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Military Guns and Ammunition

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XM915 20mm debuted    Aircraft Guns

Started 21/11/21 by gatnerd; 5952 views.
stancrist

From: stancrist

23/11/21

gatnerd said:

Ultimately, theres a reason that the US went to 30mm from 20mm when it went from Cobra to Apache

Yup.  And there are reasons why FARA, like its predecessor, the RAH-66 Comanche, has a 20mm gun.

17thfabn

From: 17thfabn

24/11/21

From gatnerd

"Ultimately, theres a reason that the US went to 30mm from 20mm when it went from Cobra to Apache, and why nearly every modern attack helicopter has also gone 30mm. "

The FARA is supposed to be a light scout with limited attack capability. Not an attack chopper. 

A big gun with high rate of fire and large amount of ammunition is ideal. But weight of  gun and ammunition and recoil forces have to be taken into consideration. These are even more important consideration on a light helicopter. 

The OH-58 that the  U.S. Army previously used in the scout role only had a .50 machine gun. So a 20 mm is an upgrade. 

gatnerd

From: gatnerd

24/11/21

17thfabn said:

The FARA is supposed to be a light scout with limited attack capability. Not an attack chopper.

Well, like the Comanche program before it, and several others (this is the 4th program to replace the Kiowa) there appears to be pretty serious mission creep, and the design is looking increasingly geared as a next generation mini attack helicopter.

Specifically, its become envisioned as a 'day 1' attack asset operating in A2AD contested zones against peer enemies. 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/erictegler/2020/07/22/army-eyes-replacing-apache-with-fara-as-its-kick-in-the-door-attack-helicopter/

For decades, the AH-64 Apache has been the Army’s Alpha Dog, the aircraft you go to war in on day one. Apparently, that won’t be the case in the not-so-distant future. Some time around 2030, the Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) will be its first-day fighter.
If the idea of FARA as a “kick in the door” attack helicopter comes as news to you, you’re not alone. It has largely been promoted as a light-attack reconnaissance helicopter, meant to work with other joint force platforms and air-launched affects, and to relieve the Apache of the mission once performed by the OH-58 Kiowa Warrior.
But Brigadier General Walter Rugen, Director of the Army’s Future Vertical Lift Cross-Functional Team, said in an interview that the “critical path” in future multi-domain operations is the Army’s ability to penetrate anti-access, area denial (A2AD) environments. According to Rugen, Apache is not the aircraft that will do this.
“The FARA and its ecosystem is really our penetration force in the lower tier of the air domain. That force is going to be able to find, fix and finish pacing threats,” says Rugen. “We’ll generate the ability for other players across the joint force to maneuver in that freed-up airspace. Then we’ll start disintegrating [the enemy forces] and open up a corridor.”
“And really, I don’t think Apache participates in the penetration phase. I think FARA and the FARA ecosystem does that…
....
Photos of FARA also reflect an Attack oriented nature, with the helicopter bristling with missiles comparable to those of Apache.
In reply toRe: msg 19
gatnerd

From: gatnerd

24/11/21

Another article showing that FARA is really more 'attack' then scout, and would indeed likely be better off with a 30mm if recoil forces will allow.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/27170/army-to-replace-nearly-half-of-its-apache-gunships-with-future-high-speed-scout-helo

“The FARA will only replace Apaches in our heavy attack reconnaissance squadrons and this represents about half of the Apache fleet,” the spokesperson said. “The FARA will not replace Apaches in the Attack Reconnaissance battalions.”

“We’re looking for an aircraft that, without going into specific requirements or classifications, essentially goes further, can see further, can acquire specific targets further and can engage at greater ranges than current exist, and has greater legs – can fly further with a greater payload of weapon systems,” Milley explained on Capitol Hill. “We’re already moving in that direction with research and development and the development of prototypes.”

If the Army existing AH-64-equipped units  – Attack Reconnaissance Squadronsand Attack Reconnaissance Battalions – seem confusingly similar, that’s because they are. 

The assumption is that any successor to the OH-58 would not have the capability to provide the same volume of fire as the AH-64, but this might not necessarily be the case.

The Army's abortive RAH-66A Comanche stealth helicopter was also supposed to be an OH-58D replacement and work in concert with AH-64s. But its "Reconnaissance Attack" designation was also reflective of the fact that it had provisions to carry a loadout very similar to that of the Apache, and certainly much heavier than that of the Kiowa Warrior, in a non-stealthy configuration, as necessary.  

stancrist

From: stancrist

25/11/21

“We’re looking for an aircraft that...can engage at greater ranges than current exist..."

Perhaps 20mm provides longer effective range with shorter time of flight than 30mm?

gatnerd

From: gatnerd

25/11/21

Thats possible, it would be cool if we had a BC calculator for those.

Offhand though I don’t think it would have much more effective range if any.

30mm has ~2.5x the mass of 20mm, so even with an inferior shape, it probably has a higher BC and velocity retention then 20mm.

Beyond that, 20mm relies on kinetic energy for metal penetration, whereas 30mm uses a shaped charge HEDP, which should function pretty much the same across a wide velocity envelope (guess on my part based on 40x46/53 and various LAW/RPG HEAT/HEDP warheads penetrating steel well at 230-800fps)

Happy Thanksgiving Stan.

stancrist

From: stancrist

25/11/21

And the same to you.  

Bon appétit

  • Edited 25 November 2021 14:39  by  stancrist
EmericD

From: EmericD

25/11/21

gatnerd said:

Thats possible, it would be cool if we had a BC calculator for those.

I should have some radar data for the 20 x 139 mm and 30 x 113 mm somewhere...

DavidPawley

From: DavidPawley

25/11/21

It shows nothing of the sort.

The AREA attack weapon system, to give the m230 its correct name, is not the kind of weapon referred to by Milley.

JAGM is the kind of weapon referred to by Milley.

The type of gun is irrelevant to the situations described in the article.

P.S. The ammo cap of 300 in Apache is definitely because the extra fuel tank takes up the rest of the ammo bay. The loss of capacity is acceptable because 1200 rounds are heavy and never fired (because of the 200 spm rof), and not because 300 are somehow magically more accurate. 6 minutes firing time is ludicrous and always was. Another 20 min flight time will always be more useful than another 270 seconds of being a target for rpg.

PPS The reason that Apache aren’t the kick in the door force is because they’re shit at it. 

In reply toRe: msg 25
DavidPawley

From: DavidPawley

25/11/21

https://www.airforcemag.com/article/1003najaf/
LARA is an armed reconnaissance helo.

Apache is now a “heavy” armed reconnaissance and CAS helo, not a deep strike platform.

If Army really wants to be deep striking, they should bring back Pershing II.

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