Friday, December 28, 2012

Galil ACE

The Galil ACE rifles are the new generation of the famous Israeli Galil assault rifles. The Galil ACE represents full product line of military rifles in world's three most popular calibers (5.56x45 NATO, 7.62x39 M43 and 7.62x51 NATO) made in full spectrum of configurations, from compact carbine and up to long barreled marksman rifle.

5.56mm Galil ACE models 21, 22 and 23 rifles (from top to bottom)
All Galil ACE rifles feature same basic design, based on combat-proven Galil action, and feature same array of ergonomic enhancements, including ambidextrous controls, adjustable telescoping buttstocks, comfortable pistol grips, integral Picatinny rails etc. The 5.56mm version of the Galil ACE assault rifle is adopted by Colombian army, and is manufactured under the Israeli license by Colombian government-owned factory Indumil.

7.62x39 Galil ACE model 32 rifle

The Galil ACE rifle is gas operated, select-fire weapon. It uses long-stroke gas operated action with gas piston located above the barrel. Locking is achieved by rotating bolt with dual locking lugs. The receiver is machined from steel, with polymer magazine housing / pistol grip unit attached below. The detachable stamped steel receiver cover houses an integral Picatinny rail and rear sight base. The charging handle is located on the left side of the receiver and is attached directly to the bolt carrier. To provide maximum protection from dust and dirt at all times, the charging handle slot is covered with spring-loaded dust cover which opens and closes after each shot automatically.

7.62x51 Galil ACE model 52 rifle

The safety / fire mode selector is duplicated at both sides of the weapon, and has better shape when compared to predecessors. Feed is from detachable box magazines; the NATO caliber versions (in 5.56 and 7.62mm) use standard Galil magazines with 35- and 25-round capacity, respectively. The 7.62x39 versions use standard AK magazines with 30-round capacity. Standard sighting equipment includes protected front post (adjustable for zeroing) and protected flip-up type rear diopter sight. A wide array of modern optical sights can be installed on the integral Picatinny rail. All Galil ACE rifles (except for sub-compact ACE 21 and ACE 31 carbines) also feature a bayonet lug on the barrel.

Data for Galil ACE 20 21 22 rifles
Galil ACE 21 Galil ACE 22 Galil ACE 23
Caliber 5.56x45 NATO
Action Gas operated, rotating bolt
Overall length (butt extended / collapsed) 730 / 650 mm 847 / 767 mm 975 / 875 mm
Barrel length 215 mm 332 mm 460 mm
Weight 2.8 kg 3.3 kg 3.44 kg
Rate of fire ~ 700 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity 35 rounds
Data for Galil ACE 31 32 rifles
Galil ACE 31 Galil ACE 32
Caliber 7.62x39 M43
Action Gas operated, rotating bolt
Overall length (butt extended / collapsed) 730 / 650 mm 895 / 815 mm
Barrel length 215 mm 380 mm
Weight 2.95 kg 3.4 kg
Rate of fire ~ 650 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity 30 rounds
Data for Galil ACE 52 53 rifles
Galil ACE 52 Galil ACE 53
Caliber 7.62x51 NATO
Action Gas operated, rotating bolt
Overall length (butt extended / collapsed) 935 / 855 mm 1043 / 963 mm
Barrel length 400 mm 508 mm
Weight 3.56 kg 3.69 kg
Rate of fire ~ 650 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity 25 rounds

Friday, December 21, 2012

The XA-38 Grizzly would have been a potent ground-attack component to the Allied cause if it entered production

The XA-38 was a developmental twin-engine heavy fighter produced by the Beech Aircraft firm. By all accounts, she was a stable and fast aircraft comparable to even the single engine speedsters of her day. As promising as her design was, her potential was never realized as the engines slated for the type were reserved for the four-engined Boeing B-29 Superfortress heavy bombers taking precedence. As such, only two XA-38 prototypes were ever built with the project ultimately shelved at the end of the war. Should she have flown in quantity, she might have presented the Empire of Japan with a formidable adversary capable of engaging tanks, vehicles, ships and submarines with equal - and lethal - fervor.

The XA-38 Grizzly would have been a potent ground-attack component to the Allied cause if it entered production.

The United States Army Air Force (USAAF - forerunner to the United States Air Force) entered into a contractual agreement with Beech Aircraft in December of 1942 after considering the company's Beechcraft Model 28 system. The contract called for two initial prototypes to be built as the XA-38 to fulfill a requirement that involved replacing the Douglas A-20 Havocs then in service. This new aircraft would have to exceed in all areas the A-20 excelled at wile making for one truly potent ground attack component vital to eliminating the dug-in Japanese foes throughout the Pacific Theater. The A-20, itself, had its origins in 1939 design and was introduced into operational service in 1941. Its armament and light bombing capabilities allowed the Havoc to make a name for itself in the early years of the war, eventually being fielded by the United States, French, British and Soviet forces. Production of the type finally ended on September 20th, 1944 and a need for its replacement was inevitable. The XA-38 achieved first flight on May 7th, 1944 with Beech test pilot Vern Carstens at the controls, launching from the Beech Aircraft airfield in Wichita, Kansas. It was then flown to Elgin Field in Florida to undergo testing with the US Army.

Design of the XA-38 centered around the large 75mm cannon armament mounted in the nose. The cannon was positioned as such that the barrel protruded from the nose cone assembly of the clean all-metal airframe.

The fuselage was of a conventional design featuring a forward cockpit area and a rear gunner station and fit together as four main sections for ease of maintenance and repairs. Wings were mid-mounted monoplane assemblies (based on the airfoil of the NACA-2300 series) joining the fuselage to each side of the cockpit and designed with a heated leading edge and surfaces to prevent ice from forming at higher altitudes. On the wings were fitted twin Wright R-3350-53 series air-cooled radial piston engines capable of delivering an astounding 2,700 horsepower each while driving three-bladed, constant speed Hamilton Standard propellers. Cooling was provided for through specially-designed circular cowlings and controlled via automatic flaps. The engine nacelles were fitted to the wing leading edges and protruded some, nearly to the extension length of the fuselage nose. The empennage was conventional and featured a horizontal tailplane with two vertical tail fins. The undercarriage was a typical "tail dragger", with two forward single-wheeled landing gears and a single-wheeled tail system - all fully retractable via hydraulics with a backup pneumatic emergency system. Crew accommodations amounted to the pilot and a gunner housed under in separate glazed canopies. The gunner sat in a dorsal position on the empennage.

While the primary armament of the XA-38 was its nose-mounted 75mm cannon (the entire forward nose section was hinged to open upwards for easy access to the cannon), this was further augmented by no fewer than 6 x .50 caliber Browning air-cooled heavy machine guns.

Two were fitted to the lower forward nose section in a forward-firing fixed position while the remaining four were placed in dorsal ad ventral General Electric-brand remote-controlled turrets (two machine guns to a turret). These turrets were traced via periscope sights by the gunner in his rear cabin. Additional external stores would have been conventional drop bombs, a torpedo, smoke bombs, depth charges, chemical tanks and drop tanks. With its accessible hinged nose assembly, the XA-38 was envisioned to fit other adaptable armament systems on-the-fly.

Performance-wise, the XA-38 shined based on reports of the test pilots and servicemen that had the privilege of flying her.

She posted stable flight characteristics but was most notable for her top speed. Her speed was comparable - or better in some cases - to the top-flight single-engine fighters of her day. In one such trial, a chase plane sent up to monitor the XA-38 was found lagging behind the twin-engined beauty. Other impressive performance feats showcased the XA-38's ability to take-off and land in shorter distances at low speed than even her contemporary single-engined brethren. Her powerplants and airframe undoubtedly proved reliable in subsequent evaluations.

A maximum speed of 376 miles-per-hour was recorded along with a service ceiling topping 27,800 feet with twin Wright 2,700 horsepower engines and a crew of two.

Comparatively, the A-20 Havoc sported a top speed of 339 miles-per-hour with a service ceiling of 23,700 feet with twin Wright 1,700 horsepower engines and a crew of three.

The XA-38 would go down as a true American "what-might-have-been" story for a top straight-line speed coupled with a lethal armament package made for one successful aircraft in the Second World War. It is believed that the XA-38 would not have disappointed has it been ordered into production and been available in some number. As fate would have it, the system fell by the wayside as the B-29's took her engines, the need for dedicated attack craft dwindles and the war came to its inevitable close a year later.

Regardless, the XA-38 remains an interesting study. The XA-38 went under the name of "Destroyer" but was more popularly remembered as the "Grizzly". It is known that one of the XA-38 prototypes fell the way of the scrap yard while the whereabouts of the other prototype are unknown.

Specifications for the Beechcraft XA-38 Gizzly / Destroyer (Model 28)

Length: 51.67ft (15.75m)
Width: 67.06ft (20.44m)
Height: 15.49ft (4.72m)

Maximum Speed: 370mph (595kmh; 321kts)
Maximum Range: 1,625miles (2,615km)
Rate-of-Climb: 0ft/min (0m/min)
Service Ceiling: 28,999ft (8,839m; 5.5miles)

Armament Suite:
1 x 75mm T15E1 cannon in nose
2 x 12.7mm Browning air-cooled heavy machine guns fixed in lower fuselage nose.
2 x 12.7mm Browning air-cooled heavy machine guns in remote-controlled dorsal turret.
2 x 12.7mm Browning air-cooled heavy machine guns in remote-controlled ventral turret.

OPTIONAL (up to 2,000lbs of external stores):
Conventional Drop Bombs
Fuel Droptanks
Smoke Screen Chemical Tanks
Depth Charges
Accommodation: 2
Hardpoints: 2
Empty Weight:22,481lbs (10,197kg)
Maximum Take-Off Weight:36,330lbs (16,479kg)

Engine(s): 2 x Wright GR-3350-43 Cyclone radial piston engines of 2,300 horsepower each.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Since late 1950s, Indian armed forces were equipped with 7.62mm NATO L1A1 self-loading rifles, which were licensed copies of the famous Belgian FN FAL rifle. As the 7.62mm self-loading rifles started to become obsolete by the 1980s, India began to develop the INSAS (Indian National Small Arms System), which incorporated features from several popular foreign designs. The INSAS system was originally planned to have three components - a standard rifle, a carbine, and a squad automatic rifle (LMG), all chambered for 5.56 x 45 NATO ammunition. In 1997 the rifle and LMG were ready for mass production, and in 1998 the first units were observed on an Independence Day parade armed with INSAS rifles. The mass introduction of the INSAS rifle was initially delayed by the lack of the domestically made 5.56 mm ammunition and India accordingly bought significant stocks of ammunition from the Israeli IMI company. At the present time at least 300,000 INSAS rifles are in service with the Indian army; some of these have seen action in Indo-Pakistani conflict. The INSAS rifles are made by the Ishapore Rifle Factory.

The INSAS rifle is broadly based on the famous Kalashnikov AK-47 action, but with many modifications. The basic gas-operated action with long stroke gas piston and a rotating bolt, as well as the stamped steel receiver, are generally the same as in modern Kalashnikov rifles. However, the gas system is fitted with a manual gas regulator, similar in design to that found on FN FAL rifles, as well as a gas cutoff. The charging handle has been moved from the bolt carrier to the left side of the forearm; it is similar in position and design to German HK G3 rifle. The selector / safety switch is located at the left side of the receiver, above the pistol grip, and allows for single shots and three round bursts. The rifle is fitted with a side-folding carrying handle, and either a solid or side-folding metal buttstock. Furniture can be made from wood or polymer. Standard magazines are made from semi-translucent polymer and contain 20 rounds. Longer 30-round magazines of similar design are available for the INSAS LMG but can also be used in the rifle. The sights consist of a hooded front, mounted on top of the gas block, and a diopter rear, mounted on the receiver cover. The flash hider is shaped to accept NATO-standard rifle grenades. INSAS rifles can be fitted with AKM-style multipurpose knife-bayonets.

Caliber: 5.56x45 mm NATO
Action: Gas operated, rotating bolt
Overall length: 945 mm with fixed butt; 960 / 750 mm with folding butt
Barrel length: 464 mm
Weight: 3.2 kg empty
Rate of fire: 650 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 20 or 30 rounds

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Carl Gustav Recoiless Rifle

The global reach of the Carl Gustav recoilless rifle emphasizes the popularity of the weapon, appearing in three major variants and in use by standard military and special forces alike for some sixty years. The system has been noted from the start for its accuracy, impressive range and firepower since appearing with the Swedish Army in 1948. The system earned its distinct name from the production facility from whence the initial rifles were produced - Carl Gustafs Stads Gevarsfaktori in Sweden - a facility now owned by Bofors.

The Carl Gustav recoiless rifle design is a popular and widely used multi-purpose weapons platform appearing with various military groups across the globe.

When introduced, the Carl Gustav was similar in most respects to weapons such as the American Bazooka, British PIAT or German Panzerschreck anti-tank weapons. The Carl Gustav was a recoilless rifle design featuring a rifled barrel which instantly differentiated itself from its contemporaries. The rifled barrel allowed for stabilization of the ammunition to occur through the barrel, negating the need for spring-loaded fins to be used once the projectile reached flight (a popular feature in other systems). This operation allowed the Carl Gustav's projectile greater range and firepower and quickly made it a favorite amongst its users.

Since its inception, the Carl Gustav went on to become a pivotal offensive arm of military forces around the globe (even seeing license-production in Japan with Sumitomo).

The M1 appeared in 1948 and was followed by the improved Carl Gustav M2 in 1964. The M3 followed decades later in 1991 and featured a host of improvements, chief among these being a reduction in overall weight in part to the replacement of internal steel components. The Carl Gustav remains in operational service in its varied forms and is a particular favorite with special forces groups including the United States Special Operations COMmand (USSOCOM) units.

The rifle can fire all types of ammunition beyond its primary anti-armor projectiles and include illumination, anti-structure, smoke, practice and anti-personnel (flechette) projectiles.

A crew of two is required for optimal service though the simplicity of the system allows for a single operator/firer at the cost of rate of fire. Optical, laser rangefinder and image intensification sights (along with the standard iron sights) can be mounted and greatly improve the weapon for a variety of specialty roles as needed. Ammunition is reloaded through a hinged breech on the side of the tube. The basic main tube features a pistol grip, a forward grip, shoulder strap and optional bipod along with standard iron sights.

M1 - Production beginning 1946; entered Swedish Army service in 1948.
M2 - Appeared in 1964; "improved" M1 model.
M3 - Appeared in 1991; reduced overall weight; alloy/plastic construction replacing steel components; reinforced outer sleeve.
M3 MAAWS - US Special Forces Designation of Carl Gustav M3 model.
Panzerfaust Carl Gustaf / Leuchtbuchse 84mm - German designation.
Sumitomo FT-84 - Japanese license-production Carl Gustav designation.

Specifications for the Carl Gustav

Action: Hinged Breech; Percussion Firing Mechanism
Cartridge: 84mm / 8.4cm
Feed System: 1
Cyclic Rate-of-Fire: 6rds/min
Overall Length: 1130mm (44.49in)



Related Posts with Thumbnails