Raytheon has successfully tested a new electric gun for the 20mm PHALANX Close-In Weapon System. The new gun allows operators to use the system at varying cyclic rates of fire, thereby using less ammunition.
The goal of the company-funded live-fire test – one of a series of “tech refresh” initiatives for PHALANX – was to ensure the electric gun can operate despite the heavy vibrations that occur when the system is fired. The new design replaces a pneumatic motor, compressor and storage tanks, reducing the system's weight by 180 pounds. These changes also increase reliability and reduce operating costs. Almost 900 PHALANX systems have been delivered to navies around the world.
“Phalanx is a weapon of last resort and the electric gun's larger magazine will allow the US and its allies to stay in the fight longer,” Rick McDonnell, director of Raytheon's Close-In Defense Solutions programme, observed.