Figure 9-14 Guns Envelope
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BASIC FIGHTER MANEUVERING (BFM) THEORY
CHAPTER NINE
airborne guns was, for a time thought obsolete for aerial combat (the F-4 was designed without a
gun), experience in Southeast Asia soon proved otherwise.
The latest aircraft cannon used by the Navy is the M-61 Vulcan. It has six rotating barrels,
which are capable of firing 6000 rounds per minute. The Vulcan is mounted internally in the
Super Hornet as well as the F-15 and F-16.
The only real disadvantage of employing the gun in the BFM arena is its short effective range.
While the gun is capable of being lethal from any angle, OPNAV 3710 training rules limit gun
attacks to 45 degrees off the target's nose. For flight safety in the Training Command, we
further restrict the guns envelope as depicted in Figure 9-14. Familiarity with the guns envelope
is essential for valid shot calls during an engagement.
Figure 9-14 Guns Envelope
Probability of Kill (Pk) is highest when the fighter is shooting from the tracking section of the
guns envelope. In the tracking section of the guns envelope, the target is in range and in the
shooter's field of fire for the greatest amount of time. Pk is reduced as the fighter attacks from
the "raking" and "snapshot" sections of the guns envelope.
Obtaining and maintaining a guns firing solution is a highly dynamic challenge. A valid guns
shot will have to solve for "the big three" factors:
Plane of motion (POM) - the flat surface of the turning circle. Simply put, the plane of motion is
the two dimensional plane the aircraft is currently moving in.
9-19
BASIC FIGHTER MANEUVERING (BFM) THEORY

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