U.S. tests FARA helicopter with a 20-mm XM915 three-barrel cannon

WASHINGTON – US military launches flight tests of weapons systems for its next generation of reconnaissance aircraft for future intelligence (FARA), learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing US Army source.

U.S. tests FARA helicopter with a 20-mm XM915 three-barrel cannon
Photo credit: US Army

In October this year, the service began flight tests of a 20-mm gun and a prototype PU for multi-role ammunition and drones Modular Effects Launcher – both systems should receive a new reconnaissance helicopter FARA, which will replace the US reconnaissance helicopter Bell OH-58D Kayova.

The systems were tested on a modified Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, which is used as a “flying laboratory” instead of the FARA helicopter.

It is noted that the new weapon will be much more powerful and effective than the one used in the predecessor. For example, the new 20-mm cannon XM915 has three barrels and an electric drive, thanks to which the pistol can fire 1500 shots per minute (in the single-barrel system of the Bell OH-58D Kiowa helicopter this figure is 1025 rounds).

Lockheed's Sikorsky introduced a high-speed combat helicopter Raider-X
Photo credit: Lockheed Martin

At the same time, the “feature” of the new modular PU Modular Effects Launcher

that each of its stations can be individually tuned to use different combinations of missiles or aviation special effects. In this way, the military can choose weapons for the type of mission, instead of taking some type of missile or, for example, barrage ammunition.

American bullet with micro-optics

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency [DARPA] is developing a new precision C4ISR technology that will help future US special forces, and more specifically their snipers, become completely ruthless towards the enemy. It is a targeting bullet fired by the soldier’s sniper rifle.

Currently, DARPA reveals only the name of the technology – EXACTO, or Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance bullets, which will be .50 caliber. Information from other American sites specializing in military equipment, including advances in the development of sniper rifles, provides more clarity.

According to these sites, DARPA researchers have been able to integrate optical sensors in the bullet’s nose and fins capable of adjusting the bullet’s flight path in the tail. This means that these .50 caliber sniper bullets will be based on the principle of targeting some missiles used by the Americans, namely by using laser targeting. BulgarianMilitary.com reminds you that similar missiles are Maverick and Hellfire. The technology, which is integrated into the new .50 caliber bullets, allows you to make some adjustments in your trajectory to reach your target after playing a shot.

DARPA experts explain that this new technology will help a lot in hitting targets that move as soon as the sniper fires a shot. At the same time, however, there are drawbacks to this type of ammunition, such as the laser targeting itself. One drawback is that the target and the people around it can see the laser because it is visible. Another disadvantage is the rather large power supply, as we know that an obvious sniper can spend hours undercover while firing a shot.

These shortcomings will be overcome in the future, DARPA said. But the new .50 caliber bullet allows snipers to increase their accuracy, which will lead to high accuracy for every single bullet fired.

Chinese has naval scary Gatling-type gun

As we reported in May this year, China is seriously developing its navy, as well as the weapons it will need to use. The media reported that Beijing had developed a 20-barrel naval Gatling-type gun that looked more than impressive and, at the same time, quite shocking.

New Chinese naval Gatling-type gun looks scary and frightening
Photo credit: Wikipedia

So far, no details are known about the characteristics of the weapon. China generally rarely provides such information. According to some experts, China has already conducted three tests of this weapon – in January, March, and April.

There are many unknowns, and they raise various questions among experts. For example, what is the caliber of this “beast,” and how fast does it fire bullets. Let us remind you that such small arms from this dumb are at least twice as small in volume.

China is developing Gatling-style weapons. They are noted as Naval Proximity Weapons Systems (CIWS). We know of two Chinese weapons in this style – type 730 and type 1130. If we assume that according to the characteristics, type 730 can fire approximately 6000 shots per minute, the question remains – how many can fire the unknown naval pistol in one minute? But that, too, shouldn’t be close to reality, as the other Chinese model, 1130, spits out 10,000 shots in a minute.

We remind you that China now officially has the largest fleet globally, and the second after the Celestial Empire is the United States with 37 naval vessels less. Nearly two years ago, Beijing launched the first aircraft carrier of its design, and more recently, the Chinese launched a third landing assault ship.


Follow us everywhere and at any time. BulgarianMilitary.com has responsive design and you can open the page from any computer, mobile devices or web browsers. For more up-to-date news, follow our Google News, YouTube, Reddit, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook pages. Subscribe to our Newsletter and read our stories in News360App in AppStore or GooglePlay or in FeedlyApp in AppStore or GooglePlay. Our standards: Manifesto & ethical princliples.