Raytheon tests new electric gun for Phalanx weapon system

A new electric gun that allows varying rates of fire by the Phalanx Close-In Weapon System has been successfully tested by Raytheon.

The Phalanx Close-In Weapons System fires 75 20mm rounds a second. Photo courtesy of Raytheon
The Phalanx Close-In Weapons System fires 75 20mm rounds a second. Photo courtesy of Raytheon

The new electric gun design replaces the Phalanx’s pneumatic motor, compressor and storage tanks, resulting in a 180 pound weight reduction.

The initial test firing was to validate that the new gun was operable despite the Phalanx’s heavy vibrations.

“Phalanx is a weapon of last resort and the electric gun’s larger magazine will allow the U.S. and its allies to stay in the fight longer,” Rick McDonnell, director of Raytheon’s Close-In Defense Solutions program, said in a press release.

Phalanx is a computer-controlled radar and 20mm gun system. It automatically acquires, tracks and destroys close-in enemy threats that have penetrated other ship defenses. It fires 75 rounds a second and has a maximum range of 2.2 miles.

By Richard Tomkins