USS America tested its new Phalanx 20 mm close-in weapon systems
WASHINGTON – The USS America has conducted shooting tests of the new Phalanx Close-In Weapons anti-aircraft artillery rocket system, 20 mm caliber, during an exercise in the Philippine Sea, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing a source in the US Department of Defense.
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The shooting tests took place on November 16. Phalanx CIWS is a product of Raytheon, but the original developer of the anti-aircraft missile system was General Dynamics. The weapon system is designed to deal with threats on water and underwater, incl. small and medium-sized attack boats, submarines, anti-ship missiles, and even helicopters.
The weapon system is made of a six-barrel M61A1 automatic cannon. Phalanx CIWS consists of an artillery installation and control systems and includes the following units: the artillery installation itself, 2 radars, support, barbette, electronics cabin, and control panel. Phalanx CIWS has been developed since the late 1960s by the General Dynamics division in Pomona, California, in conjunction with General Electric in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The first naval tests of the complex were conducted in 1973, its production began in 1978 and entered service in 1980.
In addition to weapons in the United States, Phalanx CIWS is in service in warships in Australia, Britain, Greece, Japan, Canada, Taiwan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Portugal.
The USS America, for its part, is one of the US Navy’s main assault warships, and in addition to the Phalanx, the ship is armed with two short-range missile launchers, and two medium-range missile launchers, surface-to-air missiles, and an M242 Bushmaster chain rifle and seven heavy machine guns with double guns. USS America also has an electronic warfare system, three types of radar (air search, surface search, and air traffic control radar).
The warship is relatively new since it was launched in 2012 and officially entered combat duty in 2014.
U.S. tests FARA and 20-mm XM915 three-barrel cannon
As we reported on November 12, US military launches flight tests of weapons systems for its next generation of reconnaissance aircraft for future intelligence (FARA).
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).
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.
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