Skip to comments.The USAF's AC-130W Gunships Are in Desperate Need of Special Ammunition
Posted on 10/17/2017 6:50:23 AM PDT by rktman
The U.S. Army has made an urgent purchase of a specific type of 30mm cannon shells on behalf of U.S. Special Operations Command. Without the ammunition, the service said the U.S. Air Forces AC-130W Stinger II gunships would be forced to use alternative rounds that would be unacceptably inaccurate and dangerously unreliable.
In June 2017, the Army approved a plan to purchase up to 200,000 PGU-46/B 30mm cannon rounds from Orbital ATK. The service did not publicly disclose the total potential dollar value of the contract, but had to issue a so-called justification and approval document to explain why they needed to give the work straight to the Virginia-headquartered defense contractor rather than solicit competitive bids from various companies. This document appeared on FedBizOpps, the U.S. governments main contracting website, on Oct. 11, 2017.
(Excerpt) Read more at thedrive.com ...
Probably available in Mexico.
How is it that any round supplied to the military can be described as “unacceptably inaccurate and dangerously unreliable”. If it can be described that way, would it not have those properties regardless of the weapons platform it’s used in?
How is it that any round supplied to the military can be described as unacceptably inaccurate and dangerously unreliable. If it can be described that way, would it not have those properties regardless of the weapons platform its used in?
It could be acceptably accurate in one platform, and dangerously inaccurate and unreliable in another.
Some 7.62x51 machine gun ammo, for example, will fire just fine in sniper rifles, but is much less accurate than ammo made to be used by snipers.
Just an illustration.
Cancel some gender-bender seminars, and use the money to buy some ammo.
I’ll grant the inaccurate aspect. “Dangerously unreliable”, however, indicates to me that the ammunition in question is beyond simply having feed errors or misfires, and into the realm of cartridge failures or similar.
South Korean Winter Olympics is only months away. Making these folks targets might allow some real work to get done.
Unreliability in ammunition is inherently dangerous.
The writer of the unnecessary duplication is trying to get this contract through.
Very likely there is only one manufacturer that can produce the ammunition that has been proven, that the troops want and need, and that can be procured in a reasonable time.
But the requirements for a sole source contract have to be met, and this is the way the writer is doing it.
We have bound ourselves into bureaucratic knots, that make it nearly impossible to get things done quickly, even when it makes sense.
200,000 rounds sounds like a very small order, considering the application.
From what little I know, which is indeed little, these are not A-10 30 mm rounds that are fired off a hundred or so in a burst. Absolutely, 200K rounds would not seem to be very many if they’re being fired off 150-300 at a whack. These are more like Bushmaster rounds as fired from a Bradley, fired maybe 2 per second. You can see the gun firing in the video at the link.
Why either one would be considered “inaccurate and unreliable” I have no clue. I wouldn’t want to be at the pointy end of either one, thank you.
Gonna need these rounds to assault the human wave of Nork soldiers storming out of the south end of the tunnels beneath the DMZ.
In reading the article, I didn’t see where it was noted why the Arny is buying ammo for the Air Force.
The article compared this ammo to the Navy’s Mk 266, saying that the main difference is in the luminosity of the tracer rounds, that being too bright may affect the plane’s electro-optic sighting system.
They’re great fun in COD!! Mes-sy! d;^D
Both are 30mmx173mm cartridges, so they’d work in either gun.
In the USAF budget, http://www.saffm.hq.af.mil/Budget/Air-Force-Presidents-Budget-FY17/, in the USAF Weapons volume, http://www.saffm.hq.af.mil/Portals/84/documents/FY17/AFD-160208-046.pdf?ver=2016-08-24-102038-590, there is no PGU-46/B listed.
There are multiple other listings for various other ammunition, but not the round mentioned in the article.
However, there is a statement in a couple of places in the USAF Weapons volume that states: “Air Force procures [other PGU rounds] through the Single Manager for Conventional Ammunition (SMCA), Department of the Army.”
Weird. I need to look into this a little more.
Regarding not a competitive bid, the solicitation document makes clear: “There are currently no other known sources to provide the PGU-46B as a Non-Traced ammunition.”
This makes the acquisition sole-source. Much like buying additional F-16’s, there is only one maker of that jet, ergo, sole-source procurement.
“Very likely there is only one manufacturer that can produce the ammunition that has been proven,”
That is true and it is in the justification for sole-source procurement.
Not the A-10 round, for sure.
(As a point of order, FYI. . .the A-10 GAU-8 has seven barrels, and when fired that can be 10-rounds per barrel per second, and that is 70 rounds in a second. . . .we don’t hold the trigger for more than a second because the heat generated by the A-10 30MM rounds melts/warps the barrels.)
I suppose you can fire it, but why would you? The A-10 GAU-8 is accurate and you don’t need tracers at all. Its a point wish-you-are-dead gun. No need for tracers.
Last I heard these area weapons are not meant to hit soldiers directly and are inherently made inaccurate as a result.. which is dangerous for our troops, but, whatever, we are not signatories but we still abide by the Geneva BS which basically is admission of being an aggressor with a hunting agenda and needed bagging limits.
There should be no bagging or accuracy limits in terror war and self defense.
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