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Can a A-10 or AH-64 be armed with a 20mm weapon system?

silkmonkey

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Just curious can both the A-10 and AH-64 be armed with 20mm gun system? I am thinking of a "robust" M-61A1 or M-61A2 gun system for the A-10 and a single barrel 20mm chain gun system for the AH-64, I am asking this because for a simulation I am running and I want to standardize my ammunition to 20mm for all my aircraft, helicopters and ground systems.

Best regards
Silkmonkey
 

sferrin

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If it's your simulation you can do whatever you want can't you? ???
 

TomS

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The first couple of A-10 prototypes were armed with M61s while the GAU-8 was in development, so there's no fundamental reason that couldn't be done.

Regunning Apache doesn't strike me as terribly difficult, but I can't remember an actual propsal to do so.
 

yasotay

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The only way you will put a 20mm on an AH-64 is to put a gun pod under a wing store. All of the reconfiguration of the electronics and software that allows the 30mm to be shot off axis from the helmet sight etc., would have to be changed out as well making it a very expensive proposition. In a cost/savings analysis I don't know that you would save very much, just to have standard ammo.
 

F-14D

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yasotay said:
The only way you will put a 20mm on an AH-64 is to put a gun pod under a wing store. All of the reconfiguration of the electronics and software that allows the 30mm to be shot off axis from the helmet sight etc., would have to be changed out as well making it a very expensive proposition. In a cost/savings analysis I don't know that you would save very much, just to have standard ammo.


Totally agree with Yasotay that replacing the AH-64's chain gun would be very expensive. If they were going to do it, they would have done it years ago. The only reason for doing so would be an admission of all the serviceability and reliability issues they were having with the weapon were enough to make the move worthwhile. This the Army would never do. It is worthy of note that the USMC, when developing their AH-1Z stayed with the 20mm weapon figuring that a gun using a less potent round that you could count on working virtually every time was more useful than a more lethal round that often never got there. I don't know what the figures are today, though.

Of course, in a simulation, you can assume whatever reliability you want. So, I can't see any reason you'd want to change the Apache's main gun.
 

silkmonkey

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Hi...thanks for the feed back and I do realize it is my simulation so I can choose the weapon systems on the platform I wish but again for my own piece of mind if there is a 20mm chain gun not a three to six barreled gun Gatling type gun that could be used on a AH-64 what weapon would that be? Also it is also my understanding that 20mm high explosive rounds are just as effective in most cases as the 30mm rounds fire on the current AH-64D. See in my simulation almost every weapon system (land air and sea) is using either 20mm chain or Gatling type gun systems, only the A-190's and the AH-64's that I have to use currently use 30mm weapon systems and ammunition so therefore in my mind for maintenance and long term cost reasons it would be appropriate I think to change these aircraft weapon systems over to 20mm gun mounts. Also when the Army was coming out with the AH-64 Apache did they not test the original test aircraft with a 20mm chain gun or was the 30mm chain gun always a part of the AH-64 attack helicopter?
 

Just call me Ray

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I would honestly wonder why you would want to downgrade, especially since the 30mm guns are specifically designed as armor-killers and I haven't heard of any reliability issues with either weapon.
 

F-14D

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Just call me Ray said:
I would honestly wonder why you would want to downgrade, especially since the 30mm guns are specifically designed as armor-killers and I haven't heard of any reliability issues with either weapon.

Actually, if you want to kill one of the latest generation of tanks, you use a missile. For many years the M230 had severe reliability and availability problems. In fact, there is a tragic gun camera video of a friendly fire incident where the Apache fires on what turns out to be one of our own troop carriers. After the vehicle is disabled and the personnel exit the vehicle, the gunner then tries to take them under fire with the gun. The only thing that saved the troops was that the gun jammed, a not uncommon occurrence at the time and later in the '90s. I do not know the weapons reliability statistics today, though.
 

yasotay

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The reliability on the M230 is much improved over the ugliness of the early years as mentioned above. The software and hardware both have been greatly improved upon with the Longbow. If the Army was to go to smaller ammo I would suspect they would go with the 25mm bushmaster used on the M2 Bradley. Of course someone would accuse the US Army of copying the Russians (BMP2 and Mi-28 or Ka-52) and that would be the end of that (note cynicism please).

To the subject at hand I am not aware of any 20mm chain guns, although I am sure they exist.
 

Archibald

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Considering the huge mass of the GAU-8, pus the fact that the A-10 was literally designed around it... I think the warthog may suffer CG problems no ? solved through hundred kilogram of ballast ?
 

Just call me Ray

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F-14D said:
Actually, if you want to kill one of the latest generation of tanks, you use a missile.

You know what I mean ::)

Anyway wasn't aware the M320 had so many problems. And IIRC the YA-10s had to have some ballast up front with the Vulcan cannon.
 

Pioneer

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Archibald said:
Considering the huge mass of the GAU-8, pus the fact that the A-10 was literally designed around it... I think the warthog may suffer CG problems no ? solved through hundred kilogram of ballast ?

Hay easily fixed!
Add more ammo
You can never have enough ammo! (was the words of a US Marine, who was attached to us for a few months always use to say!)

Although after using it all up and landing may be an issue!

Regards
Pioneer
 

elmayerle

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Thing is, the ammo wouldn't be in the proper location for weight and balance purposes. That's always a consideration in juggling internal equipment fits.
 

Sentinel Chicken

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yasotay said:
To the subject at hand I am not aware of any 20mm chain guns, although I am sure they exist.
Isn't the 25mm Bushmaster a chain gun? I had read somewhere there weren't any 20mm chain guns in use because the 20mm range was pretty much locked up by either gatling-type weapons or revolver cannons.
 

GTX

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funkychinaman said:
If you're going to remove the GAU-8, why even bother keeping the A-10 in service?

Maybe because you don't need the 30mm power - say a COIN dedicated version with an M-61 or similar with the GUA-8 replaced with a lot more ammunition.

Regards,

Greg
 

robunos

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The #1 and#2 A-10 prototypes were fitted with a 20mm gun instead of the 30mm GAU-8......

From 'Air Enthusiast' May 1974, page 222,
'The A-10 prototypes.....differ from the proposed production standard.......
20mm in place of 30mm gun...'

photos to follow...


cheers,
Robin.
 

robunos

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Here they are....

A comparison between the #2 prototype and a production A-10.


cheers,
Robin.
 

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yasotay

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Sentinel Chicken said:
yasotay said:
To the subject at hand I am not aware of any 20mm chain guns, although I am sure they exist.
Isn't the 25mm Bushmaster a chain gun? I had read somewhere there weren't any 20mm chain guns in use because the 20mm range was pretty much locked up by either gatling-type weapons or revolver cannons.

You are correct. the Bushmaster is indeed a chain gun. If the U.S. Army used the same logistics logic as the Russian Army the Apache would use the Bushmaster to have a common ammo as the ground combat vehicles. But then there is the other universal truth besides never having enough ammunition. Size matters! ;)
 

Just call me Ray

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GTX said:
funkychinaman said:
If you're going to remove the GAU-8, why even bother keeping the A-10 in service?

Maybe because you don't need the 30mm power - say a COIN dedicated version with an M-61 or similar with the GUA-8 replaced with a lot more ammunition.

Regards,

Greg

Why not go a step further and use one of these?

 

funkychinaman

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Ray, my point exactly. If you take the GAU-8 out of the equation, you can replace A-10s with platforms that are not only cheaper, but newer as well. The A-10 was built to carry the GAU-8, take it away, and it's just another aging airfraime.
 

Abraham Gubler

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funkychinaman said:
Ray, my point exactly. If you take the GAU-8 out of the equation, you can replace A-10s with platforms that are not only cheaper, but newer as well. The A-10 was built to carry the GAU-8, take it away, and it's just another aging airfraime.

I wouldn't dwell on it too much. First post of this thread:

silkmonkey said:
Just curious can both the A-10 and AH-64 be armed with 20mm gun system? I am thinking of a "robust" M-61A1 or M-61A2 gun system for the A-10 and a single barrel 20mm chain gun system for the AH-64, I am asking this because for a simulation I am running and I want to standardize my ammunition to 20mm for all my aircraft, helicopters and ground systems.

Best regards
Silkmonkey
 

Just call me Ray

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Abraham Gubler said:
funkychinaman said:
Ray, my point exactly. If you take the GAU-8 out of the equation, you can replace A-10s with platforms that are not only cheaper, but newer as well. The A-10 was built to carry the GAU-8, take it away, and it's just another aging airfraime.

I wouldn't dwell on it too much. First post of this thread:

silkmonkey said:
Just curious can both the A-10 and AH-64 be armed with 20mm gun system? I am thinking of a "robust" M-61A1 or M-61A2 gun system for the A-10 and a single barrel 20mm chain gun system for the AH-64, I am asking this because for a simulation I am running and I want to standardize my ammunition to 20mm for all my aircraft, helicopters and ground systems.

Best regards
Silkmonkey

...good point!
 
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