USAF ordered 20mm Gatling-style cannon guns for F-16 fighters

WASHINGTON – In the middle of the month, on December 15, the US Air Force ordered the production of M61A1 Vulcan Gatling-style 20mm cannon guns, learned, citing a statement from the US Department of Defense [DoD].

USAF ordered 20mm Gatling-style cannon guns for F-16 fighters
Photo credit: Wikipedia

The order is worth $ 88.2 million and will be implemented by General Dynamics-OTS Inc., Williston, Vermont. The deadline for the execution of the contract set by the State Department is December 12, 2031. According to the announcement, the ordered quantity of M61A1 Vulcan Gatling-style 20mm cannon guns is unlimited and will be used to support the weapon system of the 4th F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters.

The M61A1 Vulcan has been in service since the 1950s. This gun has served the combat capability of aircraft such as F-104, F-105B / D / F, A-7D, F-4E, B-58, B-52H and continues to be in service in F-15 and F- 16. There is another variant called M61A2 – this version is lighter and currently examines the combat capabilities of the F-22 Raptor.

The M61A1 Vulcan is a six-barrel rotary 20mm cannon that can fire up to 6,000 rounds per minute. The barrels of the M61A1 Vulcan rotate extremely fast, which allows a high speed of fire. Because each barrel fires only one in six rounds, the wear and heat generated are less than with a single-barrel pistol. According to the known information, the rotary tools of the Vulcan series can be driven in three ways – electrically, hydraulically, or by a ram air engine.

U.S. tests 20-mm XM915 three-barrel cannon

Have a look at the new 20mm Gatling-type automatic cannon
Photo credit: GD-OTS

As we reported on November 12, the US military launches flight tests of weapons systems for its next generation of reconnaissance aircraft for future intelligence [FARA].

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].

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.

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.


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