn’t help, but the success of the 707 was more due to the fact that the passenger experience was better than the Comet, which was truly deafening – after the last flight I took in one, my hearing was still affected a week later – the 707 was still noisy compared to modern aircraft, but far more pleasant than the Comet. I would, however stick to my position – UK industrial management of the 60s and 70s was extremely poor and simply could not compete with the slicker US companies – they could sell snow to Eskimos compared to the UK – we would have struggled to give water away in a desert. Coupled with our massive industrial problems, that resulted in poor productivity and quality control and we simply p****d away any technical advantage that we might have started with. As for my comments about the Government, don’t forget that it was a Labour Government that gave jet engine technology to the Soviets (on the condition that they only used it for civil aircraft – it took them mere months to reverse-engineer the RR Nene engines for the Mig 15).
    The VC-10 was a great aircraft – one of my favourites. Quiet, 3 x 3 seating and much more seat and leg-room than today’s aircraft. I’ve just realised, in reading up on the history, that I quite probably flew on D-ARTA, the prototype, when it was leased to Middle East Airlines in the late 60s

  95. All of the above is backed up by the detail (incl. politics) in the wonderful account “Empire if the Skies”.

    It is robably from a different source, but no one at the time wondered why some in the Soviet delegation visiting RR factory turned up in soft soled Arctic boots (did they wear a fur hat, to camouflage the primary purpose?).
    – the crucial break-thru in reverse engineering was to find out the metal mix for turbine blades… easy, when you tok home some shavings ground into the boot soles

  96. secundius,

    If you had a rocket mounted above the gun on the system the article is about, it’ll be firing into air that is moving sideways past the door. Rockets would accelerate slower and have more drag against that sideways flow of air than the rounds from the gun so I’ve no idea if this presents a problem. But if it worked it would provide more options than just the gun.

  97. @ Observer.

    I would think the reason why the CIS50 is used over the M134. Is because the CIS50’s are locally produced in Singapore and the M134 is not a Licensed produced weapon system. Dillon, as far as I know, doesn’t License or Franchise there M134 Minigun’s, too anyone…

  98. @ Chuck.

    The only reason the CIS50 is less accurate then the AN/M2, is weight. The AN/M2 weight Compensate’s for the Recoil produced by the 12.7×99 round. As far a being more powerful, that depends on what Propellant is being used. It’s like comparing the Sten SMG with the Sterling SMG…

  99. Wasn’t that what I said, though indirectly? They have a lot more of it because of local production. Sorry if it wasn’t clear. From what Chuck said, the M-134 might be a better system choice but I think it wasn’t used due to availability. I do know they have a stock of it in reserve though, when our LPDs were deployed to Aden for pirate hunting, they were fitted, but disappeared after they came back. Sort of a “fitted for but not with” situation. And ironically were never officially acknowledged by our MoD. Pity these days there are things like the internet and bloggers. I swear those buggers are part squirrel in their DNA, they hide things by default. Not that it is a bad thing. You don’t really want your military capabilities to be open source.

  100. @ A Different Gareth.

    Are the Gun/Rocket Launcher Combination, Wing Mounted or Fuselage Mounted. And if Fuselage Mounted are they Internally Mounted or Externally Mounted. If you Wing Mount them, then you have a Oversized Attack Plane. If you Mount them of the Exterior Fuselage perpendicular with the Airframe. Then you have to mount them at the Mid-Section, to avoid the Back Blast being Ingested into the Jet Engine Air Intakes. If you Mount them Internally, then use Launch Tubes take just protrudes the Exterior of the Other Side of the Plane. That way the Back Blast has somewhere to go, but again avoid the Jet’s Engine Air Intakes…

  101. @ Observer.

    Hey, we have everything in common, EXCEPT for the Language. My English to English software isn’t doing doing so well…

  102. ” My English to English software isn’t doing doing so well…”

    Ah, what an irony irony. :)

  103. @ACC – thanks for the book reference – I’ll have to get a copy

  104. @ Barbarossa.

    I think your thinking CESTOL and Not STOL. CESTOL, Cruise Efficient Short-Takeoff and Landing is 3,000-feet Landing Strip’s for aircraft capable of Mach 0.8. Which the 146/RJ, is classified as. STOL is 1,500-feet Landing Strips of planes capable of

  105. @ A Caribbean Perspective.

    I remember back in 1955, when the Boeing 367-80 (later 707) made is maiden flight. The Pilot was so impressed with the Aircraft, that in his excitement made Two Complete High-Speed Barrel Rolls in the Aircraft before landing. I would Love to see Video Footage of the Camera Crew’s that were in the Passenger Cabin during the event…

  106. Ref barrel rolling 707s – as I understand it if performed correctly the barrel roll is very benign; while the aircraft loses height the airframe should experience comfortable positive G throughout? Looping big aircraft is different – the loop is so long and lumbering that it would be difficult to enter the loop with high enough speed to still be pulling positive G at the top of the loop, so the wings and fuselage would be experiencing all sorts of wrong stresses. It would take a strong and well designed aircraft to manage it, right?

    https://stoeptalk.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/can-a-jumbo-loop-the-loop/

    Near the end of the page, you will note an ex-RAF pilot stating that VC-10 did indeed perform a loop. But then again it was the second most stunning and beautiful airliners (after Concorde) and almost certainly the toughest ever built. If I was to choose an airliner in which to do reckless manoeuvres, VC-10 would be very high on the list.

  107. Actually sec, regarding the accuracy of the CIS 50 vs M2, that might not be totally true, the CIS comes with an inbuilt recoil compensator. It was basically an upsized Ultimax-100 system wise, which while light weight, definitely does not suffer from recoil much. Recoil for that is about 1/2 that of an M-4 (personal impression). Sullivan’s hard numbers said 1/4 but I could not feel it to that extent, I can only say “at least 1/2”.

    I think the bigger problem was that they took a low recoil HMG and slapped it on a soft mount that lets the system “run back” to absorb recoil. That turned accuracy into crap. It probably made sense back then. If you were in the service in the 80s, did you remember the concept called “overmatch”? Basically if the enemy used a GPMG for something, you tried to one up him by using something one class+ higher, so they made a HMG light-weight and low recoil, which worked. Then slapped it on a light weight mount for use on lighter vehicles. Which did not work too well. My gut call is that the CIS 50 is slightly more accurate than the M2 (by a negligible practical amount), but the system was let down by a bad mount.

  108. @ Observer.

    I left the US Army in 1981, my only knowledge of the CIS50. Is that’s it’s a Bantamweight (12.7×99), I was unaware of the Recoil Compensator. As far a Gun Mounting’s, they probably tried to Bantamweight that too…

  109. Oh the gun works fine. The mounting…. might have needed a bit more thought.

    You seen the vids on the Ultimax? Think these 2 are the most informative. The anti-recoil system works spectacularly well, especially combined with a low ROF.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9P2-hdtK3Wc

    It’s honestly one of the few guns I’ll class as “outliers” to standard convention. The CIS 50 does not reach that standard, I’ll rate that one as “near equal/slightly inferior” to the M2 with just a bit of weight advantage. The U-100 vs the M-249 is a much more definitive gap.

  110. @ Observer.

    Are the CIS50’s compatible with the old gun mounts, or were the new gun mounts totally redesigned aswell. With the U-100, the video spends more time on him, then what he was shooting at. The few seconds of the video, looks like a Sten SMG at long-range. No accuracy what’s so ever. I’d wish the Bottom Video was Split Screened, with one Long-Range Imagery and second a Tighter Scale on the Targets. Again, it doesn’t look like he hit anything. No even the Berm behind the target, looks as though it was actually hit…

  111. Secundius, the old mounts were compatible…then they redesigned them. Which goes to show, sometimes you should just leave well enough alone.

    I believe the videos were to show the controllable nature of the weapon. If the weapon is easily controllable, you can always “walk” the rounds back onto your target, which is “accuracy” in a way. They used to teach “walking” the burst and “beaten zones” for MGs. Don’t hear them doing it so much these days. Come to think of it, that should have been a lot more common in your time wasn’t it?

  112. @ Observer.

    The only Truly Portable Video Camera back in 1973, when I went into the Army belonged too NASA. The Army had video camera’s, but they only slightly smaller then the ones used by TV Media Studio’s. It wasn’t until the Mid 1980’s, that they started using those Semi-Bulky Portable Video Camera’s with Cables running back to the Media Vans. All the Projector “Video’s” (if you can call it that) was on 16mm Reel-To-Reel, of stock Projections going back to the Late 1930’s to about 1970 (Training Films)…

  113. FYI: I found something you Guys might be interested in. In 1991, the Russian Federation cancelled the Yakovlev Yak-141 Freestyle. And SOLD all data and planes to Locheed-Martin, The Aircraft looks a lot like the F-35 JSF program…

  114. Yeah, that’s very old news sec. LM took the lift fan design from the “Yak-41”. Hell, think LM was a actually a partner for the Yak-41 development for a time.

    BTW, what was with the talk on video cameras?

  115. @ Observer.

    The last paragraph of your comment talk about Videos and Something More Common to me while I was in the Army. Without a Point of Reference to Work With, I didn’t know What the Hell you were Talking About. So assumed, wrongly I see know, that your were talking about Training Films…

  116. Go look it up sec.

    As for the videos, they are not for training, they are to show the lack of recoil for the gun systems. The same system that was used for the CIS 50, so the “light weight = more recoil” paradigm is not exactly correct in these cases because their is an external factor (recoil compensation system).

  117. @ Observer.

    I’m really not all that interested in the CIS50, or it’s problems. So, I’ll let you guy Kick-Can some more between yourselves…

  118. @ Observer.

    Yeah, and the Convair Model 200, Rockwell International FV-12, Hawker Siddeley P.1127 Kestral, Hawker Siddeley P.1154, Dassault Balzac V, EWR VJ-101, Vought V-173 Flylin Pancake, and Vought XF5U Flying Flapjack, too…

  119. Yak-41/41M/141 is the same aircraft. Just different public/classified designations.

    It doesn’t use a Lift Fan, instead two smaller turbojets. Yakovlev (and LM…and RR…and BAE…) discovered the three main problems with this arrangement:

    1) Hot gas ingestion;
    2) Run on surge at high revolutions; compounding the next point
    3) Difficulty coordinating all three engines output.

    This is what lead to the F-35 arrangement of a cold lift system at the front.

    Cold lift fan to avoid hot gas problems and directly coupled to the engine.

    The RR three bearing swivel nozzle, whilst similar to Yakovlevs two bearing approach actually derives from Hawker Siddeley and Bristol work.

    One of the BS.100 engine configurations used a three-post system, rather than a four post bifurcated exhaust layout though I don’t think it made it to one of the manufactured prototypes.

    A number of later “Harrier” designs also used this three-post layout including some of Hawker Siddeley’s 1200 series in the 70’s, but most publicly the P.1214 “Star Wars Fighter” and the very promising P.1216 of the 80’s necessitated swivel nozzles. Just a shame the latter design ran into both Eurofighter and Congressional politics.

  120. You certainly did a lot of unnecessary things. lol

    ToC got my point. The Yak-41 was the original designation for the Yak-141 before it was changed, so calling it a Yak-41 isn’t wrong.

  121. Incidentally there’s been work on swivel nozzles in the US for considerable time too.

    BS, RR, GE and PW all have patents from the 1960’s in the US. Most of the BS/RR ones are international transliterations of non-classified UK work.

    The Convair 100(?) in particular is the same arrangement as the Yak-41 with lift jets and a two-bearing. Think PW did all the propulsion work for that one, hardware production in the 70’s based on design work starting in the 60’s.

  122. You to stop making it sound like I made a mistake when there was no mistake at all. Sir.

    Minor thing, let it go.

  123. @ Observer.

    I’m just surprised, that it isn’t better Known then it is. As for possible reason the US Military hasn’t adopted on it yet, is. In the United States, in order for a Company to compete in a Military Contract Competition. The Company has to have at least a Seven-Year Association with a Established US. Military Contractor. Before being able too Solo Compete in Competitions, in other words a Sponsorship Program or Sub-Contracting…

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