A disadvantage of the M61 is that the bulk of the weapon, its feed system, and ammunition drum makes it difficult to fit it into a densely packed airframe. The next generation of fighters built post-Vietnam incorporated the M61 gun internally. Additionally, the radar was a range-only set incapable of finding targets. 148–57. The higher speeds of jet-powered fighter aircraft meant that achieving an effective number of hits would be extremely difficult without a much higher volume of fire. The new Air Force made a request for a new aircraft gun. As C-RAM is not a naval application, I do not include these rounds in the table above. At the end of World War II, the United States Army began to consider new directions for future military aircraft guns. The M6A1 and M6A2 cannons are effective against enemy aircraft and “soft” ground targets, firing 20mm rounds at an extremely high rate (M6A1 – 6,000 rpm) and (M61A2 – 6,600 rpm). 2 m effective radius to produce casualties to exposed personnel. The 20 mm Hispano cannon carried by the P-38 and P-61, while formidable against propeller-driven planes, had a relatively low rate of fire in the age of jets, while other cannons were notoriously unreliable. [citation needed] The success of the Vulcan Project and its subsequent progeny, the very-high-speed Gatling gun, has led to guns of the same configuration being referred to as "Vulcan cannon", which can sometimes confuse nomenclature on the subject. The range only radar aids the manual targeting significantly, but is inferior to automated targeting. Most aircraft installations are double-ended, because the ejection of empty cartridges can cause a foreign-object damage (FOD) hazard for jet engines and because the retention of spent cases assists in maintaining the center of gravity of the aircraft. It has been the principal cannon armament of United States military aircraft for five decades. The gun mount moves at a very high speed and with great precision. An unmounted M61 Vulcan. Tran Hanh, and the only survivor from the 4 MiGs reported that U.S. jets had pursued them and that F-105s had shot down 3 of his aircraft, killing Lieutenants Pham Giay, Le Minh Huan, and Tran Nguyen Nam. While captured German designs (principally the Mauser MG 213C) showed the potential of the single-barrel revolver cannon, the practical rate of fire of such a design was still limited by ammunition feed and barrel wear concerns. The report estimated that the current PGU-28/B had a potential failure rate 80 times higher than USAF standards permit.[7]. The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet also uses this version. A variety of Armor-Piercing Incendiary (API), High Explosive Incendiary (HEI), and training rounds are available. Depending on the application, the feed system can be either single-ended (ejecting spent cases and unfired rounds) or double-ended (returning casings back to the magazine). The M61 Vulcan is a hydraulically or pneumatically driven, six-barrel, air-cooled, electrically fired Gatling-style rotary cannon which fires 20 mm rounds at an extremely high rate (typically 6,000 rounds per minute). [2], In 1946 the Army issued General Electric a contract for "Project Vulcan", a six-barrel weapon capable of firing 7,200 rounds per minute (rpm). Our M61 Vulcan is a six-barrel, air-cooled, electrically-driven 20mm Gatling-style rotary cannon with a reduced rate of fire. At the end of World War II, the United States Army Air Forces began to consider new directions for future military aircraft guns. These variants of the T45 were known as the T171 and T150 respectively and were first tested in 1952. [10], The feed system must be custom-designed for each application, adding 300–400 lb (140–180 kg) to the complete weapon. 35th TFS; The F4E was the first Phantom II to enter the war with an internal Vulcan gun. While captured German designs (principally the Mauser MG 213C) showed the potential of the single-barrel revolver cannon, the practical rate of fire of such a design was still limited by ammunition feed and barrel wear concerns. At the end of World War II, the United States Army Air Forces began to consider new directions for future military aircraft guns. The first GE prototypes of the 0.60-inch (15 mm) caliber T45 were ground-fired in 1949; it achieved 2,500 rpm, which was increased to 4,000 rpm by 1950. The firing rate is selectible at 4,000 spm or 6,000 spm. 35th TFS; The F4E was the first Phantom II to enter the war with an internal Vulcan gun. "Projects". The self-powered Vulcan weighs about 10 pounds (4.5 kg) more than its electric counterpart, but requires no external power source to operate, except for an electric, inertia starter to initiate gun rotation, allowing the first rounds to be chambered and fired. Given that both systems are from different origins, they haven’t been directly compared in the same settings and I haven’t seen any claimed accuracy figures for the GSh-301 so far, which I have (but don’t remember now) for the M61A1. [citation needed], Most aircraft versions of the M61 are hydraulically driven and electrically primed. Excludes combination air-to-air missile/gun kills. Effective Range: Several thousand yards : The 20 mm M61 Vulcan is a hydraulically or pneumatically driven, six-barreled, air-cooled, electrically fired Gatling-style gun with an extremely high rate of fire. The higher speeds of jet-powered fighter aircraft meant that achieving an effective number of hits would be extremely difficult without a much higher volume of fire. Elevation was limited to +80 and -5 and effective range was out to 5 kilometers depending on ammunition type. After Martin's merger with Lockheed, the rotary cannon became the responsibility of Lockheed Martin Armament Systems. The M61 mounted on an Israeli M163 armored vehicle. The primary use of the cannon is in the extremely short range (less than 2000 feet) air-to-air environment, where more sophistacated air-to-air missiles are ineffective. It was fitted in a side-firing installation on the Fairchild AC-119 and some marks of the Lockheed AC-130 gunships, and was used in the tail turrets of both the Convair B-58 Hustler and Boeing B-52H Stratofortress bombers. The gun fires at 3,000 rounds per minute … [3] Although European designers were moving towards heavier 30 mm weapons for better hitting power, the U.S. initially concentrated on a powerful 0.60-inch (15 mm) cartridge designed for a pre-war anti-tank rifle, expecting that the cartridge's high muzzle velocity would be beneficial for improving hit ratios on high speed targets. [citation needed]. Most aircraft installations are double-ended, because the ejection of empty cartridges can cause a foreign-object damage hazard for jet engines and because the retention of spent cases assists in maintaining the center of gravity of the aircraft. [9], The self-powered version, the GAU-4 (called M130 in Army service), is gas-operated, tapping gun gas from three of the six barrels to operate the gun gas driven mechanism. Other aircraft include the Italian/Brazilian AMX International AMX (on Italian aircraft only), and the F-22 Raptor. The main types of combat rounds and their main characteristics are listed in the table below. The SUU-16/A uses the electric M61A1 with a ram-air turbine to power the motor. It was also used to protect U.S. Air Force warplane airfields and U.S. Army helicopter airfields. [3] In 1947, the Air Force became a separate branch of the military. [15] However, the PGU-28/B has not been without problems. The M61 and its derivatives have been the principal cannon armament of United States military fixed-wing aircraft for fifty years. The new PGU-28/B round was developed in the mid-1980s. The M61 20mm "Vulcan". Bursts of from two or three up to 40 or 50 can be selected. It was fitted in a side-firing installation on the Fairchild AC-119, some marks of the Lockheed AC-130 gunships, and was used in the tail turrets of both the Convair B-58 Hustler and Boeing B-52H Stratofortress bombers. It can be bought in the Gun Shop for$50,000,000, the same price as the Atomic Armor and the Experimental Overdrive. The M61 Vulcan is a hydraulically or pneumatically driven, six-barreled, air-cooled, electrically fired Gatling-style cannon, which fires 20 mm rounds at an extremely high rate. Th… A lesson of World War II air combat was that German, Italian, and Japanese fighters could attack American aircraft from long range with their cannon main armament. Nose fuzed round, no tracer. Many other versions of the Gatling gun were built from the late 20th century to the present, the largest of these being the 30mm GAU-8 Avenger autocannon as used on the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II . It has been the principal cannon armament of … The M35 Armament System mounted a modified M61 Vulcan 20mm Automatic Cannon designated M195. Quick Details. The cyclic rate of fire is a selectable 1.000 or 3.000 rpm. The effective combat range was certainly much less, of … [citation needed], The M61 is also the basis of the US Navy Mk 15 Phalanx Close-in weapon system system and the M163 VADS Vulcan Air Defense System, using the M168 variant. [11], The Vulcan's rate of fire is typically 6,000 rounds per minute, although some versions (such as that of the AMX and the F-106 Delta Dart) are limited to a lower rate, and others (A-7 Corsair) have a selectable rate of fire of either 4,000 or 6,000 rounds per minute. Capt. The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet also uses this version. [citation needed], The PGU-28/B is a semi-armor piercing high explosive incendiary (SAPHEI) round, providing substantial improvements in range, accuracy, and power over the preceding M56A3 HEI round. Until the late 1980s, the M61 primarily used the M50 series of ammunition in various types, typically firing a 3.5 ounces (99 g) projectile at a muzzle velocity of about 3,380 feet per second (1,030 m/s). [16] Due to safety issues, it was limited to emergency wartime use in 2000.[17]. Multi-purpose fuzeless round with an incendiary charge in the nose setting off the HE behind it with a slight delay to maximize lethality against aircraft. [citation needed]. [7], The development of the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter revealed that the T171 Vulcan (later redesignated M61) suffered problems with its linked ammunition, being prone to misfeed and presenting a foreign object damage (FOD) hazard with discarded links. The first aircraft to carry the M61A1 was the C model of the F-104, starting in 1959. [37], The subsequent SUU-23/A uses the GAU-4/A self-powered Vulcan, with an electric inertia starter to bring it up to speed. The main types of combat rounds and their main characteristics are listed in the table below. English: The 20 mm M61 Vulcan is a hydraulically or pneumatically driven, six-barreled, air-cooled, electrically fired Gatling-style cannon with an extremely high rate of fire. 148–57. The M61 Vulcan cannon is a six-barreled gatling-style rotary gun used on fighter planes like the F-22 Raptor. The new Air Force made a request for a new aircraft gun. Campbell & Hill p. 43/photo of his F-105 plate # 213, AN/FPS-133 Air Force Space Surveillance System (AFSSS), AN/FSQ-114 Ground-Based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance (GEODSS), Rapid Attack, Identification, Detection, and Reporting System (RAIDRS), AIM-120B/C Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM), Articles with unsourced statements from September 2014, Articles incorporating text from Wikipedia, semi-armor piercing high explosive incendiary, http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/equip/m61.htm, http://img294.imageshack.us/img294/2433/eleckeygatling.jpg, https://web.archive.org/web/20080921095536/http://tri.army.mil/LC/CS/csa/aagatlin.htm, "PGU-27A/B TP/PGU-28A/B SAPHEI/ GU-30A/B TP-T", http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/pgu-28.htm, https://web.archive.org/web/20041017182625/https://tercel.mugu.navy.mil/drlog/awcap/volumes/vol8/ammo/v348_prob.pdf, https://web.archive.org/20140819195104/http://maic.jmu.edu:80/ordata/, "PGU-27A/B TP/PGU-28A/B SAPHEI/PGU-30A/B TP-T", http://books.google.com/?id=k9cNAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA115, "Evolution of the M61 Vulcan Gatling Gun", http://tri.army.mil/lc/cs/csa/aagatlin.htm#M61, http://www.gd-ots.com/armament_systems/mbw_M61A1.html, "M61 A1 Vulcan - 20 mm Gatling gun system", http://www.f-16.net/f-16_armament_article5.html, AC-130H/U/J/W Spectre/Spooky II/Ghostrider/Stinger II, MC-130E/H/J/P Combat Talon I/Combat Talon II/Commando II/Combat Shadow, RC-135S/U/V/W COBRA BALL/Combat Sent/Rivet Joint, Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP), Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS), AN/FPQ-16 Perimeter Acquisition Attack Characterization System (PARCS), AN/FPS-132 Upgraded Early Warning Radar (UEWR), AGM-84H/K Standoff Land Attack Missile - Expanded Response, AGM-86B/C/D Air-Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM), AGM-88A/B/C High-speed Anti-radiation Missile (HARM), AGM-114 Hellfire Air-to-Surface Missile (ASM), AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Stand-off Missile (JASSM), AGM-176 Griffin Joint Air-to-Surface Stand-off Missile (JASSM), https://military.wikia.org/wiki/M61_Vulcan?oldid=5223884, Pages using duplicate arguments in template calls, M61A1: 248 pounds (112 kg) without feed system, 6-barrel (progressive RH parabolic twist, 9 grooves). Several thousand yards. [27][28][29][30], The Vulcan was later fitted into the weapons bay of some Convair F-106 Delta Dart and General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark models. The M246 self-destructs roughly 4 seconds after firing at a range of approximately 1.12 miles (1,800 m). An M61 Vulcan and the feed system for an F-18, on a stand. Japan's Mitsubishi F-1 carried one internally mounted JM61A1 Vulcan with 750 rounds. A. After Martin's merger with Lockheed, the rotary cannon became the responsibility of Lockheed Martin Armament Systems. [citation needed], Most aircraft versions of the M61 are hydraulically driven and electrically primed. [citation needed], A lighter version of the Vulcan developed for use on the F-22 Raptor, designated M61A2, is mechanically the same as the M61A1, but with thinner barrels to reduce overall weight to 202 pounds (92 kg). The Army wanted something better, combining an extremely high rate of fire with exceptional reliability. "…features new lightweight gun system is the General Dynamics M61A2, which has a switchable firing rate of 4,000 or 6,000 shots per minute and a fully integrated linkless ammunition feed system", Toperczer (MiG-17/MiG-19 Units) pp. The M61 20mm Vulcan is an externally powered, six-barrel, rotary-fire gun having a rate of fire of up to 7200 spm. The strong arm of the M163 Vulcan air defense system was its installation of the M61 Vulcan cannon. American fighters with .50 cal main armament, such as the P-51 and P-47, had to be close with the enemy in order to hit and damage enemy aircraft. The F-4 was originally designed without a cannon as it was believed that missiles had made guns obsolete. The 20mm Hispano carried by the P-38 while formidable against propeller driven planes was deemed a relatively low velocity weapon in the age of jets, while other cannon were notoriously unreliable. [24][25], The gun was installed in the Air Force's A-7D version of the LTV A-7 Corsair II where it replaced the earlier United States Navy A-7's Colt Mk 12 cannon and was adopted by the Navy on the A-7C and A-7E. The next generation of fighters built post-Vietnam incorporated the M61 gun internally. The M61 Vulcan fires 20×102mmammunition. The M61 Vulcan is a hydraulically or pneumatically driven, six-barreled, air-cooled, electrically fired Gatling-style rotary cannon which fires 20 mm rounds at an extremely high rate. Mean time between jams or failures is in excess of 10,000 rounds, making it an extremely reliable weapon. A variety of Armor-Piercing Incendiary (API), High Explosive Incendiary (HEI), and training rounds are available. The rotor and housing have also been modified to remove any piece of metal not absolutely needed for operation and replaces some metal components with lighter weight materials. Capt. The original weapon was soon replaced by the M61A1, with a linkless feed system. fighters. The Army wanted something better, combining extremely high rate of fire with exceptional reliability. It was also adopted as standard in the "teen"-series air superiority fighters, the Grumman F-14 Tomcat, the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon and McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. [17], Two gun pod versions, the SUU-16/A (also designated M12 by the US Army) and improved SUU-23/A (US Army M25), were developed in the 1960s, often used on gunless versions of the F-4. By the early 1950s, the USAF decided that high velocity alone might not be sufficient to ensure target destruction and tested 20 mm and 27 mm alternatives based on the 0.60-inch (15 mm) caliber cartridge. By the early 1950s, the USAF decided that high velocity alone might not be sufficient to ensure target destruction and tested 20 mm and 27 mm alternatives based on the 0.60-inch (15 mm) caliber cartridge. [5], The Vulcan's rate of fire is typically 6,000 rounds per minute, although some versions (such as that of the AMX and the F-106 Delta Dart) are limited to a lower rate, and others (A-7 Corsair) have a selectable rate of fire of either 4,000 or 6,000 rounds per minute. Donald Kilgus piloting an F-100 received an official probable kill with his four M39 20 mm cannons during the engagement; however no other US pilot reported destroying any MiGs during the battle, leaving open the plausibility that at least two of the MiG-17s may have been downed by their own anti-aircraft fire. The M61 Vulcan is a hydraulically, electrically or pneumatically driven, six-barrel, air-cooled, electrically fired Gatling-style rotary cannon which fires 20 mm rounds at an extremely high rate (typically 6,000 rounds per minute). The process is more like water wearing down a granite mountain. [4], The initial M61 used linked, belted ammunition, but the ejection of spent links created considerable (and ultimately insuperable) problems. This round was designed to address worries about falling projectiles from the system exploding on impact with the ground, potentially injuring friendly troops or civilians, damaging structures, or causing fires. [citation needed], In 1993, General Electric sold its aerospace division, including GE Armament Systems along with the design and production tooling for the M61 and GE's other rotary cannon, to Martin Marietta. While captured German designs (principally the Mauser MG 213C) showed the potential of the single-barrel revolver cannon, the practical rate of fire of such a design was still limited by ammunition feed and barrel wear concerns. [39], "Jane's International Defense Review: IDR, Volume 36, Issues 1-6". A linkless ammunition feed system was developed for the upgraded M61A1, which subsequently became the standard cannon armament of U.S. The heart of the M167 was a variant of the M61 Vulcan 20×102 mm rapid-fire rotary cannon. Nose fuzed round, no tracer. The M61 and its derivatives have been the principal cannon armament of United States military fixed-wing aircraft for fifty years. The gun rotor, barrel assembly and ammunition feed system are rotated by a hydraulic drive motor through a system of flexible drive shafts. [26], Two gun pod versions, the SUU-16/A (also designated M12 by the US Army) and improved SUU-23/A (US Army M25), were developed in the 1960s, often used on gunless versions of the F-4. Multi-purpose fuzeless round with an incendiary charge in the nose setting off the HE behind it with a slight delay to maximize lethality against aircraft. Combat experience in Vietnam showed that a gun could be more effective than guided missiles in many combat situations, and that an externally carried gun pod was less effective than an internal gun; the first generation of gun pods such as the SUU-16 were not oriented with the sights of the fighter. Experienced officers discouraged formation firing at more 250 or 300 yards. Offering 360-degree traverse 1.000 or 3.000 rpm like the F-22 Raptor strong arm of the M61 and derivatives... The M61A1 was the first Phantom II to enter the War with an internal Vulcan gun are rotated by hydraulic. 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