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Proposed Aerial Artillery System

Grey Havoc

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It looks like the design used the UH-1C as its basis. If it had made it to the prototype stage, it is logical to assume that it would have pretty quickly ended up being fitted with a four-bladed hingeless rotor in order to take advantage of the progress with that new technology in the same time period.
 

Pioneer

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How interesting, and yet simple!

I'm wondering/suspecting it could be the utilisation of the XM204 Soft Recoil 105mm howitzer, as proposed mounted on the CH-47 gunship.

When I say 'simple', I mean the adoption of the stripped-down UH-1 Iroquois


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yasotay

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No helicopter pilot worthy of the name would be caught flying that thing. Arguably the ugliest thing I have ever seen. It would not have been able to fly as the air would be to repelled by it.
 

taildragger

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I don't think it makes any sense except as a way to avoid some Key West prohibition on the Army having air-launched missiles. I haven't done the math, but it seems likely to me that this would be a single-purpose system whose gun, loading mechanism and recoil management system (whatever that would be) would dramatically limit the payload available for ammunition. A less specialized helicopter of a similar size carrying missles could probably deliver a heavier and more accurate punch.
 

TomS

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I don't know if this was meant to be fired in flight. It sort of looks like it's meant to be fired on the ground, as a faster way to bring artillery into action supporting airmobile ground forces than sling or internally carried guns.
 

dan_inbox

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Firing from the ground seems rather unlikely, with those flimsy skids.
 

TomS

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The description says gun-launcher, so it might be something akin to the 115mm XM-70.
 

Jemiba

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I won't put too much faith in that sketch with the tray-like chassis and that "cockpit", that looks like a
baby buggy put on top of it. Or is it just a kind of a windscreen for the gunner/loader and the cockpit
actually is those two cabins besides the engine ?
Whatever, IF built, it certainly would have looked quite different.
 

taildragger

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Part of similar studies?

View attachment 615964
Now there's a dumb idea. I can't imagine that anything so half-baked got serious consideration even if somebody did take the time to draw a picture of it. The gun recoil would break the Chinook in half and/or collapse its landing gear. Adequately strengthening the airframe to allow it to double as a gun carriage would dramatically reduce the payload and, if designed for structural efficiency, would make the helicopter unbalanced. Also, note that the forward rotor has had a blade removed (possibly to get it out of the path of the outgoing round and shockwave).
 

Ravinoff

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Part of similar studies?

View attachment 615964
Now there's a dumb idea. I can't imagine that anything so half-baked got serious consideration even if somebody did take the time to draw a picture of it. The gun recoil would break the Chinook in half and/or collapse its landing gear. Adequately strengthening the airframe to allow it to double as a gun carriage would dramatically reduce the payload and, if designed for structural efficiency, would make the helicopter unbalanced. Also, note that the forward rotor has had a blade removed (possibly to get it out of the path of the outgoing round and shockwave).

That'd be where the XM204 recoil-reduced howitzer would likely come into play. 1965 is a bit early as the XM204 was developed more in the '70s, but it looks like the Army was playing around with the helicopter howitzer concept for a while during the Vietnam era.
 

yasotay

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Well you are only going to do low angle shooting if the rotors are turning. Obviously someone asked about rapid mobility artillery without slingloads and the engineers went to work.
 

TomS

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Well you are only going to do low angle shooting if the rotors are turning. Obviously someone asked about rapid mobility artillery without slingloads and the engineers went to work.
Just seems like if it was small enough to carry this way, it would be small enough to roll out the rear ramp and set up conventionally. I can imagine a Chinook carrying a 105 light gun with a little built-in APU tug and racked ammo along the cabin walls for ready service. Instant firebase.
 

yasotay

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Just seems like if it was small enough to carry this way, it would be small enough to roll out the rear ramp and set up conventionally. I can imagine a Chinook carrying a 105 light gun with a little built-in APU tug and racked ammo along the cabin walls for ready service. Instant firebase.
Well where is the fun in that! No engineering challenge there. I'm sure some staff officer with raised eyebrow made your point at the "questions or comments" part at the end of the briefing.
 

Charlesferdinand

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Why would you want to have a flying heavy cannon? I can see the point of airmobile artilley, but that would do its shooting from the ground.

Once you are in the air, if you want to deliver a powerful punch, it surely is more effective to drop bombs or, if pinpoint accuracy is needed, use a guided weapon.
 

TomS

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Why would you want to have a flying heavy cannon? I can see the point of airmobile artilley, but that would do its shooting from the ground.

Once you are in the air, if you want to deliver a powerful punch, it surely is more effective to drop bombs or, if pinpoint accuracy is needed, use a guided weapon.
Well, consider that these sketches are mid-1960s, before guided weapons were widespread and before it was even obvious that they would become common. (Paveway was first tested the same year as the CH-47 concept art above). At the time, a gun shell had a good chance of being more accurate than a dropped bomb. Note that they built a 105mm gun into the AC-130H just a few years later.
 
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