The very first UH-1A gunships deployed to protect the vulnerable CH-21 Shawnees.
I'd started a thread some time ago, which can be found here.
P.S. Good threads the lot of them, Plage. Keep it up!
A short overview about the diffrent UH-1A/B/C "Huey" Gunships aka "Hogs" and their armament used during the Vietnam War era.
ARA (Aerial Rocket Artillery) Gunships:
ARA Gunships were generally equipped with the XM3/M3 Armament Subsystem which is mounted on a M156 Helicopter Multi-armament Mount. This system carried up to 48 (24 each side) tube launched 2.75 inch rockets (FFARs).
Some helicopters were also equipped with the M5 Armament Subsystem. This system was a belt-fed M75 40mm grenade launcher in a flexible chin-mounted turret with a capacity of 150 to 300 rounds.
There was also version that was called the "Maxwell System" which was an in-country development by WO Robert Maxwell. This system carried up to 36 (18 each side) tube launched 2.75 inch rockets and two AGM-22B wire-guided anti-tank missiles.
Additionally there was a version existing that can also be considered as ARA. It was only flown at Camp Holloway, Pleiku from 1963-64 and carried 16 (8 each side) tube launched 2.75 inch rockets on an M6 Armament Subystem.
"Quad 60" Gunships:
These Gunships were equipped with the M6 Armament Subsystem which is mounted on a M156 Helicopter Multi-armament Mount. This system carried four (two each side) M60C 7.62mm machineguns on a flexible mount.
Most versions also had rocket launchers mounted. This combinated was designated the M16 Armament Subsystem and carried an XM157 or M158 seven-tube rocket launcher on each side.
These gunships were equipped with the M21 Armament Subsystem which is mounted on a M156 Helicopter Multi-armament Mount. This system carried one XM157 or M158 seven-tube rocket launchers plus one M134 7.62mm miniguns on a flexible mount on each side.
These versions were equipped with the M156 Armament Subsystem which is mounted on a M156 Helicopter Multi-armament Mount. This system carried one M200 19-tube rocket launchers for 2.75 inch rockets one each side.
Gunships with ATGMs:
These gunships were equipped with the M22 Armament Subsystem which is mounted on a M156 Helicopter Multi-armament Mount. This system carried six (three each side) AGM-22B wire-guided anti-tank missiles.
As you can see on the following pictures there was also the option to attach various versions of doorguns on the M156 Helicopter Multi-armament Mount. For example M60, Twin M60, M2 or even an XM27/M134 available that can be added to the M6/M16/M21 and similar systems or used as single.
The "Bushrangers" were UH-1Ds of the Royal Australian Air Force euipped with the "double" M156 Helicopter Multi-armament Mount. The system in the front carried one M134 minigun on each side while the back system carried one XM157 seven-tube rocket launcher for 2.75 inch rockets and a Twin M60 on each side.
Of course a lot more diffrent loadouts and combinations can be found. There was a lot of in-country development and mix up going on during the War. If you want more precise informations on the armament you may visit the following links.
All infos and pictures are gather from various sources found in the net. I tried to use pictures that are not explicitly copyright protected and resized/reworked some of them to fit this short overview.
If you have any additonal infos, corrections, questions, complaints etc., please post them here in this topic. Thank you!
Last edited by T.S.C.Plage; 08-07-2008 at 01:31 AM.
Thanks and great link, some stuff I haven't in my list. If I find the time I'll integrate it into this topic if you don't mind.
Beautiful American inginuity
There were also some Hueys equipped with the M197 3 barreled 20mm guns:
No, there were no helmet sights as we know them back then. A simpler pantograph sight was used, operated by the copilot.
This thread needs this pic...
The size of the GE Minigun mount compared to the DillonAero one used today.
Does anybody know why the RAAF Bushrangers had two weaponstations (M156 Helicopter Multi-armament Mount) each side? I'm asking because I don't see a reason for the extra weight carried around. All used weaponssystems (M134 and FFARs) could also be mounted at one station with no problem as you can see from the pics of the US gunships.
@ Aldo Penniconi:
Thank you for your contribution. Would you please do me a favor and delete the both first pics in your first post? They don't fit in the "gunship" thread, thank you.
A) The miniguns were placed forward to alleviate the problem of spent cases and links hitting the tail rotor.
B) The Bushrangers were long-fuselage Hueys, not short B/C/M models like the US Army equivalents so this configuration was selected for CG reasons, i.e. to better distribute the weight of the weapon systems fitted. It would also be more convenient to mount the guns forward, as there is uninterrupted space to mount the ammo boxes behind the pilots' seats (again a result of the differences between short- and long-fuselage Hueys). Italian AB-205s (UH-1H equivalent) do carry the miniguns US fashion, but with external ammo pods, not internally-mounted boxes, but then again, they do not have the twin manually operated M60s.
I am not an engineer, so these are just guesses, but hopefully they may hold water.
I guess "A" isn't the reason because I doubt the downwash and gravity let a case or link travel that far back. Even not if the helicopter flies fast and downwards. Do you have any other infos about that?
"B" sounds more plausible to me but I'm still wondering about the extra weight. I don't know the weight of these stations but I think they aren't that light. It should make a diffrence if you carry four or just two. Otherways the Australian AO was relatively "flat" so it wasn't necessary to squeeze out the choppers to the last.