The GAU-22/A thread

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viper12

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Unread post27 Aug 2018, 05:46

Also, the report shows the typical engagement with the GAU-8 was around 2,500ft away in a 4-degree dive typically, so not exactly a standoff range and which would mean an altitude of around 175ft AGL.

The average open-fire speed is given as 568ft/s, so if one were to assume the A-10 flew horizontally at that speed at 175ft AGL, and the enemy AA can open fire at anything above 4° of elevation, that's an 8.78-second window of opportunity to shoot at the A-10, which pretty much means you'd need an automated system with fast reaction times to engage it.

As a food for thought, you can check some numbers about the reaction time of the ZSU-23-4 against choppers : https://www.globalsecurity.org/military ... 84/CSJ.htm

In this example, the target was missed during the first
burst of fire. A second long burst destroyed the target.
The length of time required to complete the operation
previously described will depend on gunner proficiency and
training, but a Soviet article in 1979 stated that in a
timed test of ZSU's engaging targets without radar "the
majority of the crews were lost, much time was wasted
finding targets, refining and using the fire data. The
result of this is that gun crews opened fire, as a rule,
minutes after the helicopters appeared."12 The best
trained crew and most experienced in the test took 32
seconds.
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charlielima223

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Unread post27 Aug 2018, 06:02

viper12 wrote: that's an 8.78-second window of opportunity to shoot at the A-10, which pretty much means you'd need an automated system with fast reaction times to engage it.


For modern SHORAD platforms/systems, that is a pretty big window. Look how quickly this phalanx can engage

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hornetfinn

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Unread post27 Aug 2018, 09:21

Systems like 2S6 Tunguska, German Gepard, Marksman (used in Finland) and some other self propelled anti-aircraft systems can pretty easily fire within 5-10 seconds after detecting a target. All can also fire at anything as far as there is direct LOS between target and AD system. All have max effective firing range between 3,000-4,000 m (10,000 to 13,000 ft) with guns. 2S6 Tunguska could even engage further out with missiles. A-10 would be in a world of trouble against all of them. Of course the only potential system it could've ever met of these is 2S6 Tunguska (or later Pantsir-variants) which became operational in early 1980s. Of course it took to 1990 before it became more widespread in Soviet/Russian army. ZSU-23-4 was very limited system with poor performance but was widely used because it was cheap and fairly simple and reliable system.
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hythelday

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Unread post27 Aug 2018, 14:27

hornetfinn wrote:ZSU-23-4 was very limited system with poor performance but was widely used because it was cheap and fairly simple and reliable system.


Still, Shilka and Osa were enough to punish low-fliers, including F-15Es, A-7s (before they were ordered higher). The worst loss per sortie in that war belongs to Tornados, who had to attack airfields with JP233 at low altitude on the first days of war.
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ricnunes

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Unread post30 Aug 2018, 14:42

hythelday wrote:It's just that A-10 as a platform for GAU-8 is not as survivable as was anticipated.


Precisely.
Actually this can be "easily experienced" by anyone:
1- Purchase DCS A-10C combat flight simulator for PC. This is the most realistic A-10 (it models the -C variant of the A-10) ever made for PC (basically it is for the A-10 what Falcon BMS is for this F-16). Actually this simulator (DCS A-10C) is used by the Air National Guard (ANG) as a training tool.
2- Play the campaign which comes with the simulator. The campaign is set on a (present day/near future) fictional conventional-warfare scenario which pits NATO against Russian Forces on Georgia.
3- Try attacking ground targets with the GAU-8 and see how long you'll survive :roll:
Just as a note, Russian forces in this campaign are equipped with a myriad of assets, including air defenses such as the SA-15.

Just as a note, I ended this campaign two years ago and if my memory doesn't fail me I only fired the gun (GAU-8) during that campaign only once and this was against an enemy helicopter which was harassing friendly forces and this after running out of Sidewinder missiles.

Basically in this scenario/campaign set what I did was the following:
- Flying at 15,000 ft (and it wasn't higher because the A-10C fully loaded could hardly reach higher altitudes) and using predominantly the GBU-12 (and sometimes I also used the CBU-105). Against static targets such as Bridges, I used the GBU-31 JDAM. Does this reminds you of something?? :wink:
Only rarely did I use the AGM-65 Maverick on that campaign.

Basically while playing the campaign above I ended myself and often swearing the following:
" My kingdom for an F-16!"
(now imagine a F-35??)

I know that this is a computer game but an excellent one IMO (to the point that it's also used as a training tool by ANG) and clearly proves on a "first person" perspective how vulnerable the A-10 is against modern air defense systems, moreover so if it uses the gun.
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sferrin

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Unread post30 Aug 2018, 15:03

hornetfinn wrote:Systems like 2S6 Tunguska, German Gepard, Marksman (used in Finland) and some other self propelled anti-aircraft systems can pretty easily fire within 5-10 seconds after detecting a target. All can also fire at anything as far as there is direct LOS between target and AD system. All have max effective firing range between 3,000-4,000 m (10,000 to 13,000 ft) with guns. 2S6 Tunguska could even engage further out with missiles. A-10 would be in a world of trouble against all of them. Of course the only potential system it could've ever met of these is 2S6 Tunguska (or later Pantsir-variants) which became operational in early 1980s. Of course it took to 1990 before it became more widespread in Soviet/Russian army. ZSU-23-4 was very limited system with poor performance but was widely used because it was cheap and fairly simple and reliable system.


TOR would happily eat A-10s for breakfast as well.
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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post30 Aug 2018, 17:17

ricnunes wrote:I know that this is a computer game

That is a disservice to DCS: A-10C. It is a fully immersive aircraft study in which every system and subsystem is modeled for maximum accuracy. As you know, you can't start the campaign without first going through nearly a dozen training missions so that you know how to operate the systems on the A-10. Many of them you need to go through more than once to be comfortable with the operation. For anyone who has played, it is easy to see how that program and the HOTAS Warthog flight sticks could allow real pilots to maintain their systems operating skills when at home.

And yes, trying to use the gun with anything bigger than a 7.62mm around has a 50% chance or ending with you being killed or mission killed (mission critical subsystem destroyed)
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ricnunes

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Unread post30 Aug 2018, 20:19

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
ricnunes wrote:I know that this is a computer game

That is a disservice to DCS: A-10C. It is a fully immersive aircraft study in which every system and subsystem is modeled for maximum accuracy.


I didn't mean to do a disservice to DCS: A-10C, by the contrary since and as you can clearly see, I used it as an evidence that the A-10 and its gun is "irrelevant" or more precisely too risky for use in current and future conventional wars. I would never have used a "mere computer game" as a such.

However, I admit that I should have put quotes around the "computer game" words.
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basher54321

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Unread post30 Aug 2018, 20:47

AFAIK originally the version did for the ANG was A-10C Suite 3.1 pre 2010 and part of the contract for a public version included removing and simplifying certain systems as you can see in the TOs. So the module itself is a simulator but the systems only go as far as what was allowed (unsurprisingly).

Only comment on the AI defence units would be very simplistic at best.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post31 Aug 2018, 09:54

hythelday wrote:
hornetfinn wrote:ZSU-23-4 was very limited system with poor performance but was widely used because it was cheap and fairly simple and reliable system.


Still, Shilka and Osa were enough to punish low-fliers, including F-15Es, A-7s (before they were ordered higher). The worst loss per sortie in that war belongs to Tornados, who had to attack airfields with JP233 at low altitude on the first days of war.


Very true. Flying low is extremely dangerous if there are any working AD systems around. Modern systems are far more lethal than Shilkas or Osas. Some of them would be difficult to destroy or degrade with SEAD/DEAD as they use passive sensors and/or advanced radar systems with extremely quick reaction times and short time-of-flight missiles. Modern SPAAG systems generally use 30-40mm guns (some even bigger) which would break even A-10 into half trouble. Getting inside their kill zones would be very dangerous and IMO just stupid if there are better ways of doing things.
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ricnunes

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Unread post31 Aug 2018, 12:44

basher54321 wrote:AFAIK originally the version did for the ANG was A-10C Suite 3.1 pre 2010 and part of the contract for a public version included removing and simplifying certain systems as you can see in the TOs. So the module itself is a simulator but the systems only go as far as what was allowed (unsurprisingly).


Yes, of course. If I'm not mistaken one of the things that was "removed from the public version" was the MAWS (Missile Approach Warning System) which the public version also models albeit in a simplified way.

But and despite this, this is still the most realistic A-10 simulator ever release to the general public and the modeled systems are still very close to their real counterparts (as close as they can be) and as such I really believe that its a good "tool" to learn more about the A-10C, how it is to be an A-10C pilot and how pilots fight with it and together with its conventional-warfare campaign it gives a very, very good idea (again, IMO) about what we're discussing here (the vulnerabilities of the A-10 against an enemy equipped with good air defense systems).
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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post31 Aug 2018, 15:01

Also, as I understand it, GAU-8 dispersion. It is more of a shotgun than the real thing.
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steve2267

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Unread post14 Sep 2018, 00:29

Nammo completes first live fire trials of GAU-22 gun for F-35 aircraft
13 September 2018

Norwegian / Finnish aerospace and defence group Nordic Ammunition Company (Nammo) has concluded the maiden live fire trials of the GAU-22 Gatling gun.

Developed specifically for the F-35 Lightning II, the four-barrelled GAU-22 gun was fired at Nammo’s purpose-built facility in Raufoss, Norway.

The gun is currently the only weapon of its kind being used outside the US.

Nammo Aircraft Ammunition programme director Anders Nyhus said: “This setup is really unique, in that allows us to do all the testing we need just minutes away from the production site.

But it's good, IMHO, that Nammo is proceeding with APEX production, which appears to be a highly effective munition ranging from anti-armor usage (light armor) through to air-to-air uses.

“That again means that can cut down the time between a production lot leaving the factory, and when it is tested and ready to go to the customer. It also means we can have a much higher confidence in the quality of the products we deliver, as we are able to control every aspect of the process from beginning to end.”

The GAU-22 Gatling gun and its associated facility have been procured through an agreement with the Norwegian Defense Materiel Agency as part of the development of Nammo’s APEX-ammunition for the F-35.

The APEX is the only ammunition type that is available for the F-35 fighter jets and will enable the aircraft to use its gun effectively in any scenario.

Nammo serves as the only ammunition provider for the F-35 aircraft able to carry out a complete range of verification and acceptance testing for every production lot independently.

https://www.airforce-technology.com/news/nammo-live-fire-trials-gau-22-f-35/


I didn't realize APEX "is the only ammunition type that is available for the F-35," I thought Orbital ATK, now swallowed up by Northrop Grumman, was also producing ammunition for the GAU-22/A.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, add dollop of F-117 & gob of F-22, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well, then bake. Whaddya get? An F-35.
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Dragon029

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Unread post14 Sep 2018, 01:20

That might potentially be just for Norway or international partners; the US has different ammunition cleared for the F-35.
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steve2267

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Unread post14 Sep 2018, 02:44

Dragon029 wrote:That might potentially be just for Norway or international partners; the US has different ammunition cleared for the F-35.


That is my understanding. Just another very poorly written article by a I-wannabee-a-journalist, IMO. It would have been very easy to make that clarification. I am not aware of airforce-technology.com being a Norwegian-centric, nor even a Euro-centric site. But I may be wrong.

My biggest takeaway from the article, which I probably should have mentioned when I quoted the article, is that NAMMO apparently has their very own GAU-22/A with which they can perform immediate testing of production lots of 25mm ammunition.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, add dollop of F-117 & gob of F-22, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well, then bake. Whaddya get? An F-35.
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