Questions tagged [ordnance]

Use for questions about the weapons and ammunition carried onboard combat aircraft, such as bombs, cannon, and missiles.

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88
votes
11answers
51k views

Why do fighter jets still have guns/cannons?

I noticed that the "new" F-35 still has a GAU-22/A cannon installed in it -- albeit with only 182 rounds (more with ammo pods). Why do fighters still have cannons? The day of dogfighting is long ...
38
votes
4answers
12k views

How do conventional missiles fly?

With the exception of cruise missiles, most missiles don't have any obvious lifting device. If you watch a missile being fired, prior to its rocket firing it does exactly what you'd expect: ...
24
votes
6answers
11k views

What makes a bomber able to deliver nuclear bombs?

Currently the German Luftwaffe has Panavia Tornados to deliver American nuclear bombs in case of war. The bombers are getting older and are currently modernized. The German Luftwaffe also has ...
19
votes
6answers
6k views

Why do heavy bombers not carry air-to-air missiles?

Imagine a heavy bomber – such as the B52, Tu160 or B1 – is heading toward a hot zone carrying a large number of AMRAAM or longer ranged missiles. Why doesn't it also carry air-to-air ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

How does dropping ordnance affect the weight and balance of the aircraft?

During a mission, military aircraft often shed a lot of weight from takeoff to landing. An F-15C (empty weight: 28,000 lbs) carries an internal fuel load of 13,455 lbs (almost a third of take-off ...
1
vote
1answer
260 views

Can a F-4 Phantom II pilot control weapons?

In the F-4 Phantom II, can the pilot in the front seat control the weaponry as well, or do they only fly the aircraft? And can the weapons officer in the back fly the aircraft in emergencies, e.g. if ...
1
vote
1answer
210 views

Can the Kawasaki T-4 carry weapons?

The Kawasaki T-4 is a jet trainer aircraft. However, it seems to have two hardpoints. Armament Two hardpoints for external fuel tanks Can these be used to carry weapons? E.g., unguided bombs or ...
0
votes
2answers
208 views

Does the payload of an ICBM or regular airplane bomber explode if the ICBM or bomber is shot down?

As the top says, does the payload of an ICBM or regular airplane bomber (please excuse my ignorance) explode if the ICBM or bomber is shot down? So, say a defense laser in space (yes, I know; this is ...