Telegraph: F35 won't be shooting until 2019

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by Jailed Nuns Now, Jan 1, 2015.

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  1. Last edited: Jan 1, 2015
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  2. Non story.


    I don't believe the GR5/7/9 ever had cannons.

  3. You might be correct, I only worked on 9/9a and they didn't. Mighty Shar did and I don't believe it was that good, however not my part of ship, I was in pinky in the good old days!

    "New Years Resolution, be nice to crustaceans".

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    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
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  4. It certainly isn't. You never once saw Tom Cruise using his guns to support ground forces, which is what these were hopefully going to be able to do. Modern warfare has far more need of the guns.
  5. He used then to take out Jester, yeeeee haaaaa. Before camping it up on the volleyball court.

    Tom Cruise played a Naval Aviator not a U.S. marine, therefore apart from training all fighting was done above the big blue wobbly thing what mermaids live in

    On the sea Harrier it was unreliable and jammed quite regularly. Modern fast jet aircraft tend to use rockets and missiles from a distance (nearest holiday inn)

    Shit, that's the New Years resolution broken!!

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  6. That's exactly the point. Until 2019, they're going to have to keep doing it that way, because the gun doesn't work.
  7. Purple_twiglet

    Purple_twiglet War Hero Moderator

    A better question would be, when in the last 25 years have we had reason to need to use guns as opposed to other ordnance?
  8. If I was a pilot I'd rather fire an AMMRAM from 60 miles than be dog fighting and relying on guns!

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  9. When your people are quite close to the other people and they're all shooting at each other. Bombs and missiles are helpful, but under various circumstances are less accurate. One of the mooted roles of the F35 is to do what the A-10 has been very good at (i.e. using guns to support people on the ground). Whether or not it will be capable of that is another matter, but the A-10 has done some sterling ground support with guns.

    I now anticipate a question about how many times soldiers attack each other while swimming around.
  10. As discussed previously, the GR9 supported the troops in the stan perfectly well without guns.

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  11. I suggest, all other things being equal, that more options is better. Guns is another option. An option that won't be available. On the plus side, we have now moved away from dog-fights; I was genuinely stunned when that got brought up. It was a window into a previous generation.
  12. Happy New Year JFH!

    First Gen Harriers could all carry the twin Aden gun pods although the FA2 understandably seemed to prefer carrying additional AMRAAM on the under fuselage pylons. However, UK Harrier IIs were never fitted with any despite the single 25mm GAU-12 option fitted to USMC jets.


    Are you aircrew? If so, have you ever experienced strafe in a fast jet? Ever seen strafe used in combat from the ground?

    Overall, this e-tabloid article has more factual errors in than the ‘favourite pastimes and hobbies’ section of Jimmy Saville’s BBC bio.

    Cannons still have their use but they are rarely employed in fast air CAS engagements. A-G gunnery is not the most precise of effects and requires descent below specified base altitudes, exposing him to greater risk and potentially also delaying engagement. This also has implications for airspace management. When cannons are used, the pilot will often ‘hose’ or ‘walk’ the rounds to the target. The merest touch of the rudder pedal will see rounds go quite a way off the target and there is a fair chance of ricochets.

    Therefore, the preferred FJ engagement method against ground targets is GPS or laser guided weapons such as EPW4 and Brimstone. These can be fused to detonate to significantly reduce the risk of collateral and in many cases their accuracy allows the use of extremely small warheads. Statistical analysis will show that the vast majority of CAS engagements from coalition fast air in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria is conducted by bombs or missiles.

    As JFH has mentioned, RAF and RN Harriers lacked a gun yet were a highly effective CAS asset. Tornado GR4s and Typhoons have guns but very rarely use them. Indeed, Brimstone is the CAS weapon of choice where collateral damage is a factor and the US are extremely jealous of its capabilities.

    Lets also not forget that CAS is just one role for F-35. Only the F-35A has an internal gun; the B and C both plan to use an LO, external (and it has to be said, not particularly elegant) centreline podded gun. RN and RAF F-35Bs will be tasked for A-A, A-G, ISR and most likely EA.

    Incremental capability delivery is normal for a new jet. Ultimately, our F-35s will receive the gun soon after IOC(Land) and before IOC(Maritime) and FOC for either.

    This is a non-story.


    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
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  13. How do you put a "shot across the bows" of an aircraft whose attention you're trying to grab using a missile?

    Or does a cannon burst in front of a suspected hijacked airliner only happen in the movies? ;)

    Actually, that's a semi-serious question.
    Is there a drill for that scenario?
  14. Ballistic,

    Warning shots are a viable option for RoE but only if significant amounts of tracer is used which is rarely used these days to my knowledge. The Su-15 which destroyed KAL007 in 1983 used warning shots but there was no tracer so the airlimer pilots never saw it.

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  15. The A10 scares our own troops more than it does the enemy. It's not very good at CAS at all. Ever worked with it?

    Guns aren't needed on fast fixed wing. Bombs and rockets do the job.
  16. I wouldn't agree that the A-10 is 'no very good at CAS at all' Monty. However, troops believe it's a panacea because they only see the end results rather than the bigger picture.

    In reality however, as you suggest, it does have some limitations as discussed here.

    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
  17. It's great if your enemy are a mile away. When they're in the same compound however. It also takes weeks to arrive at the tic.

    I bow to your experience however, as I'm aware how much more knowledge you hold in this arena than I.
  18. JNN,

    One of the stories used to justify "really need guns" was a US unit pinned down in Afghanistan (think it was during ANACONDA) and calling for air support: initially it was felt they were too close to the enemy for bombs or missiles, so the aircraft made strafing runs instead (a F-15E, then joined by an A-10).

    Unfortunately, the aircraft ran out of ammunition before the enemy ran out of enthusiam: the issue was solved, decisively, with a 500lb laser-guided bomb which obliterated the enemy sangar without further injury to the US troops.

    Of course, that detail gets airbrushed out, and it's often held up as "it took the A-10's mighty gun to save them".

  19. As MM says, warning shots are not really used: you'd need to load tracer (not normally done IIRC). There's a repertoire of internationally-agreed manoeuvres that even PPL jockeys have to learn, to allow communication in the absence of radio.
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