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The future of aircraft mounted guns

ouroboros

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The line of thought behind DEW implies substantial but not overwhelming power generation. Lasers want more continuous power, hard to say if HPM has similar requirement or more pulse based. If you accept that some pulse based power is present, then that could open up opportunities for ETC based guns. Railguns however require a much more serious pulsed power system though. The only immediate solution that comes to my mind is separating bullet from charge essentially, by using expendable cartridges containiing explosive flux compression generator packages. The cartridges functionally are like firing blanks, so point the cartridge chamber aft when firing, feed the generated pulse to the railgun itself while giving the projectile a compressed air puff to start sliding down the rails, and you might have a chemical-electric gun...
 

jsport

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Augmented hypervelocity railgun with single energy source and rail segmentation
US5375504A

appears to be a low recoil RG from USAF and Boeing,
 

Avimimus

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A case can probably be made for a gunship with a 35mm or 40mm cannon equipped to fire guided rounds (i.e. 15km ranges) as being more effective for its weight against some targets than bombs or guided rockets are. This assumes many fairly vulnerable targets that are spread out in a low-medium threat environment (i.e. no long range SAMs or enemy aircraft). One might even be able to make a case for a supersonic platform to get on orbit faster for CAS missions.

However, against larger targets and targets you don't dare get close to - if you don't need velocity - glide bombs will be more efficient. If you do need velocity, then rocket engines will be better...
 
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