In addition, most Assault Cannon systems allow the weapon to be fired while still on the TSF's Mount Pylon, preventing BETA from attacking from behind. Some mount systems allow the weapon to be pointed in front, making for a hail of firepower in any one direction.
The ammunition used in all Assault Cannons, while of wide variety, are all of standardized manufacturing types for ease of production; most if not all nations use the same 36mm and 120mm rounds. Below follows a list of currently utilized ammunition types.
The standard 36mm round type. A typical Assault Cannon will carry 2000 of them in a single magazine.
- 36mm high-velocity armor-piercing (HVAP)
- The standard 36mm round type, which is caseless. It is effective against most BETA types because of the usage of depleted uranium rounds, which gives it excellent anti-armor properties.
- 36mm tracer
- A 36mm round that burns a pyrokinetic charge when fired, providing a light source for allied troops and as a guide for the firer to see where his/her aim is. An essential round type mixed with the standard 36mm HVAP, the 36mm tracer was used during the early years of the invasion to provide sight advantage for allied TSFs during night fighting; in modern times it is used more as a visual aid for non-TSF ground troops.
120mm smoothbore cannonEdit
The standard set of 120mm round types. A typical Assault Cannon will carry 6 of these in a single magazine.
- 120mm armor-piercing capped and balistically-capped high-explosive (APCBCHE)
- A 120mm round that deals damage by piercing a surface and detonating an explosive payload once within. While the round is rocket-boosted, its penetration power does not match up to the 120mm APSDFS round, and the APCBCHE is usually reserved for less-armored large BETA strains.
- 120mm armor-piercing sabot-discarding fin-stabilized (APSDFS)
- An arrow/dart-shaped kinetic penetrator fitted with an external shell (sabot) that allows the dart to be fired out of a cannon barrel. Once in the air, the round is further accelerated by additional rocket propulsion, before the sabot falls off to reveal a finned dart not unlike an arrow. This round type is usually reserved for use against larger and more well-armored BETA strains. Similar to most penetrator rounds fired by battle tanks, effectiveness of the round in combat depends on the target, angle of fire, and other external factors.
- 120mm canister shot
- A 120mm round that, when fired, spreads fragments at high velocities over a wider area; usually used on clusters of smaller strains of BETA.
- 120mm high-explosive squash head (HESH)
- A 120mm round that does not focus on penetrating power, but instead uses the force from its explosion and impact on a surface to transmit the resulting shockwaves to whatever is on the other side, causing damage to soft and hard objects alike.
Type-87 Assault CannonEditThe Type-87 Assault Cannon is the main weapon of TSFs assigned to United Nations forces stationed in the Empire of Japan, and the main gun fielded by the Imperial Army and Royal Guards. The gun's weapons systems can be separated into two components; an RG-36 36mm chaingun makes up the bulk of the weapon, with a removable GG-120 120mm cannon attachment on the top front of the Assault Cannon. The weapon with all ammunition magazines loaded carries 2000 36mm chaingun rounds and 6 120mm cannon rounds, and has been proven to improve the maneuverability of TSFs by way of its design, which does not concentrate all of its weight on any single point.
The weapon's resemblance to the P90 can be said to be a hint at the friendly relations between Europe and Imperial Japan in the Unlimited/Alternative universes.
Type-87 Support Assault CannonEditA variant of the Type-87, the Support Assault Cannon is a Type-87 with its 120mm cannon attachment removed, and replaced by a scope system attachment, with a longer barrel fitted over the 36mm chaingun barrel, presumably to improve the round's accuracy and penetrating power. The Type-87 Support is usually relegated to pilots whose roles are to act as team sharpshooters or dedicated sniper personnel.
Like the standard Type-87 configuration, the Type-87 SAC can be fired on full automatic, or in single shots. Given its intended role, most users use it in single-shot mode.
AMWS-21 Combat SystemEditThe main weapons system of most American TSFs, the AMWS-21 is the latest Assault Cannon fielded by the United States. A laser device allows a greater link with the TSF's onboard targeting computer, improving the weapon's accuracy. Its 120mm cannon attachment has a range of over 3 kilometers, and uses a modular design that allows for separation from the main weapon. However, any prospective AMWS-21 variants remain unseen so far.
The AMWS-21 uses a belt system for its ammunition, with 2000 rounds of 36mm layered together with multiple segments within a magazine. To prevent jamming or empty feeding, a conveyer belt-type bullet feed is mounted on the top and bottom of the magazine; power to operate this simple system is supplied by the AMWS-21's own systems.
The weapon resembles the TAR-21 Tavor.
WS-16 Assault CannonEditThe first generation of Assault Cannon systems fielded by the United States for use by their F-4 Phantom TSFs, the WS-16 has seen various field upgrades during its service life, and has been used by most, if not all 1st to 2nd generation TSFs at one point in time. Throughout its service life, it has undergone numerous changes, the most major of those being the upgrade from the WS-16A to WS-16B, where the chaingun caliber was increased from 20mm to 36mm, and the cannon caliber from 105mm to 120mm. The specifications of the WS-16B would later become the standard for all Assault Cannon systems later on.
The final incarnation of the WS-series, the WS-16C, is the definitive version of the weapon, with minor upgrades to keep its firepower relevant to the modern battlefield. As of 2001 production of the weapon has ceased, although the remaining WS-16s are still in use by a select few US military units not stationed on the frontlines, or with the armies of other nations. Examples include the F-14Ex of the Empire of Iran, or older variants of the F-16 Fighting Falcon.
A variant of the WS-16C exists in use with the military of East Germany, where is it known as the WSd-16C.
Type-82 Tactical Assault CannonEditA modified version of the WS-series of Assault Cannons utilized by the Unified Front of China, the Type-82 has a shorter stock to prevent the gun from getting in the way during close-quarters combat. As a result, the weapon suffers from reduced accuracy and load balance.
The Type-82 somewhat resembles the QBZ-95 Assault Rifle.
XAMWS-24 Advanced Multiple Weapon SystemEditA new Assault Cannon system, the XAMWS-24 is an experimental weapon used exclusively by the YF-23 Black Widow II during the units' flight and combat trials in the ATSF program. The XAMWS-24 was notable for being equipped with a bayonet, and had increased chaingun ammunition by 30% and cannon ammunition by 20% compared to the AMWS-21. Unlike most Assault Cannons, it can be stored on the same Mount Pylon system as the XCIWS-2B Melee Halberd.
Like the YF-23, it never entered mass-production.
XWS-116 Support Assault CannonEdit
Unknown Support Assault Cannon model used by F-14Ex pilots in Blue Flag exercises.
A-97 Assault CannonEditThe first domestic Soviet Assault Cannon, the A-97 was a simple redesign of the WS-16C provided to Soviet forces along with their F-4Rs.
The MiG-29M2 Vermillion Sword uses a version with considerably elongated barrels.
The weapon resembles the OC-14-4A.
GWS-9 Assault CannonEditThe main armament of the European Union forces as well as UN forces stationed in Europe, the GWS-9 replaces the older WS-16C used by European forces. The weapon boasts a 20% reduction in weight and size, and its internal systems are more reliable against wear-and-tear than the WS-16C.
FWS-G1 Assault CannonEditThe main weapon of French TSFs, the FWS-G1's performance against the GWS-9 is largely similar, being only slightly more compact, and was developed with data from the American AMWS-21.
The weapon resembles the FAMAS.
Mk.57 Squad Support GunEditFirst entering service with European Union forces in 1996, the Mk. 57, manufactured by Rheinmetall, is the strongest, and the most versatile support fire armament, for TSFs fielded by the European nations yet. It was developed as a need for a platform for highly-mobile support fire; as opposed to traditional ground artillery units, which were all too vulnerable to BETA assault and ambushes, as they did not possess the three-dimensional mobility advantages of TSFs.
As part of the EU's combat doctrine of an all-TSF first-strike force (freeing up traditional armor forces, for example, for defensive operations away from the infested European mainland), the Mk. 57 allowed TSFs to provide their own cover fire; strategies, such as thinning operations, could be focused more on speed and mobility, further enhancing the tactical advantages a TSF had. With a range beyond 20 kilometers, the Mk. 57 has become the long-ranged weapon of choice for most European pilots, and has entered service in nearly all European Union nations and even overseas, with the Empire of Japan adopting the weapon in 2002 as the Type-02 Squad Support Gun. The speed at which the weapon was adopted has led some to believe that the deal was prearranged well before 2002, but none can deny that the weapon has proven itself more than capable in combat.
Intended for a wide variety of roles from crowd-control fire to mobile artillery, the Mk. 57 uses a modular barrel attachment system to easily swap components in order to fire a variety of ammunition types, ranging from 57mm rounds to heavier 105mm and 220mm munitions. The 57mm round in particular can be outfitted for buckshot; with a rate of 120 shells per minute, even the Mk. 57's basic configuration has proven highly effective on combating Tank- and Grappler-class BETA.
The weapon bears a strong resemblance to the MG-3.
GAU-8 AvengerEditMounted in pairs on the A-10 Thunderbolt II, these seven-barreled rotary-cannons fire 36mm caseless rounds and are the core of the A-10's success when dealing with massed Tank-class BETA. These cannons are mounted on highly-flexible joints, and fed ammunition from two massive ammunition drums housed in the cylinders mounted on the A-10's shoulder blocks, allowing the TSA to engage targets from nearly all directions, even behind the TSA itself.
The 36mm round's tactical flexibility combined with the GAU-8's high rate of fire means that the weapon is also effective against most other strains of BETA, either through penetration power and range and/or the sheer amount of rounds fired.
- In the 18+ Ages version of Muv-Luv Unlimited, the Type-87 Assault Cannon originally held 1400 chaingun rounds and 10 cannon shots. Its ammunition count was later retconned to 2000 36mm/6 120mm in the all-ages version, and has remained that way since.
- The actual GAU-8 Avenger uses 30mm rounds instead of 36mm.