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GPU-5/A - Where is it?


Avimimus
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I have seen some documents from when the F-15E was in development, and they claim that it could carry three GPU-5...

Considering that it apparently doesn't use AGM-65 in service, but we're still getting those - where is my GPU-5? 😉

I mean... no rockets or guns? Just guided bombs? It needs more spice. 😄

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GPU-5/A never entered service with the E model, and I’m pretty certain it was only ever slung on a test bed aircraft (which was actually a B model).  So while the E model has been cleared to use the GPU-5/A, it was never actually integrated into the E model’s systems.
 

5725E1DC-94E9-43BE-8F00-A6A39B66F329.png


AGM-65 on the other hand actually did get integrated into the E model’s systems, and was in service for a time with at least one air wing.

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Thank you for that intelligent and well informed reply. Honestly, it is probably a silly ask.

The truth is that I really like guns and rockets... and I found myself thinking that the GPU-5/A would cause me to be much more likely to purchase the module (and invested in learning all of the switches)... I'd honestly be happier with a stick of iron bombs followed by a couple of strafing passes... rather than using guided bombs.

While you are humouring me - were there ever plans, even at a really early stage, to equip this thing with unguided rockets? I recalled the GPU-5/A from reading an old book (that came out before the F-15E entered service), but I can't remember if it said whether rockets were ever envisioned.

P.S. Part of me still wants the GPU-5/A - and the fact that it was cleared for use on the F-15E just makes it seem almost reasonable.

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These pods very quickly turned out to be a complete "dud" when hanging them under the F-15 or F-16. In the F-15, they were never actually used operationally - apart from testing - and in the F-16 they were last suspended in a few cases in 1991 during Desert Storm. The F-15E and finally the F-16 turned out to be planes that do not need this type of armament. The containers were finally transferred from USAF resources to NG and are probably lying somewhere in warehouses covered by dust and fungus...

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35 minutes ago, Nahen said:

These pods very quickly turned out to be a complete "dud" when hanging them under the F-15 or F-16. In the F-15, they were never actually used operationally - apart from testing - and in the F-16 they were last suspended in a few cases in 1991 during Desert Storm. The F-15E and finally the F-16 turned out to be planes that do not need this type of armament. The containers were finally transferred from USAF resources to NG and are probably lying somewhere in warehouses covered by dust and fungus...

Yes, I'm aware that they had rigidity issues leading to high dispersion and loss of calibration and lacked proper integration into the HUD on the F-16... leading to their withdrawl from combat use after a few hours in Desert Storm.

I'm also aware that the idea of sending fighters on strafing runs was increasingly dubious in the 1980s and 1990s (even if the up-armoured A-16 had been built)...

...but until someone makes a Mig-27K - how else am I supposed to experience such a bad idea?

P.S. I think there is a big difference from what is wise in real-life and fun in a consequence-free environment like a computer game - sure there is overlap, but sometimes bad ideas are worth experiencing for oneself - putting a 30mm gatling gun (or three of them) on an expensive air-superiority fighter and trying to do WWII style ground attack missions probably is one of those 🙂 

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3 hours ago, Avimimus said:

Yes, I'm aware that they had rigidity issues leading to high dispersion and loss of calibration and lacked proper integration into the HUD on the F-16... leading to their withdrawl from combat use after a few hours in Desert Storm.

I'm also aware that the idea of sending fighters on strafing runs was increasingly dubious in the 1980s and 1990s (even if the up-armoured A-16 had been built)...

...but until someone makes a Mig-27K - how else am I supposed to experience such a bad idea?

P.S. I think there is a big difference from what is wise in real-life and fun in a consequence-free environment like a computer game - sure there is overlap, but sometimes bad ideas are worth experiencing for oneself - putting a 30mm gatling gun (or three of them) on an expensive air-superiority fighter and trying to do WWII style ground attack missions probably is one of those 🙂 

The question is whether people creating modules and having quite a lot of work to develop them to fit into some standard, will bother with something that was not even an "episode" in the life of the aircraft whose module they create ... I think that approaching the subject rationally , they will prefer to invest their willingness and above-normative time in something more sensible 😉

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21 hours ago, Avimimus said:

Thank you for that intelligent and well informed reply. Honestly, it is probably a silly ask.

The truth is that I really like guns and rockets... and I found myself thinking that the GPU-5/A would cause me to be much more likely to purchase the module (and invested in learning all of the switches)... I'd honestly be happier with a stick of iron bombs followed by a couple of strafing passes... rather than using guided bombs.

While you are humouring me - were there ever plans, even at a really early stage, to equip this thing with unguided rockets? I recalled the GPU-5/A from reading an old book (that came out before the F-15E entered service), but I can't remember if it said whether rockets were ever envisioned.

P.S. Part of me still wants the GPU-5/A - and the fact that it was cleared for use on the F-15E just makes it seem almost reasonable.

To my knowledge no, I don’t think so.  I’m sure the engineers toyed with the idea, but I haven’t seen any documentation suggesting it was a serious consideration.  To be honest I’m surprised even the GPU-5 was considered in the first place, since the plane was envisioned as a low level deep strike fighter.  Not really the mission a gun run calls for.  
 

As fun as rockets and big guns would be on this bird, we’ll have to stick with the A-10 and AV-8 for the time being.  Fortunately both those aircraft are a blast to fly so I can always hop over when I get that itch to strafe.  

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19 hours ago, Nahen said:

The containers were finally transferred from USAF resources to NG and are probably lying somewhere in warehouses covered by dust and fungus...

Apparently the USMC acquired them all and are mounting them on their LCACs. With no practical way to aim them (fixed mounts) that seems like an equally poor idea but that never stopped the marines from trying.


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21 hours ago, Nahen said:

The question is whether people creating modules and having quite a lot of work to develop them to fit into some standard, will bother with something that was not even an "episode" in the life of the aircraft whose module they create ... I think that approaching the subject rationally , they will prefer to invest their willingness and above-normative time in something more sensible 😉

Well, there is another way of looking at it - if you put 100,000 hours into a project and then discovered that one could add an interesting feature for one tenth of one percent of the effort already put into it... wouldn't you? A lot comes down to the personalities of the developer of course.

That said, I agree that the rationale for adding this piece of equipment is pretty weak.

Thank you all for your informative and well-reasoned answers!

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Supposedly, some Thai F-5Es still carry them. What for, I don't know, but that would be fun to try in DCS. 🙂 Your biggest concern would be to avoid stalling the thing when firing the gun.

Still, I just don't think it'd be worth the effort. Whole 9 seconds of trigger time, crap accuracy, and strafing is already of limited utility due to lack of complex DMs for ground units. The A-10 has a lot of ammo and is rather accurate, but even it has trouble killing anything with actual armor. The Strike Eagle has a perfectly good internal 20mm that is probably better than the GPU-5/A when it comes to engaging just about everything.

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If you want to play with some gunpods, the community A-4 has some which are quite spectacular to play with.

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On 12/11/2022 at 5:21 PM, Avimimus said:

until someone makes a Mig-27K

If I remember correctly, the mig-27K did more harm to itself and its pilots with that humongous 30mm than it ever did to anyone on the ground... Are you really sure you want that ? 😄 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gryazev-Shipunov_GSh-6-30

"On the MiG-27 "Flogger" the GSh-6-30 had to be mounted obliquely to absorb recoil. The gun was noted for its high (often uncomfortable) vibration and extreme noise. The airframe vibration led to fatigue cracks in fuel tanks, numerous radio and avionics failures, the necessity of using runways with floodlights for night flights (as the landing lights would often be destroyed), tearing or jamming of the forward landing gear doors (leading to at least three crash landings), cracking of the reflector gunsight, an accidental jettisoning of the cockpit canopy and at least one case of the instrument panel falling off in flight. The weapons also dealt extensive collateral damage, as the sheer numbers of fragments from detonating shells was sufficient to damage aircraft flying within a 200-meter radius from the impact center, including the aircraft firing.[4]"

That may be a bit of an extreme example but guns (and even more so gun*pods*) that don't fit well the airframe do not bring happiness and success and fame and glory.

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7 часов назад, BuzzLine сказал:

If I remember correctly, the mig-27K did more harm to itself and its pilots with that humongous 30mm than it ever did to anyone on the ground... Are you really sure you want that ? 😄

Yes. Yes. A hundred times yes. This, supersonic speed and precision A-G weapons. And also gunpods and rockets. None of what you describe is too high a price to pay for tanking the FPS, freezing and potentially crashing the entire server with a press of a button.

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Now that we are likely getting a Su-17M4 or Su-22M4 from one dev or another, my next greatest unannounced aircraft is MiG-27K indeed. Very much so at that!

Funky optical+laser Soviet targeting system in a full fidelity fixed wing red bird, which would still be a different thing from what Fitter brings on the table. Besides... sorry A-10 but...

Nuffin' quite sez WAAAAAAAGGGHHH like A LOT OF DAKKA in a plane that actually goes FASTAH!

😛

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On 12/12/2022 at 6:13 PM, Dragon1-1 said:

Supposedly, some Thai F-5Es still carry them. What for, I don't know, but that would be fun to try in DCS. 🙂 Your biggest concern would be to avoid stalling the thing when firing the gun.

Still, I just don't think it'd be worth the effort. Whole 9 seconds of trigger time, crap accuracy, and strafing is already of limited utility due to lack of complex DMs for ground units. The A-10 has a lot of ammo and is rather accurate, but even it has trouble killing anything with actual armor. The Strike Eagle has a perfectly good internal 20mm that is probably better than the GPU-5/A when it comes to engaging just about everything.

Hmm... well, I think the poor accuracy would be really interesting. The ballistic performance of the rounds would be basically the same as the A-10 - however the dispersion would be much higher... kind-of a a saturating effect.

It has a lower rate of fire - but with all three gunpods one would end up with about 1.84 times the rate of fire of the A-10... which combined with the dispersion would be pretty suppressing...

  

On 12/12/2022 at 7:39 PM, BuzzLine said:

If I remember correctly, the mig-27K did more harm to itself and its pilots with that humongous 30mm than it ever did to anyone on the ground... Are you really sure you want that ? 😄 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gryazev-Shipunov_GSh-6-30

"On the MiG-27 "Flogger" the GSh-6-30 had to be mounted obliquely to absorb recoil. The gun was noted for its high (often uncomfortable) vibration and extreme noise. The airframe vibration led to fatigue cracks in fuel tanks, numerous radio and avionics failures, the necessity of using runways with floodlights for night flights (as the landing lights would often be destroyed), tearing or jamming of the forward landing gear doors (leading to at least three crash landings), cracking of the reflector gunsight, an accidental jettisoning of the cockpit canopy and at least one case of the instrument panel falling off in flight. The weapons also dealt extensive collateral damage, as the sheer numbers of fragments from detonating shells was sufficient to damage aircraft flying within a 200-meter radius from the impact center, including the aircraft firing.[4]"

That may be a bit of an extreme example but guns (and even more so gun*pods*) that don't fit well the airframe do not bring happiness and success and fame and glory.

Amusingly. I'm the one who rewrote that paragraph many many years ago and put it on the Wikipedia 🙂 I'm surprised it has lasted.

I suppose I'm consistent. Perhaps a better source is the channel paper skies - they did a good video recently:

 

 

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