Upgrade allows firing at varying rates, efficient use of ammunition
April 4, 2017: Raytheon Company successfully tested a new electric gun for the Phalanx® Close-In Weapon System. The upgrade allows soldiers and sailors to fire at varying rates, which uses less ammunition.
Phalanx is a rapid-fire, computer-controlled radar and 20 mm gun system that automatically acquires, tracks and destroys enemy threats that have penetrated all other ship defense systems. More than 890 systems have been built and deployed in navies around the world.
The goal of the live-fire test was to ensure the electric gun can operate despite the heavy vibrations that occur when Phalanx 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.
"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," said Rick McDonnell, director of Raytheon's Close-In Defense Solutions program."
This Raytheon-funded test is one part of a series of "tech refresh" projects for Phalanx.