WASHINGTON – General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems [GD-OTS] are working hard on the final phase of the latest XM915 20mm Gatling-type automatic cannon, designed to give power to the latest US combat helicopters under the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft [FARA] program, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
- USS America tested its new Phalanx 20 mm close-in weapon systems
- Next-gen night vision increases the spy capability of US UAVs
- U.S. tests FARA helicopter with a 20-mm XM915 three-barrel cannon
- U.S. introduced a Canadian armored vehicle with a 50 mm Bushmaster gun
As we wrote in mid-November, in October this year, the US Air Force conducted tests of this gun in Arizona. 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].
“It shoots fast, it shoots well, and it shoots accurately,” Army Lieutenant Colonel Cameron Keogh, the Chief of Flight Test for U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, did say about the XM915’s performance in a statement released earlier this month. “As a previous attack and recon pilot, I like it.”
Information on the XM915 20mm Gatling-type automatic cannon is still scarce as it is under development, but BulgarianMilitary.com sources have brought more light around the product. What we do know is that it was successfully mounted on a helicopter and showed very good performance during the shooting demonstration.
The XM915 20mm Gatling will weigh 115 pounds and works with an electric propulsion system that will fire 20x102mm electrically loaded ammunition.
XM915 20mm Gatling is a small part of the large-scale FARA project. Under this program, in addition to the XM915 20mm Gatling-type automatic cannon, developers will have to integrate other weapons capabilities, such as launching stray ammunition, AGM-179A air-to-surface missiles, drone swarms, and more. Successful tests of the XM915 20mm Gatling-type automatic cannon do not mean that it will find a place in the final design of future helicopters.
The other participant in this program is Northrup Gruman, who already presented in March this year a 20 mm single-barrel Sky Viper cannon. General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems believe that if their product is not approved for part of FARA’s armaments, they will target international markets and offer it like a monkey to customers who have already purchased American helicopters.
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