They started a program and caned it in side a month. Sure all together it might have equaled the price of a single F35A... no wait more like 3 when you consider spare parts, paperwork, deliveries and testing. but then Does it all have to be Billion dollar warships with you? End of the day every thing from the carrier to the F35 to the Space Force is all there to support the most critical asset in a battle. The Grunt and his weapon.I didn't quite get your point, anyway how big are those contracts, two mil, three mil? LOL that would a price of one (1) F-35 wheel, I guess LOL
Any who Since I am posting small arms.
The Air Force is arming pilots with this longer-range, stand-off rifle to use if they’re ever shot down
The Air Force isn’t necessarily known for its small arms programs, but
The weapon is officially named the GAU-5A Aircrew Self Defense Weapon. It’s a variant of the
“The [GAU-5A] and four full magazines, 30 rounds [each], must all fit in the ejection seat survival kit,” Gibson said in an emailed statement. “This has driven the dimension of 16 x 14 x 3.5 inches.”
That design gives pilots 120 rounds — about two magazines shy of a full load-out on a ground troop’s personal kit — during an evasion scenario.
The unique barrel design can reportedly be assembled and fired in 60 seconds with no tools, “even in low light,” according to
The assembly does not require a user to line up any tiny, hard-to-find gas access holes with a gas tube on the rifle, nor does it require a twist of the system. The rifle simply has a pair of quick releases where the barrel meets the main assembly.
The U.S. Air Force’s new GAU-5A Aircrew Self Defense Weapon, fully assembled. (Air Combat Command)
Like the M4 carbine it is based off, the GAU-5A is a semi-automatic carbine capable of a three-round burst. It uses a standard 5.56mm round with an effective range beyond 200 meters.
“The [GAU-5A] is designed for all combat-coded ejection aircraft,” Gibson said.
That means it will be included in the survival kits of A-10, B-1, B-2, B-52, F-15C, F-15E, F-16 and F-22 aircraft.
The GAU-5A is being built and converted by the U.S. Air Force Gunsmith Shop at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. In total, 2,137 weapons are expected to be fielded, Gibson said.
The weapon is being produced at a rate of 100 per week, but some weapons are already in use, stowed away on-board aircraft.
Prior to the introduction of this weapon system, pilots who found themselves in a downed-aircraft scenario were forced to rely on their personal sidearm for self defense.
Capt. Jason Morgan, 393rd Bomb Squadron B-2 Spirit pilot, radios in his location prior to his rescue during survival training at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. (Staff Sgt. Alexandra M. Boutte/Air Force)
Earlier this year, a Russian pilot’s Sukhoi-25 ground-attack aircraft was shot down over Idlib province in northwestern Syria. The pilot survived ejection, but died in an ensuing ground fight with Syrian rebels.
Such an event is rare given the lack of air-to-ground weapons used by insurgent forces in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, but it does highlight the dangers these conflicts still pose to aircraft providing close-air support, particularly strafing runs, for friendly forces.
That danger was evidenced by a recent Distinguished Flying Cross citation for an A-10 pilot who dodged “accurate surface-to-air fire” while providing close air support for U.S. troops
As the U.S. military prepares for an era of great power competition with more powerful state-level air forces, like those of Russia and China outlined in the
Although not listed I suspect that both F35A and B21 will also be getting the Carbine eventually.
Based on what we see the GAU 5/A is based on the Mk18 a 10.3 inch barreled M4 carbine modified with a take down device. It will be placed inside the standard survival kit which is under the seat rest of the Ejection seat. The Standard currently used is for downed pilots to depend on a service side arm IE a pistol. but from time to time there have been attempts at giving downed pilots some more powerful options but they have not as yet really caught on.
Weapons like the HK MP7A1 would seem well suited to the job due to the small size , good potential for body armor penetration well retaining a good range vs a traditional SMG. Recently in operations in the middle east Dutch air crews are reported to have added the Mp9 to there survival kit. Before these there were other attempts at rifles for survival kits Most though focused more on the 4 legged threats to the pilots. Most combine a rifle and Shotgun to some degree some though are straight up ludicrous
Size has been though a major limitation. Even some amazingly compact weapons would be hard pressed to fit in the small dimensions. the Kit is under the seat of the Pilot it's General External dimensions are 19.96 inches from front to rear, 16.9 inches wide, 6.64 inches tall minus padding and and about 23 pounds. To put this in perspective the Mk18 on which the GAU-5/A seems based is 26.75 inches at it's most compact. A Soviet AKS74U with it's stock folded is 19.3 inches long. And Fn P90 is 19.9 inches long. So Squeezing a Rifle like the GAU-5/A is a bit of a trick.