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Subject: USAF Special Ops Developing C-27 Gunship
Softwar    7/28/2008 9:13:18 AM
Aviation Week & Space Technology 07/28/2008 , page 30 Air Force Special Operations Command (Afsoc) plans to buy a single C-27 by October for use as an AC-XX Gunship Lite prototype. The Pentagon wants $32 million in a $1.8-billion Fiscal 2008 reprogramming request to procure the aircraft. Another $11.5 million is expected for feasibility and engineering analysis of various sensors and armaments. The Army and Air Force are developing the C-27J with an L-3/Alenia North America team. The smaller gunship, if procured in numbers, would augment the massive firepower offered by the AC-130 fleet. Meanwhile, Afsoc has abandoned plans to outfit new AC-130U gunships with a common 30-mm. gun after misfires in airborne testing.
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doggtag       7/29/2008 10:41:22 AM
Until hearing about the stoppages/misfires,
I'd almost have expected that the trials aboard the AC-130 with the 30mm Mk44 gun were primarily on the grounds of testing it for aircraft integration, that it would've then become the primary gun for an AC-27.
I doubt the 25mm GAU-12 gat really gives them the on-target accuracy they'd prefer in some scenarios (the Chain Gun's lower rate of fire should've equated to a more stable firing, and henceforth greater on-target accuracy and minimal dispersion, downrange.
It leaves me wondering: were the Chain Gun's deficiencies the result of ineptness of the system's integrators trying to get the gun and its components mounted and functionally successful in the AC-130?
Because it seems to me that the M61 Vulcan family, the 40mm guns, numerous other aircraft-mounted cannon (20-30mm) over the years, and even the Chain Gun family mounted in AFVs,
there seems to be minimal issues nowadays with reliability in all those guns over the years, in all their respected platforms and various mounts (even if many of those guns had teething troubles, the Chain Gun family itself has had a couple decades to get the majority of kinks and errors worked out of its systems to function reliably enough...providing the techies who develop all the associated feed mechanisms and other components know what they're doing).
So I don't really see that any such issues (stoppages, misfires, other malfuctions of gun or feed mechanisms) are wholly gun-related alone.
Perhaps is it because the gun barrel may not have been braced sufficiently enough?
Sticking out the side of the AC-130's airframe several feet, succumbing to the wind shear around the aircraft's fuselage,
maybe that generated some form of excessive undesireable barrel flexing, that could've jammed a round partway down the barrel (such misfires aren't a pretty sight, when the propellant gases have no choice but to be vented out thru the breech area)....?
I'm wondering then,
what would be a good gun armament then for an AC-27?
Because there's no chance in hell the C-27's airframe could handle the recoil of a side-firing 105mm howitzer, perhaps not even a recoil-reduced 120mm mortar mounted in one of those recent cradles that lessens the peak recoil impulses.
And without any kind of gun for the gunship to use in its characteristic target-strafing orbit, you might as well use any number of other tactical aircraft, UAVs, and helicopters to delpoy guided bombs, missiles, and whatever other precision ordnance trips your fancy.
Be interesting to see if they do attempt an aerial integration of the 40mm CTAI gun, if just for capability trials (if they can't get the 30mm Chain Gun to work properly, then it's also doubtful that a Super 40 model would work, either).
Anyone care to speculate on an adequate gun for an AC-27?
I seriously doubt that they'd be content arming it with a sole (or two) 25mm GAU-12.
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