The GAU-22/A thread

F-35 Armament, fuel tanks, internal and external hardpoints, loadouts, and other stores.
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stevedapirate

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Unread post08 May 2018, 15:01

archeman wrote:I never understood why the USAF didn't pony up the development cost to mod the external gun pod for the A model.

In one pretty simple move, the USAF could have silenced the 'Big Guns Win Wars' crowd and given the A-10 chest beaters something serious to chew on (dual GAU-22s) which would nearly double the A-10 rate of fire and nearly match the total A-10 kilojules of kinetic target impact.


I'm also curious about why the USAF didn't pony up for the gun pod, but in order to omit the internal cannon altogether. It would provide more commonality with the B and C variants of the jet and free up additional internal weight and volume that could be used for fuel.

I wonder how much weight that would actually free up. The gun itself is ~230lbs, but you've also got ammunition and storage/handling equipment, electric motor, structural reinforcements and changes to handle vibration and recoil, and the mechanism for the gun door.

Would deleting the internal gun in favor of additional fuel be the equivalent of giving the F-35A a little 330 gal drop tank?
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steve2267

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Unread post08 May 2018, 16:11

stevedapirate wrote:
Would deleting the internal gun in favor of additional fuel be the equivalent of giving the F-35A a little 330 gal drop tank?


The GAU-22/A internal installation in the -A model is fairly compact. Without running any numbers, I'd still hazard a guess that volume is still far less than what 330gal of JP-8 would occupy.

Do not forget that the -B is rated to 7g, and the -C to 7.5g. You either have to de-rate the -A to 7.5g for a pod, or design the pod to handle 9g. All the associated hardware will have to cope with an increased load rating, and probably increased vibration environment as well.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post08 May 2018, 17:40

steve2267 wrote:Do not forget that the -B is rated to 7g, and the -C to 7.5g. You either have to de-rate the -A to 7.5g for a pod, or design the pod to handle 9g.


Designing the gun pod to withstand an extra 1.5g (assuming it isn't already) doesn't seem like a huge hurdle as most of the complexity and moving parts are in the gun itself and ammunition handling systems, which we know are already rated to 9g since they are currently installed in the F-35A.

I think you'd just be evaluating the pod enclosure, attachment bolts, and maybe the latch to an access door on the pod.
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Unread post17 Aug 2018, 03:21

PHOTOS: 388th FW fires F-35A cannon for first time
15 Aug 2018 Todd Cromar, 388th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

"Pilots from the 388th Fighter Wing’s 4th Fighter Squadron were the first operational unit to fire the F-35A’s 25 mm cannon in a strafing run during training. The two-ship formation fired on two sets of ground targets on the Utah Test and Training range Aug. 13. Loading and firing the cannon was one of the few capabilities Airmen in the 388th and 419th FWs had yet to demonstrate. The F-35A’s internal cannon allows the aircraft to maintain stealth against air adversaries as well as fire more accurately on ground targets, giving pilots more tactical flexibility. (Air Force photo by Todd Cromar)"
https://media.defense.gov/2018/Aug/15/2 ... 5-0009.JPG (1.1Mb)

Source: https://www.acc.af.mil/News/Article-Dis ... irst-time/
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F-35AstrafeGunTarget.jpg
F-35AstrafeGunTargetZOOM.jpg
F-35AstrafeGunTargetZOOMzoom.jpg
F-35AstrafeGunTargetScreen.jpg
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popcorn

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Unread post17 Aug 2018, 04:00

Presumably the target they were aiming at is obscured by the dust/smoke. :mrgreen:
Last edited by popcorn on 17 Aug 2018, 05:27, edited 1 time in total.
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steve2267

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Unread post17 Aug 2018, 04:51

No mention if the pilot got to hose off an Aim-9X prior to the strafing practice...

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Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post17 Aug 2018, 15:03

Brrrttttttt.....on time....on target!!

The F35A can now use its internal gun operationally (and accurately too). Wait!! I hear the heads of F35 naysayers imploding again!! Lol!
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Unread post17 Aug 2018, 15:47

In his article, https://theaviationist.com/2018/08/16/t ... -training/, Cenciotti states that Aim-9X was inert. Dumb question, why fly around with an inert 9X? The test boys have already conducted all the asymmetric and 9X firing tests. Only guess I have is if the F-35 avionics only do certain 9X-specific "tricks" if they know there is one on the wing?
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post17 Aug 2018, 16:11

:doh: :devil: INERT 'WINDER UNDER PORT WING DRAG STOPS THE GUN FIRING HIGH & TO THE RIGHT DONCHA KNOW! :devil: :doh:
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steve2267

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Unread post17 Aug 2018, 16:40

spazsinbad wrote::doh: :devil: INERT 'WINDER UNDER PORT WING DRAG STOPS THE GUN FIRING HIGH & TO THE RIGHT DONCHA KNOW! :devil: :doh:


LMAO... good one Spaz... and here I was thinking a few lines of C++ code and maybe a table lookup woulda Kentuckee windaged the bullyetts back into place...
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post17 Aug 2018, 16:52

steve2267 wrote:In his article, https://theaviationist.com/2018/08/16/t ... -training/, Cenciotti states that Aim-9X was inert. Dumb question, why fly around with an inert 9X? The test boys have already conducted all the asymmetric and 9X firing tests. Only guess I have is if the F-35 avionics only do certain 9X-specific "tricks" if they know there is one on the wing?


Zzzzzzz...

Captive carry of AIM-9 has been going on for decades. You want the seeker-head feed to the weapons system for training.
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Unread post18 Aug 2018, 11:49

Many pics in this configuration with 2 AIM-9X can be considered stealth as it ?
The gun had a problem internal not or less in pod fired too on the side fixed now ?
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Unread post18 Aug 2018, 14:33

forbin wrote:Many pics in this configuration with 2 AIM-9X can be considered stealth as it ?


If you are asking whether the F-35 retains its VLO characteristics when carrying two AIM-9X, I think the general consensus around here is that external AIM-9X carriage degrades VLO by some amount, but by how much, no one knows, and those that know aren't saying. Some have said the F-35 is "still stealthy", or "must still be stealthy or else XYX..." but no one knows for sure, and no numbers have been thrown around, let alone quoted.

forbin wrote:The gun had a problem internal not or less in pod fired too on the side fixed now ?


Is English your native language? I don't ask this to be rude, but I do not understand this question at all.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post18 Aug 2018, 14:51

steve the swashbuckler said:

"I'm also curious about why the USAF didn't pony up for the gun pod, but in order to omit the internal cannon altogether. It would provide more commonality with the B and C variants of the jet and free up additional internal weight and volume that could be used for fuel."

F-35A (a much smaller aircraft than Raptor) carries more internal fuel. Fuel/range wasn’t really going to be an issue, so why give up a capability for which there is both strong rationale and strong emotions? Fairly easy trades on that for the A.
Last edited by quicksilver on 18 Aug 2018, 17:46, edited 1 time in total.
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zerion

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Unread post18 Aug 2018, 17:39

steve2267 wrote:
forbin wrote:The gun had a problem internal not or less in pod fired too on the side fixed now ?


Is English your native language? I don't ask this to be rude, but I do not understand this question at all.


He’s wondering if the drift problem caused by the door of the internal gun was fixed.
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