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    Cannons in Russian Fighters and Helicopters

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    Cyrus the great

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    Re: Cannons in Russian Fighters and Helicopters

    Post  Cyrus the great on Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:08 am


    Garry

    I hope I'm not pestering you with my flurry of questions but I find you incredibly well informed. I know that the Mi-28 currently uses the 2a42 but if it was to use the 23×115 round instead with AFPDS, what kinds of speeds could we reasonably expect?
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    GarryB

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    Re: Cannons in Russian Fighters and Helicopters

    Post  GarryB on Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:36 am

    It is difficult to say for sure.

    First I would mention that I don't actually know of any APFSDS rounds for the 23 x 115mm round.

    The 23 x 115mm round was developed specifically for low velocity low recoil high rate of fire weapons... the purpose was to spray a dense pattern of heavy shells rapidly... high velocity high energy rounds meant recoil and short flight time to target, but did not improve lethality against air targets.

    The 23 x 115mm round was developed specifically for aircraft use against enemy aircraft so the combination of heavy HE shell to maximise the effect of an impact along with a very high rate of fire in a small compact weapon were considered ideal.

    Aircraft generally don't fire APFSDS rounds as the Sabot tends to damage engines when ingested in the air intakes.

    For most modern helos the value of an armour piercing cannon is not enormous... there wont be an A-10 equivalent in rotary wing aircraft simply because a missile will do the job far easier and more reliably and at much greater range than any gun... range means keeping the helo safe.


    A modern helo faces a range of targets that it has to be able to deal with but the average Havoc loadout generally will include 16 ATAKA missiles and 40 x 80mm unguided rockets plus 300 odd cannon shells.

    The cannon is a good way to deal with quick soft targets, but ATAKA missiles are actually rather cheap and plentiful.

    Ugroza will make unguided rockets accurate enough to be used to 4km or so and will be relatively cheap too.

    In terms of hovering in out of ground effect... helos are not the best option in mountains... the wind can be more dangerous than enemy fire.

    Over flat terrain helos wont fly at high altitudes... the whole point of a helo is to fly low to see the target and to avoid longer range ground fire.

    Regarding performance of 23 x 115mm ammo.. if you look at US SLAP ammo for their 12.7 x 99mm ammo... you probably get an idea... the 14.5 x 114mm HMG round the Russians use has twice the muzzle energy and so the 23 x 115mm is a larger calibre so more energy can be pushed down the barrel.

    In the 1980s I would say no because having APFSDS in 23 x 115mm would be of a totally different trajectory to any other ammo the weapon might fire as the standard HE round is heavy and only leaves short barrels at about 700m/s... whereas a sabot round will be small light penetrator dart and propellant and would likely have a muzzle velocity in the 1,400m/s to 1,500m/s velocity range.

    Light and fast and very low drag vs large and slow and high drag means the aim point with one round and the aim point for the other would be very different... ie looking down the iron sights firing a mixed belt of these two rounds means one round hitting target and the other zipping miles over head or dropping well short.

    In a dual feed weapon like the 2A42 however you can swap aim points when changing ammo but only today with modern electronic sights with ballistic computers you could make a very effective anti material rifle in 23 x 115mm with powerful low velocity HE shells and effective APFSDS rounds.

    I would estimate 60-80mm armour defeat out to 1,200m or so... but that is just a guess.

    In the 1990s the west experimented with a 15mm calibre weapon based on the 14.5mm Soviet round and it managed a 40mm armour defeat capability at 1km range.

    Nobody bought it because it was not standard ammo, but the Russians already have the 23 x 115mm round in service. It would not take much to develop an anti material heavy rifle able to use the 23 x 115mm calibre as well as their 14.5 x 114mm round and of course their 30mm grenades and perhaps their new 40mm grenades. (man portable rifles are probably too small and light for their new 57mm grenade launchers...)


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    Cyrus the great

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    Re: Cannons in Russian Fighters and Helicopters

    Post  Cyrus the great on Sun Sep 11, 2016 10:44 am

    GarryB wrote:It is difficult to say for sure.

    First I would mention that I don't actually know of any APFSDS rounds for the 23 x 115mm round.

    The 23 x 115mm round was developed specifically for low velocity low recoil high rate of fire weapons... the purpose was to spray a dense pattern of heavy shells rapidly... high velocity high energy rounds meant recoil and short flight time to target, but did not improve lethality against air targets.

    The 23 x 115mm round was developed specifically for aircraft use against enemy aircraft so the combination of heavy HE shell to maximise the effect of an impact along with a very high rate of fire in a small compact weapon were considered ideal.

    Aircraft generally don't fire APFSDS rounds as the Sabot tends to damage engines when ingested in the air intakes.

    For most modern helos the value of an armour piercing cannon is not enormous... there wont be an A-10 equivalent in rotary wing aircraft simply because a missile will do the job far easier and more reliably and at much greater range than any gun... range means keeping the helo safe.


    A modern helo faces a range of targets that it has to be able to deal with but the average Havoc loadout generally will include 16 ATAKA missiles and 40 x 80mm unguided rockets plus 300 odd cannon shells.

    The cannon is a good way to deal with quick soft targets, but ATAKA missiles are actually rather cheap and plentiful.

    Ugroza will make unguided rockets accurate enough to be used to 4km or so and will be relatively cheap too.

    In terms of hovering in out of ground effect... helos are not the best option in mountains... the wind can be more dangerous than enemy fire.

    Over flat terrain helos wont fly at high altitudes... the whole point of a helo is to fly low to see the target and to avoid longer range ground fire.

    Regarding performance of 23 x 115mm ammo.. if you look at US SLAP ammo for their 12.7 x 99mm ammo... you probably get an idea... the 14.5 x 114mm HMG round the Russians use has twice the muzzle energy and so the 23 x 115mm is a larger calibre so more energy can be pushed down the barrel.

    In the 1980s I would say no because having APFSDS in 23 x 115mm would be of a totally different trajectory to any other ammo the weapon might fire as the standard HE round is heavy and only leaves short barrels at about 700m/s... whereas a sabot round will be small light penetrator dart and propellant and would likely have a muzzle velocity in the 1,400m/s to 1,500m/s velocity range.

    Light and fast and very low drag vs large and slow and high drag means the aim point with one round and the aim point for the other would be very different... ie looking down the iron sights firing a mixed belt of these two rounds means one round hitting target and the other zipping miles over head or dropping well short.

    In a dual feed weapon like the 2A42 however you can swap aim points when changing ammo but only today with modern electronic sights with ballistic computers you could make a very effective anti material rifle in 23 x 115mm with powerful low velocity HE shells and effective APFSDS rounds.

    I would estimate 60-80mm armour defeat out to 1,200m or so... but that is just a guess.

    In the 1990s the west experimented with a 15mm calibre weapon based on the 14.5mm Soviet round and it managed a 40mm armour defeat capability at 1km range.

    Nobody bought it because it was not standard ammo, but the Russians already have the 23 x 115mm round in service.  It would not take much to develop an anti material heavy rifle able to use the 23 x 115mm calibre as well as their 14.5 x 114mm round and of course their 30mm grenades and perhaps their new 40mm grenades. (man portable rifles are probably too small and light for their new 57mm grenade launchers...)

    Garry

    Thank you so much, mate. This certainly clears up a lot of things for me. You're right...It does make more sense to use rockets against armor and the new laser guided rockets strengthen the case for this. How much penetration does the current standard 23x115 HE round achieve at 2km? I understand that the 2a42 can reach out to 4km (double that of the M230) so is this why the 23x115 was replaced for certain platforms in the Russian military?
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    Re: Cannons in Russian Fighters and Helicopters

    Post  GarryB on Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:52 am

    How much penetration does the current standard 23x115 HE round achieve at 2km?

    Zero.


    HE shells are for soft targets, not armoured targets.

    Against troops out in the field a HE round is vastly more effective than Armour piercing rounds because the exploding shell scatters shrapnel all over the place so even a near miss can be lethal. With AP rounds you need to actually hit the target to damage it. A HE round just needs to hit the ground near by.

    I understand that the 2a42 can reach out to 4km (double that of the M230) so is this why the 23x115 was replaced for certain platforms in the Russian military?

    AFAIK the 23 x 115mm round has only ever been used in fighter aircraft for use against enemy fighter aircraft and as a defensive round for transport aircraft.

    The first interceptors like the MiG-15 and MiG-17 had 37mm cannon and 23mm high velocity cannon... but when they went to the MiG-21 they changed to low velocity 23mm cannon rounds.

    AFAIK the only Soviet or Russian army platform that uses the 23 x 115mm calibre is the late model Hinds in a chin turret.

    The ZU-23 and ZSU-23-4 both use the much more powerful 23 x 152mm shell for shooting at aircraft from the ground... recoil and ammo size is less of an issue.

    The 30 x 165mm ammo replaced the 23 x 152mm ammo in army use when the Tunguska replaced the Shilka... and that was for extra effective range.

    For a helo the cannon is pretty much close range self defence for which I would expect the 23 x 115mm round is perfectly suited... not too big, not too powerful in terms of recoil, high rate of fire if needed, heavy HE shell for its calibre.



    As you can see above there is a difference between 23x115mm and 30x165mm ammo... Smile


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    Cyrus the great

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    Re: Cannons in Russian Fighters and Helicopters

    Post  Cyrus the great on Sun Sep 11, 2016 3:12 pm

    GarryB wrote:
    How much penetration does the current standard 23x115 HE round achieve at 2km?

    Zero.


    HE shells are for soft targets, not armoured targets.

    Against troops out in the field a HE round is vastly more effective than Armour piercing rounds because the exploding shell scatters shrapnel all over the place so even a near miss can be lethal. With AP rounds you need to actually hit the target to damage it. A HE round just needs to hit the ground near by.

    I understand that the 2a42 can reach out to 4km (double that of the M230) so is this why the 23x115 was replaced for certain platforms in the Russian military?

    AFAIK the 23 x 115mm round has only ever been used in fighter aircraft for use against enemy fighter aircraft and as a defensive round for transport aircraft.

    The first interceptors like the MiG-15 and MiG-17 had 37mm cannon and 23mm high velocity cannon... but when they went to the MiG-21 they changed to low velocity 23mm cannon rounds.

    AFAIK the only Soviet or Russian army platform that uses the 23 x 115mm calibre is the late model Hinds in a chin turret.

    The ZU-23 and ZSU-23-4 both use the much more powerful 23 x 152mm shell for shooting at aircraft from the ground... recoil and ammo size is less of an issue.

    The 30 x 165mm ammo replaced the 23 x 152mm ammo in army use when the Tunguska replaced the Shilka... and that was for extra effective range.

    For a helo the cannon is pretty much close range self defence for which I would expect the 23 x 115mm round is perfectly suited... not too big, not too powerful in terms of recoil, high rate of fire if needed, heavy HE shell for its calibre.



    As you can see above there is a difference between 23x115mm and 30x165mm ammo... Smile

    Garry

    Sorry, mate I meant a High-Explosive Incendiary round. What kind of penetration could we get out of a High-Explosive Incendiary 23x115 round? The M789 HEDP from the M230 can apparently penetrate 25mm of RHA at 500m, so what can a comparable 23X115 round achieve? The M230 (a "light 30") is much weaker than all other 30mm and so I doubt that it can penetrate more. The 25mm penetrates more so I assume that the 23x115 can penetrate at least as much as the M230.
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    Re: Cannons in Russian Fighters and Helicopters

    Post  Werewolf on Sun Sep 11, 2016 10:21 pm

    Cyrus the great wrote:

    Garry

    Sorry, mate I meant a High-Explosive Incendiary round. What kind of penetration could we get out of a High-Explosive Incendiary 23x115 round? The M789 HEDP from the M230 can apparently penetrate 25mm of RHA at 500m, so what can a comparable 23X115 round achieve? The M230 (a "light 30") is much weaker than all other 30mm and so I doubt that it can penetrate more. The 25mm penetrates more so I assume that the 23x115 can penetrate at least as much as the M230.

    23x115mm do only use HE/HEFI and Target practice rounds for GSh-23L on Hinds. That means they do not have any number figures of what they can penetrate because of their purpose and design. The contact fuze HE rounds have  two fuzes -  a) contact fuze that detonates with a small delay to have the capability to penetrate the surface and detonate inside rather than on the surface to enhance the damage. The second b) fuze is a safety contact fuze that initiates a detonation on contact when the surface is to hard for the HE shell and the delayed contact fuze is to slow to initiate the detonation. This safety contact fuze will detonate the round before it squashes itself and the shell open from the kinetic energy against the surface to prevent a dud.

    The M789 is an HEDP (HEAT) round that is why it has such penetration and the penetration rather goes up with distance due to the rotating and negative spinning (centrifugal effect) on the copper liner of the shaped charge. The penetration performance is horrible at close range and goes up with every hundred meters to the ~25mm.

    Exactly by that two contact fuzes or measurements it is hard to say what penetration it can have, for sure is that it will penetrate any armored BTR-60 up to BTR-80 or any MRAP and detonate inside. It won't have any chances of penetrating tanks or any better armored IFV in head on engagement. That round was never designed for such purpose. There are also no APFSDS 23 nor 30mm rounds in service, few designd like ZUBR-9/10 and new one now ZUBR-11 but non adopted so far. The current one is ZUBR-8 with 45mm penetration at 100m and 28mm at 1km, 22mm at 2km.
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    Re: Cannons in Russian Fighters and Helicopters

    Post  GarryB on Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:37 am

    Sorry, mate I meant a High-Explosive Incendiary round. What kind of penetration could we get out of a High-Explosive Incendiary 23x115 round?

    HEI is High explosive Incendiary... in other words it is a HE with a material in it to make it burn.

    It is used to start fires in combustible material. Or set fire to ammo and fuel.

    HE is not actually that good at starting fires as its high velocity blast wave tends to put small fires out rather than encourage them.

    The M789 HEDP from the M230 can apparently penetrate 25mm of RHA at 500m, so what can a comparable 23X115 round achieve?

    HEDP is High Explosive Dual Purpose... it contains a shaped charge to penetrate armour and is designed to fragment like a HE shell, so it can kill exposed troops and penetrate light armour.

    There is no equivalent 23mm round AFAIK.

    The M230 (a "light 30") is much weaker than all other 30mm and so I doubt that it can penetrate more.

    The M230 is like the 23 x 115mm round... a heavy projectile with a light short case to give relatively low muzzle velocity and therefore low recoil.

    The 25mm penetrates more so I assume that the 23x115 can penetrate at least as much as the M230.

    Shaped charges derive their penetration from their diameter so a larger calibre round all other things being equal should be better at penetrating than a smaller calibre.

    The effect under armour of a 30mm HEDP cannon shell would be debatable, and I rather doubt developing a comparable 23mm version would be worth while.

    Whether you are shooting enemy aircraft or soft ground targets a good HE round is much more use than an anti armour cannon shell.

    If you spot an armoured vehicle, first of all you don't want to be within 2km because even a HMG is a threat to you and armoured vehicles often carry such weapons... even light unarmoured civilian vehicles have them.

    An 80mm rocket with a laser homing head is the best way to deal with light armoured vehicles and ATAKA and Krisantema for heavier vehicles and bunkers.


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    Re: Cannons in Russian Fighters and Helicopters

    Post  kopyo-21 on Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:07 am

    Hi Garry,

    I wonder why Mil did not re-arrange the 2A42 gun position on Mi-28 by moving it back to the center of gravity like Kamov did with the same gun on Ka-50/52 to reduce the firing vibration. Of course the gun barrel traveling would be limited between 2 landing gear but still much wider than Ka-50/52's.

    Werewolf wrote:The current one is ZUBR-8 with 45mm penetration at 100m and 28mm at 1km, 22mm at 2km.

    The ZUBR-8 is for Naval CISW gun and much shorter than other rounds so they have to belted it with other ones for 2A42 or 2A72 firing. In that case I don't know how the gun's FCS system solve the big different muzzle velocity between them to calculate the ballistic.


    Last edited by kopyo-21 on Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:19 am; edited 1 time in total

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    Re: Cannons in Russian Fighters and Helicopters

    Post  kopyo-21 on Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:59 am

    Hi Werewolf,

    I had a mistake between ZUBR-8 AP-T round and ZUBR-10 "Kerner" APFSDS-T round. So although they have published ZUBR-10 "Kerner" since long time a go but it has never been in service yet?
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    Cannons in Russian Fighters and Helicopters

    Post  GarryB on Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:20 am

    I wonder why Mil did not re-arrange the 2A42 gun position on Mi-28 by moving it back to the center of gravity like Kamov did with the same gun on Ka-50/52 to reduce the firing vibration. Of course the gun barrel traveling would be limited between 2 landing gear but still much wider than Ka-50/52's.

    To be useful the 30mm gun has to be pointable. Having on the chin of the nose means it can swing around freely and more importantly rapidly at targets that appear suddenly.

    For the Kamovs the nose turning ability comes from the momentum of the main rotors so it has a strong nose turning ability at low flight speeds.

    For the Mils the tiny tail rotor has little turning force once the aircraft is flying forward so it needs a turret to aim and mounting the turret forward gives it the best arcs of fire over a wider range of flight speeds.

    The 2A42 and 2A72 have dual feed ammo belts so it can fire one or other type of rounds. when it changes between belts it can change aiming points for the different rounds.

    For weapons like the 2A38M twin barrel 30mm guns and the AO-18 Gatlings they use rounds in a continuous belt so they all need to have similar ballistic performance so they all print around the aim point.


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    Re: Cannons in Russian Fighters and Helicopters

    Post  George1 on Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:38 am

    Modern fighter cannon

    Modern Western airsurfers to direct air support (CAS which) allocate an air gun as a means of defeating small-sized soft targets in those cases when the positions of ones and others are extremely close, as it is theoretically very precise and can be used without threat to its own. For example, during the second Iraq, two A-10 pilots received awards for the attack on militants, who fired upon marines behind the fence, literally on the other side of the road.

    It was for this purpose that the gun on the F-35A was pierced, and the marines begged for a cannon container - in this context, the above had to be explained ten times.

    By the way, in the current campaign, it is known at least that the English gun "Typhoon" was used for the first time.

    Until recently, until recently, the gun was firstly considered as a means of air combat - and in vain, a 30-mm single-barrel is just more to work on the ground is attractive, it is possible to offend the BMP.

    Su-35S VCS of Russia attacks militants in the Syrian desert in the east of the province of Damascus with the help of an air cannon. Under the wings it looks like the blocks with NAR are suspended.



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    Re: Cannons in Russian Fighters and Helicopters

    Post  GarryB on Sat Jun 03, 2017 12:37 pm

    Guns evolve with experience.

    Experience from the conflict with Georgia led the Su-25SM3 to have its gun modified to allow a range of different rates of fire to be used.

    It was found in combat that the very high rate of fire of the gun led to too many rounds being fired at each target.

    Modifications mean lower rates of fire can be used to reduce the number of rounds fired per burst so more targets can be engaged.


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    Re: Cannons in Russian Fighters and Helicopters

    Post  George1 on Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:29 am

    The Ka-52 (onboard number "48 red") from the 39th helicopter regiment of the 27th Mixed Aviation Division of the 4th Air Force and Air Defense Army of Russia (Dzhankoy airfield, Crimea) damaged the fuselage itself with a projectile when firing from its own 30-mm gun , The incident took place in 2016. It is alleged that this incident is not the first.



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    Re: Cannons in Russian Fighters and Helicopters

    Post  GarryB on Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:50 am

    The cannon on the Kamov can elevate and also turn a little.

    The computers control the aim of the gun so I guess the problem is that the pilot turned the aircraft while a gun burst was being fired at a target in front of the aircraft... the angle of the gun allowing contact with the aircraft... just as well there are arming safeties on the rounds to prevent them from exploding before travelling a distance from the muzzle.

    A cross section of the projectile shows the fuse mechanism fills most the tip of the round and has an arming delay mechanism to prevent the round exploding near the cannon as it is fired... for example in this case hitting the airframe of the helo the gun is mounted on, but also in case it hits something very close to the weapon just after the round is fired.


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