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Subject: JCA/CJ-27 Gunship
reefdiver    9/28/2007 11:40:31 AM
AC-27 with a 30mm sounds like a good idea. Maybe they could add a pod of Viper Strikes for good measure. The question I have is will they be able to free up any of the CJ-27 production for this purpose? http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2007/09/airforce_jca_gunship_070926/ h**p://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2007/09/airforce_jca_gunship_070926/ Will JCA become the next blue gunship? By Erik Holmes - Staff writer Posted : Friday Sep 28, 2007 5:32:57 EDT The Air Force is eyeing the Joint Cargo Aircraft for more than just hauling pallets, the service?s top uniformed leader said Monday. Throw a couple guns on there, and you?ve got a minigunship. ?We?ve ... talked in terms of looking at a variant of this airplane that looks a lot like a gunship with a 30mm gun,? Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley told reporters. Speaking at the Air Force Association?s Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition, Moseley said the Air Force is taking the 40mm and 25mm guns out of its AC-130U gunships and replacing them with 30mm guns. ?If that works,? Moseley said, ?then could it be adapted to this airplane to provide additional capacity and capability to Special Ops Command?? AC-130s have proved effective in the fight against terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, but there are only 25 of them in the Air Force?s inventory. The Joint Cargo Aircraft is a C-27 Spartan that will be built by a team comprising L-3, Boeing and Alenia Aeronautica, a unit of the Italian aeronautics and defense company Finmeccanica. The current contract is for 40 planes through 2011, but the president's fiscal 2008 budget lays out purchases through fiscal 2013, for a total of 78 aircraft between the Army and the Air Force.
 
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smitty237       9/28/2007 7:46:42 PM
I can't understand why the United States seems to be the only country that employs gunships.  A couple of Latin American countries, such as El Salvador, did it in the 80's and 90's with C-47s, but with US guidance.  Every modern air force in the world uses modern cargo aircraft, but almost no one else fits them with guns and uses them in the support role.  The Russian had thousands of cargo aircraft, but to my knowledge the only time Russian cargo aircraft have ever been used to attack ground targets is when they have been used by Third World nations as makeshift bombers.  In those instances bombs were simply pushed out the cargo door as the aircraft flew over an enemy position. 
 
Does anyone else know of any other countries that are converting cargo aircraft into gunships?  If not, why do you think that is?  It can't be that hard. 
 
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VelocityVector    Smitty   9/28/2007 8:19:40 PM

Not.  Doctrine and budget.  With mudmovers and helicopter gunships why spend on another asset which has limited application?  If you go the cheap route by just sticking some guns on a transport you're not going to reliably hit anything at night, in less than pristine weather or from above ten thousand feet.  The enemy can hear the aircraft approach and either conceal or hug your own troops/civilians to defeat attack or at least make it more costly.  Manpads become an issue too.  If you pursue the Spooky route then I claim the technical undertaking and expense WILL be considerable.  Think about what development and refinement has gone into those birds  -- the software challenge alone is pretty amazing.  I'm surprised the PRC hasn't latched onto the concept if for no other purpose than for internal control/"police work" but then infantrymen cost a whole lot less, can fight day or night, and are more flexible and persistent.

v^2

 
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sentinel28a       9/28/2007 9:36:19 PM
Colombia and El Salvador still operate AC-47s, to the best of my knowledge; they've even refitted them with turboprops.  The Russians have a sort-of gunship in their border patrol variant of the An-74, but it uses forward-fixed gunpods mounted on hardpoints like a helicopter, not side-firing weapons like our gunships.  I am rather surprised that the Russians never thought of using gunships in Afghanistan, as the technology behind it is dirt simple, but the Russians probably thought that carpet bombing villages and then coating them in poison gas was more efficient.
 
I like the idea of the AC-27J.  The AC-130 isn't getting any younger.  (Though I am partial to an AC-17.  Heh heh...too much Wingman.)
 
 
 
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Beryoza       9/28/2007 11:20:26 PM
I am rather surprised that the Russians never thought of using gunships in Afghanistan, as the technology behind it is dirt simple, but the Russians probably thought that carpet bombing villages and then coating them in poison gas was more efficient.

 


Not to mention landmines.
 
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