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N328KF
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Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 3:50 am

UCAVs With Cannon?

Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:34 am

Are there any planned UCAVs that would possess cannon? While the era of gunfighting seems to be over, cannon allow fighters to possess cheap ground-attack capability, which is why even the latest (Gen 4.5 and Gen 5) fighters have an internal cannon (except the F-35B and F-35C, where it is podded.)

I am specifically asking this in the context of fixed-wing UCAVs, though I suppose the question could separately be asked of helicopter-based or tiltrotor UCAVs.
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' -Theodore Roosevelt
 
oly720man
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RE: UCAVs With Cannon?

Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:17 am



Quoting N328KF (Thread starter):
Are there any planned UCAVs that would possess cannon?

I doubt it, the ammunition and the cannon itself are heavy and take up a fair amount of space, and I'd imagine the recoil would be significant on such a light vehicle. Also UCAVs are designed to be as low observable as possible and I'd have thought that such a vehicle would need to be fairly close to a target to be effective, putting it at risk of being hit by ground fire. Hellfires seem to work fine.
wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
 
SP90
Posts: 351
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 12:39 am

RE: UCAVs With Cannon?

Sun Jun 29, 2008 11:00 pm

Direct energy weapons will replace rotary cannons soon. Trouble is building a UCAV that can carry one of these weapon systems. It will be like the A-10 I imagine, design the plane around the gun. UCAV with laser beams.  Smile
 
GST
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RE: UCAVs With Cannon?

Sun Jun 29, 2008 11:23 pm



Quoting SP90 (Reply 2):
Direct energy weapons will replace rotary cannons soon.

All well and good, but I'd imagine on a warm day, with all the thermals and heat haze distorting the laser beam, you may end up lightly singeing the entire tank, rather than boring a concentrated laser into the ammunition storage. Cannons will still have a use, but no, I dont see any UCAV with one, it seems to go completely against their mandate.
 
SP90
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RE: UCAVs With Cannon?

Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:10 am



Quoting GST:
I'd imagine on a warm day, with all the thermals and heat haze distorting the laser beam, you may end up lightly singeing the entire tank, rather than boring a concentrated laser into the ammunition storage.

There is a fix for that particular problem which astronomy have been using for many years on earth bound optical telescopes. Fire a low power laser to clear the path by evening out the column of air. In optical telescopes this has the effect of negating the flicker/twinkle caused by the atmosphere. A similar method is employed on the ABL system being developed for the USAF. The biggest obstable is scaling the system down to fit into a reasonable sized UCAV.

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