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F-35 Gun Issues


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#1 Dawes

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Posted 01 February 2019 - 2344 PM

Interesting that an externally mounted gun pod is proving to be more accurate than an internally mounted gun. Usually (in USAF experience, anyway) the internal gun is more accurate. From the latest DOT&E report:

 

 

Assessment

 - Based on F-35A gun testing through September 2018, DOT&E currently considers the accuracy of the gun, as installed in the F-35A, to be unacceptable.

 

 - F-35A gun accuracy during SDD failed to meet the contract specification.  Although software corrections were made to the F-35 mission systems software to improve the stability of gun aiming cues, no software or hardware corrections have yet been implemented to correct the gun accuracy errors. 

 

 - Investigations into the gun mounts of the F-35A revealed misalignments that result in muzzle alignment errors.  As a result, the true alignment of each F-35A gun is not known, so the program is considering options for re-boresighting and correcting gun alignments.

 

 - During air-to-air gun testing, F-35A operational test pilots received intermittent “unsafe gun” cockpit alerts while attempting gun attacks.  These alerts occurred with two different aircraft; the root cause is under investigation. 

 

 - F-35B and F-35C air-to-ground accuracy results to date with the gun pod have been consistent and meet the contract  specifications.  They do not show the accuracy errors of the internal gun on the F-35A.

 

http://www.dote.osd..../2018f35jsf.pdf
 


Edited by Dawes, 01 February 2019 - 2345 PM.

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#2 DKTanker

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 1409 PM

Interesting that an externally mounted gun pod is proving to be more accurate than an internally mounted gun. Usually (in USAF experience, anyway) the internal gun is more accurate. From the latest DOT&E report:

 

 

That isn't what the report said.  The report said that the internally mounted gun didn't meet contract accuracy specifications while the externally mounted gun pods did.  Without knowing what the contractual specifications are for each mounting type, one cannot determine which is the most or least accurate.


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#3 CaptLuke

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 1718 PM

oops, going to start over with this one


Edited by CaptLuke, 03 February 2019 - 1720 PM.

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#4 CaptLuke

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 1727 PM

 - Investigations into the gun mounts of the F-35A revealed misalignments that result in muzzle alignment errors.  As a result, the true alignment of each F-35A gun is not known, so the program is considering options for re-boresighting and correcting gun alignments.

 

It sounds like this means not only a manufacturing defect but manufacturing variation, which is far harder to fix.  Makes you wonder how much the F-35 is really being mass produced and how much hand fitting and "craftsmanship" there is on the line.  The more of the F-35 that isn't being mass produced, the more problems  will show up later in repair/overhaul on a plane that is already far behind its reliability goals.

 

I'd be more upset about the internal gun issue if I didn't think that any combination of pilots and mission planners who allow an F-35 to come within gun range of anything hostile should be court martialed.


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#5 Simon Tan

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 2045 PM

Unfortunately when ALL your aircraft are F35, then VFR engagements are a necessity for anything other than kill everything.


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#6 Panzermann

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 1246 PM

I'd be more upset about the internal gun issue if I didn't think that any combination of pilots and mission planners who allow an F-35 to come within gun range of anything hostile should be court martialed.


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#7 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 1304 PM

They can always hang an M61 gun pod in on it. Im sure they must have some knocking around in a stores somewhere.

 

They were actually talking about hanging a 30mm gun pod on the F16, but the end of the cold war made sure it didnt come to anything.


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#8 Panzermann

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 1547 PM

They can always hang an M61 gun pod in on it. Im sure they must have some knocking around in a stores somewhere.

 

They were actually talking about hanging a 30mm gun pod on the F16, but the end of the cold war made sure it didnt come to anything.

 

M61 gun pod? why this aging piece? New hotness is the GAU-22/A, which comes either in a pod for the B and C models or is supposed to be fitted into the A model.


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#9 Dawes

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 2129 PM

The 30mm gun pod (GPU-5/B) was pretty much a flop. Excessive vibration and poor accuracy doomed it.


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#10 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 0312 AM

 

They can always hang an M61 gun pod in on it. Im sure they must have some knocking around in a stores somewhere.

 

They were actually talking about hanging a 30mm gun pod on the F16, but the end of the cold war made sure it didnt come to anything.

 

M61 gun pod? why this aging piece? New hotness is the GAU-22/A, which comes either in a pod for the B and C models or is supposed to be fitted into the A model.

 

 

Because im an old fart? :)


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#11 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 0313 AM

The 30mm gun pod (GPU-5/B) was pretty much a flop. Excessive vibration and poor accuracy doomed it.

 

Yes, so Chris tells me. Anything that warps the pylon its mounted on clearly has a few teething problems.


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#12 Special-K

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 2259 PM

I'm curious about this. To be specific, accuracy and precision are not the same thing. Accuracy is being consistent,and has nothing to do with the 'zero' of your rifle scope, so to speak. You can shoot sub-minute of angle and still miss if your sights are off.

The thing with the 30mm cannon pods being inaccurate due to excessive Vibration is a matter of actual 'inaccuracy'. But is the issue with the F-35 an issue of 'inaccuracy' with the gun itself, or an issue of an 'inconsistent zero' between aircraft, or installations after maintenance or some such?


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#13 CaptLuke

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 1607 PM

The thing with the 30mm cannon pods being inaccurate due to excessive Vibration is a matter of actual 'inaccuracy'. But is the issue with the F-35 an issue of 'inaccuracy' with the gun itself, or an issue of an 'inconsistent zero' between aircraft, or installations after maintenance or some such?

 

The way the information reads, you'd call it  'inconsistent zero' and the cause would be manufacturing variation.  If the gun/mounting were inaccurate, then the "options" of re-boresighting and correcting gun alignments wouldn't make sense as fixes.


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#14 Dawes

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 1837 PM

I would have thought that accuracy issues would have been noticed long before now. Guess that indicates the level of priority assigned to the gun.

 

Remember, the original gun for the F-35 was supposed to be the Mauser BK 27.


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#15 JW Collins

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 2012 PM

Are there any 25mm revolver cannons on the market? There was supposed to be a 25mm version of the ADEN but they never got it to work.
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#16 sunday

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 2152 PM

Are there any 25mm revolver cannons on the market? There was supposed to be a 25mm version of the ADEN but they never got it to work.

 

Non British AV8B and derivatives use this:

 

https://en.wikipedia...AU-12_Equalizer

 

British ones were supposed to use the ADEN25, but it was cancelled in 1999.


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#17 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 0256 AM

Yeah, we never got a gun in a harrier. Supposedly they did some mount tests, but they never fired it. Thereafter it was used as the pilots luggage space and an additional equipment rack IIRC.

 

On the positive side, we got 2 more sidewinder rails than the AV8B, which was something.


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#18 Panzermann

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 0327 AM

I would have thought that accuracy issues would have been noticed long before now. Guess that indicates the level of priority assigned to the gun.

 

Remember, the original gun for the F-35 was supposed to be the Mauser BK 27.

 

Which got killed by NIH.


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#19 Dawes

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 2058 PM

You would think that the Mauser cannon would have offered some weight savings compared to a Gatling gun. Not as many rounds but probably better terminal performance.


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#20 sunday

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 0211 AM

You would think that the Mauser cannon would have offered some weight savings compared to a Gatling gun. Not as many rounds but probably better terminal performance.

 

Reasons why the MIC must not let it to be adopted, probably.


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