A gun pod is a detachable pod or pack containing machine guns or automatic cannon and ancillaries, mounted externally on a vehicle such as a military aircraft which may or may not also have its own guns.
A gun pod typically contains one or more guns, a supply of ammunition, and, if necessary, a power source. Electrically powered cannon, such as the M61 Vulcan, may be powered from the aircraft's electrical system or by a ram-air turbine.
Gun pods increase a vehicle's firepower without occupying internal volume. When not required for a specific mission they can be omitted to save weight. On some vehicles they isolate delicate internal components such as radar from the weapon's recoil and gases, and for jet aircraft allow the weapons to be mounted away from the intakes of the engines, reducing problems of gun-gas ingestion.
When designed to be suspension-mounted on a hardpoint on a typical post-WW II aircraft, gun pods are inherently less accurate than integral guns, or the type of "conformal" gun pods that are faired smoothly into or onto the nearby surfaces of an aircraft, because the "hardpoint" mounting is necessarily less rigid, so that the weapon's recoil produces more deflection. This problem is particularly acute with powerful cannon like the 30mm GPU-5 gun pod. Both hardpoint-mounted and conformal-mount gun pods also cause substantial drag on fast-moving vehicles such as fighter aircraft.
Gun pods are commonly carried on military helicopters, and are often fitted to light aircraft to equip them for counter-insurgency operations. Some air arms use gun pods for fighter bombers for use in strafing attacks. Since the Vietnam War, United States Air Force policy has been that the use of multi-million dollar aircraft for strafing is not economically justified, but the Soviet Union, and subsequently Russia, have remained proponents of strafing, and have continued to develop systems for this purpose. Soviet experience in Afghanistan in the 1980s led to an unusual innovation in the form of the SPPU series of gun pods, which have traversable barrels allowing them to continue to fire on a fixed target as the aircraft passes overhead.
In World War II the Third Reich's Luftwaffe made use of many different, and most often rigidly mounted, conformal and suspended-mount gun pod systems usually called Waffenbehälter (prefix of WB, literally 'weapon container') or Waffenträger (prefix of WT, literally 'weapon carrier'), and carrying anything from rifle caliber MG 81 machine guns, all the way up to the enormous Bordkanone anti-tank cannon based ordnance weapon series, ranging from 37 to 75mm in caliber, though the usual underwing conformal gun pods fitted to Bf 109 and Fw 190 single engined fighters used either the MG 151/20 or MK 108 in gun pod mounts.
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Other articles related to "gun pod, gun, pod":
... Universal Weapons Pylon and Gun Pod The Universal Weapons Pylon is specific to the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter, and provides two support racks for various ... armament configurations, which involve a mix of a system specific gun pod mounting the M296.50 caliber machine gun (left side only), the M260 7-shot 2.75in/70mm Lightweight Launcher (LWL ... The gun pod is fed from a semi-external magazine loaded with 500 rounds of linked ammunition ...
... XM12/M12 and SUU-16/A Developed as a pod for high-speed fighter aircraft which lacked a gun, this pod was fitted with a single M61A1 20 mm cannon and 1 ... aircraft needs to fly over 300 mph (480 km/h), and the pod is designed to be optimal at speeds above 400 mph (640 km/h) ... The pod was designated XM12 (possibly standardized as M12) by the US Army and the same pod was designated SUU-16/A by the US Air Force ...
... Packaged with Gun Pod and sticker sheet ... Includes Gun Pod, Isamu Dyson figure, sticker sheet and adapters for Yamato's display stand (sold separately) ... This release corrected a design flaw on the forearms, which had the Gun Pod mounted off-center in Fighter mode ...
... Comes with an unassembled Speaker Gun Pod and sticker sheet ... Comes with unassembled Gun Pod and sticker sheet ... which includes landing gear, extra hands, shoulder armor with the speakers open, gun pod joints and a custom Fire Bomber display stand ...
Famous quotes containing the word gun:
“We got our new rifled muskets this morning. They are mostly old muskets, many of them used, altered from flint-lock to percussion ... but the power of the gun was fully as great as represented. The ball at one-fourth mile passed through the largest rails; at one-half mile almost the same.... I think it an excellent arm.”
—Rutherford Birchard Hayes (18221893)