The 30mm cannon on the Air Force’s next gunship is having multiple problems, limiting its ability to track targets and maintain a full and consistent rate of fire, according to a new Pentagon report.
The AC-130J Ghostrider’s 30mm cannon fires up to 200 Coca-Cola bottle-sized rounds per minute ― but it recoils so heavily it causes a “retrigger,” forcing the gun to automatically stop firing while it re-centers itself. The operator then has to release and re-pull the trigger to start shooting again, the Office of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation section said this month in its fiscal 2017 report.
The report said that the retrigger happens when the 30mm’s recoil kicks it beyond a preset angular limit, which is called “tracking inhibit,” which shuts off the gun and starts the re-centering process. This is not a problem on the legacy AC-130W Stinger II variant, testers said.