During the Singapore Airshow 2018 event, the Orbital ATK company showcases its Palletized Weapon System (PaWS) fitted with the GAU-23/A cannon. It is a variant of the Bushmaster II gun, designed for aircraft applications. GAU-23/A weapon is used, for instance, onboard the AC-130W Stinger II AC-130J Ghostrider platforms. The company is offering the product for the Airbus AC-235 and Leonardo MC-27J fixed wing aircraft. Orbital ATK also showcases the AC-208 CAS version of Cessna Caravan and Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems technology.
Palletized Weapon System (PaWS) is the main highlight of the Orbital ATK’s booth at the Singapore Air Show. The whole solution includes the GAU-32/A cannon along with the ammunition, which is coupled with a control panel for the operator. The whole package may be easily set up or dismantled from an aircraft with the use of a standard forklift.
The system has been designed for the Orbital ATK’s combat variant of the CASA C235 platform, known as AC-235. The type is currently operated by the Jordan military. AC-235 is a lighter counterpart of the AC-130J/W Hercules family gunships. The aircraft, alongside the cannon, may also carry Hellfire ATGMs and 70 mm unguided rockets, as well as APKWS 70 mm guided missiles. Broadband observation systems are also fitted onboard. Leonardo MC-27J is listed alongside the AC-235, as the potential carrier for the PaWS solution.
MC-27J and AC-235 scale models fitted with the PaWS systems featuring the 30 mm cannon are presented, placed above the cannon and the control panel that processes the sensor data. There, AC208B Eliminator Combat Caravan scale model could also be spotted. The said aircraft is a modified platform based on Cessna Caravan. The variant in question, developed by Orbital ATK, has been fitted with an optronic sensor, armour protection for the crew, data processing system and armament - unguided and guided (APWKS, GATR) 70 mm rockets and Hellfire ATGMs.
All of the systems listed above are destined to provide CAS in counter-insurgency scenarios, e.g. during counter-terrorist operations. Counter-UAS systems have also been demonstrated by Orbital ATK in Singapore. The systems may be used to reinforce fixed defensive structures. However, the company has also made steps to integrate them on the Stryker IFV/APC platform. Thanks to the above, a self-propelled C-UAS system may be created, fitted with electronic warfare and kinetic assets (with the latter element coming in a form of 30 mm Bushmaster cannon shooting programmable rounds).