gatnerd

Military Guns and Ammunition

Hosted by gatnerd

This is intended for people interested in the subject of military guns and their ammunition, with emphasis on automatic weapons.

  • 3361
    MEMBERS
  • 191225
    MESSAGES
  • 3
    POSTS TODAY

Discussions

Squad Support Weapon   Army Guns 20+mm

Started 17-Jun by stancrist; 22436 views.
gatnerd

From: gatnerd

22-Jul

stancrist said:

Would incremental development really have made a difference?  It seems to me that the issues with OICW were not a result of the simultaneous development of a fire control and airburst munitions, but due to excessive weapon weight and a warhead that was too small

I think incremental improvement absolutely would have prevented OICW/XM29. Namely as starting with 40mm as the first increment would have likely prevented the pursuit of 20-25mm, or at least delayed it to a point where its failure wouldnt have mattered as an existing 40mm AB already would have existed. 

Likewise, incremental experience with early giant FCU's paired with a M16/M4+M203 would have likely disabused any fantasy of a semi auto grenade launcher+assault rifle+fcu combo, as the basic M4/M230/FCU already would have been quite heavy. 

Incrementally, if the FCU and AB were really nice, it also could have negated the pursuit of a multi shot grenade launcher, as the FCU+AB shell may have been found effective enough to not warrant a dedicated large launcher. 

...

Kind of further supporting this, after OICW/XM29 failed, we saw private industry basically replicate steps 1-6 on their own via incremental improvement. First a FCU for the MK47, then STK and Rheinmetall developing AB 40x53 and their own FCU's, then development of 40x51MV and 40X46ER with pre-fragmented casings, and now here we are with SSW as the dedicated multi shot 40x51mm ab launcher.

gatnerd

From: gatnerd

22-Jul

schnuersi said:

In contrast to what one might think aerodynamics are very important for subsonic munitions

How would the shape of 40mm be improved for subsonic aerodynamics?

schnuersi

From: schnuersi

22-Jul

gatnerd said:

How would the shape of 40mm be improved for subsonic aerodynamics?

The shape itself allready is pretty good. The boat tail of the base could be more pronounced.
A smaller diameter but longer shell of the same mass would have less frontal area and thus less drag.
A fully optimised projectile almost looks like a boat tail bullet with a long ogive and a fully rounded boat tail but moving backwards. The boat tail is actually the boat front. This of course would be an extreme but with a long small diameter projectile its far easier to get close to the optimum with a usefull and easy to produce ammo than with a short and stubby one like the typical 40 mm grenades.

schnuersi

From: schnuersi

22-Jul

Refleks said:

Like optics on rifles we're going to look back and wonder why we didn't do it sooner.

Well that is easy to answer. Because it was not concidered necessary. For several reasons.

The idea of taking out light AFVs with a grenade launcher was basically the reason why any funding was put in such systems during the cold war and in the immediate post cold war era. Infantry is simply not important enough in the grand scheme of things to warant much attention.

This does not means there was no solution for this problem at the time. It was to simply call for mortar or artillery fire. These are extremly good at taking out targets in defilade. Much better than a hand held weapon ever could be. So with proper organisation, training and equipment almost any infantry unit had this capability. For a long time actually. Just not the individual squad by itself.
The focus on infantry vs infantry combat and small units like platoons and squads and not actual battlefield formations of combined arms IMHO is a result of the GWoT with all its COIN and LIC.
As far as I can tell this has allready changed back. Yes militaries got smaller and the prefered tactical unit for HIC isn't the brigade anymore but the equivalent of a battalion. But this is still a rather larger combined arms formation with organic fire support assets. Which really changes the perspective on the "a squad needs to be able to do all by itself" approach. IMHO back to reasonable.

As for programs in general: Since the required resources for small arms are low in comparison to other defense programs, as you correctly point out, it means the attractivity is low. Its cheap, there is no prestige in it, its unattractive. So nobody really bothers.
The only exception usually is if a game changing, warefare revolutionising death ray is proposed. Such a program often is sexy and has prestige but its cost are more in the region of the more common programs. Which means it soaks up most funding available for small arms for a significant amount of time. Which often is very counterproductive if the program fails.

I don't think US procurement is so different from German or that of othe major nations. The details differ but the fundamentals are the same.

stancrist

From: stancrist

22-Jul

gatnerd said:

I think incremental improvement absolutely would have prevented OICW/XM29. Namely as starting with 40mm as the first increment would have likely prevented the pursuit of 20-25mm...

I agree it would likely have prevented 20-25mm ammo, but I doubt it would have prevented OICW. 

I think it would just have resulted in the OICW HE component being developed for 40mm ammo.

gatnerd said:

Likewise, incremental experience with early giant FCU's paired with a M16/M4+M203 would have likely disabused any fantasy of a semi auto grenade launcher+assault rifle+fcu combo...

I agree.  I think that a 40mm/5.56mm XM29 combo weapon would certainly have been dropped, and superseded by something like the XM25 in 40mm.

gatnerd said:

Incrementally, if the FCU and AB were really nice, it also could have negated the pursuit of a multi shot grenade launcher, as the FCU+AB shell may have been found effective enough to not warrant a dedicated large launcher. 

I very much doubt that.  The OICW concept was formed primarily for HIC.  Planning for operations against (near) peer opponents, I think the Army would have considered a multi-shot, semi-auto weapon necessary even in 40mm caliber.

gatnerd said:

Kind of further supporting this, after OICW/XM29 failed, we saw private industry basically replicate steps 1-6 on their own via incremental improvement. First a FCU for the MK47, then STK and Rheinmetall developing AB 40x53 and their own FCU's, then development of 40x51MV and 40X46ER with pre-fragmented casings, and now here we are with SSW as the dedicated multi shot 40x51mm ab launcher.

Yup.  Give the SSW the XM25's FCU and we'll be right where would've been had the OICW been developed in 40mm.

stancrist

From: stancrist

22-Jul

gatnerd said:

How would the shape of 40mm be improved for subsonic aerodynamics?

Like was done with 25mm?

stancrist

From: stancrist

22-Jul

Refleks said:

A decent intermediate step would have been giving up fantasies of taking out BRDM and BMP with your blooper and replaced the LV HEDP with  40mm MV firing bounding HE...

How much more effective is bounding HE versus HEDP? 

Way back at the beginning, the Army fielded bounding HE.

M79 40mm Grenade Launcher

The M79 grenade launcher is a single-shot, shoulder-fired, break-action grenade launcher which fires a 40x46mm grenade which used what the US Army called the...

nincomp

From: nincomp

22-Jul

The other way 'round.  More like an extended teardrop shape with the round part aiming foreword.  A long, gently tapered ogive mainly helps with supersonic projectiles.

gatnerd

From: gatnerd

22-Jul

stancrist said:

I very much doubt that.  The OICW concept was formed primarily for HIC.  Planning for operations against (near) peer opponents, I think the Army would have considered a multi-shot, semi-auto weapon necessary even in 40mm caliber

Thats possible.

The other option for HIC would be a 'OICW Lite' similar to FN's concept with the F2000 + Smart Grenade launcher, where 'volume of fire' is achieved by having all the riflemen in the squad issued an OICW. 

Its now possible to make an "OICW Lite" thats slightly lighter then the proposed NGSW Rifle once accessories are factored in:

Thales F90 MBR 16” w/ SL40 Grenade launcher = 9.44lbs 

Multi Ray 800 FCU= 1.54lbs

ACOG TA33+RMR+Mount = 0.875lbs

= 11.86lbs

Whether this is a validation of the OICW Lite concept, or an alarming note on the weight of the NGSW, is hard to say. 

stancrist

From: stancrist

23-Jul

gatnerd said:

The other option for HIC would be a 'OICW Lite' similar to FN's concept with the F2000 + Smart Grenade launcher, where 'volume of fire' is achieved by having all the riflemen in the squad issued an OICW. 

Its now possible to make an "OICW Lite" thats slightly lighter then the proposed NGSW Rifle once accessories are factored in:

Thales F90 MBR 16” w/ SL40 Grenade launcher = 9.44lbs 

Multi Ray 800 FCU= 1.54lbs

ACOG TA33+RMR+Mount = 0.875lbs

= 11.86lbs

Whether this is a validation of the OICW Lite concept, or an alarming note on the weight of the NGSW, is hard to say.

I have to say that I see no logical basis for validation of the "OICW Lite" concept.

First, a multi-shot, semi-auto grenade launcher was central to the OICW concept.

Second, all of the riflemen in the squad were supposed to be equipped with the OICW, so giving each of them an "OICW Lite" with a single-shot grenade launcher would not allow the squad to achieve but a small fraction of the volume of fire versus being equipped with the full-fledged OICW with multi-shot, semi-auto grenade launcher.

Third, both the F2000 and F90 are bullpup rifles.  At no point in time would they have had a snowball's chance in Hell of being adopted by the US Army.

TOP