This is the point of origin;
I like the Russian styling of aircraft design, but I don't think I have ever seen a Russian aircraft that didn't look like it wasn't the
bastard child of some American or British aircraft!
Sorry mate, I suggest you look into development timelines/strategies and rethink your position.
The only exception is that I think when the A-10 was hot, it looked tougher than ANYTHING else out there.
Again, sorry but for as long as I’ve been on ATS, the same patter is occurring again and again, ATS patrons always seem ending up comparing apples
to oranges over and over. Propaganda at its best.
That’s because A-10 was literally built around GAU-8, while Russians traditionally concentrated on the total airframe (see IL-2 Shturmovik legacy),
and they already had an excellent twin barreled GSh-30-2 which offers the same firepower at less then one third of the GAUs weight.
GSh-30-2 delivers INSTANT 3000 rof while GAU has to spin up its heavy 7 barrels to its current maximum 3200 rof.
Empty weight of GSh-30-2 (9-А-623) is 105 kg, GAU-8 is 281 kg.
GAU-8s main DU round is PGU-14/B, its total weight is 735 grams with 425 gram projectile.
Full ammo load of 1,350 rounds is a staggering 992 kg or 8 kilos short of a full TON.
The entire GAU-8 gun system with a fully loaded drum weighs colossal 1,830 kilos, or almost 2 tons.
With out the ammo, complete GAU-8 weapon system which includes the feed system and ammo drum weighs absolutely unreal 838 kilos, or 1847 lb.
In comparison complete GSh-30-2 system weighs only 231 lb, while delivering more instant firepower with out throwing out live rounds because it’s
not a rotary.
Standard SU-25 ammo load is 250 rounds which include BP-30-GSh AP rounds. Ammo load was designed to provide 5 one second bursts, and that was
calculated from the average over the target flight time and corresponding ammo load sufficient enough to engage 5 armored targets after dedicated
guided and unguided munitions were expended, and that’s only if AAA and MANDAP SAM threats have been previously eliminated by cluster bomb runs.
Typical, traditional, time proven and honored hit and run.
In contrast, A-10 was designed to loiter over the hostile territory in a hunter/killer role, and after it uses up all of its guided/unguided load
it’s to use its massive ammo load to bust Soviet armor point blank, which in reality is simply ludicrous since the very core of Soviet
armored/mechanized infantry tactics is based on extremely dense AAA/SAM support.
Russians do have their own 30mm rotary GSh-6-30, which is unlike GAU-8 is gas operated thus by default outperforming GAU-8 technologically by not
suffering from long spin up time and ejection of live rounds during spin down, but it was still judged to be just too large for a small and nimble
ground attack aircraft like SU-25.
Ballistics of the Russian 30mm round fired from GSh-30-2 is slightly inferior to GAU-8, but when fired from longer barreled GSh-20-2K and GSh-6-30
there isn’t any difference worth talking about.
Russian 30mm (and other) rounds are electronically fired by a 27 volt system, so typical primer misfires have been completely eliminated.
Other then the usual array of AP/HE/shrap/incendiary/tracer rounds in all flavors, an unusual ME (multi-element) 30mm round is regularly mixed in the
loads. ME round contains 28 bullets which are knocked out of its canister after being fired, thus creating a massive shotgun like effect.
ME rounds are usually loaded into MI-24P gunship GSh-20-2K load since it’s specifically tasked with clearing out infantry.
GSh-20-2K also employs variable rof modes, allowing it to switch between 2000-2600 and 300-400 rof with 940 m/s muzzle velocity.
GAU-8s 30mm is a 30X173, while Russian 30mm has a slightly shorter casing classifying it as 30X165, it is actually a bit taller because of its
stretching casing neck design and heavier/longer projectile.
30X165 HEI projectile weighs 390 grams, while 30X173 HEI weighs 360, but does hold 15% HE content verses 12.4 HE content of the Russian round.
Through out history Russians put less HE in their rounds in order to give extra penetrating punch.
Russian 30mm HEI weighs 830 grams verses 890 grams of the GAU, and its lower 830 m/s muzzle velocity is measured by firing it from shorter barreled
guns, while full length barreled versions provide 940 m/s at the muzzle, yet it still falls short of fas 1,080 m/s of the 30X173.
In terms of power, American 30mm round scores 97 points verses 75 of the Russian round, which in real life conditions is so negligible that it’s not
a deciding factor.
GIATs 30M791 30x150B round scores 77 points on power level, but most of it comes from high HE content which severely limits it’s penetrating
This is where it gets interesting. Ever since WWII Russian have extensive experience with Yak-9T fighter mounted automatic 37mm and Yak-9K automatic
Such power was simply devastating, and experienced pilots were able to completely demolish ANY flying target with a single hit. I’ve read Soviet
pilot diaries which time and time again showed how effective large caliber canons were, and by using UBS MG for aiming, as soon as the pilot saw
strikes on the enemy plane one pull of the big gun trigger destroyed the enemy completely.
Both 37mm and 40mm were extensively used on German heavy armor with devastating effect.
This is where the main question still stands. Dedicated IL-2 Shturmoviks delivered their HEAT rockets and bombs, and then hit German armor from
behind with hard hitting 23mm auto cannons, all while a single well placed a shot from a 37/40mm Yak cannon could take out a King Tiger with out all
of the fuss.
Same applies to the SU-25/A-10.
Currently they rely on automatic cannon fire to saturate the target with DU/AP rounds, but even then Russians considered it to be obsolete and
ineffective tactic remnant of the WWII.
During the early 80s a secret project code named TBK-700 was initiated specifically for the SU-25T tank killer.
It was smoothbore 45mm cannon firing an active-reactive shell.
By the end of the 80s the project was completed and fully tested. It proved to be an absolutely devastating weapon system which flat out outperformed
any form of auto cannon solution.
FCS provided Constantly Computed Impact Point (CCIP), interfaced with flight control system and automatically trimmed out the approach for the pilot
so he can concentrate on the target.
FCS used dual firing mode, automatic and semi-automatic. In auto mode upon reaching firing solution the FCS engages auto guns trigger and fired the
gun, yet still allowing the pilot to manually fire and place follow up shots if the target was still in the kill zone.
In field tests auto mode engagement repeatedly destroyed armored targets such as tank and bunkers with a single “pilot assisted” shots.
Future development planned incorporation of FBW system with FCS so the pilot would only need to choose the target and from that point system
automation would completely take over the process.
FCS worked the target while FBW guided the dive and when everything lined up, the gun fired completely automatically, and then the pilot could choose
to take manual control to escape the area or allow for pre-programmed FBW escape maneuver.
KA-50 is said to use a similar system to engage multiple targets with its massive 30mm BMP-2 cannon. AP rounds put to armored targets and then auto
switch to ME mix to suppress infantry with a hail of bullets, all done instantly and automatically by FCS and FBW, all while on the move and flying
Here are some basic examples of large cal rounds;